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.