Today the Department of Awesome Parenting checks in on the work of Nina Levy (previously featured here), the Brooklyn-based artist and mother of two lucky sons who’ve been receiving beautifully illustrated napkins with their boxed lunches every day since 2006. Nina used waterproof markers and paint pens to transform plain white napkins into vibrant works of art and notes of affection and encouragement for her sons.

Nina recently won the TUACA Liqueur Company’s napkin art competition for her entry featuring two lions enjoying a drink at a bar.

Visit the Daily Napkins blog or Facebook page to check out more of Nina’s amazing illustrated napkins.

[via Lost At E Minor and Bored Panda]

Self-taught Alaskan sculptor Lee Cross, known professionally as Wood Splitter Lee, creates incredible one of a kind fantasy creatures that are so remarkably lifelike they verge on creepy, which is just one of the things that makes them so awesome. All of Lee’s creatures are completely made by hand without the use of and patterns, molds or casts. Their bodies contain articulated skeletons wrapped with stuffing, making them very soft to handle and fully posable. They’re decorated with carefully hand-applied synthetic fur and paint. As you can see from these photos, some of Lee’s creatures are more fantastic in nature than others, but they’re all amazing to behold.

Lee’s creatures are available for purchase through weekly Auction Adoptions held on eBay.

To check out more of her phenomenal handmade creatures, visit Wood Splitter Lee’s DeviantArt gallery.

[via DeMilked]

If you’re looking for an awesome rainy day or ‘It’s way too hot to go outside today’ activity, why not have a go at Barbie doll mummification? It’s all kinds of morbid, geeky fun. Heather and her daughter Izzy started with a trip to the library and some research to create an adorably macabre step-by-step “How to Make a Mummy” list. Then the gathered and/or made all the necessary materials. Barbie’s internal organs and ceremonial death mask are paper cutouts. They used a seam ripper in place of the special tool that ancient Egyptians used to pull the brain out through the nose and a shoebox for the sarcophagus and burial chamber. They also included a tiny toy kitty, because they were sacred to the Egyptians and sometimes part of the burial process.

Visit the Kids Activities Blog for additional photos and a complete description of the Barbie mummification process.

[via io9 and Kids Activities Blog]

Today’s visit to the Archie McPhee Library explores a book that’s much more than a book, it’s A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel [Buy on Amazon] by British artist Tom Phillips. This amazing altered book began its literary life as a novel entitled A Human Document, written in 1892 by English writer W. H. Mallock. Fast-forward to 1966 when Tom Phillips bought the book for threepence at a junk shop in South London. He spent the next seven years painstakingly drawing, painting and collaging over each of the book’s 367 pages. Phillips left gaps in his artwork revealing some of the novel’s original text on each page. These exposed words tell the story of a new protagonist named Bill Toge, whose name only appears when the word “together” or “altogether” appears in W. H. Mallock’s original text.

When asked about the book, Phillips replied:

"It is a forgotten Victorian novel found by chance …I plundered, mined, and undermined its text to make it yield the ghosts of other possible stories, scenes, poems, erotic incidents, and surrealist catastrophes which seemed to lurk within its wall of words. As I worked on it, I replaced the text I’d stripped away with visual images of all kinds. It began to tell and depict, among other memories, dreams, and reflections, the sad story of Bill Toge, one of love’s casualties."

That’s how A Human Document became A Humument, but this extraordinary work of art is very much a work in progress. Philips has never stopped working on his splendidly altered book. Four revised editions have been published over the years, with the most recent Fifth Edition published in 2012. Each subsequent revision contains at least 50 new pages replacing their earlier versions. Phillip’s long-term goal is to eventually rework and replace every single page from the original 1970 edition.

In 2010 Tom Philips released a digital version of A Humument in the form of A Humument App for the iPad and iPhone.

Click here to learn more about this phenomenal artist’s book or click here to simply order a copy right now.

[Images via Humument.com]

Leaf-cutting Artist Omid Asadi was born in Iran and now lives in Sale, Greater Manchester, England where he gathers fallen leaves and uses a craft knife and needle to transform them into exquisitely beautiful and expressive works of art. He even recreated The Scream by Edvard Munch on a leaf.

"Art for me is the way of looking differently to this world and around myself.I started to think why nobody paid attention to these beautiful leaves and trod on them, because of their name - if they were called flowers we wouldn’t tread on them at all! I wanted to give the leaves another Life and make art from them."

Visit Omid Asadi’s website and Facebook page to check out more of his hand-cut leaves. You can also follow him here on Tumblr at omidasadi.

[via Bored Panda]

For even more awesome leaf-related artwork, check out our posts about Lorenzo Duran Manuel Silva, Susanna Bauer, and LadyTinuz.

We’ve just learned about another talented artist who uses the humble disposable coffee cup as their canvas. Jimmy T. enhances his morning coffee cups with striking pop culture-inspired drawings and then leaves them behind for other people to discover. Brightening the days of random strangers with unexpected and thoroughly marvelous artwork is awesome.

You can follow Jimmy’s ongoing series of geektastically illustrated coffee cups right here on Tumblr at morningcoffeecupart or on the Morning Coffee Cup Art on Facebook page

[via Geeks are Sexy]

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]

It’s a Hershey’s Chocolate Bar. Besides the always-welcome chocolate, what’s so awesome about that? Look again. It’s not a Hershey’s Bar at all. It’s a ‘Hirschy’s Bar' - a beautifully-designed, awesomely original resumé created by Michigan-based designer Matthew Hirsch for a class assignment.

"We had to create a thank you that could be sent to various creative directors who speak to our class," he explained. "In hopes of striking up a dialogue, while giving these creative directors information about my skill set, I created a Hirschy’s Bar."

Combining a bit of wordplay with innovative, elegant design and, of course, the gift of chocolate, seems like a fantastic way to distinguish oneself for prospective employers and clients. Just make sure you bring enough for everybody.

[via Design Taxi and Creative Bloq]

Rob ‘The Original’ Ferrel is a San Antonio, TX-based barber who combines his artistic background with his skills as a professional barber to create works of art using the hair on his clients’ heads. The majority of his pieces are portraits of celebrities, athletes and pop culture characters, but he also creates illustrations of video game graphics and even some religious iconography. Rob is so good with pairs of scissors and clippers that calling him a barber doesn’t do justice to his skills. Instead it makes a lot more sense to refer to him as a professional hair artist.

You can check out many more of Rob’s hair transformations via his Instagram account. He also has a YouTube channel where he posts making-of videos.

[via Twisted Sifter and Laughing Squid]

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]