Day 12/29 Days of Giving is…

I can’t wait for you to see today’s giveaway!…

 … not one, but 2 BIG prizes .. you’ll love them

 first I wanted to address something though…

.. bear with me for a moment please?

"Collecting My Thoughts" Journal Page by Pam Carriker

"Collecting My Thoughts" Journal Page by Pam Carriker

i’ve been asked recently, why I feature other artists here…

… asked, don’t I mind that money I could potentially have

is landing potentially in someone else’s pockets….

Ummmm. Nope. Not one little bit.

… firstly, giving isn’t about what you receive in return

naturally, i’m thrilled with whatever the universe sends my way …

… however my humanity often comes before my business sense

that doesn’t mean I’m a poor business woman …

…. it simply renders me a moral one, or more accurately

one who is able to lay my head down, feeling good about the choices I make …

The thing is this: In part, I chose teaching, writing, painting, photography etc. — this spectrum of creative goodness as my career path –because of the community we have formed. It tickles me every friggin’ time I see how intertwined we are. I revel in that delight. It’s actually pretty darn EXCITING to watch others succeed as well. It fuels me, I draw inspiration from it.. it’s my escape. Besides, nothing pure, or satisfactory was ever gained by greed.

“The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.”
— Jane Addams 

"One Wing" by Pam Carriker

"One Wing" by Pam Carriker

I believe the more we hold one another up, the bigger our communities grow – the more successful each of us become. Success — is measured independently. It’s not a universal thing.  For some it’s a steady career, others it’s being published, for someone else it’s a gallery show, and for someone else it’s merely finishing a page in a journal. Success. It’s as unique as we are. It can be had by all of us. Especially, when we nurture one another.  Creativity is far too powerful, too far reaching to be held closely & guarded. It’s a treasure and a gift … one that unites us. One, we all share.

ZNEis a community that is dear to me. It was a place I had found online — that i fit in. Before Mixed Media became mainstream — that was difficult to do. ZNE celebrates all things creative which is a natural compliment to who I am. Through ZNE I have met some of the most gifted artists, the kindest souls, and friends I will treasure always… and friends I am just beginning to know even better.

“In our hectic, fast-paced, consumer-driven society, it’s common to feel overwhelmed, isolated and alone. Many are re-discovering the healing and empowering role that community can bring to our lives. The sense of belonging we feel when we make the time to take an active role in our communities can give us a deeper sense of meaning and purpose.”
— Robert Alan 

"The Promise of Love" by Pam Carriker

"The Promise of Love" by Pam Carriker

Pam Carriker is one of those women I have been blessed to meet through ZNE, and just beginning to know as a person, not just an artist. I have watched her grow, develop her style, become published, and follow her dreams. I’m watching her succeed and my heart just leaps for her! I was fortunate enough to win 2 of her prints through a blog giveaway of her own – and I was actually impressed at the quality of them. Yes, Me! I’m not typically a fan of prints, having been burned one too many times on poor quality ones people print themselves from substandard printers. If I pay for a print, I want it to last. I want it to look good. I want to be proud to display it!  I was beyond thrilled with Pam’s! So I Invited her to take part in the 29 Days of Giving. ( which as a sneak peek, will become a weekly thing here… )

"Grow" by Pam Carriker

"Grow" by Pam Carriker

Grab an indulgent beverage of your choice, pull up a seat and take a few moments to get to know Pam, right along with me! We’ll reveal the amazing prizes she donated soon, don’t worry! Patience! Good things come to those who wait…

(as always, I’m asking the questions, Pam’s words are the responses.. duh.)

One of the things I am so drawn to in your work, is the authenticity – all of your pieces have this vision into a soul. It’s evident they come from that magical place within you. What drives you to create? Have you always been creative, or is this something you have pursued only in recent years? Tell us a bit about it!
 
