Sunday, December 26, 2010

MMM: Tis The Season

"Santa's Pooped"
16 x 20 gallery-wrapped canvas

I know, I know: a Santa image the day after Christmas!? Only to show what I imagine to be his face after a whole season of merry making has come to an end. "Santa's Pooped" is my entry for this month's Mixed Media Monday prompt, Tis The Season, and my way of depicting what I imagine most of us feel like today . . . 

This piece was created on a 16 x 20 gallery-wrapped canvas using pencil, acrylic paints and water-soluble wax pastels. I added two types of Golden products for depth, including Texture Paste for the beard and Crackle Paste for the trim on his hat. The image was extended to the sides of the canvas and charcoal was added to the surface for interest. Final touches included extra color under his eyes to represent fatigue and silver glass glitter for the pom-pom trim. 

I hope you had a wonderful holiday season and wish you the happiest of new years . . . now, go get some rest . . .

Kristin xo

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Deck The Halls - Fini!

I saved my favorite part - the Christmas tree - for the last stop on the tour of our holiday home. This year, we decided to change things up a bit, and put our tree in the dining room. We're having Christmas dinner here, and I thought it would be fun to be able to see it while we ate. It also happens to be the only room in our house with a street-facing window, so we can now enjoy all that sparkles from both inside and out. 

I thought it would be interesting to show you a before and after, so I took this picture after the Dining Room had been stripped of it's usual accessories and the table was pushed to the side . . .

Candyland colors in red, pink, turquoise and green
The 30' wreath rests on the opposite wall and a bench from the kitchen nook was placed below it
Sequined stockings hung by the window with care
(The initials are for Mommy, Daddy & Baby)
Presents piled up in a borrowed (from Kendra) Radio Flyer
Chandelier adorned with "gum drops" and (you guessed it) more crystals!

Thank you for your visit! It's been fun Decking The Halls with you this year, and I hope that today finds you filled with the warmth and beauty that is the Holiday Season. 

Wishing you much happiness and love, 
Kristin xo

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Deck The Halls VI

Tinsel tree in Kendra's room
The tree as it rests on her side table
(The little angel is an advent calendar) 

Below is another family tree: this one lives in the kitchen nook and was picked and decorated exclusively by Kendra and her Daddy. 
(I lovingly refer to it as "the compromise." I did say lovingly . . .) 

Daddy surprised our future paleontologist with this special ornament
Pretty much says it all . . .

Thanks for visiting! Please join me for the next Deck The Halls post - I saved the best for last . . .

Kristin xo

Monday, December 13, 2010

Deck The Halls V

White feather tree in bedroom
Tiny glittered tree under glass
Decorative pillow featuring baby Kendra
Our little Christmas corner

Kristin xo

Friday, December 10, 2010

Still Art-ing (Result)!

"Be Fearless"
8 x 10 Canvas Panel
Wire accents & Swarovski crystals on wallpaper background

She's finished: I may not have my Christmas cards out yet, but hey, this is complete (and was much more fun to do!) . . . This little tightrope walker was inspired by the work we did in Willowing's class while at the same time (hopefully) being representative of me and the materials I like to work with . . .

"Be Fearless" was created on an 8 x 10 canvas panel covered in decorative wallpaper. I roughed it up a bit with sandpaper before adding water-soulble oil pastels, silver glitter and stamped stars (with gold ink) for depth. The figure of the girl was first created on cold pressed watercolor paper using acrylic, water-soluble crayons and glitter gel pens before being cut out and added to the background. The tightrope was made from a piece of wire which was tied to the canvas through punched holes and brads. I added both iridescent Swarovski beads to the wire and flatback crystals (in a deep purple) to the background. Final touches include a crown made from the scraps of the original painting and the words, "Be Fearless" stamped with gold ink (and enhanced with gold gel pen) on the bottom.

