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667 posts tagged Crafts

Today the Department of Awesome (Grand)parenting salutes 59-year-old grandpa Hidebochi. For 32 years he’s run an udon shop in Mihama, Mie Prefecture, Japan. He’s also been a “weekend carpenter” for 52 years. Those carpentry skills came in very handy when he learned that his two young granddaughters, Ringo (6 years old) and Mei (3 years old), would be moving from Vancouver, Canada to live with him above the udon shop. Just like the little girls in My Neighbor Totoro, Ringo and Mei were moving far away from their first home to a new home out in the country.

In effort to welcome them and prevent them from feeling homesick, Hidebochi decided to recreate the rain scene from My Neighbor Totoro right outside their new home. He constructed a 10-foot-tall Totoro using materials such as wood, water pipes and rugs. Hidebochi’s Totoro stands at the Catbus stop with an umbrella in hand and a welcoming grin on his face.

"A concrete block keeps Totoro secure in front of the Teuchi Udon Ōishi-ka shop. A camera in Totoro’s nose lets Hidebochi’s family know when visitors come to meet the iconic character. Totoro can play music from the film when people visit him.

Totoro waits next to the Kōshiyama Eki Mae catbus stop near the Kōshiyama train station in Mihama. Visitors who want to ride the catbus may be out of luck because it only comes at night from about midnight to 5:00 a.m., according to Hidebochi’s catbus stop sign.”

What’s more, Hidebochi positioned Totoro so that his granddaughters can always see him, smiling up at them, from their room above the udon shop.

Click here to watch a brief video in which Hidebochi shows how he created this awesome Totoro. You’ll also get to see Ringo and Mei help recreate the rain scene. Judging by the smiles on their faces, it seems they’re pretty pleased with their new home and, of course, their awesome grandpa.

Visit RocketNews24 for additional photos and info about Hidebochi’s heartwarming homemade Totoro.

These beautiful moths and butterflies look like they’re ready to flutter up and away, but they won’t be doing so because they’re wonderful textile sculptures painstakingly created by North Carolina-based artist Yumi Okita. She sews, embroiders and stitches all sorts of multi-colored fabrics to create these oversized insects, which measure nearly a foot wide. She also adds painted details along with feathers and artificial fur. With great care Okita has achieved an awesome balance between astonishing realism and fanciful invention.

Click here to view more of Yumi Okita’s gorgeous textile insect sculptures.

[via Colossal and Demilked]

Think of a hobby or interest and odds are good you can now find a convention just for folks into that particular thing. Comic-Con, Gen Con, Dragon Con, Anime Expo, the official Star Trek Convention, Brickworld, Pax Prime, BronyCon, we’re barely scratching the surface. But what about people who love nothing better than making balloon art? Do they have a place to get together and share their mutual appreciation for blowing up balloons and twisting them together to form whatever their hearts’ desire? They sure do.

It’s called the World Balloon Convention and, thanks to the Pioneer Balloon Company, it’s been taking place since 2010. Balloon artists from around the world gather to show off their creations, compete against each other, and offer classes on balloon sculpture. This year’s convention took place in Denver, CO, where over 800 balloon professionals (decorators, twisters/entertainers, artists, retailers and instructors) from over 54 countries participated in the events.

All of the awesome balloon sculptures seen here were created for the convention’s most anticipated event, the Festival of Balloons. More than 75 artists displayed their balloon art at this year’s festival, which was attended by over 6000 people.

Click here to view more photos from the Festival of Balloons

[via Design Taxi and Neatorama]

Russian carpenter Yuri Hvtisishvili created this awesome life-size wooden replica of the classic classic IL-49 Soviet motorcycle. It looks so perfect that, were it not for the telltale color, it’s hard to believe the bike is completely made of wood, even the tires. The project began ealier this year when business was slow at Yuri’s carpentry shop and he wanted to try something new. Inspired by an internet post about a master carpenter’s full-scale wooden replica of a motorcycle, he decided to create a replica of his favorite Russian motorcycle, the IL-49.

"Yuri started to work on the project on January 18; it was the perfect activity to pass his time during the long winter evenings. He patiently carved out the motorcycle one part at a time, down to the last nut and bolt. He made use of two types of wood – beech and pine – mainly for the way they complement each other. Four months later, on May 18, the hyperrealistic motorcycle was completed."

Head over to Oddity Central for additional photos of Yuri Hvtisishvili’s fantastic wooden motorcycle.

Sure they’re hellbent on exterminating humanity, but as Whovians we can’t help but love a Dalek, particularly when they’re focused on simply being awesome and less concerned with those nasty death rays.

This fantastically shiny set of hand-painted 3D Doctor Dalek Acrylic Nails was made by Atra Materia, who runs the Gingerdead House Etsy shop.

This isn’t the first time we’ve seen Doctor Who-inspired nail art, but there’s something at once sinister and delightful about the fact that these rhinestone and metallic stud bespangled Dalek nails are modeled on fake human fingers. Either no live human would dare risk being the model or no Dalek nail could stomach (not that they have stomachs) being so close to a human.

Click here to order (different nail sizes and colors are available) and be sure to check out the Gingerdead House’s other geektastic nails while you’re there.

[via Technabob]

Jim Rodda, better known as hobbyist 3D printer Zheng3, recently completed work on these awesomely elaborate Barbie-compatible 3D-printed suits of medieval armor. The project was crowdfunded through Rodda’s Faire Play Kickstarter project. The suit of golden parade armor is made of over 40 difference pieces, including a winged helmet, feathered tassets and a detailed coat of arms.

