Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

"What will the world Look Like?"
5 x 7 Cardboard Insert 
(from Kendra's pajama packaging ;)

"What will the world look like when you. . . Live Your Dreams"

Here's to a Happy, Beautiful, Purposeful & Joyful NEW YEAR! May 2013 be the best yet . . . 

Kristin xoxo

Friday, December 21, 2012

The Light of Love . . .

"Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving 
the light of love to those who need it most"
--Ruth Carter Stapleton

Um, OK. So it's been a bit crazier this Christmas than usual. My typical stress-producing perfectionism over decor, food and everything Santa related has been pushed aside this year for a lesson in the real meaning of the season . . . .

In addition to the tragedy we're experiencing as a country, we've had a sick friend (and mother of four) in the hospital the whole month and our puppy hurt her back to such an extent that she couldn't walk for a few days. And in the midst of this pain and fear, somehow the presents and such has lost it's luster. But in it's place, I've learned to throw my hands up and just (try and) go with the flow. 

Still, we have done a few things that I put on Instagram and wanted to share with you here. Wanna see?

One of my favorite ornaments made the Christmas tree

(and my very favorite ornament in front of it :) 

Dutchy mad at Mama for making her stay put

Kendra making gifts for the grandparents
(Totally Pinterest BTW: take a plain plate (ours was from the dollar store), 
decorate with Sharpie pens and then bake at 350 for 30 minutes. Done!) 

Oh! And look. I did attempt to art at least once. Another picture frame in process . . .

And my baby just this morning as she made her way to the last day of school before Winter Break.

Oh, and one more thing: Our Christmas Card picture! Check out this 2012 shot (and the combat boots):

(I'm allowed to think that she's the cutest thing I've ever seen, right? 
Oh, and the kid's cute too ;)

And now on with the show: only a few days left before Santa comes and I for one am going to try and make the most of it. Wether everything is done or not. After all, it's all about the love . . . .

Wishing you and yours the very merriest, happiest, and heartfelt of celebrations. 
Kristin xo

Monday, December 10, 2012

Craft Store Frame . . .

"La La Land"
5 x 7 Wood Frame

I've missed you: I feel like I've been out of the loop for so long! I had an almost disaster with my computer which left me lost for quite a while. And when I say "lost," I mean not only lost without the technology (I never really realized how much of my life is in there) but that I also almost lost all of my images from the last 3 years of Kendra growing up . . . . suffice it to say that I dogged a bullet and gratefully, am now up, running and protected. Whew!

In the meantime, I did do a little something for my Mom's birthday that I wanted to share with you:

I took a wooden craft store frame and decided to embellish it. I started by applying 2 coats of gesso before drawing the girl in pencil. Once she was protected with a workable fixative, I colored her in with both acrylic and watercolor paints. She was highlighted with glittery pens (becoming a staple for me ;) and then actual glitter on the interior and sides of the frame:

Martha Stewart glitter on the interior of the frame

And here she is all dressed up with Kendra's second grade school picture:

What more could a grandma want? 

Thanks for looking!
Kristin xo

Friday, November 30, 2012

Paint Party Friday: "Two Hearts"

"Two Hearts"
12 x 12 Canvas Pillow

Happy PPF! 

Um, can you believe that it's December tomorrow?! Me either. Anyway, I've been busy painting again (yay) and I now have this girly little pillow to show for it . . . 

"Two Hearts" was drawn on a gessoed surface before being painted with a combination of bold colors in both regular and metallic acrylic paints and glittery pens. She sports a handmade fabric flower in her hair that is accented with a gorgeous (you know I love my crystals ;) Swarovski button. 

Fabric Flower with Swarovski Crystal Button

Canvas Pillow painted in acrylics

Thanks for looking! And whatever you do for the first of December, I hope it's a good one. See you at the Party . . . .

Kristin xo

Monday, November 26, 2012

Lily's Mommy . . .

"Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, 
while loving someone deeply gives you courage"
-- Lao Tzu

I was recently approached by a lovely woman who's story I wanted to share with you all. It is a story of love and fear, determination and hope. It is a story of a little known cancer that is a deadly killer and sadly, 100% preventable. It is the story of Lily's Mommy:

"I am 43 and a Mother to a quirky little 7 year old, Lily. She is my only child, and my whole world. When Lily was just 3 months old, I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma, a type of cancer that kills 90-95% of those who have it. As I'm sure you can imagine, the first thing that came to mind when I was diagnosed was my baby girl and how I wasn't going to be able to watch her grow up. After intense treatment and recovery, I'm still here almost 7 years later and cancer free! My journey with cancer was a terrifying one and I'd like to turn my pain into purpose and become someone that other people can look to for guidance, inspiration and hope in situations like my own."

In honor of Lily and her Mommy, and to learn more about her journey with cancer and the dangers of asbestos, please check out Heather's Blog. There's a wealth of information there that we can all benefit from . . .

Thank you!
Kristin xo

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

From "Artist" to Etsy: A Resolution Kept . . .

"You miss 100% of the shots you never take." 
- Wayne Gretzy

You know, if you asked me three years ago if I would have ever (ever, ever, ever) considered myself an "Artist," I would have laughed out loud. A Makeup Artist - yes - but a real artist?! Um, no. Not even a little bit. And yet, here I am. A Mother, Blogger and yeah, an Artist. 

I mean, Art - creating it, studying it, dreaming about it - is my complete passion. Like many of us in this creative Blog Land, I feel lucky to have even found it. I could have gone my whole life not knowing that this joy existed. Not knowing that through creating art - and sharing it with others - I could actually change my life in a profound way - and maybe, just maybe, bring joy to others in the process.  

I have learned in the last few years that creativity and community are the backbone of what we do here. That Bloggers are amazing, gracious people and that together, we can make a difference in our world. I recently completed a painting that I didn't love. (I didn't love it a lot). But what I did like is the concept behind it and the words I wrote to accompany it: 

I love Us. We are talented, generous and Real. And our Art - that intangible bit of fabulousness we create - allows us to blanket the world with Joy. Yeah, Us.

Even though the painting was a major fail, the words that came from it have inspired me to take the next step in my creative journey, one that I have been threatening to do since the beginning of the year. I am going legit.

I have just opened the first retail outlet for my art - an Etsy Shop. I've been biting my nails (and pulling out my hair!) for weeks now as I have catalogued, researched and prepared for the opening. I have put a lot of attention and energy into what to offer, trying to find the most unique items along the way. 

I listened to those who said they wanted to find kits like those I offered for The Summer of Color. So I created several - all bundled together in vintage themed packs (I even have some for Christmas for those who want to journal their way through the holidays) - and hope they'll bring inspiration to the artist and collector alike.

I listened to those who said that they loved my "Santa's Pooped" painting and work on canvas pillows, so I created one in response, my first ever original painting for sale:

I listened to those who asked if I had prints for sale, and selected some of my favorites to offer:

And lastly, I listened to the questions from non-bloggers as to where they can get a IPhone cover like the one I carry, so I had a few of those professionally printed as well:

I'm excited, nervous, anxious and relieved that it is all up and (now) running. I'm proud of myself for taking the risk and eager to learn from all of you how to really run in the Etsy circles . . . . AND, after being a SAHM for 6 years, I'm excited to start this new chapter in my life. Thank you for all of your support and encouragement to do so. . . . 

And for those in the States, I want to wish you Happy, Beautiful and Warm Thanksgiving. May it be full of all of the people and things you love.

Kristin xo

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Paint Party Friday: Santa Style

"Santa's Pooped"
12 x 12 Canvas Pillow with Swarovski Crystals

Happy PPF!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . at least in the studio anyway . . . .

You may recall a Santa painting I did a while ago with the same look and title: it was made on December 26th, the day I assume Santa (along with most of us ;) was plain 'ole tuckered out. This year, I decided to recreate him on a 12 x 12 canvas pillow, something that I hope will bring joy (and a little humor) to those who get to sit and visit with him . . . .