Thanks for looking! Now, onto those Christmas cards . . . xo

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Deck The Halls IV

This little guy rests on the dining room table
Glitter and glass ornaments fill clear urns I had on hand
The dining room tablescape all aglow

Deck the halls with losta glitter . . . and tinsel and vintage-ish figurines and sparkly things and . . . and . . . fa-la la la la . . .xo

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Deck The Halls III

Kendra's apron used as a decorative swag
Vintage aprons adorned with Swarovski crystals
and tied to the back of our Dining Room chairs

I decided to have fun with some of our aprons this year and place them around our Dining Room for the holidays. I took two of Kendra's child sized aprons and tied them to the drapes as decorative tie backs (I even put a candy cane ornament in the the pocket one of them) for the curtains, and draped some vintage aprons with Swarovski crystals to the chairs as little skirts. I stole the idea of using aprons as chair skirts from my Aunt, who always has the cutest ones displayed in her all-white kitchen nook. . .

Thanks for having a peek! More to come . . . xo

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Still Art-ing!


I know I'm not alone in saying that finding time to create art can be a challenge this time of year, but I think it's important to do what we can (for our sanity if nothing else!) anyway. So, in the spirit of sharing, here's what I'm currently working on . . . I'll let you know how it turns out . . .

Kristin xo

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sparkly Things . . .

Swarovski crystal "Dog Tags"
Pale pink Swarovski crystal license plate frame

As many of you know, my obsession with sparkle runs deep: there is nothing that compares to the dance of light from a Swarovski crystal, and I have been working with them in various forms for years now. As I mentioned in our last award post, in addition to mixed media art, I also make crystal encrusted "Dog Tag" necklaces and license plate frames. A few people expressed an interest in seeing them (and since I just completed a few holiday orders), I thought that this - the celebration of another blog award - would be the perfect excuse to share them . . .

The "Dog Tag" necklaces are made in several different colors and hang low (on a 30 inch ball chain) so that they can be adjusted to various lengths. The sparkle is tremendous and because of this, they are so much fun to wear. The license plate frame is comprised of over 550 4 mm stones meticulously hand applied (yes, you read that right!) to each chrome-plated metal (read, heavy and substantial) frame. They take over 3 hours to make and are the ultimate in sparkle and shine, both day and night. If you are interested in making one yourself, let me know and I will give you all my suppliers / tips . . .

Now, on the the fun part! I am honored and excited to have been given the "My Blog has Attitude!" award from the sweet and talented Jan of Jan's Arty ATC Journey! Please pop over when you can - you'll be so happy that you did . . .

With this award, I am asked to share three things that you may not know about me, so here they are: 

1.  I don't own a hair dryer 
(well okay I do, but it's only used for art projects!) 
2.  I am a horrible driver.
3.  I am obsessed with coffee and drink waaaay to much of it.

I also get to celebrate a few blogs that I love. So without further adieu, here they are:

1.  Carin
2.  Jessica
3.  Kristy

Thanks for being here!
Kristin xo

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Deck The Halls II

30' Handmade Christmas Wreath
Detail of Spode snowman and "moss" balls
Detail of vintage boot and glitter ornaments

Let's start with one of my favorite holiday pieces - our handmade 30 inch Christmas wreath. A few yeas ago I decided that I would forgo the traditional holiday decor that we had in favor of hot candy colors in turquoise, green and pink. I deemed it "Candyland Christmas" and made it as over the top as I could . . .

It began with a wreath that I saw in a holiday magazine. They showcased a craft store form that was enhanced using bits and pieces of old and/or broken ornaments in addition to new items bought for the occasion. I loved how bold and full it was and decided right away that I was going to tackle the project myself. . . So I purchased a large green faux wreath and began to fill, fill, fill it with old and new matte, shiny, broken and sentimental pieces from our collection. I bought glitter balls from the Martha Stewart collection, cheap miniature balls from the dollar store, used decorative "moss" balls that I had in a bowl on some counter somewhere (nothing was safe!) and, most importantly, was able to add sentimental ornaments from our childhood that now had a special place to be showcased. Close inspection uncovers everything from stuffed animals (the pig in the post below) to broken Spode china pieces that we purchased on our honeymoon. . .

