Am I good enough?

sm-cah-the_gift-closeup3-Image5

Each & every damn darn time I complete an article I get a sudden case of the dreaded ‘amigoodenoughs’. Let me reiterate:

Every.      Single.      Time.

My brain works overtime into this ri.dic.u.lous. sort of insane frenzy…  Am I good enough? Is it innovative enough? Is it clear enough? Did I forget something? Is there something new for people to learn? Is it supportive? Is it pretty? Am I sure I am done? Should I have added another piece? Did I proofread it well enough? Is it original and creative?  Is it at all inspiring? Can anyone do this? Is it too bizarre? Is it too common? Are the color palettes pleasing?  Are the pieces balanced? What will people get from it? Did I stretch my wings? Will the editors like it? Will it fit the issue they have in mind? What if it doesn’t? What if all the work was for nothing? OMG maybe I should start over. This isn’t good at all. This is the worst piece I have written. How boring am I? Am I good enough? … and it begins all over again. You know, that vicious circle thing.

Nothing is guaranteed. You may write a perfectly pleasing piece – it could be the nobel prize of art – and it just may get cut because it doesn’t fit. Granted, this has never  yet to happen to me – but I still worry it will. Financially, I have to place the majority of my time (or keep learning to) in things that I will profit from. I need to make a living.. and while rejection doesn’t bother me (much).. the idea of having wasted my time… THAT really friggin’ gets to me. Scares me. Scares the living bejesus outta me.. which triggers all the normal anxieties any one of us may have… and triggers my mood swings. Yikes. 

Earlier this year, was the first time I dropped the ball on an article. (i am still so, so, very sorry pokey) Mentally? I was in a bad, bad place. Physically? Not so good either. I was overwhelmed by life – overwhelmed by pain – overwhelmed with work – overwhelmed with home – you get the idea…  and when I couldn’t complete the task at hand, I beat myself up for it. I still do. It has and will always bother me.. that from time to time, this disease gets the best of me. I don’t want to be ‘that’ girl. Ya know? Things hit rock bottom for me this year… and I picked myself up. I have spent the year focused on getting that proverbial ‘all’ under control, while battling some life changes that would make a normal person crazy.

Still with me? I really do have a point here, I promise!

So I stopped writing, I didn’t commit to very much. I have found strength I forgot I had. I started over again, and began writing once more. When I completed my latest article, (which you should hopefully see in Somerset Studio next spring .. hello part deux) I was actually a bit surprised that my brain went right back to that way-too-friggin-rambly-insecure-mess you saw above. Talk about frustrating. Like a trooper though, I packed it up – shipped it out and hoped for the best. It is a good article, I think. Yet — is it good enough? I really get the most from inspiring someone to do something that they didn’t believe they could — I guess, like any of us… I want to know I contribute, that I have value – and that maybe, just maybe… someone else will gain something from that ‘thing’ I so loooove to do.

When the nasty lil thoughts hit me, I remembered something – a letter I received after my first article with Cloth, Paper, Scissors. It wasn’t the normal, ooo i like it… it wasn’t from someone I knew complimenting me… this was a stranger, who tracked me down.. and sent me the most touching note I have ever received about my writing. It made me cry. She gave me permission to share it years ago, and I hadn’t… but I think today I will. I would never post a private letter without permission.

I know this post is long. I know you may be sick of reading, I am asking that you continue doing sopretty please?

Chrysti,

I wanted to write to let you know how much your article in Cloth, Paper, Scissors has helped my 30 year old daughter.  She suffered an episode very similar to a stroke after the birth of her 3rd child last year and had to have surgery on her brain.  She has limited use of her right side and her speech is slowly coming back.  I have been trying to get her to play with some form of art or another (I am a cloth doll maker and jill of some trades) to help her heal and when I read your article I knew that I could get her to try her hand with this.  Her brain injury occurred on her left side and I knew that if I could show her how much fun she could have just trying some of the techniques she would find the confidence to try even more artistic endeavors.  One thing that we have been told is that the right side of the brain can compensate inadequacies (sp?) that happen to the injured left side and I knew that this was an art form that she would be able to do.

