Beautiful Biscornu

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Happy Sunday, all!

I’ve been getting my crafty groove back lately and it’s inspired me to finally plot out something I’ve wanted to do for quite a while. Make my own geeky biscornu! What is a biscornu, you ask? It’s essentially a fancy pin cushion but there are so many different ways to assemble and decorate them! The “traditional” style usually has 8 sides with a repeating pattern in some combination of cross stitch/black work/other embroidery and even some beads as embellishments:

Scrolling flowers, vines, and bees seem to be very popular choices.

There are plenty of tutorials out there for assembling your own and I quite like this one from Tiny Modernist:

Complete with lovely southwest style pattern!

But as you hopefully know if you read my posts on Sundays, I love things with a geeky theme so, of course, I am going to include pattern links for some! One of my favorite cross stitch pattern makers, Cloud’s Factory, has several for adorable biscornu, like this Alice in Wonderland:

Appropriately titled, “We’re All Mad Here” and I am definitely mad for it!

And one of our lovely Sprite Stitchers, Sirithre,  has some amazing biscornu patterns in her Etsy shop. One of my favorites is this Lord of the Rings pattern:

And you can stab the Eye of Sauron every time you stitch!

I have so many ideas for amazing biscornu designs! I’ll make sure to share when I put some into action. Until then, have a relaxing rest of your weekend.

Stay crafty!


Adorable Mini Plush Animals

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I know I’m biased since I make small cute things myself, but I just love adorable animal plushies. Extra points if they have a cat one cause, much like most of the internet, I’m a sucker for adorable cats.

Maine based artist Floydine makes these one of a kind felt animals and they are just so cute. Not only are they tiny and hand sewn, but the little detail embellishments really make the piece, imho. After the cats, some of my favorite ones are the horses.

I love how they’re the realistic horse with the My Little Pony style imagery on the backside. Their use of imagery on the plushies doesn’t end there though. You’ll also find ones with little embroidered scenes on their sides instead.

There’s not much in their etsy shop at the moment, but if you also like adorable animals, this is certainly a shop to check out and bookmark for the future. ūüôā

Incredibly Lifelike Embroidery

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So I know I posted about embroidery recently already, but I just saw this and had to share it.

Yes, that is embroidered, AND it’s super tiny. :O I’m seriously in awe. I know it’s become popular to do miniature sized creations lately but this is just incredible to me. The artist who named them is Japanese artist ipnot and she was inspired to work with thread due to her grandmother. She introduced ipnot to embroidery and she was so taken by it and the french knot that she then spent years perfecting her techniques.

Working with a selection of over 500 different colors and shades of yarn from varying brands and lines, ipnot creates everything from sushi rolls to chocolates bonbons and more. Each tiny creations is remarkably realistic and her use of different stitches and colors to even emulate texture is amazing. It’s all in Japanese, but if you like the few things I’ve shared here you should do yourself a favor and check out her main gallery as there is so much more.

A Racket Job

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So I’ve seen a fair amount of things used as embroidery canvases. Clothes, shoes, flags. Just about anything fabric based has been attempted really; which is why this artist stood out to me.

Perhaps not what she was originally wanting to be known for, South African artist Danielle Clough has also enjoyed embroidering many a canvas surface, but her racquet designs really jumped out at me. Embroidery it’s self often lends well to impressionist style art due to the way it’s created, but she really takes it a step beyond with her bold use of colors as well. The gamer side of me also enjoys the pixel like additions of some background color that she occasionally uses.

Using a racquet as a frame/canvas also reminds me of the Dadaist movement with their ‘anything is art’ approach (a movement I love to pieces), so it’s possible this just hits all my art nerd interests only, but if you like the few I’ve posted here I recommend checking out her gallery at the very least. She has a store as well, but it’s currently down.

Birds of a Felted Feather

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Perhaps it’s my bias towards sewing skills, but felt and embroidery projects always catch my eye. It’s like my brain is playing a Where’s Waldo type game but with fabric and thread without telling me. ūüėõ It’s no wonder I easily came across these awesome felt sculptures as a result.

Jill Ffrench, is the owner and artisan of Fantails and Feet, a custom felt sculpture artist that makes beautifully expressive birds out of felt, thread, wire and wax. While you can see she has a passion for peacocks, her entire collection of birds is simply lovely.

I especially love the extra detailing the feathers get to selectively make them pop, but they’re all wonderful. If you’re a bird lover, or know someone who is, I definitely recommend giving this shop of fine feathered friends a look over.

Gothic Perfume

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Something that was all the rage over 100 years ago has been making a steady comeback in the last few years that intrigues and delights me; solid perfume. Back before aerosols were a things/possible, well off people would purchase their perfume as solids (or oils) that they would apply to smell lovely and clean. This concept has been making a return to form thanks to the desire for natural make-ups and beauty products, though not all are quite like the line For Strange Women.

