Polka Dots a Plenty

Polka Dot Book - 17 Polka Dot Book - 1

Polka Dot Book - 11 Polka Dot Book - 9

So, Remember my brimming excitement about the Polka Dot Book.. and how thrilled I was to be working with paper backgrounds, vs. my usual painted ones? Well, suffice it to say.. this project got the best of me.. and has left me with a few regrets.

“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.”
Mercedes Lackey

I SO wanted to enjoy this book, and use all the potential that it held — however, I failed at that. I’m not quite sure, just where exactly the trouble came in for me… If i had to guess? I’d say it boiled down to time — I never enjoy cram sessions of art I ‘have’ to do … and this project.. sadly.. became just that. The timing was bad, and in retrospect .. I should have realized my limitations.

I never feel good about things that I have rushed to do, especially when I know I could have done better. I’m the kind of person that isn’t at all satisfied, with ‘Good Enough’. I need to know at the end of the day that I gave something all I had… and worked to the best of my capabilities… to truly feel good about it…. and I dropped the ball here. I hope, my pages don’t disappoint the other participants as well.

Polka Dot Book - 5 Polka Dot Book - 8

Polka Dot Book - 12 Polka Dot Book - 6

Polka Dot Book - 4

“Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”
Sydney Smith

If I had it do over (and I’d love to try a circle book again).. these are some of the things I would change.

Time: That’s a given… I would have signed up for this, when I had the proper time to devote to the pages. Or I would use the time I had in a more productive way. This is one of the rare occasions that I believe designing one amazing page, and doing them all assembly style.. may have worked to my benefit.

My Comfort Zone: Oh how I wish I had realized the limitations of working outside of my comfort zone within a short time frame! Not only was the shape sumthin’ unusual, but I used paper backgrounds vs. my almost infamous painted backgrounds. The result was a not so pretty visual that often left me with my mouth open wide, awkwardly staring at a blank page while cussing under my breath. I was simply, just unsure of where to go with them… unlike my painted backgrounds which often times tell me what they would like to become. That kind of work, is more a part of me.. where as this, lacked that warmth. If there’s a next time, I’d stick with one lil discomfort zone, vs, several.

Thought: Until this project, I do not think I realized just how much of the allotted swap times I spend becoming inspired, and loosely planning my pages. I like a few months to simmer on the ideas.. then like a bolt of lightning.. BAM!… an idea hits and I sit down, and feverishly work through them. I think of the one thing I’d like to learn throughout the process, and apply that as well .. with this project, I didn’t do that. Truth be told — I was often thinking of everything else in my life that needed done — and it shows within my pages. They are as scattered as my mind was– blech.

Polka Dot Book - 3 Polka Dot Book - 15

Polka Dot Book - 16 Polka Dot Book - 14

Polka Dot Book - 18

“Regret is insight that comes a day too late”

So there you have it — not my proudest display, but a genuine one. I’ve filed this into that lessons learned category within my brain. When I began my blog, I promised to share the good right along with the bad .. as we all have that range. Hope it was of help to someone.

But alas, despite the gloomy feeling I was left with on my own work, I cannot wait to see the completed project!

As always, I eagerly await your thoughts as well..


Polka Dot Book - 10 Polka Dot Book - 20

Polka Dot Book - 19 Polka Dot Book - 13

Polka Dot Book - 2

P.S. To see the backs of these pages .. click here to go to my Flickr Set for all the Polka Dot goodness you can muster.

Polka Dot Book - 7

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31 Responses

  1. Well, Every Single PAGE is incredible!!! I love this – and reading about the process — easy parts and hart parts — was great!!!!!

  2. Chrysti, you are being too hard on yourself. Every single one of these circles is gorgeous, and I’m sure each recipient will be absolutely thrilled with your artwork.
    Thanks for sharing.

  3. I too am in this swap and I too struggled with all the things you mentioned. It was like you were reading my mind. However…your pages are beautiful and you should be very proud. I will be more then happy when I receive one of your pages in this swap. You are much to hard on yourself. Your work is always beautiful.

