Friday, September 5, 2008

you really like me!

Thank you internet! My latest instructable is featured, popular and in the weekend builder. I'm so proud.

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I've just published another instructable. You can take a look here.

It documents a project I did as a present for Erik and Marty.


Thursday, August 28, 2008


My friend's boyfriend's sister was in the city this summer, interning at an marketing firm. Her team was pitching a redesign of Ocean Spray's new energy drink/juice Cranergy. She needed some help developing a design in Illustrator, and my Wacom tablet was just the thing. We also decided to visualize the design in 3D, something I do all day at work anyway. I managed to model the bottle from some eyeballed circles lofted together and slightly filleted. I then mapped the wrapper onto the middle portion and, presto, a pretty decent looking rendering. And the whole thing only took about ten minutes. Technology is marvelous.

return to acrylic

One of my friends, who has, as far as I know, never crafted in his life, imed me a month and a half ago with a deep and overwhelming urge to paint a bear on a 3' by 4' canvas. In oil. After explaining to him about the time, effort, skill, and money involved in such a project, we settled for two small canvases in monochrome acrylic. Thankfully a medium that I've had experience with, albeit, not for many years. The results were...not terrible. He painted a polar bear modeled from a photograph (a very good first try) and I painted my impression of a single ostrich feather. While not up to my old standards, I don't think it turned out too bad.

yet more zipper, i mean bags

My sewing machine has seen a decent amount of action in the past half year. It's recently made a pencil skirt from some old jeans and a set of five pillows (two with flanges and two bolsters).

But, of course, its mostly been used for zipper bags. I departed from my curvilinear direction with my current bag. It's bottom is a Cheerios box cut into a rhombus sandwiched between two layers of felt. Its sides open completely to help me find phone when it gets lost. There are two pockets sewn into the top seam that just fit my phone and iPod.

I also made a new purse for my mother. Her black and red felt bag has been pilling for awhile now and driving my father nuts. So, new bag. I've been scared to try to force leather through my very basic sewing machine, but, while at Mood getting pillow fabric with my friend for her apartment, I discovered their section of light weight upholstery ultra-swede. I found a nice light gray and combined it with bright red zippers for a aummery bag. I also, for the first time, messed up while cutting the fabric. One side of the bag turned out much shorter than the other, making the zipper misalign. To fix this, I had to cut a deep curve into the short side of the bag (making the edge longer). And thus my first asymmetrical bag was born. I'm pretty happy with its final shape, and it's given my motivation to come up with a systematic way of producing asymmetric (but equal length) curves. The zippered pockets are an actually planned improvement.

I just made and sent out a gift package to (finally) thank Erik and Marty for, well, being them. Included in the box were these two belt-bags, specially sized to fit small electronics. Just thread a belt through the two slots and you're all set.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

davita dialysis

My family vacation this summer was a five day trip to Naples, Florida in towards the beginning of June. We stayed in a very nice hotel. We went kayaking in the everglades. I drank every night at dinner. My sister and I had mud wraps at spa.


I saw a building devoted entirely to dialysis. Just check out that sign.

Oh, and here are some real vacation pics. Oh, the glories of nature!

My father looking stalwart.

My sister looking outdoorsy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I visited my family for the 4th of July. A couple of friends (who are a couple, and one of whom comes from hometown) were going back so I hitched a ride. While at home, I reconnected with my childhood stuffed animal-lizard, Bodacious. A little backstory here is probably necessary.

The Tale of Bodacious

In first grade, and every grade thereafter, my school ran a D.A.R.E. anti-drug program for a couple months in the fall. This particular year, we had a cute little frog mascot/puppet. The police officer who came in every week would have conversations and do role playing with it. That must have been really embarrassing for him, but we all loved the frog. Then, one day, the program was over and the frog went away. We were heartbroken. So I, in a fit of I-don't-know-what, volunteered my mother to make us a new frog.

My mother, who in addition to being a fine seamstress is also a wonderful person, agreed to make the frog. However, the fabric store did not agree to actually carry patterns of frogs. They did have a pattern for a lizard, so a lizard I was going to get. Along with my childhood babysitter and "adopted" grandmother, my mother sewed and painstakingly assembled my lizard out of stretchy gold lame (my favorite fabric at the time). It took them half an hour to turn each toe.

And thus Bodacious was born. Named for the old fashion Southern slang term and not the word (don't ask me why I knew about this at six, living in Pennsylvania), she was my friend and companion for many years and has mellowed to a faded copper color.

Anyway, during my stay at home I decided to bring Bodacious back to NYC with me. This gave my mother ideas, and, shortly after we all got back from our Florida vacation, she mailed me the original pattern. So, of course, I made a new lizard.

This one's name is Audacious (yes, cheesy, but it goes with the -acious theme). She's constructed from a layer of knit lace over top of raw muslin. I decided to use wooden balls for eyes as one of Bodacious' plastic ones has gotten gouged. Pics below:

And I discovered Find Edges. Finally, a Photoshop filter I don't immediately hate.

heels and paper robots

My bank account eventually recovered from its trip to Brooklyn, and I've been putting it to use buying some cool stuff in Manhattan too.

