Chairs, Puppies, and Ornaments

The end of 2015 was busy, as usual. Perhaps most notably, I successfully defended my PhD dissertation! I hope that means I will have more time for artwork in 2016 :) As a celebratory gift, my mother made this extraordinary quilt for me. Thanks Mom!!!!!


Mariner’s Compass, made by Ruth McCormick (

I did manage to sneak in a few Christmas paper cuts. The first piece is in the style of Alison Shriver, who makes some lovely silhouette cuts of antique furniture. Although the recipient of this piece has a few of Alison’s cuts, she idly mentioned that she would love a comb-back windsor to complement her collection. Say no more!


Comb-back windsor paper silhouette

I also made some simple silhouettes of Pip and Tali (remember these cuts?). The hard part was getting the dogs to sit still long enough to get a satisfying picture in profile. That led to this glorious reject:


Thanks Pip.

These profile silhouettes are custom made for some circular frames–I’ll be sure to post a picture once they are complete.



This year, my family also decided to start up a hand-made ornament exchange. I decided to attempt quilling, which turned out reasonably well thanks to a nice tutorial by Ann Martin of All Things Paper. If you’re interested in some legitimate quilling, do check out her blog. Next time I’ll be sure to buy an actual quilling tool, which for some reason is not carried in local craft stores. I ended up using a pen ink refill, which got the job done, but for some reason I suspect an actual tool would be much less frustrating… Pro tip: don’t use cardstock if you want a satisfying circle that holds its shape :P


First attempt at quilling…

Happy new year!

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Penn State Research Magazine Paper Cuts

I am so excited to finally share my latest paper cuts with you! This summer, I was commissioned to create three paper cut illustrations for a story about the evolution of skin color in the Penn State Research magazine.

Paper cut portrait of Nina Jablonski; Research at Penn State Magazine 35(2) Fall 2015

Paper cut portrait of Nina Jablonski, printed in Research at Penn State Magazine 35(2) Fall 2015

The story is based on the work of Penn State anthropologist Nina Jablonski. The first illustration is a portrait of Nina, based on a photo by Patrick Mansell. This is probably the most complicated portrait I have made to date!

Paper cut portrait of Nina Jablonski, created for the Research at Penn State Magazine.

Paper cut portrait of Nina Jablonski, created for the Research at Penn State Magazine.

Curious how this was made? Check out this work-in-progress video:

As part of Nina’s research, she and her colleagues created a map predicting skin colors of indigenous peoples based on ultraviolet radiation. I converted this map to paper for the story’s opening spread.


The opening spread for the story, written by David Pacchioli.

Both the portrait and the third piece posed quite a challenge, as the black shadows blended into the background in one seamless piece. The third piece in particular was quite stubborn, but it turned out all right in the end.

Paper cut hands created for the Penn State Research Magazine. Based on a photo by Patrick Mansell.

Paper cut hands created for the Penn State Research Magazine. Based on a photo by Patrick Mansell.

I am very pleased with how these illustrations turned out! See them for yourself in the magazine. And, of course, read more about Research at Penn State on their website. (I also recently wrote a few news stories for the Penn State Research website–check them out here and here.)


Research | Penn State – Fall 2015. My illustrations can be found on pages 12-17.

After December I will again be open for commissions. Until then, I will be working on my dissertation, which is due quite soon. Curious about my research? Check this post on my lab’s blog for a summary of one of my recently published projects.

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Wedding commission – paper cat!

I was recently commissioned to make a papercut of someone’s cat for their wedding gift. Here are the results!

December 2014 | 5"x7"

December 2014 | 5″x7″

Curious about how this came together? Watch a “making-of” video here:

These make great gifts–for weddings, anniversaries, or birthdays. Pets or people work great…or something geeky! Check out my flyer for more info, and don’t hesitate to send me an email if you are interested or have any questions.

Happy new year!

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Xenomorph Mandala

There is a strange love for the Alien movie franchise in our household. An alien queen may adorn our mantlepiece, for example, and my xenomorph papercutting is close at hand!

June 2012 | 5"x5"

June 2012 | 5″x5″

This summer, my boyfriend (Richard Scott) designed a mandala based on the franchise, and I love it! Pardon the delay in posting it here. I hope the wait was worth it!

June 2014 | 12"x12"

June 2014 | 12″x12″

I’m secretly hoping he’ll design a few more sci-fi mandalas for me… We have some great ideas in the works!

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New Mandala

My new year is shaping up to be full of science (who’s surprised?), but I did manage to sneak in an art day a few weeks ago. Hooray!

January 2014 | 8"x8"

January 2014 | 8″x8″


One of my mandalas (pictured below) will be available at a silent auction this Sunday in State College, PA. This wine, food, music, and art event is a fundraiser for State College Community Theatre. To learn more , check out the event page or the SCCT website. Tickets are available at the door, so if you have last minute cravings for music and wine, you should check it out!

March 2011 | 8"x8"

It could be yours!

My boyfriend is also designing a pretty awesome mandala. I can’t wait to make it when he’s finished! Also, a tutorial for how to design your own paper snowflakes is coming soon!

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Puppies for Christmas

Some Christmas papercuts!


Tali 5×7
Dec 2013


Pip 5×7
Dec 2013

My boyfriend’s dogs are quirky and adorable and are pretty darn awesome. They were a lot of fun to convert into paper. Here are the two framed:

IMG_1949 framed

In other news, my research lab had a grand time cutting animal snowflakes this month. Pictures and a tutorial for how to design your own snowflakes coming soon! In the meantime, follow the link for templates to make your own frog, lizard, ant, and snake snowflakes!

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New Photo-Cut with WIP video

I’m done with all required classes for my PhD! Hooray! I still might sit in on a few more, but at least those checkboxes are checked! This term was pretty busy (big surprise), but I decided to take a sanity day before exams started. Here is the result:

4"x6" | April 2013


This is based on a stock photograph found here. Curious how the layers stack up? Here’s a WIP video for this piece:

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