Rufus

...the final hummingbird of the year!

Rufus is named simply "Rufus" as chosen by his mama. She's a very thoughtful mama, this mama. I know her bits of personality, though we are separated by an ocean and some land and we have never met face to face. We're kindred spirits, Rufus' mama and I. And I think she thinks a lot like I do. Sometimes the best and most sentimental things are named just for what they are. The only toy I have today from childhood is a tiny bear given to me when I was four. His name is simply "Bear." My son's most favorite stuffed animal is a little frog that he holds so dear to his heart and in his arms, round the clock. The frog's name is "Frog." I am sure there is someone in your household whose name is simply "as is."

Rufus is named for his hummingbird species, Selasphorus rufusThis particular species of hummingbird is known for being the feistiest of all the North American hummingbirds. They can defeat even the larger hummingbirds, some of which are double their size. The rufous hummingbird is also known for their extraordinary flight abilities, flying as far as 2000 miles during migration.

Rufus' name also coincidentally is related to the Biblical persona, Rufus, whom the Romans compelled to carry the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified. Although Rufus' coming to life at this time of year was pure coincidence, he has surely done well in representing the celebration of the holidays.

Rufus was inspired by a mama who wanted a hummingbird made with crimson red and burnt orange colors so that she may enjoy the beauty of the holiday season. Henceforth, came a creation modeled after a real life species who also carries with him a name that represents a story for Christmas time. How beautifully it all coincidentally came together!

Rufus' body is made from mud silk. On top of the mud silk, Rufus' body is decorated with over 1000 stitches of about 15 different shades of embroidery thread. He is stuffed firmly with 100% carded wool. Rufus' wings are hand stitched with strips of of 100% silk. His tail is made from a 100% iridescent silk stitched on top of a 100% silk fabric.

Rufus' beak is made from wood, colored with permanent black ink and attached with a tiny dab of industrial strength glue. Despite the industrial strength glue, the beak is still rather delicate because of it's miniscule scale and should be handled with the most gentle hands. In other words, Rufus is not a toy and should not be handled by children.

As requested by his mama, Rufus is sprinkled with a small splatter of gold thread on his head to give him a dash of holiday sparkle. At certain angles in the light, one can see the twinkle of gold glimmering through. It is just enough to give him some shine without making him out to be overly-decorated and as a result taking the eye away from all of his other beautiful features.

Rufus has tiny taloned toes made with floral wire, wrapped in floral tape and then stitched firmly against the body with thread. The toes will clasp onto small branches when carefully posed and Rufus has the ability to sit prettily by your side without assistance. How nice to have a friend sitting near, in front of a fire with a warm cup of tea!




Ceol

Introducing Scarlet Elfcup's newest tiny hummingbird creation...Ceol (pronounced Ky-ol). Ceol is the Irish word meaning music. This itty-bitty hummingbird loves to sing!!

Before Ceol there were Scout and Pica.

These tiny life-sized hummingbirds are thus far my most favorite creations to bring to life. They are inspired by true life species of hummingbirds. Like all the other Scarlet Elfcup creations, not one are alike. And, in the making of the hummingbirds, I delight in working with nature's greatest inception....colors...gloriously magnificent incredible colors that can never be replicated by human hands. Even so, bringing a hummingbird to life allows me the pleasure of working with a deep, rich and wide spectrum of beautifully colored threads. And the results never fail to make me gasp with enjoyment!

Scarlet Elfcup's hummingbird creations are life-sized. The birds range from 3-5 inches (approx. 7-12 cm) long from beak to tail and stand at about 1 inch (about 2 cm) tall. Each bird is decorated with nearly 1000 hand-embroidered stitches covering the body. And because these birds are hand sewn from start to finish, it takes nearly 30 hours of finely detailed needlework to complete one bird.

