Welcome to my personal portfolio.
These are a few things I've created.

Gummy Bouquet (Febuary 2018)

They say the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. That could be true, and I think there's an express lane to my husband's heart when gummy candy is involved.

For Valentine's Day, I made him a lovely bouquet of flowers.

I raided the candy section at my local grocery store for an assortment of colors and shapes, including Gummy peaches, sour gummy worms, Lifesavers gummies, and more. Some scissors, twist ties and toothpicks helped me create the final arrangement.

Custom Shim (January 2018)

What do you do when you need to apply pressure from a flat foot onto a contoured moulding? Make your own shim!

A baby-gate needed to press against a wall at an inconvenient height.

A set of index cards was inserted to fill the gap and align with the contoured moulding.

Binder clips were used to maintain the relative position of the cards, then glue was applied between each card.

The set of cards was clamped to the moulding to maintain its shape while the glue cured (with a layer of plastic wrap to keep it from sticking to the moulding).

The final shim-- trimmed down-- was held in place by the foot receptacle, allowing the foot to press against a vertical surface.

Yoda Outfit (October 2017)

This year for Halloween, I got to dust off my pattern-making and sewing skills to turn a baby into Yoda.
I made the patterns from paper towels, strategically cut, folded, taped, then trimmed and unfolded.
It turns out that a small soccer ball is a pretty good model for a baby's head...

And a stuffed frog can make a decent stand in for fitting a robe!

The final Yoda was so convinced of his authenticity, he tried to use a Jedi mind-trick to get another bottle of milk!

Grandparents' History Calendar (December 2016)

For the new year (2017) my husband and I created a page-a-day calendar for our parents. This was actually an assignment for them, prompting them to write something about themselves each day. After 2017, the responses will be collected and printed as a booklet for their grandkids.
The prompts ranged from "My anscestors came to the US from..." to "One of the toughest choices I had to make was..." to "If I could choose any superpower it would be..." and many more.
I rigged up a desk-stand for the calendar out of a binder, some ribbon, and a twist tie. This gave the users the option to keep it out as a page-a-day calendar, or put it on a bookshelf to fill out at their leisure.

Selena's Card (October 2015)

I am fascinated by the idea of Scanimation. I also remember a secret decoder I had when I was little and I decided to combine these two awesome things in a card for my niece. The decoder obscured a message in one color with squiggles of another color, visible only with "the decoder" which was just a piece of film of the same color as the squiggles.
The final card is a rotating disc sandwiched between two non-moving discs.

One side had the scanimation. The ball bounces and explodes when the inner piece of the card is rotated using the teeth on the outside. See the video below.

The red side is a mystery until rotated to a particular alignment.

One alignment reveals the words Happy Birthday Selena! (You can click on the image for a larger view.)

Another alignment reveals the same message in picture form (smiley face, birthday cake, Selena's face) since she was a little too young to read the written message.
Below is a video of the scanimation. The ball bounces and disintegrates, then reforms to bounce again.
Below is a video of the secret decoder side. You might need to watch it in full-screen for the best view.

Rory's Card (September 2015)

I really like pop-up cards and wish I had more time to play with them. This year I made one for my niece.

I wrote a poem for the front of the card.

Toilet Paper Roll Pencil Holder (September 2013)

Getting my office redone prompted me to do a bit of desk drawer reorganization. Most of my writing implements are in a cup on the desk, but the rarely-used items were just jumbled in a drawer. So I pulled a MacGuyver using a little packing tape and an empty toilet paper roll.

Dave's Book (August 2013)

During our big Alaska trip, my brother hiked way far from the group to get over to a big snow patch. I took some photos at varying zooms and decided I should make a riff on Powers Of Ten, filling in the farther views with satellite images.
Then I thought it would be fun to make a game of the book as if each page asked the reader "Where's Dave?" and then revealed "There he is!"
So I made a "finder" that magically reveals where Dave is on each page.
Google was a big help on this project (for the images I didn't photograph), as was FedEx (for the laminating and binding).

