Sunday, May 31, 2009

Enormous Tiny Art

My work is now up for sale on the ETA site. Check it out!,-Karen.aspx

Urban Threads

I had posted earlier about working with my friend over at Urban Threads designing a patch for them. I actually ended up doing two, because I couldn't really make up my mind. I had originally planned on doing a dream catcher, similar to the one posted previously, but vectorizing it didn't turn out exactly as I had imagined in my head. So I also created a pair of feathers, kind of going along the same theme.

I might have to revise them a bit, I'm not sure how many colors you can use, or how detailed the lines can be when embroidering, but as of right now, here is how they turned out. Enjoy!

- Karen

Saturday, May 30, 2009


Friday Funday

Last night Ryan and I attended a dinner party in San Bruno, hosted by one of his co-workers. The easiest way to his friend's house (without a car) is by taking the Caltrain, so that's what we did.

I love riding on trains. I wish they were more efficient and prominent here, like they are in Europe. Sadly however, they are slowly dying. A lot of times it's cheaper to drive or fly, depending on how far you're going. But our Caltrain ride only cost $2.50 to get from SF to San Bruno, which is very cheap indeed.

San Bruno is a quaint, older suburb. The houses are tiny little boxes, with perfectly mowed lawns and pruned bushes. The air smelled of sweet roses and cut grass. Telephone poles towered overhead, connecting the houses by a tangled electrical wires. The sidewalks are cracked and bumpy, canvased by overgrown trees. Cats wandered around lazily, tormenting passing dogs on leashes held by their owners.

When we arrived to our hosts house, the kitchen was full of friends helping each other cook and enjoying sweet, homemade margaritas (not from pre-made juice mix) Ryan's friend/co-worker Chavez was our main chef. She made traditional Mexican tamales, rice and beans (she also made the margaritas)

We had to wait a couple of hours for the tamales to finish steaming, so we passed the time with conversation and many, many margaritas. The wait was certainly worth it, because that was the best Mexican dinner I have ever had. Chavez has spoiled me rotten.

We couldn't stay much longer after we had finished eating. Ryan's friend had curated a small show in Chinatown, in which Ryan had participated in, so we wanted to head back to attend. The show was an art opening slash live music event. thing. Chavez was very kind to give us a lift back downtown, so we didn't have much further to go from there.

The show was in the basement of a bar in Chinatown (the Le-Po lounge) That place is.. weird. The bar had every light on and no music playing, which ya know isn't too bad if you dislike dark, loud places. The drinks were ridiculously over priced. 5 bucks for a gin and tonic in a tiny plastic cup. (and horribly mixed too) We descended the steep winding stairs to the basement. It was hot and humid down there. It felt like some crazy time warp, it reminded me of parties and shows that took place in the basement of the Blue House and the Butthole back at MCAD.

We only stayed for about 20 minutes. We drank our overpriced drinks, payed $2 for the show, said hello to Ryan's friends, heard about a minute of the first band then decided to bolt. Oh man, I've heard some shitty, shitty music in my day, but as of late, that band takes the cake. I think that will be my first and last adventure to the Le-Po lounge. But ya know, Ryan's piece is awesome. Sorry I don't have a photo. Perhaps he will post it for you... (hint hint, Ryan)

And that concludes another funday. Now I must get some work done before I go see UP! !!! (I can't wait)


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Special Delivery

I have been working with some awesome dudes over at PalmerCash turning some of my drawings into t-shirts. Yesterday I received a sample and I love it! I am totally and completely shameless and wore it today =)

The shirt is the softest shirt I own. probably have ever owned. And it's just a tiny bit sheer, which I love. Here are some snap shots of the rest of my work on the PalmerCash website. Keep checking back because you can bet your bottom dollar I'll design some more =) Long live t-shirts!


Yesterday I received the frames I ordered from They came very excellently wrapped (I'm always a bit leery of ordering fragile and very important things via the internet) and in perfect condition.

I decided to go with an ashy black "rustic" frame for my work.

Well, it turns out that when you order custom frames from you need to order everything separately.. which I wish I would have known during the ordering process. My frames did come with hooks and wires to hang with, but they didn't come with backers! (I at least had enough sense to order the mat boards) So I had to rush over to Dick Blick before they closed, which thankfully is only a couple of blocks away. I bought some thick 24 ply mat board and a heavy duty xtaco knife to make my own frame backers. I have never missed MCAD and it's facilities so much before having to cut out 12 perfectly square pieces of mat board by hand. Honestly, it's worth living close to school just for their supplies! But alas, I am thousands of miles away, so I proceeded to spend hours tediously cutting out mats over and over and over.

However in the long run it was worth it (or at least that's what I'm telling myself because at this point I really had no other options) and the work looked infinitely better matted and framed.

I shipped them off this morning at they'll get to the gallery tomorrow. woot.

9 days and counting until the opening!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thursday, May 21, 2009

dandy doodles

My friend, Niamh asked me the other day if I would be interested in being next month's guest artists (i.e. design an embroider patch) for her embroidery company,
Urban Threads, and clearly my answer was F Yes I would like to be your next guest artists! I'm really not sure what I want to make yet, as I can pretty much make anything I want. So I entertained myself at work while files were uploading or downloading or saving themselves by doodling out some (very rough) ideas. I will post more about this subject later.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Friday Funday

Tonight I headed towards SOMA (south of Market) after work for this funday adventure. It took me a few blocks of walking to really feel inspired to take any photographs. The area over there is weird, mostly wide non-descript buildings with cracked paint and littered sidewalks. I don't know if I was technically in 'SOMA' but I was a few blocks south of market, so close enough..

I walked past this studio, Hello! Lucky which is a letterpress print/design studio, featuring wedding invites, birthday, stationary, etc. I've actually seen it before and had let it slip my mind. They were closed, so sadly I couldn't go inside and explore, but I took a few photos from outside. Sorry for the horrible window glare!

The farther you walk (west) from Downtown the more and more ghetto SOMA becomes, to the point of making one feel slightly uncomfortable with each block. (Certainly not a place for a skinny white girl to wander around alone in at night.) I would compare it to the heart of the Tenderloin, same cracked out, disgusting vibe. The constant stench of urine and b.o. is so thick you could cut with a knife. It just clings to the hair of your nostrils, forcing you to breathe through your mouth, but even then you feel like you could taste it, so you try not to breathe at all.

I didn't really want to showcase my camera the further down I walked, but I did take a few photos of this one building. It had chairs and sofas sticking off the side of it.. I had to share.

The reason I decided to venture through SOMA tonight was to reach 666 Gallery for an opening. (sorry, they don't have a website yet, or I would post a link) The show is titled, "The Future is So Bright" featuring works by Nas Chompas, Kyle Lee (
Mark Warren Jacques, Timothy Karpinski and Alexandra Steele. (sorry, I can't find a website for Miss Steele)

The gallery is itty-bitty, but quite lovely and felt cozy instead of cramped. All of the work was relatively small and delicately detailed, so it fit nicely into a small space. It allows the viewer to get up close and personal with the work (and with other viewers) I got to chatting with Timothy, who was showing an instillation in the front window and 3 paintings. He lives in Portland, OR and owns Together Gallery as well as working as graphic designer for a snowboarding company. He is a pretty awesome dude, with a pretty awesome life.

(Timothy giving an interview about the work)

Here are some more details shots of the show. It will be up until June 17th, but it's open by appointment only.

I look forward to seeing more shows at 666 (even if I have to plug my nose on the walk over there.. ha)