Friday, August 19, 2011

Omg, so much to catch up on

But first thing's first...apparently new PIXAR stamps came out today! And they are, of course, adorable! For those of us that still use a pen and paper to write to the people we like (although, unfortunately not as often as we'd aim to), these are a perfect to elicit a smile as soon as the mailbox is opened. (Please note the correct usage of elicit vs illicit.). :)

In other news, my second drawing class was fantastic; thanks, Will Bonner! Though it was a little painstaking, I finished this pastel drawing of wine glasses that represent my mother and her 6 sisters. I hope to put it up in my house somewhere. It took ~20 hours, which is way longer than I ever worked on any piece before, but I'm very pleased with the result.

Because it was such a great experience to hang out 8 hours a week with a small group of people, I made my teacher and the other regular students sketchbooks. This was a great exercise for me, since I hadn't done a Japanese stab binding in a couple years, and it allowed me to use some paper that was cut incorrectly (it was cut on a bias, so the corners don't meet up when folded).

I also made each book specifically for the person: Will's was a collage since he does abstract work and once mentioned to me that I had a dangerous way with color! The end pages were of a stone-like, but a modern pattern, because he often referenced how cave people made art...with whatever they had!

Robert's was steeped in natural images, since he said once how he liked to go on hikes, and he took some lovely pictures on them, from which he drew. He also tried something different each class, so the style of paper used on either side of the cover was very different, but still in keeping with the nature theme.

Shaun's book was all in blues, because during the whole class he only used one palette. He was very deliberate and patient (much more than myself), but his drawings had a kind of dreamlike quality. I wanted to make him something with Japanese papers (he's half, like me), but that was monochromatic and powerful, like his drawings.

I have other things to share soon, but I want the people who are receiving them to see them first. :)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Last week of first drawing series

Here's my last drawing for my class at Pratt. I loved it so much I'm taking another--8 hours/week of drawing! Very exciting. If you're looking for a good and relatively inexpensive class, I totally recommend taking from Will Bonner. He does a great job of encouraging, advising, and challenging his students as well as enhancing everyone's own unique creative expression.

I think this was some small girl's first communion dress. So sweet! It had a bunch of lovely lace, but there's only so much one can capture in 3 hrs.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Yeah, I bet you didn't think I'd post again so soon...and usually, you'd be right, you smarty pants, you. However, I was sneaky and kept some images secret...'cause it would have exposed a surprise for one of my biggest fans (which is totally reciprocated) mom!

So here are the images for the ridiculously late mother's day card My brother and I sent to my mom...

Yep, it's a pop up! So fun! And the flowers are a collage of cutouts from different kinds of Japanese paper I often use in my bookbinding. :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

So, so long

Well, according to my own blog, I haven 't posted in over 2 years! Shame on me! Not like I had a good reason or anything...when I look back at the December of 2008, I remember only being 6 months into a project that would eventually become the subject of my dissertation; I had just turned 30; and was pretty much freaking about the direction of my life in general.

So lots has happened in the meantime, unfortunately not much in the way of art or crafts, but I'm already on my way of changing that. The biggest, of course, is that I can now be accurrately introduced to people as Dr. Pang, which is weird 'cause that's also my mother and uncle's name. Guess it must run in the family. So yeah, 7.25 years later I can finally say I'm "not that kind of doctor", a statement that is officially declared on a tshirt of mine (thanks, Dad!).

So let's just say that I am currently "taking some time off," which could be, rather accurately, interpreted as an undefined period of unemployment...but so far I'm loving it. I was walking down the street to the local coffeeshop (shout out to Cloud City), and had a fleeting thought of "Gee, is this what well-rested feels like?" In any case, while I had a lovely time in HI for two weeks, partly catching up with family, partly playing tourist, I also have punctuated this period of my life by taking a Drawing Fundamentals class at Pratt Fine Arts Center. I've been loving it. So much so that I convinced my parents/benefactors to patron another session where I will be drawing 2x a week, 4 hrs per session. I am SO excited. In any case, I thought that as my first entry back, I should post my drawings from class. :)

Week 1

Week 2- first time ever trying to draw reflections. My teacher Will Bonner (who I like very much) keeps saying just draw what you see. He also was like, where's that reflection in the wine bottle? I told him that since I didn't draw the bottle behind it, I didn't put it in. He was like put it in, so that's why there's a ghost bottle behind the wine bottle. A riveting story, I know.

