Felted Fungi on Real Wood… For Your Home!

close call studio

This past Novem­ber, I was brows­ing one of my favorite Bal­ti­more shops, Trohv. There, I came across the local Close Call Stu­dio. It’s run by Amanda Adams who hand­crafts dec­o­ra­tive mush­rooms from recy­cled vegan felt. They’re mounted on wood and per­fect for dis­play­ing on your shelf, cof­fee table, etc..

I love the jux­ta­po­si­tion between craft and real tim­ber. It can be hard to com­bine the two and make it not look cheesy, but Amanda picked the the right color and mate­ri­als for the job.

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New Landscapes: 6 Works from the Collage Scrap Exchange (!!!)

Ya’ll. As the Col­lage Scrap Exchange (#col­lage­con­test) rolls on to its Feb­ru­ary 15th dead­line, I’ve already received fin­ished pieces! Here are some of my favorites so far.

For all of those still work­ing on your col­lages (or even wait­ing on scraps), no wor­ries. You have plenty of time, and I’m look­ing for­ward to see­ing your inter­pre­ta­tion of New Land­scapes!

AND: Don’t for­get to Tweet, Insta­gram, or FB your Col­lage Scrap Exchange using the hash­tag #collagecontest!

Danielle Krysa

Sight See­ing by Danielle Krysa

Danielle Krysa

Mes­sages From Blanche by Danielle Krysa

Danielle, AKA The Jeal­ous Cura­tor, had a really cool story about this above piece. She explains:

mes­sages from blanche is about my grand­mother, blanche — that’s a photo of her the year my mom was born. right before she died she told my mom that her spirit was pink. after she died really strange pink related things started hap­pen­ing… my mom’s white rhodo­den­dren (sp?!) bush bloomed one pink flower, in novem­ber!!!, and it stayed there for one month. i had a lit­tle red rose bush on my bed­side table that hadn’t bloomed in 4 years. it threw one pink bud and it stayed there for a month before it dropped. so… this piece is about those “pink” mes­sages. lucy had included that amaz­ing lit­tle folded paper enve­lope in her scraps so i HAD to use it ;)

And, bet­ter yet? “That house in the enve­lope is the house I lived in when I was lit­tle,” she writes.

Christina Marie Phelps

Christina Marie Phelps

Illustrations by Mouni Feddag Harness the Spontaneity of Sketches

mouni feddagHAPPY NEW YEAR! Get ready to feast your peep­ers on these dizzy­ing illus­tra­tions by Mouni Fed­dag! Their sprawl­ing scenes are impres­sion­ist and lively thanks to the ges­tural mark-marking. The works feel like pol­ished sketches because they har­ness an awe­some energy and spontaneity.

Mouni’s use of paint and pen­cils cre­ate a nice “push and pull” within the com­po­si­tion. Large fields of color are punc­tu­ated with intri­cate details. Your eyes find reprieve between the small dots, slashes, and patterns.


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Bold Flora & Fauna by Illustrator Aino Maija Metsola

aino-maija metsola

If you’re a fan of the brand Marimekko, then you’ll enjoy these designs and illus­tra­tions by Aino-Maija Met­sola. The Helsinki-based cre­ative has col­lab­o­rated with the com­pany since 2006, and her col­or­ful images are seared into my brain as the face of Marimekko. They fea­ture flora, fauna, and geo­met­ric shapes in flat­tened, bold drawings.

You can see much more (includ­ing some fash­ion­able dresses!) on Aino-Maija’s web­site.

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Skip the Fishing, Carry These Fashionable Fish Instead

don fisher

I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to fish. When I was younger, a hook got caught in my fin­ger. Mor­ti­fy­ing! I’ll never fish again. Instead, I’ll just mar­vel at these adorable fish-shaped clutches by Don Fisher. The Etsy shop fea­tures col­or­ful salmon, sar­dines, her­rings, and more with hand-painted scales and even boney insides. They’re well-thought and quirky — sure to make a state­ment as you’re car­ry­ing them around.

don fisherdon fisher don-fisher-7 don-fisher-3 don-fisher-11 don-fisher-1 don-fisher-8 don-fisher-2 don-fisher-5 don-fisher-4 don-fisher-9 don-fisher-13

Colorful Folk Animals Feature Beautiful, Intricate Details

Nestor Melchor

Nestor Mel­chor

I love how col­or­ful these Oxa­can wood carv­ings are! They’re avail­able through the San­dia Fine Mex­i­can Art web­site and fea­ture a cast of lively crea­tures with intri­cate pat­terns. Dif­fer­ent skilled artists paint bears, giraffes, dogs, and more. Some­times, they’re totally wacky and ride bicy­cles and carts.

Take some time and look at all of these crit­ters. You won’t be dis­ap­pointed. (You can pur­chase them, too.)

