Introducing Scarlet Elfcup

 © Copyright  ceridwen  and licensed for  reuse  under this  Creative Commons Licence .

© Copyright ceridwen and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

Scarlet Elfcup (Sarcoscypha coccinea) is a fungus...a mushroom...a stunning scarlet mushroom, not so uncommon in some parts of the world. 

The colors, patterns and textures that nature produces can never be matched by human ingenuity.  From the sky above to the ocean below, nature abounds with living organisms so infused with vibrant colors and exotic textures.  There may never be enough vocabulary words to describe it all.  The breathtaking beauty of nature all has a purpose, mainly associated with survival of the species.  Thus, color and texture not only give us humans the pleasure of aesthetics, it also serves as a purpose to ensure life continues.

Inspired by this fungal species (Sarcoscypha coccinea), Scarlet Elfcup's creations center around the idea of using natural fibers to produce high quality, long lasting, one-of-a-kind dolls and toys.  There is something richer and more meaningful in handling an object made from nature.  It brings a deeper connection and respect for the world of animals and plants surrounding us.

I am a knitter, a sewer, a scrapbooker, an amateur photographer.  I love yarn, fabric, paper, wood, and photography.  As recent as 2010 when I was pregnant with my first child, I took to sewing and crocheting.   In 2011, I decided to give a go at knitting.  Knitting was a craft....a skill I had always admired but had been intimidated by.  The word "knit" brought forth images of well respected, highly gifted craftspeople who hold in their hands the secrets of ancient and traditional skills (qualifications I felt I could never expect to meet)...skills held only by those gifted enough to wield in their hands two sticks that then produced beautiful, often stunning garments.  Despite this, I decided that I would dip my toes in the water and get a feel for the craft.  I took a basic class in knitting...truly it was the best craft class I ever took.  The class was so basic...learn how to "knit" and "purl"...that's it.  I walked away inspired to dive immediately into my first project...a basic baby sweater.  I'll always remember walking back into the knit shop, only a week after the class ended, with my pattern and this mangled piece of fiber that was supposed to be the baby sweater, desperately seeking help to correct my mistake.  I was barely able to read a knit pattern and was stumbling through the process, getting by with watching YouTube videos and interpreting knit-language using a book.  With the help of an experienced knitter, I was able to locate my mistake, painstakingly unravel almost my entire piece of work and start anew.  After completing my first baby sweater, I was hooked.  I loved the look of the stitches made by the knitting needle and the expanse of endless patterns that could be conjured up between the knit stitch and the purl stitch. 

There is such gratification in knowing that I hand made the blankets, sweaters, clothes that are worn by my children to keep them warm....such a feeling of gratification knowing that I made these items with my own hands and that they were not programmed, stretched, tugged, processed by a machine....that they were made with a lot of heart, joy, detail and hard work put into them.  These would be my first steps into the world of handmade.

 Just Like Me Knits by Brandy Fortune

Just Like Me Knits by Brandy Fortune

At the end of 2013, I was up to my eyeballs with yarn and knit projects waiting, yearning to be completed.  My daughter had just turned 3 years and she loves pretend playing and dressing her stuffed animals.  She didn't have any dolls because I was never able to find baby dolls that didn't creep me out with their plastic rubbery skin, glass eyes or blinking lashes.  Then, I stumbled upon a knit book that changed the course of my interests....Just Like Me Knits by Brandy Fortune.  On the cover of Fortune's book is a photo of an adorable little girl and an equally adorable little doll.  At the end of the book is a list of independent doll makers who specialized in these types of dolls...the ones made of natural fibers and had fabric for their skin, thread for their eyes, wool to fill them.  Upon further research and internet rummaging, I learned that these adorable fabric creations were generally inspired by the one and only of it's kind...the Waldorf doll.  I found handfuls of amazing Waldorf-type doll makers from all around the world.  Some of my favorites are Fig&Me, Dragonflys Hollow, Tumbleberry Toys, Mariengold, Little Jenny Wren, and Petit Gosset.  Each doll maker has made her mark in the world by the unique designs of her dolls.  Yet again, I could not help but give a go at dabbling in another new and intriguing craft.  So, I bought my first Waldorf Doll Kit by Joy Chambers.  The rest is the journey by which I have begun.  And this was how Scarlet Elfcup was born.

Products created by Scarlet Elfcup are handmade using natural fibers.  Each item is designed and crafted with a whole bunch of heart, detail and mindfulness put into the work.  I hope that what I create brings a little bit of whimsy, warmth, imagination and playfulness into your world and the world of your little ones.