The finished book!

The finder points to Dave on each image.

The finder sticks to a specific place on each page.

The images start from the full earth and get progressively closer to Dave.

The finder is a sandwich of plastic shims around transparency film with arrows printed on it. The interior layers have holes to accept three very strong, very small magnets.

Each page has two layers of cardstock: one unbroken and one with holes where steel washers are nested.

The washers are placed uniquely for each image to guide the finder to Dave. For each page, I made an alternate printout with a target pattern to help me place the washer holes.

Spray adhesive was used to stick the two layers of cardstock together. It was used again to attach the picture to the cardstock, sealing the washers inside.

Shelf to Wardrobe Conversion (August 2013)

At work, we were in need of a wardrobe to store labcoats. We had an unused cabinet with shelves, so I designed some brackets to convert the cabinet into a wardrobe. I used a 3D printer to make the brackets, bought a dowel, removed some extra shelves and ta-daa! Instant wardrobe!

The main part of the bracket slid up between the shelf and the wall (It was helpful to have a sloppy fit between the cabinet pieces.)

The support piece rests on top of the shelf. The pegs and holes mate up and are slightly angled to encourage their engagement.

Once the brackets were in, the dowel just snapped into the receptacles.


Mom's Dancing Turkey Card (Christmas 2011)

For her Christmas gift, we decided to take my mom to dinner and a show in the city. Since we couldn't deliver those exactly on Christmas, I whipped up a moving card to demonstrate the concept.

The card displays a vaudeville act, "Sharon and Dan Present: Dinner and a Show!"
As the curtain goes up...

...the dancing turkey is revealed. It can be tipped up and down and moved along the stage using the handle.
And in case you can't visualize it in motion, I put together this little stop-action ditty...

Flower Card (October 2011)

I made this card for my husband on our 6th anniversary. The flower's six petals unfold when the card is opened.

Wedding Card (July 2011)

I made this card for the wedding of some friends of ours. It's only two pieces of paper, some careful x-acto work and a ribbon; there's no glue or tape holding it together.

Pencil Cup (June 2011)

I needed a pencil/pen receptacle at work, so I decided to make a snazzy one from a large tomato can and some curling ribbon. Some of the ribbon is smooth and shiny with a sparkly print, and other pieces are solid color, less shiny, and corrugated. This combination around the curved surface of the can means each woven piece reflects light differently.

Peeps Diorama (April 2010): SemiFinalist in the Washington Post contest!
For the past three years I've been wanting to enter the Washington Post's peeps diorama contest, but never had the time. This year I made time. My entry made it to the semifinals! It is the very last picture on the contest site.
For those who don't know, "Peeps" are marshmallow treats sold in America around Easter time. My diorama is based on a Disney ride called "It's a Small World After All." It is a slow boat ride past animatronic children from different countries singing about how similar we all are. The song is extremely catchy and can drive you crazy once it gets stuck in your head.

Wine Bottle Tags (Autumn 2009, Winter 2010):
These wine tags were originally designed as a gift for my father, but were appropriated for my use as well. When you have enough wine stored horizontally in a rack, it gets annoying to pull each bottle out to check what it is before making a selection. Okay, I admit, this is a great problem to have! Still, I was surprised at how small a collection one needs to have for this annoyance to set in. Tags like this are much more important for someone with a larger collection, or someone who has a wine fridge, where you'd have to keep the door open, wasting energy, while pulling bottles in and out. If your wine fridge has a glass door, the tags make the search a lot simpler and certainly more energy efficient.
I also made a box to hold the unused tags. The tags rest on a dowel and are secured by o-rings. The box has a nest for the dowel, and cutouts in each end for finger access.
I feel that good design requires iteration based on actual prototypes, and that was certainly the case here. I tried several patterns for the center cutout before I settled on some suitable options. I wanted the cards to fit over several different sizes of bottle necks, not be so large that they'd easily fall off, and not be so small that they'd end up permanently deformed by the largest necks.
I also played with the thickness of the patterned feature:

Soap and Sponge Tray (October 2009)
I was tired of our soap sticking to the sink and our sponge starting to get gross from never properly airing out. Regular soap dishes collect too much water for my taste, so I whipped up these little racks instead. They're angled to prop up each piece for good drainage and easy accessibility.