Chinese Laundry shoes - Yes, I know, Chinese Laundry isn't the most amazing brand ever. But I've always wanted a pair, and just never actually bought one. Until my sister came to visit me and we went to DSW. Ah, peer pressure. Or sibling pressure anyway.

Japanese Paper-Tube Robot - This little guy came in the form of several thin, multi-colored paper tubes that I cut down and assembled by following the pictographic instructions. My mantis-bot turned out super cute and fully posable.

Stack of Translucent Drawers + Set of Wheels - Which I hacked together with the power of an exacto knife, my hot glue gun and some elbow-grease. Now I've got plenty of moveable space to put my surplus electronic bits and supplies. This has either helped improve/exacerbated my storage situation. In any case, it matches my tiny makeup drawers perfectly. And it's a good place to stick post-its.

But the pièce de résistance of my recent purchases is definitely my brand new United Nude Eamz shoes. They even have their own instructable. And the brand was started by Rem Koolhaus. Now that's my kind of shoe.

renegade craft fair

Sorry, no clever title for this one. I think "renegade" is a cool enough name for a craft fair all by itself.

The renegade craft fair was held in Brooklyn a couple months ago. It's a really neat gathering of artists and small vendors selling some awesome stuff. Some of which I bought. See below:

The Weekend Store
- Jewelry from old mechanical objects, like typewriters and analog watches.

Book Journals
- Notebooks made from the covers, and a few of the pages, of old books. I found a records management textbook for myself and an old 5th edition webster's for my sister. She also has a (whole) copy of the dictionary that she "inherited" from my mother. But that's another story.

The Intuitive Gardener - Interesting hand painted jewelry.

And, finally....

Compai - designers of really cool remixed clothing. I bought this great off white vest-ish thing. I'll have to find a pic of it on.

From them I found out about Burdastyle. I still have yet to actually sew one of their patterns, but I have plans.

check out these curves

I did a bunch of fun demonstrations at work exploring curved versions of the folded structures I modeled for Erik and Marty Demaine back at MIT. Below is duh! dun! my very first YouTube video, explaining how the forms are folded:

And a couple photos:

death of a plant

I suppose I'll start by breaking the bad news. My plant died. I think it may have died almost immediately after I bought it, and it just took me awhile to notice since it dried in a very life-like pose. In my defense, there really isn't any direct sunlight in my room. My window does look out on to a tiny air shaft.

RIP Spiky Plant. I never could remember the name the guy at the flower shop told me was yours.


Yikes. So it seems I haven't posted since I was 21. What follows (or, actually precedes, if you're viewing this post after the others are up) is my attempt at documenting the things I have made/found/done/bought over the past six months. My memory may not be spectacular but hopefully my iPhoto library will fill in the gaps.

Half a year is quite a while. Maybe this will turn into documentation week instead of documentation day. I'll do my best.

Oh, and thank you, if you're a person who still checks my blog after such a long absence. I really appreciate your constancy. Or, at least, the fact that you added me to your rss reader.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

yea, it is risen

My website lives! You can all once again visit my behemoth of a flash portfolio. It's developed a couple glitches since it was last deployed, but hopefully I'll have them worked out soon. I even bought my own domain name, I actually have a web address of a reasonable length. I'm becoming such an adult.

This weekend's journeys into the internet yielded some interesting finds. I discovered netlabels (actually *free* and downloadable creative commons music). My favorites so far are from my mean magpie. Have a listen. Hurrah for lo-fi experimental. Also in the land of free is the film Four Eyed Monsters. I know this is old news, but it's a good movie so watch it (again) anyway.

They're now working on a net neutrality documentary. I hope they don't get trampled by horses or stoned to death by poker chips.

And here's a shout out to my friend who works on this very cool blog. Because you know being endorsed by me means you've made it.

Oh. And my plant is still alive.

Monday, February 18, 2008

plant watch, day 1

I have decided to take responsibility of a living thing. Daring, I know, but I'm starting slowly, with a plant. Not just any plant, of course, but an aerial: one of those pretty parasitic things that sit on branches and slowly suck the life out of trees. I'm hoping its somewhat evil nature will help it last a little longer in my care than its more considerate brethren. I've been meaning to buy myself flowers for about a month now, and, while I could have just dried the flowers and kept them in a vase, buying an actual plant attached to some dirt would be a better solution.

I'll try to keep you updated on its health. Theoretically, it just needs to be misted twice a week. I don't have a mister so I'm hoping flicking water at it will work just as well. I'm sure this is going to work out great.

On a side note, why do I always have to type in the garbled prove-you're-not-a-computer numbers twice? I can't be doing it wrong every first try. Blogger needs to fix itself.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

round food is the devil

I ate sooooooooooooooo much today. And almost all of it was round. I have bunches of cute zoloft rocks in my tummy. I need to get this under control. But, oh, the deliciousness of Asian junk food. I realized, yesterday, that as I live in NY, there just might be some boba lying about the place somewhere. So, as I mentioned in my last post, I asked yelp and, lo, it provided me with several bobalicious options in my vicinity. I chose TKettle which, I was happy to find, used actual tea and a good amount of tapioca, although maybe a bit too much ice. That was to be lunch.

