34+ Things To Love

Love.

Awhile back, I wrote & posted a love list and in the spirit of Valentine’s Day, I decided to do another variation of it today. I had wanted to do 101 things to love, but since it is getting late i decided to cut it for short… for now anyway.

1. butterscotch pudding, the kind you make from scratch – not some silly box. 2. thin, wispy & airy white dresses on a hot summer day. 3. that one-of-a-kind feeling you can only get when you conquer a difficult project that may have once intimidated you. 4. hardcover books without dust-jackets, lined up on shelves that could seemingly go on for miles and miles and … miles… properly sorted by color of course. 5. dry, sarcastic, almost-intelligent kind of humor you have to be carefully listening to ‘get’. 6. quiet, reflective moments all to yourself. 7. handmade lip balm. 8. sunshine. 9. watching the sunrise over the ocean 10. beautiful, old butcher block counters that contain enough stories to fill a book 11. light, fluffy icing that makes you mouth water 12. old farmhouses 13. ingenuity 14. the rush i get when browsing a favorite camera store. 15. the nostalgic feeling only polaroids can give. 16. kindness.

:: sweet love ::

17. shabby white painted wood and the occasional accent of vintage glass glitter. 18. big, sloppy, tackle-me-kinda-kisses i have to fend off from my neurotic, but sweet golden retriever. 19. a tall, ice-cold glass of water appearing just when you need it most. 20. the smell of my favorite scented candle wafting through my home. 21. a freshly cleaned house with fresh cut flowers and loads of glorious sunshine peering in. 22. a piping hot cup of earl grey tea just the way gramma used to make it with plenty of sugar and milk. 23. exploration 24. throw pillows, soft cuddly blankets, down bedding and high-thread count sheets; at a discount of course.  25. that special-sort-of-wide-eyed wonder that children, puppies and kittens have mastered. 26. word games 27. pens, markers, crayons… hell …any kind of writing instrument makes my day. 28. discovering off-the-beaten path places, movies and music. 29. a sparkling, clean kitchen sink awaiting me in the morning. 30. a good analogy that just makes something abundantly clear. 31. a long, hot shower pounding on aching muscles. 32. freedom. 33. traditions that date back long before i was born and the flood of memories that i become engulfed in when thinking of them.

34. the people in my life who love me unconditionally, make me smile, warm my heart and inspire me daily – just by being who they are.

Warning: Creating your own love list may result in stupidly-sweet-ear-to-ear-grins adorning your face throughout the day. Heart flutters, butterflies in the tummy, and giggling fits may also ensue.

I’d love to know the things that you love too, please share!

Happy Valentine’s Day,

Chrysti

{Echo} Week 6- Face

:: in the eyes :: (by ArtByChrysti)

“To a true artist only that face is beautiful which, quite apart from its exterior, shines with the truth within the soul”– Mahatma Gandhi

Evidence of the word ‘face’ seems to be swirling all around me these days…

“The ideals which have lighted my way, and time after time have given me new courage to face life cheerfully have been kindness, beauty, and truth”-Albert Einstein

Every, single, darn day …we bear witness to those who have chosen to show unmeasurable courage while faced with difficult decisions and it is through our faces we reveal our deepest selves, share emotions and strengthen the connections that we form.

“If the essence of my being has caused a smile to have appeared upon your face or a touch of joy within your heart.Then in living – I have made my mark.”Thomas L. Odem, Jr

Sometimes, we are faced with a smile that melts the core of who we are on an otherwise bad day. One moment can magically heal many tough ones – such as this one, of my sweet Morgan.

Pair it with a dear friend’s photo… and…

(click photo to see it larger)

..  that simple word face… becomes a bit more powerful than I initially thought.

“I do believe that when we face challenges in life that are far beyond our own power, it’s an opportunity to build on our faith, inner strength, and courage. I’ve learned that how we face challenges plays a big role in the outcome of them.”– Sasha Azevedo

I look forward to seeing what you in have store for Week 6 of Echo– Face. Susan & I invite each of you to participate in the project and show us your unique vision, your voice, your echo. Remember, to share your link in the comments here so I can add it to the roundup next Wednesday.

Here’s to putting our best faces forward, and choosing to face the adversities in our life with courage & passion.

