Thursday, February 25, 2010


Assignment: make a voodoo doll.
A project from college during Bush's first term.
All his funny faces...

polaroid love

A collection of old polaroids of Ashley and I. Scanned from my "visual history" book—part of my senior portfolio.
love ox

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

currently inspiring

Happy Birthday Kurt. You have inspired me everyday since I was 11. You were never a phase.

For years I bought Kurt lilies on his birthday—these Pamela Love for Zac Posen earrings would have been a comparable memento.

Peeling paint, a casket, a Flamenco dress and Courtney Love's ass? Where did this picture come from?

Steamy hotness on the moon. Far out.

Martha Stewart in 6" heels. Props lady.

New York City illustrated by Julia Rothman.

Grunge fashion feature from teen vogue circa 2010? Déjà vu 1993, minus the designer clothes and hot boyfriend. Grunge connected to the word fashion seems strange.

Romping through the field of baby's breath, you stop to pick up an acorn. Oh look! a little squirrel's inside... Am I tripping? Wendy Brandes must be.

Sisters- Hollister Hovey- keeping is clean and classic with this awesome front door.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Accordion Valentine

Here is the how-to for the accordion book I made Kristin for Valentine's Day:

Here are the book and cover templates. They are both in pdf form so you will need to open them in Illustrator to edit them.

Step 1
Come up with something original to say to your loved one.
There are 16 spots to fill so be imaginative and try to tell a story.

Step 2
Select some photos that you want in the book. You will need 14 images, as two of the spots on this side will be blank.

Step 3
Figure out what paper you want to print on. I printed on an ivory sheet of Canson art paper and it worked very nicely (even though it is not intended for inkjet printing). Note that whatever paper you use must be printable on both sides.

Step 4
I originally wanted the book to be bigger but ended up scaling it to 75% when printing. (I was very happy with the size: not too big, not too small). I have the luxury of printing on a large format inkjet printer at work so I was able to print on a 20" x 25" sheet. If you don't have this capability, you can always scale the file down to fit on an 11" x 17" card stock. I based the envelope template off the 75% scale so if you are able to print this big, I would. If not, you can scale the envelope to fit whatever size you end up scaling the book to.

Step 5
Print both sides of the book (at the desired scale). Cut, score and fold where indicated. Refer to the image of the unfolded book to see which way to fold each page. The blank left corner page on the image side gets cut off completely as this is the page that goes on the right inside cover (the opposite side should have the text you want on the inside cover). The other blank page on this side is what gets adhered to the left inside cover.

I highly recommend making mock-ups on cheap laser paper until you have it exactly right. Printing double sided with scores and fold can be a nightmare—and my templates should smooth the process out—but there will inevitably be kinks that you will have to work through.

Step 6
Choose a heavy cover stock for the cover.
Once you have printed, scored and folded, measure the book and scale the envelope template so that there will be about 1/8" around the edge of the paper once it is mounted to the cover.
Print the cover template and cut, score and fold where indicated.
Place the book inside to see if it fits nicely. There should be about an 1/8" around each side of the pages to be mounted in. Trim top and bottom evenly if too tall

Step 7
Stick the single page to the right side of the inside cover using twin-tack, spraymount or something similar. Do the same for the blank page of the accordion. Now you are almost done.

Step 8
If you want to do a cover with hardware like mine, you can punch a hole 3/8" from the tip of the cover flap and hammer a grommet in. You will need to have don the same with the hardware on the inside left cover before you mount the accordion in (should be placed 3/4" from the left hand side of the cover). (You can always go the easy route and place a dot of velcro under the tip of the cover flap (I have done this with other books and it works fine). Tie a string through the grommet and wrap around the hardware to close the book.

Step 9
Give to that special someone for any occasion.

Monday, February 15, 2010

3D memory keeping

Ashley and I have collected and given each other some strange things over the years. I once topped a present for him with a dried up frog I found stuck to the side of a pool while on a shoot upstate. In return, he carried a couple of lizards back from Florida after a visit to his mom's. We both appreciate creatures in all their forms and I thought for this Valentine's Day, I would clean up our small collection and showcase it a little better. I used a set of discontinued Martha Stewart shadow boxes so they could be properly displayed. Along with the dried frogs and lizards, I glued the best of all the insects we've acquired into a different box.

We also like the more traditional collecting of shells and stones, driftwood and coral fragments, sea glass and bits of worn rubbish that can be found along the beach. Two trips to the Bahamas have accumulated into a big box of ocean odds and ends. After organizing it all, I laid out a specimen box full of all the little things we collected from the sea. I love looking at it all in rows on the pale blue linen. There is so much white, bleached from the sun, yet hints of every color, some natural and some completely synthetic. The ombre of sea glass, the line of snail shells, the plastic army figurine, the ceramic A (for Ashley) that I happened to score washed up in the sand and the fuchsia color of coral that adheres to almost anything—all together under glass, closed in a box forever. The warm memories of a summer trip are safe.

Happy Valentine's Ash and 8th anniversary too.

8th Valentine's

I woke on Valentine's Day to the sweet smell of homemade muffins. Ashley was up before me, whipping up a batch of blueberry goodness with some fresh farmer's market buttermilk and jam. He found the most perfect occasion to test out the best blueberry muffin recipe. They were simply scrumcious!

