Monday, December 13, 2010

Samantha Farrell at Maverick Swing poster

A poster for one of my other latest projects, Maverick Swing, a swing and blues dance in East Boston.

I wanted the December poster to capitalize on singer Samantha Farrell's vibrant personality and look, which made me think of the bohemian Art Noveau style. (An early concept for this poster was based on a more psychedelic, Haight Ashbury Jimi Hendrix poster, but oddly enough I decided against that because it included a starburst in the background, and suddenly starbursts are appearing on a ton of dance flyers!) So I went in a more old school Art Noveau direction and designed this to emulate an Alphonse Mucha poster. The art is hand-drawn, scanned, then colored and manipulated using Photoshop.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Bobby and Kate Balboa Dance Workshop flyer


So, I'm a big fan of a blog called Swungover, which I've been reading for months, and halfway through creating this flyer for Boston Balboa's workshops next March with Bobby White and Kate Hedin, I figured out it's Bobby who writes the blog! (Geek out... geek out...) Now I'm really looking forward to the workshops...

In addition to the overall flyer design, I also created the illustration for the Boston Balboa logo shown on the back of the flyer. It was hand-drawn, scanned, and converted to vectors. A future version of the logo will hopefully appear on the Boston Balboa site.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Piano cake and cupcakes

This is my third piano keyboard cake. For this one, I decided to step it up a notch and use rolled fondant over the keys to give it a smooth, clean look. The black keys are made of miniature Charleston Chews. The display box, designed to look like a grand piano, was made out of foam board and cardboard, and painted black with nontoxic tempera paint. Three different types of cupcakes fill the box.

(Photo by Aslan Askarov.)

Thursday, October 28, 2010

SCVNGR instruction card

Back and front designs for an instruction card handed out at the MFA college trek SCVNGR (scavenger hunt).

Monday, September 13, 2010

Artisan's Asylum advertisement

Created for publication in the Ig Nobel Prize ceremony program. The client, Artisan's Asylum, wanted to use their logo but incorporate shiny diamond plate, so I adapted the logo to use the diamond plate as the background for the ad.

Boston Swing Central Halloween flier illustration

An illustration for promotion of the annual "Calling All Zombies" Halloween dance at Boston Swing Central in Charlestown, MA.

Serious Blues Dance Party flier

Designed for Pigfoot Productions in Austin, TX.

Gypsy House Party flier

To achieve a flier that looked like something different from a traditional postcard, I suggested the concept of a tarot card design for this Halloween weekend dance party (with a heaven and hell theme) in Dallas, TX.

The hand-illustrated cards are based on real tarot illustrations representing the devil and the lovers.

The Gypsy House Party cards feature two of the event's well-known DJs as the tarot archetypes. The house image, repeated on card fronts and back (pictured third), ties together both sides of the design. The images you see here were printed on a heavy stock with rounded corners to emphasize the tarot card look and feel.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ukulele vuvuzela song

I wrote a song about World Cup and vuvuzelas, and was lucky enough to find a crew of talented people (while on vacation!) to star in and help produce this video.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I made this cape and put together the image. My fabulous friend Super Naomi took care of the flying.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Black cat sugar sculpture

My first ever sugar sculpture for my friend Tina's big 40th birthday bash... This is her cat, Molly, made out of gum paste, based on a photo shoot of the real Molly posing on a plaid tablecloth with flowers. The plaid rug/tablecloth is also gum paste and the roses are piped buttercream (also my first time making roses).

For the black cat, instead of trying to color the paste black, I sculpted it white, let it dry (completely!) then painted it with a mixture of black icing color and vodka.

Friday, May 07, 2010

Sharon and Juan workshop poster

Poster design for upcoming dance workshop. (Check out the title link if you're interested in learning more about the workshop!)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ikura salmon roll sushi cake

Another "cake that looks like meat" project... large and small Ikura roll cakes! The cake part of this project was very simple, but creating the nori (seaweed wrap) and ikura (salmon roe) presented more of a challenge.

