Art: At the speed of life

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“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

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

    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 8/29 Days of Giving is…

    a red-bellied woodpecker …

    … in playful prose

    with organic enclosure …

    … evoking misunderstood harmony

    culminating iridescent root …

    … blinding enchantment takes flight

    {no, this fever hasn’t made me delirious yet – keep reading silly!}

    billowy seams frolick …

    … wondrous carousels aplenty

    rhythmic howling prevails ….

    …  a nantucket gazelle, flushed

    looser lighter silhouettes ….

    … whisper of metallic hues

    { welcome to my collection of words }

    Do you think that resembles poetry? Would you believe me if I told you it took me 2.5 minutes to type that, as I merely glanced through my collection of words. I allowed them to take flight and come together in their own unique way. I didn’t think about how it would sound, I didn’t care if it made sense. I sought the imagery. I craved the omigosh-im-flloating-above-the-world-anything-is-possible feeling they leave me with. I wanted my tongue to dance as they were spoken. Tell me, in your view – did I achieve that?

     Poemcrazy Journal - p. 10

    That journal entry was created in the same way. It Reads:

     there – it embraces
    twirling, standing,

        fal

               ling

    still as night
    the cat creeps
    shedding uneasiness
    acquiring infinity

    within one, single

    glimmering

    breath.
    ———————

     spirit rejuvenated
    in playful prose
    the tailor, the baker
    & the carpenters wife exit

    veiled insolence

                                                     awakens innocence

    as the fieldmouse

                     sings.

     I am often astounded by those who don’t see the art within words. The magic they create. The vivid images they arouse in our minds.

    Words, are an invaluable creative tool.

    You don’t have to consider yourself a writer, to use them. To be inspired by them. To collect them.

    I collect words. Do you?

    poemcrazy

    Today’s giveaway is (you may have guessed it),  one of my favorite books – Poemcrazy by Susan Goldsmith Woolridge. Regretfully, it’s not a signed copy – while I probably could have written her & asked, I was far too excited and hopelessly impatient (yes, i am THAT girl who peeks at gifts if given the chance) to share and opted to purchase a copy of this for the winner. That’s love folks.

    Poemcrazy: Freeing Your Life With Words: invites the readers into a realm where poetry is accessible, where poems are moments of discovery that often arrive unexpectedly (in parking lots, at the grocery store, on walks) and makes ordinary lives extraordinary.

     Susan Wooldridge plays with language as she shows how to create “wordpools”, helping the reader to understand that we are all immersed in an ocean of words used but largely ignored. The reader learns to create images, begins to develop metaphor, and gradually moves into “dreamsense” where an exploration of who we are in poems carries us to deeper levels within.

    Wooldridge shares stories of how she and others discovered their own poems through delightful and often amusing vignettes of her life and experiences as a writer. In practice sessions through Poemcrazy, Wooldridge demonstrates how to craft poems using a poet’s tools such as journal writing, imagery, comparison, exaggeration, awareness of detail, and playful juxtaposition. Poemcrazy is a wonderfully original and motivating addition to any literary or writer’s reference shelf! — Midwest Book Review

    I want each & every one of you to find a way to be mesmerized by language. words. letters. I want you to experiment without fear. I want you to put them together, and take them apart. I want you to open your eyes to the world that surrounds you – and look, reallllllly look at the words you could be collecting. The words you should be collecting. I want you to see the difference within your creative ventures once you do.

    I want you to play. To collect words. To be inspired.

    This book is nothing shy of inspiring. It’s for those who write. It’s for those who think they can’t write. It’s for those who aren’t inspired to write. It’s for those who have no time. It’s for those who have all the time in the world. It’s for anyone. There is something within these pages – that will free you from any creative stumbling block you may encounter.

    Poemcrazy Journal - p. 6

    It will change how you see yourself. How you see the world that so gloriously surrounds you. You will breathe it in and savor it. It won’t be a chore. You will be grateful, that you can honor your creativity in a minute. Maybe two. Maybe longer. That’s the beauty of it – it’s up to you.

