Projects In Progress & Ramblings

 “Imagination gallops; judgment merely walks”

With all the commotion and reorganizing happening in my life recently, somehow it slipped my mind to post my results for an older Try It Tuesdays Week 4  Torn Paper Backgrounds (I may be a bit late eh?). Nancy did a fabulous job with the tutorial.

Nothing overly spectacular, but I was still pretty pleased with the results.. I tried my hand at altering a CD, and a box. Take a look here…

 Try It Tuesdays - Torn Paper Backgrounds- Altered Box

 Try It Tuesdays - Torn Paper Backgrounds- Altered Box

 Try It Tuesdays - Torn Paper Backgrounds - Altered CD

 Try It Tuesdays - Torn Paper Backgrounds - Altered CD

“It is better to have enough ideas for some of them to be wrong, than to be always right by having no ideas at all.”
~Edward de Bono

Another project I have in progress is this Altered Binder, to store my ATC and ACEO collection. I started off absolutely loving it, but have since royally messed up the inside cover… grrr.

 Altered Binder - Work In Progress - Cover

 Oh Well, It still beats the worn down plain white binder I had. When it’s complete, I’ll show you the rest, and just how I managed to make a mess of the inside!

 Altered Binder - Work In Progress - Inside Front Cover

 Altered Binder - Inside Back Cover

However, having a prettier way to store these.. caused me to actually be excited about my collection again. I’ve cleaned it out, and thinned it down a bit as I plan on trying to keep it just to this one album, and other various displays I have.. which one day I’ll share.

 Altered Binder - Work In Progress - Back Cover

 Altered Binder - Work In Progress - Spine

“Creativity comes from trust. Trust your instincts. And never hope more than you work.”
~Rita Mae Brown

In yet another creative venture … Chel started a new group on E-bay, for artists who run E-bay stores, and I was honored that she asked me to help moderate it. One of the activities going on is a logo contest for this fab new group. I had so much fun playing with digital collage again, and if this doesn’t win (it’s up against some gorgeous entries!), I will probably use a variation of it for one of my ventures. At any rate, here’s what I came up with..

 Art in Store Logo Entry 2

 Art in Store Logo Entry 1

I used Paint Shop Pro, and altered an image from one of Paper Relics CD’s. Hope is one of the nicest people to work with, her products are amazing.. of the highest quality.. and her customer service is phenomenal. She was even kind enough to give me a free CD for my birthday when I ordered the other 2 .. You have noooooo idea how much I needed that little pick me up then. Truly, I can’t recommend shopping with her enough. Run on over and check out her amazing store. Trust me, you’ll walk away inspired.

 “One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries.”
~A. A. Milne

My ‘Holiday’ weekend, has been pretty much of the same.. cleaning out, reorganizing my art studio, my store, listing new items, packing & shipping orders, revamping Try It Tuesdays and so on. Emails have been piling up and I need to knock em out soon. It’s difficult with my hand tics, how sore my wrist/fingers get and how my tendons swell as a result of being on the computer so much.

Basically a plethora of boring stuff, but as I’ve mentioned previously, necessary evils. Life won’t be much fun until I complete all this, but when I do, lookout world! In the meantime, can someone send me help, or gimme a few extra hours per day?

Better yet? A remote with a ‘pause the rest of the world on it‘.. how amazing would that be? Simply hit pause, take the time you need to catch up.. then Bam! Hit play, and live life as normal! I think I’m onto something here.

“You wait for a gem in an endless sea of blah.”
~Lawrence Grossman
Sorry for such a blah post.. but it’s one of those days, where it’s difficult to have much enthusiasm about anything.. I’m not down, just not up either. Somewhere in between the 2 I suppose. I haven’t been in the art studio for a few days, so I’m thinking.. that may be partially why. It’s amazing, the difference in my moods when I get a lil art time.

Well, enough of that, It’s time to grab lunch, then work on announcing the Try It Tuesday Winner :-) Hope you’re all having a fabulous Monday!


