Thursday, March 31, 2011

100 Illustrations

"The World on a String"

I'm thrilled to (finally) be able to share with you the pieces I've been working on for Diana Evans' project, 100 Illustrations. Yep, that means I'm gonna be in a book - along with several other artists - that will be coming out this year! How cool is that!? . . .

So does the piece above look somewhat familiar? You may remember this piece (of the same name) that I did for my friend's nursery a few months back? Well, It was suggested by one of my biggest fans (okay, it's my Dad ;) to make it again for the book using the world as a yo-yo. I changed the figure a bit (making her more round than her predecessor) and chose a pink page-boy cut but other than that, the sentiment is the same.

"Future Paleontologist"

The second piece for the book (there are a total of two pages along with a character meant to represent ourselves) was directly inspired by the uber-talented Joanna from Bird on Her Head in a recent comment she made suggesting that I create a piece about Kendra. I couldn't imagine a better way to honor my baby than to include her in the project, so I did my best to capture her style and passion for dinosaurs here. Thank you Joanna for the inspiration - I don't know if I would have done it without the seed you planted in my head . . .

I'll let you know when the book is released and would like to thank Dianajoanna, my Dad and you for all of your support and inspiration. It really means so much.

Kristin xo

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saturday, March 26, 2011

SPA: White

6 x 4 Postcard
Detail of glass slide with dictionary definition and pearl

One of my favorite color palettes - White - is the prompt for this week's challenge at Sunday Postcard Art. I love the look of warm creams and bright whites used in combination with a lot of texture and welcomed the opportunity to play with them here.

There were actually so many products used for this tiny piece, I thought you may find it interesting if I listed them. . . Okay, here goes: cardstock, vintage ledger sheet, buff acrylic, molding paste, pearl white acrylic, stamped muslin, a glass slide with the dictionary definition of the word "white," a vintage Mother Goose image, Stickles glitter, white gel pen, ink, melted candle wax, melted white wax crayon, wire and, finally, a vintage pearl. Whew!

Thanks for your visit: I'm really looking forward to seeing your beautiful White postcards this week. . .

Kristin xo

Monday, March 21, 2011

Practice Kindness

"Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves."
- James Barrie

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Luck of the Irish!

Breathtaking Journals from Land of Nod Studio

I celebrated my birthday one month ago today. I mention this only because on that same day, One World One Heart ended it's three week celebration, and giveaway winners were announced all over Blog Land. . . It seems appropriate that now - one month to the day - I have everything in my hot little hands (got the last piece in the mail yesterday ;) and can finally share with you how very lucky this birthday girl was . . .

The first parcel came from Deborah at Land of Nod Studio. You probably think that this was the prize. Nope. These beautiful boxes and handmade papers (envelope & card) were what they came in. Not kidding. Breathtaking, I told you. . .
The prize included this beautiful necklace with delicate details and gorgeous cream beads . . .
As well as this striking piece with black shimmer beads, metal work and a charming vintage photo.
In addition to the beautiful necklaces and breathtaking (really, even the husband mentioned how "awesome" and intricate they are ;) journals, she also sent these bird stamps (did she know how much I love birds and birdcages? Yes. She must have) for my future creations . . .
Thank you Deborah. I am really blown away. Did I mention how breathtaking everything is? Just sayin'.

The second prize came from Nancy at The Evolution of Nancy. This elegantly constructed metal heart with key and crystals (yes - crystals!) is so beautiful in person. It's a large statement piece and will absolutely make an outfit. I'm so grateful to have it and am enamored by the talent it took to make it. Thank you Nancy, I will wear it with pride!

Speaking of wearing with pride, looky here! This beautiful bracelet from Vintage Soul was made to measure with stunning beads in a warm amber, a brass ID centerpiece, a bird charm (she must have known too ;), a crystal Swarovski bead and gold leaf clasp. This is such a unique piece that I can't wait to show off. Thank you Deborah, you've made me so happy!

But wait: There's more! Heidi from My Hiding Place in Cyberspace sent along the most charming package with this petit canvas in bold colors (a girl after my own heart) and a beautiful subject. I love the details here with those gorgeous stands of hair and collaged heart. I really admired this during my OWOH tour and am so happy to have it grace my home. In addition to that, she also included this . . .    
Handmade gnome & mushroom pincushion! Is that not the cutest thing you've ever seen!? I know. Me too. Thank you Heidi, I really appreciate you.