It continues to be one of my favorites because there is so much to look at and so much to remember . .  .  including the memories of all the hot glue burns I received while making it . . .

Thanks for looking! Our next Deck The Halls post will cover decorative uses of aprons . . . stay tuned . . .

Kristin xo

Monday, November 29, 2010

Deck The Halls . . .

Detail of handmade Christmas wreath 

"It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas . . . (sing with me) Everywhere you go . . ." 

And this year, I thought I'd share our holiday home with you. . . so hold on as we Deck the Halls together, one Christmas moment at a time. Stay tuned . . .

Kristin xo
(Lyrics by Johnny Mathis)

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Fa-La La La La. . .

"Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful"
- Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

"You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let your bathrobe out"
- Jay Leno

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Willowing & Friends!

"Invitation Angel"
12 x 18 cold press watercolor paper
Full page
Detail of "Trust"

The final assignment for Willowing's Art, Heart & Healing is to create an "Invitation Angel" or figure  intended to represent that which we may be lacking in our daily lives . . .

And this was very interesting for me. I started out week 4's lesson intending to soak up as much knowledge as I could while creating a pretty picture. What I didn't expect was how much the piece would really "speak" to me . . . . Let me explain: as many of you know, we are eager to adopt again and have been trying for years now to find another adoptive situation. To be honest, it has been a long, painful wait. We were connected with Kendra's Birth Mother (her "Tummy Mummy") relatively quickly just over 5 years ago and I guess we expected or hoped that it would come as easily the second time around. But that has not been the case. We waited a couple years after K was born because she was in and out of the hospital and needed our full attention. Then came the recession and an expensive adoption was not possible for us. So, I started finding other avenues to spread the word in hopes to find a Birth Mother on our own. . . Now we are ready financially and otherwise and, well . . . are still waiting. We just this month went through our county to adopt in that way (usually faster than a traditional adoption agency) and were devastated to learn that we would not even be able to begin that process until the middle of next year. So here we sit, ready and waiting . . . 

Which brings me to the piece above. What I am in need of (and a word that I have clung to in the last year) is Trust. I know that this is all happening for a reason and I know that we will adopt again. But I have to Trust that it will happen in the right time, and not just the time that I think is right. . . 

And as I worked on this little one in the last two days, I found myself really connected to her. She was given eyes the color of my husband's and tiny freckles which to me indicates youth. I choose to color her hair both blue and pink and give her the suggestion of a belly . . . and all of this was done with my knowledge but without really thinking about it. . . and when I looked at her this morning with fresh eyes, I noticed that the stripy hair on the left represented Kendra, my beautiful little tomboy. It will be really interesting to look back at this piece later in life and see if there are more hidden clues that will only become evident when our next baby is home. . . 

I also want to take this opportunity to thank Willowing for all of her efforts in bringing this beautiful community together. It has been an amazing experience, one which I hope you will consider doing yourself, if you have not joined already. She will be leaving the course up indefinitely so that everyone can benefit from the healing exercises she has so generously offered. 

Kristin xo

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Moleskine: Eyes II

"She had stars in her eyes"
5 x 8 Moleskine Journal

Finished! Close inspection reveals dictionary pages with the words, "Eye" and "Star" as the base, upon which several layers of painted and brayered (if this is not a word, it should be ;) on acrylic, water-soluble crayons and gel pens are added. The cut out image of the chair on the right is from The Graphics Fairy. Other details include an eyebrow formed with the words, "A small piece of combustible composition - resembles a star" in addition to various swirl and star stamps, metallic gold and white gel pen, Stickles glitter and (surprise, surprise) Swarovski crystals . . . xo

Monday, November 15, 2010

Moleskine: Eyes

 WIP: 5 x 8 Moleskine Journal 
"She had stars in her eyes"

Another page in my little journal (see, I told you I'd share!)  . . . I have some ideas floating around in my head, but as you know, that can always change . . . What would you do? 

I'll post the results soon. . . xo

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Willowing & Friends!

