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Family History in the Making

Martha Stewart Living, February 2010

Judging from her job description, its no surprise that Darcy Miller has a knack for documenting celebrations. As the editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings, she has ushered countless couples through the magazine's pages, making sure all the details are beautifully recorded.

In her free time, Darcy preserves the magical memories of her own life. An avid chronicler, she has assembled books for every occasion: a 50-pound scrapbook for her wedding to lawyer Andy Nussbaum, embellished travel journals, and numerous albums for their daughters, Daisy, 6; Ella, 4; and Pippa, 1. It's the kind of collection that catches one's attention.

It caught Andy Spades's. He and his wife, Kate (the pair who founded the accessories brands Kate Spade and Jack Spade), live nearby and take their daughter, Bea, over for play dates. Impressed with Darcy's work, Andy proposed a show in his New York City gallery, Partners & Spade. She'd bring her scrapbooks and artwork, and they'd call it, quite simply, "Family."

To mount her collection of illustrations, photographs, and objects, Darcy employed a hybrid medium where scrapbook meets shadowbox: "scrapboxing," she calls it. Each frame featured one idea, often combining a few elements: a Fourth of July snapshot of Daisy along with a small flag; a maternity-ward photo and a baby's cap; or a paint set paired with the little artist's masterpiece. Grouped on shelves, the boxes formed a mixed-media collage, heralding special occasions alongside everyday ones.

For the exhibit, the Spades opened the doors to friends, with children more than welcome. Guests nibbled on mini burgers and cotton candy, and then sat before photographer Donna Newman and Darcy, as illustrator, for double portraits. It was a family affair with take-home art, and the event was well documented before partygoers said their goodbyes.

Darcy's Clip Art
Darcy's Frames and Scrapboxes
Tools and Techniques for Darcy's Scrapboxes