There are left-brained people and there are right-brained people in the world. And then there are those who are predominantly one or the other and feel the need to dabble in the pursuits of the opposite brain. I think a scientist by day/crafter by night would qualify, wouldn’t you?
Here’s how one scientist gets her creative outlet on:
(I love it when someone takes elements of his or her profession and expresses it creatively! The napkins are pretty awesome … I’m not a scientist, but a beaker would be fun on my table. Or the molecules.)
This is the work of Erin Wamsley and her shop, The Bohemian Scientist. Erin is all about making functional items out of things she finds around her house. Many of the things in her shop were made from repurposed fabric — in fact, there’s a bag in her shop that she says was made out of vintage 70s tablecloth and a pillowcase!
She’s also passionate about the DIY movement and creating practical items at reasonable prices. From her shop announcement:
The culture of sewing and crafting in America originally evolved out of simple necessity. Today, as America moves further into severe economic depression, sewing is again becoming practical. Take this opportunity to reject mass-produced consumerism, and to return to useful, hand-created, original design.
Every item I sell is useful. Everything is one-of-a-kind. Nothing is over $50.
Now that’s pretty cool.
So the summer is nearing and maybe you’ve got long hair. Long hair in the summertime is always a pain. It gets plastered to your forehead (or your whole face if you’ve got really long hair), you don’t know where to put it, and it’s just too dang hot to have that much hair flying about.
Maybe you need a headband! Fear not, Kathy over at A Cozy Life has a few for you:
Kathy combines sewing and lovely crochet work to make these accessories. She’s got an eye for pretty prints and nice colors. You’re sure to find a headband to match an outfit or add some pizazz to your summery wardrobe. And hey, you’ll keep your hair out of your face!
If you have kids and want to give them a little shade from the sun, there are colorful bandanas for them — like this one:
Do vegetables make you sad? Well, these may be the perfect gift for you (or your veggie-phobic friends):
These awesome pins/magnets/applique patches are made by Chrissy at BitterSweets. She says she began making these BitterSweets characters in between art classes and loves coming up with new ones. They’re pretty cute and funny and are wholly appropriate to stick all over your fridge.
These characters come in pin, magnet or plain ol’ patch form. (Read each description carefully to determine which one you’re ordering.) Some even come in keychains! You could carry a bitter eggplant around with you!
The angry food isn’t just limited to veggies, either. There are fruits, ice cream, pastries, and even a few breakfast items. Angry pancakes, anyone?
I have extolled the virtues of needle, thread, fabric and felt before, and these fun items only reinforce my love of that combo:
These super-cute accessories can be found at fabulous fabulous!.
The main draw is all the brightly colored sewn goodies in the store. They range from the totally functional — iPod cozies, laptop cozies, patterned totes and even some stockings you can stock up on for next Christmas — to the plain ol’ fun — plush toys, mini monsters, even a wee non-pointy cactus.
You’ll also find crocheted hats and lots of felt-embellished tees and onesies.
Or maybe you just want that awesome-looking owl pillow above, which must have taken all kinds of time to cut those multiple pieces. The craftsmanship looks pretty sweet.
Needle + thread + fabric + nifty additions = Fun accessories.
a crocheted necklace …
a cuff watch …
a beaded bracelet (hey, i bet some needle and thread was needed to make it!) …
All this is the fine work of Amy Rae at Dragon’s Spark, where on her site she says, “I have a passion for the useful and beautiful, and a compulsion to create the things I imagine.”
How’s that for feeding your creative spark?
Amy Rae has plenty of beautiful accessories on her site, many of which incorporate fabric, ribbons or beads. The crocheted jewelry is especially nice, as it’s elegant and simple and makes for a nice, organic look.
There are also clutches, cuffs and some sweet copper wire jewelry. So Amy Rae’s need to create awesome stuff is to your advantage!
I have an uncle who hunts big game, and he’s got a bunch of animal trophies around his rather enormous house in Idaho. Animal heads kind of freak me out.
But here is a less scary (and positively hysterical) version of the deer on the wall:
It’s just so much cuter and more cuddly, don’t you think?
Said deer is hand sewn from an original pattern by Girl Savage. Yes, there’s nothing like having fun with felt! Especially when it gets sewn into some colorful and unusual animals like pachyderms and jackalopes:
If you’re looking for a great decoration for your desk at home or the office, it’s worth a look. Because you know people would start talking if you had a jackalope on your desk. Especially a yellow one.
OK, so there really isn’t any fighting involved, but I have to say that Kung Fu Cowgirl has to be one of the coolest shop names ever.
The shop has nothing to do with kung fu or even cowgirls, but there’s just oodles of cool stuff like this:
And, in a nod to awesome Nintendo games (of course, a favorite topic of mine), there is this awesome Kirby Nintendo DS case:
There are plenty of sewn goodies in the store, and just about everywhere you turn there’s something fun and colorful and cute. There’s definitely a lot of kawaii inspiration! There are also some unique buttons, one featuring dancing bacon and another featuring rabid broccoli.
When a shop’s got a pretty rad name, it goes without saying that you’d probably find a lot of cool stuff in it.
