lets go to the movies

Am I the only one anxiously awaiting the release of this movie?

I love the trailers. I loved the book.  I love remembering that we are the sum of all those we loved, all we have done.. and all we have yet to be. I love possibility, hope and anything that celebrates creativity. I l love the worlds that reside within our imaginations.  Don’t you?

Christy

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 14/29 Days of Giving is…

… Is there not one person out there whom I can convince to name their first born after me?

{sigh} I’m a tad disappointed in you all…

… who wouldn’t jump at the opportunity

to rename their 30 sumthin year old son with my name…

{sniff}

alright!  i’m over it.

….despite no single artistic souls out there gifting their child with my name

it brings me hope to know there may be animals….

….jewelery collections and the like bestowed with the lovely name of chrysti

my mom would appreciate it if i reverted back to how she spells it …

…. {christy} in case you didn’t know

these ramblings don’t at all tie in to today’s giveaway…

… so ya know, feel free to just tune them out

i’m used to it….

…. there are men in my life afterall

and we all know what good listeners they make….

…. okay, that’s unfair

some men are incredible listeners…

…and some are simply incredible to listen to

AHA! Oooooo! A tie in! {applause}

Okay ladies (and probably under a handful of male readers out there) … have you met the amazing Jon Troast? If you haven’t, pull yourself out from under that rock you are hiding beneath and get with it! Ok, that was just my not-so-nice way of stating – read on!

Last August, I had the remarkably good fortune of instructing at the first ever ZNE convenZioNE .. an amazing celebration of creativity that I am ever so grateful I was a part of. Throughout the event – we were blessed to have a talented, and very brave musician in residence – Mr. Jon Troast. Why so brave you ask? Well, consider this for a moment: an event dominated with women… and a lone male singer. You be the judge!

Photo by Chrysti

Jon Troast at the ZNE Convenzione : Photo by Chrysti

At any rate – Jon was among the people that kinda got to me while thouroughly impressing me. Have you ever met one of those folks that are obviously comfortable in their own skin, and have that all-around-aura-of-authentic-positivity? It’s contagious. It’s inspiring. You are left wanting.. well, more. Love that. He was not only performing but jumping in whenever we needed a helping hand, laughing, and he was – what I think was the absolute perfect companion to the event.

Photo by Chrysti

Jon Troast at Bella Galleria : Photo by Chrysti

Music & art simply go hand in hand. I believe creativity flows freely from one to the other in this glorious, endless circle … one constantly feeding the other. Have you ever sat back and just allowed yourself to create to different types of music? Given yourself permission to play – to let the music guide you?  I have these  oh-so-powerful-step-back-and-gasp-in-utter-delight-moments when I see how classical music changes my paint strokes subconsciously, or how the really hard, angsty music I was once so drawn to pours this personally haunting darkness into a piece – and when it’s music with lyrics that speak to my soul – I create pieces that show ‘me’ at my rawest, most vulnerable form. Give it a try, Mix it up. See what happens within your own creations.

Photo by Chrysti

Jon Troast at the Convenzione : Photo by Chrysti

Describing music has never been my strong-suit. If I like it, i like it. If I don’t, I don’t. I’m not one to really classify anything.. which might be why I’m so drawn to Jon’s music. It’s a blend of styles – that somehow, become unique to him. It’s evident his own, true voice and experiences lie within his work. All I know, is since I had the privilege of listening to him up close & personal …. he has made his way to each of my playlists – especially, when I’m creating. A couple of his songs, one in particular, would make the short list if I ever create the soundtrack to my life. Powerful isn’t it?

I asked Jon to take part in my 29 days of giving project, not even really expecting an answer … so imagine just HOW friggin’  thrilled I was when he signed on – not only for a giveaway, but an interview as well! Lucky, lucky us! After reading his interview, I’m now torn on what it is I enjoy most about him – his music, or his attitude! Bravo Jon…. come see for yourself.

Jon Troast at Bella Galleria: Photo by Chrysti

(ya know the drill by now dontcha? questions are mine, the answers are jon’s)

Now that I have posted your photos, I better just get this out of the way.. my readers are largely female and it’s just inevitable I’ll be asked: Are you single?

