Phoebe in Wonderland

Feeling oh-so-thrilled about this new movie. It is practically my own perfect recipe. One part  lil’ girl with Tourette’s Syndrome (which as you probably know by now, I have) then add in a dash of Alice in Wonderland and a pinch of what looks like artistic and surreal cinemetography.. and I am in heaven. Seems like it may ring true within me – which inevitably means I’ll be fighting back tears throughout the duration of it.

Best part? I’ll be in the DC area this weekend and will hopefully be able to see it! Kismet!

Here is the official site  for the movie. Below is what I received from The Tourette Syndrome Association in my email today… couldn’t find a copy online, so copied it here for those interested.

New Theatrical Release

“Phoebe in Wonderland”

Features Actress Elle Fanning as a

Young Girl with Tourette Syndrome


“The national Tourette Syndrome Association, Inc. would like to inform you of the theatrical release of Phoebe in Wonderland this Friday, March 6. This fictional, highly creative story features Elle Fanning as the title character, Phoebe, who has Tourette Syndrome. Although TS is not the main focus of the film, the disorder plays an important role in the character’s development and impacts the people around her. The movie opens this weekend in the following select cities: Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington, D.C., Seattle, Miami and Dallas.


The film is described by its creators as, “…a fantastical tale of a little girl who won’t – or can’t – follow the rules. Confounded by her clashes with the rule-obsessed world around her, Phoebe seeks enlightenment from her unconventional drama teacher, even as her brilliant but anguished mother looks to Phoebe herself for inspiration.” 


Felicity Huffman and Bill Pullman star as Phoebe’s parents, Patricia Clarkson as Phoebe’s drama teacher and Campbell Scott as the school principal. 

The film’s writer and director, Daniel Barnz, used his filmmaking skills and artistic vision to create an imaginative and compassionate story about a young girl living with the disorder.

Following is a Q&A with Daniel Barnz:

 Why did you choose to give Phoebe Tourette Syndrome?
I wanted to make a film that was anti-conformist in spirit, and Tourette Syndrome is a neurological disorder in which you are forced to break rules. I was interested in how people think children with Tourette Syndrome are choosing to act a certain way (i.e. why is this child acting out?), and then learn that, in fact, there is no choice. 
I’ve also been a long-time Oliver Sacks junkie, and have always been blown away by how his descriptions of neurological disorders become larger metaphors for life – they offer these amazing prisms through which we can view human experience. I wanted to see if I could do something similar in film – what happens to a character who is forced to break rules in a rule-obsessed society?


How do you think Phoebe having TS affected the story and the people around her?
It’s certainly a struggle for Phoebe and for her family, but I wanted to emphasize equally the benefits of difference – how being different can make you a stronger, better person. It’s not just that it’s okay to be different, but you can actually derive strength from it. The other characters sense this, and learn from Phoebe. Felicity’s character, for example, keeps butting up against the conformist pressures of academia and motherhood. By seeing how her daughter grows and becomes stronger in the face of adversity, she does too. Like many parents, she learns from her child.
What do you hope people will walk away from this film knowing about TS?
Most importantly, I hope people understand that Tourette Syndrome does not define a person; it is a part – but not all – of a person. One of the things the film tries to do is layer in the Tourette Syndrome as part of Phoebe’s overall coming-of age story, and this is not an easy thing to do. Audiences are used to seeing films about neurological disorders in which the disorder defines the whole of the narrative/character. In Phoebe in Wonderland, it is a part of the story, a part of Phoebe, and I hope audiences take away that there are no “Tourette Syndrome people” – there are people who have Tourette Syndrome. “


Phoebe in Wonderland 2


“It’s not just that it’s okay to be different, but you can actually derive strength from it.” Love that. Go check it out.

Chrysti (who, assuming I get all packed .. will be posting giveaway winners tonight)

Join Me in California!


Breaking News!

The ink has barely dried – but i’ve crossed my t’s, dotted my i’s and i am positively, absolutely, t h r i l l e d to be joining the uber-talented Sally Jean Alexander, JoAnnA Piertotti, Missy Balance, Gina Gabriell, Lisa Kaus, DJ PettittBarbe Saint John, Deb Trotter, and Susan Tuttle as an instructor at the exciting ZNE ConvenZioNE in gorgeous Pleasanton, California this August!

ZNE ConvenZioNE Instructor

I am planning an exciting workshop, that I think just know you’ll LOVE! Of course, you are welcome to let me know what you think i should do too. True to form – All of my creative and talented students will go home with a plethora of goodies, treats, and supply delights too! However, the artsy goodness doesn’t end there -I will have a table stocked with supplies, kits, original art & prints at the Art, Paper & Pleasures vendor event! I am planning a special, secret surprise for those that come to my table and let me know they heard about it on my blog- stay tuned for details!

I am thrilled to be a part of this amazing event — or I wouldn’t fly cross country for it! Ha! I truly hope to meet many of you there – the kinship we have formed, is the most amazing benefit of all. Besides, I need to put some faces to your names!

