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


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!}

Artwords: Balance

“People with great gifts are easy to find, but symmetrical and balanced ones never.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Well, didn’t this work out perfectly! One of the Try it Tuesdays backgrounds I created, worked out perfectly for this week’s Artwords theme: Balance! But first … (always) .. a word from our sponsors errr me .. ok, so i’m lame.. sue me!


 1. Danja Mathari, Summer Spirited, 2. Against Gravity Rule
3. A Leap of Faith, 4. Buddha dog

“Fortunate, indeed, is the man who takes exactly the right measure of himself and holds a just balance between what he can acquire and what he can use.
Peter Latham

Anyone who knows me well, will tell you my mind never stops running, processing ideas, solving problems, hashing over this & that … I truly do possess An Unquiet Mind.  It’s a trait, I’ve always thought was ‘normal’… but the older I get, the more I realize just how untrue this is. Balance, is a topic that is continually on my mind…

.. Is it possible .. how to find it .. oh, how I crave itwill the scales always be tipped .. should I do this .. should I change that .. what if.. I can’t handle things... need a gripis this out of whack..

Is it possible I spend more time thinking about how to create balance within my life, then I do at actively making it happen? Between my work, my hobbies, my personal life, my health, fun and of course my obligations.. I just can’t seem to find a way to balance it all. No matter how hard I try, how close I feel to achieving it, there’s always that ‘something‘ that seems to interfere. Perhaps, true balance.. is accepting this?

“Happiness is not a matter of intensity but of balance and order and rhythm and harmony.”
Thomas Merton

A Balancing Act

“A Balancing Act”
Done on 140lb Watercolor Paper, In my Visual Art Journal
OOAK (One of a Kind) Mixed Media Artwork
by Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist Chrysti

Everything about this piece is symbolic.
Brief meanings below..

  • The use of my Try it Tuesdays background representing both the toll, and the extreme joy from my newest venture. Throwing this project into my array of activities .. has tipped those scales even further.. something I’m struggling to get a grasp on, but do not regret in the least.

  • The men at the top, symbolic of all the different things I have going on in my life, how they are each so different, yet so very much the same.

  • Use of the torn vintage dictionary piece expresses not only how torn, aged & worn I feel .. but my constant thirst for knowledge. The clothespin a sign of how I tend to feel very ‘pinched’ for time in this area.

  • Notice, there is 1 bird, 1 girl, 1 tree, 1 dog .. a visual of how I feel isolated in my struggles for balance, surrounded by people, yet continually alone.

  • The Caged Bird w/ his head peeking out, is pretty much self explanatory. I do tend to feel ‘caged’ .. but not completely, it’s as if I can stick my head out the door.. but never get much further. Wings that haven’t flown.

  • The ever so sweet, and sad puppy is two-fold. He represents not only myself and the sadness I carry, so wanting to find the perfect balance.. that ‘come on already‘ look is very much I feel trying to obtain this. He also has a more literal interpretation .. these darling animals that have unconditional love, and patience with me.. but at the end of the day, I always feel as if I haven’t given them enough. Yet, another area of my life I need to balance properly.

Even the additional elements, all pertain to the strong yearning for balance I have… but I won’t bore you now .. besides.. writing this has yet again tipped those perpetual scales of balance.. and it’s on to the next activity.. Does it ever end?

“I always try to balance the light with the heavy — a few tears of human spirit in with the sequins and the fringes.”
– Bette Midler

Ahh ..time for me to move on to the ‘sequins & fringes’! — Chrysti