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

Good News, Handmade Paper, And Random Thoughts

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”
Mother Teresa

Can I just tell you… I have been soooo amazed, genuinely touched, and rendered speechless at the kind responses & inquiries I’ve received regarding the dental drama I’ve been going through. It never ceases to amaze me, the power a “stranger” can have.. or the profound impact a few thoughtful words can make. Your support, and concern has truly made an otherwise difficult time, far more bearable.

Thank You.

 Dental Stuff





1. lost Wisdom 2. My view 3. mini molarzinhos 4. Give me a kiss

 The UNC Hospital Setting Dental Clinic evaluation went pretty well. I left with only a handful of reservations.. and an appointment for the 13th of June (figures it’s a Tuesday eh?). They will try me on IV sedation at first…which is a conscious sedation, a twilight sleep. If for some reason that doesn’t work well, then they will reschedule it into an O.R. General Anesthesia procedure… Something I’d like to avoid if it all possible. They will be extracting 2 teeth, and performing a root canal that day.. a good starting point for the massive amounts of work I need done. This procedure, should relieve the pain I’ve been enduring these past few months…Thank heavens! I have every hope this will go well.

Now, I still do not know the cost, but I should this week. I have no idea what price range to expect, but it’s got to be better then $35,000!! Since I can’t get treated elsewhere, I’ll move heaven & earth to raise the funds. I’ve already begun spending less time on the computer talking about art… and more time in my studio…making art. I plan to finish the piles of canvas’s, ACEO’s, and other pieces I have been working on for months, and load my stores with them….wish me luck! I’m trying to create a range of work, something for everyone.. every taste, in every price range. So, if you don’t see me around as often, that is why — I really do appreciate your patience. 

“I write down everything I want to remember. That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying to remember what it is I wrote down, I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.”
Beryl Pfizer

Or in this case, making the paper! Ha!

Really though, it’s quick.. it’s just a matter of being patient while it dries. If you didn’t already know, Easy, Plantable, Handmade  Seed Paper is the Week 3 technique over at Try It Tuesdays. If you’ve put off trying this, now is a perfect time to give it a go! ZNE has donated an amazing prize .. you don’t wanna miss out on a chance to get it! On a personal note — If you don’t already belong to ZNE, I can’t recommend it highly enough. Of all the mixed media groups I’m a member of .. this is one of the most supportive communities you will run across. There are so many benefits to becoming a member .. and for about a dollar a month.. can’t beat it! So go, join.. tell them I sent ya…and no, I don’t get any sort of benefit as a result!

So, I gave this paper making thing a go… aside from when I was a child.. I’ve avoided papermaking…for a multitude of reasons.. I wish I hadn’t, as now I’m hooked! I love working with the pulp, watching it transform…and I have a plethora of ideas I cannot wait to explore! Beneath each photo is a summary of my initial results. They aren’t very pretty, but then again.. I didn’t aim for them to be. I just wanted to try, and test the process before I gave it a more professional shot.

Some thoughts on creating both sheets… It really was fast to do… under 20 minutes (not including drying time). I did run out and buy a cheap 8 dollar blender at Wal-mart.. just to use for crafty purposes. No way I’m gonna chance ruining my fancy blender. It is still one of my favorite gifts ever. What is it about fancy kitchen appliances that make us swoon anyhow? Back to the project: The paper turned out to be thicker then I intended, my own fault.. I made too much pulp, and instead of using 2 sheets of felt, I used one.. just lazy. I’ll correct that next time.

 Try it Tuesdays - Week 3 - My results - 1

Paper Type Used: Junk Mail
Coloring: Coffee
Drying Method: Oven for 20 mins, Then set in front of fan.

I used junk mail for this first piece and as I suspected, it turned into a grey glob of mess… I wanted to tint it, and didn’t have much on hand (why didn’t I think of paint?) … Loving the dark color of coffee, I decided to grab my cheapo instant coffee grinds and blend it in… the odor was horrendous, and the color really didn’t take well.. it’s sort of an oatmeal color now… I added seeds, and scraps of text for some interest. Not bad, I’ll find a way to incorporate it into my work. If only I could get rid of that cheap coffee smell.. Ick. The Red Drops, are a result of a spill from my second try.

