(Under) 2 Minute Background Technique

I’ve been experimenting with my iPhone recently, and discovered the free Ustream app which allows to me record videos and live shows with my phone. How cool is that? I’d really like to re-do this one, I was distracted (and stuffy) and it shows.

Super easy. Fabulously fast. Great for journals, or a layer on a mixed-media piece.  I think you’ll enjoy this faux batik, resist type background technique of mine; anyone can do it. Really.

What you’ll need:

  • 2 minutes of free time
  • Your art journal, or watercolor paper
  • A baby wipe
  • Acrylic Paint
  • Rubber stamp (or other object that leaves impressions)
  • Paint Brush/Water (optional)
  • Brayer (optional)

Products I used:

Easy peasy eh?

Artfully Yours,

Permission to Play

Ok.  So it may be old news to some of you.

Alright, more than a few of you even…

but still, it’s pretty cool news ya know?

Article in the July/August 2009 Somerset Studio

Article in the July/August 2009 Somerset Studio

In the July/August ’09  issue of Somerset Studio not only did I create 4 exclusive artist papers, but tutorials on how to create on each of them.. and boy-oh-friggin’-boy was the feedback amazing ! It actually took me aback – just how much folks enjoyed it. Delightful accolades are still pouring in about it even now – love that. It touches me. It motivates me. Words can’t convey how good it is for my heart, for the whole of me .. to know that just by sharing something I abso-friggin-lutely love to do, it somehow …inspires someone.

Simple, yet powerful pleasures that I am continually thankful for.

 “We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action.”
 Frank Tibolt

I stumbled on this video a few days ago – it uses my article as a jumping point, and also showcases Claudine Hellmuth’s fabulously delicious  paint line…. I thought y’all may enjoy it as well.

Here are a few others who have also generously shared their results:
(i know there are more, but lost the links i had saved – please resend!)

Did you use the artist papers I created in a project? Did you give the tutorials a try? Shout out in the comments with a link to your work/post and I’ll add it here too, ‘cuz y’all inspire me. For those that have asked, I just may *cough* be working up a part deux of Permission to Play.

Go. Play. Permission? Totally granted.


On the road….

Sunset Road

Just a quick post, as I am out of town currently and madly trying to finish up the last of my preperations for my workshop this weekend at the much anticipated convenZioNE. I am overhwhelmed yet excited, nervous but thrilled… and I’m really looking forward to meeting some of you that I’ve been lucky enough to get to know online over the years…. It’s always a bit odd at first, but it amazes me how quickly we become comfortable with one another. I’m sure my tummy will be in knots though!


I’ll be flying cross-country to Cali tomorrow afternoon, hopefully jet-lag won’t get me too badly…think good thoughts for me please! I haven’t been on a flight that long in years… and haven’t been to California since I was 16…oy!

I may blog, if I get a moment — but it looks unlikely that I’ll have the time… you can however, keep up with me over at Twitter… I LOVE that I can text updates & cell phone pics there. When I return, I’ll announce the winner of the contest — and am extending entries on it til I get back as well….so be sure to enter!

And for those of you in the Cali area.. stop by my booth at the Art, Paper, Pleasantries event on Sunday, and say you read my blog — You’ll get to pick a free gift – no purchase necessary! It’s just a small way, I can spread my excitement. I’ll have some original artwork, a few prints, paper dolls, skeleton leaves, ribbon, handmade paper kits, embellishments, tons of $1.00 items and a whole lot more for sale! I am thinking about selling my displays at cost too, at end of day to avoid shipping them back – so if you’re there, let me know you are interested!

Have an artful few weeks — and I look forward to blogging regularly again in September, and gushing over all the news this creativity fest will bring!


Oh Yeah! Baby Got Back(grounds)!

I’m bringin’ backgrounds back
Vibrant colors, layers, and paste with cracks
They rich with texture ….oh thats a fact
So sign up now and and I’ll teach you tricks that don’t lack..

That’s right! A month or so ago I finished working out all the wonderful details for my class at the convenZioNE! I really wanted it to be an ultra-special, super fun workshop that we all enjoy… and I wanted you all to go home with a wealth of knowledge, an excitement to play & create freely, and techniques you can use on almost any surface, with practically any project!

