Giveaway, Published & Week 13 of Echo

I interrupt your Thursday with a few bits of fantistical news ..

Go, Read On…

The ever-so-delightful Susan Tuttle is celebrating the release of her Second Book this week! She worked so very hard to bring you a book filled to the brim with projects, inspiration and digital how-to’s… a must have really, for anyone interested in digital art or photo manipulation. I am thrilled to have a piece featured in her book as well..along with several other amazing contributors. Better yet, she is giving a copy away over on her blog – so be sure to stop by & enter.

I also have a few other features currently out:

  • An article/tutorial and artist paper in the March/April issue of Somerset Studio… hurry, before it is off the newstands! I’ll also be posting several other tutorials in conjunction with that article on my new site… which i am still slaving away at.
  • Loving my spread in the Summer 2010 issue of Artful Blogging. Such a beautiful publication – worthy of an evening alone, soaking up all the beauty it offers. More on this once I finish the site… I have posts lined up .. just for you, I hope you’ll join me there when the time comes.
  •  So happy with a recent interview  I did over at The Empty Easel. I talk a bit about building an online audience, time management & more.. go check it out.
  • I have 5 original paintings currently being exhibited at Princeton’s ArtFirst! Exhibition, if you are nearby .. can you let me know? I’d love to get some photos of it.

I have a few more features coming out soon, and working on some deadlines for publications later this year .. but my biggest priorities are getting ready to move, moving, cleaning out inventory and finishing the new site… it’s amazing how much energy those things alone take up. Balance, is what I am striving to learn and maintain.

Susan & I have decided to postpone this week’s {Echo} until next Wednesday… it’s a great time to go through the past themes and join in on some of your favorites – it’s never too late!  We’d love to have you as a part of it.

—> {Echo} Week 1 – Emerge
—> {Echo} Week 2 – Decorate
—> {Echo} Week 3 – Abundance
—> {Echo} Week 4 – Surprise
—> {Echo} Week 5 -Melody
—> {Echo} Week 6 – Face
—> {Echo} Week 7 – Whisper
—> {Echo} Week 8 – Juicy
—> {Echo} Week 9 – Illuminate
—> {Echo} Week 10 – Collection
—> {Echo} Week 11 – Blossom
—> {Echo} Week 12 – Dim

Warmly,

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!

Tying up loose ends…

* looks around sheepishly …*

So. Ummmmm. Yeah. 

Hi!  Hello! G’Day! Bonjour! Aloha!

And even more ways to give a long, long overdue hello.

*cough, cough …*

The blog is a bit dusty eh? Even though I dont’ quite feel in the frame of mind to write well, I know I need to get this done. Perfectionism is overrated anyhow. (if i say it enough times, i just may believe it!) Seriously though, the logical side of me knows it isn’t even attainable. Why DO we fret over it?

 Untitled - WIP

I am not even going to apologize for letting my trusty blog slide recently. (See Blogging Without Obligation)  How is that for impressive? When hard times hit us – we do what we must to survive, and my blog had to take a backseat for a bit. SO very many of you have checked in, to see how I am… seems y’all know when i vanish, it’s either for very good (too busy) or very bad (hello depression) reasons. This time, it was a combination of both.

Life has thrown some pretty big, life-altering wrenches my way in the last few months … I really am not one to dwell on the negative (we really do become what we think) … nor am I one to publicly air my issues. When the time is right, I will most likely share a retrospective viewpoint of this time period with y’all; but until then .. just please understand there have been some monumental changes in my health and personal life … and I am working through all of it the best I can.

I am confident that I will indeed emerge stronger than before. I have felt like I was on the verge of a breakdown several times recently, but yet I have not completely lost it. 10 years ago, I probably would have been hospitalized handling all of this…. so it is with great pride that I share that growth with you, and continue to remind myself of what a blessing it indeed is. Bipolar disorder is disruptive, it is extremely difficult at times- but it does NOT have to be crippling, or cause one to suffer immensely. There are techniques, medications for some, and tools to help manage it- and those of us who live with it, it is our responsibility to utilize them the best we can on any given day. Choose to fight, daily.. hourly… or by the minute if you have to. It is hard work, but well worth it.