    It’s late, I’m exhausted – and I find it ironic that the giveaway dealing with writing – is perhaps, one of my worst written entries ever. Ah life, gotta love it! It should however tell you, just how excited I am to share this. To buy one of you a copy.

    To inspire each of you, to start a journal with your collection of words too. You can see mine here.

    Ok my lil’ wordsmiths to enter today’s fabulous giveaway:

    • Leave a comment on this post listing some random pretty words. That’s it. Words you like. Descriptive words. Moving Words. Humorous words. Elaborate words or Simple words. They can make all the sense in the world. They can make no sense at all. Just leave me lots of pretty words that I can add to my collection.
    • and/or If your feeling chattier: tell me how words play a part in your life – good, or bad.
    • Do this by: Monday, December 15th
    • Don’t forget to spread the word. (ha – a pun!)
    •  Enter Day 0 & Day 6 & Day 7
    • Check out the first batch of winners!

    Wishing each of you effervescent mocha dreams, Chrysti

    And the first batch of winners are….

    Since the technology gods have been frowning upon me all week (and today they apparently decided to unleash their wrath) … I’m gonna keep this as to the point as humanlyno make that as Chrysti-ly possible. Chatting aimlessly, is what Chrysti’s do best. Or sumthin’ like that….Heck if i know.

    Hmmph.

    Here’s the scoop:Winners need to contact me within the next 5 days 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 :-)

    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!

    Ok, the hard part — and also the kind of fun part — the prize recipients! Doesn’t that sound nicer? We’re all winners, even if the prize eludes us. 

    “A winner is someone who recognizes his God-given talents, works his tail off to develop them into skills, and uses these skills to accomplish his goals.”
    -Larry Bird 
     

    (I so wish I could give everybody copies though!)

    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…

    Even though the drawings on the original posts are closed – I still think they are worth a read – especially the comments. Amazing discussion, laughs & communities have been forming. It’s a wondrous feeling!

    mmsp

    Day 1Click Here to read all about it
    Prize:  a SIGNED copy Mixed-Media Self Portraits by Cate Coulacos Prato
    Purchase one by clicking here
    Prize Recipient: Lynette (claimed)
    Prize Recipient Back-Up: Judi M. , who asked to give it to Christina B.

      

    Day 2Click Here to read all about it
    Prize:  a SIGNED copy of Collage, Artplay for Your Creative Spirit 2009 Wall Calendar
    Purchase one by clicking here  
    Purchase a signed Copy from me,  by clicking here  (Only have 6 left!)
    Prize Recipient 1: Immi –claimed
    Prize Recipient 2: Nancy (Boston Terrier as odd object) – claimed
    Prize Recipient Back-Up 1: Bethany
    Prize Recipient Back-Up 2: Lucy– aka Jodi Ohl

     

    Day 3Click Here to read all about it
    Prize: a copy of Exhibition 36 by Susan Tuttle
    Purchase one by clicking here
    Prize Recipient: Gillian McMurray (claimed)
    Prize Recipient Back-Up:Julia Carter
    2nd Chance to enter by 12/15/08: Click Here!

     

    Day 4Click Here to read all about it
    Prize: Magical Designer Journal of Possibilities
    Purchase one by clicking here
    Prize Recipient 1: Natalie (Hot Cross Bunnies Joke) – claimed, gave to a backup!
    Prize Recipient 2: Aimee Wheaton -claimed
    Prize Recipient 3: Kari (snakes burp story) -claimed
    Prize Recipient Back-Up 1: Mary Lee (Bill Clinton Joke)
    Prize Recipient Back-Up 2 : Connie
    Prize Recipient Back-Up 3: Marion (with the too cute son)– claimed

     

    studiosfall08

    Day 5Click Here to read all about it
    Prize: Fall 2008 Issue of Cloth, Paper, Scissors Studios
    Purchase one by clicking here
    Prize Recipient: Nancy Scott -claimed
    Prize Recipient Back-Up: Kari – claimed, will give to someone else should she get it!

    And there ya have it… the first round of giftees! Recipients – Don’t forget to contact me  with your mailing address within the next 5 days by emailing me at khryctee[at]bellsouth.net, or leaving another comment here – with the correct email to notify you! Extra Credit if your email contains lots of OMG’s, squeals of rampant delight especially on the prizes that contained submissions of my own.