Click here for additional photos and process information.

[via io9]

Today we step into the Archie McPhee Library to explore a macabre and fascinating book entitled The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death [Buy on Amazon] by Corinne May Botz, whose outstanding photos reveal one of the strangest and most significant tools in the development of modern forensic analysis: eighteen miniature, exhaustively detailed crime scene models built in the 1940s and 50s by pioneering criminologist Frances Glessner Lee (1878-1962). She called her models “Nutshell Studies” because, “the purpose of a forensic investigation is said to be to ‘convict the guilty, clear the innocent, and find the truth in a nutshell.’”

Glessner Lee was a grandmother in her 60s when she painstakingly created these dollhouse models, each of which is based on an actual homicide, suicide or accidental death. To help ensure accuracy she attended autopsies and made sure that even the smallest details of her models were correct. Clothing is appropriately worn out, pencils write, locks, windows, and lights all function, whistles blow, and mice inhabit the walls. These astonishing models were (and still are!) used to train detectives on how to asses visual evidence.

Corinne May Botz’s lush color photographs lure viewers into every crevice of Frances Lee’s models and breathe life into these deadly miniatures, which present the dark side of domestic life, unveiling tales of prostitution, alcoholism, and adultery. The accompanying line drawings, specially prepared for this volume, highlight the noteworthy forensic evidence in each case. Botz’s introductory essay, which draws on archival research and interviews with Lee’s family and police colleagues, presents a captivating portrait of Lee.

Frances Glessner Lee was also an heiress who used her considerable fortune to found Harvard’s department of legal medicine, the first forensic pathology program in the nation. In 1943 she was appointed an honorary Captain in the New Hampshire State Police. She was the first woman in the United States to hold that rank.

It’s a dark topic, to be sure, but this beautiful book is an intimate and utterly captivating look at the work of a truly remarkable woman and one of the most important figures in the development of modern forensic analysis.

[Images via the New York Times and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death]

Noel Cruz is a doll repaint artist, and an awesome one at that. He’s loved drawing and painting characters from his favorite TV shows since childhood, in particular Lindsay Wagner as Jaime Sommers in The Bionic Woman. But it wasn’t until Cruz first encountered a repainted doll on eBay, thanks to his wife who’s a doll collector, that he thought, “Hey, I could do this too!” And now he’s one of the best in the doll painting community.

It took time and lots of practice for Cruz to adapt his skills from painting on wide, flat canvases to small, smooth plastic doll faces. Today his ability to transform factory-painted character and celebrity dolls into impeccably detailed, lifelike resemblances of the actual people on which they were based puts the original dolls to shame. Accomplishing this feat requires many photos of the famous person/character, plenty of time, and a great deal of skill.

To check out more of his stunning repainted dolls, check out Noel Cruz’s website and Facebook page. You can also follow him via Instagram and right here on Tumblr at noelcruzcreations. And, if you’ve got an urge to own one of his dolls, keep an eye on Cruz’s eBay auction listings.

[via RocketNews24]

Colombian artist and designer Diana Beltran Herrera (previously featured here) has taken our breath away once again with more of her awesomely lifelike paper bird sculptures, each of which is incredibly detailed and quite fragile. Although some of these new birds were made as private commissions, others were created for Longwood Gardens, an extensive botannical garden located in Kennett Square, PA. With an exhibition coming up, the garden commissioned Diana to make some of her beautiful birds instead of using taxidermy specimens, which really speaks to the remarkable realism of her creations.

Head over to Diana Beltran Herrera’s Flickr page to view many more of her exquisite paper bird sculptures.

[via Colossal]

This beautiful piece of Calvin and Hobbes embroidery, based on the back cover illustration of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip collection Scientific Progress Goes “Boink”, is the work of Oak Park, IL-based artist Laura Hartrich, created for her son’s birthday. Hartrich is a self-taught embroiderer and commented on Reddit, saying this piece is her most detailed work to date. She also described the process of making it:

"-Buy Scientific Progress Goes Boink -Hide it from son for over a year so I can use it as a reference -Go to library, make an enlarged copy of the back cover -Use carbon paper to transfer the main lines of the illustration onto fabric -Fill in all the color -Go back and add black details
I tried to match the DMC floss I was using to the back cover as closely as I could. The colors aren’t always perfect. Some of those watercolors are just so delicate. There wasn’t always floss pale enough to match. I did my best.”

As this particularly piece was a gift for Laura’s lucky son, it’s not for sale. But you can find others available via her Etsy shop, Tiny Scissor Times, where she also accepts custom commissions.
[via Nerd Approved]

This beautiful piece of Calvin and Hobbes embroidery, based on the back cover illustration of the Calvin and Hobbes comic strip collection Scientific Progress Goes “Boink”, is the work of Oak Park, IL-based artist Laura Hartrich, created for her son’s birthday. Hartrich is a self-taught embroiderer and commented on Reddit, saying this piece is her most detailed work to date. She also described the process of making it:

"-Buy Scientific Progress Goes Boink -Hide it from son for over a year so I can use it as a reference -Go to library, make an enlarged copy of the back cover -Use carbon paper to transfer the main lines of the illustration onto fabric -Fill in all the color -Go back and add black details

I tried to match the DMC floss I was using to the back cover as closely as I could. The colors aren’t always perfect. Some of those watercolors are just so delicate. There wasn’t always floss pale enough to match. I did my best.”

As this particularly piece was a gift for Laura’s lucky son, it’s not for sale. But you can find others available via her Etsy shop, Tiny Scissor Times, where she also accepts custom commissions.

[via Nerd Approved]