Saturday, July 31, 2010

Mail Art

15.5 x 12 Altered flat rate box
US Priority Mail 

Ready to be stuffed and addressed. I recently learned that the US Postal Service provides several sizes of flat rate boxes that may be taken from the post office at any time. You pay for them only when you are ready to mail off your package . . .

In other news, I will be making an exciting announcement TOMORROW. So stay tuned. It's big, exciting, HUGE . . . I've gotta go shopping . . . 

Kristin xo

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Expect A Miracle

Image from Hurst Castle, CA

"Treasure this day, and treasure yourself. 
Truly, neither will ever happen again."

- Ray Bradbury

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday's Child

Illustration by Jessie Wilcox Smith
Image provided by Monday's Child

Something's stirring inside
As I play with the sand
Smelling salt in the air
While sifting life through my hands.

I close my eyes tight
(Just give 'em a squeeze)
And can see the world clearly
Laid out before me.

I see fields of poppies, all in a row
And pansies purple in the morning glow.
I see hills of lavender and green moss too
I see it all, honest and true!

I hear baby birds chirping
A sweet, soft song
And mommy birds smiling
As they hum along.

I smell cinnamon rolls
And pink cotton candy
Chocolate from Coco
And all things this dandy.

I feel icy cold drops
From the ocean's spray
And a burn on my nose
From the heat of the day.

We are everything, all
That we need to be
I realized today
On the edge of the sea.

And in one precious moment
Through just one grain of sand
I can sense the whole world
In the palm of my hand.


The above was written for Monday's Child, a new challenge site which asks those who are interested to write a children's verse or story based upon a specific image. 

This week's inspiration was created by Jessie Wilcox Smith (1863-1935), a book illustrator and magazine cover artist who was best known for capturing heartfelt moments of childhood. I adore her work, and wanted to point out that it is her little girl I have used as the central figure in my blog header.

Kristin xo

Sunday, July 25, 2010

MMM: My Favorite Things

"Our Wish"
Altered cardboard

I had so much fun with this week's Mixed Media Monday prompt, These are a few of my Favorite Things. I thought about it all week and was playing around with ideas and images when I questioned weather or not a gel transfer would work on cardboard. I decided to give it a try, and was thrilled to find that it did. With that, the decision to use my favorite supplies and theme in response to the challenge was born . . .

"Our Wish" began life as a piece of cardboard that was first separated in half before being painted with several layers of grey, cream and blue (my favorite color) acrylic. I then used gel medium to carefully transfer a picture of a baby buggy (which I have always loved and collected in various forms) that I got from The Graphics Fairy. I added a strip of wish tickets to the bottom, and washed the whole piece with charcoal (my favorite tool) and oil pastels. I then bent the top over and distressed it with gesso, yellow and gold oil pastels and more charcoal. Next, I ripped a strip of fabric (which was further enhanced with charcoal) and tucked in into the top fold before gluing the cardboard down. Final touches include a vintage #2 (to represent our hope for another child), a Swarovski button on the hanger and Swarovski crystals on the buggy's wheels.

Thank you for your time: I look forward to seeing all of your Favorite Things!

Kristin xo

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday's Thought

Image from Hurst Castle, CA

"Throw yourself into the midstream of creative living. 
Be not content with the half when the whole of life is yours."

- Raymond Charles Barker

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday's Child

Illustration by Dorothy Grider
Image provided by Monday's Child

Hurry, Doctor, hurry
The time is going fast
Hurry, Doctor, hurry
My puppy needs a cast

Yes, I've done what I can do
I'm even wearing my hat
But, you see, our faithful dog
Has been injured by the cat!

I tried to do my best
To wrap his wounds just so
But really, Doctor, really
He needs your help, I know

So when you get a chance
But as quickly as can be
Please bring up your doctor's kit
(Oh, and thanks so much Daddy)


The above was written in response to the new challenge blog, Monday's Child.