Week 3--I actually didn't originally put in the reflection of the pear in the pitcher 'cause I didn't know what it was. Once it was pointed out to me that it was the pear, I was like, oh, yeah, it may make more sense if I put that in.

Week 4 and 5--Will decided that a group us should work on the same drawing for two sessions. So yeah, this is a sum total of 6 hours of me looking at the same thing...and the damn thing still isn't finished...mostly the bottom third or so. The top part is about as good as I could make it. This is the first time I've ever tried to draw fabric. Will came around to me and was like, you should just draw what you see, and I was like, I can't get the background quite right. And he was like, oh, so you mean it's hard and don't want to put in the work, huh? ;) Yeah, so I like the tough love. Turns out there aren't a lot of "tricks," mostly it's just looking at the same thing over and over trying to figure out what you missed. In that way, it's a lot like science. :)

See you real soon! (yeah, I know, you'll believe it when you see it.)

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Happy Holidays

OK, so clearly I've been neglecting the blog...but it's not like I haven't been crafting at all. So let's get to business. :)

So I've been experimenting with my gocco, which I totally love and have been trying to stock up on supplies. Word is that no more presses will be sent to the US and the supply market may be drying up by the end of the year. Luckily, I have about 150 screens and bulbs to get me through my various projects. Here's my latest...of course they were printed like a month ago and I haven't sent them out yet. Isn't that just the way with holiday cards? But they turned out well, I think. Drawn with the carbon Riso pen, I thought this not only captured the holiday spirit, but I tried to incorporate my own little science-y take on things.

So this next one is probably my favorite card that I've made in a long time. I was doodling during another boring science talk (I tend to go to a lot of these) and happened to sketch a picture of Washington State. Which then had to have a happy face, 'cause that's just how things go. And "voila!" The Happy Washington card was born. What's great about gocco, is that you can print multiple colors at once, so this was done with only one screen and 3 different inks. I haven't tried to register anything yet (registering is when you use multiple screens and have to match them up). In any case, I was more than pleased with how this turned out...also drawn with Riso pen and printed on notecards from Target.

Ooooh, yay! So for my birthday. In celebration of my 30th (!) birthday, I had a prom-themed dance party. In the age of the evite, I think people really appreciated getting a real invitation in their mailboxes. We dressed up and danced to 80s and 90's music and it was awesome.

OK, so a change of subject, but still fun! I've been experimenting with making pop-ups. :) 'Cause, you know, I have to try anything that has to do with paper. This one turned out particularly well...people at work were brainstorming about a tuberculosis pop-up book...we'll see. I'd love to do that instead of my dissertation, but somehow I doubt that my committee will go for that.

Back to basics...books! These last few picture are of books that were custom made for my Auntie Grace to give to her friends. They measure 9 x 11 with 20 pages of cardstock. Instead of using solid colors on the inside, I used fancy, printed paper on the inside. I'm partial to using non-patterned paper on the inside, especially if the paper on the outside is very ordered.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Today's post is going to encompass a myriad of things, so try and keep up! :)

First up, one of my newer books. It's a 6.5" x 8" little number that's covered in paper that's rich in color (the print may look familiar as I used a much lighter blue "wave" paper for a different project). I'm not sure if you can see it in the picture, but the waves are outlined in gold. (I mean, I don't think it's like valuable or anything, so I wouldn't try and take it out of the paper, but it is very pretty nonetheless.) The closer view is of the binding, which is coptic and I'm becoming very fond of the 3 x 3 configuration with the knots.

Ooooh, so I'm so excited to announce the major announcement of this post: my dad's photos are hanging up at the Madison Park Bakery (, which is owned by my Auntie Karen and my Uncle Terry. It looks pretty spiffy, if I do say so myself! We bought the frames from and they ship the frames to you disassembled and then you reassemble them (or I guess assemble them, since they weren't assembled in the first place). I really like to do that kind of stuff and so my dad sent his photos and their frames to me and I put them together over a couple of nights (note: when matting a picture, it's good to look at the size of each side and put the bottom --the thicker part of the mat--at the bottom, you know, instead of at the top). But if anyone needs help putting the frames/mats together, let me know. The nice thing about American Frame is that if you buy a frame, they'll cut a mat for free, which is pretty awesome. Then you don't have to do all the measuring yourself. I have a mat cutter at home, so I'm practicing, but for large works, it's just easier to get the frame people to do it.