    Still time to enter Day 0 & Day 6!

    Even though there’s no giveaway on this post  … I have enjoyed all our ‘talks’ in the comments, it’s actually been my favorite part of all this….  so if ya feel like chatting with me, why not play a lil game with me?

    It’s easy – I promise!

    Just finish this sentence

    Life is full of …….

    Can’t wait to see your responses! Hugs to all!

    Chrysti – who needs to get today’s giveaway up!

    Day 3/29 Days of Giving is…

    … would you like knowing you can double the odds of winning today?

    ooo, i have your interest now don’t i? ….

    …. but we’ll get to that later

    right now i’m simply elated one of my favorite people is our guest today….

    … so pull up a chair and sit a spell

    afterall we’re nothing but  friends here ….

    …. whenever i hear people refer to Bette Midler

    instantly i think ‘the divine miss m’ ….

    … whenever i hear the name of our special guest today

    my lil’ mind takes me along those same lines….

    though, i tend to think of the delightful vs. the divine …

    but divine is ever-s0-fitting as well…

    … i suppose it would sound better if i added her name there

    rather than making you read these rather silly lines…

    … how about a clue?

    let me get my very best announcer voice on….

    .. *cough*

    Ladies, and probably under a handful of gentlemen …

    … why aren’t more male readers here anyway?

    sheesh! me & my tangents…

    FINE i’ll get on with it already

    I proudly present you with :

    tuttleheadshot600

    The Delightful, The Divine, The Talented –  Susan Tuttle!
    ( admit it, you’re now saying it in your mind, and possibly aloud in your best ringmaster voice too)

    As many of you know, I won’t promote something I don’t believe in – not people, not books, not products.  Is it professionally wise? I dunno. Do people always like it? Nope. But it just  feels right and resonates deep down inside of me… at the end of the day – isn’t that what matters?  I simply just try to do whats right by me, by others, by the world. I don’t always accomplish it — but i strive to.  The older I become, the more important living an authentic,  genuine life is to me. A wise woman once told me that having the courage to be genuine – to be true to who you are – who you really are – is one of those mythical, magical keys to a happy and fulfilled life. I like happy. Happy is good. 

    Anyway….I digress.

    I could probably spend this entire post gushing over Susan; and admittedly I’d enjoy making her blush (but just a lil)… I was fortunate to spend time with her at the ZNE convenZioNE last August (where we were both instructing, and i dragged her on just a few *cough* starbucks runs) …  within minutes of meeting her I felt as if I’ve known her for years and years. I’m always that squirmy-kind-of-awkward when I first meet folks, but Susan is just.. well.. so damn darn open and authentic… i was instantly at ease. Not often that happens to me. Nope, not often at all. She’s one of those special folks – that know just how to touch your heart, and your life – merely by being who she is.

    That is exactly why I am so pleased that she agreed to a short interview with us… where we discuss her new book, her vices.. and I shamelessly try to snag a piece of her original art. I think we’d all agree, her voice will be far more enjoyable to you than mine… so without further adieu… let me introduce you to the book, then on with the show as they say…

     Exhibition 36

     Exhibition 36: Mixed Media Demonstrations + Explorations
    by Susan Tuttle

     Within the pages of Exhibition 36, readers will enter a virtual art exhibit featuring thirty-six mixed-media artists whose collage, digital, assemblage, altered and repurposed art adorn the walls and pedestals of this unique gallery. The artists are “present” throughout the exhibit, answering questions, sharing their thoughts, talking about their work and offering instruction. The tour is structured to provide insight into the creative process of the artists whose work is on display and the reader will be delighted with the plethora of inspiration, articles, techniques and general visual candy. As a final bonus, many artists featured in the book have contributed imagery as a gift to readers for attending the exhibit to reuse in their own creations. Possesses great crossover appeal for mixed-media artists of nearly every discipline, including jewelry makers, collage artists and more.

    Readers will enter a “virtual tour” featuring art from a variety of contributing artists, including well-known crafters such as Claudine Hellmuth (Collage Discovery Workshop) and Suzanne Simanaitis (Kaleidoscope).Includes bonus collage imagery sheets for readers to use in their own art.