 Untitled Birdie - 5

Now, on the other hand .. there have equally been as many amazing things happening. The yin & yang I suppose. Exhibitions, Juried Shows, Publishing , Teaching, and Licensing opportunities.. and lots more have been heading my way! Sadly, I have had to turn a few things down as I sort things out .. but I continually take on what I can, as I love the distraction and focus on my artwork. Oddly, my recent work has been bright, and vivid and colorful – quite a shift from what I usually create when battling depression. I am TOTALLY digging that, and cannot paint enough these days. I will elaborate on more of these in separate posts.

Now, Moving on…

I wanted to wrap up the giveaway and apologize to the incredibly talented & generous Jodi for taking so long to do this. Don’t worry, I will be doing more giveaways, interviews..and all the fun stuff… just not by blogging daily ..since at this point in my life I cannot commit to it.

Artwork by Jodi Ohl

Artwork by Jodi Ohl

First – Go refresh yourself on the giveaway  & interview with Jodi.

Now… peek and see if you’re a winner…

1)  Prize Recipient Is:  Laura Taylor Mark custom 6 x 12 piece  made especially for this giveaway  (value of $79 dollars)

2)  Prize Recipient Is: Regina R.  A  $40 dollar shopping spree to Jodis online store.

 3)  Prize Recipient Is: Dawn Gold set of 4 of of Sweet HeART magnets “Green Apple” (recently featured in Cloth Paper Scissors, Jan/Feb issue),  value: $24

And I nearly forgot! one more giveaway to wrap up…

read about it here

Prize Recipient Is: Jill Thompson  the delightful book: Layers: Inspired Collage for Paper Projects with Meaning .

Leave me a comment if you won, or I will try to track you down – and contact you for your mailing address!

The remaining 7 days, will be finished – just slowly, as I can. I never default on my commitments, but in this case I need to do it at my own pace… hope y’all understand.

Now – the exciting news, is that i will be doing another 29 days of giving – in a way I CAN commit to. Via …. TWITTER! So be sure to follow me there for chances to win. I will announce here, when it begins… and I can promise you that 140 characters is VERY doable for me. I plan to make it fun like we did here… so I hope you will join us when the time comes.

Facebook & twitter are quick ways I have been utilizing to stay in touch with this amazing community- so join me there, since I tend to keep those up through the rough times. Blog posts typically take me a few hours to do, and is usually the first thing to fall behind.

Again, I cannot thank those of you who check in on me, offer me encouragement, inspiration and positive light enough. I really do hate how trite it sounds to say it’s nice to know people care … because it couldn’t be more real. I am hoping now that I removed this big pink elephant… I can keep up with the blog again, and if not.. I know I will be back, as I can.

Warmly, Chrysti

Day 22/29 Days of Giving is…

I know, I know…

this is the LONGEST 29 days ever…

life just has a way of doing that sometimes …

you will learn why, after i  can finish the 29 days and fill you in….

 i am indeed okay,  just trying to balance quite a few things and take care of personal matters…

but enough about me…

Have you met the wonderful & talented  Jodi Ohl?

If not, allow me the distinct pleasure of introducing you… and if you have, I hope you will grab a cup of tea and join us for this chat and did I mention 3 – count ’em 3 -amazing giveaways? Jodi went above and beyond donating for this – yet another reason to love her! She pushed her way into my list of favorite artists this year as her enthusiasm is contagious, her talent is huge, and passion shines through! She’s an infusion of fresh air, and I am thrilled she so graciously agreed to take part in the giveaways!

(as always, the questions are by moi, and the answers are Jodi’s)

This is the part where you give the obligatory artsy background information. I know, I know .. it’s the worst question to be asked ever – but humor us please! You can always skip that stuff and tell us what motivates you to create!

Heck no, that’s not the worst question ever, I can think of a lot of things I wouldn’t want you to ask me! 

 Okay, so a little about me: I’m a yankee transplant, landing in  central North Carolina about 10 years ago. I was born and raised in Western NY; Dunkirk, NY to be exact. I usually say, oh I’m from Buffalo because no one ever knows where Dunkirk is, but in reality, it’s a great little town right on Lake Erie and I loved growing up there. I gather a lot of inspiration from my hometown so I’d hate not to mention it!  I graduated from college with a BA in English  way back when.  I somehow fell into management as profession rather than my original dream of writing the next great American Novel (or at least  a few good trashy romances).    Currently, I run a bank in Pinehurst, NC.  Isn’t that an odd profession for someone artistic? I find it humorous and love telling my customers what I do on the side. It always surprises them in a good way. 