  4. Chrysti! I felt the same way — I especially struggled with the time — I like my ideas to simmer to the top and then burst out. Mine were created while simmering! Having said that, yours are BEAUTIFUL. — and I truly hope that I get one! I’d like to do a circle book again — I have so many ideas (after the fact). Thanks for sharing your struggles. We need to know that we’re not alone……

  5. Hmphf! Guess that shows what I know. I rather liked them…

  6. These are more than acceptable, they’re wonderful! While you may not be in your comfort zone, you are still definitely in the “Art Zone” with these pieces. I would be thrilled to have any one of them in a swap! As usual, your composition and your attention to detail are fabulous. As are your color and subject choices. For real. Something that is uncomfortable isn’t necessarily bad….especially in this case! You’re just using new muscles and they’re sore…

  7. Chrysti, these are great. I hope I get the one with the butterfly. Or maybe the one with the big fat robin! If you don’t like your’s, you will hate mine. And while my first digital idea got rejected and I had a hard time getting another idea to happen, I ended up enjoying the process and liking what I did.

  8. Hey Chrysti-I said this already in the yahoo group, but I LOVE your pages….and I too felt the exact same way you did…but I will tell you a little trick…actually two tricks. First one, step back from them and then squint your eyes. Once you see it through squinted eyes, say to yourself…”I love that page”. Don’t laugh :) ! It totally works….I swear….

    Your pages are awesome so CHILL BABY-we all love them!

  9. I can’t believe you consider these pieces failures!

    I’m horrible at collective art projects so I almost never sign up for them. I always end up putting them off until the last minute and they end up feeling forced and I dislike them. Or even worse I drop out early because of the pressure. I just don’t have what it takes.

    But you certainly do!

  10. Chrysti,

    These are beautiful! I know what you mean about being scattered though. I was in AB round robin once and it took me forever to find a book and then when I found it, well it didn’t inspire me to focus on any one thing so I turned out pages with little connection between each other. I have a hard time looking at it now, so I can empathize with you.
    Working with circles isn’t easy at all. I’d say you pulled this off with flying colors though. I also love them on newspaper backgrounds. It is so important to leave our comfort zones – it’s never easy, and we’re rarely satisfied at first, but it is essential if we are to grow as artists.
    Chalk it up to a wonderful exercise in style which undoubtedly unleashed some unknown part of yourself .. that you will find once you return to your comfort zone and painted backgrounds!
    Thanks for sharing! I’d be mighty proud if these were mine!


  11. Chrysti, you are being too hard on yourself. I really admire the unity you reached in every polka dot page you made… the colours, the circles, the dots, the swirls, the birds… If I had made these pages I would be on top of the world, and I would be thrilled if I was to receive one of your pages. I can look at every single page (and the back also) for quite a while to discover all the elements you brought together; to me the pages are very inspirational, so thanks! At the same time, I know what you mean by rushing and having to finish a project on a certain deadline… What you made maybe was out of your comfort zone, but that’s also where I think the creativity emerges…

  12. I am in this swap too. The circle shape and dots were a challenge. I think your pages are simply wonderful. I hope I am lucky enough to receive one.

  13. dahling…..I say this with all of my Southern Gothic charm…..get ovuh it girleh!!

    Go back and delete all of the references to “regret/regrets” in your posting. Your pages are STUNNING and you should be proud of your work! Keep talking about regretting your work and your muse is going to throw on her Doc Martins and kick your butt….heeee!

    Really lovie – the pages are ab-fabulicious.

    Miz Bella

  14. These are absolutely beautiful. I went to the flicker and did the slide show. I am so amazed at how far and accomplished you have become as an artist. I said this before and will say it again… I am so proud of you. You have done amazing things with your art and your marketing and I think your great – inside and out! xxx Maralena

  15. Chrysti,
    I just discovered you through etsy and I have to say I’m totally wowed and filled with admiration for not only the amazing work you did on these circles but also your body of work…I had to make a mention of you on my blog, hope thats ok. I’m going to add you to my favorite places to visit…can’t wait to sit down and read your whole blog and enjoy all of the talent and beauty you so generously share with the world :)

  16. Girl, don’t you know all these Chrysti fans can’t lie? Your work is LOVED! Of course, how YOU feel about what you have made is vastly different, I know. And I know the satisfaction that comes from “building” a piece, with care and drive and being “in the zone” during the process. However, these pieces are truly lovely and will be cherished without a doubt.
    Just imagine; the next project where you DO get to dive ALL the way in and swim in the pure pleasure of creating, you will revel in it more than ususal! Hugs!

