The stuff hope is made of

graffiti quote

Often it is at the most unexpected of places, in the most unexpected of moments that inspiration grabs hold of us and renders us just a bit… well, speechless … if even for just the slightest of seconds.

You see, directly across from the American Tobacco Historic District in Downtown Durham,  under what I believe is the Durham Freeway, is this makeshift sort of parking lot . You know the type: your everyday cement-slabbed-over-run-with-gravel-and-last-nights-beer-bottles sort of corner that really doesn’t strike one as anything but ordinary. In fact, ordinary is being kind – most people wouldn’t see a speck of beauty amidst the rubble.

I am sure you know the drill: as we parked the car my head was buried within my purse, gathering my essentials, prepping my camera bag, checking my phone for messages .. just lost in the boring, everday mundane details we let consume our time. Imagine my delight when I broke from that awful normal .. and looked up to discover that quote.

I stopped.

I inhaled, deeply.

I stared. Mesmerized.

I took it all in.

That perfectly imperfect, hand written, drippy, inked up blob… I found it to be an absolutely beautiful sort of mess. I found the words beautiful, the penmanship beautiful, I found the act of whomever took the time to create it there… well, beautiful. It made that dreary space.. you guessed it.. beautiful.

Here’s a close-up:


  “At the risk of seeming ridiculous, let me say that the true revolutionary is guided by a great feeling of love.” -Che Guevara

I have always loved how words guide me.. how they ever-so-gracefully float around within my busy head and resonate deep inside of me. They give me this new sort of sight – that day in particular – because of that particular beauty – I began seeing the extraordinary in the ordinary prominently – the glorious patterns and rustic colors of the vines along the cracked pavement.. the ray of sunlight illuminating the tiniest of weeds poking through the gravel… that sight .. is nothing short of magical.

Truly, it is just that … m a g i c a l. It is the sort of thing hope is built upon.

It is the sort of thing that doesn’t cost a dime.

That perspective, that gratitude and appreciation for what we have, what is there, what surrounds us… is what I believe to be the backbone of not only creativity, but happiness.



Each of us has oh-so-many blessings and regardless of where we may be at any given moment in our lives,  beauty, inspiration and metaphors surround us.. they are plentiful… we can find and even create it in the most unexpected of places… the trick is to not get so wrapped up in the mundane details that we are blinded to it.

Where have you found your unexpected inspirations?


{Echo} Week 3- Abundance


See that photo above? Initially, I had planned to send it Susan for the prompt I chose this go round – ‘abundance’. But then, I wasn’t so sold on the toning.. and decided to go for the one you see below.

Gourds - 2

Yet, it still didn’t sit right with me. 

So I sent her a different photo all together… one that didn’t necessarily fit the literal, obvious definition of abundance.. but it was the one that rang true within my heart, the one that is a bit more connected to my life today, in this moment.. my now.  The simple shot I sent her reminds me of a few things my sweet pets give me daily… that I admittedly take for granted a bit too often.

An abundance: Of love.

An abundance: Of adoration.

An abundance: Of perseverance.

An abundance: Of hope.

Animals have so very much to teach us, if we just allow them to.

When I chose the abundance theme, I had in mind all of Autumn’s blessings – the plethora of pumpkins, gourds, striking colors and those oh-so-glorious leaves that often render me breathless. I chose it because on any given day I see an abundance of beauty.. even in unlikely places. I had even planned to use something like this as my second choice…


But the universe seems to have had a different plan in mind; as the last two weeks have weighed heavily on me.  I have to make a few more of those won’t-they-just-go-away-please-stop-nagging-me sort of life changing decisions, which as we all know… is never easy. Finanically, I am more than a bit terrified (If you have ever thought of buying from me – now would be an awesome time). The issues I am facing are matters that simply do not have one designated, clear path and try as i might- wishing them away just doesn’t seem to do a darn bit of good.

“Whatever we are waiting for – peace of mind, contentment, grace, the inner awareness of simple abundance – it will surely come to us, but only when we are ready to receive it with an open and grateful heart.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach

So, I must trust both my heart and my instincts, rely on my life experiences and ultimately know that I am making choices – as right or wrong as they may turn out to be – that are made with the best of intentions.. choices I genuinely don’t think I will regret, and above all else… I am trying to act with integrity; in ways I shall be proud of years down the line. I continually try and dwell on the simple blessings that surround me, to be grateful for what I have and to show gratitude to those who are there for me in my times of need. Most of all though, I am trying not to let fear guide or take hold of me. (no pressure, right?)

 “When you are grateful fear disappears and abundance appears”
 -Anthony Robbins

“Not what we have but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance.”
– John Petit-Senn

Throughout all of this, that word I chose – abundance – kept popping into my rambly-it-never-friggin-stops-mind – and what an incredible thing that has turned out to be. It has helped to keep my focus on the abundance of things I do have – the best of which, just aren’t tangible.  I *think* it was in Sheri Gaynor‘s book –  Creative Awakenings: Envisioning the Life of Your Dreams Through Art .. where I first read about choosing a word and living it with intention.. this experience has taught me I want to revisit and explore that concept while incorporating it into my life permanently.

After all of the back and forth.. what photo did I choose for my part?


