Spotlight On: Amigurumi

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We all know what crochet is, but do you know Amigurumi? Heck, I can’t even pronounce that word without sounding like there are gumballs stuffed in my mouth. Not to mention having to spell it out in my head every time I type it.

First things first, amigurumi the word; comes from a combination of Japanese words ami, meaning crocheted or knitted, and nuigurumi, meaning stuffed doll. Amigurumi are typically animals, but can include artistic renderings or inanimate objects endowed with anthropomorphic features, as is typical in Japanese culture. (Thank you Wikipedia!)

What I know is that they are cute, creative and must take skill to make.

This peacock is so beautiful. Peachypaws even gave her beautiful long eyelashes!

As I mentioned before the amigurumi usually depict animals, but they can depict people as well. Like Captain Jack Sparrow, created by bixby.

She nailed his look, in yarn no less!

i am sapho doesn’t have to worry about these lovely little Pot o’ Daisies dieing. They will stay adorable forever.

Here on Craftster we have a whole section for amigurumi, and we have aboard on Pinterest for even more inspiration.

Just so you can test the ami waters, this tutorial for a really sweet pincushion bunny by Wayuki is too tempting not to try!

Thanks for checking out this spotlight! Let me know if you have ideas for future spotlights.

Mr X Stitch Presents: The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Karen Casper

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Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

Karen Casper is a Contemporary Textiles graduate from England.

Karen Casper - Miss Coral 3D embroidered fashion

“Using traditional textile techniques and vintage aesthetics Casper injects contemporary technology producing exciting futuristic pieces that ultimately create an art and fashion crossover.  Her work covers a number of genres; costume, editorials, gallery installations and commercial markets as part of her textile label Tulle and Candyfloss Textile Design.

Karen Casper - Fairground Fun embroidered fashion

“Casper thrives on working with a range of mixed media, which includes embroidery, screen and digital print. Techniques include devore, quilting, embroidery, fabric manipulation and embellishment to produce unique contemporary textiles.  She has a passion for all things vintage and wherever possible Casper tries to incorporate this into her work by embellishing with vintage items, whether that be lace or buttons.

 

Karen Casper - Fairground Fun detail

“Casper Iikes to experiment develop and push her samples, which is an important part of the design process, mixing traditional techniques with new ones. She particularly enjoys working with a theme.  In the past, Casper has used fairytale enchantment, childhood memories, vintage fairground and underwater world as inspiration.”

Karen Casper - 3D Embroidered Bib

I really like Karen’s work but I do admit it floats outside of my comfort zone (mainly because I don’t have much time for fashion (on account of being a chunky monkey)). However, I know what I like and I do like what Karen is doing with 3D embroidery and the way she is exploring the medium. There’s a real sense that she’s pushing embroidery as far as she can, creating exotic new forms and shapes, while retaining the high fashion element.

Karen Casper - Miss Coral - Tactile Too

The Miss Coral piece (exploring environmental issues and ‘preserved textiles”) uses glow in the dark materials to create a terrific effect – the piece looks like a mashup of Tron and Victoriana and I think it’s a great concept. This video that Karen’s produced highlights the effect (pun intended).

Visit Karen’s website to see her body of work. There’s no denying her creativity and I’m genuinely interested to see what she comes up with next.

 

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The Cutting & Stitching Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the must-have embroidered art book by Mr X Stitch !

Tute Tuesday: Wooden Chain

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I will admit that I have a fantasy about sitting on the porch, watching the world go by while I carve wood. It just seems so calming to me. Thanks to Magpirate I can live out my fantasy with her awesome detailed Wood Chain tutorial. This wood chain may take some time, but I have all summer to sit out on the porch and whittle away the day.

Looking to learn a new craft? Check our Tutorial Tags and get started today!

Here Kitty, Kitty!

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Here’s one for all you cat lovers out there: a wonderful array of felines from the many cat crafts found on Craftster.
 

I find it almost impossible to believe that this is one of the first art dolls that WingsOfClay has made. I just love this quirky kitty so much!

 

noooitaremybirthday was inspired by a children’s book of poetry to make this adorable tiny book of kitties.

