Monday, 25 May 2009

Ava's Tea Party

A few years ago I received an email from a mother who told me how one of my illustrations 'Ava'


reminded her so much of her daughter Ava who had sadly passed away.


We started emailing, on an emotional & creative level & a little while later I launched a series of illustrations called 'Super Princess'. At the time we raised $880 for the hospital that cared for Ava & the illustrations are now in the rooms of little (& big) girls all around the world.
We talked at the time of a 6th illustration, a tea party that Ava was to have with her best friend Aria & their brothers & sisters. It's been a long time in the making (thank you for your trust & patience Sheye) At last it's finally here.





"To have turned my sadness and my missing and my regret into such beauty, to have shown me what this day might have looked like. I can hear the chatter, I can smell the forest. I have sat and stared and breathed in this moment. It leaves me without words" - Sheye

To read more about the story behind the illustration & to buy an A4 print, a percentage of which is going to Paradise kids who strive to help children & families through loss, please visit Sheye's stunning blog
In the not too distant future Belle & Boo will be selling party invitations featuring the illustration, something Sheye thinks Ava would greatly approve of & possibly larger A3 prints, When we do I will of course let you know.

35 comments:

  1. I discovered Sheye's beautiful photos and Ava's story thanks to Belle&Boo and the Super Princess illustrations a year ago.
    As usual you capture the ephemeral innocence and joy of chilhood with a wonderful vintage feeling.
    I admire Sheye for turning such pain into positive words and actions.
    I admire you for honouring Ava into such beautiful illustrations.
    I can spot Mason, Ivy and Luca.
    I'm looking forward to the various products released from this illustration.

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  2. Oh my... that's such a sad but heartwarming story – it's so nice to know that something special can come out of something so dark/terrible. These illustrations are just beautiful.

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  3. This is such a beautiful work! -together with the story behind it made me quite teary. It is really wonderful that you have created this set of illustrations.

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  4. Hi Mandy

    Ava's Tea Party is breath taking - it's beautiful, yet the inspiration behind it is heartbreaking.

    I placed an order via Sheye's blog last night for Ava's Tea Party, which will take pride of place in my little girls room, along with four of the Super Princess prints that we already have.

    I feel honoured to be able to have such a poignant piece in my daughter, Savanna's, room.

    You captured everything and so much more that reminds me of the innocence, joy and awe that children express on a daily basis.

    Love
    Elise

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  5. Thank you for sharing about Ava & the gorgeous illustrations you have since done.... Stunning!

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  6. Mandy, just beautiful. We will need to get this one as well to go alongside the others. Well done also to Sheye, such poignant and beautiful words.

    xThea in Oz

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  7. Hi Mandy, this is a very lovely new illustration. Ava's story always makes me sad, and thankful to have my own children around me.

    Allison x

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  8. Oh, Wow Mandy! It is simply beautiful!! I could sit and look at every detail for an hour! My favorite so far! I learned about little Miss. Ava around a year ago,and I sat and cried for hours reading her blog. I was so taken back by their family and their story and I think this print is perfect for them! Have a great week!
    Melissa

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  9. Such a heartfelt story. Thank you for sharing it with us. My heart goes out to Sheye and her family.

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  10. Your work is so lovely. The story behind Ava's illustrations is heartbreaking but special. Sheye is very brave and you are quite remarkable.

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  11. mandy, this piece is so stunning. amazing work. you so beautifully capture the lovely spirit of children.
    jules xo

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  12. I can agree with Sheye on this illustration: I can just imagine Ava being there playing happily with her family and friends. Beyond that there are no words.

    Love,
    Tania

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  13. what a truly touching image and a very special magical moment captured by your wonderful touch. Beautiful work Mandy. Hugs, Catherine xx

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  14. Beautifull background story, beautiful pictures!