 She was a hair stylist by trade and color was her specialty yet she never felt that she was “artistic”.  Today she tried the first three steps in making a “Skinny Book” and even applied these techniques to some watercolor paper postcards.  We have taken a break until next weekend to let things dry.  I truly want to thank you for the great article with steps that made her feel like there are “no mistakes”.  She is her own worst critic and with limitations put on her now her self confidence and self esteem has been waning.  It was so fabulous to see her eyes light up as each new layer of play was completed. 

Biggest of hugs to you, my dear!

kimber

I of course, replied.. through tears.. the follow up note from her read as so…

Dearest Chrysti,

Thank you so much for writing and by all means share my note with anyone and everyone that you would like to.  You have a gift, my girl, and you were correct in saying that being “different” is one of your blessings.  Know that you touch more lives daily by creating the works that you do. 

When Morana first had her AVM episode they told us not to expect her to live.  A mother’s worst nightmare, I can assure you.  The blessings bestowed on us were many and we continue to be blessed in her healing process.  One of the many has been how you and your art have touched our lives.

When Morana was growing up she considered the art that I did daily just “something” her mom did.  When she was a little girl she drew daily but after a bad experience in school where they made her conform to what “they wanted” her to create she quit drawing, doing so only when assigned.

With this injury being on the left side of her brain I knew that if I could show her that there were no rules I could stir the right side of her brain to react positively.  I have always believed that art has healing qualities and I can already see this in her attitude and outlook about her life in general. 

Your article for Cloth Paper Scissors was just what we both needed to begin the baby steps in her art therapy.  I will be sending some pics next weekend to show you our progress. 

I will also be sharing with Cloth Paper Scissors what your article has stirred in our lives.  As “great” as it is to get “published” they (CPS) were the lucky ones in having you do such a wonderful article for them.

Biggest hugs to you, my dear!

kimber

See, this was my long-winded way of reminding you that despite our deepest reservations, despite our inner critics, despite what has seemingly become routine to us — through the good times, and the worst of times … we touch people. Our lives are all somehow connected, and each of us – has impacted someone in ways we may never know. In ways bigger than us.

Just by being who we are.

Just by sharing what we know.

So, goodbye, for now my-woefully-annoying-lil-insecurities .. I am reminded and trust that everything happens for a reason… once again. How many times will I learn this lesson in my lifetime? And Kimber? Thank you, for still being such an inspiration to me. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Chrysti

Scatter Joy

scatter joy - blog

"Scatter Joy" 16" x 20" Mixed Media Painting by Chysti

For the record, I am totally convinced that if you want a handbook on how to live a good, fulfilling life – one should look no further than always-oh-so-inspiring Ralph Waldo Emerson’s writings. Don’t believe me? Try this sampling of quotes on for size, all of course written and so graciously shared by Emerson.

  • “Be and not seem”
  • “Every man is in some way my superior.”
  • “Happiness is a perfume which you cannot pour on someone without getting some on yourself.”
  • “Most of the shadows of this life are caused by standing in one’s own sunshine.”
  • “Good luck is another name for tenacity of purpose.”
  • “Guard well your spare moments. They are like uncut diamonds. Discard them and their value will never be known. Improve them and they will become the brightest gems in a useful life.”
  • “A man is a god in ruins.”
  • “There is no knowledge that is not power.”
  • “For every minute you are angry you lose sixty seconds of happiness.”
  • “We learn geology the morning after the earthquake.”
  • “Accept your genius and say what you think.”
  • “It is not length of life, but depth of life.”
  • “The greatest homage to truth is to use it.”
  • “Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm.”
  • “Life is a perpetual instruction in cause and effect.”

and lastly, “Scatter Joy” …. it has become my mantra of sorts this year.

