#47 in an ongoing series of posts celebrating the alphabet
I fairly swooned when I first saw the amazing hand embroidered typography created by twin sisters Maricor and Maricar Manalo. Based in Sydney, Australia, they’re designers, illustrators and animators by trade and refer to themselves as “Makers of Things assorted.”
Self-taught in needlework, they seem to be creativity personified — I love their colors, patterns, lines, textures, and refreshing sense of fun and whimsy. The gorgeous piece pictured above is part of a project they completed for the Hong Kong Airport, where they were asked to embroider the word “Delicious” in six different languages, all spelled out using food from the different regions — pizza, sushi, pretzels, prawns, grapes, onions, limes, hotdogs — too cool!
On any given day, you might find musical storyteller and doll maker Farida Dowler training for a half marathon, homeschooling her daughter, writing and performing songs and stories, making Danish pancakes, or putting the finishing touches on a Pink Heart Fairy or Red Math Gnome.
Whether she’s picking guitar strings or embroidering french knots on fairy capes, Farida seems to thrive in an enchanted world of her own making — a kind and gentle one that harkens back to the days of wandering minstrels, exults in the magic of story, champions creativity and the imagination, and treasures the invaluable human connections that blossom in the name of art.
Her Mission Statement is:
I care about each doll I sew, and hope you will find a doll in the shop that you feel is yours.
One at a time, one of a kind, full of heart.
I like picturing Farida in her Seattle home, head bent over her work, humming to herself as she adeptly draws needle and thread through felt, creating a new violet or cherry blossom friend who’ll find her place displayed on a nature table, held in a child’s eager hand as an original story emerges, or peacefully resting on a writer’s desk, a friendly companion offering quiet inspiration.
I’m twirling myself silly with delight over this brand new picture book by Boni Ashburn and Julia Denos. It made me wonder if Boni and Julia ever had a favorite dress. More on that in a bit, but for now, let’s try this charming story on for size.
Here’s a girl who love love loves her salmon-colored, striped-bodice, ruffly-skirt dress, wearing it every single Tuesday, her favorite day of the week. But one day, her favoritest dress ever is just too short and she’s beside herself. Mama comes to the rescue, advising that instead of making mountains out of molehills, she make molehills out of mountains. So, with a “SNIP, SNIP, sew sew” — it’s “New shirt, hello!”
Thus begins a series of clever, wholly satisfying transformations. When the shirt becomes too tight, Mama turns it into a tank top, then a more school-appropriate skirt, a tassely scarf for winter, a pair of cozy socks, and a pretty hair bow. And what happens when puppy shreds the bow into teeny tiny scraps? The girl creates something all by herself that enables her to wear her favoritest dress “every day of every season of every year.” Brilliant! Continue reading →