Without further ado, let me introduce you to Ceol. Ceol's scientific binomial is Chrysolampis mosquitus, otherwise known as the Ruby TopazThe Ruby Topaz is one of nearly 300 species of hummingbirds left in existence. They can be found mostly in northern South America. Compared to most other hummingbirds, the Ruby Topaz's long straight beak is relatively short.

Ceol's body is made from mud silk. Mud silk is created through an incredibly fascinating process and dates back hundreds of years. It is also a very eco-friendly and sustainable process. This article, "Dye for Two Tones: The Story of Sustainable Mud-coated Silk," provides a very good take on the history of mud silking and talks about it's sustainability and eco-friendliness. If you want to see beautiful photos of the process, this site has a small article and lots of pictures. I chose mud silk for it's tight knit and firmness but yet still thin and pliable qualities. I wanted to embroider the fabric without layering backing into the fabric, which would add too much bulk for such a tiny creation. So, mud silk was the best quality for embroidering tiny stitches on a tiny object. Ceol is stuffed firmly with 100% carded wool.

On top of the mud silk, Ceol's body is decorated with about 1000 stitches of over 25 different shades of embroidery thread.

Ceol's wings are hand smocked using multiple layers of 100% silk and a 100% linen fabric.

Ceol's tail is made from a 100% iridescent silk stitched on top of a 100% linen fiber.

Ceol's beak is made from wood, colored with permanent black ink and attached with a tiny dab of industrial strength glue. Despite the industrial strength glue, the beak is still rather delicate because of it's miniscule scale and should be handled with the most gentle hands. In other words, Ceol is not a toy and should not be handled by children.

Ceol has one fantastic addition that Scout and Pica did not have...FEET!!! Oh joy! Ceol's tiny taloned toes are the smallest bird feet to clasp on to anything around here. The toes are made with floral wire, wrapped in floral tape and then stitched firmly against the body with thread. The toes will clasp onto small branches and Ceol has the ability to sit prettily without assistance due to her tiny toes. I was so delighted to be able to give the hummingbird toes...it's a rather useful feature, you see! These toes allow a singing bird the much needed ability to perch on top of a branch, a tree, a book, a finger and sing to the heart's content. The higher the space is, the happier Ceol will be, for that is where musical sounds carry best throughout the house.

Friends, I hand you...yet, another wee-itty bitty hummingbird created by Scarlet Elfcup...Ceol!

Aoife and Mochta

Once upon the earth lived a variety of deer so large they stand at nearly twice the height of a human. Their antlers spanning more than twice the height of man. They were known as Megaloceros, the giant Irish Elk. Today, they are no more.

But, legend has it that one giant male still roams the planet. He walks alongside his master and protector, the Princess Aoife, a mythical being from the woodlands.

During the time of year when the sun favors the Southern hemisphere, it is said that they can be sighted roaming the woodlands in various parts of the southern world. But, when the time comes for the sun to move toward the Northern hemisphere, the duo return to the tundra where they prefer to live.

It is only during the northern summer that they desire a brief relief from that place where winds and wolves howl, permafrost and chilling snowdrifts occupy all the days of the year, bright white snow and cold dark skies prevail. This is a place where no man can survive for long, only legends can exist. The chills are relentless and the winds merciless. For Aoife, life with Mochta can be harsh and gruesome. But, she wouldn't have it any other way because her sole responsibility is to protect Mochta, the last great giant, from going into extinction.

And so, legend has it that the earth is still graced with one single, remarkable giant Megaloceros and his guardian, the Princess Aoife.

Aoife and Mochta represent the essence of this time of year, when the Northern hemisphere is adorned with flurry white and frozen air gifted by Father Winter. There is nothing more magical than this.

If you were around for the blog post titled "A Woodland Warrior Princess," you know the story and inspiration behind the creation of Mochta. Mochta and Aoife are a dream come true thanks to my mama who requested a custom involving a reindeer. From this idea, the great Irish Elk and his protector evolved. And how happy and thrilled I am that they came to life. But, they have been through a long journey and their creation has been nothing short of adventurous and full of lessons learned. I enjoyed every step of the process, so thank you, thank you A.K. for giving me the chance to play and experiment and bring this beautiful duo into the world.