Detail in Scatter Joy: Click to see larger.

Detail in Scatter Joy: Click to see larger.

I have mentioned several times how this last year has been one of my roughest ever.. day after day I have been faced with extreme emotional challenges, physical ones and the struggle of once again starting my life anew. It’s a bizarre sort of thing really – for as much pain as I have endured, a part of me absolutely thrives on the challenge – and really, which of us hasn’t had our lives torn apart a bit, only to begin anew? I am also grateful that I have been given this time to learn who I am, and just what I am made of .. and should I forget that, should i forget all the good this world holds for me, should i forget the choices I have in front of me… I have the words of Emerson to remind me.

.. and I have art.

Detail of Scatter Joy Birdie: Click to see larger.

Detail of Scatter Joy Birdie: Click to see larger.

Despite some heavy depressions, lots of cursing and a few really dim days …  I have been creating these wonderfully vibrant pieces, full of color and light.. whimsy and happiness.. full of.. well, good ol’ fashioned optimism. How amazing is that? It is rare I plan out a painting.. I typically crank up the music and allow whatever that magic is inside me to come forth, to emerge. I create with wild abandon, with a huge heaping of freedom, and without judgement… the final result is often eye-opening to me and more beneficial than any 50 minute session with a therapist could ever be. I have discovered, or more accurately- been reminded – of what an incurable optimist I am at heart .. even when the times are more than a bit tough.

Sounds so simple doesn’t it? Yet, it is life changing for me.

Scatter Joy Detail: Click to see larger

Scatter Joy Detail: Click to see larger

 The piece I have shown throughout the post here is aptly named “Scatter Joy”, I threw a good chunk of myself into it & got lost in the magical little world I created … it contains well over 85 layers (i stopped counting there). It is one of the pieces that are dear to me, and one that is difficult for me to part with.. it is up for sale, and on sale at etsy .. and if you decide it holds a deep meaning for you too, I will give you $100.00 back on it – if purchased by Saturday, October 17th … just tell me you heard i ton my blog when you check out.  With that, I am ending here.. before I change my mind!

“This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it.”

I know just what to do with my time.. paint, paint with creative abandon.

Chrysti

P.S.  I still have some practically free yarn lots left, and the pre-order deal on the 8×10 of knowing  is expiring soon!

P.P.S. What is your favorite Emerson quote? Share it by Saturday October 17th, and you just may win an Artography print of mine!

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.

 Chrysti

My Lil’ Studio & Organizing Tips – A Video Tour on Vimeo

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Meet the bane of my existence today – that video above. It only ended up online, so that I felt like I completed something and the day didn’t become a waste. I did however learn alot, and tomorrow I’m sure I’ll see that …not right now though. Trying to figur eout some conversion stuff, get the widescreen format back — the waviness out…blah blah….

SO sorry for some of the waviness in this! While I was a bit shaky while filming it (handheld) … converting it to a smaller file made the quality terrible with motion… I am still trying to learn all of the ins & outs here. Online training..here I come.

I almost didn’t upload this, but since some of you asked.. I did. Note to self: when filming other videos, don’t talk/move for 13 minutes straight with sinus/cold stuff. You get winded & lightheaded and sound like the proverbial dofus – good thing I’m ok with making a fool of myself!

I am learning all this video stuff, so I can bring y’all High-quality online workshops. I could just do the quick/easy way now, but I really want them to be good.  Worth more than you pay for, and yeah..I am a perfectionist.

My Studio

Anyway – Hope this helps a bit, or at least one person with studio organization. (Obvious I am annoyed eh?)

Links mentioned in the video:

Other artists whose work are in my room:

and that list is by no means, all-inclusive! Will add to it as time permits! Chrysti

Day 17/29 Days of Giving is…

so um .

