Parading the walls in dreamy pastels and sugared candy colors: Welcome to the whimsical world of Stitch of Whimsy, created by the very talented Sara Leigh. A South Florida-based artist, seamstress, and self-proclaimed huntress, Leigh specializes in what she calls “candy-coated faux taxidermy” – delectable, custom-made delights that are inspired by her own enchantment in all things mythical and magical.
Spanning the entire enchanted forest, her and her crew create these special custom-made creations with “lots of love and during odd hours of the night,” says Leigh, and in each piece can once discover a unique sparkle of personality; be it mischievousness in the Sugar Panda, playfulness in the Candy Lamb, or curiosity in the Candied Sugar Fawn, they are all oddly adorable and exude some serious Candyland vibes. It also stirs up memories of my childhood imagination, which ran wild with snow princesses’, Strawberry Shortcake, gumdrops and Rainbow Brite. It is that eternal childhood wonder, awe, and eager curiosity that Stitch in Whimsy whirls up again . They also carry an uncanny resemblance to the highly-underrated plush series, Yum Yums – a Hallmark collection briefly lived during the 1980’s, which also spun out sugary plush creatures with not only candies decorating their bellies, ears and feet, but even smelt of the yummy treats themselves. (I’m not going to lie, I still own a few from my childhood, and upon seeing the mark-up prices on eBay, I’m glad I did!)
But back to Sara Leigh, whose name alone already stirs my scent memory of baked goods and creamy cakes; Leigh admits that her deep love of the stars, the forest and its many unusual creatures – tiny gnomes, fantastical elves, fluttering fairies – is an influence and inspiration in her work, and she puts an incredible amount of delicacy and care into each and every one of her mixed media sculptures, which she calls her ‘Whimsies’. Ultimately, she says her mission for Stitch of Whimsy is to “spark something wild and free in the imaginations and the conversations of children and adults alike.” As a grown adult who is already fawning over these fantasy creatures, I would no doubt, have to concur.
All photos courtesy of Kris Starry of Starry Night Photography.