AOIFE (pronounced Ee-fa)

The name Aoife is derived from the Gaelic aoibh, which means "beauty" or "radiance." Aoife is a Wee-Bee Mini Elfcup doll. She stands less than 6" (15 cm) tall. She is made with all natural materials. Her doll skin is made with premium quality cotton interlock milled in the USA. She is firmly stuffed with bio-wool also made in the USA.  Her seams are sewn twice for reinforcement.  She has embroidered facial features and the most beautiful emerald green eyes I've ever seen. Her facial structure is sculpted giving her a sweet little heart-shaped face with an itty-bitty chin, round chubby cheeks, deeper set eyes. Her cheeks, nose and various body parts are blushed with red beeswax.  She is a sitting doll with sewn joints that are made flexible for easy movement and changing of clothes.  But, with some posing she is able to stand on her own. She also has a belly button and a bum.

Aoife's luxurious locks are made of a fine wefted suri alpaca crocheted into a wig.  It is so lovely and fun to style into a number of coiffures. Just use your imagination and the possibilities are endless. Note: Her locks can be styled gently to your heart's content, but take heed and do not comb or brush that magnificent mane. Suri alpaca can get very static-ky if handled too much and it can felt if not handled gently and lightly.   

Aoife comes with two sets of clothes made fit only for a Princess.

Her wintry wear consists of a warm white cap and a shoulder wrap, both hand knit with brushed suri, a yarn blended of baby suri, merino wool and bamboo. They are extra fluffy and warm, much needed in the tundra. Her shoulder wrap is reversible. Her purple dress is made from 100% cotton and decorated at the hem by a beautiful embroidery motif of flowers. The dress opens fully on the back with two nickel-plated snap buttons. She comes wearing a pair of tiny undies made from 100% cotton. Her lacy legwarmers are hand knit with a fine 100% alpaca yarn. Her winter boots are made from 100% Belgian wool felt.

Aoife's princess wear consists of a hand tatted crown made with cotton floss and embellished with tiny gold beads and a gold flower adorning the front of the crown. As a princess she is cloaked with a beautiful golden brown lace capelet hand knit with a Japanese yarn blended of kid mohair and silk. Her dress is made of 100% cotton, hand embroidered at the front with a pretty doodle motif and strapped with a delicate 100% swiss cotton trim. The dress opens fully on the back with two nickel-plated snap buttons. Her second pair of boots are made with a 100% wool fabric and hand crocheted trim made of a kid mohair and silk blended yarn from Japan.

MOCHTA (pronounced Much-ta)

Mochta's name is derived from Irish gaelic and it means "great." Indeed, he is a great one! The making of Mochta was a magnificent learning process for me and I had a blast at it. Here's what this great creature is made of.

Mochta's enormous Megaloceros skin is made of 100% cotton linen and a 100% wool fabric. He is very firmly stuffed with 100% bio-wool made in the USA. His magnificent antlers are made with the same cotton linen used on his body and lined on the backside with 100% Belgian wool felt. It is detailed with a beautiful motif of pine needles drawn and hand embroidered by me. It is supported by a network of cloth covered floral wires and this allows the antlers to have the ability to be shaped and bent slightly. His ears are made of 100% cotton linen on one side and lined with 100% Belgian wool felt on the other side. His face is embroidered with cotton floss. His bottom side is graced with a sweet tail made of a 100% wool fabric and lined on the underside with a hand knitted piece made from a yarn blended of baby suri, merino and bamboo. His legs are supported internally with silver wire extended through the foot. The hoofs are wrapped securely with floral tape and a 100% cotton linen fabric. Because his legs are supported by the internal wires, they have the ability to be gently and slightly bent.