*looks around nervously*

yeah, the time i allotted to write this post?

it’s gone. burned up. deceased. vanished. taken flight.  down the drain. extinct. disintegrated into the vast emptiness of the world around us. spent. no more. nada.

it just, well in the words of a 3 year old. .. went bye-bye ….

yup. yours truly spent over 2 hours searching for these damn darn pics

that you shall see adorning today’s post

 (you better like ’em or at least pretend to! )

and i best finish organizing all these old files

(over 100,000 of them – you’d procrastinate too)

scattered across 3 friggin’ computers …

talk about poor time management and inefficiency

sheesh! bad chrysti!

so as you may have now guessed

there won’t be much writing accompanying this post

unless of course i start rambling

which lets face it … tends to happen alot

sowwy.

MMSP

SO (she tries to state in an eloquent non-rambling, reader’s digest sorta way) today’s giveaway, is one you should be familar with already since it was the Day 1 giveaway too!. I HIGHLY recommend you go back to that post and check out the interview I did with Cate, and read the AMAZING discussions that took place in the comments. True inspiration and eye-openers there.  In the near future, I plan to elaborate on some of your remarks as well – it fascinates me!

I told ya, y’all inspire me daily. Love that.

 Moving on … if you took my advice, and re-read Day 1 … then you’ll know I was honored to be a part of a truly inspiring, and groundbreaking book  last year: Mixed-Media Self Portraits.  In it, I teach you how to create your own self-portrait assemblage, sculpture mask. (it’s alot easier than you think) A super cool background technique, the mask itself..and more. I talk (very personally) about what brought me to creating them. Why I create them, and why i want you to create them.

I’m interested in those of you that may have this book already – what did you think of my piece? Have you tried it? If not, why not? It’s truly not as complex as it seems in print. Claustrophobia isn’t an excuse either – I get panic attacks easily when confined, and actually did a-ok making these. On my own I may add and with no help. (said in my big girl voice) Though admittely, it’d be more fun with a friend. Pair up Ladies!

but here.. take a look at a few in-progress shots as I worked on them…

MMSP

Chrysti - Plastered

MMSP

Proof I indeed went outside like this!

MMSP

Saran Wrap + Vaseline makes for a hot head of hair.

 I want to see YOU like this. Yes – YOU! I want to see artists everywhere slathered in plaster and exploring a medium they may not be used to. I want you to expand your creative horizons – and see what happens as a result. What have you got to lose?

My entire purpose with this project was to challenge not only  myself but to challenge you. It was to create a self-portrait that captured who I was on the inside (and the many moods i experience)– with a loose, rough, raw abstract form. I wanted to teach a mixed-media project that you don’t see very often. I wanted to get to know myself better, I craved a bit of that oh-so-awkward-uncomfortable-squirmy feeling to work with, as it’s usually where I make the most profound insights.

I also found a few detail shots of the masks featured in the book, someday I’ll get the rest of the shots up too… the quote at the top of the post is part of the mask ‘raw’ … and here’s a few other shots for your viewing pleasure …

MMSP

MMSP

MMSP

MMSP

MMSP

I want to know your honest thoughts – constructive criticism included – let me have them, and you  just may win a copy of Mixed-Media Self Portraits yourself! One person will win a copy, with my project signed… and if my studio sale pieces on etsy sell out this week – I’ll order another copy for another lucky receipent or two – you never know just what I’ll do! Heck, I don’t even know what I’ll do half the time… 

To enter today simply…

  • On this post; in the comments answer one or more of these questions: What stops you from making your own Self-Portrait Mask?” or if you have created one tell me how the experience was for you  or what you thought of my piece, these glimpses – ie feedback folks!  Extra Credit if you tell me how hot i look smothered in plaster & vaseline. It’s the stuff fantasies are made of kids! (god i hope not) 
  • 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 & Day 16 still!
  • Check out the first batch of winners, the second batch of winners and the third batch of winners!
  • Review, or Buy Mixed-media Self-Portraits if you haven’t already too! (I know, shameless) Enter even if you have it — you can pass it on to someone else!
  • Sincerely, The plastered Chrysti

    Day 12/29 Days of Giving is…

    I can’t wait for you to see today’s giveaway!…

     … not one, but 2 BIG prizes .. you’ll love them

     first I wanted to address something though…

    .. bear with me for a moment please?

