Friday, September 30, 2011

100 Illustrations!

100 Illustrations, 2011
"World on a String" & "Future Paleontologist"

It's heeeere! I'm thrilled to have a copy of the first annual 100 Illustrations in my hot little hands (ok, decorative book holder ;) . . . . and grateful for the chance to share my excitement with you here.

Thank you to the publisher (and brainchild of the operation) Diana Evans for sharing her passion for art and artists in this way; I'm honored to be a part of this wonderful book and thank you once again for the opportunity.

Kristin xo

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


"Childhood is the most beautiful of all life's seasons."
- Author Unknown

Happy Birthday Baby!

Mama xo

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Because You Went Away

"Because You Went Away"
12 x 12 Mixed Media Collage
(Images from Retro Cafe Art)

I believe that art is magical. Magical because even when you don't intend (or are even aware) of what you may be creating, a story is being told. A story that only you can tell. And for me, when I get out of my own way and just allow the story to unfold, I find that there are many lessons to be learned.

Case in point: I've had a hard week. In moments of sadness, I went into my studio and tried to play. Play with paint, play with a new song book (found in the post below) and yesterday, I played with a background that I'd made a while back with Shiva Paintstiks. I sat down without knowing what to do and just cut and pasted. I played with the idea of using transparencies and and played with new collage sheets that I just received from Retro Cafe Art, but most of all, I just played without thinking.

When I looked up, I realized that I had created something that came from deep within. Even though I went into the studio to get away from it all, it all came back to me in the form of this collage. The text (which is actually a portion of a poem by Ella Darling Peed) reads, "With all these things / it's not a home / Because you went away." 

Without getting all sappy on you, I will say that this is about our family cat that we lost Monday. She was 17 years old. She was in a lot of pain, but in the moments just before she took her last breath, she started to purr. That made me feel better. . . 

Kristin xo

Thursday, September 22, 2011

If You're Anything Like Me . . .

Vintage Book of Sheet Music, circa 1919

So I've started a new project. I think. You see, if you're anything like me, you're somewhat of a hoarder. Old pictures, vintage books, wallpaper, ledger pages, love notes, random broken pieces of well, anything that may be paramount to the success of some future art project . . . sound familiar? Well, if you're like me, then you also don't get around to actually using most of it. Fears of "ruining" something special often stops me from ever picking it up again once it makes it through the front door. . . 

Well, no longer. I. am. determined. to breathe new life into some of these things I have lying around and give them the attention they deserve. With that in mind, I've started altering a book of vintage sheet music just to see what happens. No preconceived notions, no calculated plan of completion, just fun. A place to go when I have nothing up my sleeves, but I wanna art. This is what I've done so far:

I separated the book into 10 sections. Yes, with staples (gasp!) 
But in my defense, at least I'm getting somewhere fast. . .

And this is where I left it. The beginnings of something. What, I'm not quite sure. 
But the first layer is down, ready and waiting for our next play date.
(Rocking Horse image from The Graphics Fairy)

Wish me luck. Fingers crossed, I will actually come back to it soon. I'll let you know what happens when I do . . .

Kristin xo

Saturday, September 17, 2011

SPA: Pierrot

"Tears of a Clown"
4 x 6 Postcard

I've been wanting to experiment with "paintovers"for a while now and this week's theme - Pierrot - over at Sunday Postcard Art gave me the perfect opportunity to do so. My goal was to come up with a way to "paint" over an existing image from a magazine or catalogue in order to create a stylized version of the original. I also wanted to challenge myself to work fast and free - and hopefully become a little less cautious with my art in the process . . . Since this was new to me, I took pictures as I went. Wanna see? 

Original image from the new Macy's Fall catalogue

For a distressed look, I removed some of the ink with nail polish remover before sealing 
the image with clear Gesso. I then backed it onto watercolor paper for strength.

Now here's the tricky part: To challenge myself even further, 
I used only wax crayons (Manley) and my finger to blend them.

Final details include the use of pencil, charcoal and Hallmark's B & W sticky ribbons to complete the background.

Thanks for looking! Be sure to check out Sunday Postcard Art for more Pierrot pieces this week. I for one can not wait . . .

Kristin xo

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hello, Mojo!

"Mother is Out"
6 x 8 Altered Vintage Golden Book Cover
(Images from Lisa's Altered Art)

Hello, Mojo!

Thanks for coming back. Now, will you please stop hogging all the iced coffee?

Kristin xo

Friday, September 9, 2011

Dear Mojo . . .

(When we last met)

Dear Mojo,

I miss you. To be honest, I feel it rather unkind of you to have left without so much as an air kiss goodbye. No words, no warning, not even a note left under the pillow . . . Where did you go? One day we were playing with our favorite crayons together happily creating a color-blocked background for, well, something and the next . . . nothing, nada. Not one thing. Mojo, please come back. I promise to let you play with anything you want . . . and I'll even let you drink all my iced coffee . . . just come back to me. I'll be the one sitting in the studio with a clean apron . . . waiting . . ..

Kristin xo

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Lazy Scrapbook

"Little Man"
6 x 6 Chipboard Album covered in Canvas & adorned with a vintage materials.

So I used to scrapbook. A lot. As in, over-a-dozen-albums-in-my-kid's-first-year a lot. And I loved it. I could spend hours on one 12 x 12 layout, happily oblivious to everything else around me. Until one day I noticed that my scrapbook pages were slowly being replaced by altered books and experiments on canvas. The paint I bought to accent my pages was being used in ways I would have never expected and from there . . . well, let's just say my scrapbook obsession has never been the same again. 

With the exception of once a year. Once a year I get out the ole' mojo and attempt a mini album for the children - both of whom were born on the same day, 7 years apart - of my childhood friend. It's a gift for their birthday and although I usually end up doing them last minute, this year, I really went the lazy route and created Camden's using as few products as possible . . .

I started by using all B & W photos for a uniform look. Each picture was carefully cut out and distressed with sandpaper and / or scissors.
I gathered all the supplies I could find with a similar look and feel. Mini folders in various sizes, small journal cards, ledger papers, vintage ephemera, tissue paper (7 Gypsies) and one stack of Tim Holtz Kraft Resist Paper Stash were the mainstays. 
I then cut the pages in bulk and enhanced them (in an assembly line fashion) with watered-down buff paint, bright white acrylic paint (applied with a brayer) and smudges of charcoal.
Additional details came from images torn from tissue paper and neutral-colored pencils around the images. Personal notes were added to the mini-folders and around some of the pictures with ink. Sparkly touches (naturally ;) were made using Stickles glitter and silver leaf.
For the finale, I kept the last image color and etched a #4 into the picture to represent the year he was turning. 

And you know what? I liked the limitations I placed on myself: not only did the album have a uniform look, but there was a lot less to think about during the creative process. It was easy, fun and fast. So you see, being lazy isn't always that bad after all . . .

Kristin xo

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Somerset Apprentice!

Somerset Apprentice
Autumn, 2011

"We all have our own life to pursue, our own kind of dream to be weaving. 
And we all have some power to make wishes come true, as long as we keep believing." 
- Louisa May Alcott

Pages 44 - 49

I'm thrilled (okay, overjoyed & giddy) to announce my participation in the latest Somerset Apprentice. If you happen by the Autumn issue, flip to page 44 if you'd like to check it out for yourself. The article is entitled "Curfew" and is available as of today. For more information on the articles and artists featured, you can find the direct link on my sidebar. Thank you for letting me share this dream come true with you . . .

Kristin xo