Phoebe in Wonderland

Feeling oh-so-thrilled about this new movie. It is practically my own perfect recipe. One part  lil’ girl with Tourette’s Syndrome (which as you probably know by now, I have) then add in a dash of Alice in Wonderland and a pinch of what looks like artistic and surreal cinemetography.. and I am in heaven. Seems like it may ring true within me – which inevitably means I’ll be fighting back tears throughout the duration of it.

Best part? I’ll be in the DC area this weekend and will hopefully be able to see it! Kismet!

Here is the official site  for the movie. Below is what I received from The Tourette Syndrome Association in my email today… couldn’t find a copy online, so copied it here for those interested.

New Theatrical Release

“Phoebe in Wonderland”

Features Actress Elle Fanning as a

Young Girl with Tourette Syndrome


“The national Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc. would like to inform you of the theatrical release of Phoebe in Wonderland this Friday, March 6. This fictional, highly creative story features Elle Fanning as the title character, Phoebe, who has Tourette Syndrome. Although TS is not the main focus of the film, the disorder plays an important role in the character’s development and impacts the people around her. The movie opens this weekend in the following select cities: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Miami and Dallas.


The film is described by its creators as, “…a fantastical tale of a little girl who won’t – or can’t – follow the rules. Confounded by her clashes with the rule-obsessed world around her, Phoebe seeks enlightenment from her unconventional drama teacher, even as her brilliant but anguished mother looks to Phoebe herself for inspiration.” 


Felicity Huffman and Bill Pullman star as Phoebe’s parents, Patricia Clarkson as Phoebe’s drama teacher and Campbell Scott as the school principal. 

The film’s writer and director, Daniel Barnz, used his filmmaking skills and artistic vision to create an imaginative and compassionate story about a young girl living with the disorder.

Following is a Q&A with Daniel Barnz:

 Why did you choose to give Phoebe Tourette Syndrome?
I wanted to make a film that was anti-conformist in spirit, and Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder in which you are forced to break rules. I was interested in how people think children with Tourette Syndrome are choosing to act a certain way (i.e. why is this child acting out?), and then learn that, in fact, there is no choice. 
I’ve also been a long-time Oliver Sacks junkie, and have always been blown away by how his descriptions of neurological disorders become larger metaphors for life – they offer these amazing prisms through which we can view human experience. I wanted to see if I could do something similar in film – what happens to a character who is forced to break rules in a rule-obsessed society?


How do you think Phoebe having TS affected the story and the people around her?
It’s certainly a struggle for Phoebe and for her family, but I wanted to emphasize equally the benefits of difference – how being different can make you a stronger, better person. It’s not just that it’s okay to be different, but you can actually derive strength from it. The other characters sense this, and learn from Phoebe. Felicity’s character, for example, keeps butting up against the conformist pressures of academia and motherhood. By seeing how her daughter grows and becomes stronger in the face of adversity, she does too. Like many parents, she learns from her child.
What do you hope people will walk away from this film knowing about TS?
Most importantly, I hope people understand that Tourette Syndrome does not define a person; it is a part – but not all – of a person. One of the things the film tries to do is layer in the Tourette Syndrome as part of Phoebe’s overall coming-of age story, and this is not an easy thing to do. Audiences are used to seeing films about neurological disorders in which the disorder defines the whole of the narrative/character. In Phoebe in Wonderland, it is a part of the story, a part of Phoebe, and I hope audiences take away that there are no “Tourette Syndrome people” – there are people who have Tourette Syndrome. “


Phoebe in Wonderland 2


“It’s not just that it’s okay to be different, but you can actually derive strength from it.” Love that. Go check it out.

Chrysti (who, assuming I get all packed .. will be posting giveaway winners tonight)

Simple Pleasures; The Gift

Simple Pleasures

Simple Pleasures.

A chill is in the air; cozy sweatshirts and soft sweaters are beckoning me, the warmth of hot cocoa entices me and the big, overstuffed chair in the corner of my studio invites me to curl up with a good book. It doesn’t get much better then this.