"Empathy Monster"

Funky little one! One of the projects for week 3 on Willowing's course was to create an Empathy Monster using materials of our choice and a provided pattern. To be clear, I do not sew, so everything here has been done by hand (& with a little help from my friend, Fabri-tac) . . . Each of the stitches were made with various colors of thread and styles (not that I could name them), in addition to a strong belief that wonky would work well here . . .

Other variations on the doll include a stitched nose, a Swarovski crystal button for the eye on the left and a decorative button on the right. The fuzzy hair was made using a hair clip (I later removed the actual clip once the rest was sewn in place) from the feather boa section of my local craft store. It may also be interesting to note that the zipper was 4 inches long (something I learned yesterday) and that it was stuffed with two (1.5) bags of left over spider "webbing" from Halloween. . . 

Thanks for looking! If you are interested in getting the pattern for yourself, check it out Here. . . xoxo

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

"Chance is always powerful. Let your hook be always cast; in the pool where you least expect it, there will be a fish."
- Ovid

Monday, November 8, 2010

Willowing & Friends!

Altered Board Book
"Mommy's Waiting for You"
Detail of Whimsy
Detail of "Home"

The second objective for our Altered Book in Willowing's class (week 2, project 2) was to create a scene - using whimsical characters to represent ourselves - that we would have liked to experience in childhood. . . 

I decided to create one character to represent myself and one whimsical birdhouse to represent my home. I was lucky in that although my parents divorced when I was a baby, they both loved and cared for me, and I lived with each of them throughout my childhood. Having said that, they worked hard as single parents and I was often alone. This piece is meant to represent my childhood wish to have (what I perceived to be) a "normal" family where my parents (or Mama Bird in this case) were waiting for me when I returned home from school . . .

Thank you for looking! I look forward to the next project in Willowing's amazing course. xo

Friday, November 5, 2010

Alice is Bejeweled. . .

Altered Necklace: Alice

Just a little something. . . It's been a crazy-busy week, but I managed (by staying up until Midnight - funny how you get things done that way!) to finish a few necklaces for a charity event tonight . . . So in the spirit of the Kindergarten auction this was designed for, here is my show-and-tell . . . xo

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Happy Halloween my Little Pretties . . .
Love from my trick-o-treater to yours . . . xo

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Willowing & Friends!

"Wishes for my Younger Self"
Altered child's board book

Week 2 of Art, Heart & Healing focuses on creating an altered board book that affirms positive statements about ourselves. We were encouraged to place a photo transfer on one side (I used gel medium) and write out wishes for our little selves on the other. Although I did write out my wishes (hidden under all that gesso), I ended up using bits of a vintage poem(s) to illustrate my desires. It reads, "May your day(s) be filled with roses /  And your skies be bright and clear / May each hour reveal true love and faith / From all whom you hold dear . . ." 

I used images from The Graphics Fairy in addition to personal photos (the birdcage and baby picture) in order to complete my story. Final touches included framing the transfer with silver, white and gold gel pens and the use of water-soluble crayons, pencil and charcoal to help enhance and define the background and clip art. Now on to the second layout for week two: using whimsical characters to create a scene we would have liked to experience in our youth . . . xo

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Made from "Thank You" Journal Page

Made from "Alice knew there'd be Hell to Pay" Journal Page

Detail of Inkssentials Memory Glass and 1.5 x 1.5 inch color copies

I had to try it. . . . Equipped with the Journal Pages from Willowing's class under my arm, and inspired by artists such as Nicola who turn their artwork into pendants and jewelry pieces, I decided to take my brand-new paintings to a local printer and have them made into 1.5 x 1.5 inch copies so that I could have a go myself. . . 

You may remember the piece, "To Market" I recently made with some of the same materials. This time instead of a pig charm, I used both a vintage and new earring (I had only one of each - and kept them of course) to attach to the bottom of the necklaces. The frame is surrounded by iridescent and clear Swarovski Crystals and attached to a 30 inch chain. You may see more of these in the future as they are a bit addicting to make. . . 

Kristin xo