I’m slowly realizing how important it is to document process and keep a journal during these first years of teaching. We’re currently working on jewelry and the only ones breaking drill bits are boys. Too aggressive :)

some brightness


Today called for some brightness and I think these pieces did the trick. My kiddos cracked me up with their stop motion storyboards and BJ made me an awesome salad for dinner (I had five bowls). Today was pretty good.





I learned about Manimal after seeing Lena Corwin‘s photos and was hooked. Based in Brooklyn, I admire the way they combine colors, incorporate recycled scraps, and create everything by hand. I bought a scrap necklace, and it arrived yesterday. Even the packaging was so wel thought out and pretty. Although I’m trying to be extra conscious about my spending, it was definitely worth it.

Last image via manimal’s blog.



I’ve been thinking about what to get my wedding party, and I’ve had my eye on Odette for a while, especially this one for Trang. Another option was to make something with my new soldering torch, but, with school and other planning, I didn’t know if there would be enough time. Just my luck, Gilt Fuse featured Odette today and the sweet deals allowed me to pick up something for almost all of my girls.

Sometimes I wished I lived in New York so I could take classes like these.


Some Christmas books that I need to spend time with. I got BJ Painting Today, and he also recieved American Illustration 28 in the mail, so we’ll be set for awhile. At least that’s what we always say, but you know how it goes. :)

One of my favorite gifts was a jewelry torch kit from BJ. I loved the intro to jewelry course at RISD, and the size is perfect ’cause that’s all I used for my projects. I’m super excited to get started but also a little nervous—I hope I don’t blow something up!


I’m brainstorming ways to use all the beads and charms I’ve been collecting, like these skull pieces from International Beads & Novelty, a little place near Michigan Avenue in Chicago. They had an awesome vintage stock, but after 90 years, they closed their shop. Lucky for me and you, some of their goods can be found online here.

I don’t want to say I’m busy and tired because that’s all I ever feel like/complain about, but man, I am busy and tired. My grades are due tomorrow, final exams begin, and contests are approaching. I feel fortunate at my job, but arriving at 6:40am and not leaving until 6pm—plus taking additional work home—is hard. Today, one of my colleagues discussed the possibility of me taking over painting courses next year (something I would love to do), but that would mean 4 preps and that class is a combination of different levels. And don’t even get me started on how my class sizes increased from 25 to 35 this year. But I am lucky…

long may you run


When I first saw Lizzie Fortunato‘s 2008 collection, it was just before the wave of flowered necklaces hit. They were super romantic and you could tell each piece was made with love — not in the crafty cutesy sort of way, but invested with care  & meaning. Their 2009 collection, “Long May You Run”  is inspired by the American West, and the addition of metals and stones gives the collection a rebellious edge. Of course, regardless of my shopping ban, it’s still out of my price range, but they have collaborated with Urban Outfitters to create a more affordable line called Hope Marian.

A few pieces from their collaboration with Victoria Bartlett’s runway shows. Bottom one reminds me of my sister Tien and her 1,000 paper cranes.

04_vpl2 11_vpl2

All right, I’m going to be good now and straighten up my room. Lots of love to my RISD teachers — hope your year goes smoothly!

made to hold something super



Anthropologie, fall catalog. They always have beautiful photography, but sometimes it’s hard to remember an outfit in a sea of florals, color, jersey, etc. But I keep thinking about this outfit because of the Maille necklace. I also love the color combination of grey + lime.

If I wasn’t under a shopping ban, mine would probably hold some peppermints, chapstick, my driver’s license, and a strawberry air head xtreme roll (gotta try it if you haven’t!!!)

Jen and Jackie, if you’re reading this, I think I found a replacement for my cookie wristlet!

Elsa Mora


A beautiful, breathtaking paper cut necklace by multi media artist Elisa Mora. She is incredibly talented. I love her sculpture and jewelry work, but her sculptural paper cuts are by far my favorite  (some available here). Does this piece seem familiar? Here’s the inspiration behind her design.


Frida Khalo. Self Portrait with Monkeys. 1940