What else? I’m single parent with two adorable boys, ages 8 and 14.  Part of my motivation to create comes from all of these facets of my background in one way, shape or form.  Within these four walls and throughout all the roads I’ve traveled, I’ve gathered enough ideas and sources of inspiration for a lifetime. I bet many others have as well…you just have to appreciate the little moments in life and see the world  from a variety of perspectives.

Planting Roots - by Jodi Ohl - One of todays prizes!

Planting Roots - by Jodi Ohl - One of today's prizes!

  

I love that you have a distinctive style, common themes & colors throughout your work. How did you find your artistic voice? 
 
I’m still finding my voice, really. As a self-taught artist who entered into the mixed media art scene about 2 years ago, it’s definitely been a journey. I think that the last year  has been a really good time in my life and my themes have narrowed which has allowed me to create a body of work that is starting to be recognizable.  Moving to North Carolina has been a wonderful thing for me to do, but it also has been very hard for me as well. My themes of ‘finding my way home’, community, belonging, and rising above the bumps in the road, to name a few of my themes,  come from that feeling of isolation and needing to have some grounding or roots, if you will.  Living 660 miles away from my nearest family member, I find myself longing to feel that sense of security and sense of community I had in my hometown and so you see that coming out in my whimsical village and home pieces but in a positive way.   I had a really hard time a couple of years ago and without having my family or close friends to turn to, I started painting as a form of healing and meditation.  Sometimes it’s the emotional traumas in life  that launch creativity. It certainly did in me. 

I really love to add layers and textures in my mixed media paintings. I think it’s my way of saying, there’s more to me than meets the eye. There’s a lot going on here, if you just dig deep, you may just find out what that is.  I’m saying that to myself as much as I’m saying that to my followers.    As far as colors go, I love bold colors right now, but not all at once. I prefer to use 2 or 3 main colors with a splash of something surprising. I’m not sure why, it’s just appealing to work almost monochromatic to me. Perhaps it’s a way of taking something seemingly simplistic, and turning it into  a piece that has wonderful depth without going overboard.

I know you are involved in the local mixed-media scene here in NC (something my shy self really wants to make time for one of these days!)… what’s it meant to you having that artistic connection? How have you seen yourself and your work grow as a result?
 
Being involved with the Carolina Mixed Media Guild and belonging to another local group, ProArtisan Guild, has made all the difference in the world to me as a beginning artist. Anyone that is looking to take their hobby to the next level or feels the need to connect with other like-minded individuals, joining groups such as these can provide you with a support system or tribe if you will. I HIGHLY recommend searching out something in your backyard like the groups I belong to and if they don’t exist, start one!  I love the online community, too. The online art/blog community has definitely connected me with so many people as well that  I would not have otherwise met, but you have to have that face to face connection as an artist. The support I’ve  received from the friends I’ve made through the guild is unbelievable. We have artisans of all different mediums, and at a variety of different levels of experience. It’s nice to be around people who not only understand what you do, they appreciate what it took to get there!   I truly believe that one of the reasons I’ve really grown over this last year as much as I have is because of my association with other local mixed media artists!

Planting Roots - by Jodi Ohl - One of todays prizes!

Planting Roots - by Jodi Ohl - One of todays prizes!

  You’re stranded on that proverbial island, and can only bring 5 art supplies – what makes the cut?
 
Yikes. Only five?  Do my paints count as one or can I only choose one color? If it’s just one color, then I choose blue paint, any shade will do.  Gel medium is a must because not only can I collage with it, I can mix it with natural pigments and create more paint. HA!  I can have more than one paint color.  Paint brushes, of course;  oodles of  water color paper, and….oh dear, only one more choice….I’m torn but I think I’ll pick my water soluble graphite pencil. It’s one of my new favorite toys. I have them in every value and even a set of tinted ones. 