Mochta comes with a warm wrap around his neck and chest (the tundra is very cold, you know). The wrap is hand knit with a Japanese yarn blended of baby suri, merino wool and bamboo. The wrap is secured with a functional button wrapped with a 100% cotton crocheted cover. Mochta has reins made from crocheted chains of 100% cotton floss.

There we have it...an introduction and welcoming of Aoife and Mochta into the world...may they never go into extinction.

The Making of a Great Irish Elk - Adventures in the Art of Soft Sculptures

The love and intrigue I have for the art of soft sculptures grow more and more deep with each creation. It began with a simple banana leaf created for Varsa Nabhas at the beginning of this year and it continues today with the creation of the great Irish elk by the name of Mochta (pronounced Much-ta).

I love combining the art of doll making with the art of soft sculpturing. They are not so different, really. There are many facets around soft sculptures that draw me closer and closer with each creation. I love the process of making things from scratch. I love that I can find inspiration from an idea, doodle with the idea on paper and then go through the challenge of cutting a pattern from this and turning it into a three dimensional concept using a variety of mediums.

For me, the creative process often begins with something I've experienced in my personal life that I want to recreate with fibers. Varsa Nabhas and her banana leaf umbrella were inspired by my love for rain, my time spent living in Kenya and my time traveling in India.

Benja and her great big clock were stimulated by my love for gears as my background is in mechanical engineering and math and physics education. I also have an obsession with time, which leads me to marvel at one of the greatest modern time keepers in the history of humankind, the Big Ben clock at the Palace of Westminster in London...hence the inspiration behind the making of Benja's great big clock.

Cicindela and her firefly were spurred by my twice-charmed encounters with the magic of fireflies...once when I lived in the midwestern United States and another time during my two years of living in Kenya.

Piper and the beautiful hummingbird, Scout, were inspired by a customer's chance encounter with the amazing tiny birds that linger here in California and coincidentally are one of my favorite birds of all time. No matter how often I see them, whether they are buzzing high overhead or a few feet before the eyes, they never cease to stop me in my tracks and take my breathe away. This tiny, true-to-life-sized hummingbird is the most favorite of all the soft sculpture projects I've tinkered with.

Now, I introduce the latest exploration in my soft sculpture adventures...Mochta, the great Irish elk. In August of this year, while hiking the beautiful coast of California at Point Reyes National Seashore, we had the great luck of encountering a herd of Tule Elk, endemic only in California. We saw them early in the morning on our hike in, while they were feeding and battling in the distant hill behind a curtain of fog. I've lived in California for eight years and this was the first time for me to discover Tule Elk nearby. I will tell you that they are the most magnificent and majestic creatures to encounter. When they walk, they are graceful, enormous and profoundly enchanting with their chest and head held high and proud. When they are in battle, antlers locked and clicking with one another, they appear gentle and slow yet their head-to-head tug and dance is anything but gentle for the power behind each head lock is fierce, aggressive and much too intimidating to view except from a distance.

Since that hike, I have been yearning for the chance to bring an elk to life. So, when this current custom request came in turn and I was asked to make a doll with a companion reindeer, I could not help but bring forth my elk encounter as the inspiration for my making.

The chance to see these creatures in person was nothing short of entrancing, enchanting, beautiful, magical and majestic. And so, this moved me to bring to life a creation filled with all of this...enchantment, beauty, magic. But, I also wanted to take it one step further and make something even more majestic and mystical and that once was but can never be found again....and that is an extinct species of deer, called Megaloceros, otherwise known as the giant Irish elk. These enormous, prehistoric deer species were the largest of the deer ancestors and walked the earth so long ago. Can you imagine? 

And though, the vision and the end product of a soft sculpture creation will have the elements of enchantment, beauty and magic, the process of making them can be anything but this. As delightful, thrilling and challenging (which is an element that drives me) as it is to draft a new pattern, the work in progress can sometimes be frustrating, tedious and consumes a lot of time.

