She describes herself as a “slow crafter”, but Hiné Mizushima has managed to pack a lot of projects into the last few years. A native of Japan, Mizushima started out there as a painter before moving first to Europe, then to the US, before settling in Vancouver and starting to create adorable needle-felted creatures. Not the usual bears and mice, though – she prefers offbeat creatures like squid, slugs, daphnia and even ectoplasm, which she shows in galleries and sells in her etsy shop. I love the combination of humor, smarts and beautiful craft in pieces like this needle-felted squid knitting a squid. If you’re not in the market for a gorgeous woolen cephalopod, this Unnatural History Museum postcard set should fulfill your needs for sweet, quirky science on a budget. (Note the detail: each little “ectoplasm” carefully sealed in its own labeled test tube)
Mizushima recently began creating stop-motion animations using her felted creations, and has been commissioned to make several music videos for the ultimate geeky band, They Might Be Giants. I especially love the “Insect Hospital” video, where sick and injured bugs get fixed up with various computer parts. She has also been making super-short animated gifs, including this amazing self-extinguishing firebug.