I love how fearlessly ambitious you are – can you share with us some of your goals this year? And since we’re on the subject – a lot of my readers are afraid to submit work for publication (despite wanting it so badly) -what advice would you offer them to get the courage?
I can attribute my ambition to my role model, my Mother. She raised three girls virtually on her own, worked 2-3 jobs at the same time, but always had time for us.  We may not have had a lot, but my sisters and I were taught at a very young age to be independent, work hard for what you want because life offers you no promises, and to do your best every day.  My goals for the year are numerous, more than we have time for here!  The big ones are to increase my body of work to a new level with collections around a few different themes & colors, to do a art show this year, look for new gallery opportunities,  and to continue to work on publishing opportunities.  My long term goals are to write a book and to start instructing other aspiring mixed media artists, so I am working on all of these things simultaneously.  
For those interested in submitting your work for publication, my advice is to first do what YOU love and believe in, then take great pictures of it and just go for it.  You never know until you try!  The flipside of that is, don’t take rejection personally because it may not be a reflection on you–it could be timing, so just keep trying. Every NO leads to a YES!  Read the submission guidelines, answer the reader challenges or call for art and submit away!  One thing I’ve learned over these last couple of years is that dreams are great, everyone needs them, but it takes action on your part to make your dreams a reality, so if it’s publishing of your art/writing that you want to accomplish, you just have to do it. No one else can do it for you, so be brave and put yourself out there!
 Random Question Goodness – Pepsi or Coke?
 
Actually, I prefer grape flavored water. Aquafina Flavorsplash to be exact! I’m trying to keep my girlish figure, ya know (HA!) Keeping my hands out of the cookie jar would work better than giving up soda!
Do you have a creative routine when painting? – we’d love to hear about it!
 
Because my time is limited with working a day job, being a single parent, yada yada, I paint with a plan!  I draw out a loose sketch of several different subjects, then  I work on several pieces at once, usually about 5-8.  So it does take me awhile to finish my collections, but when I am done, I have a lot to show for my studio time.  I do try to clean my area before starting a new grouping,but the reality is, I need help in the organizational end of my creative routine.  Friday nights and Saturdays are normally my art days. I have relatively little social life so that schedule works for me…haha! 
 

Artwork by Jodi Ohl

Artwork by Jodi Ohl

Tell us about the jaw-dropping, un-friggin-believable prizes you are offering one of my readers today, and make them work for it – and ask them a question you’d like to know their answers to!
 
The PRIZES I’m offering are: 

 1)  A custom 6 x 12 piece I made especially for this giveaway  (value of $79 dollars) (see the photos throughout this post)

 2)  A  $40 dollar shopping spree to my online store.

 3)  A set of 4 of my  newest collection of Sweet HeART magnets “Green Apple” (recently featured in Cloth Paper Scissors, Jan/Feb issue),  value: $24
 
Question for your readers:  What books or magazines are sitting by your bedside table or on your floor right now?

I have Mixed Media Self Portraits, Cloth Paper Scissors, The Secret12 Secrets of Highly Creative Woman, Art and Fear, and the Sunday paper which I still have not read…LOL

Now, can you see why i totally love her? A Lucky 3 of you (and once again I soooo wish I could enter my own giveaways) will each be receiving one of those prizes!

To Enter this Jodilicious Giveaway Bonanza:

  • On this post; in the comments – answer Jodi’s question – What books or magazines are sitting by your bedside table or on your floor right now?
  • Do this by: Saturday, February 28th, 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 21 still!
  • Check out the first batch of winners, the second batch of winners,  third batch of winners anddddd the fourth batch of winners!
  • Please visit Jodi’s Breathtaking Etsy store & her blog  – she has a giveaway there too !!
  •  Remember, supporting the folks who have been kind enough to donate towards the giving project helps ensure more amazing giveaways!

    Warmly, Chrysti

    Day 21/29 Days of Giving is…

    I My Neurotic Dogs. (that’s them in the youtube clip!)

    I Giveaways.

    I  Paper.

    I  Collage.

    I  Creativity.

    I Books.

    I  You.

    I Insightful Blog Posts that dance gloriously with pretty words and days with enough time to type & format them.

    This, my friends is not one of those days.

    From the bottom of this lil’   , sowwy.

    I did however need to resume the giveaways for my sanity, and after I do this one … rest assured I’ll be working on formatting the remaining ones! Artist interviews – who donated amazing giveaways, some tied with swaps, magazines, prints and more!

    Soooooo .. in the spirit of things I   …..Is today’s giveaway – this delightful book: Layers: Inspired Collage for Paper Projects with Meaning

    33457

    Cutting-edge skills for sophisticated paper art designs!

