Thursday, December 30, 2010


At my last craft fair at the Burren, I was exhibiting near a ceramicist and traded some earrings for a bud vase at the end of the day. It's so cute! I have in on my work desk right now, with a huge dendrobium orchid in it. It's nice to be able to have flowers at my desk, and the blue-green color is so pretty.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Silverware Ring

I decided to treat myself to an early Christmas present at the Harvard Square Holiday Crafts Fair one day after work last week. Last year my roommate got me a pair of spoon earrings from vendor Shine On, and I've been coveting their rings ever since, so when I ran into their stall I had to get one. It was hard to choose, but I found one with a lovely art nouveau design of a daffodil, which makes me think of spring.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Mini Crocheted Flower Earrings

I started making these little earrings at my last craft fair. I had been crocheting flowers out of embroidery floss and thought I'd try making them into earrings. The flowers sort of flop around, but I think that's part of what I like about them. I want to try making some with a whole array of flowers. They're really light, and unlike the twiggy earrings they're not likely to catch on anything.

I've been making a lot more things lately besides these, but as most of them are for Christmas presents you'll just have to wait til after the holiday to see them!

Monday, December 13, 2010

SLAM at the Burren

I took some photos at Saturday's craft fair in Davis Square. I had a whole lot of new things for sale!

Holiday map cards, crocheted flower earrings, twiggy earrings, crocheted flower pins...

My very Victorian earring/necklace display frame. I've been doing a lot of floral designs lately; the crocheted flower earrings are the most recent.

Hair accessories (clips and combs). Again, more florals!

I also had some brand new map posters, which were getting snapped up! I will be at SLAM again this coming Saturday (12-4pm) for my last holiday craft fair of the season, so please stop by if you're in the area.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Crocheted Flower Headbands

I've been on a bit of a knitting binge lately. First I made myself a truly enormous scarf, and then I made a hat for my friend (more on that one later). Recently I've been making decorative crocheted flowers. I originally intended to put them on knitted headbands/ear-warmers, but as they're a lot more fun and fast to make, I quickly had a lot of them. I made them by crocheting a circle and adding stitches to make a ruffled shape. I then crocheted embroidery floss in contrasting colors onto the edges to highlight the shape. I sewed buttons or beads into the center of the flowers, sewed them to pin backs or hairclips and attached them to headbands.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Massive Scarf

I found some wonderful yarn in New York when I was there at the end of September. Since then I have been working on a massive scarf project. I had fun working on it during an apple-picking trip at the beginning of October. With their deep reds and green-gold bloom, the apples were exactly the same color as the scarf!

The finished scarf is incredibly long and wide. Right now it's kind of excessively bulky, but I'm sure it will be really useful in the depths of winter!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Upcoming Shows

There are a lot of events coming up soon -- here is a complete list:

December 2nd-23rd, 2010

"13 Under 30" Group Exhibition
Thirteen emerging artists in the Boston area will be showing a wide variety of art. My contributions include an imaginary map drawing and a large pop-up of a city intersection. The exhibition is at the Rubin-Frankel Gallery of Boston University's Hillel Center, located at 213 Bay State Road in Boston. More information:

December 3, 5-7pm
"Small Works" Opening Reception
An exhibition of small works (under 12"x12") by artists of the Fort Point art community. I have contributed two imaginary maps, each with a different style. The exhibition is at Fort Point's gallery space "Art at 12", located at 12 Farnsworth Street in Boston. The exhibition will be up through December 31. More information:

December 4, 12-4pm AND December 11, 12-4pm
Saturday Local Artist Market
I will be showing lots of new jewelry, maps, holiday cards and more, and would love to have you stop by! There will be lots of other talented artists as well, with a wide variety of handmade products. The perfect opportunity for holiday shopping! As usual, the event is at the Burren in Davis Square, located at 247 Elm Street in Somerville. More information:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Landlocked Map

I've always started maps by making waterways of ink, but while flying out for Thanksgiving last week I tried inventing a completely land-locked city. It was inspired by an enormous and spontaneous map I did recently on a friend's wall-sized whiteboard. I started with five city centers and drew around them to create individual dense cities, then connected the cities more loosely. A lot of the drawing was done on planes, which also provided some inspiration.

(Wouldn't it be cool to do a nighttime map on black paper?)

Flying over midtown Manhattan, I was pretty touched by how much my maps owe to New York's geography. I don't usually think about it, but obviously growing up there does explain my innate conception of city aesthetics.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Green Twiggy Necklace

I have been experimenting with different colors using the twiggy design from my original plum-colored necklace. I really like the way the dark wire works with this selection of iridescent and matte green beads. I also made matching earrings, which I think came out especially well.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

13 Under 30

Two of my pieces were just accepted to the "13 Under 30" show of young artists at the Rubin-Frankel Gallery at BU. The opening reception is December 2 from 6-8pm, and the show will be up until December 23rd. Please come if you're available! I will be showing the "Russet Map" from a recent post as well as one pop-up from the installation at M55's "Core and Mantle" exhibition.

