The thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to

Oct 4

Eleven new backgrounds are up. I’ve also updated the layout of the site.

I’ve been extremely unwell for the last nine months, and not even a dozen doctors and tens of thousands of dollars in tests can diagnose me. For now I am marooned in the land of malady, waiting for my letters of transit out of this place. This collection of backgrounds is made with blood, bone, milk, and money.

Science Moves but Slowly Slowly

Mar 7

Ten backgrounds are ready.
I’m on kind of an astronomy kick lately, so a few of these designs are starry themed. This set was made with software, markers, crayons, watercolor, microscope photography, and some photos from the Hubble telescope (courtesy NASA). One of the fun things about making these designs is that sometimes I get to learn about new fields and artistic styles, and this set led me to some unfamiliar corners of the internet and the public library. Personal favorite moment? That book about observing the heavens that warned me to never look directly at the sun. On page 238. I mean I think that was front page information.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy these designs.


Dude, I could like HEAR the colors

Dec 14

Eleven new backgrounds are up.
There’s another new toile, this time about California history. One of the biggest challenges for this was finding a grizzly bear in New York City (hell, they’re not even in California), but then I remembered there’s a stuffed one in the Museum of Natural History. There are plenty of lovely French and English toiles out there, but alas they are very expensive and never seem to feature the Pony Express or the mountains where the Donner Party resorted to cannibalism.

I also experimented a bit with making glitch art, a process known as databending. The results are unpredictable and usually look like either television static or the eye-melting patterns found on bus seats in the 1980’s. There are a few ways I destroyed and remixed the raw image data, from basic edits in Wordpad to chopping up image files in a sound editing program. While it seems psychedelic to be able to listen to an image (dude, I could like hear the colors) it sadly sounded nothing like a Big Brother and the Holding Company song and everything like an angry fax machine. The whole process is a little too post-modern for me. Maybe I’ll just stick with toiles.


You Ain’t Never Been Blue…

Sep 3

You ain’t never been blue til you’ve had that mood indigo… Eight new backgrounds are up, all in blues.
Apologies for the months between updates, I had shit to do! I’ve moved twice since then, and have been dedicating most of my energy to fixing up an apartment that has seen better days. Among other things, I MacGyver’ed my own light fixtures out of embroidery hoops, duct tape, and pennies (9 cents to be exact), and strategically hung a gallery wall to cover up the erratically spaced electrical outlets (did someone try to plug a toaster into the ceiling?!). Now that the seemingly endless string of DIYs is winding down, I’ve found the time to share what I’ve been working on.
The ‘Excelsior’ toile took ages to make. I ran all over town to get photos and had to learn about Phrygian caps. I might make it into a fabric so that more of the details are visible.
There are also some microscope images, some improvised shibori dyed fabric, and a paisley block print made from a block ordered directly from Jaipur.


Yeah Science!

Mar 16

Twelve new backgrounds are up.
This set is made using a digital microscope, so in other words these are made with SCIENCE. These have all been digitally manipulated from their original slides. I’m not interested in identifying what the original animal/vegetable/mineral forms were, mostly because I didn’t write it down but also because I think it distracts from what I’m going for here, which is just wallpapers.

The last time I took a science class was over 10 years ago, so it’s been interesting wading in the shallow end of a very deep and very different pool. Most of these patterns made themselves: I found Keith Haring paintings trapped cross sections of mushrooms, perfect chevrons in tree barks, cherry blossoms in blood cells. Micro-photography is certainly not a hobby for the squeamish, but it’s been really interesting to catch a glimpse of the strange stained-glass of the natural world.

More to come, I’m sure, since now I own a freaking microscope.


A Dash of RuPaul’s Wisdom

Feb 9


Here are 16 new backgrounds for you.

This set has some strange inspirations, including the headstones at the Trinity Church Cemetery, the family tartan, Indian block prints and a dash of RuPaul’s wisdom.


Christmas Labels for the Lazy

Nov 12

Heeeey here are some new retro gift tags you can download for free. I put them all together so they are easy to cut out, because you know, the LAZY. I mean I’ll spend hours drawing these things (and translating them into 3 languages) but when it comes to cutting them out I refuse to do more than a few straight lines. Someone please invent magic laser scissors for me, and for all humanity’s crafting needs.

See all available gift tags, or download this set:

You Can Pin Me Anytime You Want To

Oct 1

Hiya. Thirteen new backgrounds today. I go to great lengths to make these, and went to four different boroughs of NYC to make this batch. It was pretty arduous, I had to take this boat ride on a summer day and then I had to take a walk in a park. Suffering for my art these days. Totes planning to cut off an ear soon.

I’ve updated all the background pages to contain Pinterest links, so now you can pin me anytime you want to. It took a while to make this update since there are over 400 pages, plus I had to write like 4 lines of PHP and that was pretty terrifying. Please pin something so my many hours were not spent in vain.

But seriously there are now over 400 repeating backgrounds available.


I’ll Be Damned If I’m Not Fancy

Jul 18

Fifteen new backgrounds. Does anyone still visit now I’ve stopped updating regularly and Google reader is dead?

I’ve made some progress career-wise lately, and have come to the terrifying realization that the chasm between me and a successful person is not as wide as previously believed (thanks for nothing, recession). In that spirit, I’ve decided to name all the backgrounds in this group after resort destinations and ritzy neighborhoods, because that is what I assume a fancy designer would do. And I’ll be damned if I’m not fancy!



Oct 31

Seven new backgrounds today. Lately I’ve been working like crazy, and after staring at a computer screen for six days I just can’t bring myself to open Photoshop on my one day off. But now I have some natural-disaster enforced free time. Hurricane Sandy knocked out power at my workplace and flooded the subways I need to get there.

I was extremely lucky, I never lost power, and the only marks of Sandy in my immediate neighborhood are downed trees. There are a lot of people who have been through and continue to face much more dire effects from this storm, so please keep them in your thoughts.