Day 16/29 Days of Giving is…

isn’t it exciting to have the giveaways back?

i went through a touch of blog withdrawal while i was travelling

i didn’t quite realize JUST  how much i’d miss doing these

absence makes the heart grow fonder

or some crap thing like that anyhow

i’m so out of practice on this part

hope it’s not horridly boring now

i could just tell you about the giveaway

well, perhaps in just one moment

see, lil ol’ moi  tore myself from my studio

despite my muse dancing and creating with pure delight !

to bring you this giveaway today as promised

yup. just for YOU i stopped creating

who luvs ya? that’s right… obviously i must

i mean, i stopped creating when most inspired

helllll-loooo! i don’t just do that for anyone

you don’t really care eh? on with it? FINE!

obviously, it has to be an ultra-special giveaway

Oh, it is… it really, really is …

well i suppose 2 weeks of suspense was enough

this was WELL worth waiting for folks

*cough* lemme get that ring announcer voice back i mentioned a few weeks ago

ladies and probably no more than handful of gentleman …

hmm… that intro just isnt working for today

and i simply cannot think of another clever thing

let’s just dive right into it, shall we?

 “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” – Mitch Albom

Prior to making this project public, I grabbed my handy lists journal, and began jotting down ideas of things to giveaway. I realized, it’d be far more fun to include people I admire, respect and care for. So I then began doodling names, companies, products … that I believed would make fan-tab-ulous gifts. One of the first names that sprung to mind was the talented Michele Beschen. I kinda thought she may be interested, but wondered if her schedule would allow it.. so when she agreed? I was not only elated, but extremely touched. All my joking aside – daily I am reminded of how generous our community is. Of things. Of themselves. Of their hearts.

Michele in my Baby Got Backgrounds Workshop

If you aren’t familar with Michele, then obviously you do live under that proverbial rock we’ve discussed in the past. Or don’t have cable tv. Or some other lame excuse. (Get out from under that rock already! though if you have cool rock drawings, let us see first). … See one day last year, Chel & I were talking … and discussing some folks who could be potential keynote speakers for the convenzione. She was in sheer panic, and it was up to me to *sigh*  once again save the day. Ok, so maybe it wasn’t quite that extreme. But still,  I obviously *cough* singlehandedly saved ZNE by suggesting Michele. Or maybe it’s just  the lil’ voices in my head say I saved it … I did however suggest Michele.  She accepted. Michele took MY workshop, yep… mine !!! (god, i’m horridly shameless aren’t i?)

 There I go – sidetracked again.

Anyhow … Michele was actually even better than I imagined. I have met other TV personalities before, and been disappointed. Ya know how it is, some have ego’s, some are just not at all what they seem … But Michele? She’s the real deal. A what-you-see-is-what-you-get kinda gal. A gal after my own heart. My respect for her tripled after spending in-person time with her, and I honestly can’t praise her enough. The girl is fearless – and I abso-friggin-lutely love that. She can create just about anything, quite possibly she’s creativity’s biggest cheerleader, isn’t afraid to laugh at herself .. and the passion for what she does is evident at every turn. What more could you want?

I’ll let you see for yourself in the interview I did with her! Don’t worry, we’ll reveal the giveaway package later.. yes, package!

Baby Got Back(grounds) Workshop

Michele Beschen & Chad Adams

(as always, the bold black questions are from me… the colored answers, are her answers… does anyone not know this by now? ha!)

Many of us, find you to be an amazing source of creative influence. What do you draw your inspiration/vision from? Who do you admire? Since it goes without saying that I was obviously the greatest teacher you have ever had *cough* and because humility is one of my greatest traits *cough*, you shouldn’t feel at all pressured to say me, Chrysti Hydeck.

I draw my inspiration from absolutely everything around me.  People, Places, Nature, Trash, Books….I see ideas in the most unexpected places and I think that really stems from training our eyes and our minds to open to their absolute fullest.  I admire everyday people who are resourceful and innovative; authentic, interesting people who love to learn and love to share.  And, yes that includes you, my friend.  I loved the anything goes approach with your class because that’s what encourages people to let loose of their ideas and their expression of them.   You were so generous with your time and your ideas and that is something I greatly admire in people.

talent is always conscious of its own abundance and does not object to sharing“…

Your talent, originality and enthusiasm aside – I am also remarkably impressed by your business sense. It’s a tough job, carving out an original, creative career path – could you give my readers any tips on taking that journey?

It’s extremely tough, and some days I have questioned “if this is what I’m really supposed to be doing, should it be this hard and this much of a challenge?!” — but at the end of the day, I know in my heart this is what I’m meant to do and I truly believe that when you embrace what you are truly passionate about and combine that with determination, resourcefulness and resilience, the path will keep getting longer and longer and wider and wider – (with of course, a few unexpected turns and roadblocks to work around here and there along the way) – and it’s at those junctures that the resourcefulness, the determination and the resilience need to be at their strongest.  It’s also important to surround yourself with positive, like-minded people that you can honestly share ideas, concerns and challenges with. It’s ok to ask for help now and then.  If you’re fortunate enough to have a direct line to an inspiring mentor, draw and learn as much as you can from them.

