As seen in the FT
silk & cashmere cover
100% donated to charity!
As seen in the 'FT - How to Spend it' magazine Interiors Edition 21st of October 2017
100% of this sale will be donated to Riding for the Disabled!
The front of the ‘...and dream of sheep’ hand embroidered cover is 100% silk Jacquard, and hand embroidered with a gradient of colours from white, through blue, to black; in 100% silk thread with satin stitch. The golden silk is framed by a border of black cashmere. The back of this unique piece is a black heavy 100% pure glossy cashmere! Soft, warm and classic.
The soporific effect of counting sheep is emphasised through the changing colour of the hand embroidered words, as the reader drifts from ambient light, to the gentle caress of dreams. The colour change effect is achieved 'in-needle' through the controlled combining of solid coloured silk threads.
This extra large cover is hand embroidered with a sheep-counting rhyme traditionally used by shepherds in The Borders and Cheviots. Until the Industrial Revolution, the use of traditional number systems was common among shepherds. The Yan Tan Tethera words derive from a Brythonic Celtic language.
To keep count of a large number of sheep, a shepherd would repeatedly count to twenty, placing a mark on the ground with his boot, or move his hand to another mark on his crook, or drop a pebble into his pocket to represent each score; for example, 5 score = 100 sheep
100% of the sale of this item will be donated to Riding for the Disabled. A charity very close to my heart and extremely well deserving, which gives disabled children, young people and adults the freedom of mobility, and the joy of contact with horses.
Riding for the Disabled is part of The Horse Rangers Association, Hampton. (Registered Charity 1098257)
The story behind this hand embroidery...
I'm very lucky to live and work in the pleasant surroundings of Richmond-upon-Thames, and take a lot of inspiration from the history and beauty of the area. For me it’s the perfect mix of city and country, having spent my childhood in rural Northumberland. In my early teens I had a very bad accident while cross-country riding. A spinal injury, which in terms of pain, comes a very close second to childbirth, but lasts a lot longer.
- While riding down an ancient sheep drovers road in a remote part of Northumberland a lost lamb spooked my horse, and I was thrown over her ears to a sitting position on the ground. It was a sudden and very piercing pain. I couldn’t move for hours and was in terrible distress, just stuck still clinging onto the reins for dear life. As this was before mobile phones in a remote rural place, nobody was coming to help me. Eventually I just had to get myself up, and get on with it.
it was excruciatingly painful, took a great effort and a very long time to get back on my mare, and very slowly get home. In hospital they couldn’t believe that I had managed to get back on and ride home. I still don’t know how I managed to do it. Unfortunately it was even worse trying to get off the saddle when I finally got home. I’d done some serious damage to my spine - Compressed and fractured. A life changing moment for me. So I really appreciate simply being able to walk, let alone ride. It still causes pain, but after many years I can put it into perspective.
The world looks very different from the back of a horse, and you get a freedom and ease of movement which can be so joyful to someone who has limited mobility. Which is why Riding for the Disabled (RDA) at the Horse Rangers (HRA) in Hampton Court is such an important charity for me to help.
The bond between horse and rider helps repair all manner of ills, and mentally and physically benefits handicapped children and adults alike.
I became a volunteer at RDA HRA Hampton Court. The volunteers give their time for free to run the weekly RDA classes. It takes three volunteers to help each disabled rider on a horse. One on each side and one leading the horse. But it takes more than volunteering to keep this well deserving charity going. Horses need to be fed and maintained, tacked and shod. Many of the horses have been donated to the charity, but there are still vets bills to pay for every one. Which is why all of the purchase price from the ‘…and dream of sheep’ cover is going to Riding for the Disabled at Hampton Court HRA, plus 10% of everything else I have handmade on https://si.je
The ‘...and dream of sheep’ cover was handmade by me especially with Riding for the Disabled (RDA HRA Hampton Court) in mind, to raise funds and awareness for a well deserving charity. Currently, in place of my volunteering I am now offering my hand embroidery work.
- Like volunteering, hand embroidery takes time, care and dedication.
- It’s reflective of my charitable mission for the RDA as it represents my life changing riding accident, and how I can help others through riding.
The words are those of a traditional shepherds counting rhyme, as I had the above mentioned serious spinal accident on an ancient sheep drovers road, because of a lost lamb in rural Northumberland. Had the lamb been counted, things could have been very different. At the time, the outcome seemed bleak. There was a chance I would be permanently disabled, and would only be able to dream of riding again.
The cover is hand embroidered in silk thread with a sheep-counting rhyme traditionally used by shepherds in The Borders and Cheviots. Until the Industrial Revolution, the use of traditional number systems was common among shepherds. The Yan Tan Tethera words derive from a Brythonic Celtic language. To keep count of a large number of sheep, a shepherd would repeatedly count to twenty, placing a mark on the ground with his boot, or move his hand to another mark on his crook, or drop a pebble into his pocket to represent each score (20); for example, 5 score = 100 sheep.
The golden colour of the background silk to me represents the golden evening time just before sleep and the rich colour of parchment. Parchment representative of history at Hampton Court Palace, in whose stables the Horse rangers and RDA are located. And of course the strong link between Hampton Court Palace and embroidery (RSN). The style of the words is loose hand writing, to represent freedom of movement and the joy of it. The gentle change in the colours from silvery white through blue to black represent moving from conscious to unconscious.
My career an Art Director in Paris and London is reflected in the use of lettering and language in my hand embroidery. I enjoy the badinage of European culture.
“My work is a combination of many things I’m passionate about: etymology, typography and lettering, tactile sensual fabrics, literature, languages, classical music, history, fine art, nature & science. I have brought the breadth of my experience as an Art Director to hand embroidery.”
100% of the proceeds from ‘…and dream of sheep' goes to RDA HRA Hampton Court, plus 10% of all other proceeds from sales of my work on https://si.je
This Si Je Veux item is a unique one-of-a-kind piece of hand embroidered fine-art, handmade in Richmond upon Thames, England, with great British materials.
Presented in a hand crafted Si Je Veux storage box and carefully wrapped to ensure its safety during delivery.
All postage within the mainland Uk is free of charge, registered and insured. Overseas postage is registered and insured. Prices on demand.
You can commission one in a different colour or fabric, such as exquisite cashmere, linen or silk. Simply click on 'Commissioning' to start.