Traveling textile artist Penny Dowdell has taken her embroidery art to new heights by working on the go. Originally from the UK, she now lives in Taiwan, where she balances teaching English with her embroidery practice. A few months ago, Dowdell posted one of her completed commissions on her Instagram, which was inspired by the animated Disney film Up, and it quickly garnered thousands of likes and comments. This sparked a series called Balloon Houses where charming dwellings soar through the sky.
To create these three-dimensional pieces, the artist combines different types of media. First, she paints the sky a smooth gradient with watercolor and adds whispy acrylic clouds on top. Then, Dowdell renders the traditional house with a number of meticulous stitches and colored thread to capture its many architectural details. Afterward, she adds the most eye-catching and whimsical part of the design—the balloons. For this, Dowdell uses numerous pom-poms in a rainbow of colors that are linked to the house by several strings of white thread. This perfect fusion of traditional and unconventional materials gives these pieces a delightful sense of wonder and fun. In addition, Dowdell offers a customization option on her website, so clients can choose the color scheme of the sky, balloons, and have the option to add twinkling beaded stars.