I have always had the need to create.  My first ‘artistic’ memory is of drawing purple polka dots on the newly painted lavender walls of my bedroom as a child.  My mom was Not happy about that one!  I took every art class offered all during school and afterwards expressed my creative nature through various arts and crafts venues, such as Tole Painting, Stamping, and Scrapbooking.  When I ‘found’ mixed media art about 2 years ago, I was making paper bag albums and selling them on ebay, hence the name, The Bag Lady.  While on ebay I noticed the same three little letters by work that I found amazing, ZNE, and so one day I asked someone what they stood for.  I wish I knew who that was, I would so love to thank them!  It lead me to the most inspiring place, and I have finally found art form that allows me to draw from the 20+ years of previous experience, combining many techniques into one piece of art.

As to what drives me to create, that I do not know.  I only know that I need to.  These past couple of years I have found such release in creating.  I feel as if I am pouring my heart into my work, drawing from the ever changing emotions of being a woman, a wife, and most importantly a mom.

Do you have a favorite piece you have created? If so, why?

I know this probably sounds silly, but each new piece is my favorite, until I create the next one.  I think it is because I feel like I am on a journey and each piece takes me one more step down the path to discovering my true self.

 In addition to your beautiful Mixed Media Paintings, I know you are also an avid Art Journaler. What advice can you give to those who see a blank page in their books and just get stumped?
 
Keep your journal out when you are creating art.  You can add leftover paint right to your journal, getting rid of that scary blank page right off the bat.  If you use colors and images that you are drawn to, you will create journal pages that speak about you.  I am very excited that my first journals are going to be part of Somerset’s Art Journals, due out January ’09 , so you can check that out for more tips from several different artists:-)

 Who influences you, both as a business woman and your art?
 
Wow, this would be quite a list.  I think that those who are ahead of me on this journey inspire me to set goals and take that first step towards seeing them realized.  I like to think of all of us on this artistic journey have one hand reaching out in front and one reaching behind helping the next person with what we have learned.   My husband is another huge influence every time I think how could I possibly do that, he just looks at me and says, ‘Why not?’.

So many of my readers want to be published but stop themselves from submitting to publications. You have gone through this process yourself, can you offer them any tips to overcome their fears? (proof is in the pudding folks, see Pam’s great article in my favorite magazine: Cloth, Paper, Scissors  July/Aug 2008 issue here)
 
They can’t say ‘yes’ if you don’t give them a chance.  Seriously.  It is scary, and even more scary the first time they say ‘yes, we would like you to write this article’, but the rewards are so worth it!  Last year I set a goal for myself to get something published, what happened was so much more than I could have hoped for and has lead me to make new goals for 2009.  I am a firm believer in writing down your goals and keeping track of your achievements.  It makes them real.  It makes you accountable.  Check out the Art Calls for your favorite magazines and start there.  Don’t be discouraged if they don’t use something, keep trying.  If this is something you really want to do then don’t let fear keep you from it.

What’s one artistic skill you’d like to cultivate in the coming year?
 
I have been concentrating on sketching in my journal.  I love collage, but want to develop my drawing skills further. 

You’re stranded on that proverbial island…. and can only take 5 artsy supplies with you. What are they?
 
My journal, charcoal, water soluble graphite pencil, aqua brush, and Caran d’ Ache water soluble crayons.  With these I could be happy for quite some time!

Do you have a creative routine/process? Things you do habitually before you sit down to create? Or do you just dive right in?
 
Well, I’m a busy mom, so studio time is squeezed between everything else.  I am always working on things in stages.  Put a coat of gesso on, go do the laundry, add a layer of paint, run the vacuum, you get the picture.  My creative process is more like multi-tasking!

As a devout fan of the random question, I have to ask: salty or sweet?
 
Now that is the hardest question yet!  I have to say I lean towards sweet, but OMGosh I just made the most fabulous candied pecans today, that are both salty and sweet and they are heaven!

It’s tradition here that our guest asks my readers a question to be eligible for the prizes.. what would you like to know from the crowd I have here?

Where is the most unusual place (geographically) that you have created art?  This way we get to see who are the graffiti artists out there-lol! 

 Speaking of prizes – I think we have kept them in suspense long enough! Tell the readers a little bit about the amazing donations you are giving to the lucky recipients today!
 
(For Recipient 1:)  I would love to share two prints, your choice, of my mixed media portraits.  These are 5×7 prints that I had professionally done, and would be perfect matted and framed to an 8 x 10 size.