Here are a few of the quotes I have written on the wall behind my desk (yes, I write and scribble on the walls in my office):  “in a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failure” & “a person who walks in another’s tracks leaves no footprints“– these remind me that it’s ok to be different, and that we should always be challenging ourselves to explore new ways of doing things.    This one reinforces the whole belief that one thing always leads to the next and everything happens for a reason —  “Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments.  Therefore, each moment is vital.  It affects the whole.  Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed“…corita kent.  Everyone always needs to remember…… ‘It’s what YOU make of it’.

I am a big believer in creative fearlessness and one of the things I adore about you is that you are undoubtedly a jill-of-all-trades! What advice can you give to those folks who are intimidated to try a new skill, use a power tool, or make something that seems a bit off the wall? Have you/are you ever been intimidated to try something?

I’m with you on that one, sister!  Everything I do is designed to remove the fear from trying new creative things and experimenting.  That’s how great things happen and exciting discoveries are made.  One thing that I never think or say is “I Can’t Do That” — instead I think “I could learn to do that!”  I was fortunate to have a family that nurtured my can-do spirit and I have always believed that I can do whatever I set my mind to and I’m not afraid to try.  Granted, it doesn’t always pan out as planned, but I love the whole process of learning and researching.  I am always trying to instill that can-do spirit in everyone, because it’s the self-doubt, the fear and the inner-critic that usually gets in the way for people.  It is so important to ignore those negative thoughts because they will cheat you out of the whole invigorating creative experience.  Do it for you! If you like it, that’s all that matters.  My house is filled with off the wall stuff, because that’s what I like!  Isn’t that the beauty of creative expression? You’re able to create things however, whenever, wherever, you want! 

To be honest, I’ve always been more fearful of the criticism and judgment than I ever have been of actually trying something.  It’s in those moments that I look at these quotes on my wall  “I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: which is: try to please everybody“…herber b. swope. “Some look at things that are, and ask why.  I dream of things that never were and ask why not?”…george bernard shaw

 It’s no secret that I love power tools.  And, I don’t understand the hesitation and fear so many people have over using them.  In my mind, they are no different than the electric mixer or the sewing machine.  They can open up an expansive new world of creative opportunity. I didn’t have all those tools when I started, nor did I know how to run all of them, but I slowly started adding to the workshop.   I started small and I started cheap. I would buy the most economical, space saving version of a tool, be it a sander, a saw, etc. to get familiar with how it worked, what I could do with it and then would upgrade as needed or could afford.    I am all about personal responsibility and I think that each and every one of us is capable of operating tools and being smart and safe about how we go about using them. They can really enable you to take your creative projects to a whole new level!

What’s the oddest object within your reach right now?

a jar filled with ‘lucky stones’ — my dad is a commercial fisherman and they are found inside the head of a perch.  (May sound gross to some I know, but it’s really not!) They are these beautiful pearly white ‘stones’ that I’m trying to work into some jewelry. People used to carry them in their pockets in belief they brought them luck.

I spoke last year about just a few of the art mishaps I have had. Could you share some of yours? The more embarrassing the better!  

I had somehow smeared black paint/ink across my face without realizing and made a trip to Lowe’s of course chatting up loud and proud to everyone I know.  Got a glimpse of myself in the car mirror.  Face went from black to that really hot red color that I’m sure you’re aware of, in a hurry.  Why do people not tell you about that stuff?

I’m not exactly graceful, myself, so I am usually spilling this or that in the shop, and when it spills over something I’m actually working on, It doesn’t even phase me anymore, because I’ve gotten very good at just making it part of the piece.  It gives me some looks that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.
I was hauling some used gallons of house paint from the town studio over to the studio behind the house and was in a hurry, so I just set them on the floor of the back seat (and, maybe I had piled one on top of another)…of my husband’s truck (I also might want to mention I’m not always diligent about making sure the lids are tightly back on things).  I got to the studio and went about working on something, not unloading the paint right away, and a few hours later, as my husband went to use his truck, I saw a paint can go flying across the yard along with some very colorful words, and quickly realized that this amazing shade of golden ochre (almost a full gallon of it, mind you) had covered the car floor — and had been sitting there for a few hours.  Have you ever tried to get paint out of carpet?  My tip on that is to keep it wet and get out the wet/dry shop vac!   Luckily it was summer and I could make good use of the garden hose.  I can proudly say that I was able to clean up every drop. 

There are many, many more but I better keep moving along here….

With the economy crunched right now, many people are reverting back to a handmade holiday. (yay!) What are some your handmade holiday traditions?

Handmade holidays are all the more special, aren’t they?!  For this Christmas, we as a family made every ornament for the tree.  We strung cranberries, we baked dough ornaments, we rummaged around the yard for materials to use. Our tree is the quirkiest looking thing you’ve ever seen and we all love it!  It was two weekends of doing things as a family and we smile big every time we walk by it.  We also make a point to exchange handmade gifts and it’s so exciting to see what everyone comes up with.  A handmade gift gives everyone the opportunity to inject extra thought into the gift and really personalize it for the person you’re making it for.  It doesn’t take money or commercial things to make the holidays merry!  Another fun holiday tradition that’s not tied in with christmas, but rather my wedding anniversary.  My husband and I exchange new handmade rings each year.  We alternate who’s responsible for it each year and sometimes we make them ourselves or we search out unique rings from area artists. It’s a fun way to change things up and celebrate growth and it makes for an interesting collection. 