 Try it Tuesdays - Week 3 - My results - 2

Paper Type Used: Junk Mail
Coloring: RIT Dye
Drying Method: Oven for 15 mins, Then set in front of fan.

Try 2 .. Must Have Color … Using tissue paper as a colorant isn’t enough to cover the ink on the junk mail, so I bought some RIT dye, and added a few teaspoons to the blender.. Hello Messy. Red Counters. Red Floors. Red Hands. Red Strainer. Red Sink. Red EVERYTHING! What a friggin’ mess .. next time, I’ll do this part outside! But it works! I do want to make a deckle screen now…using my old strainer, Isn’t as effective.

  You can see what others have come up with here, and we have a great discussion on creating these here.. TONS of valuable tips, so take a look!

Try It Tuesdays also hit 10,000 unique hits (in 3 weeks time!) last night. I’m THRILLED! Keep spreading the word! I’m going to begin the process of moving it to it’s own domain this week.. I’m hoping, it will allow me more flexibility with the coding, layout and to automate more of what’s done.. freeing up some serious time for me. More about that later… Time to head up to my studio, and make a living!

“After a visit to the beach, it’s hard to believe that we live in a material world.” 
~Pam Shaw

But yet we do <sigh> -Chrysti

More fun with TIT Transfers!

“So far as the artist is concerned,
the unlimited extent of human experience is not so important for him
as the depth and intensity with which he experiences things.”
Thomas Wolfe

Alright, wish me luck tomorrow y’all…. I have an interview with the Hospital Setting Dental Clinic at UNC, I NEED to get accepted into this program. Say a prayer, send me luck, bribe the clinic…whatever it takes pleeeeeease! For those that missed it, you can read more about this ordeal here.

Earlier this week, I discussed my experiences with the TIT (Try It Tuesdays ya perv!) Week 2 Transfer Technique… Since then, i have somehow managed to complete a few more transfers. Keep in mind, none of these are finished works of art..I just wanted to share the transfers with you. These were a perfect fit to my insane schedule this week, thanks so much for sharing Heather!

Again, all were done on clear contact paper…The rest of the important details are beneath each photo or in last week’s post. Simply click the photo to have a larger one open in a new window!


Size: 4″ x 4″ Canvas Board
Transfer Source: Color Laser Copies of Vintage Girl, Dover Bird
Background:Try It Tuesdays Week 1 Technique


Size: 6″ x 9″ Art Journal Page
Transfer Source: B& W Laser Copy of Photo I Took then applied onto old text
Background: Misc. Techniques, 140 lb Watercolor Paper


Size: 8″ x 10″ Canvas Board
Transfer Source: Sepia Laser Copy of Vintage Girls
Background: Misc. Mixed Media Techniques


Size: 4″x 4″ Art Squared
Transfer Source: B & W Laser Copy of a Dover Flower
Background: Collage on Cardboard


Size: 4″ x 4″ Art Squared
Transfer Source: B & W Laser Copy of a Dover Flower
Background: Hand Painted, 140lb Watercolor Paper


Size: ATC – 2.5″ x 3.5″
Transfer Source: B& W Laser Copy of Photo I Took
Background:Hand Painted Cardstock


Size: 6″ x 9″ Art Journal Page
Transfer Source: Color Laser Printed Vintage Dog
Background: Misc. Techniques, 140 lb Watercolor Paper


Size: I gotta measure
Transfer Source: Color Laser Printed Vintage Girl Photo
Background: Misc. Techniques On Matboard


Size: 8″ x 8″ Canvas Board
Transfer Source: B & W Vintage Boy, Laser Printed
Background: Misc. Collage Techniques


Size: ATC – 2.5″ x 3.5″
Transfer Source: Vintage Book Page
Background: Hand Painted Cardstock

Speaking of TIT .. the Week 2 Showcase is up, and the Week 2 Winner was announced as well. Congrats Nici! I’ll be a bit late in getting the technique up for Week 3, but should be up by later tomorrow evening. Aren’t you excited? We’ll be tackling something i always avoided… and boy, was it ever easy!

All My Best – Chrysti

Try It Tuesdays: My Week 2 Results!