Life’s simplest joys, have always spoken the loudest to me; which is probably why this turn in the weather has more then invigorated me.. the cool breezes, are a welcome breath of fresh air that seem to be blowing all sorts of good things my way. I received an all too short visit from a dear friend last week, and while we were chatting she mentioned Richard Paul Evans new book: The Gift.

You see, I haven’t made the time to stay on top of book releases or to even delve into them for that matter. I once was an avid reader, but the luxury of free time has escaped me in recent years. I have this time consuming habit, of reading books in one sitting – I simply cannot tolerate waiting for the end. I need to know what happens, to stay immersed in the setting, to escape reality, without interruption. That obsessive trait of mine, is what has kept me from losing myself in the many inspiring worlds fiction offers these last few years.

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I was born with Tourette’s syndrome. If you’re like most people, you’re not sure what Tourette’s is but suspect it has something to do with shouting obscenities in public. You’d be about ten percent right.” – Richard Paul Evans, The Gift

Where were we? Ah yes, The Gift. This just may be the book, that inspires me to once again make the time to read. I have always enjoyed novels by Richard Paul Evans; they are quick, uplifting, and often touching reads. They leave me wanting to be a better person, live a happier life, and remind me to appreciate the small things I often overlook. They tend to show the power we have, to influence one anothers lives for the better. A welcome change of pace, from the often cynical outlook we take on… But this particular book — really speaks to me… in it “Richard Paul Evans shares with the world that he, like his book’s protagonist, also has Tourette’s Syndrome.”

I LOVE that! As a woman living with Tourette’s I instantly relate; and once I found the first chapter online, I found myself ordering it…. These excerpts, in particular… really spoke to me. The slight shift in my attitude as a result, has already started a creative frenzy in my brain.

“My last tic was in my hands, and even though it hurt, I still preferred it to a facial tic, because you can’t hide your face in your pocket.”

“People sometimes ask if my tics are painful. I invite them to try this experiment: blink sixty times in one minute and see how your eyes feel. Now do that for sixteen hours straight. I remember, as a boy, holding my face at night because I couldn’t stop it from moving, and it hurt. “

But more painful than the physical hurts were the social ones, like sitting alone in the school cafeteria, because no one wants to sit by someone making funny noises. The panicked look on a girl’s face when your own face is doing gymnastics as you ask her out. (Tics are usually exacerbated by anxiety, and if asking a girl out doesn’t make you anxious, what does?) Or being surrounded by every kid at summer camp, because they want to see what the freak will do next. There’s a reason I learned to keep to myself.

Not surprisingly, I read a lot. Books are the most tolerant of friends.

I cannot wait to see what this little gem of a book has in store. Already, I am reminded of how far I have come since being a child. I learned to trust in people, to stop trying to fit in. I learned to use the unacceptance i received, to accept others unconditionally. I am still a bit socially awkward at times, I still beat to the tune of my own drummer — but these are things I have come to treasure in myself; well, most days anyway. These are just some of the things, that make me – well, me.

How have you grown? What passions have you forgotten? What things make you – well, you?

Take a few moments to think on that today; shift your persepective – and see what creative juices start flowing through your mind too.


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Quick Dental Update

Memmy Memmy Toothache
Originally uploaded by Butterbean1.

Wow! It feels like an eternity since I’ve written here!

I have no idea how in the last 2 weeks went from mildly chaotic, to I can’t get a grip! But it did, and I *think* things are slightly back in control now. If you missed my prior posts on the dental drama that’s been occupying my little life, click here & here.

 “We are all broken and wounded in this world. Some choose to grow strong at the broken places.”
Harold J. Duarte-Bernhardt

Originally uploaded by Mr Hyde.

So many people have written, inquiring about how the sedation dentistry appointment went on Tuesday, it’s easiest for me to update here then reply individually to all. (I have over 600 emails awaiting responses now, please don’t take it personally). Like anything, the appointment was a healthy balance of the good and the not so good. The dental team was not able to do all the work they planned, or that is needed. Truthfully, I’m still uncertain as to why… I remember very little of it. My appointment next Tuesday, should provide some clarity there.  The tooth that has caused the most pain, fortunately was the one they worked on. The pain from the root canal, is not even comparable to the searing pain it was causing previously. So, I am extremely grateful they were able to provide some relief.