And kind of on a side note….Handmade doesn’t always mean it has to be made with your hands, either.  There are amazing artisans all around us offering up some of the most original works.  I think it’s important for everyone to support local artisans by making a point to search them out when looking for that unique, one of a kind gift or even when your shopping efforts are focused on yourself.  I love to buy clothes and jewelry from independent designers.  You won’t catch me at the mall very often!

Let’s talk toilet paper – Pull from the top, or the bottom?

Do not care, as long as it’s there! :)

How do you work out new ideas and get past being in a creative block? We’d love a lil’ glimpse into your creative process.

I wander around my shop.  I open bins, I flip through sketch books, I stare at my shelves.  I find all my supplies very inspiring, and sometimes all it takes is to just look, feel and play with my creative things that don’t have anything to do with the project  I’m working on. If that doesn’t get things into gear, I take a break from it.  I take a walk or go for a drive.  It frees the mind so that it’s not feeling forced and as a result, the ideas start flowing again.

Yoga is also a big thing for me. My mind is always racing from one thought to another, so practicing yoga every morning has really made a difference in what I like to call my ‘creative endurance’!  

Personally, I’m a quote whore. Do you have a favorite quote or two?

I love quotes too!  I find them thought provoking, empowering and inspiring. I’ve given you quite a few throughout my answers, but here are a couple that were my ‘drivers’ when I first started this business: 

“Creativity is the greatest gift one can possess”

Without creativity, there would be no progress“…edward de bono”
Creativity can solve almost any problem.  The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality overcomes everything“….george lois

and my own personal mantra…”a curious mind and a courageous soul make for a creative spirit
When you are not creating, what can we find you doing? Aside from taking one of my amazing workshops that is. (shameless, aren’t I?)

I hate to say it, but I’m always creating.  Even when I’m reading, I have my sketchbook nearby to sketch things as they come.  If I go for a walk, I’m looking for things to play with.  When I play with my daughter, we’re always coming up with new ways to do this or that.  When my husband and I go out, there are always conversations about ideas of things we’re wanting to build or try, or things we’re ‘dreaming’ of doing or trying!  When I’m on a road trip back to my parents, (and not the one driving) I’ll have the woodburner plugged into the adaptor so I can make good use of my road time!  What can I say, it’s a way of life for me!  (And, yes, if you were closer I would be taking your amazing workshops…only that would still count as creating, right?!):)

Don’t you think Simply Michele Inc. would sound just a bit better as Simply Michele & Chrysti Inc? Ok, Ok, I won’t put you on the spot — why don’t you just give us a sneak peek of some of the wonderful things you have in store for us!

That does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?!  I think 2009 is going to be a fabulous year for sharing ideas, so I encourage everyone to stay tuned.

Today’s giveaway is outstanding! (y’all are lucky I didn’t steal it for myself) Make my readers work for it and have them answer a question to be entered – what would you like to know about them? 

What’s one creative thing (product, technique, tool, etc) you want to learn more about?

So what is the outstanding prize package you ask? It’s seriously an amazing bundle of creative goodness that one lucky reader will soon call their own! (and you’ll totally dig the packaging too!) .. Check it out..

Michele Beschen's Courage to Create with Paint DVD

Michele Beschen's Courage to Create with Paint DVD

 that’s just for starters…

Michele Beschen's Courage to Create with Jewelry DVD

Michele Beschen's Courage to Create with Jewelry DVD



nope, not done yet …

YBNRML Leather Cuff Bracelet SIGNED by Michele!

YBNRML Leather Cuff Bracelet SIGNED by Michele!

and wait… there’s more!

New Brunswick retro license plate belt buckle- SIGNED by Michele!

New Brunswick retro license plate belt buckle- SIGNED by Michele!

Yup – over $85.00 worth of amazing creative goodness !!!!!!!!!!!  Man, I am SOOOO wishing I could enter my own giveaways. Is there any reason i can’t? I’ll just have to hop on over to her shop and get my own goods … her newsletter had a killer coupon I need to take advantage of tonight! I’m dying for a quiltless scarf.

So … want to have your crack at this abundance of inspirational goodies?

  • On this post in the comments answer Michele’s question: What’s one creative thing (product, technique, tool, etc) you want to learn more about?and/or my silly question toilet paper – Pull from the top, or the bottom”  – Extra Credit if you plead with Michele to make it Simply Michele & Chrysti Inc. The whole MC thing makes for great puns…
  • Do this by: Sunday, January 18th, 2009
  • PLEASE keep Spreading  the word! Blog it, Tell your friends — the works! I’m amazed daily at the impact this project is having on people. I want it to be contagious, plus it fuels me to make it bigger & better! 
  •  Enter Day 0 still!
  • Check out the first batch of winners, the second batch of winners and the third batch of winners!
  • Visit Michele’s Blog  for even MORE inspiration, her site & her store (great prices, even better items!)
  • Glad to be back – Missed you all! – Chrysti

    94 Responses

    1. I would really like to learn more about transfers, and I don’t care which the toilet paper is hung, so long as it is there.