They see poetry in what I have done. No. I apply my methods, and that is all there is to it.”
Georges Seurat

So, I made time today to try the latest technique over at Try It TuesdaysWeek 2 is An Easy Transparency Alternative, and it only took me 20 minutes to do a bunch. I had done variations of this transfer previously with packing tape, but it’s seldom I am pleased with the result.. I really don’t care much for the shine on packing tape, or the limitations in it’s width.

“I don’t study; I create.”
Viktor Korchnoi

On this batch, I used Clear Contact Paper.. and I LOVE the results.. once it’s adhered to the surface it’s nearly  impossible to detect. A quality I seek in transfers as I want to look as if it’s a part of the artwork.. not just an element that was added. Besides, it allows me the freedom to create transfers of almost any size. I found that the better I burnished each image, the better the clarity of the transfer.

Laser printed images were used for almost all the transfers on the pieces you see below. Keep in mind, these are all works of mine in progress, notta one is completed. Further details are provided beneath each photo. I also did a few additional transfers with other image sources — something I’ll share with y’all later in the week. Matte Gel Medium was used to adhere all of these, burnishing the transfer well to the piece so it’s virtually seamless. Clicking on the image, will open a larger one in a new window. 

cah-tryittuesday-week2-1 B & W Laser Printed Vintage Girl, Dog, House ImageContact Paper TransferAdhered to a hand painted ATC/ACEO background on cardstockTransfer covers the entire Artist Trading Card
cah-tryittuesday-week2-2 B & W Laser Printed Door ImageContact Paper TransferAdhered to this canvas background from Try it Tuesdays Week 1
 cah-tryittuesday-week2-4 Sepia & Black Vintage Receipt Laser ImageContact Paper TransferAdhered to a 4″ x 4″ Art Squared Collage background on board.Transfer is applied over the girl on the left. 
 cah-tryittuesday-week2-5 B & W Laser Printed Vintage LetterContact Paper TransferAdhered to this canvas background from Try it Tuesdays Week 1Handwriting Transfer covers entire canvas.
 cah-tryittuesday-week2-6 Vintage Dictionary PageContact Paper TransferAdhered to this canvas background from Try it Tuesdays Week 1Transfer is the definition of Beautification on the statue.

Using the old dictionary was awesome.. paper rubbed off much faster!

 cah-tryittuesday-week2-3 Color Laser Printed Window ImageContact Paper TransferAdhered to this canvas background from Try it Tuesdays Week 1Transfer is the window on the upper right.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.”
Pablo Ruiz y Picasso

All in all, I think I will use this transfer method in my altered art more frequently. Heat transfers are still my favorite, but they don’t work effectively on all surfaces, and can tend to be a lil bit too unpredictable for my taste. This method has less limitations. Thanks so very much Heather for exposing me to this again — I  may never have revisited this process otherwise!

That’s about all folks, if you have any questions.. just leave a comment and I’ll get back to ya ASAP!

Keep those answers comin’ in from earlier too, I am so enjoying your stories!


More Try It Tuesdays Week 1 Backgrounds

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I am absolutely addicted to making backgrounds… especially when life’s a tad chaotic.. I find creating these to be incredibly soothing, and a great release of any tension that I have internally stockpiled.

This is what drew me back to experimenting with Karyn’s Easy, Acrylic, backgrounds technique (Week 1 of Try It Tuesdays). I should have posted these the day I did them, as now some of the details are foggy to me.. but here’s a general idea of what I did, and the results they yielded.


# 1. Paint Colors Used: Yellow, Mango, Midnight Blue
8″ x 8″ Canvas Panel
I started with a collaged background of ephemera scraps.. then applied the gesso.. and did Karyn’s technique .. the washes were more watered down, so that the text would peek through.. on this one, I used a finer mist of water and let it sit for a lil over 5 minutes (great time for a quick studio clean up!).. I applied my stamping, then washed over the entire board with a combo of the yellow & mango washes.. the canvas looked duller, so I re-applied the midnight blue .. over the stamping.. re-misted the water.. and was thrilled with how it turned out. The colors are different for me.. but I love the tropical feel this has… I’ve already finished a stunning piece out of it, one I’ll share later. I will definitely continue on this path of experimenting more with this process. It has endless possibilities!



