Sarah K. Benning is a contemporary crafts-lady who fills wooden hoops with meticulously-stitched ferns, cacti, and other potted houseplants. As a fellow plant embroiderer, I absolutely love these—they’re little vignettes of everyday life, created with the time-honored tradition of stitching. They’re a nice complement to artist Anna Valdez’s paintings of interior spaces, don’t you think?
Sarah has an Etsy shop where you can buy her embroidered beauties. And Londoners, she’ll also be at Renegade Craft Fair in London next month!
September is one of my favorite months. Not just because of the cooler temperatures, but because it’s my birthday, too! (I suspect that many people chose their birthday month as their favorite, too.) First on my gift wish list? These plush dolls by Cat Rabbit (previously)! They are totally adorable and the detailing is, as always, impressive—especially with the small accessories.
All of these characters were created for Cat Rabbit’s show Return to Twinkle Plaza at the Brisbane-based Outré Gallery, which is based on her recent travels. “I used materials and supplies that I sourced in all of those amazing craft stores you find everywhere in Japan,” she writes on her blog, “including wool from bricoleurs in Sapporo and lovely traditional fabric from Nippori Fabric Town.”
If you’re local check out Cat Rabbit’s show until September 7. Buy works from the show on the Outré Gallery website.
If you’ve read this blog for even a little while, you know that I’m a big fan of cut paper illustrations. These are two projects—by different illustrators—that I’ve enjoyed, and I thought you would too!
If you follow me on Tumblr or Instagram, then you’ve seen part of these before. Follow me to see daily illustrations that don’t always make it on here!
People love their pets, so naturally, they have artworks made in their honor. Russian-based illustrators Alexey Lyapunov and Lena Erlich— aka People Too—created a delightful series that imagines their clients’ animals as decorated war heroes, dainty ladies, and learned fellows. They’re totally imaginative and constructed entirely out of paper. The creative pair layered colors and cutouts, producing 3D portraits reminiscent of historical paintings from the 17th or 18th century. Check out their work in progress below!
Not too long ago, I shared some of Mlle Hipolyte’s amazing paper-crafted masks. Since then, I’ve been keeping an eye on her work. I was perusing Instagram yesterday and saw snippets of her mural-sized paper project. How great! And, better yet, Mlle posted the entire Tropical Jungle on her website.
She explains on Bored Panda that everything was cut by hand, and it took two weeks to get the paper elements ready to go up on the wall. Afterwards, it took six hours to apply it to the vertical surface. Totally worth the time and energy. I love the colors and all the small details.
Stitched fish, anyone? Artist Kate Jenkins crochets all sorts of different foods that just might make you hungry. Or, at the very least, in awe of her crafting skills. Anchovies, eggs, and bacon all resemble what they actually are. Sometimes, Kate will add some glam to her creations and work sequins in with the yarn. This makes her pieces appear shiny , which is perfect for glossy fish scales and amber-colored honey.
…when there’s this “Apple Watch” around? This adorable felt creation popped up on Hine Mizushima’s Instagram the other night. Sewn using tiny buttons and snap fasteners to connect the band. Love it!
Melbourne-based design label Min Pin is the handiwork of Penny Min Ferguson. Her love of weird and awesome things means that she’s created a series of shrink-plastic and metal necklaces. Dinosaurs, snakes, ghosts, and even Bigfoot hang around your neck! They’ve got a great style that would complement any outfit. Colors are bright, but not too bright. There are details like simple, almond-shaped eyes, but they aren’t too distracting. Personally, I’m loving that yellow-greenish Bigfoot.
If you like this, check out the work of Cat Rabbit Plush. She’s also a Australian crafter who makes amazing, quirky animals.
Now, these aren’t necklaces, but I had to include these purses, too:
I’ve always been fascinated by the construction and engineering that goes into pop-up and accordion-fold books. So, when I saw Bozena Rydlewska’s (AKA Bozka) beautiful illustrations in a 3D form, I was wowed by their beauty and detail.
I had the opportunity to ask Bozka a couple of questions about her work. She’s loved pop-up books since childhood and had always wanted to make one.
“When I finished my series of illustrations New Botany [above], I thought it would be interesting to interpret the illustrations into three-dimensional forms,” she tells me. “At that point I was really tired of working non-stop on the computer and eager to do something with my hands.”
To make her pop-up books, she did some research. Bozka read several manuals and also attended a week-long pop-up book course at West Dean College in England. Um, I want to take one of those. Sign me up!
So, how long did it take to create these pieces? “It took me 3 to 4 weeks to make each pop-up. It was a complicated and time consuming process — I was working on 1:1 scale models, cutting and gluing over and over again until the pop-up matched the vision I had in my head,” she explains. “The final pieces were printed on high quality archival paper, cut out by cutting plotter and assembled by hand by myself. The assembly of the most complicated pop-up took 14 hours.”
Totally worth the time spent. They’re beautiful!