“Pain is no evil unless it conquers us.”
~George Eliot

Originally uploaded by Nad.

As for the rest – well, they decided it would be best to treat me in the Operating Room, under General Anesthesia. Truthfully – this terrifies me, but I’m trying to remember the ultimate goal here, to receive treatment, and relief. The cost will be a considerable increase, and it’s still uncertain if they will work with me financially, or require payment in full. Ugh. As relieved as I am to find someone to work on me, the downfall to the clinic is that they are extremely disorganized. Finding a needle in a haystack is more likely then receiving a straight answer!

“Pain is weakness leaving the body.”
~Daniel R. Evans

So, all in all.. I still have some pain, though it’s minor compared to what it was before. I lost 2 days recovering from the sedation medication, all for one lil root canal. Ikes! Frustrating, but truly, I’m just grateful the worst toothache is gone. If the above quote is true – then I’m gonna be one strong chickie!

I actually have many other things to discuss with y’all…but other priorities need tending too first! You’ll be sick of me by the end of the week, I promise! Ha!


Hello World! Depression, Hope & Possibility

“Life’s challenges are not supposed to paralyze you, they’re supposed to help you discover who you are.”
Bernice Johnson Reagon 

Depression...Then Hope

1. another 2. Hello darkness, my old friend
3. even cowgirls get the blues
4. Light at the end of the tunnel 5. Thank You

As some of you know, these last few months have been particularly trying for me. Though not always easy (or successful), I put a sincere effort into maintaining a positive attitude throughout times like these… a life lesson, I wasn’t always aware of. Sadly, there was a time where circumstances like those of late, would have had me sitting & rocking on the edge of a roof not wanting to live.. yet not wanting to die. Looking back.. that event seems so surreal.

  “Your work is to discover your work and then with all your heart to give yourself to it.”

 Living with Tourette’s Syndrome, and Bipolar Disorder, has presented many challenges for me… the hardest of which, is fighting those ‘demons’ in my head. An internal struggle, that I have accepted will never cease. My best defense is self-awareness, and to achieve that.. I am constantly in the process of self discovery. As you get to know me, you will begin to see just how evident this is within my artwork… a tad ironic, considering my creativity is a blessing and gift that having these disorders provides. Admitting this, believing this, and embracing this .. is also my path to healing, my way to cope.

 “The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his future by merely changing his attitude.”
Oprah Winfrey

In early April, when just about everything in my life seemed so damned bleak to me.. I forced myself to begin a shift in my mental state. Little by little, day by day, literally.. just…
… o n e – s t e p …
… a t – a – t i m e …
I found myself waking up… that rebirth of self so many speak of, and we chalk off as silly or absurd…I found myself saying “Hello” to the world and all it’s endless possibilities once again…I had found hope, where I least expected it… within myself.

click photo to see larger in new window

“Hello World”
 Mixed Media Collage & Painting
One of a Kind 4″ x 4″ Canvas Panel
By Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist Chrysti

This beautiful piece, was created during that magical time. The adorable, vintage puppy with his hopeful, eager eyes.. looking ahead at what’s to come. A cheerful, whimsical world just awaiting him to discover it and if you look carefully, you can see the faint image of a newborn baby behind him, a symbolic image of that rebirth.

Though this is piece is small, it took hours to create .. no detail was left unturned. It has served as a powerful, inspiring reminder to me over these last 2 months, and it’s my wish now .. that it do the same for someone else.. so, it’s for sale here. You can read a bit more about this small treasure in the listing as well.

“Our real discoveries come from chaos, from going to the place that looks wrong and stupid and foolish.”
Chuck Palahniuk

 Learning is the discovery that something is possible
-Fritz Perls

Now go – discover something, anything …that you didn’t believe was possible.

Pain, Heartache & Inspiration

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit”
Napoleon Hill

116 años. ¡116 years old!
Originally uploaded by Fano_Quiriego.

Tell me this photograph didn’t just utterly blow you away.

Boy, do i ever miss my grandmothers.