I don't actually have the pillow form for him yet, but you can still see what he's lookin' like:

The canvas pillowcase was first primed with Gesso before being drawn with pencil and painted with a variety of acrylic paints, charcoal and glitter pens (he's real sparkly in person). He's gotta lot of sallowness around his eyes to indicate a lack of sleep and a tremendous amount of twinkle in his pom pom stemming from over 50 clear Swarovski crystals.

Now, if I can only get over the fact that Christmas is really around the corner, maybe some more Santas will come out to play . . . .

Thank you for taking the time to look and as always, thank you to Kristin and Eva for being the fabulous hostesses that they are.

Kristin xo

P.S. I want to apologize to anyone whom I may have missed the last time I came to the Party. Google was being fickle and did not let me respond as I normally would. We have finally worked out our differences but again, I 'm so sorry if I missed you in the process. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Many Faces of Halloween . . .

We've been busy doing spooky stuff here at Kendra's house. Thought I'd share just a few of the many faces of Halloween this year:

Carving pumpkins at Uncle Dave's House

Mummified for the "Boo Bash" over the weekend

A 3-headed Dragon (her main costume) 
for this morning's second grade costume parade

The "school girl" outfit 
(that was hiding under her dragon costume)

I expect a lot more craziness to come tonight. The sugar alone should keep this one (and Kendra too ;) bouncing off the walls . . . . Wish us luck and have a very happy er, creepy, Halloween . . . . .

Kristin xo

Friday, October 26, 2012

Paint Party Friday!

12 x 18 on Watercolor Paper

Happy PPF!

So there's a cool story behind this piece. Wanna hear it? Okay, so I was working on some arty thing last week (oh, it must have been the journal page below) and as I normally do, I put a few WIP pictures on Instagram. Well, I got the sweetest message from one of my husband's childhood friends (who's become a good friend of mine over the years) saying that she would love to have a piece of my art in her home. I took that as the biggest compliment and coyly wrote back that I could "arrange something like that" before I set to work on creating something just for her. . . .

I knew that I wanted to paint something and that I would like it to embody some of the beautiful, magical qualities that remind me of her. So I got to work. This is a big piece of paper, so I took several days drawing and painting it. I then came up with a saying that I thought would both whimsical and meaningful to her:

"You are magic, light and rainbow sprinkles. Yay, You." 

And as I worked on her, I continued to post WIP pictures on Instagram, knowing that she would see it. I snickered to myself when she would say how much she liked it, and looked forward to the day when I got to tell her that it is all for her. 

Today is that day. Sasha, this is for you. I hope (okay, I know) you like it.  But I hope you enjoy it in your home. And thank you for always being so sweet and supportive of me. This makes my day!

Thanks for listening,
Kristin xo

Monday, October 22, 2012

Words of Me: Courage

Strathmore Visual Journal
Words of Me: Courage

Sweet Leslie is hosting another WORD challenge - and this time, she's encouraging us to create anything we'd like using a specific word of the week. Like last time, I will be joining as much as possible ('cause I've only finished week one and the group is on to week three, deep sigh . . .) using my beloved Strathmore Visual Journal . . . .

The inspiration for week one is COURAGE. I based my page around the following quote by E.E. Cummings:

"It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are."

You're turn! To check it out for yourself, please follow the link below:

Thank you for your time, 
Kristin xo

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

This Box Was Made For Shipping . . .

Did you know? That the US Post Office offers Priority Mail flat rate shipping boxes at no charge? Well, you pay for the shipping of course, but the boxes are included in that rate and, if you're like me and want to alter or decorate the box prior to sending it out, you can usually (just make nicey-nice with your local post office staff ;) take them home with a smile . . . .

So that's what I did here. And I took pictures (some of which landed on Instagram) along the way. Wanna see?

Box covered in Gesso and stamped into while wet

Acrylic added before being sanded down to show the stamping underneath

Various washes of ink and water make arty drips. And then a head was added . . . .

There's the Little Box Girl!

And some scalloped, glittery details

She's ready to roll. Oh, except for the important bits: now I just have to address it . . . 

Fun. You wanna go to the Post Office now don't you? 

Thanks for looking,
Kristin xo