    Gosh.. the day this came? I was not only bubbling over with joy for a friend, but so moved by her words that i jumped right between the gorgeous covers and a few days later re-emerged and reviewed it over at Amazon — I’ll let you see my personal thoughts on the book there… so we can move right along and have a delightful conversation with the divine Susan Tuttle now.

    ( um yeah, questions are mine … the answers?.. you guessed it.. Susan’s

    Let’s just knock out the standard question first,(though common)- inquiring minds still want to know – what inspired you to take this approach to a book? What was your initial vision, and did it change as it came together?

    My initial vision was to create a book that featured a large number of artists and their work, a variety of mediums and styles, flat work, 2-D and 3-D pieces, men and women alike — basically something for everyone. I struggled at first in trying to figure out what the premise of the book would be and how it would all come together in a unified way. I believe if we put our questions out there into the Universe, the answers always have a way of finding us, so I asked for help with the book. I woke up one morning, eyes opening slowly, looking out my window at a sunlit field — my answer came to me with such clarity, and in such a peaceful way. The answer had been with me all along actually, and from that moment on I knew the book was meant to be a virtual art exhibit — my dream art show, constructed from within the confines of my little home in the Maine woods.
     
    You see, I grew up in a rural part of New Jersey but made frequent trips to New York City, and later settled down in Boston for many years. In the city, cultural life was right at my fingertips. My book is my attempt to re-create this kind of cultural mecca that is not as accessible to me in this remote, beautiful part of the country. This book would not have been possible without my access to the Internet and the variety of artists that I have made connections with through that venue.

    Once I had this vision in place, it did not veer from the initial course, and I believe it went the way that it was meant to. In fact, sometimes I felt like the book was writing itself. Not to say that I didn’t work my arse off, but that things unfolded naturally. When it came time to divide the contributions into chapters, the chapter headings came to me with an unusual ease and the contributions miraculously divided themselves amongst the chapters in a very balanced way — true serendipity!  And I would be remiss if I did not give high praise and credit to my editor, Tonia Davenport, who gave me an incredible amount of creative freedom to realize my vision.

    I fell in love with the diversity of art, contributors and styles within your book. How did interacting and collaborating with all these talented folks affect you?

     First and foremost I felt incredibly privileged to have been able to collaborate with all of the wonderful artists in the book. I felt extreme joy on many occasions and I felt blessed by the generosity of these artists as they shared their techniques and heartfelt, personal stories with me and all of us.

    From a technical perspective, my organizational skills were put to the test as you can well imagine, with managing a total of 35 contributions in addition to doing my own artwork and writing. I also got to exercise editing skills and learned a lot about editing another person’s writing, while at the same time maintaining their unique voice. 

    It is rumored you have a sugar addiction while creating – is this true? What is your vice?

    Ah yes, this is indeed true! My great-grandmother, whom I called Nana, owned a candy store, so having a sweet tooth definitely runs in the family. My vices tend to have a combination of sweet and tart flavors (Sweet Tarts, Sprees, Sour Patch Kids, Nerds, Pop Rocks and gummy bears). I can get a little bit more sophisticated though — lol — good chocolate is high on my list! I am also an icing lover — on cakes, cupcakes and cookies — the more gloppy, the better.

    With so many mixed-media books out there right now – what sets yours apart? What do you hope people will take from Exhibition 36?

     I don’t know if there is necessarily anything that sets it apart from other mixed-media books, but the one thing I can say is that the book contains a plethora of artists, styles, mediums and techniques — I think that there is something for everyone. It was important to me that this book not just be a technique-based book, but that it would also include a more personal focus on the lives and artistic processes of the contributors. As I stated in the preface, it is my hope that the reader will find something within the pages that rings true for them — if I have done that, then I have done my job.

     You’ve been slaving for years on your book. Your advanced copy FINALLY arrives…. Did you scream? Call a loved one? Refresh Amazon 100x times a day to see how many sales? What was your first reaction?