Since ZNEis near & dear to my heart – It was important I do something above and beyond for this magnificent event! So I took a few of the classes I already teach, and a few secrets I haven’t unveiled before and combined it into one workshop! In fact Iet me just quote a portion of what I wrote on the site I created especially for the class

I put together this incredible day long workshop – because y’all asked for it. Some of my favorite techniques, for creating backgrounds that have depth, texture and that totally scrumptious richness we all crave. I really wanted to focus on a process oriented class, that would give life-long, valuable skills; so that my students can apply them to paper arts, mixed media paintings, art journals, altered surfaces and so much more! I’m offering up some of my (until now) top-secret working practices too -including how to create gorgeous pieces simultaneously, how to really save money & stretch every last ounce of your supplies.

While these are all techniques I ordinarily teach individually, typically with a completed project — this is the only time you’ll see them offered in a class just like this. Only 20 spots are available — so act fast! I’m really proud of what I put together for this amazing extravaganza — and I hope you will be too.

I am BRIMMING with excitement over this class, and the entire event too!! I CANNOT wait to get the opportunity to meet so many of you, and create memories that will last us a lifetime. True to form — I am making sure that everyone who attends my class goes home ab-so-friggin-lutly spoiled rotten! My class registrants will receive incredible goody bags, The Create With Chrysti technique booklet in which full color photographs accompany techniques & easy to follow instructions; plus tips, tricks & more, use of the amazing all-you-can-use-art-buffet, discounts for my store — and a few more surprises I have up my sleeve!! I love to give — and this is the perfect platform to do so in!  

I put together a site that covers practically any questions you may have about the workshop! There’s a bunch of information, more sample photos and info on how to register! So go and check it out, and even if you aren’t attending my class — I’d love to hear what you think!

The feels-like-i-am-forgetting-something (dontcha hate that feeling?)… Chrysti

Help! Opinions Needed!

Fast Post today, as I am more then overwhelmed with my workload right now.(but boy, oh boy does it feel good to be making serious headway!)

Oh, I know what they say about opinions… but can y’all give me your honest thoughts anyway? The good, the bad… the in between.. you’ll have my eternal gratitude…. I think .. no, I know … I have a serious case of decision overload, coupled with sleep deprivation.

Click the photos, to see it at flickr & view it larger! Once you are there, simply click the all sizes button above the photo.

Firstly: My New Business Logo for The Altered Abbey

The Altered Abbey Logo - Version 1

The Altered Abbey Logo - Version 2

Sound off on which one you prefer!

Next up we have The Altered Abbey Business Card — I’m not 100% in love with it yet, but I’m not quite sure what to tweak either — again, brain overload.

The Altered Abbey Business Card Front

The Altered Abbey Business Card Back

Lastly — Some fun stuff … these are a couple of the WIP’s (Work In Progress) pieces I added to my WIP set at Flickr today… Any ideas on where to venture with them? Fresh eyes are always so nice.

WIP (Work In Progress) Unnamed Bird Man

This 11″ x 14″ piece has been stuck at this point since February, 2007 .. I started it in Dec ’06…. I’m just blocked as to how to move on with him. I love it… but I think fear may be stopping me from trying anything else on it. Hopefully inspiration will strike soon!

WIP (Work In Progress) -- Monochromatic White Piece

This piece hasn’t been touched in about a year… it’s been at this point for that long! (worse yet, i started it a few months prior to that) …I also use it as a sample board though for my monochromatic white background workshops. However, I’d like to finish it soon!

Thanks so much everybody — I have some absolutely THRILLING news to share with you in the next couple of days!

Always grateful, Chrysti

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Free Images for All! New Art Too!

Crafty Chrysti

Did y’all know I craft as well? I haven’t spent nearly as much time on it as I would have liked this year, but it is still another one of my passions. I just love to create.. it’s really that simple! I listed one of my favorite crafts on etsy tonight.. these precious snowmen ornaments — they are my own design, and have always been popular for me. These 3 are all I have to sell.. so if you like them, best to grab them while you can! I don’t think I’ll have time to create anymore this year.

 Sammie Snowmen Ornament -Front

 Sammie Snowmen Ornament -Back

 Sammie Snowmen Ornaments

 Sammie Snowmen Ornaments -Back

Handmade OOAK Sammie Snowman Ornaments
On Etsy

Background Bonanza!