Last (but not least), I am honored to have won this adorable print from Karen at Art X 365. I got to choose between six pieces and decided upon this little kitty with bluebirds. I'm really impressed with her work and am inspired to do some whimsical pieces of my own because of it. Really - I can't wait to try my hand at some of those tiny bluebirds - thank you so much Karen, it has already found a home in my studio . . .

A big thanks to all of you! Your generosity and talent is inspiring. Thank you, thank you, thank you from the bottom of my heart. 

On another (lucky) note, Happy St. Patrick's Day! May today bring you as much luck and pleasure as the last month of checking the mailbox has brought me . . .

Kristin xo

Saturday, March 12, 2011

SPA: No. 1

"That there ought!"
4 x 6 Postcard

I had a lot of fun with this week's theme - No. 1 - at Sunday Postcard Art. It's been a while since I've done any collage, and I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to get out some of my Alice sheets and play . . .

"That there Ought" started life as a piece of painted card stock that was first treated with a Gesso Relief technique (you can go here to see it first hand). To that, I placed several #1 stickers over the surface and used them as a mask for bright green acrylic. Once peeled off, I added images From Alice in Wonderland that spoke to me and enhanced them with white gel pen. Final touches included a border of bold paint pens to create a scallop (still into them from last week ;), colored pencil, black ink and two forms of glitter. The quote reads, "There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought! And when I grow up, I'll write one."

Thanks for your time! I look forward to seeing all of your "No. 1" postcards this week . . . 

Kristin xo

Article is in The House!

Did you know? The House of Art has a regular feature in which you can read several artist's take on the same subject. To see my perspective on "Giving yourself permission to be a Student," check out the News tab or (if you're already a member) click Here. . .

Kristin xo

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I Loved This!

Close up of "Take it"

This just blew me away. Please allow me to explain. So just before Valentine's Day I participated in the Hearts prompt for Sunday Postcard Art and posted it here. Remember this?

Well, I took the 4 x 6 card to the printers shortly thereafter and made several copies which I included in Valentine packages - along with pink Swarovski crystal necklaces - that I gave to Kendra's teachers and some of my girlfriend's children. Packages were given to my little friend Ashton and her BFF Karlee.

Now, it just happened to be my birthday a few days later. And you won't believe what they gave me. These!!! They took my art, studied it, and gave it back to me in their own version! Is that not the coolest thing ever? Wanna see em?

Karlee, age 11
On Paper
Ashton, age 10
On Canvas

I was proud, happy and honored all wrapped up in one. And now, I'm starting to work with them, side-by-side, as we teach each other all about the world of Mixed Media. I'll let you know what I learn . . .

Oh! And speaking of great honor, I wanted to share this award I recently received from Debbie of Simply Debbie. We met during OWOH and she was so kind to think of me. Thank you Debbie, I am so grateful . . . and blushing . . .

Kristin xo

Sunday, March 6, 2011

SPA: Illusion

"Lost Rabbit"
4 x 6 Postcard

I've been working on little girls with page-boy cuts lately and thought that this one, with her black do and glittered dress would be perfect for this week's theme - Illusion - at Sunday Postcard Art

This little one was created on watercolor paper using pencil, acrylic, Caran d'Ache watercolor crayons, Sharpie paint pens and Stickles glitter before being cut out and placed on a background of grey card stock enhanced with white acrylic, black & white charcoal and a border of neon pink doot-doot-doots (technical term) which served as a scalloped edge. Final touches include the addition of a black magician's hat and silver metallic pen under her eyes to represent tears. 

Thank you for your time! I look forward to seeing all of your Illusions this week . . . Oh! And if you've seen a Lost Rabbit, please be sure to let us know . . .

Kristin xo

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Adoption Stories

Kendra Ann, 1 year

It happened. And I felt like I was in the middle of a Lifetime movie. Let me explain: a few days ago Kendra and I were running errands after school. We went to the department store to pick up a few things ("Did you see how long my legs are Mommy?" "I sure do. Looks like we need some new jeans." "Yeah, 'cause I'm real real tall now.") and while there we had to go to the big gum ball machine which is of course right by the boy's department where there were dinosaur t-shirts on display so of course we had to get a new boy's dinosaur t-shirt which would only do if we were able to wear it right over our current outfit. Am I painting a good picture? So she's looking, let's say, "quirky," at this point (but real happy). 