      Simply Michele and Chrysti Inc sounds good to me! *-)

    2. definately below for the toilet paper if i;m putting in the roll!

      i would like to learn more about silk screening – something i haven’t tried yet on my own because of the materials involved.

    3. I have LOVED Michele since the first time I saw her on TV. I have done so many of the projects I’ve watched her do…OMG, how awesome!

      What do I want to learn more about? I love power tools but I don’t have a table saw or router and would really love to have both so I could learn more about woodworking and build some of the things I’ve got ideas for roaming around in my head. Tables, shelves, a desk, lawn furniture, chests…oh the things I would (WILL) build. lol YAY for power tools!!!

      Oh, and the TP must be OVER!

      Peace & Love,

    4. Answer to TP question:
      I prefer over but don’t really care either. It’s one of those things that just knowing it’s there is enough.

      New thing to learn:
      definitely printing, preferably on a letterpress. But I love all types. Gelatin prints, monoprints, linocut, anything. Want to do more and do it better.

    5. I would really love to learn about encaustic painting!

      And about the toilet paper-it really does not matter to me LOL

      How cool that Michele took your class!

    6. What a great interview! I am very envious that Michele got to take your class, C; I would have been there in a heartbeat if life allowed it…

      As far as something I’d want to learn, there are a host of ideas trying to shove their way to the front of the line BUT
      I would have to say jewelry design/ metal work. Not beading, which is what I have been playing with…but maybe PMC or beyond. Sterling, copper…yeah, all that stuff. Cut it, stamp it, bend it, hammer it, shine it, dress it up with semiprecious cabochons and pearls…oh yeahhhhh…

      I have 3 small boys, so for the tp question, I am just happy if it is not trailing down to the floor with the ends all shredded and what not. You know. Like chimps used it last. Ugh.

    7. I love your style! Great interview with Michele and what a fabulous giveaway! For your questions – TP – over the top ONLY! I want to learn about the Silhoutte cutter I got for Christmas. I know there are all kinds of cool things to do with it, but I’m a bit intimidated by it!

      Rene’ Mewes

    8. Fabulous interview! How fun, are you getting her back for this years Convenzione?
      TP is over the top, towels are put in the closet with the folds to the left, glasses lined up in the cupboard-I think I have problem, my studio could use some of that treatment-lol!
      I would love to learn photoshop, actually I would like to have the information transplanted into my brain, I hate learning computer stuff:-)
      Glad you’re back,

    9. TP- over the top!

      I would like to learn lots of things- bookmaking, marbling, letterpress printing, fabric dyeing…………

      Great to have you back, Chrysti.

      I’m one of those who must live under a rock and I don’t have cable, so now I’m going to go check out Michele.

    10. I want to learn more about painting on fabric.

      I prefer TP over the top, but dont really care that much as long as there is some.


    11. Glad to have you back! I really missed checking in every day for the latest giveaway which would always include a special and inspirational (and funny!) post along with a fun and intriguing question to answer!

      SOME day I will work up the courage to weld! (I’m VERY afraid of the blowtorch–I fear that I might singe off a finger or something!) and I’d like to work with glass (making beads–there’s that torch again) and I’ve gotta dive into PMC!!


    12. What to do with the dremel tool I got for Christmas and how to paper marbling. Also, TP has to come from the top or I am compelled to change it ….

    13. awesome give-aways! i would love to learn more about color mixing.


    14. I’m with Michele, tp just has to be there, half the time it doesn’t even get to the holder. Who needs a holder?( may be part of my clutter issue)

      Just one thing I want to learn? geezs well, I’d like to learn how to use my Photo Shop elements more creatively, woodcarving would be cool. Welding! Machine applique so it doesn’t look so ratty. . . how much space do I have. But you said just one……welding, big metal pieces! But I’ll work on soldering in the meantime.

      Now Michele, you must take on Chrysti as a partner. at least let her be on the show once or twice to try out!

      WE missed you Chrysti, hope you had a great trip, glad you’re back!

      thanks again!

    15. Michele is an amazing craft maverick. I’ve known of her work since her program was local here in central Iowa.
      I’m working on my drawing skills and would like to improve on drawing portraits and learn to draw a body to go with the faces. I also want to paint them in acrylic.
      TP – one way for me – from the top.

    16. Great giveaway!!! Thanks so much for the opportunity!!

    17. I would like to learn more about painting. Toilet paper-top.

    18. Wow, Fantastic giveaway!!

      Ok, Firstly for Kristy – re: Encaustic – If you have any questions feel free to ask me, i wrote an article for a downunder magazine a while ago, so might be able to help you.

      Now for my toilet roll answer: ok, I know it’s supposed to roll over the front from the back (and therefor showing the patterns correctly and not upside-down) – but, It doesn’t do it smoothly enough for me!! So definately I prefer it running down the wall at the back so it pulls off easily :)

      I would like to learn more about resin, mostly the ‘finishing’ side of things :)

      Thanks for the giveaway opportunity again – you have teamed up wonderfully with Michelle…….. oh and yes, Michelle, you MUST include Chrysti LOL (beg beg beg for more kudos to win this giveaway) – you know the world loves Big Mac’s and you two together would be bigger than Ben Hur let alone McDonalds……..