There's already an ikura sushi cake tutorial on the Internet, and I followed the same basic principles but tweaked mine to make it look more like an actual piece of ikura sushi. Here's what went into it:
  1. Cake: Betty Crocker white cake mix. Two circular cakes with the edges trimmed off, layered. I used the trimmed edges to build the smaller cake, which you can see in the large picture.
  2. Buttercream frosting between layers and on the outside of the cake
  3. Shredded coconut around the top edge for "rice"
  4. Nori: Homemade fruit leather (like a Fruit Roll-up) made out of applesauce, pear, blackberries, and lemon juice with green food coloring. You could use store bought fruit leather if you can find the right color. There are also many recipes online. I used scissors to cut it to the right size.
  5. Roe: Jello molded in half circles. An egg holder or carton with rounded sections would be ideal for molding the Jello, but I couldn't find one, so I ended up using the blister pack from a multi-pack of small bouncy balls! The larger Jello balls ended up falling apart under their own weight, so I would recommend using a heavier gelatin mixture just for looks. However, the tropical fruit Jello tasted nice.
  6. Ginger: Apple sliced thin on a mandoline, soaked in lemon juice with sugar and a little red food color
  7. Wasabi: Buttercream frosting with green food color
  8. Soy sauce: Espresso with rum and sugar

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Steak cake and bacon cookies

For a cookout billed as "Because meat is tasty," I decided to have some fun making desserts that look like meat. The bacon cookies are based on the excellent instructions from Eleventy. The cake (which my friend says I should call "beefcake") is my own idea, although I found a lot of pictures of other steak cakes online. It's basically a red velvet cake with red and white icing, strategically piped and smoothed into position using a spatula and a small paintbrush.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Ukulele cake

So, I play the ukulele, as do many of my friends these days. It's one of my favorite things in the world. For my friend Jasmine's birthday, I decided to build a ukulele cake. This turned out to be a pretty easy (and fun!) project which I made with a little help from other uke-playing friends, Vichu and Lou. (You can see Vichu crumb coating the cake in the small photo. Lou iced the neck with chocolate fudge icing.) Overall, I'm pretty happy with the finished result even though it could have been neater if I'd had more time.

Basically, we baked a sheet cake and a few small loaf-sized cakes. I only ended up needing one of those, for the neck. The headstock is made using one of the leftover bits I carved off of the sheet cake when I cut the body of the uke. The pattern for the uke body was made by tracing my Mahalo ukulele, and then I transferred that to the cake by punching around it with a knife.

The tuning knobs are lollipops and the bridge is a section of a chocolate bar. The soundhole is made using cocoa powder sprinkled into a ring mold (Vichu's idea, which worked great, although cocoa powder went everywhere when Jasmine blew out the candles!). Everything else is pretty much frosting, dyed green or piped.

Also, I think the finished cake with burning candles has kind of a Jimi Hendrix thing going on!

Blue heart cupcakes

Boston Swing Central Valentine

Illustration for Boston Swing Central Valentine. It's inspired by the 1926 "Life" magazine cover by John Held, Jr.

I'm posting the original illustration and a photo of the finished Valentine... I need to scan it for the color to look right, but I don't have a scanner at the moment.

Mike Hibarger of BSC put together the final version and added the text.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

R2D2 hat

I knit this hat based on a design by Carissa over at Carissa Knits. It actually took me two attempts to get it right. The first time, I followed Carissa's pattern but decided to use a stranded (or Fair Isle) technique for the blue blocks instead of using duplicate stitch as she suggests. The problem with using the stranded method for this hat was I found that it made the colorwork sections have some strange puckering, and overall I didn't like the way it looked. So I ripped that out and started anew.

The second time around, I knit a striped hat like the pattern calls for and added the details afterward using duplicate stitch (or overknitting) and a little bit of crochet. This turned out rather nicely. I modified Carissa's pattern, however, when I noticed that the top of R2's head is actually somewhat different from the version in her hat. I also changed some of the details and instead of using the projecting bits, I just made colored circles on the hat where they would be.

(Yarn: Cascade Cash Vero in 030, Cascade 220 in 9457, scraps of black and dark grey. Hat models: Vichu, R2D2)

Friday, February 05, 2010

Soul Dance Party flier!

A flier I put together for a soul dance party in Austin, TX. I had some help from the lovely models, Sara and Muslimah, and from my friend Andrew, who took the picture.