Yes, I am single.

I have to just jump right in with your $100 house tours. I was fascinated by this when we met, and I think my readers will be too. Can you tell us a bit about them?

 Sure. Basically, for $100, I play a one hour concert in your living room.

You can invite friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, etc. Just as long as they’re willing to listen. I came up with the idea because I want to play for people who are listening. What better way to get them to listen than to play in their living room!? Many times, I stay with the host, but housing is not a required part of the deal. I’ve played close to 150 house concerts in the last year or so, from Maine to California to Canada. It’s been a blast, and a great way to do some sight seeing!!

I bet you have seen some amazing parts of the country as a result of this tour.. any personal favorites so far? Anywhere you have yet to go, that you’d like to?

I’ve actually recently written a song about not picking favorites because I like each one for different reasons. I did just get back from a West Coast tour, and it was beautiful, so it may be moving up in the rankings, but I haven’t decided on any favorites.

I haven’t been to Alaska or Hawaii yet. Those are two places in the US I’d still like to go. I think I’ll have to work out a deal that if they pay to get me there, I’ll play for free!

You can sing, you play an amazing guitar – but what I am drawn to most are your lyrics. I feel some sort of connection to them, and often recognize glimpses of myself, and emotions within them. Songwriting is no easy task, can you tell us a bit about your creative process, and how you overcome ‘blocks’ of your own?

I don’t think I’m going to unlock any magic secrets here, but for me, the creative process in songwriting works best when I have times of meaningful interaction mixed with time and space to write. The inspiration comes from…well, life, I guess. But in order to process it, and write creatively I need a little isolation and time to think. I usually talk about empathy with songwriting, because I think it’s a huge part of writing songs that people can relate to. If you’re aware of what they’re going through, you can write in ways that emphasize that shared experience/emotion.

As far as “blocks”, as long as I give myself time and space to write, I haven’t had trouble with that. Sure, sometimes I’m not very productive, but there’s really no quota for how many songs I need to write.

Wedding Ring is among my favorite songs that you have put out, perhaps because I am adopted. Where did the inspiration for this song come from and is it a true story?

“Well love makes money seem so poor
Wasn’t any way they could afford
To give that girl a single thing
So my mother sold her wedding ring

You sparkle more than any diamond
I wouldn’t trade you for the world
What are your dreams now go and find them
My daughter..my daughter..my wedding ring”

– Jon Troast, Wedding Ring lyrics

True story. I have 4 adopted siblings. The song is about one of my sisters who was adopted from Bangladesh. In order to pay for the adoption, my mom sold her diamond ring. Awesome!

This is where I’d ask you to serenade me if this was an in person interview. Let’s just have a moment of silence while I remember how amazing you were live; actually i’ll insert another you tube video.

Lyrics to that tune can be seen here.

Random questions just thrill me; so here’s one for you: How many licks to the center of a tootsie pop?

Well, I held a contest on my email list asking “What number am I thinking of between 1 and 100?”, and the most common answer I got was 33. It was not correct for that contest, so maybe it’ll work here. I’m saying 33.

It’s so cliché to ask this, but I’m doing it anyway … What are some of the bands/tunes on your own playlist currently?

I try to listen to as much variety as possible. Here are a few of the more recent selections: Coldplay, Ingrid Michaelson, the soundtrack from “The Mission”, and an old gospel music cd a friend gave me.

Music and helping artists move furniture around on retreats aside, what are some of your favorite things/activities to indulge in?

That about sums it up! Hmmm…a few more- exercising(recently, swimming), reading, socializing, cooking…maybe)

There has GOT to be at least one good embarrassing moment on your house tours, or funny story you can share with us! Let’s have it.

Well, I’ve forgotten the words to a song a couple of times. My phone rang in the middle of a concert. I sang a song I wrote called “Living Room Tour”, which has a line that says “I fell in love with your daughter”. I wasn’t really thinking about the fact that the folks I was playing for had a daughter. She was 12. Her dad threatened me. She was probably more embarrassed than me though.