Lique made a couple of kitty change purses. It’s so cute how the zipper looks like a little headband.
Handmadekitty‘s amigurumi kitty looks like it’s about to snack on that poor little goldfish! 

 

This tiny embroidered cat head pendant by Ludi is only about 2″ tall. Such intricate detail!

So, meow to you! If you love these projects, make sure to click on the Craftster tag “cat“, where you’ll find over 20 pages of different kitties.

Meatless Monday: Vegan, Raw, Gluten Free Chocolate Bars

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I crave chocolate. It is one of my weakness (I have so many).It is the food of the gods. It can lift your spirits and leave you on cloud nine. I am pretty sure that Mrraawwr feels the same way, otherwise why would she have made the delicious Chocolate Bars . As an added bonus, the bars are vegan, raw and gluten free. They would be a great treat at a picnic or a potluck. I’m sure even the pickiest eater will gobble these right up!

For more tasty treats, don’t forget to check out our Dessert Board.

@Home This Weekend: Fun Coffee Mugs

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This weekend, personalize all your plain old coffee mugs! Using oil-based Sharpie markers, silentblair gave all her mugs a new look, with fun themes like Harry Potter, Doctor Who, The Goonies, and more. What’s your obsession? Put it on a mug!

Spring Has Sprung

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April brings us spring and Earth Day! Discover creative ways to craft not only in your home, but in your garden as well. Peeps, flowers and gardening galore!

Check out the Gardening Board and the Easter Board as well! :)

Holiday Egg Wreath
Member sparrowlegs reused plastic holiday eggs to create a beautiful wreath for Easter. Embellish your wreath with flowers, buttons and baubles!
Bottlecap Garden Markers
Member PerfectlyBohemian crafted the adorable plant markers from used bottlecaps.

Craftster Crush: alwaysinmyroom

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Craftster Crush alwaysinmyroom This month, our Craftster Crush is alwaysinmyroom! You can often find her on the Craftalongs Board, where she is always bringing smiles and encouragement!

She’s been a Craftster member for eight years now, and what a great eight years it’s been. I actually had the pleasure of meeting her and spending a crafty weekend with her and the Mod Squad — be jealous! Be very jealous. :D



Here are some random crafty facts about alwaysinmyroom!

  • She hosts an amazing Newbie Craftalong.
  • She can make a banana.
  • Her custom title is, “Life is Moving Along Splendidly.”
  • She was a Master Crafter!
  • alwaysinmyroom hosts one hell of a nut hunt.
  • She’s a Fanatic Friend of Craftster and the Craftalongs Moderator. :)

  • Thanks for being a part of Craftster, alwaysinmyroom! We you.

    Do you have a Craftster Crush? Let us know with your comments here! Or, if you’re a Friend of Craftster, join in the discussion here: http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=287907.0

    Craft Challenge #98 Announced – Get Inspired

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    Craft Challenge #98 Get Inspired, has been announced!

    Your challenge this month is to craft a project based on one of your Pinterest pins!

    Entries are due May 1 – 8, 2014. Read all of the challenge details here. :D

    Mr X Stitch Presents: The Cutting (& Stitching) Edge – Megan Hansen-Knarhoi

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    Contemporary embroidery art via Mr X Stitch

     

    Megan Hansen-Knarhoi is a textile artist from New Zealand.

    Megan Hansen-Knarhoi - Jesus - photo by Stuart Page

    Megan Hansen-Knarhoi is a contemporary New Zealand artist working predominantly in sculpture and site specific installation, investigating iconography, signs and symbols. Her work celebrates, scrutinises and satirises aspects of Christianity, creating friction between the sacred and profane, the positive and the negative, the beautiful and the ugly, and the physical and the cerebral. Her concepts are intertwined in the materials and rituals of the artworks she creates.

    Megan Hansen-Knarhoi - Jesus Spells - Thanks to Creative New Zealand for their generous support

     

    “Through the repetitive and obsessive-compulsive aspect of her work, certain rituals and beliefs are ex, posed as empty arbitrary and absurd. The discipline of making is confused with obsession, making the ritual in a sense obsolete and meaningless but ironically, by its very devotion and proliferation, profound.”