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  15. Beautiful illustrations for a beautiful little girl. What a wonderful celebration of a lovely girl and Sheye big hugs to you.
    twiggy x

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  16. This is one of the most beautiful things that somebody can do by the others (sorry about my english but i´m spanish).
    I adore your work but with this story even more.
    Thanks.

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  17. A beautiful way to honour Ava.

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  18. What a honor to be a part of that with her family. I remember reading about Ava from your blog when I first found Belle & Boo. You created a wonderful moment Mandy...you must be beaming!

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  19. This is beautiful, with such heartwarming meaning behind it!! I think it's my favourite :)

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  20. Mandy, you have truly captured some magic here. I have gone to leave a comment many times since you posted this, but can never really find the right words to convey my gratitude. Even now, i still don't know exactly what to say. Thankyou. I cherish this image. For all the reasons you know and then some. Aria and Lucio immediately recognised themselves. They have stared at this image many times. I am having it framed and it will be hung in a place in our home that is special - right above the table that we sit down at every night for dinner. I know we will talk about it often. I love that it will be looked at daily with loved up hearts. I know that somedays it will make us a little sad. What if. What if. what if. Imagine if. I wonder what. And on it goes.
    Sometimes I look at this image and for a moment, get lost in it and am convinced that tea party actually did happen and you were there, as we all were, watching these beautiful children chatter, laugh, devour the cakes, sip their tea....and then I remember.
    Thankyou again. You are magic. x

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  21. I remember, so clearly, that I stumbled upon your blog near the time you posted the story about Sheye--it was her beautiful website that introduced me to Feist (now a forever favorite). I see your incredible illustrations and think about Ava and hear the melancholy and sweetness of Feist and the next thing you know I'm a complete soggy mess--but, it's a good kind of mess, the kind that makes you want to soak up the beauty and cherish it always. This is a wonderful print, Mandy! Thank you for sharing!

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  22. Mandy,

    What a beautiful picture. I have the Ava with Wings picture in my daughter's room and it captivates me every.single.day. You are truly an amazing artist.

    Much love from NJ,
    Susan Hinchcliffe

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  23. How beautiful. I too had a little girl, Alice, who never got the chance to grow up to go to a tea party... I think that print will be just lovely on her big sisters wall.

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  24. I found some of your work again in Paperchase. It was a pleasant surprise.

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  25. How touching...I think this is so inspiring and what a wonderful way for a mom to remember her beautiful daughter!
    Ava would be so proud!

    I just found your blog and Im so glad I did...just adorable! :)

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  26. It's so sweet Mandy! I remember all of your posts about Ava... that was when I first started reading your blog. You touched my heart then and continue to do so. What a wonderful way to make the world a better place! I have a niece Ava and she looks almost exactly like your first illustration and is growing to look more and more like the older Ava now. I should show you a photo!

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  27. an absolutely lovely illustration by you,& an absolutely heart-breaking loss for sheye.

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  28. Mandy, this is oh so beautiful.

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  29. That is such a touching story. And I love the illustration.

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  30. Wow, what a heartwarming story!

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  31. What a lovely story- touching. 1st time here~ love your work and your blog.

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  32. I really can appreciate this piece of compassionate art you have created for Ava & her momma. I love love your lil boy fishing in the pond full of Lotus flowers. I must own this soon for my daughter who just recently lost our Lil Angel Lukiaya. He was our pride & joy. All of your work is so heartwarming. I am so glad to find you.
    sincerely, Lynn McGinnis

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  33. I purchased this print without knowing the story behind it. I feel incredibly blessed and humbled to have Ava and her friends enjoying their tea party on my daughter's wall. Thank you Mandy for such a beautiful artwork. Although the story is so heartbreaking, you have created an incredible tribute to this little girl. All love and blessings to Sheye and Ava's family. Little Ava will always be looked upon with enormous love and respect in our family and home. xx

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  34. How moving, how beautiful, how profound.... thank you so much for reminding us how precious and dear our children are.

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