Sunday, April 25, 2010

MMM: I Feel Pretty

"It's alarming how charming I feel"
5 x 5 Canvas with chandelier crystal

This week's Mixed Media Monday challenge is to create a piece of art based upon the Sondheim and Bernstein song, I Feel Pretty. I racked my brain trying to come up with something creative, until I remembered this picture I took of our family dog a few months back. Turns out, he was held captive by our 4 year old and when I finally realized he was missing, this is what I found . . .

This piece was created on a 5 x 5 canvas that was first covered in fabric before being dry-brushed with a few coats of cream and pink acrylic and crackle medium. I then added detail to the background with a swirl stamp and bubble wrap. Next came a color-enhanced picture of the poor ol' dog (you may click on link to read the story in its entirety) which was distressed with sandpaper and colored pencil. Final touches included a wash of charcoal, a vintage dance ticket, rub-ons, clear glitter over the entire surface and, last by not least, a chandelier crystal attached to the bottom of the canvas with an eye hook.

Thank you for looking! I look forward to seeing all the Pretty pieces with MMM this week . . .

Kristin xo

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Vision Statement Banner

"Dear Kristin"
18 x 8 Fabric Vision Statement Banner
The Artistic Mother's Group: Project 4 

Detail of goals
Detail of letter to myself

Project four of The Artistic Mother's Group is to create a Vision Statement Banner based upon our individual Vision Statements. We were also encouraged to list a set of art goals that we hope to achieve. I found myself writing a letter instead of a vision statement (you may read it in it's entirety in the post below), but the idea is the same: to make a piece of art that inspires us to do what it takes to reach our goals.

The 18 x 8 banner was based upon the one in Shona Cole's new book, The Artistic Mother, and started life as a piece of reinforced fabric with two wooden dowels. To that, I added collage elements including a vintage Bingo card (I placed a picture of Kendra's feet when she was about 9 months on top), a vintage milk ticket, some handmade papers (really, really love using these), some decorative, vintage and scrapbook papers, acrylic (the fabric was washed in watered-down gesso and pink paint), some tea died fabric swatches, water-soluble oil pastels, a tag to which I added the words, "let go," the letter, and my goals attached to a postcard. I did not have Velcro so I used a clip and removable strips of paper instead. It was completed with decorative trim and two versions of Swarovski crystals.

It has found a home in my "Studio" (really just a girly guest room) and I look forward to putting it to good use . . .

Kristin xo

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Artistic Vision Statement

Dear Kristin,

I hope you find solace in me.

When you create, you are so happy. You are filled with peace and exude joy. I know that time in your apron - with paint on your fingers and glitter in your hair - is time when you and I are the closest. And when we are apart, I miss you.

Please don't forget about me. Remember that at the core of who you are, you are a creative person who makes your world a better place simply because you love being in it. Create with abandon, make art from your heart, and when you want to, share your passion with others.

Trust me. Trust yourself. Hold my hand and I will lead the way . . .

Little You

Sunday, April 18, 2010

MMM: Look What I Found

"Pieces of You"
8 x 10 Altered Canvas & 5 x 7 Canvas Panel
Vintage wallpaper / background pattern
Part of poem, Most Precious Gifts, by T.L. Riley 

I wanted to create an assemblage of sorts for this week's Mixed Media Monday prompt, Look What I Found.  It was a great excuse to use some of the items I had been saving / collecting that were either from Kendra or inspired by her. 

I had an 8 x 10 canvas that I used backwards and found that a 5 x 7 canvas panel fit perfectly in the center. I first created a collage on the canvas panel of vintage wallpaper, a picture of Kendra and her shadow when she was one, a fork she used when she was a baby, and some vintage items including an old lemonade top and a block with the initial K. I also added distressed Swarovski crystals and a metal strip from one of my old flip flops.

The "frame" was painted with several layers of crackle medium and watered-down acrylic and was topped with a broken pair of Kendra's glasses and a craft store bird. Other materials used were charcoal, water-soluble crayons, matte medium and E-600. It was finished with part of a poem by T.L. Riley. As a final step, I used a craft knife to rip holes into some of the exposed interior frame so that anything placed behind the piece would show through.
Thank you for looking! I look forward to seeing all the wonderful talent and their pieces inspired from the theme. . . .

Kristin xo

Friday, April 16, 2010


Kendra Ann, last week

My kid's obsessed with gum. I know it's controversial, but she has been chewing her little heart out for about a year now. What you don't know about Kendra is that she is highly allergic to a lot of foods. Hospital - allergic: we've been in and out numerous times. So when we find something that's fun for kids that she can have, we let her go for it . . .

Which brings us to the following conversation with Daddy a few days ago at the grocery store. David was at the checkout counter and Kendra was, as usual, surveying the selection of gum. "Daddy, what's all this?" He rolls his eyes, "It's gum Kendra. You know, that stuff you look at every time we're here." "Oh. I can have this?" "No, you have like, a hundred pieces at home." "Yeah, but, I can have this one too?" He looks at her, she tilts her head and looks back at him. "It's just, I don't wan this one to be lonely . . ." 