Each rack is angled, and I place them in different orientations: angled toward or away from the user. This prompts a different method of grasping the object (soap vs. sponge) so you intuitively choose to use the best grip.

Spice Rack & Labels (2009)
Living in an apartment is great in some ways (calling up the handyman whenever stuff breaks) and bad in others (small kitchen = little storage space). Our storage solution for our slow but steady accumulation of spices was to mount some lunch boxes to the wall. This worked great except for figuring out which spice was in which box. To remedy this, I printed labels with spice pictures and names, and stuck them to flexible magnet stock. Now when we acquire new spices or use some up, we can easily move the labels around so we know what's in each box.

Baby Geek Quilt (December 2008)
I finally finished the quilt I had been working on for ages. It's so cool (if I do say so myself) that it gets its own website. Please check it out by clicking here.

David & Carolyn's Cake Topper (May 2008)
To help celebrate the wedding of my brother to one of my best friends, I made them a cake topper. It is made from acrylic, glass beads, and tinned-copper wire.
I did not make the cake. That credit goes to the good folks at the New England Culinary Insitute.

Snowflake Stamps (December 2007)
For our holiday cards I created some stamps based on real snowflakes. I used pictures from the internet, solid modeling software (SolidWorks & AutoCAD) and a laser cutting machine (at work, but after work hours, of course) to create the stamps.

This image from The Snowflake by Kenneth G. Libbrecht was found here.

Sketch was made on top of of the image in SolidWorks.

Sketch becomes an extrusion.

Extrusion is patterned around a center axis.

Foam and acrylic are laser cut.

The final four stamps.

Baby Band Hat (September 2006)
One of my friends from the Stanford Marching Band had a baby. I figured the little guy needed a band hat just like his pop's, so I made a tiny version. You can get a sense of scale from the "official" one in the picture. Of course, he'll have to add a few buttons before it's truly complete.

Ball Gown (February 2004)
Each year, Stanford hosts a traditional Viennese ball. This year I made a dress and matching vest & bowtie for my handsome date! The dress was made from a pattern reprinted from 1950.

Pop-Up Wedding Card (May 2003)
Some friends of ours had a wedding that featured the colors orange and pink. The fact that they are both designers inspired me to make a custom card for them. When opened, the card shows the happy couple sharing a kiss.

Shot Glass Chess (March 2003)
When you lose you win and when you win you lose!
This chess board uses shot glasses as chess pieces. The board is grouted bathroom tile on plywood with felt on the underside. The box stores all the glasses and is made of various wood products and felt.

Christmas Cards (December 2001)
These are not the coolest Christmas cards I've made, but unfortunately, they're the only ones I have photos of. Using printer paper in the middle allowed me to print a generic letter, but all the handiwork (cutting and binding) made these cards a little more special than the store-bought alternative. Hopefully that sentiment was properly inferred by the recipients.

Beach Trip Flip Flops (May 2000)
I made two pairs of flip flops for this beach trip. The first pair had foam strips that held backwards letters for imprinting messages in wet sand. The second pair had two bottles of food coloring on each foot, with every step squeezing out one drop per bottle, leaving a polka-dotted trail behind the wearer.

Emily's Pillow (Fall 1999)
This was my first foray into the world of quilting. I chose a simple arrangement of triangles to showcase the bright colors. The quilted panel turned out a little more like an art piece than a comfort piece, so I made the rest of the pillow out of velvet, with the intention that its softness would invite more regular use.

Wooden Bowl (Spring 1998)
I made this while auditing a furniture making class. It's made of walnut and mahogany and roughly 6" in diameter.