  17. If these are only “good enough” I’d love to see the work that you think is great!! These are all incredible.

  18. well after seeing your beautiful pages I’m sorry that I didn’t sign up for that swap! They are truly lovely and you should be very proud of them.

    Your gorgeous art for our swap arrived in my mailbox this morning. Thank you sweets!! I am off on a little fishing trip, but will be back on Saturday and will post it on my blog then.


  19. Chrysti,
    I know you’re frustrated with the way they turned out, but I’m positive noone is going to be disappointed. I absolutely love the “no shoes, no shirt, no problem” one.

  20. Oh dear you are being WAY too hard on yourself these pages are quite lovely and nicely done anyone would be silly not to like them!!! I do understand what you mean though and have so been there but trust me your work is great and they will love them stop beating yourself up!!! they are quite fun!!! Hugs Linda
    and now anyone that doesn’t like them please send to me!!!! hehehehe!! they really are fun dear honest!!!!

  21. oh honey! your post sounded just heart breakingly horrid…but your pics of your art are charming…..you are being all together too hard on yourself……
    i find, also, that it is also about time….which piece of art do you like in a day or a week or a month or a year….. some pieces that you don’t like now because of how they make you FEEL really might be fabulous…and some pieces that you adore now sometimes don’t seem special later……i’m the 21st poster here! and i think your feelings have not skewed anyone else’s opinions of the art….because we didn’t agonize through the painful bits with you!!!

  22. I think maybe you’re insane! This is BEAUTIFUL! If only I could make something so great!! Chin up! :)

  23. These are fantastic!! I think like everyone else, you are being way too hard on yourself. I think maybe because this was out of your comfort zone, you are thinking that they are not great pieces of art, but they ARE!!

  24. I did not take the time to read all the comments, but I can’t
    believe anyone agreed with you on how terrible they are.
    I think they are very creative and you do not have anything
    to be ashamed of……great work!!!!!!!!!

  25. Chrysti
    When the page first loaded, I thought to myself “What beautiful artwork.” I was in astonishment as I kept reading. I think anyone would be happy to receive those in a swap. I thought they were all gorgous.
    Thanks for sharing your story. It’s so hard for me to have feelings like that with my artwork because it’s such a reflection of myself. It’s nice to know others can relate.

  26. L-O-V-E the bidies with the birthday hats. I think we often beat ourselves up when we don’t think we gave our all. Your work is beautiful, not “good enough” but perfect. Just perfect in a different sort of way than you are used to. cheers

  27. These are stunning – every page. Can’t decide on one favorite. Amazing how we beat ourselves up to hopefully have our muse grinning back at us with sheer pleasure – like, “I told you so!” – when we read posts like you have received. Christi – you are one very talented artist and how blessed I am I can see these pages.


  28. Chrysti! Your polka dot pages are lovely – I especially like the bird pages. In fact, there were many pages that caught my interest. I’m in the swap too and I hope I get one of your pages.

    You are being too hard on yourself. But I understand – I do the same thing to myself, ie, harshly critique my Art.


  29. I know you say that these have been a struggle but they are WONDERFUL!!!!

    I know how you feel about being pressed for time, I too hate it. I think sometimes it is the time we spend observing the art, the spaces in between that help the creative process and when these are gone it feels like the whole process is wrong. I too criticize my art and sometimes a while afterward look back on my creation more realistically and realise that I was far too harsh and that my work was good enough.

    I really love your honesty, thank you for sharing :-)

  30. I’m new to your website but I think your circles are beautiful!! I’ve joined a circle book swap and I’m totally inspired by your work. Our theme is color but I love all the layers of details you’ve done and I’m getting oodles of inspiration. I’ve also ordered some of your collage sheets. So wonderful!!

  31. hey i think these little cirlcles are lovely pieces of artwork.everyone is individual and a beautiful!!

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