Sunday, April 11, 2010

MMM: Hello Dolly!

"Living Doll"
3 x 7 inch piece of wood 

I wanted to do something personal for this week's Mixed Media Monday prompt, "Hello Dolly." While going through Shona Cole's new book, The Artistic Mother, I am reminded of how important it is to celebrate personal photographs and empheria in art. I hope that Kendra will come to cherish the items I have made for her over the years, and that they will serve as small reminders of how much she means to us. . .

This was made on a piece of wood from the craft store and collaged with several of my own photographs (including the roses and circular perfume label) which have been color enhanced in Photoshop. I also used handmade background papers, water-soluble oil pastels and a picture of Kendra on her first birthday. It was finished with a satin ribbon that has been topped with the barrette she is wearing in the picture.

Thank you for looking! I look forward to seeing all the entries this week . . .

Kristin xo

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Artistic Mother's Group

"Kendra-isms" Tote and Journal
Project 3

Tiny tote measures 9 x9 inches

Detail of photo and fabric flower

Okay, so I totally outsourced this one! Although I feel pretty confident with paper and paint, I can not sew to save my life. And, if you can believe it, my Mom is a home decor seamstress and decorative painter! So, I called an expert on this one and took my bag of fabric swatches, pre-printed photo (onto canvas) and fusible interfacing over to my Mom's house. . .

I have to say, I really enjoyed making this little tote (it was so much smaller than I expected). And although my Mom is really the one who deserves the credit for helping me put it together, I love working with fabric (usually reserved for collages) and relished the opportunity to use some of the swatches that I've been hoarding over the years. I also loved making the fabric flower I learned how to do on shona's blog.

Next stop for The Artistic Mother's Group: project 4 - making a Vision Statement Banner. I plan to post the beginnings of it next week at this time. Until then, happy crafting . . .

Kristin xo

Friday, April 9, 2010

Ashton's Room

Ashton's "Big Girl" Room
(Redesigned last year)

Entrance to the room. Color palette of pale blues and watermelon 

The bedding was purchased new and the rest was revamped to compliment it

 New Shabby Chic pillow adorned with Swarovski crystals.

Swarovski crystals accent the existing desk

Some have been interested in seeing what other rooms (besides Kadyn's new nursery, below) we (my husband always helps me and has great design ideas) have done recently. I choose to show this room first as it features the same stencil we used on the nursery posted earlier. Here, the stencil is on the back watermelon wall only and the color is so faint (a mix of 95 % wall color and 5 % pearl white) that it has a tone-on-tone effect. I also used this stencil on my "Studio" (a.k.a. Guest Room) walls in a soft grey over pale pink. I will now retire the stencil as, although it's my favorite, three of us now have it and it's beginning to feel played out . . ..

Little details here include a handmade headboard (get a sheet of cheap wood cut at the hardware store to the dimensions of your bed and cover with batting and fabric. Staple the back as if you were wrapping a present and ta da . . . a custom headboard) and recovered window seat in the same fabric, a drape of sheer tulle over the bed (several yards hung over the bed and held with tie backs - no sewing at all ) and Swarovski crystals sprinkled all over the room including on the pillows, the tulle draping and on the desk. The bedding was from a Shabby Chic boutique and the rest of the room was done very inexpensively.

Thank you for looking! I hope you have a great weekend,
Kristin xo

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Kadyn's Nursery

2 x 4 Foot Canvas
(Created for Baby Kadyn)

In Room

Color inspiration

Little details

I do nurseries. Not professionally, just as a hobby.  Growing up, my Mom was the go-to among her friends if anyone needed a room redecorated or a piece of furniture painted. She was the first to teach me that it was okay to experiment with something new and that, in the end, "it's only paint". . .  Now she is a decorative painter by trade (she does beautiful Venetian Plaster and stencil work) and I guess I have taken her place among my group of friends when it comes to decorating; especially nurseries and children's rooms. 

I've been doing it long enough to do a couple of rooms twice - from nursery to "big kid". I love the design behind the work, and really enjoy doing rooms on the cheap. I get a certain joy out of creating something beautiful without spending a lot of money. Of course, the blank-slate and unlimited budget rooms are fun too (I go to Posh Tots for those), and I have done over a dozen rooms in the last several years.

This room was done with a color palette of yellows, blues and pinks with touches of bold turquoise, apple green and bright white. I stole the stencil from my Mom's stash and did the walls and canvas painting with it (well actually, Dave did it all. He and a friend painted the room, and he did all the stencil work himself). Almost everything in the room was either passed on to the new baby girl or given to her for her shower. We started from there and worked it out until we got the above. Dave and I finished the room this morning, and I thought you might be interested in seeing what has been keeping me from being a good blogger lately . . .. 

If you are interested in seeing more of the rooms we've done over the last few years, let me know and I will post some pictures as I find them.

Kristin xo

Saturday, April 3, 2010