Inspired by flora, fauna, and Victorian shadow puppets, Kate Appleby creates delightful hoop art that combines a variety of stitching techniques. From the basic backstitch to French knots, she illustrates birds with fowl mouths (pun intended) and hands with sprawling leaf tattoos. The embroidery airs towards the side of minimalism, but Kate has an excellent sense of composition and balance that’s informed by her back ground in graphic design.
Hello Tangle is a collaboration between two sisters named Bibi and Veronica from Melbourne, Australia. Together, they create colorful, texture-filled weavings. But lately, they’ve ventured into Hello Trinkets —beaded creations that you can hang in various places.
Yoshiko Kozawa of Studio Giverny creates lovable animal planters that’ll be your (flower) buds’ best bud. Whales, giraffes, and alpaca all carry the weight of these plants on their back. But don’t worry—they’re happy to do it—and in turn, brighten your home.
Yoshiko first crafts her pieces from porcelain and then coats them in a shino glaze combination. Some, like the alpaca, include a fun pompom tail and tassel earrings. See her entire selection on Etsy. (h/t: So Super Awesome)
Embroiders, have you ever tried incorporating other objects into your hoop art? Ezgi Pamir does this to a great effect; she uses fabric, buttons, and branches that add an unexpected sculptural element to her work. Her pieces are portraits—of stylish folks—and there’s always a special accent to them. The women wear scarves that seemingly whip in the wind, giant hats that flop in the breeze, and stiff collars to provide some comfort from the rain.
With this emphasis on fashion, is it any surprise that Ezgi is a costume designer? Because she is!
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:
- Wool felt. I’m a huge fan of Benzie Design. They’ve got an incredible selection!
- Disappearing ink pens. These are so neat! The ink disappears in water or after 48 hours. Magic!
- Hot glue gun. Low temperature, because I often get it on my fingers.
- Fabric shears. Invest in a good pair made for cutting fabric.
- Embroidery scissors or other tiny scissors for smaller areas.
- Dow rod to hang the banner.
- Embroidery floss to secure the dow rod.
- Baker’s twine to make it ready to hang.
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?
If you’ve followed this blog for a while, you’ll know I have a deep love of face pots. Well, they now have a worthy opponent: haired jars. This delightfully strange classification describes the work of ceramist Laura Bird, who crafts heads sporting stylish hairdos that you then lift to reveal what’s inside. The interiors are glazed with a shiny, clear finish so they’re able to hold liquids. What a fantastic addition these would be to your bar.
Laura sells a variety of ceramics in her Etsy shop, including vases, plates, and small sculptures.
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: