{Echo} Week 10- ‘Collection’

collection   /kəl’ekʃən/

  1.  a group of similar things that you have deliberately acquired, usually over a period of time

When Susan chose the ‘collection’ theme, I was a bit nervous – as many of you know, the majority of my belongings are currently packed away in boxes, awaiting the big move. Frankly, I was beginning to think I’d have to photograph a stack of bills from a collection agency to make the theme work! Thankfully, I remembered that I hadn’t packed up all of my studio just yet – and chose a few favorites from there.

 “The teachings of elegant sayings should be collected when one can. For the supreme gift of words of wisdom, any price will be paid.” -Siddha Nagarjuna

Over the years, I have collected many things. Most of those objects somehow reminded me of my childhood, loved ones, or places I fell head-over-6-inch-stiletto-heels in love with. I became obsessed with collecting .. you know how it is, scouring eBay, thrift stores, pestering friends & family all in the not-so-glorious name of  acquiring mounds of ‘stuff’. 

Sadly, I found that the bigger a particular collection got, the more it seemed like clutter …which significantly decreased the value it held to me. The collections that couldn’t be displayed seemed useless to me… as they were hidden. The ones that were on display became a royal pain to clean around.  Soon enough, I was back on e-bay selling off the majority of the items.

“Life is made up of small pleasures. Happiness is made up of those tiny successes. The big ones come too infrequently. And if you don’t collect all these tiny successes, the big ones don’t really mean anything.” – Norman Lear 

Nowadays, I am drawn to simpler collections that hold personal meaning and/or spark a delicious memory….. A piece of sea glass acquired on a beach, a smooth pebble found by a child, branches from a park in California where a friend & I witnessed the most glorious sunset. You know the kind of things I mean … ordinary things that our hearts find extraordinary.

I’m determined only to surround myself with things that make my heart skip a lil’ beat or items that make me laugh. I’m so over stuff for the sake of stuff. Love that.

Photo Credits:
 © Christy Hydeck (left), © Susan Tuttle (right)
(click image to view it  larger)

 A Quick FYI: Both of us  showing white/ivory buttons was not planned … I suppose it was meant to be. Serendipity! I’m so, very glad i didn’t change my photo to be different – I love how they play off of one another. I look forward to seeing what you in have store for Week 10 of Echo–Collection. 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  if I get a chance to do a round-up I can add your site to the post.

I’ll leave you with some of the things I have collected throughout my life…

sundresses -words – paper dolls – leaves, bark, rocks & driftwood – shark’s teeth – books- antique diaries – transferware – pitchers – vintage linens – aprons – white & ivory buttons – seashells – seaglass – toy cameras – old letters – pottery – red & white anything – ornaments – charms – fabric – old paintbrushes and rulers – movies – cd’s & tapes – journals – papers – pins – cabinet cards – beads – silver jewelery – old telephones – throw pillows & blankets – antique quilts – anything with the name Christy on it miniatures – seeds – glass blocks – trains – matchbox cars – hand mirrors – knit hats – sunglasses – bowls – old maps – t-shirts – shot glasses – purses – beer bottles – snowmen – dried flowers – arrowheads – turquoise – vintage doll clothes – pens – quotations – starfish

.. and that is just naming a few! What have you collected? I do hope you’ll share.



33 Artistic & Free Social Media Icon Sets

This post has MOVED to my new blog!

You can find it below:


{Echo} Week 9- ‘illuminate’

:: burning glory ::

:: sunbeams ::

      “There are two kinds of light – the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” – James Thurber

I have a penchant for light. I seek it, I bask in it and I humbly try to capture all of its majestic glory within my camera lens. Those who accompany me on a photo walk can tell you how I light up like a child on Christmas morning when that glorious golden hour comes around and even the smallest blades of grass are all aglow. Sun-kissed, is there anything more magical?

I suppose it is within that hour that I’m brought back to my childhood where fairies danced.. always  j u s t out of my reach, clouds became characters in my latest story, leprechauns taunted me and elves were always causing mischief. Anything, and I mean anything was possible. 

:: fairy of dreams ::

“The questions which one asks oneself begin, at least, to illuminate the world, and become one’s key to the experience of others.”  James Arthur Baldwin

Though the details have matured a bit as I grew up, that light still delivers me the same fantastical feeling of magic it brought me as a young girl.  With age, has come (a bit) of wisdom as well as acceptance of the disorders I was given in this life.  Among that knowledge is the importance of light in managing bipolar disorder.

It is a key factor in resisting depression and a crucial element to pull myself out from under the darkest of days. Even technology is understanding the importance of light, and light therapy lamps are becoming a valuable and more accessible tool for folks like me. Love, love that.

“Better to illuminate than merely to shine, to deliver to others contemplated truths than merely to contemplate.” -Saint Thomas Aquinas

After dark – I find myself drawn to the colorful neon lights … cities are chock-full of them!  There is this unequivocal energy they produce – and instantly, I am captivated. I could never choose between the city & the country … as I love them both.

I don’t always take photographs to capture beauty – sometimes, I just want to capture that powerful, and oh-so-bold feeling of excitement … so I play with long exposures, light writing.. and delight in the abstract beauty it produces. If you don’t want to fuss with manual settings on your camera -turn your camera to fireworks mode (if it has one), aim it at light… and move it around in the air as the shutter is open… but be forewarned, it is addictive.

So, imagine my thrill when Susan sent over her shot …

Photo Credits: © Susan Tuttle (left), © Christy Hydeck (right)
(click image to view it  larger)

… I’m beginning to think she really can read my mind.

I look forward to seeing what you in have store for Week 9 of Echo– illuminate. 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.

Lastly, allow me to apologize for skipping the {Echo} Week 8- ‘Juicy’ roundup; a few unexpected (of the major time-sucking variety) things came up this week &  killed the time I had allotted for posting it. The round-ups are just a lil way I can thank each of you for participating – so I feel terrible that I can’t carve out the time right now.  Please be sure to read through the comments on this post, Susan’s post and peruse the Flickr group to check out all of the fabulously juicy interpretations. I hope you all know that I love seeing what you share with us, even when I’m looking on-the-run!

If you’d like to see the round-up posted late, let me know in the comments here!


Assignment 52: Week 8, Photography Gear

Assignment 52: Photography Gear (by ArtByChrysti)

Assignment 52: Photography Gear (by ArtByChrysti)

I couldn’t decide which version of that photo I preferred, do you have a favorite? Which one whispers to you? So far, it seems the retro one is in the lead.

Assignment 52: Photography Gear (by ArtByChrysti)

I am totally in love with these 2 vintage Kodak Duaflex cameras I have, someday I’d like to own more and fill a bookshelf with their well-worn beauty. E-bay was the source of some incredible deals on them a few years ago when I first became obsessed with TTV photography.  I haven’t taken any shots in quite awhile, as my gear bag is already too heavy to lug around… but after rediscovering them last night – well, I sense a  TTV photo walk in the near future! Russ is the go-to guy on the art of TTV;  please check him out to learn more.

Since we’re on the subject of camera gear… I am lusting over the Blackbird Fly Twin Lens Reflex camera shown here… I don’t have a fun budget right now, but I’d be sooo willing to trade a large original painting, a print etc for one! Until it becomes my reality, I can at least dream… which as you know, is one of my all-time favorite past-times.

“Maybe because it’s entirely an artist’s eye, patience and skill that makes an image and not his tools.”
Ken Rockwell, Your Camera Does Not Matter, 2005

Love fun photography gear as much as I do? My photography wish list is full of other awesome things. Join me in the droolfest!

Are you participating in the Assignment 52 project as well? Drop me a comment so I can visit your interpretations of the theme too.

Hope you have a picture perfect day!


{Echo} Week 8- ‘Juicy’

“Don’t miss all the beautiful colors of the rainbow looking for that pot of gold.”

Susan chose the ‘ juicy‘ prompt because  she was “craving some color against this white backdrop of winter”. While I loved the prompt, I admit to being a just-a-tad-bummed initially; as my heart has been drawn to the pale, the delicate and the serene these days. However, I love a challenge (well, on most days) … and breaking out of one’s-current-musely-mood is indeed, challenging.  Am I the only one who has a muse with a severe case of tunnel vision?

There was a particular shot I wanted to get for this round of {echo} and I was not at all successful in making it work – disappointing but an excellent, much needed reminder that I need to make time to learn all the technical skills I lack where photography is concerned. While I admit I sometimes wish I could bypass the whole learning process and instantaneously have the knowledge residing in that cluttered space I call my brain… I know I would be missing out on so many opportunities to fumble and fail … and that would truly be a shame, because those are typically the e x a c t moments new discoveries and successes are made of.

So easy to lose sight of that.. such a juicy tidbit of knowledge to be reminded of.

Photo Credits:
© Susan Tuttle (left), © Christy Hydeck (right)
(click image to view it  larger)

JUICY has this wonderful spectrum of meaning that should make for some amazing interpretations this week. What does it mean to you?

I look forward to seeing what you in have store for Week 8 of Echo– Juicy. 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.


{Echo} Week 7- ‘Whisper’ Roundup

:: color the wind ::

“Let your heart guide you. It whispers softly, so listen closely.” -unknown

Which is exactly what I have been trying to do these last few weeks.; that whole listen to your heart thing.

You see, it’s not the listening part that is difficult for me…. it is the trusting part. Over the years as I have taught myself to manage living with Bipolar Disorder…. second guessing my instincts has become natural to me.

Too much so.

I am working on changing that, just a bit mind you.. so that I can allow more joy and light into my life. Routines do wonders for me – but there is something to be said for the one-of-a-kind exhilaration that arises out of spontaneity. Ironic isn’t it, having to teach myself to be spontaneous again? That, and becoming less reclusive are the two things I have been really trying to work on. I am probably the most outgoing, shy person you’ll ever meet. It takes me awhile to warm up, but once I do… I realllly do. I’m not exactly sure when I became so riddled with insecurity and stress that socializing became difficult, but the weight gain and health issues over the last few years didn’t really help matters much. I am working on it… and learning it is truly o.k. to be a perpetual work-in-progress.

Those are the whispers I hear today, the whispers that have been calling me to seek solace and wisdom in nature as well as myself  – even in this frigid winter. With each passing day I know I am becoming stronger, wiser, and one step closer to my goals. Not so bad when I really think about it. I am looking forward to leaving here – the here which I now call limbo, and starting the next chapter of my life. I think I have some creative ways to help make that happen – and hope you’ll consider helping me when the time comes.

The whisper prompt brought about some amazing images and stories. I have truly delighted in sharing in them, and hope you’ll enjoy looking through them too.

Here’s the roundup for Week 7 of {Echo} – Whisper:

:: aubergine:: (by ArtByChrysti)

{Echo} Week 7 - Whisper (by ArtByChrysti)

If  I have inadvertently forgotten you, or you choose to join in (yay!) … please let me know in the comments section and I will update the list .. it is wonderful discovering  the unique visions y’all have in this beautiful life, I can’t get enough of it.

  • New Flickr Group for the collab. ~ Join Us! Find a partner there, read the guidelines and more!
  • Add the new Echo button (susan’s awesome design) to your blog if you’d like! Get the code here.
  • Catch up with the previous {Echo’s}

See you tomorrow with the new {Echo} prompt!


34+ Things To 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,