# 2 & 3. Paint Colors Used: Mango, Barn Red, Lumiere Gold
5″ x 7″  & 4″ x 4″ Canvas Panels
Not much of my own take on these.. I tried using Lumiere paint as the final paint, and am pleased with the sparkle these have. I’m not happy with the depth, so I can guarantee these will end up altered more :-) I did make sure not to completely brush the edges.. I applied the 2nd color randomly around the edges, instead of total coverage.. and am much more content with the blending.

In case you missed it, you can see more of what I did with this technique in this blog entry and see what others have done as well by clicking here.

That’s all for now folks.. ’til later.. Chrysti

Artwords: Balance

“People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well, didn’t this work out perfectly! One of the Try it Tuesdays backgrounds I created, worked out perfectly for this week’s Artwords theme: Balance! But first … (always) .. a word from our sponsors errr me .. ok, so i’m lame.. sue me!


 1. Danja Mathari, Summer Spirited, 2. Against Gravity Rule
3. A Leap of Faith, 4. Buddha dog

“Fortunate, indeed, is the man who takes exactly the right measure of himself and holds a just balance between what he can acquire and what he can use.
Peter Latham

Anyone who knows me well, will tell you my mind never stops running, processing ideas, solving problems, hashing over this & that … I truly do possess An Unquiet Mind.  It’s a trait, I’ve always thought was ‘normal’… but the older I get, the more I realize just how untrue this is. Balance, is a topic that is continually on my mind…

.. Is it possible .. how to find it .. oh, how I crave itwill the scales always be tipped .. should I do this .. should I change that .. what if.. I can’t handle things... need a gripis this out of whack..

Is it possible I spend more time thinking about how to create balance within my life, then I do at actively making it happen? Between my work, my hobbies, my personal life, my health, fun and of course my obligations.. I just can’t seem to find a way to balance it all. No matter how hard I try, how close I feel to achieving it, there’s always that ‘something‘ that seems to interfere. Perhaps, true balance.. is accepting this?

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”
Thomas Merton

A Balancing Act

“A Balancing Act”
Done on 140lb Watercolor Paper, In my Visual Art Journal
OOAK (One of a Kind) Mixed Media Artwork
by Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist Chrysti

Everything about this piece is symbolic.
Brief meanings below..

  • The use of my Try it Tuesdays background representing both the toll, and the extreme joy from my newest venture. Throwing this project into my array of activities .. has tipped those scales even further.. something I’m struggling to get a grasp on, but do not regret in the least.

  • The men at the top, symbolic of all the different things I have going on in my life, how they are each so different, yet so very much the same.

  • Use of the torn vintage dictionary piece expresses not only how torn, aged & worn I feel .. but my constant thirst for knowledge. The clothespin a sign of how I tend to feel very ‘pinched’ for time in this area.

  • Notice, there is 1 bird, 1 girl, 1 tree, 1 dog .. a visual of how I feel isolated in my struggles for balance, surrounded by people, yet continually alone.

  • The Caged Bird w/ his head peeking out, is pretty much self explanatory. I do tend to feel ‘caged’ .. but not completely, it’s as if I can stick my head out the door.. but never get much further. Wings that haven’t flown.

  • The ever so sweet, and sad puppy is two-fold. He represents not only myself and the sadness I carry, so wanting to find the perfect balance.. that ‘come on already‘ look is very much I feel trying to obtain this. He also has a more literal interpretation .. these darling animals that have unconditional love, and patience with me.. but at the end of the day, I always feel as if I haven’t given them enough. Yet, another area of my life I need to balance properly.

Even the additional elements, all pertain to the strong yearning for balance I have… but I won’t bore you now .. besides.. writing this has yet again tipped those perpetual scales of balance.. and it’s on to the next activity.. Does it ever end?

“I always try to balance the light with the heavy — a few tears of human spirit in with the sequins and the fringes.”
– Bette Midler

Ahh ..time for me to move on to the ‘sequins & fringes’! — Chrysti