Friday, November 12, 2010

New Russet Map

I just finished a new map in a russet color. I thought about making it totally autumn-colored, but I've taken a break for now. It's likely that the trees will end up coming in in the color of early fall. Right now I'm just enjoying the pattern of the houses. I used regular watercolor instead of watercolor pencils for this one, so I started with the most concentrated mix of each color at each city center and diluted it gradually as I moved outwards. I think it helps make it more organic and less strictly colored-in. The piece is 12"x9" and is probably the most densely detailed map I've made so far (with the exception of the map I drew for this year's holiday cards -- more on that later!!)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Recent Press Mentions

I just found out about two articles mentioning my work. One is an interview with the curator of the "Core & Mantle" exhibition in New York, for which I did an installation of pop-up city blocks. The article is here:

The other is an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer reviewing the exhibition "Nowhere: Selections from the Hand Drawn Map Association", currently on view at the art gallery at Arcadia University outside Philadelphia. The article is here:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Plum Twig Necklace

Yesterday before work I decided to make myself a new necklace. I'd been wearing my wire twig earrings lately, and thought it would be interesting to make a necklace in that technique that would incorporate the singed fabric flowers as well. I used annealed wire, which is dark, with pearlescent purple beads and a few sparkly glass beads. I like the asymmetry and the very organic shapes. I think I might try to make one in fall colors as well, for the season. Maybe in yellow and green, which with the black "branches" would look like linden trees in autumn.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Paper Teapots: Map and Pop-up

I've been very busy at the gallery lately getting everything ready for the teapot exhibition that just opened. Artists working in all different media submitted teapot sculptures both functional and conceptual. Unfortunately, and sort of ironically, I was too busy with the administrative end to have much time for my own teapots, but I made small versions of my two ideas: a map teapot, and an urban pop-up teapot.

The city pop-up one was made in the same way as the pop-ups I recently had at M55, but instead of two blocks, there were about eight different sections, including a handle and a spout.

The map teapot was planned out like a globe, with an inserted spout and a lid on top. I started with the same ink blot technique as I would for a flat map, with a fork around where the spout would be inserted, and then drew around it, making sure that the roads would be continuous once the whole thing was sewed up.

 And here they are installed in the exhibition:

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Mini Watermelon

I'm going to take a quick break from posting about maps and pop-ups to share some photos of the most adorable watermelon that I picked last week from the vines on the porch. The vines have all shriveled, but two little watermelons were left. The littlest one was a little too squishy, but we ate the slightly bigger one, and it was delicious!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

"From Here to There" Map Collection

A few years ago, I submitted one of the very first imaginary maps I drew to a writer in Pennsylvania who was putting together a book of hand-drawn maps. I just found out that the book was published at the beginning of the month, and my map is on page 82. It's a really interesting collection of real, fictional, useful and speculative maps. It is available from Amazon here. Please check it out!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

South End Open Studios 2010

Today I waded through the slightly clammy weather to visit the South End. I started out at 46 Waltham, which I had missed last year due to some drama among the group I was going with. It's an interesting space, with winding hallways through a generally U-shaped building. I spent a decent amount of time just taking photos from studio windows.

I did learn some interesting things about paper casting from Felice Mendell. It's a technique I hadn't even considered. I've made paper from paper pulp before, but I hadn't thought of casting it in a mold. I briefly thought of doing something similar for my teapot project (more on that later), but it was interesting to see it in action.

I also saw some interesting smoke photography by Stephen Baumbach. It made me think of the smoke and ink projects I saw when I worked for Federico Muelas as an intern. 

After 46 Waltham I walked down Shawmut and ended up at Tremont Street. I really don't know the area very well, despite coming almost every month for First Fridays, and I'm surprised that I even managed to find anything. But I saw a big sign up at what turned out to be the Boston Center for the Arts, so I went in. I really love those old studio buildings. I love the high ceilings and creaky, uneven floors - and of course the views from the windows (in this case, from the bathroom):

I saw some beautiful work by Silvia López Chávez, and especially liked her color themes. There was a portrait of a girl with pigeons that I really enjoyed. There were an unusual number of depictions of pigeons today, actually. There was a photograph of one in 46 Waltham, and several drawings and paintings of pigeons at the BCA. I wonder if each artist actually has a different personal reason for choosing them, or if it's just a general trend. 

There was also some interesting work by Sophie Truong, who had a lot of textile work with teabags; her blurb in the booklet is "musings of a compulsive stitcher", which does sum it up. I loved the obsessive detail and the effect of masses of teabags. My eye was first caught by her soft sculptures hanging in the studio; I also liked some meandering vines of teabags that were in the corner of the room. 

I was getting to the end of the 4th floor and thinking of heading back, but I'm really glad that I decided to stop in to Laura Sapelly's studio before I left. She had some beautiful textile pieces on display, and we had a really long talk about sewing and about aesthetics in general. I've got some new ideas for my next attempt at embroidered maps, as well as a significant reading list! It always makes me realize how little I actually know about what I'm doing. But as I do it, I'll learn.