One other thing that really struck me when we met, is this radiant glow you seem to have. It’s one I typically recognize in people who have lived long lives, an internal peace.. that acceptance and happiness so few seem to find. What’s your secret to a happy life?

For me, it’s knowing I’m in the hands of a loving God. Getting to know Him more every day. Knowing there’s nothing I can do that will make Him love me any less. It takes a lot of the pressure off!

It’s tradition here, for the guest to ask my readers a question to be answered to be eligible for a prize. What would you like my readers to answer today? It can be as serious or as whacky as you’d like.

I’m assuming the question doesn’t have to be about me. If it does, how about something like “What color shoes does Jon wear?”

If it can be anything, how about “Which raisins taste better, Sunmaid or Dole?” The answer would be “Dole”.

jontroast_aperson_150 jontroast_withtofrom_150 jontroast_second_150

Isn’t he ab-so-friggin-lutly delightful folks? It’s one of those traits that makes his already good music – even better. Amazing how that works.

…. Darn it! Why didn’t I ask him if I could design his next CD cover… maybe next time…{sigh}.

So yeah, back to the giveaway! Jon didn’t just donate one CD today – he donated 3! Count ’em .. 1.. 2.. 3! Initially I was going to give them as a set – however I am feeling particularly generous today myself and will draw names so that 3 of you shall be gifted with an incredible CD of his!

Even you have his CD’s enter – You can gift it to someone else, through here or in person. Just let me know whom you want it to go to!

ALL of you have the opportunity to download one of his CD’s – free of charge. Click here, and if you choose to sign up for his mailing list – you may download his CD Second Story – at no charge! I love when everyone can be gifted.

To tune into today’s giveaway and have your chance at one of the 3 Cd’s ..

  • On this post in the comments answer one of Jon’s questions: “What color shoes does Jon wear?” and/or “Which raisins taste better, Sunmaid or Dole?”  – Extra Credit if you plead with Jon for me to have a shot at designing one of his CD covers someday.
  • Orrrr… You could also let us know how music affects/influences  your creativity and work.
  • Do this by: Sunday, December 21th, 2008
  • 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 10 & Day 11 & Day 12 & Day 13
  • Check out the first batch of winners!
  • Check out  second batch of winners! Is it you?
  • Visit Jon’s site where his blog, store and other goodies are!

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..

 

Day 2/29 Days of Giving is…

… are you having fun with the giveaways?

Omigosh.. am. i. ever. … can’t you feel all that connects us?

… I’ve found myself walking around the house singing & whistling

I haven’t done that in ages …

… I feel like anything and everything is suddenly possible

like when you first saw the wizard of oz…

…. and all that dreary gray; turned to this spectacular sort of vivid color

pure. magic. …. who says it doesn’t exist?

… sometimes, we just have to create magic for ourselves

which is how I finally came to decide on this for today’s giveaway….

… i’m kinda picking through the things i have based on my mood that day

OK! OK! i’ll shush and get to it…

… for the record – i prefer shush or be quiet etc. as opposed to ‘shut up’

‘shut up’ seems more offensive to me than most four letter words….

…hmmm… wonder why?

Oh… the giveaway…. !

 Calendar I am In!

Cover image is by Karyn Gartel aka The Altered Diva. Note the phrase –
“Delivered on the Wings of your DREAMS”

Told ya it was the perfect fit for today – and not just because of that. Go ahead, Read On. 

Collage, Artplay for Your Creative Spirit 2009 Wall Calendar

As children, we play with art naturally, but somewhere along the way, most of us get the idea that only an elite group – artists – can be creative. The creative spirit lives inside each person, just waiting to be expressed. Collage, assemblage, and mixed media artwork are providing adventurous ways for people at every skill level to discover the joy that comes from imaginative self-expression.

The Collage For Your Creative Spirit 2009 wall calendar features pieces by twelve accomplished collage artists, accompanied by text by Lunaea Weatherstone to get the viewer’s own creative juices flowing. The combination of practical suggestions and visual delights adds up to an exciting calendar that will intrigue, entertain, and most of all, inspire.

The positive spirit that this artistic calendar puts forth is really what ‘gets’ to me. As many of you know, it is my mantra of sorts that anyone CAN and SHOULD create. (hmm, maybe that will be the slogan for my new site – thoughts?) The tips, suggestions, and messages each month truly ring home inside of me, and I hope that they will provide a similar feeling to you too. It’s far-to-friggin-easy to doubt our creative abilities, and lose sight of all the value that provides – This calendar, is a fantastic gentle reminder to keep that negativity in check and stick to the heart of the matter. Added Bonus? It inspires. My mind has already dreamt of whimsical new projects to start and explore creatively as a result of this.

Plus, it’s pure eye candy. I mean, seriously – which one of us, isn’t a sucker for that?

Did I mention the 12 gifted artists that Lunea Weatherstone brought into this project? Here’s the breakdown:

Here’s a link back to last year, when I first announced that Lunea asked me to take part in this. They chose to use two of my skinny book pages that I had created for an article I did in Cloth, Paper, Scissors. All in all, the entire book has 20 some pages – that I created it in under a week; actually, I think it was just in a few days. (When Pokey said jump, I said how high!) All kidding aside – I work best under that kind of pressure. I won’t begin to tell you the hours I spent or just how much of myself – you know, my real self – my soul –  poured into that book. It’s still here. I haven’t evolved enough yet to let that book go! (FYI, I totally stole that last line from Susan Tuttle… you’ll understand in a few days. *wink*.) I titled the book, ‘ A work in Progress’ because I felt it was somehow unfinished. That I’m somehow unfinished. People, things, personalities, our art… always evolve; in some ways we are all works in progress.

So, before I spend a year telling you every little mundane detail about it… all I really wanted to say is that I was mesmerized by how the folks at Amber Lotus transformed it. They took two seperate pages, and made it appear to be a singular spread – wicked eh? I’ll be sure to try and get a good pic of my page in the calendar soon and add it to this post & my flickr.

"A Work In Progress" Skinny Book- Pages 3 & 4

Speaking of Flickr — you can see the skinny book in it’s entirety simply by clicking here – I scanned it all in today. If you see the old photos, you’ll understand why that thrills me. Simple Pleasures!

If you hadn’t already guessed, I’m giving away a copy of the calendar today. If more than 100 people comment to win, I’ll give away not one, but two copies! Upon your request, I’ll gladly open it and inscribe/sign my lil’ month of November. The month of gratitude. Fitting isn’t it?

Reading your answers to various questions I’ve asked, gives me so much joy. I laugh, I cry, I think. It makes blogging seem less about me, and more about you. Kinda like we’re all sitting on these exquisitely worn, handmade rockers, drinking tea on a massive front porch in the middle of nowhere: just chit-chatting away.

Beautiful. Just. Beautiful.

Alright you creative lovelies – to enter today’s giveaway:

  • Leave a comment on this post, answering one ( or both ) of these questions “How have you indulged your creative spirit today, if you haven’t – why not?” and/or “What is the most odd item within your reach right now?” If you totally don’t like those questions, then just tell me your favorite month!
  • Do this by: Tuesday, December 9th. Winner or Winners will be announced then!
  • If you haven’t already you can enter to win Day 1 Here and Tell me your wish here and you may win that too or a $100.00 Gift Certificate to my new site!

Just because it’s inevitable I’ll be asked: I have a handful of these calendars left in my store, that upon request & purchase I can inscribe/sign for you. Otherwise, Amazon has them in stock too!

Thanks – to each and every one of you for brightening my life and showing me the magic this holiday season! Warmly,
Chrysti

Showin’ Some Blog Love – Meet new Folks!

I have been ab-so-lutly horrible at keeping up with not only my blog, but also the blog awards some talented & kind folks have given me in our wonderfully creative community. So today, I am trying to set the record straight and pass on 2 of the recent ones I’ve been given, despite my absence.

It is ALWAYS a pleasure to know someone has sought you out, or thought of you kindly – I want to make sure y’all know that even in my absences, I am still more than grateful.

“Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos. Before a brilliant person begins something great, they must look foolish in the crowd.”

– author unknown

A big thank you to Ava & Alberta  for bestowing this on me– this certainly brightened my day! Have you checked out their blog? It’s full of eye-candy, so go take a peek!

