Exquisite Portraits are “Drawn” with Carefully-Arranged Flowers

Sister Golden floral art

Dur­ing the win­ter, with­out fail, I dream of the flow­ers in spring. (There’s only so much gray I can take—especially in the con­crete jun­gle.) A wom­an (and mom) named Vicki—one half of the shop Sis­ter Gold­en—has cre­at­ed flo­ral art that’s the per­fect escape from the drea­ri­ness. Using suc­cu­lents, dried leaves, and fresh blooms, she arranges them into exquis­ite por­traits of wom­en. One of her most pop­u­lar pieces fea­tures Frida Kahlo clev­er­ly drawn using stems and sticks. They’re a great sub­sti­tute for a pen or paint­brush!

The­se pieces, and more, are avail­able through the Sis­ter Gold­en shop.

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Who Needs to Paint When You’ve Got Beautiful Pieces of Paper?

Maria Berrio collage

While perus­ing Design*Sponge the oth­er day, I was intro­duced to the work of Maria Berrio. Imme­di­ate­ly, I was struck by her col­lage style—the intox­i­cat­ing col­li­sion of col­or and tex­ture paired with allur­ing fig­ures in curi­ous envi­ron­ments.

Dri­ven by her “native South Amer­i­can influ­ences” as well as liv­ing in Brook­lyn, New York, she cuts and shreds paper into the large-scale por­traits. “I usu­al­ly find inspi­ra­tion by going for a real­ly long walk through New York City,” Maria told Annie Werbler on Design*Sponge. “The elec­tric­i­ty of this city, the mish­mash of cul­tures and class­es, the hoards of inter­est­ing peo­ple doing inter­est­ing things in a dynam­ic city of filth and shim­mer­ing beau­ty — that is what inspires me.”

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The Shape-Shifting Sketchbooks of Eva Magill-Oliver

Eva Magill Oliver sketchbooks

I’m a huge fan of sketch­books… prob­a­bly because my attempts to keep them always come up short. So, it’s no won­der that I’ve been fawn­ing over Eva Mag­ill-Oliv­er’s books the past few days. They’re a com­bi­na­tion of beau­ti­ful col­ors, bold shapes, and play­ful design. Unlike my pen­cil scrib­bles and slop­py note-tak­ing, she uses each spread as an oppor­tu­ni­ty to make organ­ic works of art. Eva will cut into pages, arrange pieces on top, and go out­side of the book by attach­ing oth­er bits of paper. In this way, the con­fines of the spreads are mere­ly a suggestion—one that she’s hap­py to dis­re­gard.

In her artist state­ment, Eva writes that nature dri­ves her col­or and imagery. “The nat­u­ral world is an infinite resource for doc­u­ment­ing and explor­ing shapes, pat­terns, and tex­tures,” she says. “It also invites per­son­al reflec­tion and med­i­ta­tion.” Just like a sketch­book.

Fol­low Eva on Insta­gram to see what she’s work­ing on now.

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Vivid, Ethereal Landscapes are Dreams in Painted Form

Becky Blair landscape paintings

If you’re in the mid­st of win­ter, Becky Blair’s land­scape paint­ings are a beau­ti­ful escape from drea­ry skies and frigid tem­per­a­tures. Fus­ing real­ism with abstrac­tion, she lay­ers col­ors, tex­tures, draw­ing, and print­ing to cre­ate imagery that are like vivid dreams. The­se rever­ies are inspired by her exten­sive trav­el through India, Aus­tralia, and Europe, and she, in turn, “reflects the expe­ri­ence, rather than the vis­age” of a place. Through her paint­ings, we are part of the­se moments, too.

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Elegant Embroidered Portraits Transform Ordinary Clothing into Wearable Art

Sofia Salazar embroidered portraits

Sofia Salazar focus­es her embroi­deries on faces. The UK-based tex­tile design­er incor­po­rates min­i­mal­ist, large-scale por­traits onto cloth­ing, rem­i­nis­cent in draw­ing style to Matis­se.

Though the­se hand-craft­ed stitch­es could eas­i­ly serve as wall hang­ings, Sofia tells La Fem­me Col­lec­tive that it’s impor­tant her cre­ations are func­tion­al:

I need my work to be use­ful some­how; I like it bet­ter that way. That’s one of the rea­sons I went into fash­ion. I love it if my work can be worn, can be inter­act­ed with. I want my work to be involved in oth­ers people’s lives. I would love to have made someone’s favorite sweater.

If you’re itch­ing for one of the­se pieces, check out Sofia’s online shop.

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Intricate Illustrations of Nature That You’ll Wish Were Real

Svabhu Kohli illustration

Svab­hu Kohli cre­at­ed some of my favorite illus­tra­tions this year, with his intri­cate­ly detailed nature images cel­e­brat­ing the world’s splen­dor. Full of col­or and tex­ture, the­se com­po­si­tions beg you to study them for a long time. The­se par­tic­u­lar pieces are a riff on his Ocean piece of 2015—the sea crea­tures are the focal point framed by a beau­ti­ful flo­ral land­scapes.

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1 Year of Stitches, Embroidery, How Did You Do That?

1 Year of Stitches’ Creator Talks About Embroidering Through 2016

Details from Hannah Claire Sommerville's 1 Year of Stitches project

I’m over­joyed (and pleas­ant­ly sur­prised!) with just how many have signed up for the 1 Year of Stitch­es project. It’s going to be a fun addi­tion to your 2017—I just know it!

As I’ve men­tioned before1 Year of Stitch­es is the brain­child of Han­nah Claire Somerville. She’s just about to fin­ish up her project and lived 2016 in embroidery—among oth­er things like com­plet­ing grad school! I spoke with her about 1 Year of Stitch­es, and hope her wis­dom and insight will help you know what to expect for your embroi­dered jour­ney.

And if you’re inter­est­ed in joining—or won­der­ing what the heck it is—learn more here. For those that have signed up, expect an email from me today!

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Illustrated products

Tiny Sculptured Creatures Live in a Dreamlike World

Meadow and Fawn sculpture

Wel­come to the exquis­ite world of Mead­ow and Fawn, where del­i­cate crea­tures fit on your fin­ger­tips. The small sculp­tures are cre­at­ed by a lady named Alex­is, whose inspi­ra­tion comes from a “deep love for nature.” Through her online shop, she hand­crafts the the tiny totems from poly­mer clay. Each is one-of-a-kind, and Alex­is explains that there’s no assem­bly line to her work—she makes them all to order.

Alex­is’ pop­u­lar Insta­gram offers an awe­some behind-the-sce­nes look at her sculp­tures. Everything—from the paint­ing to the styling—is dreamy and a momen­tary escape from the hus­tle and bustle of every­day life.

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