Here is Part 2 about the awesome goodness that was in my Sampler Select: Home!
Etched shot glass from Bread and Badger. Finely detailed and super cute. Bread and Badger is also another one of my favorites.
Pillowcase and embroidery pattern from Sublime Stitching. The perfect way to spruce up a bed!
Decorative tile from Little Flower Designs. This was probably one of my favorite things in the packages. Absolutely beautiful. I can admire the craftsmanship all day. And birds are cool.
Clothespin doll kit from The Small Object. A pretty neat idea … and the super retro clothespins are cool. Can’t wait to put it all together.
A special edition of CROQ Zine, with articles about the home! If you’re unfamiliar with CROQ, check it out. It’s a great zine packed with helpful tips and great ideas. And this special edition also has some vegan recipes. Yum!
Print called “Housegirl at Tea” from The Black Apple. There’s a hauntingly beautiful quality to this piece. Very nice.
Again, you’re highly encouraged to check out the Sampler Select! The current Sampler Select: Sleep is on sale now, and another Sampler Select, with the theme of Pins and Needles, will be available in November!
You can also check out the regular Sampler, which of course is on sale every month.
And lastly, check out all the great contributors to The Sampler. They all make pretty fabulous stuff!
Needle, felt and thread combined to bring you these goodies:
These creations can be found at Loose String. You will find some wonderfully embellished and detailed pincushions, pouches and ornaments. Everything is hand-stitched and super colorful!
The pincushions in particular are mini works of art, featuring everything from tea cups to flowers to elephants (no Fantasia flashbacks, now!) to abstract art to birds. And as the descriptions say, they also make great paperweights, because quite frankly, you almost don’t want to ruin the artistic flair with a bunch of pushpins.
Paper + sewing stuff = Very cute card. Check it out:
It’s a nice any-occasion card. Nice and bright and colorful. And the buttons are a nice touch (though I guess you have to hope they don’t get caught on the postal machine if you happen to be mailing one of these cuties!).
Several styles are available at Nissa B’s Etsy store. Nissa combines paper, fabric, buttons and other sewing materials to create all sorts of paper goods, from tags to cards.
She also makes pillows and stuffed animals, like this owl:
Maybe you can get a gift and a card at the same time. How convenient!
It always amazes me what sorts of goodies can come out of a sewing machine (because I can’t sew to save my life). So I enjoy looking at the work of those who sew.
Like this little gem:
This little mouse (meeces?) is from one of the Sacramento Craft Mafia’s newest members, Lauren of Speckled Hen. You will find many sewn and fabric-related goodies at Speckled Hen, including purses, smocks, hairpins and pouches.
You will also find lots of pincushions, because all good sewing people need them, right? But I thought this pincushion was just ingenious:
Perfect for someone who’s a chocolate lover and sews! (They come in lots of colors, too.)
It’s summertime, which means lots of vacationing for many people.
If you’re fortunate enough to fly somewhere that requires you to have a passport, maybe you can keep it in one of these:
This is appropriately titled “Never a Dull Passport Case.” Indeed. It’s way better than the blah brown leather thing my mom used to use.
The case is from stiksel, an Etsy seller based in the Netherlands. This particular one is made from leather and fabric printed using rubber stamps. There are several of these cases available, all leather, all with different sewn motifs. And they’re handstitched.
Even if you’re not leaving on a jet plane for another country, you might find something else you like. Maybe some handstitched journals, or some bags, or some nice photography. Definitely worth a look.
Came upon these on Etsy the other day:
I always like it when otherwise unappealing insects or invertebrae are made cute. (I’m deathly afraid of being stung by bees — my mom is allergic, kind of — and snails are just icky sticky to me.)
These bags can be found on Bestiary’s shop. Many of these bags are made of sturdy upholstery fabric in cute prints. And some of the animals are unusual. There’s even a sweet-looking blowfish bag and one featuring a squid.
Aprons are useful things, but they certainly don’t have to be boring. Sometimes they can even offer humorous advice:
This is the “How to Get a Husband” crafty tool belt from Dayna of The Crafty Scientist. Good for a laugh, and handy too.
Dayna’s crafty tool belts are available in many colorful, fun prints. I actually own one in a cheery floral/kitchen print. It is seriously indispensable at every craft show I do. It is a money-holder/tape holder/notepad holder/scissors holder/pen holder/business card holder/place for me to nervously put my hands in. Fantastic stuff.
The Crafty Scientist also carries other sewed goodness, including cat mats and toys, lunch bags, totes, pillows and even the wicked cool disc golf bags that are made of repurposed plastic bags.
Cool experimenting, indeed.
Another excellent vendor from Handmade Parade!
Sarah is from Davis and the gal behind P Dot. The Handmade Parade was her first show!
Sarah makes all sorts of fun sewed goodies, such as reversible headbands, tissue holders, cuffs, pencil holders, and these little notepad holders, which I thought were absolutely brilliant:
Each set comes with two pencils, an eraser and a mini pen! Take some notes in style.
For more info on Sarah and P Dot, you can also check out her blog.