    *A primer on the hottest techniques that will appeal to scrapbookers, cardmakers, rubberstampers, and all papercrafters *Allows crafts to create amazing effects using collage, torn papers, embellishments, and cherished photos and quotes *Hundreds of tips and tricks reveal how to get remarkable results every time Today’s paper art magazines showcase intricate layered pieces yet give little instruction on how to do it. Finally, Layers teaches papercrafters the skills they need to make these stylish projects. Expert designer Shari Carroll provides simple step-by-step directions for the latest paper techniques, including distressing, sewing, transfers, and much more. Readers receive a variety of ideas ranging from a wall hanging scrapbook page and an art journal to a collage book and CD book cover. Included are stunning examples of Carroll’s own collage work, each of which feature unique and personal messages. She first shares details on what inspired each piece, then offers readers suggestions for customizing their own pieces.

    A member of the design team for Hero Arts Rubber Stamps, Shari Carroll has also created projects for Polyform, My Sentiments Exactly, and Hanko Designs. Her work has been featured in such national magazines as Somerset Studio, Memory Makers, and The Rubber Stamper as well as the upcoming book Designing with Stamps.

    Do you   your chance at this too? Then just…

     

  • On this post; in the comments – answer one or more of these questions: Tell us what you   and/or give me a great excuse as to why I keep letting this slip, one too many days
  • Do this by: Friday, February 28th, 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,  third batch of winners anddddd the fourth batch of winners!
  •  

      fully yours, Chrysti

    Get Yourself a Winner Here!

    Ok, I somehow pulled it off and managed to get in all my end of month deadlines — not sure how, as January was a really bizarre-sort-of-frenzied-month for me. (Speaking of which… where did it go? ..( Oh, back to my point — While I still have some mid & end of month deadlines coming up… plus trying to the new site up … I should be able to resume the last of the giveaways regularly again! While I am not going to promise daily — I am aiming for every other day. I could make them less substabtial and aim for daily but it takes away alot of the joy — and well, what good is that?

    Now, onto the less mundane stuff – the winner of the one giveaway I did pull off last week!

    Here’s the scoop:Winners need to contact me by February 10, 2009 by emailing me at khryctee[at]bellsouth.net, or leaving another comment here – with the correct email to notify them. I’ll need your mailing addies by then or else the beloved prize in question gets shipped off to the runner-up. And, just in case the runner up has a bad case of not-claiming-giftitis, then I will merely redraw a name. Someone, somewhere will want it badly enough -)  If you don’t truly want that day’s prize let me know, or pick someone to pass it on to.

    Didn’t Win? Keep trying! Really, there are even more amazing prizes heading your way… and there may even be days where everyone – yes like every single person – who enters who will be a winner. How’s that do for something to look forward to? I thought you’d like it!

    Oh! In case you were curious; receipents are not-so-scientifically-selected using one of those handy generator thingies found online. Noone has found a way to bribe me yet. Not saying it can’t be done, but ya know — it’s gotta be a realllllllllllllllllllly good offer. An in with the technology gods would be great… felt foods, art supplies I don’t have… the list goes on…

    Day 20–  Click Here to read all about it !
    Prize: 1 Copy of Wreck This Journal: by Keri Smith
    Purchase your own by clicking the above link.
    Prize Recipient : Anna-Marie
    Prize Recipient Back-Up : Corrine

    Congratulations!

    Now, off to knock off a few more things … Hope to have the next giveaway up tomorrow, or day after :-)

    Chrysti

    Day 20/29 Days of Giving is…

    So. Um. Yeah.

    I totally lost track that Friday was indeed Friday, and here we are on Sunday doing what should have been up on Friday, despite realizing on Saturday that Friday had indeed past, and, well … can we just pretend it’s Friday?( I’ll forever wonder how that happens; how days tend to run into themselves and so on… the older I become, the more frequently this seems to happen. I can’t be the only one this phenomenon occurs with…am I?) Oh –  Back to the whole pretending thing – we’re now officially pretending it’s Friday … you just arrived here, totally psyched for the weekend and a giveaway… woo-hoooo!

    Go ahead — do the lil’ woo-hoo thing out loud.

    Ya know you wanna.

    Aw c’mon — just SHOUT it – wooo – hoooo!