    "Collecting My Thoughts" Journal Page by Pam Carriker

    "Collecting My Thoughts" Journal Page by Pam Carriker

    i’ve been asked recently, why I feature other artists here…

    … asked, don’t I mind that money I could potentially have

    is landing potentially in someone else’s pockets….

    Ummmm. Nope. Not one little bit.

    … firstly, giving isn’t about what you receive in return

    naturally, i’m thrilled with whatever the universe sends my way …

    … however my humanity often comes before my business sense

    that doesn’t mean I’m a poor business woman …

    …. it simply renders me a moral one, or more accurately

    one who is able to lay my head down, feeling good about the choices I make …

    The thing is this: In part, I chose teaching, writing, painting, photography etc. — this spectrum of creative goodness as my career path –because of the community we have formed. It tickles me every friggin’ time I see how intertwined we are. I revel in that delight. It’s actually pretty darn EXCITING to watch others succeed as well. It fuels me, I draw inspiration from it.. it’s my escape. Besides, nothing pure, or satisfactory was ever gained by greed.

    “The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”
    — Jane Addams 

    "One Wing" by Pam Carriker

    "One Wing" by Pam Carriker

    I believe the more we hold one another up, the bigger our communities grow – the more successful each of us become. Success — is measured independently. It’s not a universal thing.  For some it’s a steady career, others it’s being published, for someone else it’s a gallery show, and for someone else it’s merely finishing a page in a journal. Success. It’s as unique as we are. It can be had by all of us. Especially, when we nurture one another.  Creativity is far too powerful, too far reaching to be held closely & guarded. It’s a treasure and a gift … one that unites us. One, we all share.

    ZNEis a community that is dear to me. It was a place I had found online — that i fit in. Before Mixed Media became mainstream — that was difficult to do. ZNE celebrates all things creative which is a natural compliment to who I am. Through ZNE I have met some of the most gifted artists, the kindest souls, and friends I will treasure always… and friends I am just beginning to know even better.

    “In our hectic, fast-paced, consumer-driven society, it’s common to feel overwhelmed, isolated and alone. Many are re-discovering the healing and empowering role that community can bring to our lives. The sense of belonging we feel when we make the time to take an active role in our communities can give us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.”
    — Robert Alan 

    "The Promise of Love" by Pam Carriker

    "The Promise of Love" by Pam Carriker

    Pam Carriker is one of those women I have been blessed to meet through ZNE, and just beginning to know as a person, not just an artist. I have watched her grow, develop her style, become published, and follow her dreams. I’m watching her succeed and my heart just leaps for her! I was fortunate enough to win 2 of her prints through a blog giveaway of her own – and I was actually impressed at the quality of them. Yes, Me! I’m not typically a fan of prints, having been burned one too many times on poor quality ones people print themselves from substandard printers. If I pay for a print, I want it to last. I want it to look good. I want to be proud to display it!  I was beyond thrilled with Pam’s! So I Invited her to take part in the 29 Days of Giving. ( which as a sneak peek, will become a weekly thing here… )

    "Grow" by Pam Carriker

    "Grow" by Pam Carriker

    Grab an indulgent beverage of your choice, pull up a seat and take a few moments to get to know Pam, right along with me! We’ll reveal the amazing prizes she donated soon, don’t worry! Patience! Good things come to those who wait…

    (as always, I’m asking the questions, Pam’s words are the responses.. duh.)

    One of the things I am so drawn to in your work, is the authenticity – all of your pieces have this vision into a soul. It’s evident they come from that magical place within you. What drives you to create? Have you always been creative, or is this something you have pursued only in recent years? Tell us a bit about it!
     