And it might have stopped there, and been perfectly fine, if not for the fact that a little bit of Asian junk food lead me to think about more Asian junk food. So, after trekking back to my apartment, asking yelp about Asian convenience stores, discovering there was one half a block from the boba place (oh, that I had an iPhone) and returning to 3rd Ave, I entered M2M, possibly the most dangerous food emporium I have ever set foot in. They had bao. Lots of bao. Pork bao and chicken bao and veggie bao and red bean bao. And a tiny, cute microwaveable steamer for $7. No more waiting 10 mins for my buns to steam. Oh no. Now I can nuke them in under 2.

Of course, M2M is a whole store and offers non-bao related yumminess. Like seaweed salad for less than $4 (my one concession to non-roundness today) and all those delicious Japanese candies. Sadly, they do not have the yogurt flavored starburst-esque chewy things I love so much. I wonder if I'll ever see them again. *tear*

I brought this feast home and slowly consumed 7 bao (ok, at least they were the tiny kind) the seaweed salad, my enormous boba, and some of the lovely spherical truffles I got from Vosges for Valentine's Day. Which has lead to my current state of watching Korean romantic comedies while patting my bloated stomach. Oh, truly, I live a life of glamour.

On a more positive note, I've finally found a grocery store I actually want to shop at that contains foods I'll actual cook. Ahem. Well, microwave. And tomorrow's a holiday so there's still a chance to redeem this weekend.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

ode to brunch

Ok, not an actual ode. I'm not so good at poetry. But brunch is definitely my new favorite activity. Today's was shrimp and avocado eggs benedict over yuca hash browns with a mimosa. Oh so yummy. And much cheaper than dinner. There are quite a few advantages to living in the East Village but so far my favorite has to be all the restaurants that serve brunch. And the fact that they all have yelp reviews. Yelp really is amazingly useful for finding things. It's found me thai food, eggs benedict, zippers, yarn, and boba so far. I really should contribute some reviews to it myself. I'm really bad at actually participating in the things I use. But it's something I really, as a responsible user of the internet, should too. I should probably update my blog regularly too.

Since this post seems to be devolving into randomness, I'll add that I went to Century 21 again today (oh, the designer cheapness, downfall of my wallet) and got some amazing green/black/tan leather boots for $12.99. You should all go to Century 21 and buy things. Even if you don't live in NY. Just get on a plane. You'll make up for it with the money you save shopping there. Just take a look at their reciepts. It lists all the items you've bought and then, on the bottom in big numbers, the amount of money you've saved. According to my receipt, I saved $121.01 today. It's too bad I already threw it out. I think I should start saving them and make some sort of art piece. I think they say something interesting and complex about the American system of consumption. Hehe.

treasures from the internet

Here's a quick review of the stuff I've dug up from bowels of google in the recent past:

Homeland Security Advisory Tower - Oh, Tom Ridge, I'm embarrassed you were my state's governor. At least some awesome public art got made out of it.

We Make Money Not Art - Yeah, I know I should have been reading this for years now. But I've finally got it bookmarked now.

Pre-Fab at MoMA
- That friction-fit house project of Larry's just keeps going and going....I'll be there as soon as it opens.

PC Album Art Screen Saver - Now all you PC users can enjoy staring at your album art slowly flip over for hours and hours

Mandolux Wallpaper
- This is some really excellent photography in nearly every resolution to fit even the oddest of desktops.

The Farnsworth Invention
- A really good play which, sadly, has very little to do with reality. Oh well. Go guy from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia. + Safari - Finally, a button for posting to I can finally stop using Firefox.

Lego! - Makes me wish I'd brought my collection with when I moved.

NYC Subway for Google Earth
- Makes Google Earth useful for those of us who enjoy public transportation.

- A super convenient way to find an apartment.

Subtle Safety - I bet this thing would be great for opening packages.

craft day

I've managed to con my roommates into making a new project with me each weekend. It started with one of them asking me to teach him how to sew. So, out I came with my sewing machine and we made a lovely red maloo knockoff laptop sleeve. It's way cooler than the one I made myself a few months ago. Alas, I may actually have more laptop cases than purses. I just can't justify making myself another. We got to go to Mood Fabrics (of Project Runway fame) to buy supplies. Man, oh, man could I spend my whole paycheck there.

Since I learned to knit last December (although not purl) our next project was to make this really cool scarf thingy. I just finished mine today. Apologies for the clashing shirt.

I'm pushing for some modular origami next.

i'm a winner!

No, really, I am. My zipper bag instructable won first prize in the Homemade for the Holidays contest. So congrats to myself. I've been making lots of these things and, obviously, giving them away as presents. Well, most of them. I may have kept three for myself. You can take a look at them on my instructables page or just scroll on down.