Kristin xo

Sunday, July 18, 2010

MMM: Play Things

"Foul Play"
4 x 6 Canvas Panel

This week's Mixed Media Monday prompt, Play Things, inspired me to create something with a vintage, schoolhouse feel. For some reason, an image of a large ball popped into my head when I first read the challenge, so I decided to just go with it. . . 

I've been really crushing canvas panels lately, but have never worked with one as small as 4 x 6 before (I don't know how you "inchies" do it!).  For the piece above, I started with a black base of acrylic which I distressed with sandpaper while it was still tacky. I then wrote the phrase, "I will not bring my ball to class" over the entire panel. I was going for a chalkboard feel and therefore tried to smudge the ink in parts before it dried. The ball was created separately, using a couple of children's dictionary definitions that related to the subject, as it's base. I then penciled in the lines of the ball before coloring it with watered-down acrylic. The vintage illustration on the bottom of the piece was my attempt to play with scale. Other touches included charcoal, matte gel medium and white China Marker.

Thank you for looking! I am anxious to see all your Play Things this week . . .

Kristin xo

Friday, July 16, 2010

Monday's Child

Illustration by Margaret Tarrrant
Image provide by Monday's Child

"On the wings of fairies"
My favorite Nurse would say
"On the wings of fairies,
Your Prince will come, One Day."

I'd roll my eyes, sigh, and smile
(For I knew what she would say)
They were words she'd often whisper,
Ever since that fateful day.

You see, when I was but a Princess
In the middle of my youth
I was given terrible news
Which I took as the truth.

"I'm sorry, My Dear, to tell you"
(You know how those medics can be)
"But you, My Dear, are barren,
I'm afraid there will be no baby."

I screamed and cried and threw a fit
(Although no one would know it)
My faithful Nurse right by my side
Calm, through every bit.

And thus the days passed into years
Until Coronation Day
When I became my Kingdom's Queen
And my Nurse had this to say:

"On the wings of fairies
Your Prince is coming soon.
On the wings of fairies
Trust your heart, Love, not your womb."

I looked at her, startled
(For this was something new)
And all of the sudden, behind her
A flash of magic grew.

I choked on a cloud of fairy dust
Wiping glitter from my eyes
And in my heart I felt a flutter
Like a contraction from the skies.

Then on my lap I felt a weight
Gentle, soft and bright
My Baby was right before me
Filled with heavenly light.

And as I gasped for my first breath,
He drew into me
A child, for whom the whole Kingdom
Will soon call Majesty.

On the wings of fairies
(But only for those who believe)
On the wings of fairies
My Prince, has come, to Be.


The above was written for Monday's Child, a weekly challenge blog which asks those who are interested to write a children's verse, story or poem in response to an image provided.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Artistic Mother's Group

"Kendra Ann"
The Artistic Mother's Group: project 6

I've missed you! It's been a while since I've posted anything for The Artistic Mother's Group, so I decided to jump in again by finishing a piece for Kendra that I started before our vacation. The majority of it was done at the same time as the one I made for her cousin, Grady Joseph

As I had already completed a nameplate that closely followed the one made by Shona Cole, I decided to make this one a bit different. It was done on a smaller 5 x 7 canvas panel using handmade papers that were distressed with charcoal and water-soluble oil pastels. I also distressed the picture of Kendra with sandpaper before cutting out the silhouette and highlighting it with a white China Marker. Final touches included a stamped letter K (placed on the bottom of the piece and in lieu of her full name) and a single Swarovski crystal at the ear. It hangs on a sage satin ribbon.

Thank you for looking! Now on to project 7 . . .

Kristin xo

Sunday, July 11, 2010

MMM: Something Blue

"I don't want to Brag"
5 x 7 canvas panel

This week's Mixed Media Monday prompt, Something Blue, was a fun excuse to use a quote I recently received in a forwarded email. It reads, "I don't want to brag or make anyone jealous or anything, but I can still fit into the earrings I wore in high school." . . .