First, there must be something that moves me deeply. The encounter with the elk herd at Point Reyes was indeed the inspiration for this creation.

Then, there must be the vision of how this inspiration can be molded from fibers. So, there has to be a sketch, a picture in mind. I am not an artist and my sketches are limited to basic lines and curves. Vintage illustrations of nature and wildlife are a consistent source of information and inspiration for the drafting of my patterns. I use library books, old books or vintage artwork to gather ideas on how to draft proportions, stances and shapes.

From here I can begin to make the basic sketch for my patterns. Version 1 is always the most comical to me. They never come out the way I think or want them to come out. And it is only from drafting and then mocking up the pattern, meaning I cut the fabric and sew it together as a mock-up, can I truly realize that things are not what I intended.

It doesn't get better with Version 2 of the pattern. A second iteration of the pattern make-up can sometimes go very wrong....like this one. An idea on paper may seem very nice until it is pieced together in fiber and then....the realization that weight has a large bearing on the end result.

So, back to the drawing board for adjustments. By round #3, I begin to learn a few things and my mistakes make me a little bit more knowledgeable each time, which is the part that feels very rewarding.

Version 4 arrives after many hours, sometimes days (if I take a lot of breaks) of sketching, moving sketch lines, curving some, sharpening others, adding markings, making the pieces fit together, working asymmetrical pieces with symmetrical parts, lengthening and shortening parts of the pattern. And luckily, this time around, I am satisfied with Version 4. 

The fun part comes when the final pattern is done and the final fibers are to be chosen. I like to use the best and most natural materials I can get my hands on and these don't come cheap. So, when the time comes for planning out the fiber selection, I like to be prepared and efficient with material selection in order not to let any go to waste by first planning out notations on my sketch what textures, colors and materials will be needed. This is an extremely satisfying step in the making.

Alas, the time comes to bring together the tools and materials and fashion the creature.

But, the process doesn't end there. Having the right proportion in pattern-making is the key element that hones the aesthetics of the final product. In the case of this majestic Irish elk, I went a little far with his antlers the first time around and even the second time around...too large and too stuffed, making this Megaloceros not only odd looking but also bound to keel over from the weight on his head.

In Version 3 of the antlers, I am satisfied with the size as it is now proportioned more appropriately with the size of the elk. I have also reconsidered the design so that it is much lighter and created so that they can be shaped to mock the real form of the Irish elk's headgear. The detailed embroidery on the antlers are to represent the beauty and magic of the creature. Without the embroidery and further adornments, I think Mochta will come to life much less majestic and he must be given a life with nothing less than magnificence, nobility, and resplendence. 

But beauty, nobility and resplendence comes at a price, called time and detail. So, time and detail are put forth to add to the "majestic" nature of his highness' headdress....5 solid hours of hundreds of small embroidery stitches on two magnificent antlers supported by a network of wires sandwiched between linen and wool in order to provide structural integrity and the ability to be shaped and curved.

For me, each step of the creation involves an intentional decision making.

A lace capelet requires a decision on the appropriate lace pattern or color, weight and texture of yarn that will look dainty, elegant and majestic but not too over-powering, loud or ornate.

A crown that is proportioned correctly for the size of the doll...something involving the likeness of royalty and fairy tales but not too sparkly or gaudy.

A head cap and shoulder wrap that give the impression of extra warmth and coziness but still offers a rugged sense of nature and life in the woodlands.

A dress and pair of footwear fitting for a woodland princess would involve simple colors but adorned with beautiful hand embroidery, the most delicate vintage swiss cotton lace, neatly designed fine textured fabric and detailed hand crocheted trim.

As such is the way that I work, the final details of this Irish elk will also unfold with each step of the process involving an intentional decision making.

