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

A Tribute to Two Great Men

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While I was traveling over the last two weeks I joined the world in grieving two great men, David Bowie and Alan Rickman. ¬†I wanted to do something special for them on Craft Hackers but we are a craft blog. ¬†So in Craft Hackers fashion I dedicate today’s post to some amazing crafts and cosplay featuring these two great men.

Two things you can do to show your love of David Bowie include painting your face with his signature lightning bolt look or Cosplay as the Goblin King:


Alan Rickman played so many iconic characters through his life.  I think it is appropriate to feature crafts and art that celebrate some movies he is known for.  Narrowing it down to one thing from Harry Potter proved to be a struggle for me.  Although one look at this reclaimed wood quote and it turned out to be an easy choice.

Galaxy Quest was also a hard decision.  In the end I decided to commemorate his best quote in the movie.

With so many awesome movies to his name the last one to feature has to be Die Hard.  I give you Hans Gruber.

I will miss both of these men and their contributions not only to pop culture and society, but to geek culture.  Now to spend the day watching some of the lasting contributions they have made that have shaped my life growing up.  You will be missed greatly David and Alan.



Black Friday Shopping

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Last Saturday I talked about the retail stores you can get craft supplies for great prices today.  But what about actual crafts?  Some of our favorite Crafters (and members) are having Black Friday sales of their own!  Take a look.

Dryad Tea is having a 15% off sale on all teas!  They also have some special items up just for this weekend including Woodburned boxes, Mugs, Tea infusers, and tea coasters!

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Wyrmwood Gaming (one of my favorite tabletop suppliers) is having a special lottery for some of their most exotic woods.  For the price of less expensive woods you could receive some of their most exclusive woods instead!

Lastly, Seams Geeky is offering 15% off your order!

However you shop today, make it a crafty day!


Mind Your Needles!

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Let’s face it, the holidays are coming (where did the rest of the year go?!). Are you at a loss for gift ideas for your friend/significant other/second cousin twice removed that enjoys textile arts like cross stitch, crochet, and knitting? I have found just the thing, mainly because they are currently on my holiday wishlist. A Needle Runs Through It is run by a lovely lady that started her business by creating sturdy project bags for those that like to take their needle crafting with them wherever they go. She has since expanded to include needle minders.

Needle minders, protecting fingers and toes everywhere!

Needle minders, protecting fingers and toes everywhere!

Not familiar with them, you say? If you have ever completed a project that requires a needle no more than 2 inches long, you know the pain of dropping and then trying to find your needle without stepping on it/stabbing yourself in the process. Needle minders are little magnets that attach to the front and back of your project so that when you need a break or to change your thread color, the needle has a safe and apparent place to rest. Her shop has some of the cutest little needle minders I’ve ever seen.

Alpaca and kitty will keep your needles safe!

Alpaca and kitty will keep your needles safe!

Does your friend/SO/cousin perhaps prefer subversive cross stitch? How about a super awesome yarn skull needle minder?

That's some tough craft love right there.

That’s some tough craft love right there.

Ok, I did mention above that she also caters to the crochet/knit crowd with her adorable wooden accessories. These sheep stitch markers should do the trick:

Fluffy little sheep tail!

Fluffy little sheep tail!

She has plenty to choose from! Even TARDIS shaped needle minders for the Doctor Who crafter in your life. To get your own needle minding awesomeness, you can find A Needle Runs Through It on Etsy and Facebook.

Wishing all our readers in the US a safe and happy Thanksgiving this week!

Now back to those holiday crafts I need to finish! Where’s my needle?