This event will sell out fast! Early Bird Registration opens TODAY ~ register now and save $25-$50 off the General Registration fee + get first dibs on all workshops!

Go, register – Yes, that means YOU!

I am off to prepare for the artists table at The Tourettes Syndrome Association conference  in Historic Alexandria, VA this weekend! I hope to furnish more details tonight, or tomorrow – rushing now!

Arfully Yours, Chrysti

Pain, Heartache & Inspiration

“Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit”
Napoleon Hill

116 años. ¡116 years old!
Originally uploaded by Fano_Quiriego.

Tell me this photograph didn’t just utterly blow you away.

Boy, do i ever miss my grandmothers.

It’s not only visually appealing… but breathtaking, inspiring, and yet still, slightly heartbreaking. A whirlwind of emotions arose within me when I stumbled upon this gem. Every wrinkle, just enhances her true beauty. Every wrinkle, tells yet another tale. I just haven’t been able to stop myself from staring at her.. Oh! The stories she could tell. I continue to wonder so many things…

What challenges did she face in her life?.. What struggles did she overcome?…. Where did she find her source of strength?….What joys, and sorrows would she share with me?…What could I learn from her?… and a zillion other questions I would ask if given the oppurtunity. So, What questions does she pose in your mind? Leave a comment, and let me know!

This absolutely amazing portrait was a much needed source of inspiration today. To be honest, it has been an incredibly frustrating 24 hours. Actually, frustrating isn’t even the right word. Disappointing, discouraging, disbelief.. are just a fistful of the terms that immediatly come to mind.

 “Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worse kind of suffering.” 
-Paulo Coelho

“An excuse is worse than a lie, for an excuse is a lie, guarded.”
-Alexander Pope

As some of you may know, I’ve been in almost constant pain due to a few severe toothaches over the past month. Daily calls, were placed to my dentist’s office… all unanswered, all unreturned. This is after months of similar troubles with their office. To make a long, boring and needlessly dramatic story short.. The first I heard from him was yesterday, when he informed me that he was refusing me treatment due “to the complexity of my needs“. He was my second to last resort. Thing is, he had no trouble working with/on me in years past. It is only when I wouldn’t commit to a $25,000-$35,000 treatment plan that this decision was apparently made. It comes down to the almighty dollar, but he’s using my disorder as an excuse. What a load of….

Trying to find dental care when you have Tourette’s Syndrome?
(my facial tics make it necessary for me to be sedated, and more time to be set aside for an appointment)
Well, it is like trying to nail jello to a tree.

Every time I am refused treatment, I feel like the 9 year old little girl I once was, that was made to stand in front of a room full of laughing kids until my tics stopped. This of course, exasperated them. Then there was the time the substitute nun attempted an exorcism on me with a classroom full of children … ahh, I don’t miss those days.

“Two roads diverged in a wood, and I… I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”
-Robert Frost

On most days, I am glad I had these trials to endure, they truly are part of what made me who I am today. But days like today, well.. it’s just not so easy. I often wonder why I am faced with this particular issue time & time again .. could it be it’s given to me repeatedly to allow me the chance to handle it differently? That,is a thought for another day.

Enough of my pity party .. it’s time to pick myself up, dust myself off, and remind myself of the things in life I am grateful for. You, my dear altered art community – are on that list. You never cease to stop inspiring & motivating me.

“Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things.”
Henry Ward Beecher

Here’s to better things! – Chrysti

The Basics..

I finally took the plunge and got myself a’s only been on my to-do list (i.e. book) for a year or so now…

So, I thought i’d just share the general bio i use.. and let you get to know me more through my posts… Psst… Anyone know how to get my bookmarks to show on my sidebar? I’d appreciate any help!!

Bored? Curious? So.. who am i… 

At almost 32 years old (June 3rd) .. I’m a self taught artist who discovered my passion for mixed media art & collage at a very young age. Much to my parents dismay, my “formal” training came from 15 years of painting, drawing, cutting & gluing anything to my walls! I found that losing myself in something creative, not only suppressed my tics (a byproduct of living with Tourette’s Syndrome) but nurtured my soul.

I’m considered an outsider artist, I live with Bipolar Disorder, my work is highly personal as my moods, passion & intensity can be found within each of my pieces… every one of my creations has a piece of me within them, whether it’s my sense of humor, my sensuality, my passion for animals, my love of whimsy, words and all things odd… or my flair for seeing things in a new light, I hope my creations speak to a part of you as well.

My work has been published in numerous e-zines & zines, used in advertisements, displayed in coffee houses, pet boutique’s, offices and more.. I have won numerous contests, and awards for my quirky, one of a kind art.. in addition, my artwork is internationally collected, and I’m proud to say my pieces reside in collector’s homes across the world.. it’s a true honor, and something I am grateful for daily.

 In addition to my art, I am also the proud owner of The Altered Abbey

A New & Upcoming Store, Technique & Project Center, Gallery, and Resource Center for Altered Art & Mixed Media Artists .. Come Visit Me!

Until That Store is Fully Running.. You can shop with me at My Ebay Store