Inspiration file21
When the embroidery of everyday scenes turns into the art

in_21

Sewing and knitting are collectively called handicraft. But speaking of handicraft, don’t forget about embroidery. Recently, we see more impressive embroidery works which deserve to be called artworks or designed products.

The works in the above picture, titled “Ribbon-less Gift”, were created by the embroidery artist Naoko Takamine.

Onions, butterflies, crayons… The motifs in each palm-sized wooden frame are commodities of everyday existence in our life. Such commonplace items are depicted vibrantly by Takamine with embroidery threads as well as acrylic paints. With the exquisite balance of outline and fill, her colorful embroidery works are full of fun.

The works contain a message from Takamine.

“I have received a lot of little presents since I was a child. It’s not about special ones for my birthday or Christmas, but more ordinary things like onions in a paper sack or seashells with sand. Such a little gift without a ribbon is a bit precious and always comforts me. I will be so happy if my work can be integrated into your everyday life, not treated as the special one.”

I am just wondering… Once the embroidery depicting her daily life leaves the creator and fits into new surroundings, it may not be part of everyday life but become “art”. And, the art may create more affluent living space. What do you think?

Crafting or sewing for us is usually to make clothes or practical items such as bags and pouches. But don’t you think that the scope of your handcraft projects will widen by adding “making the art” to improve your living space?

For the site of Naoko Takamine, go to http://www.pomponet.net/


echino decoro

A fabric that is perfect for decoration.

Following last week’s introduction, we are featuring the echino series again. Today’s textile is called decoro and its designer, Etsuko Furuya says, “decoro’s design inspiration came from the idea of decoration – to decorate space, a person or time. The underlining theme is that this is the kind of textile that makes you want to use it for decoration. A vibrant color, realistic looking animals and a collection of patterns depict a tranquil yet interesting design. echino is a series that you will love and enjoy as time goes by.”

rhythm JG-99550_50  cotton/linen broadcloth

decoro_50_1

  • decoro_50_2
  • decoro_50_3
  • decoro_50_4

The name of this fabric is rhythm. The design spreads all the way to the edge of this 110cm-wide fabric. The plants and birds design, which reminds you of classic wallpaper, with systematic and unsystematic elements and a geometric pattern, are seamlessly connected with a rhythmical tone. Using a wide design section of the fabric can create a bold look. Taking advantage of the width of the fabric, this textile could be used for a tapestry or as room divider. Combining different color patterns will make great fabric panels or a lampshade.

Continue reading


Inspiration file20
Tiny tote bags 123 ♪

in_20

Look closer at the tiny totes in the above picture. 1, 2, 3… These number appliquéd items were made by the handmade craft artist neige.

For those who love the handmade products as well as surfing through blogs and social networking services on a daily basis, neige’s blog “Living with the handmade” is well known. She is a popular blogger who is always ranked at the top of handmade category by the biggest blog ranking site in Japan.

neige has updated her blog almost every day since April 2005 to show her linen and knit creations . The simplicity and the rustic vibe from the combination of fabrics of her creations keeps fascinating the handmade craft lovers and attracting more blog readers. She sometimes demonstrates how to make items through her blog, and that is one of the reasons why there are so many fans. The posted pictures are incredible, too, because the presentation makes the items look pretty.

The bags in the picture are what she made at the end of summer. The display and photography were also done by neige. Can you believe she discarded these cute creations?

neige wrote about it in her blog as follows.

“I made countless prototypes, spreading them over the table in the living room… Among the items I created, some satisfied me but others did not. I wondered if they would look better after my mood changed, and I changed the display to give them a different perspective. But still I could not compromise myself…”

neige says that it is difficult to show how small her items are. To display these tote bags, she used a case with partition from Natural Kitchen in Japan which is a retailer with household items for 100 yen apiece.

“Hopefully people can see how tiny the totes are by comparing with the pin cushion made of a walnut. Looking anew at them, I am getting interested in the totes again. Isn’t it funny?” neige ended the episode in her blog.

By revising your display, the item which once did not appeal to you, may look way nicer and become a precious item for you. Have fun in the process of reviewing, coordinating and presenting your creations beautifully.

neige will give you soon the tutorial for one of her creations in the craft & sewing column of this site. Don’t miss it!

For neige’s blog, go to http://yunyuns.exblog.jp/


Inspiration 19
Needle felted animals in the woods

in_18

The websites to buy or sell handmade items have increased for the past few years. Besides the online market these days, more and more showcases are held where artists sell their own products over the counter by themselves. The “exhibition & sale” style craft event is exciting for customers to meet the artist whom they usually deal with through the net. Such an occasion also gives artists a rare opportunity to talk personally with their online shop customers. tetote, which is one of the online marketplaces of crafts in Japan, recently held the showcase named “tetote handmade bazaar @ Hankyu Umeda” in Osaka. I met a wonderful artist with her lovely products there.

What cute animals they are! My eyes met theirs for a while. The animals in the above picture were created by the needle felting artist Lycka.

Lycka, who loves the soft feel of woolen felt, was fascinated by the wool texture and started needle felting almost two years ago.

Lucka says “lucka means ‘happiness’ in Swedish. I want to make more people happy through my products. That is what I keep in mind while making a needle felted item.”

The work in the picture was made with the theme of “the animals in the woods”. It is a scene where animals get together in the woods to share fruits. It makes you feel warm inside, doesn’t it? She continues, “I made these rabbits while actually observing a real one. The eyeliners were added with black wool.”

“In my mind the best part of needle felting is the image becomes formed as is.” Lucka expresses. Forming shapes without threads or sewing needles is what the needle felting creators enjoy. For those who are familiar with sewing according to patterns, needle felting is a bit challenging. Once you create something, you may discover something about yourself you have never known.

Click here for further information about Lycka
http://tetote-market.jp/creator/Lycka/


Inspiration file 18
I found it! The toolbox with ICHIGO TO ARI print

in_18

The other day, we presented the drawer box in our Japanese Craft & Sewing column which the handcrafter Mihoko Sugiyama created with “Musikkiste von nacht” prints. Once it was posted, the article instantly became the most popular one on this website.

We, KOKKA, that is the textile maker/wholesaler, usually introduce sewing projects made of our fabrics via this site. It was the first time that we had presented how-to-make “cartonnage” (fabric-covered box). That must be enlightening for some of you on how to enjoy fabrics even without a needle or thread.

Here we continue featuring Sugiyama’s projects. The toolbox in the above picture is what she posted in her own blog named “happiness is in a box”.

Strawberries and ants… It looks familiar….
If you think so, yes, you are right! The print is the “ICHIGO TO ARI (strawberries and ants)” from ueda college collection x KOKKA featured in Textile Story column. It had been her favorite and was used for her project. Thank you, Sugiyama-san!

The black gingham on either side gives an urbane taste to the lovely box. Opening it up, you will see the frames bound with red cloth.

“I wanted to add red to the black-and-white as the ICHIGO to ARI print.” Sugiyama says.

What an elaborate work she did!

Allover print of large motifs will look differently, depending on where you cut out to use. Thus each can seem unique even if you create something with the same fabric and pattern. Aren’t you excited about that?

You can see the blog of Mihoko Sugiyama at http://happbox.blog.fc2.com/