    19. This is my first exposure to Michele and I’m really impressed by her! I really enjoyed the interview and I’ve visited her website, too. I strive for fearlessness in creativity, but rarely make it!

      I’d like to learn more transfer techniques and I’d like to become better at drawing/sketching. In fact, I’m taking a drawing class, starting tomorrow night! I’m very nervous because I have drawing baggage from my college days and my childhood.

      Toilet paper is definitely an over the top thing in our house! In fact, I’ve been known to change it when I see it threaded the other way!

    20. What do I want to learn? so much, preferably something new every week…. to do this I need to be more open and trust myself instead of doubt myself.
      I would love to feel more comfortable with a sewing machine so that I can incorporate more fabric in my work – I love fabric so this would be cool.

      TP Answer – like Michele just need to know it is there

      Great blog giveaway, welcome back xxx

    21. I love Michele’s show and admire her can do anything attitude!! I would like to learn how to use my soldering gun, enhance my very basic skills on Photoshop so I can incorporate digital art as part of my offerings in my online shop, and then finally, I’d like to practice self portraits in a variety of different mediums this year.

      PICK ME PICK ME!!!! :)

      Great interview!!

    22. I want to learn how to knit! I have seen some beautiful knitted items. Oh, and pull from the top ;)

      kayceewilliams AT gmail DOT com

    23. Something that I would love to learn, explore, create would be Paper Mache animals, actually the likes of a life size giraffe, panther, or assorted other “wild things” and “finish” the fur, hide, or what it may be …skin, in a collage so inspired by the entire project. Then make it waterproof so it could meander the yard… hmmm toilet paper, all I can say is ” I am glad that it has taken the place over old Sears catalogs ” Blessings….

    24. I LOVE power tools…collecting them, that is…but once i have them it is a LONGGGGG time before i ever get the courage to use them. I read about all the cool things the tool can do – so i have to have it. Creatively, I really really need to learn to use my plasma cutter. It can cut thru thick steel. soon, soon!

      oh…i don’t know if it is top or bottom, but the toilet paper HAS to be coming from the BACK.

    25. Toilet Paper under – if only to save those tangled heaps on the floor that the cats generate when the paper is loaded topways. Then again, it is a shame to spoil their fun – they have such a great time with it.

      There are so many things that I want to learn that it is hard to pick one – but Paper Marbling has been near the top of my list for several years. I’d like to make this the year in which I actually have a go.

      (BTW – am having a Pay It Forward giveaway on my blog, and another giveaway coming up Jan 19th)

    26. Hey Chrysty !

      What a a great interview and how generous a giveaway ! So thrilling – Michelle is so very very out of the box imaginative ! I love the way she sees the world !

      Something I would like to know more about is Photoshop and digital altering of my own work. That and My number one art goal this year – to do art with others, not just alone in my studio !

      Thanks so much for the chance to win these great treasures !

    27. Certainly there are so many things I want/need to learn more about – more than just one! But I’ll pick painting – using thick body acrylics and other mediums to create imagery and texture.

      If I’m putting the TP on, it rolls from the top. Funny story, me ex-husband could NEVER put a new roll on by himself BUT if I happened to put the roll on upside down in a rush, he would take it off and turn it around!

      P.S. to Michelle: Seriously, you gotta consider the whole M&C thing… what a freakin’ fanstastic combination that would be!

    28. I missed you, the intros to your giveaways are fun. Did you see the Darth Vader gargoyle at the National Catherdral?
      Metal, I want to learn to use metal with fabric and with watercolors. I’m not even sure what I mean, but that’s what came to mind when I closed my eyes.
      If Michelle and Chrysti doesn’t work out, how about Chrysti & Joanie, Inc.? Our specialty can be metal watercolors. lol
      Happy days,

    29. Well, two questions – two answers: Working with metals is the first and yes, from the top is the second!
      (Did you know that living in Europe can be similar to living under a stone?)

    30. I would love to be able to work doing paper cutting. Small pictures made by cutting paper.

      Thanks Renee

    31. Great interview!
      I’d like to have a better understanding of painting light and shadow so I can use it more effectively in my paintings. I am taking a class for that currently, so hopefully I will get what I am in it for. I would also like to understand how to better balance my time to be more productive in the studio, while still being an awesome mom. A third thing is that I have never tried gouache. I want to do that.
      And I am with Michelle on the TP thing. In our new house there is a poorly located TP holder that I knock the TP off every time, so I just set it on the counter. The plan is to have a freestanding floor model holder. Was that TMI?
      How about Michelle & Chrysti & Amy?

    32. Welcome back, Chrysti!! :) You were missed by so many. Thanks so much for continuing what you began as a little girl….. the art of giving….

      And concerning the TP,
      definitely over the top.


    33. Love Michele also! I would like to learn a little bit more about differnt uses for mica. Another thing would be cutting my own stamps…I know i can use cork but what else?

    34. I would love to learn more about working with leather. I have made some very basic leather journals. Last trip to the leather store I bought some leather stamps but haven’t had a chance to try them out…

    35. “What’s one creative thing (product, technique, tool, etc) you want to learn more about?”

      wax and encaustic painting

      and/or my silly question “toilet paper – Pull from the top, or the bottom”

      we pull from the bottom…I do believe it was started that way by my husband, cause my mom pulls from the top, so i am sure growing up, i pulled from the top. LOL


    36. Wow what a fantastic give away!
      Love your humor!!

      For me I’d love to add texture with paint and learn to do shading and really just have fun with it to tell you the truth!

