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Follow This Couple as They Explore — and Embroider! — the City of Paris Together

Elin Petronella and Charles Henry explore the city of love one stitch at a time.


When we think of Paris, we are reminded of the beautiful sights, architecture, food — all of which fosters a sense of romance. And who better to portray this than two people who work together to embroider the city of love, Elin Petronella and Charles Henry?


Charles grew up in Paris, which in turn, informed his art. "Being from Paris, I have grown up seeing the beautiful and inspiring buildings every day," he tells Martha Stewart Living, "and felt that capturing them in an artwork would allow me to appreciate my city from another perspective." 


Elin's story is a bit different: for her, Paris was always a dream. "My dream has always been to live in Paris," Elin says. "I started drawing buildings back home in Sweden about 10 years ago, thus when I finally moved to Paris, I couldn't resist the inspiration that I was surrounded by. I think what makes architecture such an inspiring motive to embroider, is not only the beauty and innovation but also the story that it tells about a place at a time in history."


[TRY THIS: An Embroidered Bicycle with Basket of Flowers]


A shared hobby always helps to foster a bond, which was the case for Elin and Charles. "When I met Elin, I saw her doing embroidery every day, which intrigued me to try it out," Charles says. "I have been working with drawing, photography and illustration for years, so it was very motivating to discover a new medium of expression. It didn't take long until embroidery developed into a real passion, not only for the meditative value, but also for its endless artistic possibilities." Elin has been embroidering for a long time; learning from her seamstress mother, textiles and thread have always been present in her life.



Although they both enjoy embroidery, they do so in different ways. Charles told us that he partakes in "freestyle-embroidery," which doesn't focus on a particular stitch, but "rather how to capture the shapes and movement of an image." Elin is a bit more methodical and tends to use split-stitch, satin-stitch, and french knots as a base. She often uses black thread against the white background to define the architecture of Paris and color on flowers, plants, and other small details like a blue door, to really make the whole piece stand out.


To share their passion for art with the world, Elin and Charles created an online platform, which includes articles, photography, embroidery, workshops, and a shop. "We call it 'Le Kadre' because 'le cadre' in French means 'the frame,'" they said, "thus the website is the frame in and out of which we will explore our creativity." Well, their work has certainly inspired us and hopefully many others to share what we love with our loved ones, be it a craft, a sport, or an activity and to book that trip to Paris and see the sights in person of course!


Feeling inspired? Watch how to embroider a personalized set of dinner napkins: