These two nicely designed and beautifully packaged calendars for 2014 allow for some fun interactivity. The 'Stitch The Stars' and The 'Year In Stitches' kits from textile designer Heather Lins are simple enough for anyone to do and include everything you need. At $25 each, they make a perfect gift for friends, co-workers and Secret Santas.
Bonus: the stars calendar actually glows in the dark.
2014 Stitch the Stars Calendar Kit
Each month is screen printed with the corresponding constellation from the zodiac (eg. January is Capricorn). Connect the dots using the embroidery thread and needle provided. Just poke and stitch; it's super-easy! No embroidery skills required. Plus, with glow-in-the-dark ink and thread, the constellation gently glows after you switch off the light.
One 2014 Stitch the Stars Calendar kit includes:
• 12 5" x 7" calendar cards (Heavy, recycled card stock screen printed with glow-in-the-dark ink)
• 1 embroidery needle
• Glow-in-the-dark embroidery floss (It really works!)
• Instruction sheet
• Packaged in a kraft paper box
$25 buy it here
2014 The Year In Stitches Calendar Kit
Stitch a pretty design each month and create your own calendar. Using the needle, embroidery floss and calendar cards provided, just poke and stitch your way through the year. No embroidery skills are necessary to complete this easy calendar kit.
One 2014 The Year In Stitches Calendar kit includes:
• 12 calendar cards screenprinted on heavy, recycled paper (5" x 7")
• instructions (printed on recycled paper)
• an embroidery needle
• embroidery floss
• packaged in a kraft paper box
$25 buy it here
We all know that no two are alike. Nevertheless, seeing a snowflake super duper uber close-up is still breathtaking and these macro photographs by Russian photographer Alexey Kljatov will prove that.
These images of snowflakes and snow crystals were photographed in Moscow by Kljatov, who simply taped a $50 lens (an optics Helios 44M-5) to his Canon Powershot A650, a point and shoot camera, as shown below.
His 'processed' shots of the snowflakes are multiple shots averaged to boost signal/noise ratio and reveal subtle details. You can compare his source shots to his processed shots in the image below.
Alexy photographs the snowflakes and water crystals in two different ways. The first is to capture the snowflakes on the open balcony of his house, mostly on glass surface, lit by an LED flashlight from opposite a side of glass, as shown below:
The second way is to shoot them in natural light, using dark woolen fabrics as the background, as shown in the photos below:
The results are astounding. Just take a look at these 25, photographed on a grey wool background and taken in natural light.
images courtesy of Alexey Kljatov (aka ChaoticMind75 on flickr)
Alexey describes the process in his own words here
More and higher resolution photos of these macro snowflakes can be found at his Flickr account.
Medium size snowflakes, around 4 mm. 8 serial shots averaged to boost signal-to-noise ratio. Background: dark woolen fabric, natural light (gray clouded sky), external optics Helios 44M-5, january 2013, Moscow
The enchanting book sculptures by Su Blackwell have been featured commercially and in fine art galleries around the world. Created on various scales, her amazing craft has been used as full sized sets for videos, theater productions and television commercials, window displays and editorials as well as compelling small boxed sculptures, installations and fine art exhibitions.
above: Su Blackwell's The Little Prince
above: for The 2008 Snow Queen video
While many art sites and blogs showcased her talents, it's been awhile and she has some new work worth sharing. Here's a look at some of her latest (2012-2013).
The Last Unicorn:
2013 Editorial work for Intelligent Life Magazine, Oprah Magazine and Real Simple Magazine:
Some of her earlier pieces from 2009-2011 That I especially favor:
Out of Narnia, 2009:
Little Red Riding Hood, 2010:
Baron In the Trees, 2011
Su Blackwell's work is often used in advertising and marketing because it's a nice and unique way to conveyy people and places that is different from photography. Many large brands (Cartier, Volvo, British Airways, to name a few) have featured her work in their stores, commercials and print ad campaigns.
The Fairmont Hotels have commissioned her work on a few occasions:
Crabtree & Evelyn posters:
Harper's Bazaar editorial:
Theater set for The Snow Queen:
Video set for Indah:
Su talks about her craft in this video from the artist:
Available starting December 5th, 2013 (and can be pre-ordered now here) is this Artist Monograph from Su that catalogs her work from 2006-2013:
above: Su Blackwell 'Book Sculptures', Case-bound, hard-back with 84 full-colour pages. Measures 297mm x 210mm.
Su says of her work:
”I often work within the realm of fairy-tales and folk-lore. I began making a series of book-sculpture, cutting-out images from old books to create three-dimensional diorama’s, and displaying them inside wooden boxes”.
”For the cut-out illustrations, I tend to lean towards young-girl characters, placing them in haunting, fragile settings, expressing the vulnerability of childhood, while also conveying a sense of childhood anxiety and wonder. There is a quiet melancholy in the work, depicted in the material used, and choice of subtle colour.”
Paper has been used for communication since its invention; either between humans or in an attempt to communicate with the spirit world. I employ this delicate, accessible medium and use irreversible, destructive processes to reflect on the precariousness of the world we inhabit and the fragility of our life, dreams and ambitions. -- Su Blackwell, 2007
A great holiday gift for both young and old is the book, The Fairy-Tale Princess: Seven Classic Stories from the Enchanted Forest, which features seven classic fairy tales, imaginatively retold and illustrated with Su's specially commissioned paper-cut constructions:
buy it here
Her online shop features laser cut greeting cards, signed monographs, prints of her work, journals and more.
Su Blackwell Studio Ltd. was set up in 2011 to work on a variety of projects, commissions and collaborations. The studio comprises of Su (director) and her assistants, ‘Emma and Freya’.
Su is represented by Long and Ryle Gallery, London.
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