Embroidery is all over the place right now, and I’m so happy about it—I love the craft. This includes practicing it! I find embroidery very relaxing because it’s so repetitive and meticulous. You can zone out and watch your favorite television show and just ~unwind~ from the stresses of day-to-day life.
But, what if you don’t know how to embroider? That’s okay, because Kiriki Press will teach you how! They pair embroidery with contemporary illustration, producing these adorable DIY kits that will teach you basic, intermediate, and advanced stitches that you apply to animals like hedgehogs, foxes, pandas, and more. Everything is included, from the fabric to thread to scissors. One stop shopping. How fun!
See everything they have to offer in their popular Etsy shop.
I first shared this on my 7 Weekly Illustrated Product Obsessions. Look for that every Friday to see what delightful wares I want to own.
Beautiful blooms are the focal point of a lot of embroidery. The colorful threads showcase petal after petal, but what about the green leaves—their support system—that accompany them? You don’t see these as often, except in Sew & Saunders’ embroidery, where leaves are at the center of the hoop. The brainchild of Jo Fagents, she stitches a variety of greenery, from broad leaves to tiny buds. She frames these works in light-colored wood, which creates a exquisite yet understated homage to nature.
Jo has an Etsy shop where she sells her work—including stitched text, too.
Artist Monica Rohan combines elements of realism and fantasy to create works that are as beautiful as they are alluring. They’re inspired by a “rural-idyll of a childhood in South East Queensland” and 19th century novels. Each contemplates the genre of autobiography, using this form of mysterious self portraiture to do so. Here, the figures’ faces are obscured by colorful blooms, tall grass, and patterned fabrics. Though they’re partially grounded in some sort of space, the area around the subjects is empty, giving us the feeling that these people are floating in some sort of abyss.
Vancouver-based illustrator Julia Iredale creates surreal imagery that fuses landscapes and female figures into singular, coherent scenes. Cloaked in dreamy-feeling purples, blues, and greens, these gigantic women observe what’s around them, taking in the smaller sights and sounds. This play on scale is merely one facet of Julia’s alluring works; she’s also inspired by the things that go on inside our head—like the memories that play on repeat or a captivating daydream.
Check out her Instagram and Tumblr to see her illustrations in progress.
No, those birds in flight aren’t a photograph—they’re paper sculptures by Diana Beltran Herrera. For years, the Colombian artist has crafted lifelike, graceful creatures using meticulous construction and fine textures. It’s these intricate details that make Diana’s sculptures so impressive; look closely, and you’ll notice all of the small cuts that perfectly mimic a bird’s plumage.
Diana’s formal education is in industrial design, but after graduating, she realized she didn’t want to pursue it as a career. “I am really interested in the simple processes of transformation that don’t need complicated tools or industrial processes,” she told Frankie Magazine. Hence the paper.
In Diana’s eyes, there’s a disconnect between humans and nature; through her artwork, she wants to repair this relationship. As a result, pieces are “presented as a resistance where those sculptures remain in an ideal state and act like a model of representation of a reality that doesn’t suffer any change.” They’re beautiful now and will remain so for a lifetime—that way, we can always admire them. (via My Modern Met)
Diana has recently branched out and created butterflies:
Memorial Stitches is the brainchild of Carrie Violet, an English artist whose embroideries are inspired by the renowned illustrator Edward Gorey. Rather than creating full-color compositions, she uses black thread to mimic exquisite thin pen lines. Elongated fingers, curious figures, and romantic notions are all expressed on neutral-colored fabric. I love how simple and elegant they are—plus, one quotes Slaugtherhouse-five, “Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”
Carrie sells her embroideries through her online shop.
Instagram is tied with Pinterest as my favorite form of social media. I’m constantly on it, scrolling through my feed and favorite hashtags. Recently, I came across Abigail Halpin’s (@abigailhalpin) account and fell in love with her exquisite paintings and embroideries.
Based in Maine, Abigail has several inspirations reflected in her works, including “vintage textiles, all things Slavic, mystery novels, the ocean and long-forgotten ephemera.” Often, her IG features delicate paintings of ladies combined with nature. They’re beautiful with a hint of whimsy, and they’ll inspire you to pick up your bush and make something!
1. Pouch Cats by k studio
2. Eye Leather Case by La Lisette
3. Pegasus Locket Necklace by Bonbi Forest
4. Wooden Flowers by Anna Wiscombe
5. Ceramic Cactus-Shaped Vase by Oli’s Cupboard
6. Ceramic Llamas by Small Wild (Sadly, these aren’t for sale yet.*)
7. Siren Cloud Soap by Vice & Velvet (vegan)
*Sign up for the Small Wild mailing list for info on when they’ll drop!
Have you ever heard the expression we eat with our eyes? It’s true! Packaging and presentation makes a huge difference in our perception of how good something probably is. These illustrative wrappers by Inna Voevodina create the impression of high quality (and delicious) chocolate bars… I want to eat ’em all then frame the packaging.
London-based illustrator Mariana Rodrigues illustrates places and landscapes. Machu Picchu, Bangkok, mountains, and seascapes are depicted in full color with photographic attention to detail.
One thing that drew me to Mariana’s work (aside from the alpaca in the Machu Picchu illustration) is her series where a single figure is looking onwards towards grandiose landscapes. She travels alone, showing us beautiful sights and reminding us that sometimes, it’s okay to journey solo.
Cinder & Honey is the brain child of Caitlin Benson, a Vancouver-based artist and embroiderer. Much of her work involves flowers—which ya’ll know I love—and even some tattoo imagery (above). I’ve always been attracted to color luscious and thick stitching, of which Cinder & Honey has both.
Caitlin sells her vibrant hoop art through Etsy. In addition to already-stitched pieces, she sells downloadable patterns for you to DIY.