    37. My husband says pull from the bottom and I say, pull from the top–all of which is really indicative of how opposite we are in just about anything except our love for each other!
      I really want to learn about encaustic art. I also want to give myself permission to draw more.

    38. In answer to Michele’s question, I want to learn more about painting. I’ve learned the basics; this year I want to learn the subtleties. (sp?)

      Positively, paper from the top.

      And… Michele, whaddya think? Chrystie could really be as asset…

      Cindy Key

    39. Great giveaway! I’ve got this hankering lately to learn how to weave – and just where this came from I don’t know.

    40. I REALLY want to learn to make solder jewelry.

    41. I bought a brayer to smooth down collage elements. I would like to learn to use the brayer with inks and paints.
      The tp question……….over!

    42. God, just ONE thing I would like to learn more about? ONE? Hmmmm tough question since I’m currently taking THREE workshops on different media. Ok, one….God, I CAN’T….just CAN’T pick one. I have to pick TWO:

      — fiber arts. Being a traditional quilter I would love to get back to my fabric which has taken a back seat to paper arts for so looooong, but I would like to use it in a NON-traditional way. ie art quilts, etc
      — “wet” media. Paints…watercolor, acrylic.

      Now, the easy question – toilet paper. Why from the BOTTOM. It just falls off the roll and hangs there….so convenient.

    43. Obviously I’ve been missing something wonderful because we can’t get Michele’s show here…sigh. Enjoyed the interview and I’ll be checking out her web site to find out more.
      Glad to have you back Chrysti..I’ve missed your thought-provoking posts and the wonderful quotes!!
      To answer the question(s) – I’d love to learn encaustics, goldwork, stumpwork, and just generally how to be an artist AND TP? From the top.

    44. First of all, where do you think the expression “over the top” came from? TP must be loaded so it’s easy to grab without skinning your knuckles on the bathroom wall.

      Second question, the answer’s just as simple…transfers. I really, really wanna get to the point my attempts succeed more often than they fail.

      No longer have DIY and I really miss Michele. She’s so cool! Thanks for the neat-o offer!

    45. I would like to learn glass blowing.

    46. Silk Screening! Always was interested in how to do it.

      I’m a from the top kinda gal :-)

    47. tp: over the top – I’m insistent about that!

      I want to learn how to take better photographs – take the camera off auto and learn about ISO, shutter speed, and apputures.

    48. oooh, I love Michelle! Thanks so much for the awesome giveaways.
      I also would love to learn more about encaustic techniques and image transfers on all types of materials (fabric, metal, etc.).

      No preference here on the toilet paper debate.
      As long as it’s within reach when needed.

    49. I want to learn more about watercolor and drawing and journaling . . . I could go on and on, but that’s enough for now.

      And while I hang the TP to pull from the bottom, it doesn’t make much difference to me.

    50. Welcome back!!

      PMC fascinates (and scares!) me – you can make way-cool stuff, but the “value” of the raw materials has kept me from ever trying it out.

      TP, always from the top…

    51. “What’s one creative thing (product, technique, tool, etc) you want to learn more about?” I want to learn to use the Wacom my husband gave me last Christmas. My drawing skills aren’t good – my son has that gift – but I’d like to try making some little faces to use in my work. I saw the most wonderful primitve dolls recently on a site recommended by Lisa Vollrath – wish I could remember the name. The faces were fairly simple, roundish, with such sweet expressions. I think of them as moon faces and I’d like to make some.

      BTW I named your blog as one I love in one of my January posts and gave you an award but forgot to send you the link! It’s It got cut off in the links above & I’m (don’t mind if anyone knows)

      Good to have ya back!

    52. Another great interview! Ugh I do not have cable……….I miss out on so much good stuff.

      Anyway the tp must be pulled from the bottom and if anyone else put the roll on the other way I will turn it over…

      I would really like to add metal working to my skills. Even if it is just working with small sheets of copper to start with.

      Glad to see you back Chrysti

    53. Hey girlie – I’m SO glad you featured Michele. She is the neatest person – and she’s been on my mind a lot lately. Oh – before I go *there*…I want to learn more about encaustics.

      This year Michele did a thing with Good Morning America. I totally jumped on it – I couldn’t afford Christmas gifts for my kids (a loveliness of singleparenthood) and was going to make them something handmade. While cruising around Michele’s blog one day, I saw the blurb about entering the contest. I wrote up my little piece right there on the spot. I was stunned when a gal from GMA called me a couple of days later to say they were interested in my entry.

      I was so stoked – the thought of meeting Michele in person was enough to put me on Cloud 9. I seriously couldn’t sleep in anticipation of her (possible) arrival. I just knew this would be the best Christmas – EVER!

      My oldest son (who we’ve talked about before) has ADHD and is bipolar. He had this major mental meltdown the very next day after talking to GMA…and he was put in the psych ward. I was so upset – I knew I couldn’t get with my idol and deal with him in the hospital. :( That was a real let down – and I never was able to do anything for the kids like I wanted.

