If you step inside of my apartment, you’ll immediately see that it’s a house ruled by cats. There are scratching posts for them to lounge on and toys in nearly every room. I’ve also splurged on a fancy food dish that’s set against some empty wall space…until now. To take my cat-lady status up a notch, I created a hanging banner that immortalizes Pauline, my calico that’s the emboidment of the Sour Patch Kids candy.
Like my cut paper self portrait, I made a video that offers a behind-the-scenes look at how 2D Pauline came to life. Nearly everything was done using felt—a first for me, but something I’m definitely going to repeat. It was fun!
Here’s the tools I used:
I started cut the shape of the banner first and then sewed the casing for the dow rod. Then, I dove into my felt portrait using a sketch as a guide. Although it’s not shown on the video, I cut out shapes from my initial drawing and used them as a pattern, tracing around them with the ink pen onto the felt.
If you have any questions about this project, let me know! I’m happy to answer them. And, if you want one of these for yourself (or as a gift), I’m currently taking commissions. In fact, I’m working on one right now!
Stitchy Friday is a project that’s sure to warm your heart. It’s an endeavor between an embroiderer mother and her illustrator daughter, Marijke Buurlage; Marijke creates the colorful, stylized images and then her mother translates the flattened shapes into stitched form. Their Instagram, @stitchyfriday, is updated at the end of each week with their progress and finished pieces.
As wonderful as Marijke’s illustrations are, her mother’s handiwork is also admirable. I love the lush texture and the mixing of threads—they add dimension and bring 2D to life. After seeing this sweet collaboration, it makes me want to plan a creative project with my own mom! Don’t you?
I recently ordered some felt to make a crest banner. As I wait to get started, I’ve been inspired by Hine Mizushima’s recently-completed piece, The Royal Aquarium Souvenir Shop. This impressive pennant features a mixture of 2D and 3D elements, complete musical octopi and a creature crest. It’s colorful, tactile, and completely handmade—what a regal way to honor a place (imaginary or otherwise)!
Check out some of Hine’s work-in-progress shots, below.
These collars are ready to party! Loly Ghirardi (aka Señorita Lylo) is a Barcelona-based designer and embroiderer who created these colorful pieces. They’re full of tiny, abstract shapes that have a great visual variety—some stitches are very tactile while others are smaller and intricate. I’m especially drawn to the collar with tiny houses on it—the idea of creating a story on this unconventional space.
Loly is a graphic designer by trade. After working on the computer so much, she wanted to “bring a more ‘human touch'” to her projects and incorporated embroidery. She enjoyed it so much that she began working on the types of pieces featured here. Learn more about her in an interview with Poppytalk.
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:
Marigold + Mars is modern hand embroidery by Cristin Morgan. Her colorful hoop art is centered around lettering and flowers, often combining them into one beautiful piece.
In addition to her embroidery, Cristin creates banners to hang on your wall. (In fact, one of them made my recent list of Illustrated Product Obsessions!) I love the luscious, floral banners, and I’m definitively keeping my eye out for them in her shop. It’s perfect for my office!
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!