It’s not only visually appealing… but breathtaking, inspiring, and yet still, slightly heartbreaking. A whirlwind of emotions arose within me when I stumbled upon this gem. Every wrinkle, just enhances her true beauty. Every wrinkle, tells yet another tale. I just haven’t been able to stop myself from staring at her.. Oh! The stories she could tell. I continue to wonder so many things…

What challenges did she face in her life?.. What struggles did she overcome?…. Where did she find her source of strength?….What joys, and sorrows would she share with me?…What could I learn from her?… and a zillion other questions I would ask if given the oppurtunity. So, What questions does she pose in your mind? Leave a comment, and let me know!

This absolutely amazing portrait was a much needed source of inspiration today. To be honest, it has been an incredibly frustrating 24 hours. Actually, frustrating isn’t even the right word. Disappointing, discouraging, disbelief.. are just a fistful of the terms that immediatly come to mind.

 “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.” 
-Paulo Coelho

“An excuse is worse than a lie, for an excuse is a lie, guarded.”
-Alexander Pope

As some of you may know, I’ve been in almost constant pain due to a few severe toothaches over the past month. Daily calls, were placed to my dentist’s office… all unanswered, all unreturned. This is after months of similar troubles with their office. To make a long, boring and needlessly dramatic story short.. The first I heard from him was yesterday, when he informed me that he was refusing me treatment due “to the complexity of my needs“. He was my second to last resort. Thing is, he had no trouble working with/on me in years past. It is only when I wouldn’t commit to a $25,000-$35,000 treatment plan that this decision was apparently made. It comes down to the almighty dollar, but he’s using my disorder as an excuse. What a load of….

Trying to find dental care when you have Tourette’s Syndrome?
(my facial tics make it necessary for me to be sedated, and more time to be set aside for an appointment)
Well, it is like trying to nail jello to a tree.

Every time I am refused treatment, I feel like the 9 year old little girl I once was, that was made to stand in front of a room full of laughing kids until my tics stopped. This of course, exasperated them. Then there was the time the substitute nun attempted an exorcism on me with a classroom full of children … ahh, I don’t miss those days.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I… I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
-Robert Frost

On most days, I am glad I had these trials to endure, they truly are part of what made me who I am today. But days like today, well.. it’s just not so easy. I often wonder why I am faced with this particular issue time & time again .. could it be it’s given to me repeatedly to allow me the chance to handle it differently? That,is a thought for another day.

Enough of my pity party .. it’s time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and remind myself of the things in life I am grateful for. You, my dear altered art community – are on that list. You never cease to stop inspiring & motivating me.

“Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.”
Henry Ward Beecher

Here’s to better things! – Chrysti

The Basics..

I finally took the plunge and got myself a’s only been on my to-do list (i.e. book) for a year or so now…

So, I thought i’d just share the general bio i use.. and let you get to know me more through my posts… Psst… Anyone know how to get my bookmarks to show on my sidebar? I’d appreciate any help!!

Bored? Curious? So.. who am i… 

At almost 32 years old (June 3rd) .. I’m a self taught artist who discovered my passion for mixed media art & collage at a very young age. Much to my parents dismay, my “formal” training came from 15 years of painting, drawing, cutting & gluing anything to my walls! I found that losing myself in something creative, not only suppressed my tics (a byproduct of living with Tourette’s Syndrome) but nurtured my soul.

I’m considered an outsider artist, I live with Bipolar Disorder, my work is highly personal as my moods, passion & intensity can be found within each of my pieces… every one of my creations has a piece of me within them, whether it’s my sense of humor, my sensuality, my passion for animals, my love of whimsy, words and all things odd… or my flair for seeing things in a new light, I hope my creations speak to a part of you as well.

My work has been published in numerous e-zines & zines, used in advertisements, displayed in coffee houses, pet boutique’s, offices and more.. I have won numerous contests, and awards for my quirky, one of a kind art.. in addition, my artwork is internationally collected, and I’m proud to say my pieces reside in collector’s homes across the world.. it’s a true honor, and something I am grateful for daily.

 In addition to my art, I am also the proud owner of The Altered Abbey

A New & Upcoming Store, Technique & Project Center, Gallery, and Resource Center for Altered Art & Mixed Media Artists .. Come Visit Me!

Until That Store is Fully Running.. You can shop with me at My Ebay Store