Here are the rules for accepting this award:
1) Put the logo on your blog.
2) Add a link to the person who awarded you.

3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs
4) Add links to those blogs on yours.
5) Leave a message for your nominees on their blog.

(It really does feel good to cross items off a list, doesn’t it?)

I always hate choosing people, and narrowing it down… so my goal for today is to avoid listing the people I usually do, or have given past awards to.

The 7 people I nominate are:

1) Seth ApterOk folks, this is just talent oozing over the edges here. A sense of community, art-to-die for, and always something new to learn will be found here.

2) Natasha WestcoatThere is just something about Natasha’s work, words and story that I’ve felt some sort of conenction to. Weird how that works — when you feel you know someone, without really knowing them. She’es generous with information, tidbits, tips and has a good business sense. An example to us all!

3) Danielle Thompson Her blog always blows me away. It is visually stimulating, and I think everything this woman touches instantly turns pretty! She is a gifted photographer and crafter as well – and I am certain you will find her as inspiring as I do.

4) Cheryl Prater – Such a talented artist, with an awesome sense of humor — and now an author to boot! (Her new book  promises to be amazing, and comes out this fall!) Besides, Last time i tagged her for something her response had me laughing and laughing. So why not give her another drive by today…

5) Cate Prato The genius behind the Self-Portrait Book I’m so excited to be a part of, features editor for Cloth,Paper,Scissors Magazine … with a really diverse, nostalgic blog. I love how reading her blog is like a lil glimpse through a window of a house you adore. Anyone that can achieve that feeling, is a-ok in my book. Besides, she makes me laugh and tolerates how anal I am. How can I not give her one?

6) Michelle Beschen She just may win the title for queen-of-all-things creative! I began watching her show B Original on HGTV a few years ago, and was instantly mesmerized. I loved, loved, loved her ‘anything is possible’ attitude, and her creative spirit is a huge inspiration to me. I’ve always shared her same philosophy – to just try… I love that nothing seems to stop her! She’s taking my class in August at the Covenzione, which has a wee bit intimidated – but more on that later – it deserves it’s own blog post!

7) Ophelia Staton – I met this creative talent through my now-dead group Altered Raleigh a few years back, and she has JUST entered into blogland folks! Let’s give her a warm welcome!

Nici also bestowed the same award on me – She is a dear friend, that I truly want to work on getting to know better. She is a kindred Spirit of mine – and I felt an instant connection to her when our paths first crossed a few years ago. She is a talented artist, writer and all-around amazing soul. If you haven’t yet been exposed to her — go do it NOW, you won’t be sorry!

7 more people I nominate are:

1)  Jane Desrosier  – A new to me blog that I fell head over heels for! Videos, Amazing Prim Art Dolls and more await you here!

2) The Funky Felter – What do you get when you combine adorable, super cool felted items… business sense, and a willingness to share — well go and look already! Resources galore and her items truly do rock.

3) Susan Bernard – Bipolar wellness blog. I doubt she even knew I read her blog, but as y’all know Bipolar disorder is an illness that I live with, and it’s always helpful when I can read about others experiences with it as well.

4) Francesca Burras – Dancing Girl Art! really, is there anything she isn’t good at? Paintings, Books, and so much more. A generous, sharing spirit – you’ll enjoy reading her blog.

5) Donna CookI think I first become a fan of hers through ZNE – I love her blog, her enthusiasm, her art, and her willingness to share. Be sure to stop by it!

6) Tiffany Jane– Not only is she full of talent, but her blog & flickr are a delight to the eyes as well! If you haven’t gone beyond the vintage path – you most definitely should!

7) YOU!That’s right readers — anyone who maintains a blog deserves this! Sharing of yourselves, your work and glimpses into your lives are an extraordinary sort of everyday brilliance.

The truth of the matter is — I could spend days listing off blogs I love, people that inspire me, and talent that will blow your mind away. The world, the Internet, and our community is full of interesting people – so take a lil leap today, and an extra moment and extend your hand to one. Who knows what gift, or enlightenment you’ll receive simply by knowing them.

-Chrysti (who is feeling so, so disconnected lately)