Chrysti

List Love: Things I Heart

:: heart  -barely hanging on ::

“There are many things in life that will catch your eye, but only a few will catch your heart…pursue those.” – Michael Nolan

  • Loving that one of my favorite authors (Richard Paul Evans) is giving away his best-selling book: The Christmas Box.
  • Speaking of giveaways: Jeff Hutton is giving away his polaroids. Totally cool idea. I signed up. Will you?
  • I ♥ ingenuity, especially when it is as clever as it is attractive. Sheep sculptures, created from rotary telephones.
  • In love with Jaylen Arnold. An inspiring boy with the same disorder I have: Tourettes Syndrome. He has set out to end bullying; I think he just may be able to do it. I ♥ possibility.
  • On the causes I believe in topic, is always Bernie Berlin and  & A Place to Bark. She’s secretly an angel I think. So many lives saved.
  • I’ve been bit by wanderlust. Loving the galleries I have been creating of places I want to see. Jekyll Island, Jackson Hole, Driftwood Beach, Mackinack Island, & Cinque Terre, Italy are amoung them.
  • A big ol’ ♥ for my renewed interest in couponing. Seriously have saved a few hundred bucks this month & gotten more free than I have paid for. Much needed blessing.
  • Love women empowering women. Especially where weight is concerned.
  • Head-over-6-inch-stiletto-heels in love with a new-to-moi artist, Andrea Joseph. Divine illustrations. Talent, talent, talent.
  • Clever, oh so clever. Astonishing face figures made out of clothes.
  • I  ♥ the connections the internet can bring. Flickr brought someone who knew, and remembers my Pap & his bar. Touched me deeply, a nice reminder that he lives on and touched many lives.
  • Sooo love lists. Love the Listology books. Go. Buy. Now.
  • Movies? Phoebe In Wonderland was a close mirror of my childhood.
  • Loving that folks are appreciating my mega sale. So very, very grateful too.
  • Always ♥ quotes. Here & here & here are good places to find some. This is a fabulous book full of inspiring ones.
  • Photo editing: CoffeeShop has pro quality freebies. Gotta double ♥ that.
  • Latest coffee drink vice: Coolbrew. d-e-l-i-c-o-u-s.

Just thought I’d quickly share a few of the many things I ♥ recently. Read my love list  if you haven’t already. I ♥ that too.

What are you hearting these days?

Chrysti

Art: At the speed of life

art_at_the_speed_of_life_banner

“Magic has often been thought of us the art of making dreams come true; the art of realizing visions. Yet before we can bring birth to the vision we have to see it.”
-Starhawk

Recently, I got the oh-so-wonderful  news that my talented friend Pam Carriker inked her name onto a book deal – I literally squealed with delight when I heard -as I know just how much effort and heart Pam put into making her dream a reality. Artistic talent aside, what draws me to Pam is her optimism and perseverance – she doesn’t give up, and I for one am thrilled about that.  For those of you who ever fret or get discouraged over rejection – Pam is an inspiring leader, and proof positive that the dreaded ‘no’ is rarely personal and can be almost always magically transformed into the yes you desired.

“If one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours.”
-Thoreau

To make good new even better, she invited me to be a part of the experience – HELLO Cloud 9! I received my assignment a few days ago, and I can tell you – The topics she chose for me are among the top 5 questions I receive in my inbox daily – I think y’all will be thrilled. Between you & i … and from what I know of the book so far – I think it will be a refreshing viewpoint and quickly become one of the most referenced books on your bookshelf. 

As if that wasn’t enough, you can follow Pam along her journey here. If you have ever wondered what the process of writing a book was, the behind the scenes glances – this will become a must follow blog.

So thank you Pam for inviting me to be a part of this creative journey, and putting me in the midst of such wonderful company:

“Set out each day believing in your dreams. Know without a doubt that you were made for amazing things.”
Josh Hinds

Pam, once again my heartfelt congratulations – this is a much deserved milestone for you. Remember to take a few moments and savor it.

Won’t you join me in sharing her joy?

Warmly, Chrysti

lets go to the movies

Am I the only one anxiously awaiting the release of this movie?

I love the trailers. I loved the book.  I love remembering that we are the sum of all those we loved, all we have done.. and all we have yet to be. I love possibility, hope and anything that celebrates creativity. I l love the worlds that reside within our imaginations.  Don’t you?

Christy

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!}

Day 18/29 Days of Giving is…

What if I told you …in no, uncertain terms – that you CAN make a difference in the world?

What if i told that you can BE the difference in the world.

What if it starts right here. Right now.

There is no greater gift I can give to each of you than the gift (or reminder) of giving itself.

Let’s face it: we can all stand to be a bit kinder, a bit more generous in our lives. If you ever even get close to a point within your life where you think you have done all you can, or that you have done that proverbial  ‘just enough’ or you have met some sort of imaginary status quo on generosity – then I’m sorry to say that you are sorely mistaken. The day you allow yourself to believe that – is the day you have sadly, given up. It’s the day that you no longer make a positive significant impact in the world.