    I have always had the need to create.  My first ‘artistic’ memory is of drawing purple polka dots on the newly painted lavender walls of my bedroom as a child.  My mom was Not happy about that one!  I took every art class offered all during school and afterwards expressed my creative nature through various arts and crafts venues, such as Tole Painting, Stamping, and Scrapbooking.  When I ‘found’ mixed media art about 2 years ago, I was making paper bag albums and selling them on ebay, hence the name, The Bag Lady.  While on ebay I noticed the same three little letters by work that I found amazing, ZNE, and so one day I asked someone what they stood for.  I wish I knew who that was, I would so love to thank them!  It lead me to the most inspiring place, and I have finally found art form that allows me to draw from the 20+ years of previous experience, combining many techniques into one piece of art.

    As to what drives me to create, that I do not know.  I only know that I need to.  These past couple of years I have found such release in creating.  I feel as if I am pouring my heart into my work, drawing from the ever changing emotions of being a woman, a wife, and most importantly a mom.

    Do you have a favorite piece you have created? If so, why?

    I know this probably sounds silly, but each new piece is my favorite, until I create the next one.  I think it is because I feel like I am on a journey and each piece takes me one more step down the path to discovering my true self.

     In addition to your beautiful Mixed Media Paintings, I know you are also an avid Art Journaler. What advice can you give to those who see a blank page in their books and just get stumped?
     
    Keep your journal out when you are creating art.  You can add leftover paint right to your journal, getting rid of that scary blank page right off the bat.  If you use colors and images that you are drawn to, you will create journal pages that speak about you.  I am very excited that my first journals are going to be part of Somerset’s Art Journals, due out January ’09 , so you can check that out for more tips from several different artists:-)

     Who influences you, both as a business woman and your art?
     
    Wow, this would be quite a list.  I think that those who are ahead of me on this journey inspire me to set goals and take that first step towards seeing them realized.  I like to think of all of us on this artistic journey have one hand reaching out in front and one reaching behind helping the next person with what we have learned.   My husband is another huge influence every time I think how could I possibly do that, he just looks at me and says, ‘Why not?’.

    So many of my readers want to be published but stop themselves from submitting to publications. You have gone through this process yourself, can you offer them any tips to overcome their fears? (proof is in the pudding folks, see Pam’s great article in my favorite magazine: Cloth, Paper, Scissors  July/Aug 2008 issue here)
     
    They can’t say ‘yes’ if you don’t give them a chance.  Seriously.  It is scary, and even more scary the first time they say ‘yes, we would like you to write this article’, but the rewards are so worth it!  Last year I set a goal for myself to get something published, what happened was so much more than I could have hoped for and has lead me to make new goals for 2009.  I am a firm believer in writing down your goals and keeping track of your achievements.  It makes them real.  It makes you accountable.  Check out the Art Calls for your favorite magazines and start there.  Don’t be discouraged if they don’t use something, keep trying.  If this is something you really want to do then don’t let fear keep you from it.

    What’s one artistic skill you’d like to cultivate in the coming year?
     
    I have been concentrating on sketching in my journal.  I love collage, but want to develop my drawing skills further. 

    You’re stranded on that proverbial island…. and can only take 5 artsy supplies with you. What are they?
     
    My journal, charcoal, water soluble graphite pencil, aqua brush, and Caran d’ Ache water soluble crayons.  With these I could be happy for quite some time!

    Do you have a creative routine/process? Things you do habitually before you sit down to create? Or do you just dive right in?
     
    Well, I’m a busy mom, so studio time is squeezed between everything else.  I am always working on things in stages.  Put a coat of gesso on, go do the laundry, add a layer of paint, run the vacuum, you get the picture.  My creative process is more like multi-tasking!

    As a devout fan of the random question, I have to ask: salty or sweet?
     
    Now that is the hardest question yet!  I have to say I lean towards sweet, but OMGosh I just made the most fabulous candied pecans today, that are both salty and sweet and they are heaven!