Ivan Fuentes

Ivan Fuentes

Martin Melchor

Mar­tin Melchor

Luis Pablo

Luis Pablo

Lauro Ramirez

Lauro Ramirez

Martin Melchor

Mar­tin Melchor

Nicolas Morales

Nico­las Morales

Gil Santiago

Gil San­ti­ago

David Hernandez

David Her­nan­dez

Susano Morales

Susano Morales

Luis Pablo

Luis Pablo

Angelico & Isaias Jimenez

Angelico & Isa­ias Jimenez

Share Your Space: Libby Zay & The Scout Project


I love look­ing at people’s work­spaces, don’t you? Today, let’s take a look at The Scout Project cre­ator Libby Zay’s cozy stu­dio. Her Baltimore-based office is full of inter­est­ing objects that all have their own story!

Libby and I are work­ing on a series of stu­dio vis­its with dif­fer­ent Bal­ti­more artists and illus­tra­tors. We’re kick­ing this all off with shar­ing our respec­tive spaces. Here’s what Libby has to say about hers:

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The Scout Project is a merit badge pro­gram for curi­ous peo­ple of all ages. Basi­cally, I pro­vide badges that peo­ple can use as rewards when pur­su­ing a new hobby or learn­ing a new skill. I also main­tain a blog that’s meant to inspire read­ers and encour­age them to dis­cover new things.


The office where I write is a funny space. To get to it, you have to walk through our bed­room. It’s not an uncom­mon setup in rowhomes, and it actu­ally makes the space feel a lit­tle more pri­vate and quiet. There are two win­dows that over­look our tiny backyard.


My lap­top trav­els around quite a bit. I work a lot at the kitchen table or on the couch, and some­times escape to a nearby cof­fee shop. But most often, I work in here. This is also where I pack­age up badge orders and keep inven­tory. The man in the news­pa­per clip­ping is my dad, who invented a coin counter in the 1980s called the “Ready to Roll.” We trav­eled to trade shows and fairs so he could sell it.


I love field guides and ref­er­ence books, espe­cially vin­tage ones. They always have the best illus­tra­tions! I used to live near The Book Thing, a ware­house in Bal­ti­more full of donated books that are absolutely free. It was dan­ger­ous. I think my boyfriend, Raul, was relieved when we moved out­side of walk­ing distance.


Con­fes­sion: these pen­nants are from eBay. I wish they had a cooler story, but I still love them. I’m from Ohio and now live in Bal­ti­more. I have a lot of pride for both places.


The type­writer and most of this thread is my inher­i­tance form my grandma on my mother’s side, who was a gifted seam­stress. I have a few let­ters she typed on here stored away. One of them sternly tells me I should keep my room clean! The box with the stamps on it is a music box made by my pater­nal grand­fa­ther, who I called “Boppy.” He had a wood­shop in his base­ment and he col­lected stamps and coins.


Inside the music box is a pic­ture of Boppy and my grandma, plus a bunch of other ran­dom items (oh, there’s where all my chap­stick has been hid­ing). Grandpa super­glued a dime with the suc­ces­sive year on it for each year I’ve been alive. It looks like i haven’t added a dime since 2005; time to hop on that!


All of the badges are kept in this library card cat­a­log that my dad gave me. I worked with an illus­tra­tor named Alyssa Nass­ner to cre­ate all of them, and am try­ing to work with topic experts to out­line guide­lines for each of them.


This tra­di­tional Ecuado­rian paint­ing is one of my favorite pos­ses­sions. It depicts Quilo­toa, a vol­cano that erupted 800 years ago and has since filled with water. The paint­ing is one of the few sou­venirs I have from six months in Ecuador. If I remem­ber cor­rectly, I paid $4 for it.


In our guest bedroom/reading room is a lit­tle nook with more books. Two of these cow­boy hats were my grand­par­ents; they got them on a cross-country RV trip. Raul and I picked up the one on the far right in Ban­dera, Texas—the “Cow­boy Cap­i­tal of the World.”


I worked at a cof­fee shop for five years, and these cof­fee bags are from the roast­ery where the beans came from. I’m hop­ing to some­day intro­duce a cof­fee badge. And yes, that’s John Wayne. In case you couldn’t tell, I like Americana!

Thanks, Libby!

Yule Log 2.014: A Yule Log for the Digital Age

Each year, I look for­ward to the holiday-specific projects that put a unique spin on the clas­sics, like Yule Log 2.014. Now in its sec­ond sea­son, this series of short films are cre­ated by illus­tra­tors, ani­ma­tors, direc­tors, and coders to bring the tra­di­tional Yule Log into the dig­i­tal age.

There are a ton of them that are avail­able for view on the Yule Log site. Here are some of my favorites!

Victoria Borges’ Colorfully Macabre Illustrations

Victoria Borges

Vienna-based illus­tra­tor Vic­to­ria Borges’ work isn’t afraid to get macabre. Just look at the image above! It’s both a col­or­ful, flo­ral explo­sion and a detached a head and expres­sion. Other illus­tra­tions have sim­i­lar ele­ments, and I like the push and pull of exu­ber­ance and dark­ness. It’s a reflec­tion of life — times of joy punc­tu­ated by some sadness.

Do you use Behance? I love it — it’s easy to fol­low around cre­atives in illus­tra­tion, graphic design, sculp­ture, and more. It’s how I found Victoria’s illus­tra­tions.

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