He always surprises me with the most sincere and thoughtful gifts—ever since the very beginning, 8 years ago—and on V day it has followed the theme of being pink or red. He is skilled at making books and this year he made me a clever card that reads like a book but can be opened into a big page. The words he wrote made my eyes fill with tears but the funny pictures he took made me laugh. It was perfection and the gold heart lock dangling from the front was an unnecessary add-on to something that was so special itself—but I do really love it ;)

And what is Valentines without chocolate? A pretty box of Bond Street bonbons did the trick! oxox

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I left for work and it was snowing.

I left to go home and it was snowing.

I just heard the plow outside.
I love New York City when it snows.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


Ferido is a 2 part epoxy clay that is used in making jewelry, among other things. It is the perfect formula for encasing rhinestone crystals to create a pavé effect. Mix two equal parts together and you end up with a polymer clay-like medium that will adhere to almost anything and harden without any heat.
I first experimented with the material last week at the Crystallized workshops in Tucson. We were given the Ferido, an assortment of Swarovski fancy stones, and a blank ring base. After mixing the 2 parts of Ferido together, you have 70 minutes of working time. Without anytime to plan a design, everyone in the class just started sticking stones into the clay. Being obsessive, I needed a plan: so I decided to stick to all shades of blue. Here's how my very first Ferido piece turned out...

When I returned back home to NYC, I decided to play a little more with this cool material and the left over fancy stones I had. With the limited color and stone size selections I had, I decided to make a little Valentine tin to demonstrate the process and show a different application for Ferido.

If you want to try this amazing material, I recommend experimenting first with some inexpensive rhinestones. Start with a dime size worth of the 2 parts Ferido and form a coin and then apply a few rhinestones. You will get a sense for how the Ferido feels and works. You can practice smoothing it out and pressing in stones. You will see that as you push in the stones the clay expands and puffs up, just like any other clay would.

For my Valentine candy box, I used a glass covered round specimen tin. I taped a heart template to the inside cover of the tin.

Then I traced the heart shape with a red sharpie and colored it in so that on the inside of the lid, under the white Ferido, it would be a red heart. I mixed a medium amount of Ferido, formed the heart shape over the template and adhered it to the glass. Immediately, after smoothing it out, I started to insert the random mix of fancy stones I had in all the shades of pink. Here's how it turned out!

wire crocheting

I don't knit. I barely sew. I've only attempted traditional crocheting once, but last week I learned how to do the basic chain stitch with wire.

I started out with a spool of 26 gauge Parawire brand wire. I folded the wire leave about a 7 inch tail.
I looped the wire over a size"I" metal crochet hook and twisted the wire loosely around the hook, creating the first chain loop.

With the hook facing me, I brought the wire from the spool end around the back of the needle to the front.
Than hooked the wire and pulled it through the first loop.

So hook facing me, loop wire around back of needle to front...
...hook wire and pull through loop.

Keep repeating and you have a chain stitch!

The lovely Laura Timmons of Vintage Moon Creations lead the workshop I attended and taught us a couple tricks for crocheting wire with crystallized elements. I particularly liked how Laura incorporated the Swarovski crystal mesh into her designs. Typically used for apparel as trim, she experimented with cutting it up and using it like a bead. Who would have thought?!?
Our final piece consisted of 6 crocheted strands of wire, each with a different type of crystal crocheted within, all branded together. Very unique and lots of bling! Thanks Laura for the wonderful lesson!

Nuno Felting

Nuno felting is a technique developed in 1994 by the textile artists Polly Stirling and Sachiko Kotaka. By manipulating a small amount of wool fiber through a base fabric, they learned they could create a felted fabric with characteristics quite different from traditional felt. Nuno felt is thin, lightweight and drapeable. A similar process to wet wool felting, Nuno felting brings 2 different materials together to create a whole new textured fabric.
While I was in Tucson for the Crystallized workshops, one class that I attended was Nuno felting. Follow along with my how-to photos to make some of your own!

Step 1: start out with a base fabric (silk organza) a bit larger than the desired shape and size (the final product will shrink). Lay out a towel to keep your surface area dry and bubble wrap with bubbles face-up.

Step 2: place a thin layer of merino wool roving over the base fabric using a shingling method (overlapping each section slightly) Experiment with designs.

Step 3: place a piece of tulle over the entire piece.

Step 4: Sprinkle the piece with a water and olive oil soap mixture. We used empty plastic bottles with sprinkle holes in the cap for the water mixture. Use your hands to pat the mixture into the piece.

note: the piece should not be drenched with water, just slightly showered.

Monica came around with an exterminator spray container and misted each of our pieces. She uses this when she is making many pieces at once.

Step 5: with a styrofoam pool noodle cut down to size, loosely roll the piece up—the bubble wrap, base fabric, roving and tulle.

Step 6: secure the roll around the noodle—we tied it up with panty hose.

Step 7: roll on a flat surface, starting with both hands to elbows and back, about 100 times.

Step 8: unroll and lift up the tulle to check the piece. The roving should have started to connect to the base fabric.

Step 9: roll everything back up tightly this time and roll 100 times again.

Step 10: Repeat steps 8 & 9.

Step 11: after about 300 rolls, the piece should be almost completely connected to the silk organza. The final "felting" step is to lay the entire piece out, and with a more concentrated oil olive soap/ water mixture, sprinkle on and rub soap and fibers against the bubble wrap. The back side on the base fabric should begin to ripple when the roving is completely attached.

Step 12: when complete, it should resemble this texture. Delicately rinse the piece under running water and soak in a vinegar/water solution for 15 minutes.

Step 13: hang dry.

Monica and Pat, the wonderful Nuno felt instructors, wearing their handmade scarves!