I decided to use blue as my background for this challenge and pop it with accents of it's opposite color, orange. The 5 x 7 canvas panel was first washed in several layers of acrylic and charcoal before adding the collage element of a bust I cut from a catalogue. I altered the image with sandpaper, acrylic (panting over the pearls, lips, cheek and flower), ink (to enhance the brows, hair and lashes) and glitter. I then broke off the back of a vintage earring and glued it to the ear. Final touches were added with water-soluble oil pastels and gloss medium on the face and lips.

Thank you for your time! I look forward to seeing all your beautiful blue pieces this week. . .

Kristin xo

Monday, July 5, 2010

Monday's Child

Illustration by Bernhard Oberdieck
Image provided by Monday's Child

When I was just a little girl
I'd say five or six or so
There was a secret place I'd head
(My Mum would never know)

I'll tell you friend, in a whisper
There was real magic up there
In the space between sleep and slumber
Up in the crisp, night air

Now, this is the part you'll just have to believe
(Otherwise, it wouldn't be fair)
But if I squeezed my eyes real tight,
On the belly of the Moon I'd appear!

I'd sit straight up, feet dangling
(Kitty Kelly always right by my side)
And I'd say to him without looking,
"How are you Sir, tonight?"

"Silly Sally," he'd tease with a smile
(I'm sure he'd wink if he could)
For the answer was always the same,
"As ever, I am more than good."

And from there we'd play without talking
(no need for words between friends)
Kitty Kelly, the Moon and I
In adventures that had no end.

Sometimes, we'd dance with the stars
Turning and spinning just so
Or sometimes pretend to be warriors
Hurling Orion's belt at a foe.

But mostly, we'd sit and wonder
How our grown-up life would be
When things that we would have to do
Would determine the things we would see.

And when the colors of dawn appeared
We'd yawn and stretch and say,
"Thank you, Good Night, for your freedom.
Until next time, we bid you Good Day."


The story above was created for Monday's Child, a new weekly challenge which asks those who are interested to create a children's story or verse in response to an image provided. To check it out yourself, please log on to

Kristin xo

Sunday, July 4, 2010

MMM: Something Borrowed

"The Lollipop Tree"
8 x 10 gallery-wrapped canvas
Detail of sides
Detail of top

This week's Mixed Media Monday prompt, Something Borrowed, asks us to create a piece of art using something borrowed - even if that means "borrowing" someone else's ideas! I love this concept as, let's be honest, most of us do our best to avoid comparisons with others. To be challenged to do the opposite was something I couldn't wait to try . . .

You may already see it, but in "The Lollipop Tree" above, I attempted to channel two artists that I greatly admire: Pam Garrison and Amy of Paper and Gluestix. They both create bold compositions, often using bright, cheerful colors to tell a story. In this piece, I tried to emulate the doodling and gallery-wrapped sides that Pam Garrison has been painting lately in addition to the whimsical lines and positive affirmations that Amy often uses.

This piece started life as a line drawing / experiment in doodling which was then washed with several layers of watered-down acrylic. I really didn't know what it was going to turn into when I started, but it seemed to develop into a large giving tree of sorts, with candy colors dripping from the sky and a plant grand enough to produce a crop of lollipops. The affirmation on the leaves states that "Life is Sweet." Other touches include a birdcage / chandelier in the top left and a "bird" (the flying heart) on the top right. In addition to several layers of acrylic, I also used colored pencils, a white China Marker, a ton of matte gel medium and a piece of imagery (that one's for me) from vintage Mother Goose. Finally, I  smudged charcoal over the entire piece (highlighting the brush marks) in order to give it depth and tone it down.

Thank you for your time! I'm eager to see what everyone does this week . . .

Kristin xo

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Kendra Ann, last year

"Freedom is nothing else but a chance to be better"
- Albert Camus