    It’s tradition here that our guest asks my readers a question to be eligible for the prizes.. what would you like to know from the crowd I have here?

    Where is the most unusual place (geographically) that you have created art?  This way we get to see who are the graffiti artists out there-lol! 

     Speaking of prizes – I think we have kept them in suspense long enough! Tell the readers a little bit about the amazing donations you are giving to the lucky recipients today!
     
    (For Recipient 1:)  I would love to share two prints, your choice, of my mixed media portraits.  These are 5×7 prints that I had professionally done, and would be perfect matted and framed to an 8 x 10 size.

    (For Recipient 2:) A free registration to my Visual Journalism 101 workshop.If the recipient has already signed up for the workshop I will issue a full refund of their workshop fee should they win! It is a 5 week course, that will help you get started keeping a journal or give you a jump start if you have tried but not kept up with it. More info below: 

    Visual Journalism 101 Workshop taught by Pam Carriker

    Visual Journalism 101 Workshop taught by Pam Carriker

    This will be an 5 week expedition into the world of visual journalling.. If you have ever wanted to start keeping an art journal, or started one, only to have it fall by the wayside, then this is the class for you! The class will cover journal techniques, putting together a journalling kit, completing at least 7 journal pages, and answer some road block questions like, ‘How do I get over the fear of the Blank Page?’, ‘How can I possibly fit another artistic pursuit into my schedule?’, and ‘Where do I start?’

    TOLD you this was another generous and amazing gift! Seriously – one winner receives two – count em’ – two prints of THEIR choosing, and another a registration to Pam’s wonderful class. Um Hello, Can I enter my OWN giveaway? Please? 

     I know you’re anxious to enter; just do the following: 

    • Answer Pam’s question: “Where is the most unusual place (geographically) that you have created art?” and/or tell me what success means to you – if you totally hate those, then go for this one: Salty or Sweet.
    • Do this by: Sunday, December 21th, 2008
    • 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 Day 10 & Day 11
    • Check out the first batch of winners!
    • Check out the newly posted – second batch of winners! Is it you?
    • Vist Pam Online: Her BlogHer Workshop, Her Etsy Store

    I can’t wait to meet Pam in person at the ConvenZioNE next year ( I’ll be teaching!), and she’s doing a make & take I believe!

    Warmly, Chrysti

    Day 2/29 Days of Giving is…

    … are you having fun with the giveaways?

    Omigosh.. am. i. ever. … can’t you feel all that connects us?

    … I’ve found myself walking around the house singing & whistling

    I haven’t done that in ages …

    … I feel like anything and everything is suddenly possible

    like when you first saw the wizard of oz…

    …. and all that dreary gray; turned to this spectacular sort of vivid color

    pure. magic. …. who says it doesn’t exist?

    … sometimes, we just have to create magic for ourselves

    which is how I finally came to decide on this for today’s giveaway….

    … i’m kinda picking through the things i have based on my mood that day

    OK! OK! i’ll shush and get to it…

    … for the record – i prefer shush or be quiet etc. as opposed to ‘shut up’

    ‘shut up’ seems more offensive to me than most four letter words….

    …hmmm… wonder why?

    Oh… the giveaway…. !

     Calendar I am In!

    Cover image is by Karyn Gartel aka The Altered Diva. Note the phrase –
    “Delivered on the Wings of your DREAMS”

    Told ya it was the perfect fit for today – and not just because of that. Go ahead, Read On. 

    Collage, Artplay for Your Creative Spirit 2009 Wall Calendar

    As children, we play with art naturally, but somewhere along the way, most of us get the idea that only an elite group – artists – can be creative. The creative spirit lives inside each person, just waiting to be expressed. Collage, assemblage, and mixed media artwork are providing adventurous ways for people at every skill level to discover the joy that comes from imaginative self-expression.