So, slowly, but surely, the Princess Aoife (pronounced Ee-fa) and her great giant elk, Mochta have manifested themselves. And soon, very soon they will be ready to greet the world. 

Selecting Colors and Textures....

....is one of my favorite parts of bringing a creation to life.

From the colors of a bird to the skin of a doll, each step is a conscious decision that determines what character will come into the world.

In doll skins, the choices range not only in tone but even within two similar tones, a decision can be made between the weave of knitted fabric. Doll skins commonly come in either a jersey knit or an interlock knit.

If you are a knitter, you are familiar with the right side and the wrong side of the garment. A jersey knit is characterized by this difference...the front (or right side) of the fabric is patterned with the knit stitch (the characteristic "V") and appears smooth while the back side (or wrong side) of the fabric is patterned with the purl stitch, giving the appearance of bumps on the surface.

Interlock knits reveal that both sides of the fabric are the same. Both sides show the knit stitch. Interlock is thicker and more stable than jersey, which means it doesn't stretch out of shape as easily and it doesn't curl at the edges, making it easier to manage.

The choice in doll skin fiber is really up to the maker's personal preference and up to the type of use for the fiber. Perhaps, on a doll, where firmness and structure must be held in the face or certain parts of the body, then an interlock knit may be used. If one needs more flexibility and give, such as that for stuffing pudgier bellies and bums, then perhaps a jersey knit may be used.

Next, we speak of hair fibers and colors. Here too, the options are endless...there is yarn (hand-spun, hand-dyed, natural), alpaca, mohair, Teeswater, Wenslydale, Tibetan lambskin, raw or processed, and on and on it goes. Since my intention here is not to give a lecture on hair fiber, but rather to explain the process in bringing a creation to life, I won't bore you too much with details about hair fiber. So, for practical purposes, I will simply mention a couple of options and speak here only in terms of the next doll to come to life.

For our upcoming darling, a 6" Wee-Bee Mini Elfcup, I am working with her mama to give her very long locks. In order to achieve this look, we will work with suri alpaca over mohair yarn or even mohair locks for suri alpaca is extra wispy and ultra soft and long. Then, there is the decision about raw vs. processed alpaca. Again, here it is left up to personal preference as you can see the aesthetic effects are different.

Next is the decision between shades of hair color....lighter vs. darker. Who is that you see coming into the world?

NOW, let's talk about fabric choices for a doll's clothing.....my most favorite bit of the process. Oh me! Oh my! When it comes to fabric selection for a doll's clothes, the options and choices are infinite. And as with all else, the end choices are really up to personal preference...do you love neutral, earth-toned colors...soft and quiet?

OR do you love deep, dark, rich and vibrant!?

But, it isn't always as simple as that. Knowing what you prefer is the easier part. Knowing how to balance is the tricky part (quite like life, don't you think?). Even if you have succeeded in choosing the colors of your liking, you now must balance the colors, textures and patterns.

Too many patterns involved and you make out with a very BUSY body.

Not quite enough of the boldness or the prints and you make out with something rather BORING.

In order to achieve balance, just the perfect touch of patterns, textures and colors are needed.

Then, even once you've achieved this part, there is the decision about which fiber to use...will you go with the mustard linen fabric (shown at the bottom of the stack) or the mustard corduroy fabric (shown at the top of the stack)?!! The one you choose will make the difference between a wintry look under warm corduroy and a summery look under cool linen. Or perhaps you are not trying to achieve either look but you just love one over the other.

You see, this can go on and on forever because after all that, there is now the business of picking out the pretty little things, such as trims....an entire beautiful beast of it's own. 

And even after the final decisions are made, you may find that the doll or critter to come to life is really a result of one person's whimsy vs. another person's. And no matter how much logic we try to define in the process, it really boils down to individual preferences and as such logic makes no sense at all.

With that, I leave you to muse about the next doll and hummingbird to come to life.

Pica

 I am 30 hours of handmade love.

Wood and fiber fill my heart and soul.