    Megan Hansen-Knarhoi - Jesus Spells - Thanks to Creative New Zealand for their generous support

    I find these works to be incredibly powerful. The technique of constructing the work is really dramatic and adds gravitas to the work.

    Megan Hansen-Knarhoi - Jesus Suits - Courtesy of PaulNache Gallery

    The pieces feel like real-life Gods appearing before us, as though we were in a Guillermo Del Toro film. Amazing and, quite frankly, rather unsettling. It’s great stuff.

    Megan Hansen-Knarhoi - Jesus Spells The Suter - Courtesy of The Suter Te Aratoi o Whakatu

     

    Visit Megan’s website to see more of her work. It’s excellent.

    —–

    The Cutting & Stitching Edge is brought to you in association with PUSH: Stitchery, the must-have embroidered art book by Mr X Stitch !

    How to Make Natural Dye Easter Eggs

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    Natural Dye Easter Eggs In this episode of Craftster Quickies, kittykill teaches you how to dye Easter eggs naturally with fruits and vegetables such as onions, blueberries and more!

    Experiment with all sorts of fruits, vegetables and spices to create various colors.

    Tute Tuesday: Display/Organizer Out of Toilet Paper Rolls

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    I love the idea of taking an every day item and turning it into something beautiful. Teag creates shadowboxes and organizers out of toilet paper rolls. How brilliant is that? Instead of ending up in the trash, they are upcycled into displays for your trinkets and organizers for your crafting supplies. Just a few easy steps and you too can have something functional and beautiful. Give it a try today!

    Feeling creative? Why not make a tutorial of your own and post it, we may just feature it on Tute Tuesday.

    April Showers!

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    Where I live, we’ve been experiencing endless rain since the beginning of the month. If what they say is true, and April showers bring May flowers, we’re in for a glorious spring! Here are some brightly colored rain-inspired crafts that will cheer you up, even in the darkest of rainy days. 

    I love this pink and red raingear by graverobbergirl. She sewed her laminated fabric raincoat, and then painted her umbrella and boots with paint pens to match.

     

    HSG celebrates the rain with this charming mosaic entitled “Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head”. 

     

    Here’s a wonderful painting of someone enjoying the rain! mezcraft did her own interpretation of the popular melted crayon scenes by painting the raindrops.
    Who could be sad about a rainy day when this little cloud is around? barbolot included a tutorial for this happy guy, which can be used as a teether, a toy, or a decoration. So sweet!
    You can just about taste the rainbow with these sweet multi-colored cupcakes. The whipped cloud frosting and colorful sprinkles that patty_o_furniture added make these oh-so-tempting.

    So here’s to April showers. May they bring a multitude of May flowers into your life. To see more projects related to these, click on the Craftster tags “rain” and “rainbow“.

    Meatless Monday: Eggplant Stroganoff

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    I absolutely love stroganoff. It is perfect for a rainy day and the leftovers the next day are the best! I also love when someone whips up a recipe with what they have on hand. Nothing shows creativity like taking what you have and making something delicious and that is just what Loves2experiment did! Her Eggplant Stroganoff is so tasty and the texture is wonderful. This recipe is foolproof with step-by-step instructions and photos. Make some up for dinner tonight but don’t forget to save some for lunch tomorrow.

    You can find other dinner ideas on our Cooking Board. Make something yummy today!

    Winner of Craft Challenge #96 – Swap and Share 2

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    This month’s Craft Challenge was Swap and Share 2! The challenge was to share projects that you had not posted in a previous thread. The kicker was that the project had to be something you sent in a swap.

    Our winning entry was created by Oath Keeper! Her entry titled, “How to Train Your Dragon: Toothless” is not only a tribute to the movie, How To Train Your Dragon, but also My Little Pony. Combining both elements, she created Toothless, one of the dragons from the movie. Check out the winning entry here.
    Congrats, Oath Keeper!

    For winning, Oath Keeper has won an item from one of Craftster’s online shops!

    Shop Craftster
    http://shop.craftster.org/
    Spreadshirt
    http://www.spreadshirt.com/shop.php?sid=70592

    CafePress
    http://www.cafepress.com/craftster

    Hope everyone had fun creating for the challenge this month! Happy crafting!