    { Sorry, there I go rambling. A-gain. }

    Wreck This Journal - In Progress

    Psssssst…

    I’m going to divulge a wee-lil’-secret about moi.

    Though, y’all prolly have figured this out by now.

    Heck, I’ve probably mentioned it.

    You see, I’m incredibly anal.

    Yes, my name is Chrysti – and I’m a perfectionist-aholic.

    I believe, and thrive on the fact… that everything has its has place.

    Oddly though, I’m not very uptight personality wise. It takes alot to offend me, and when I work, paint, cook, create… I’m messy as all hell. I just tend to need it all tidy before I can begin. Strange isn’t it?

    Wreck This Journal - In Progress

    Worse yet, I enjoy making a huge mess. To be free. To create without constraints, to deconstruct – and I love; I abso-friggin’-lutley love, love, love demolition. Have cabinets you need smashed? Gimme a call!

    Maybe I have some hidden anger issues or sumthin’..who knows, who cares! It’s fun!

    It is my firm belief that this is an essential trait to creating of any kind — the willingness to let go, and not merely the willingness but the desire to make things – well, ugly. Yes! U-G-L-Y.  You know – To not analyze, to learn to tap into that unconscious part of your brain where you really focus on the process. Gosh, don’t you ever just want to stop thinking, be fabulously mindless and genuinely live in an artistic  moment? Don’t worry about how you measure up…. just create simply and purely because you love to..and for some of you, because you have some misguided notion that you can’t. We’re all creative. It is just a matter of acknowledging that, and accepting it.

    I should be clear about this, as it’s where I seem to differ from lots of folks -I have no trouble with letting go, and just trying something.  I rarely hit those creativity blocks lots of folks speak of, the pressing issue for me is typically whether or not I can justify the time to haphazardly create with reckless abandonment. I hardly ever give myself  the permission to just… play. I need an excuse, some sort of  mythical ‘purpose’ .

    Enter this glorious book that I discovered last year:

     Wreck This Journal: by Keri Smith

    For anyone who’s ever wished to, but had trouble starting, keeping, or finishing a journal or sketchbook comes Wreck This Journal, an illustrated book that features a subversive collection of prompts, asking readers to muster up their best mistake- and mess-making abilities to fill the pages of the book (and destroy them). Acclaimed illustrator Keri Smith encourages journalers to engage in “destructive” acts-poking holes through pages, adding photos and defacing them, painting with coffee, and more-in order to experience the true creative process. Readers discover a new way of art and journal making-and new ways to escape the fear of the blank page and fully engage in the creative process.

    I love making the time to work in this book. I love that I can spend just a few minutes adding to it. I love that I am letting it be horridly ugly. I love the release I obtain after an exercise in it. Forget therapy kids – just wreck a journal!  The plan, for me is this: Once I have totally uglified all the pages – I shall then challenge myself to make them pretty, because I love a challenge – only to destroy it again. It’ll be interesting to see how I do deconstructing something I will one day (hopefully) adore.

    Dontcha wanna take this journey with me? One of you definitely will be as it’s the giveaway for the day!

    Wreck This Journal - In Progress

    While I could go on & on singing the praises and benefits of creating in a reckless manor- and I plan to, in a later post after the giveaways – I thought I’d intrigue you today by showing you some of my pages throughout this post, and pointing in you the direction of other inspiring pages and videos that will have you wanting this faster than you can say beetle. (no, i have no idea why I chose the beetle there, i know, i’m nuts)

    Check out this video I found on youtube  for an even better idea of what is inside this book – you’ll need an idea of this to enter the giveaway!  Ohhhh… I nearly forgot – I have a bit of exciting news! I ordered a video camera, that should be arriving this week (hello online workshops) – so look forward to seeing a video of some of my ventures with this fabulous book too!

    So to enter today’s super-fab giveaway:

    • On this post; in the comments – answer one or more of these questions: Tell us one way – no matter how crazy – you can think of to wreck a journal pageif you’re afraid to do this, then share why!
    • Do this by: Sunday, January 31st, 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,  third batch of winners anddddd the fourth batch of winners!

    Recklessly yours, Chrysti

    {P.S. Speaking of perfectionistic. It’s KILLING me not to go edit this post and re-word it right now. I am intentionally leaving my writing..well, messy too. Ick. Yuck. Someone take my mouse before I fix it all…. HURRY!}