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  • Long time with no posts! It’s been a crazy season, including some great travels, big life decisions, and fun new art projects.

    I was contacted by family friends to help create a graphic for a wedding announcement/invitation for their daughter who recently got married in San Francisco. They were totally open minded about what design they wanted, so we went through a fun sketching and exploratory stage before settling on this design!

    The final piece was digitally and hand cut with painted details to show off their wedding duds and an interpretation of their gorgeous wedding flowers.

    I’ll also try to post process shots if I can find them on my very messy computer!

    In other exciting news, I have also spent this month packing up to move to Los Angeles to start at Art Center College of Design in September. I’m excited for the adventure and hope I will have some more work to share soon!

  • italsma:

    Another cheesy valentine! Hoping to get one more out before the 14th.

    If anyone is interested in printing this out to use, just message me and I’ll see what I can do!

    Reblog of another cheesy valentine made last year. And keep your eyes peeled since I’m cooking up a few new ones for this Valentine’s Day!

    On Etsy.

  • Little Ladies Bracelet

    In the midst of doing paper pieces, it’s always fun to take a break and try a new craft. I had done some bead weaving in the past and remembered really enjoying it, so when I ran across a huge collection of beads I inherited from my godmother over the holidays, I immediately knew what project I wanted to try first!

    Like with the knitted projects I’ve done (like Oaken’s Sweater), you have to start with a color chart to determine the pattern. 

    I had some pretty lofty goals with this design and had absolutely no consideration about how long the design would be once I got down to it. Once I realized that having six different girls at this size would make the bracelet 2x bigger than the average wrist size, I did some wheeling and dealing to make it more practical. Based on the colors of beads I had available, I knocked the design down to four and got working.

    Getting the first girl down and takes some time to establish the pattern
    Trucking through all the girls. You can see the extra thread that is left hanging when you swap to new thread.
    The final piece before clean up and adding the clasp!

    It’s a tedious process, but incredibly fun! Working on a few more design ideas for the future too!

    Since the final piece ended up being a little big on me, it’s now available on Etsy.

  • italsma:

    A quick Valentine as requested by my sister for her cheese-loving boyfriend! 

    Had fun coming up with the cheesy puns, so I might try to whip out a couple more of these before the 14th. Any suggestions or favorite cheeses?

    My favorite Valentine from last year is still available in my Etsy shop! Order soon to get it before the day!

    5x5 blank card, $7 including shipping.

  • Taking my brother to see Aziz Ansari as a belated Christmas present! Drew up this little Aziz to include in his card with the tickets.

  • A Very Bavarian Christmas (Behind the Scenes)

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    I love the end of the year because it is always such a great excuse to try new projects, especially as gifts! This holiday season, my main experiment was trying to make a birthday/Christmas present for my mom.

    Click through to read more details about the project!

    Since I was a little, my mom has collected German Christmas decorations – pyramids, Schwibbogen, the works. From displaying them around the house to lighting them and crossing our fingers that they won’t burst into flame during Christmas Eve dinner, they have become a huge part of our family traditions around the holidays. 

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    Erzebirge Pyramid + Crab Legs = Talsma Christmas Eve Done Right

    In 2006, FAO Schwarz and Neiman Marcus paired up to produce an enormous and extravagant advent calendar designed in the same German tradition. After seeing it in their catalog, my mom fell in love with it and thought it would be the perfect addition to her collection, but with a $1,125 price tag, it was out of the question. We all ogled it from a distance and were not surprised when it disappeared rather quickly. 

    When my mom’s birthday rolled around this year, the rest of my family had a pow wow about the perfect gift and realized that, since 2007, we had all independently searched for The Calendar or Calendar equivalents every year. But to our dismay, each year turned up nothing, except this immortal blog post with a few pictures (presumably snatched from the FAO site back in the day.)

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    The only images that exist of the original. So small. So pixelated! Made it a bit tough to use as reference.

    Now, here comes the fun part. After experimenting a bit with laser cutting over the last couple of years and getting very familiar with Illustrator, I got it in my head that we could try to recreate the thing. From scratch. Probably one of the crazier ideas I’ve ever had, but I was excited to take a creative risk and even happier when [spoiler] it all worked out in the end!