Much like lil’ ol’ me.. that old building has an abundance of untold stories. It has an abundance of structural problems, yet it somehow remains sound. Character? plenty of it.. I can only aspire to be that rich in it.  There is an abundance of contrasting textures that somehow unify into this captivating sight. It is fragile, tattered and torn.. shows it miles.. yet it is undeniably strong. The unique angle I see it as, the perspective.. it is how i try to see the world. The door closed and locked.. yet beginning to push open… well the abundance of metaphors contained in that one, single photo.. it is my truth, my authenticity, my present. Kinda powerful isn’t it?

Better yet – I love how the somehow busy, frantic setting contrasts with Susan’s oh-so-calming tea shot.. it fits.

It just, fits.


(click to see it larger please!)

I am so loving this project. So loving the chance to strengthen our friendship and get to know Susan better.

So loving the opportunity to reconnect with each of you.

A quick recap:

I can’t wait to see what you in have store for Week 3 of Echo – Abundance. We 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.

Wishing you an abundance of all that you love and hold dearly,


Moving among mysteries

move among mysteries

“Those who are willing to be vulnerable move among mysteries.”
— Theodore Roethke

‘Move Among Mysteries’ – Christy Hydeck – 2009 -Artography
Print available here.

I feel as if life is just that these days – this amazing sort of jump from one mysterious adventure to another. My curiosity is peaked, senses are heightened & I feel like I have been bestowed with this awesome takes-the-breath-right-out-from-you-give-me-a-moment-to-take-it-all-in appreciation of all around that surrounds me. Love that.

To reach this state – and mind you, it isn’t always a high, happy place .. it takes a daily committment .. that allowing myself to be vulnerable thing. Giving myself permission to feel, to experiment, to trust and to fully immerse myself in whatever it is that is capturing me at the moment — I am willing to open my heart to the possibilities that await me.  How grand life is, when seen as an adventure.  Autumn always seems to beckon me into that glorious mindset…  exhilarating.

That new piece shown above, is a product of my renewed willingness to stretch myself, and dabble outside of my ‘normal’ — whatever that is…. and ya know what? I love it, I actually love it! I don’t often hang my own work around me, but that piece? It will adorn one of my walls sometime soon.. perhaps, you will consider allowing it to adorn yours as well. (shameless, i know..)

What do you think of it? What emotions does it evoke within you? What have you been courageous in lately?

Warmly, Chrysti

I am only one

i am one

these hands

I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
       – Edward Everett Hale

I needed that reminder today, maybe… just maybe … one of you did too :)


{Echo} Week 1- Emerge

 Emerge 2

That photo there, it isn’t a bad one persay. ..  it just lacks.. well, something. However, it is that very photo that facilitated a ‘lightbulb moment’  for me recently.

“Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge.”
 ~ Winston Churchill

Introspection. It is almost an addiction for me. I suppose it comes from living with both mental & neurological  illnesses – in its own way… it has become my method of survival. Recently I find myself dwelling on the tendency I have to fold into myself.  I find myself pulling away, rather than towards people more often than I would like. I do the proverbial ‘all’ by myself. Afraid to ask for help. Unsure of when to reach out. Hesitant to deepen my connections with people.  It can be a lonely state of mind to live in .. for sure.

I foolishly hold on to some warped, misguided notion that <insert any project, business role, decision name here> will somehow be better if I do it myself. So when Susan Tuttle & I finally decided on a collaborative project to embark on it was a little milestone for me and I had no idea that within the first week, I would find it all life changing.


 (please click to see it larger)

That photo i mentioned earlier? 

It is far better paired with Susan’s, than it is standing alone.

Perhaps …I too am stronger when connected, than alone.

“Only through art can we emerge from ourselves and know what another person sees”
 ~ Marcel Proust

I am excited for the chance to take a creative journey with Susan; to get a glimpse on how she views this miraculous world. I am hoping, that you too will join us in the project we simply call: echo. Every 2 weeks we will each post a seperate set of diptychs based on a prompt we decided on prior. The final result is not only a surprise to each of you, but to us as well. What a true delight that is for me! Be sure to take a gander over to Susan’s blog, where she shares our second diptych.

We invite you to take this journey with us .. to take our bi-weekly prompt and interpret it through your camera lens & share it on your blog (or flickr). Be sure to let one, or both of us know in the comments section that you have done it too, I will post a roundup of all the posts I am aware of in the next 2 weeks.  If you haven’t yet guessed it, the first theme is ’emerge’.  Whether you work alone, or pair up with someone we look forward to seeing the world through your eyes, your echo.

Warmly, Chrysti

Update: Week 1 Roundup is posted here… see all the creative folks joining in!

Plant A Hope

:: plant a hope ::

'Plant a Hope' © Christy Hydeck

 Taken at Hains Point, Washington DC  – Cherry Blossom Festival 2008

“He who plants a tree
Plants a hope.”

~Lucy Larcom

Perhaps, the most enriching thing about creating with my lens is the hope I find in the simplest of places. I find the hope of a future in a child’s smile. I find the hope of a dream present in young love. I find the hope of delight watching birds frolic. I find the hope of days without darkness within nature’s glorious light.

I wonder what hopes will be witnessed by this vibrant, young tree. As its roots strengthen over the years, what childhood games shall be played beneath its branches? What shelter will it so gracefully provide for a lonely soul? Who will be inspired by its blossoms? It is amazing how many lives will be touched and eternally connected by just one, small tree.

It offers endless possibilities. It offers endless hope.

Tell me, what is your hope?

(who hopes a few more want to take me up on my practically free  yarn/fiber deal)