      But Michele’s doll house she made for the family who were on GMA was amazing. Stunning. Gorgeous. Something only Michele could create. I knew my daughter would have loved it. Man – I would have loved to have it! :)

      So there you have it – that is why Michele has been on my brain lately. I can’t thank you enough for featuring her – she’s such a shot of inspiration and creativity. I’m pretty sure that if you look up “create” in the dictionary, a picture of you and Michele would have pictures there. :)

      queenkatherine at gmail dot com

    54. I will be silly and say it doesnt matter how I pull the t paper as long as it pulls LOLOLOL
      Robin krieger

    55. Hi Chrysti, welcome back!
      Everyone knows you pull from the top, and if my darling husband does it wrong, I fix it.

      I would love to learn to work really big. I am a collage artist, and I produce a lot of work, but “BIG” really intimidates me. I see other artists working in collage, that incorporate paint and other mediums and manage to create very beautiful work on large canvas. I would like to do that also.

    56. Wow, this is great! To answer Michele’s question, I’d like to learn more about screen printing. I bought a Gocco kit but haven’t had a chance to use it very much. I’d like to experiment more with color separation and putting layers of design together for a single print.

      For the toilet paper, I like having it up.


    57. Welcome back! Ahhh..if I could only narrow it down to one thing, or two or……..I want to learn it all. (Even have a bumper sticker that says so!) SO much and so little time. Great interview and guess I too will come out from under my rock and check “M” out. Oh…TP…have cat so it must be standing up on side away from rotating paws but within hand’s reach.

    58. I do mostly collage and mixed media work and would like to learn more about soldering and encaustic work.

    59. must be over the top!!!! ;)
      i would love to learn more about plaster.I have been wanting to learn how to do like the babies hands and feet..I just adore those..such precious moments to capture…also i have been dabbling a little into making jewelry..just starting though..if i win these ,that would help!

      this is a wonderful contest and i would love to win this.. ;)


      i added you to blog as well!
      Simply Southern~ Jesus-peace in the storm ~monday giveaways

    60. one technique i would like to learn is using more color on my stamped images (i make a lot of cards), whether it be chalk or pens or colored pencils… i am too scared to try!

      and toilet paper, pull from the top, def.

    61. I am really jonesing to learn how to use paint and acrylic mediums. Just love them… kind of scared of them. But I also prefer to say “I can learn to do that” rather than “I can’t…”

      TP – I’m with Michele – “As long as it’s there, I don’t care!”

      Now, ask me about the position of the toilet seat and I most definitely care!

    62. Good question – but just the one thing?

      Okay the thing I’d most like to learn how to do is to get my photos to print out as a transfer – suitable then use on canvas – and have it actually work!

    63. I’d like to learn about canvases – how to make your own or prepare them really well.

      I like pulling TP from the top, but if someone else puts it in the other way I don’t change it. :-)

    64. welcome back
      i too want to learn it all!
      also to be braver and work bigger
      one thing i would really love to do is glass blowing
      and the t.p.-oh it has to come over the top:)
      many thanks
      tabby :)

    65. I’d like to learn more about encaustic and putting wax over paintings – it looks so cool!
      Great prizes and as long as the TP is there, I’m good.


    66. I really want to get into making better jewelry. I make some now but have yet to get so I am happy with the end product. Maybe they are truly not quite finished. Who knows? I am looking for books and other reference materials and a trip to the local bead store.

      And, TP, I think Michelle has it right – it has to be there. Leaves and such make icky TP.

    67. Hello,
      I like the idea of 29 days.

      I have watched Michele on TV – I love her creativity. She is always coming up with something different. Also, I like that she re-uses items and makes them into crafts. I want to learn more about power tools – Michele always makes it look so easy. Also, I want to buy and learn about a machine called Cricut.

      TP – I have been known to take the roll off, and change the direction – I like it over the top, not from underneath! In the rare occasion that someone else in our house actually puts the roll on the holder!! lol

    68. I’d like to learn more about book making…..oh and more about metal work and ….more about painting…and ..well just every thing really.
      TP? no preference, but there should always be a spare in easy reach.

    69. I would like to learn more about digital photographic manipulation.

      Toilet paper from the top please.

    70. I met both YOU and Michele last year that the ZNE ConvenZioNE and you both are FABULOUS!!! So def should be Simply Michele and Chrysti Inc!! :)

      “What’s one creative thing (product, technique, tool, etc) you want to learn more about?” I want to try and learn more about encaustic. I have gotten the crock pot for it and the pellets, I am search for a good book or class that teaches it.

      my silly question “toilet paper – Pull from the top, or the bottom” – From the top….just easier!

      Thanks again Chrysti!

      Artful Blessings,

      P.S. Stop by my blog for my Blogiversary giveaway!!!

    71. Tops on my list “to Learn” is combining photos with collage using Photoshop.

      TP should be over and a spare within reach!

      I wish I could get Michelle on TV…used to see her when HGTV had her on in the early morning, but no more ….sure miss that!

    72. What I want to learn most at this time is needle felting……not the simple one dimensional….that I know, but the sculptural needle felting.