(For Recipient 2:) A free registration to my Visual Journalism 101 workshop.If the recipient has already signed up for the workshop I will issue a full refund of their workshop fee should they win! It is a 5 week course, that will help you get started keeping a journal or give you a jump start if you have tried but not kept up with it. More info below: 

Visual Journalism 101 Workshop taught by Pam Carriker

Visual Journalism 101 Workshop taught by Pam Carriker

This will be an 5 week expedition into the world of visual journalling.. If you have ever wanted to start keeping an art journal, or started one, only to have it fall by the wayside, then this is the class for you! The class will cover journal techniques, putting together a journalling kit, completing at least 7 journal pages, and answer some road block questions like, ‘How do I get over the fear of the Blank Page?’, ‘How can I possibly fit another artistic pursuit into my schedule?’, and ‘Where do I start?’

TOLD you this was another generous and amazing gift! Seriously – one winner receives two – count em’ – two prints of THEIR choosing, and another a registration to Pam’s wonderful class. Um Hello, Can I enter my OWN giveaway? Please? 

 I know you’re anxious to enter; just do the following: 

  • Answer Pam’s question: “Where is the most unusual place (geographically) that you have created art?” and/or tell me what success means to you – if you totally hate those, then go for this one: Salty or Sweet.
  • 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
  • Check out the first batch of winners!
  • Check out the newly posted – second batch of winners! Is it you?
  • Vist Pam Online: Her BlogHer Workshop, Her Etsy Store

I can’t wait to meet Pam in person at the ConvenZioNE next year ( I’ll be teaching!), and she’s doing a make & take I believe!

Warmly, Chrysti

Day 7/29 Days of Giving is…

…ok, promise not to get angry with me

but today’s giveaway, well..

.. i totally am gonna cheat

i have to ….

…. well, i suppose i don’t actually have to

but i’m gonna, because it’s actually responsible of me …

{insert applause here}

… man, whomever that proverbial ‘they’ is

hit the proverbial nail on the proverbial head ….

… when it rains, it friggin pours

unless you look at my blog ….

…. which is magically snowing – a nifty wordpress.com feature

at any rate i’m having daily issues with my oh-so-soon-to-be-fired-webhost ….

….. trying to transfer to a new one without interruption to the store

finishing my new site along with internet connection issues ….

…. and today my fancy schmancy printer decided to go berzerko, and i can’t do prints

so basically, all my work stuff is hitting the proverbial fan ….

…. wow …. i sure like the word proverbial eh?

i’m not telling you this for sympathy or anything ….

… it’s just part of life

granted, an extremely irritating part of life …

… but nonetheless an inevitable part of it

omigosh!!! my cat Sophie is trying to climb into this small opening of a big box

it’s hysterical! ….

where was i? sorry.. she’s a trip

yeah, anything technology related in my life seems to have this wounded inner child

… so due to time constraints

that those pesky technology gods bestowed upon me …

… i am almost-ashamed to admit i am cheating today

how you ask? …

Well I’m kinda re-doing a giveaway I already did. See, 100 of you didn’t enter the fabulous Cloth, Paper, Scissors (omigosh this cat is so bad – shes a nut tonight!) Studios contest – so I only drew 1 winner. Shame on those who didn’t partake in the fun! Which leaves me with this beautiful extra copy and a blog post already written.

 studiosfall08

So, go back and read that if you haven’t already. Then return here. I am changing a bit of the contest portion up.

Here’s the nitty gritty on entering to receive this copy:

  • Answer this  “If you were a tree, what would be carved into your trunk?” and/or tell us your favorite studio organizing tip. If all else fails answer this: Peanut Butter or Jelly?
  • Feel free to do a lil more schmoozing by lying through your teeth and saying by far my studio is the best in the issue, much less the world.
  • Do this by: Monday, December 15th
  • Spread the word. Enter Day 0 & Day 6
  • Check out the first batch of winners!

Here’s to hoping the technology gods were far kinder to you today!

Chrysti

29 Days of Giveaways for you!

Yep.

You heard me correctly – I’m giving away some amazing things for the next 29 days & YOU could be a winner! Books, Classes, Magazines, Art, and oh-so-much-more.

