It’s a new year, and what better way to celebrate than to introduce you to the enchanting world of Xenia Andreou. I discovered Xenia via a quiet comment she posted here, and I was immediately struck by her fresh vision. From her island home in the Mediterranean, where she spends her days “chasing shadows” with her five-year-old daughter, Anna, Xenia documents the “exquisite details that stand out in relief against the humdrum (yet miraculous) everyday – little words, the changing light, a landscape seen afresh, a moment.” Eau de Nil is where she shares these moments of inspiration as well as her small-scale creations.
Hailing from the island of Cyprus, Xenia grew up surrounded by “busy hands” – great-grandmothers, grandmothers, aunts, and her mother, who were always spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, embroidering, and sewing. From them she too learned to rest and re-fill by making. (Mostly toys for Anna and gifts for friends, but hopefully some day for the rest of us as well.)
Today Xenia lives with her husband and daughter in a traditional, 19th-century, mud-brick house with a stone arch, located in an old suburb of the capital, Nicosia. Restored by the family, this “cocoon” is nestled in a walled garden, filled with olive, lemon, and bay trees as well as jasmine and lavender.
Surrounded by breathtaking scenery as well as a close-knit community, Xenia is nonetheless grateful for that other ‘window’ in her house, the internet. And we are certainly thankful as well, for the glass works both ways, and through it we catch a glimpse of this extraordinary woman. For, much like her native isle, Xenia’s vision is both intimate and utterly captivating. And though winsome and understated, it also immensely powerful.