    The Collage For Your Creative Spirit 2009 wall calendar features pieces by twelve accomplished collage artists, accompanied by text by Lunaea Weatherstone to get the viewer’s own creative juices flowing. The combination of practical suggestions and visual delights adds up to an exciting calendar that will intrigue, entertain, and most of all, inspire.

    The positive spirit that this artistic calendar puts forth is really what ‘gets’ to me. As many of you know, it is my mantra of sorts that anyone CAN and SHOULD create. (hmm, maybe that will be the slogan for my new site – thoughts?) The tips, suggestions, and messages each month truly ring home inside of me, and I hope that they will provide a similar feeling to you too. It’s far-to-friggin-easy to doubt our creative abilities, and lose sight of all the value that provides – This calendar, is a fantastic gentle reminder to keep that negativity in check and stick to the heart of the matter. Added Bonus? It inspires. My mind has already dreamt of whimsical new projects to start and explore creatively as a result of this.

    Plus, it’s pure eye candy. I mean, seriously – which one of us, isn’t a sucker for that?

    Did I mention the 12 gifted artists that Lunea Weatherstone brought into this project? Here’s the breakdown:

    Here’s a link back to last year, when I first announced that Lunea asked me to take part in this. They chose to use two of my skinny book pages that I had created for an article I did in Cloth, Paper, Scissors. All in all, the entire book has 20 some pages – that I created it in under a week; actually, I think it was just in a few days. (When Pokey said jump, I said how high!) All kidding aside – I work best under that kind of pressure. I won’t begin to tell you the hours I spent or just how much of myself – you know, my real self – my soul –  poured into that book. It’s still here. I haven’t evolved enough yet to let that book go! (FYI, I totally stole that last line from Susan Tuttle… you’ll understand in a few days. *wink*.) I titled the book, ‘ A work in Progress’ because I felt it was somehow unfinished. That I’m somehow unfinished. People, things, personalities, our art… always evolve; in some ways we are all works in progress.

    So, before I spend a year telling you every little mundane detail about it… all I really wanted to say is that I was mesmerized by how the folks at Amber Lotus transformed it. They took two seperate pages, and made it appear to be a singular spread – wicked eh? I’ll be sure to try and get a good pic of my page in the calendar soon and add it to this post & my flickr.

    "A Work In Progress" Skinny Book- Pages 3 & 4

    Speaking of Flickr — you can see the skinny book in it’s entirety simply by clicking here – I scanned it all in today. If you see the old photos, you’ll understand why that thrills me. Simple Pleasures!

    If you hadn’t already guessed, I’m giving away a copy of the calendar today. If more than 100 people comment to win, I’ll give away not one, but two copies! Upon your request, I’ll gladly open it and inscribe/sign my lil’ month of November. The month of gratitude. Fitting isn’t it?

    Reading your answers to various questions I’ve asked, gives me so much joy. I laugh, I cry, I think. It makes blogging seem less about me, and more about you. Kinda like we’re all sitting on these exquisitely worn, handmade rockers, drinking tea on a massive front porch in the middle of nowhere: just chit-chatting away.

    Beautiful. Just. Beautiful.

    Alright you creative lovelies – to enter today’s giveaway:

    • Leave a comment on this post, answering one ( or both ) of these questions “How have you indulged your creative spirit today, if you haven’t – why not?” and/or “What is the most odd item within your reach right now?” If you totally don’t like those questions, then just tell me your favorite month!
    • Do this by: Tuesday, December 9th. Winner or Winners will be announced then!
    • If you haven’t already you can enter to win Day 1 Here and Tell me your wish here and you may win that too or a $100.00 Gift Certificate to my new site!

    Just because it’s inevitable I’ll be asked: I have a handful of these calendars left in my store, that upon request & purchase I can inscribe/sign for you. Otherwise, Amazon has them in stock too!

    Thanks – to each and every one of you for brightening my life and showing me the magic this holiday season! Warmly,
    Chrysti