    The process included a multitude of steps. Like, so many steps I didn’t even fathom when we started out. It was such a trip!

    I started with an Illustrator file, trying to mock up a design based on the reference image. I ended up doing the design twice, the first kind of winging it and the second spending more time figuring out how to optimize the design for the materials we wanted to use. 

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    The final Illustrator document. The paths were separated, duplicated, and rearranged in individual documents for cutting.

    Once the structure  was designed, we also needed to find little figurines for each window. Based on the original, there are little scenes that are revealed behind each window when you spin it. Since the windows were slightly smaller for this model, we decided to include one figure behind each. We searched all over to try to find the right pieces and ended up with a sort of wacky assortment (normal wintry animals, like deer and a beaver and vole for good measure.)

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    The final version with all our tiny, festive pieces!

    When we found the appropriate pieces and did a foam mockup to make sure everything would work, it was time to cut! The laser cutter was able to get about 80% of the pieces finished, but my fearless dad and I did have to cut a few by hand during various stages of the assembly process.

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    Painting. Painting. Painting.

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    Cutting very precise spindle wells for the windows to spin around.

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    Bringing it all together, slowly but surely.

    The final product! Took a few major calculations right at the end to finish the midsection of the roof and dormers, but we did get it wrapped up in time for the last days of Advent.

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    So pleased with how the project came together and excited to try a more original design next year (maybe with fewer windows, definitely with fewer windows.)

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    P.S. A little GIF to show the calendar in all its window-spinning glory!

  • Keith and Meghan

    Last spring, I was asked to design some Save-the-Dates and invitations for a wedding that took place last weekend. As a little surprise for the bride and groom, I updated their digital invite design into a little paper cut piece. I also changed up the design of Meghan’s dress to reflect what she wore on the day, since she didn’t want to spoil the surprise beforehand!

    I had such a fun time making this piece, that I’m also offering customizable versions in my Etsy shop!

  • italsma:

    Over the last few (inactive on my part) months, I’ve passed some great milestones across my various forms of social media! As a way to thank all of you loyal followers and relative newcomers, I’m going to be hosting a giveaway of some silhouettes from my overstuffed portfolio!

    I will be picking 3 winners from across all of the entries. Each winner will get to pick one set (or two individual characters) from my previous silhouette pieces.

    Just like and/or reblog to enter!*

    A full list of the characters available (including some that I’ve never posted!) will be sent to the winners. Please note that the pieces in the giveaway will be sent “as is” — depending on which characters the winner selects, some pieces are samples or test runs and may differ slightly from the final designs posted on the blog.

    *For extra chances to be selected, you can also get an additional entries by commenting on the giveaway posts on my Twitter and DeviantArt  pages. In order for those submissions to count, you must also be following me on those sites!

    The giveaway will end Sept 8th and winners will be notified through their inbox, so make sure they’re open! Winners will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.

    Feel free to drop me a message with any questions regarding the giveaway or anything else!

    And the winners are…

    mimimoseleyZukoDean, and supkayla!

    Keep an eye on your inboxes for more details!

    Thanks to everyone who entered, followed, liked, reblog, etc. I hope to have some more art to share and goodies to giveaway soon.

  • Over the last few (inactive on my part) months, I’ve passed some great milestones across my various forms of social media! As a way to thank all of you loyal followers and relative newcomers, I’m going to be hosting a giveaway of some silhouettes from my overstuffed portfolio!

    I will be picking 3 winners from across all of the entries. Each winner will get to pick one set (or two individual characters) from my previous silhouette pieces.

    Just like and/or reblog to enter!*

    A full list of the characters available (including some that I’ve never posted!) will be sent to the winners. Please note that the pieces in the giveaway will be sent “as is” – depending on which characters the winner selects, some pieces are samples or test runs and may differ slightly from the final designs posted on the blog.

    *For extra chances to be selected, you can also get an additional entries by commenting on the giveaway posts on my Twitter and DeviantArt  pages. In order for those submissions to count, you must also be following me on those sites!

    The giveaway will end Sept 8th and winners will be notified through their inbox, so make sure they’re open! Winners will have 48 hours to respond before another winner will be selected.

    Feel free to drop me a message with any questions regarding the giveaway or anything else!