So the bakery is at 4214 East Madison Street in Seattle and is super cute (especially now) and has super yummy treats in it--the donuts are exceptional (whatever Top Pot). You should also take a look at the website ( because not only did I draw the little pastry characters, but my brother designed and put up the website. So it's pretty awesome. And it was all done in like the draw program or something like that, which is even more crazy.

So 8 different photos are displayed and it takes up the whole wall that I couldn't get it all in the picture. There's one of a ladybug on a cactus, stars on a dirt road, crabs at the market, multicolored trunks, two that highlight the space needle and one panoramic cityscape of Seattle. It was super fun to put them all up on the wall and know that people were going to experience the joy of seeing my dad's photos. If you want to see more, there's a link on the left of my blog. In these pictures, it's difficult to see the images, but I'll do something about that when I get home...

And the last bit of news is that I'm going to be hanging out with my new "nephew" (he's the son of my best friend Renee from high school!) in San Antonio. His name is Eli and here's a picture of me and him when Renee, Maria (Eli's abuelita) and Eli came to visit Seattle a couple of weeks ago. So I've heard he's grown quite a bit, but I'm excited to see for myself.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall is upon us

So I'm not exactly sure where summer went, but here in Seattle, it is decidedly autumn. From a light drizzle to sheets of rain, we've seen the whole spectrum over the last week. In addition, the blustery wind whips my hair around like I've taken a ride in a convertible with the top down. :)

In any case, here are a few of my new books that were made with fall colors.

The first is a book I made for my Auntie Cheryl for her birthday. I thought of all the paper that I had the large flowers on the green background was the most fitting for this particular relative. She is both vibrant, yet feminine which is reflected in this particular book. It is a cover bound book with green mohair book cloth from Talas (like all of my lovely book cloth) and the inside pages are a bright white 20lb text. I can't remember how many pages it was...:\ But I am pretty sure that the end pages were a bright yellow, also an aspect of my Auntie Cheryl.

So, like many of my purchases (much to the chagrin of my mother), this particular paper with goldfish on it was bought on a whim. And though I really like this paper that I got from fancy paper store de Medici Ming, I brought it home and saw that it was made by the conglomerate Paper Source. But how can you say no to bright goldfish? So I am resigned to really enjoy this paper (even if it is mass produced). This one was really to make for fun. I used a french knot for the binding in red, which I thought went particularly well with the gold--kind of Chinese color pair, I guess. It has 80 lb text on the inside and has red endpages. I'm currently thinking I might use this goldfish paper as endpages for a book with waves on the outside. :)

This last one is clearly fall-inspired, although I actually made it in very late August, as it dons a cover of gold and orange leaves that look like they may crunch if you hold the book too tight. This one was made to take with me to Bumbershoot, the annual music and arts festival in Seattle during Labor Day weekend. This books is 6 x 6 and filled with sketchbook pages because I knew that I'd be trying to draw a bit here and there while at the festival. It was bound using coptic binding, which I think is particularly fetching in this 3 x 3 configuration.

FYI, Bumbershoot is known for the music that's played there (this year Beck, Stone Temple Pilots, and Death Cab for Cutie headlined each of the days), but over the years I've been more and more impressed with the variety and quality of the other arts that are presented. This year I saw a panel of comic book artists (Adrian Tomine and the guy who did Ghost World), another panel of writers (Joshua Ferris who wrote How We Came to the End, and Chip Kidd--a renown graphic artist who specializes in book jackets--Jurassic Park or David Sedaris' Naked), a moving show of photographs (which is supposed to mean a show of photographs that was moving emotionally, not like moving pictures which I think are classified as movies), a poster show showcasing artists from Seattle and Tehran (the first of it's kind--last year it was Seattle and Havana), and of course Flatstock--one of the semi-annual conferences for poster artists (the other's at SXSW). Flatstock is one of my favorite happenings all year. For the last 4 years I've brought $100 in cash (to limit my purchases, otherwise I might go a little crazy) and taken home 4ish posters that really caught my fancy. When I get the chance, I'll take the posters out and photograph them so you can see too. They're pretty awesome. My two favorite poster artists in particular are Jay Ryan of Bird Machine ( and Jason Munn of the Small Stakes ( I've been following them for about 4 years and they are fantastic in their own right. The each have their very distinctive styles and I encourage you to look at their work--totally worth another minute of your day.