Happy New Year! 2022 was a banner year for this paper-centric corner of the Internet, though I might be biased as I consider making it through the year sufficient cause for banners! In no particular order, here are some things I’m marveling at and/or celebrating as I reflect on the year past:
I added over 30 new places to my collection of Paper Places this year! Some nearby (I see you, Quincy, MA!), some bodies of water (a whole new sort of place!), a whole bunch of new places in and around Burlington, VT, and I finally added a few state maps as well! There are now right around 100 Paper Places for you to choose from, and they are even mostly actually available on my website (no small feat if you’ve been around for a while)!
That said, there was a very strong, very clear favorite Paper Place across all of my sales, in person and online:
Do you have a Camberville? Are you feeling left out now? Even I am wondering why I don’t have one hanging up in my house somewhere! Camberville, of course, also isn’t really even a place – it’s a mashup of Cambridge, MA (on the bottom) and Somerville, MA (on the top). So many people bounce between the two during their time in the Boston area that sometimes it’s easier to shorten/combine, but there’s also a really unique neighborhood that sort of runs along the line between the two cities – this neighborhood is scrappy, full of special small, local businesses, and also really confusing to park in without getting a ticket from one city or the other! It’s basically the best.
Custom Paper Places
I created 15 custom paper places this year for all sorts of folks, including Realtors who needed unique client gifts, gifts for people who “have everything”, and folks whose favorite places I hadn’t made quite yet. While there weren’t any international commissions in 2022, I did make custom maps for places in 5 different states. There was one cemetery, one island, one tiny neighborhood, one special section of the South Carolina coastline, and even one company logo! I didn’t manage to photograph everything, but here are some images from this year’s custom orders:
Custom House Portraits
This was a slower year for house portraits than I’ve had in the past, for various reasons. If you take a look through the photos below, you’ll see one of the obvious reasons… My obsession with tiny details has carried me to a pretty ridiculous/gorgeous place!
I partnered with Boston Frame Works starting in March of this year. Now, each finished portrait is professionally framed in a custom, solid-wood frame with museum-quality glass. The frames are gorgeous, and I love that the “packaging” is now handmade, just like the artwork.
I finished two older commissions in the first part of the year with my old framing process. With a clean slate in March, I finished another 5 before the end of the year. I have one more portrait nearly finished as of this writing – this last one is special as it’s a house I consider a friend (along with the folks who live in it). I’m finding that it’s taking even longer than my normally long time to finish. Oops! Grateful for patient friends!
I also had the opportunity to create two House Portrait Silhouette commissions this year, and I’ve been delighted to continue exploring this new style of portrait. I hope to make more of these this year!
Of course none of this would be possible without you, yes you. You and all the folks like you who do things like read long blog posts, open the monthly email newsletter I send, follow along with my whims and silliness on Instagram, show up to local art markets, support local businesses wherever you are, and care about things made of paper. Thank you! Thank you so much. It’s been almost 9 years since I started making things out of paper and hoping folks would like them enough to want to take them home with them, and I still can’t quite believe that this is my job!
I’m already up to my elbows in new plans and ideas for 2023, along with lots of tiny bits of paper, but only time will tell what will be on next year’s year in review! I hope you’ve found something to be excited for in the year to come. If it involves paper, and there’s a way I can help, let me know!