    Funny you should ask. It was Monday, Columbus Day, and I walked through the door of my house after being out for most of the day at an installation art exhibit. The kids were tired and hungry and falling apart at the seams, supportive hubby was cooking, and let’s just say, he needed a little help witheverything (as would I if the shoe were on the other foot). I saw a brown box on the floor, that looked about the size of my book, which I had been waiting for with fervent eagerness… only, the box was being used as a kind of base for one of the kid’s games — in fact, my son was jumping on it.  I rescued it immediately and looked at the address — from my publisher!  I actually had to put the package aside though, and help with the evening routine, before I could open it… but when I did, it was quite surreal! I sat down that night in front of the woodstove with a glass of red wine in hand and poured over the pages (not the wine… you know what I mean).  Although I was very excited, the book felt like a familiar friend to me — after all, I knew every last word like the back of my hand and had seen initial drafts. But most of all I felt grateful to the blessed people who made it possible and I felt quite peaceful, actually, knowing that I had fulfilled something I was meant to do in this lifetime.

    Many of the talented contributors in the book really opened up to you, revealed their secrets, and shared glimpses of their soul. The ‘sitting-on-a porch-talking-with-an-old-friend’ feeling really shines through within these projects, stories and creative prompts. How does art play a prominent role in your personal life?

    The first word that comes to mind is vital. I must create in order to feel whole and complete, and alive. The act of creating replenishes me, gives me new energy, and fills me up so that I have more to give back to myself, my family, friends and things I deem important. For me, the act of creating is about seeking truths and revealings. Often I don’t know what I am meant to learn until much later. I also find the process to be circular, where life becomes art during the creative process, and because I am left forever changed by the process, the art feeds back into my life.

    In the book, you mention how music goes hand in hand with your creative process; what are some of your favorite songs at the moment?

    Let’s take a peek at the ‘ol playlist — ah, some favorites:

    • Hymn 101 by Joe Pug
    • Radio Ballet by Eluvium
    • The Swell Season by Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova
    • Saeglopur by Sigur Ros
    • Window by Guster
    • They by Jem
    • Lament by Balmorhea

    I’m totally stealing a question you asked Claudine Hellmuth in Exhibition 36: tell us something most people do not know about you!

    How about a few, ’cause I don’t know which to pick:
    – I played my flute in Carnegie Hall
    – I make miniatures with a haunted theme, and have a spooky dollhouse to put them in.
    – I get little chills and cry easily when I witness things I think are beautiful.

    Don’t you want to give me the piece shown on page 41 – ‘a bit goth’?  Granted, I could follow the instructions you gave us to make my own, but I must have that one! So, should I expect to see it in my mailbox anytime soon?

     Sure Chrysti, you can have it, no prob, right along with my first born and my wedding ring! – lol! oh, and I’ll also throw in the deed to my house! Now how’s that for an answer!?

    I knew Susan was kind, but wow — how’s that for generous? Readers –you’re my witnesses – you heard her too right? – though my sarcasm scanner is going off the charts…  

    Has anyone NOT figured out today’s fabulous giveaway yet? No, it’s not the painting I’m referring to… But a copy of her oh-so-incredibly-inspiring-you’ll-jump-in-the-studio-the-moment-your-hands-touch-it-book: Exhibition 36: Mixed Media Demonstrations + Explorations!

    Ok lovely ladies and probably less than a handful of gentlemen – to enter today’s giveaway:

    • Leave a comment on this post, answering Susan’s question for you : How does art play a prominent role in your personal life?” and/or my question “Shouldn’t Susan give me her Original painting I mentioned?” or if you don’t want in the middle of that battle –admit you really did use the ringmaster voice. C’mon.
    • Do this by: Tuesday, December 9th. Winner will be announced then!
    • Double your chances of winning a copy! Susan’s giving away another copy at her blog as well – quick – go enter!

    If you haven’t already be sure to enter the other giveaways here too! Day 1 is here, Day 2 is here, and a chance for a $100.00 Gift Certificate to my new site as well as a chance of your wish being granted go here… be sure to follow the instructions for that giveaway, and post a comment on each particular day to be eligible!

    Whew! Enough of my babbling for a day eh?

    Chrysti — who has a few wishes to go try and grant..