The world we allfor the recordshare. It’s not just yours. It’s not just mine. It’s ours. We share the same air. We occupy the same spaces. Our money changes hands at every turn.  Whether you are conscious of it or not – we need one another. We depend on one another. To make a living, to raise our children, to care for us as we ail. Every minuscule detail in your life is shared – in some way or another – with another living being. It’s not just some desire, or platitude to live by – it is our duty, not only to ourselves – but to others – as we strive to be gentler. kinder. more generous. There is no downside here folks. There is no ‘perfect’ time that you’ll be in a better position to do so either – that is just an excuse we all use (myself included) … to make ourselves feel better. Ask yourself what it is that you can give.

During this project I have rediscovered the hopeless optimism I once had. Problems that have been thrown at me through the course of this have seemed far more minimal than before.  I am thinking positively as a whole again, and feeling that same vibe thrown back at me. Kindness breeds kindness, and when you really, and I mean really… open your eyes to it – it’s abso-friggin-lutly-amazing. I’m glad I stopped making excuses and just started … well, doing. 

With every new dawn, I ask myself what more can I do to make an impact in our world. I’m not looking to cure cancer, but if one little smile can make a child whose crying stop, and the stressed out mother with her baby feels a bit lighter…perhaps she’ll open the door to the store for an elderly woman who could have been injured trying to, and maybe she in turn gives a coupon she can’t use to a single father who was recently laid off from work and couldn’t afford the meal otherwise, perhaps he may now offer some of his time or skills to a neighbor who needed a repair to their steps done, not only saving them from a lawsuit of an injured guest but sparking them to give of their time to yet someone else… who knows JUST how far that one, tiny smile could reach.

I’m not asking you to give up your house, starve yourself, or strive to be perfect. I’m asking you merely to think a bit outside of the box. Redefine your definition of generosity. Give with intent – not just in passing.Each day, give a bit more. Nurture yourself, your loved ones – and yes, even strangers. I’m not saying anything here – you haven’t heard before. I’m just like you. I get stressed. I am selfish some days. Often I have very little free time, and am usually more than overwhelmed and committed.

:: beside me ::

I suppose – my point is simply this: We are not that different you & I. Some have told me how lucky, or fortunate I am to be in a position to do this project. I find myself feeling sorry, and a bit annoyed for whomever states it – as I am not lucky, I am not in some financial position to do this project, I don’t have heaps of free time to offer either. I MADE this happen for myself. I hold myself accountable for it. I create it every day. Luck doesn’t have a damn thing to do with it. I chose a way, to fit this back into my life.  Every way I carried this out, was for a specific reason, that suits my life and would essentially wake me up again, and force me to go back to the basics.

There is no magic formula here, none of this is probably news to you and you will probably have a different way that works for you. And ya know what? That’s a-ok.

Journal some ideas for giving, and kindness out. Make up little pay-it-forward stories in your head to start accepting the real value in giving. Skip your Starbucks or some other non-essential for a day, use that money to do something nice for someone else. Find the things in your life you are grateful for. The little things – the crisp air you breathe. The raindrops that look like diamonds on a bare branch. Learn to look at those small facets of life with gratitude, and you’ll find everything else will all slowly, come into place. Forgive yourself, for the days when you’re not as kind or generous as you could have been – they are inevitable. Just…try. Give, with intent.

I know, there are several of you… who dismiss this stuff as a crock of poo. I can honestly promise you – it’s not.  Can’t motivate yourself to do it for the right reasons? Then do it, because more good will come to you as a result. Since life is alllllllll about perspective – surrounding yourself with positivity in the best ways you can – makes life, well … far easier. Yes, easier. Anger, resentment, selfishness etc.. all fuel misery, trample hope, and destroy lives. Let kindness, gratitude, and generosity steer your life. Make it rich with substance, and joy – and if it is already, create more. Create the life you want. The life, you deserve.

Today’s Giveaway? Is the book:  Acts of Kindness: How to Create a Kindness Revolution . The recipient of today’s giveaway can use this to jumpstart, or further along their own kindness journey. It’s my hope, they will then pass it on to someone else as well.

To enter today simply…

  • On this post; in the comments – answer one or more of these questions: Tell me some of your favorite kindness and giving gestures and/or let me know what stops you from doing even more?
  • 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 & Day 17 still!
  • Check out the first batch of winners, the second batch of winners and the third batch of winners!
  • Go do a lil’ sumthin’ generous now, for someone else.
  • The now-finally-off-my-soapbox ….  Chrysti