Handmade with natural ingredients by Jill of Kansas City, Missouri; the For Strange Women perfumes come in variety of containers that have a very 1800s/Gothic style about them. The names are like wise inspired by the time with such fragrances as:

Satin Corset (lilies, sweet, vanilla, hypnotic, powdery floral)
Nightshade Garden (citrus, leaves, tomato vine, yellow-green, uplifting)
Antique Settee (Earl Grey tea, polished wood, faint floral)
Winter Kitty (snow, comforting sweet musk, amber, woodsmoke)
Fireside Story (sandalwood, vanilla, campfire, smokey)
Vetiver Single Note (honey, sweet & earthy, grounding)
Violin in the Attic (heavy woods, sweet resins, dusty undertones)

You can test these fragrances, and more, by ordering her perfume ribbons.

These are small ribbon strips with .1g of perfume (about one application) infused into them. Once you’ve tried it they recommend using it to freshen your dresser drawers as the smell will linger with the ribbon and can infuse the clothes as a result. I’ve never been a perfume wearing person, but this line has me intrigued. They’re definitely worth a look through at their beautiful packaging and design at the very least.

Black Friday specials!

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It’s Black Friday, one of my favorite days of the year! ¬†I scoured the internet to find savings on crafty stores and supplies.

Akonye Kenya is having a great deal on their House of Embroidery threads until Monday.  



FanBoy Glass is offering 10% off all orders using the code HOLIDAY10.

GeekParade is offering 30% off using coupon code STOCKINGSTUFFER.

Red Fish Rue Fish is offering a free Glow Hard 1.5 button with every order of $5 or more.

Dollphinwing is offering 20% off all sewing patterns using the code BLKFRI through November 30th.

Chompworks is offering 15% 3D goodies using the code PAINTITBLACK.

The evergreen burrow is having a 20% off sale.

Jellibunn Creations is having a 30% sale of $15 or more.

Finally I am having a Black Friday special as well through Monday.  You can receive 15% off Quilt Patterns using the code SAVINGS!

Happy Shopping!




Giveaway and Sale Time!

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Two of my favorite shops, Paper Pieces and Akonye Kenya have exciting things happening!

As Saturday readers know, Paper pieces is doing a special Dear Jane Quilt a Long.  If you love English Paper Piecing check out Quilted Blooms because they are giving away some hexies and a template!

New to paper piecing?  That same post giving away hexies also has a fussy cutting flower tutorial.

So what is going on with Akonye Kenya?  Needle & Thread wrote an article all about the amazing thread that I got to see first hand in Houston!

This article means that we can get special prices for some really gorgeous threads!

If you want to give House of Embroidery threads a try, the folks at Akonye Kena have set up a special page for Needle ‚Äėn Thread readers, with deep discounts on House of Embroidery threads which will last until Cyber Monday (the Monday after Thanksgiving)!

So head over to Needle and Thread and Quilted Blooms.



Amazingly Intricate Temari Balls

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I saw this story over the weekend and was just amazed by the art. These Temari Balls (a 7th century Japanese craft of embroidering thread around a ball to create geometric patterns) are all created by a 92year old woman, and they are simply stunning.

The images were shared by the woman’s granddaughter¬†NanaAkua, which you can see more of on her filckr gallery. There are over 500 unique designs that she has created in this very tedious and time consuming medium. I’m in awe personally. Intricate embroidery on just cloth has always been a challenge, but a doable one. Working in the 3D space? That’s incredible and must involve lots of math and planning. No matter what, you can’t deny that the end result is nothing short of spectacular.

A Change is as Good as a Rest

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One of my never ending battles is the fight against becoming Burnt Out. This time last year I was suffering from it, and its back again this year but for other reasons. Things always come in cycles for me, and this is no different.

A lot of people don’t realise that crafty people can suffer from this just as much as anyone else, and it can be difficult to take the time you need to step back, find your groove and reconnect to what it is you want to do in life.

Burnt Out takes on a couple of forms for me. First among it is crafting burn out. I become exhausted by the need to finish things. Deadlines can be hard to stick to time and again, especially if you place significance on them. It can also happen because I’ve been crafting so hard that I forget to take a break, as one of our other bloggers discussed before.

I’m almost always reinvigorated from this type of fatigue by doing something else. Either not crafting at all and focusing on something altogether different, or by choosing to craft something else altogether. Right now, I’m burnt out on cosplay. I don’t want to look at the fabric that is already cut out and partially assembled on my chair. I don’t want to think about finishing the half-done shirt on my dress form.

I’m not the only one. I know several people who have been crafting non-stop for Dragoncon this weeken who are finding it daunting. There can be that moment when you’ve worked so hard, fought with your craft so much, that you just don’t want to see it let alone wear it.

Its important to remember that it is ok to take a break. Fortunately, I have nothing coming up for cosplay that needs doing. Even if I did, I think I’d still be avoiding it and doing what I have been- getting back to one of my loves, embroidery. Its a different kind of craft, but it is exactly what I need right now. The tranquil simplicity of placing threads soothes me, calms me, and makes me feel a little more in touch with my crafty side instead of the frenetic try on/try off of attempting to get items to fit.

Its also good for me to slow down right now, as my wedding is just under 3 weeks away. I’ll be taking a break from the blog for the month of September to get everything sorted and enjoy my time with my new husband, but I will be taking my embroidery with me. It has already helped reinvigorate me.

Have a great September, ya’ll. I’ll see you on the flipside.

~ eliste