Nearly 1500 embroidery stitches cloak my being, head to tail, wingtip to wingtip. 

Nature's beauty and magic is what I portray.

Pica is my name.

He has come to life and he is called Pica (short for picaflora cometa, the Spanish word for Red-tailed comet). The Red-tailed comet is one of nearly 300 species of hummingbirds left in existence. The males are known for their spectacularly long, iridescent, golden-reddish tails. They can be found mostly in South America and thrive in the woodland environment as well as around human habitation.

Pica is a custom creation inspired by Scout, Scarlet Elfcup's first hummingbird creation

Pica's body is made from mud silk. Mud silk is created through an incredibly fascinating process and dates back hundreds of years. It is also a very eco-friendly and sustainable process. This article, "Dye for Two Tones: The Story of Sustainable Mud-coated Silk," provides a very good take on the history of mud silking and talks about it's sustainability and eco-friendliness. If you want to see beautiful photos of the process, this site has a small article and lots of pictures. I chose mud silk for it's tight knit and firmness but yet still thin and pliable qualities. I wanted to embroider the fabric without layering backing into the fabric, which would add too much bulk for such a tiny creation. So, mud silk was the best quality for embroidering tiny stitches on a tiny object. Pica is stuffed firmly with 100% carded wool.

On top of the mud silk, Pica's body is decorated with nearly 1000 stitches of embroidery thread. I wanted to mimic the true patterns on a hummingbird. Their feathers are patterned in neat rows of scallop shapes and each strand is painted with an iridescent glow that is ever changing and magnificently brilliant. So, in order to mimic as closely as possible (by human hands anyway) the pattern and colors, I used embroidery thread to produce the smallest stitches that my clumsy hands can muster up. Between nearly 25 different shades and colors of thread, I embroidered each scallop stitch for stitch and changed the color tones as I moved along, in order to give the illusion of iridescence. Unlike Scout's body, Pica's body has several different colors infused...red, green, and a dash of violet. In addition, Pica's body contains feathered details on the underside made with light/neutral toned embroidery thread.

I contemplated for a long time how to change up the wing design on Pica and make it different from that of Scout's wings. Scout's wings were made of a 100% iridescent silk. This time, I wanted to have a little bit more fun and get a little bit more creative. So, I played with several different ideas....all of which did not look quite right on Pica....until I finally decided on the one design that would take the most amount of time and detail....embroidered wings (a brilliant idea offered up by my better half, my husband). Pica's wings are hand embroidered with over 500 stitches that cover both wings, top and bottom.

Pica's tail is made from a 100% iridescent silk lined with two different sheer fabrics made of viscose rayon, machine and hand stitched and then carefully hand frayed.

Pica's beak is made from wood, colored with permanent black pen and attached with a tiny dab of industrial strength glue. Despite the industrial strength glue, his beak is still rather delicate because of it's miniscule scale and should be handled with the most gentle hands. In other words, Pica is not a toy and should not be handled by children. Rather, Pica will be happiest strung from a place where he is free to fly and buzz about in the air.

Pica measures approximately 6 inches (15 cm) long from beak to tail. And he stands about a half inch (1.2 cm) tall.

Pica can be hung as an ornament inside the home or on a Christmas tree.

A Red-tailed Comet

Currently in the making is the amazing Red-tailed Comet, yet another of over 300 species of hummingbirds. This little buddy is inspired by his recent friend, Mr. Scout of the Piper and Scout creation. 

Do you ever marvel at the infinite array of colors that are created by nature, particularly, the amazing vividness of those found in hummingbirds? It is incredible and awe-inspiring. For this particular little fellow, there will be a total of over 25 different colored embroidery threads infused into his body, stitch-by-stitch, approximately 1000 of them...all squeezed into an approximate one-square inch of bird.

And for his spectacularly long and elegant tail...the colors below.

As for his wings....the imagination spans!! More to come soon!