Throughout the blizzards and snowstorms of hurricane Emma there’s been a light burning in the Crumble Cottage studio and faint ‘scratchings’ in the air! No, not the pork variety and certainly not the scuffling of tiny mice, but a very particular sound coming from Stephen’s trusty pen as he creates his latest subtle snowdrop drawing.

This celebrates the long-awaited arrival of spring and in keeping with the season we’re designing a new range of beautiful products all based on these delicate little flowers.

These magical blooms have been shrouded in legend for centuries, even featuring in the story of the Garden of Eden. It is said that Eve sat weeping because the garden was so bleak, so an Angel sent a snowflake, which fluttered to the ground where a Snowdrop bloomed. Since then it has been the symbol of rebirth, hope and the arrival of spring.

Stephen’s exquisite illustrations are affectionately known as ‘scratchings’ here at Crumble Cottage, but each of them is a work of art painstakingly crafted with love and taking days to complete. To the untrained eye his new Snowdrop posy drawing has a simple charm, but it’s anything but simple to produce.

It starts with a detailed pencil drawing, followed by intricate outlining and cross-hatching with pen and ink to create light and shade. You can see this for yourself if you click here.

Some of Stephen’s most complicated images contain close to 35,000 individual strokes. All hand-drawn, no computers involved.

Once the drawing is complete it’s over to Kym to turn this charming image into a new collection. (No pressure there then). At Crumble we work on the principle that ‘special things are worth waiting for’ and we don’t launch our products til we’re happy that they are the best we can offer. Our next stage will be to test the image on different fabrics to see which one produces the right ‘look’ that we’re striving to create for our customers.

Once we’re happy with the test, our fabric will be printed at a wonderful Victorian mill on the edge of the Pennines. From there it goes to be cut and stitched into our range of gorgeous goodies at Better Pathways, ready for our customers to buy.

Meanwhile the ‘scratchings’ in the studio can be heard again. So look out for the arrival of spring and our new collections too.