Read on….

A few months ago my friend Lia turned me onto the 29 Days of Giving  project and almost instantly I knew it was a perfect fit for me. Though I’ve never been what one would call wealthy or rich with material things I’m always eager to share what I have. As a child, I used to drive my mother nuts by giving away my beloved toys and books to friends, schools, neighbors or anyone else my little mind thought could benefit from said object. Each of my belongings all had their own voices to me, and if i felt someone else could provide them with a better home, or appreciate them – well I gave it away, and often without permission.

As I grew older, I loved surprising people with an unexpected care package, spoiling them on holidays and other occasions, sending a card with an appreciative note out of the blue.. the list goes on and on and on. I suppose at heart, I’m a sap. (Though I won’t often admit it).

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” -Winston Churchill

It wasn’t until I was an adult, that the real value of giving started sinking into my brain. What others called generous, I saw as selfish – because at the end of the day, I loved making people happy. Why? Because It made me feel good. I liked the optimism I’d attain, I relished the satisfaction that someone else’s day may just be a brighter, and in turn maybe they’d pass that kindness on. One by one, step by step.. the world becomes just a tad bit nicer as a result of that small, single action. I dunno, I kinda love that the universe is so much bigger than all of us and yet we are all a part of it. No deed is too small. No life is worthless. All that we touch, becomes a part of us. Kind of amazing when you really think about it.

“There is a wonderful mythical law of nature that the three things we crave most in life — happiness, freedom, and peace of mind — are always attained by giving them to someone else.”
– Peyton Conway March

I’ll spare you a long, thought out analysis of it — and get to my point. The last few years have been amazing, but I have become SO very overwhelmed creating my business, I began cutting out all the lil things that took away from that time – and somehow, giving (though always present in my head to do).. got pushed down to the bottom of the list. That proverbial ‘tomorrow’ I’d do it on, never came. The thing is… I had no idea how that would also rob me of small joys, human connections, and even how it’d take away a bit of my hopeless optimism. Gotta wonder what all I’ve missed as a result of letting that slip.

So, upon discovering the 29 days of giving site – I decided to make giving ( of myself, and of things ) a priority again. I promised myself, I’d find ways to make it work within my world again vs. convincing myself that I didn’t have time. Really, we always have room for goodness in our lives, if we let it in.

So here we are.

For the first 29 days — I recruited some friends along with myself to bring you some amazing giveaways; right here, through my lil’ blog. You simply have to check in daily, and leave a comment — or whatever instructions await you that day. Winners will be drawn using a handy generator online, and announced here. It starts tomorrow (or tonight if I am impatient).. and I hope you are as excited about it as I am.

It won’t end there either… but you’ll have to stay tuned to see what all is in store. True to form, I’ve altered the challenge a bit, and am doing my take on it.. as a permanent part of my life.

These Hands - 22

Will you spread the word about my giveaways? There’s plenty to go around, and the more people we can touch – the better.

  • If you promote this online – leave me a comment, on THIS post with a link to where you announced it; and you’ll be entered into a special contest that will run throughout the duration of this project. The winner will receive a whopping $100.00 gift certificate at my new site!  
  • Everyone who particpates in this will be receiving a small, surprise something from me in the new year too.

If you’d like to be a part of this, and have something to giveaway – leave a comment, and I will get back to you – Even if it won’t fit this first part, it may fit into the next installment!

While you’re at it – let me know what you wish for on the comments. Who knows, it just may come true :-)

Adding on the links to each day, so those who come to this post directly don’t miss it!

Closed, But some awesome conversations to peruse:
Day 1/29   Day 2/29  Day 3/29  Day4/29  Day 5/29 Day 6/29   Day 7/29  Day 8/29  Day 9/29 Day 10/29  Day 11/29  Day 12/29  Day 13/29  Day 14/29  Day 15/29 

Giveaways Still Open: This one (Day o), & Day 16 & Day 17  & Day 18 & Day 19 !

Are you a Winner?  Batch 1 Winners  Batch 2 Winners  Batch 3 Winners

Warmly, Chrysti