So, we finish up there and head on to Trader Joe's to get something fabulous (okay, quick and easy 'cause I'm tired and it's been a long day) for dinner . . . when I saw her. Right there by the dairy case was Kendra's Great Grandmother by birth. And it's been over 5 years since we've seen her. She was the one who was the most conflicted about her Granddaughter giving up the baby for adoption. Kendra's birthmother had lost her mother as a child, so Grandma was very much involved in raising her. I can only imagine how difficult it must have been to see a piece of her Daughter and Granddaughter go at that time. And I froze. I saw her first and for a moment there, wasn't sure what to do. But I would hate to just ignore her so I pulled up my big girl pants, took a deep breath and walked up . . .

"Hi" I said with a cautious smile. "Do you remember us?" She looked at me and then at Kendra. I bent down to Kendra and said in the lightest tone I could muster, "Baby Girl, this is _______'s Grandma!" Of course I knew I was also announcing who we were in case she wasn't sure. But that's probably silly. "Hello" she returned kindly. Kendra clung to me and hid her face. "I'm sorry, she's being shy right now." "That's okay, hi sweetheart" (or something along those lines because I don't remember it clearly). By way of explanation I say, "she's normally very vocal. . . Kendra, do you want to say hello?" "Hello" she whispered. I knew what to do to get her talking: "Kendra, do you want to tell her what you're going to be when you grow up?" "Gonna be a Paleontologist, the one who (dis)covers dinosaur bones." "Do you like dinosaurs?" "Yeah, and I'm real smart." "I'm sure you are. . . ." And from there I proceeded to tell her all about the little one. How she is the smallest in her class ("I'm not surprised") but she has one of the biggest hearts, and how, at 5 years old, she is reading and has received all 100%'s on her spelling tests. How she is very much a tomboy ("all the girls in our family are") and that she likes to ride quads and dirt bikes with her Dad. And all the while I am very aware of the stolen glances on both of our parts. I looking for familiar features and she doing the same. And in that moment, I realized that we are all alike. That this separation and then coming together of families by way of adoption is such a delicate and beautiful thing. "I still have the picture you gave me in that elegant frame. I look at it all the time." "And we still have the stuffed monkey you gave us when she was a baby. Kendra knows that it came from you." To which we smiled - a knowing, tender exchange - and she said, "You're doing a wonderful job. She obviously has a wonderful family." "Thank you. We are very lucky." "Mommy, can I have a sticker?" "Sure Baby" I said, relieved to have a place to go with the conversation. "They always give her a bunch of stickers here." Another sweet smile. "Well, it was so nice running into you." "You too." "Maybe we'll see you around again." "That would be nice." Yes. It would be nice. And with that, we left in search of stickers and she went back to the dairy case.

That was it. Our movie moment. And to be honest, I'm glad that I stepped forward and said hello. I hope Great Grandma was happy too. She seemed to be. 

Kristin xo

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The House of Art

Gesso Relief on Journal Pages
March Video on the above technique is up at The House

March content is up at The House of Art! I'm honored to be included among the amazing group of artists featured this month as we explore the use of Texture in our Mixed Media work. Just pop over to see educational videos from LK LudwigSusan TuttleJournalartista, The House's creator Emme and Me as we explore various ways to create depth and interest to our projects. You'll also be able to read several artist's takes on the subject of "Allowing yourself permission to be a Student" throughout the month.

So, what is The House of Art? It's a new Mixed Media online community in which articles, videos and forums are posted on a monthly basis. And the best part? It's totally and completely free. That's right, all you have to do is sign up to become a member and gain access to all the education and discussions: you can post your work, meet other artists and find a friendly place to hang your hat . . . Oh! And there's also an amazing giveaway this month (I don't know how Emme does it): sign up to win a Graphics Tablet from Monoprice! How cool is that?! You have until the end of March to try your luck . . .

So check out the videos - mine is on creating Texture with Gesso Relief - and have fun! And if you do watch mine, make sure not to miss the final few seconds. . . just sayin'. . .

Kristin xo