      TP = from the top

      Michele, Michele, Michele….I love your show, and love your creativity…..and I think it would be fabulous if you and Chrysti made it Simply Michele and Chrysti…..would be perfect for 2009!

    73. Woo Hoo! I am so glad you’re back. I hope I win one of these days :-)

    74. I think she is great and can do so many things. I would like to know more about stenciling, transfering, and painting techniques.

      I don’t care which way the TP goes as long as it’s there.

    75. I would like to learn more about metal working and setting stones. I would like to take a class so I can expand my jewelry skills.

      As for the toilet paper….my dogs always eat it off the roll so I keep it on a high shelf that they can’t reach. The things we put up with for our lovlies.

    76. Coming out from under my rock to say that the one creative thing (product, technique, tool, etc) I want to learn more about is watercolor. I think somewhere inside me is an awesome artist just dying to get out…if I only knew how…so I am hoping to learn to do watercolor this year…even if only for myself.

      As for the “toilet paper” Always from the top unless you have a cat …then from the bottom is safer. Years ago we had a cat who liked to unroll it and one day I came home to find an entire roll of paper unrolled into the toilet…having to fish out all that paper so as not to plug up the plumbing was NOT FUN! LOL

      Michele, You should definitely make it Simply Michele & Chrysti Inc. The whole MC thing sounds too cool!

    77. Wow~ What a great interview!

      I’m working on learning to draw better… Thanks, Chrysti, for your givaway of the Suzi Blu class, I have some ideas & instructions to follow now! Also want to learn to use metal & wood & my Dremel tool & metal mesh & sewing machine & needle felting & gosh, just about everything I see is so inspiring that I want to learn it all.

    78. I would like to learn more about art journaling, seeing examples and details on topics and such, I have never made an art journal but I am very interested in it…


    79. I want to learn more about collage, art journaling, drawing, painting, using my textile tool, using all kinds of power tools like saws and drills, free-motion quilting, machine needle-felting (I just bought an embellisher) – I feel like the list is endless. I wish I were 30 or 40 years younger knowing what I know now so that I’d have time enough to do it all. I’ve been asleep all my life – thank Goddess I’m finally awake!

    80. I want to learn more about collage, art journaling, drawing, painting, using my textile tool, using all kinds of power tools like saws and drills, free-motion quilting, machine needle-felting (I just bought an embellisher), book binding – I feel like the list is endless. I wish I were 30 or 40 years younger knowing what I know now so that I’d have time enough to do it all. I’ve been asleep all my life – thank Goddess I’m finally awake! And definitely from the top!!!!!

    81. I tried submitting my response a couple of times and it doesn’t seem to appear. So I’ll try again, hoping this isn’t the third time you see it: I want to learn about collage, art journaling, free-motion quilting, the use of power tools like saws and drills and planers, how to use a lot of the tools I already have such as the Textile Tool and the Embellisher, how to paint and draw and turn myself into a real artist! And it must be from the top, thank you very much!

    82. Wow! I’ve watch Michele many times on HGTV and was always amazed at how she handled saws and woodworking tools…..If I could learn to use tools as confidently as she does to make my own storage, cubs, shelves, bookcases….I would be thrilled. I’ve learned so much from her…one episode she showed how to find great supply containers from Goodwill by repurposing wooden bowls and kitchen equipment…she shows great ideas…I would love her tapes and anything she has made….

      I don’t care which way on the toilet paper as long as its put on!

      My plead with Michele for it to be “Simply Michele & Chrysti Inc.”
      would be that… artists really SUPER CREATE when they have other artists to throw ideas back and forth with….you both would make a good team!

    83. TP should come from the top, please.

      So many things to learn….but number one priority is taking advantage of my new wacom bamboo tablet (a gift from Santa). I would also love to learn about art journaling and doing awesome drawings with Copic Markers–however I need to get my hands on some of them first.

    84. […] Day 0 & Day 16 & Day 17  & Day 18 […]

    85. Photoshop and digital photography. I want manipulated images for my fiber art!

    86. I am so a top-puller of TP!! LOL What I would like to learn? Wow! So many things.
      How to your PHotoshop Elements? How to solder? How to weld? How to blow glass? And that is just to name a few!
      Hey Michele…I think yours and Chrysti’s names should be used together!! LOL

    87. Tp from the bottom.
      That way when the cat is pawing at it it isn’t all rolling off on the floor. (It has happenned more times thatn I want to admit!)

    88. we missed you also…. I kept checking back and then last week got so busy… I am back to visiting my blogs!

      Learn more about…. hmmmmm Clay I haven’t done much with clay.

      FROM the TOP is there any other way! HEHEHEHEHE

    89. There are so many crafts I want to learn! Jewelry-making, drawing, painting, fabric collage, stenciling, polymer clay, – I could go on and on!
      Clare xxoo

    90. One creative thing I’d love to learn more about is painting, doing big paintings on canvas and how to make them “keep together” while working big, adding in collage etc. I’d love to take such a class someday!

      Lovely giveaway, glad you’re back!

    91. […] 16-  Click Here to read all about it ! Prizes:2 Michelle Beschen Courage to Create DVD’s, Signed Belt Buckle […]

    92. One creative technique I would like to learn more about is combining sewing and fabric within my mixed media art. Thanks for the great give-away-opportunities, I love your blog!

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