 Handmade Background

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had a ton of fun experimenting with background techniques…and trying to invent my own :-) Here’s 2 I managed to get scanned before using…the rest have been used! I really do find creating backgrounds, to be the most rewarding & calming process of all. I’ve talked about it in depth, in past entries .. click here & here for some reading if your in the mood! If you poke around my blog archives, you’ll find more as well.

 Another Handmade Background

The scanner didn’t pick up alot of the depth these backgrounds have.. or the metallic accents, and shadows etc… so disapointing. Ah well, you get the idea.

New – Free Vintage Images!

 12/02/06 Vintage Freebie 4

I uploaded a bunch of new copyright free vintage images ( Birds, Old Ads, Kids & More) for y’all to use in your artwork today at my flickr site.. If you want a few thousand more, be sure to check out & join (free) my Collage Images group!

Thank You – Free Art Drawing!

Wow!! What a response to the giveaway so far! Y’all have NO idea how much that means to me.. it’s been a MUCH needed pick me up this week! For those that haven’t entered yet.. you still have plenty of time.. click here for details.. and yes, International Folks are welcome to enter as well!

BTW – The neocolors gave me blisters, because I rubbed super hard, with one bare fingertip … on the rough paper, to blend them well. Note to Self: Buy more Q-Tips. Also, I didn’t use cardboard to create the kinda 3d effect.. the letters are just mounted on patterned papers, then adhered to the sheet. Then I blended around it all with the Neocolors to make it all cohesive.

You inspired me.. to continue this past next week, and share some other pieces to raffle as well!

It’s been a hectic, but productive day here so far.. I’m getting ready to spend the next few days listing like crazy at Etsy & Ebay .. My Art, Crafts, and as always art & collage supplies.. plus some fabulous gift items!

Well, that was almost too much for one day eh? More tomorrow!

(I’m still stumbling through emails.. they are on my laptop, which reboots itself almost every 10 minutes — so its harder then normal, for me to reply to them all .. thanks for your patience! I get over 1300 emails a day..ikes!)

Rustin’ Away Again

Originally uploaded by daffodil.

Loved that Rusty Photo. Gorgeous Isn’t it?

 “If you rest, you rust.”
~Helen Hayes
Then I’m rusting away beacuse I’m off today! Well, Kinda.

 I’m trying really hard to just take some time for myself.. I’m now out of the house (aka work) … and trying to enjoy some much needed quiet time.. so this will be the last you’ll hear from me until tomorrow evening! (Hopefully). I’m a few weeks behind (I will eventually answer them all!) in emails.. not sure if I’ll try to tackle that or not tonight. I’m just playing it by ear. I never realized how difficult it is for me to relax.

 “Everyone needs a warm personal enemy or two to keep him free from rust in the movable parts of his mind”
~Gene Fowler

Thought I’d share my attempts at Week 6 of TIT (Try It Tuesdays). The fabulous Judy Scott has been generous enough to share a fabulous and unique rust technique — I had a ball playing with it, and can’t wait to do more. I have plans for the canvas, but it’s a big ol’ secret — it’ll be something very different for me, excited yet? I know I am!

The first batch of photos are all of the same piece.. just couldn’t get an accurate one of the coloring. It’s a mesh between all of them in person!

 TIT - Week 6 - Rust - Canvas 1

 TIT - Week 6 - Rust - Canvas 1b

 TIT - Week 6 - Rust - Canvas 1a

On Canvas Board

Done using Salt, Gesso, Foil, Ranger Alcohol Inks, Winsor & Newton Watercolor Ink, Stain, and Walnut Ink.

 TIT - Week 6 - Rust - Journal Background

On 140 lb Watercolor Paper in my Art Journal

Done using Salt, Gesso, Foil, Ranger Alcohol Inks, Winsor & Newton Watercolor Ink, Stain, and Walnut Ink.

Pop over to Try It Tuesdays if you haven’t yet.. this week’s prize is sponsored by the Incredible Nici of Art Shaped World — it’s an amazing prize.. so be sure to enter! There’s 2 full weeks to play this time around….so no excuses! Visit her store today.. and maybe you’ll find a unique gift for someone in your life, or a treat for yourself. All her profits go towards treatment for her Asperger’s son. So feel good about what you buy!

I’m loving all the organization tips — and will address them all later this week! Keep em’ comin!

 “A sword, a spade, and a thought should never be allowed to rust”
~James Stephens

Now to go gather, and treasure my own thoughts.. – Chrysti