Sunday, December 29, 2013

Cheers to a Fabulous New Year . . .

"Full of Money"
Altered Glass Jars
(Images of Carey Mulligan by Mario Testino for Vogue. May, 2013)

"For last year's words belong to last year's language
And next year's words await another voice."
-- T. S. Eliot

Wishing you Love & Champagne Kisses,
Kristin xo

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Decking the Halls . . . .

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

I hope this finds you happy, well and in the throws of a wonderful Christmas season. 

As with most, we've been filling our days with Christmas parties, play dates with friends, (too much) shopping, gift wrapping and overall merry making. Oh, and along the way, we've managed to deck a hall or two. Wanna see? Well okay, here's a peek into our holiday home. . . .

A huge handmade wreath created from bits & bobs of our favorite ornaments 
from year's past. 

(Bold color & glitter: what's not to love about that?)

Our newest wreath that my Mom made with Kendra this year. 
(It started as a thrift store find that my Mom scored just before the season began)

What more could a future Paleontologist want?

I love this collection that we've been attempting to build (um, buy) over the years.

On our living room shelves: 
Two-year-old Christmas Kendra under glass

A feather tree in our bedroom is accented with simple silver ornaments and white lights

(My favorite Christmas goodie: a tiny silver tree full of crystals & glitter)

And our last Christmas peek: this year's picture with Santa & 8 year-old Kendra

Oh! And one more thing: our little Christmas angels. Well, okay, at least one of them is an angel. Which one depends on the day. . . .

 (Our Christmas card photo)

Here's wishing you the happiest, brightest and merriest holiday. May it be filled with love, laughter and memory-making. After all, it will be over before we know it. . . . 

Christmas Kisses,
Kristin xo

Friday, November 22, 2013

My Girly Guide . . . .

"I think every person has their own identity and beauty. 
Everyone being different is what is really beautiful. If we were all the same, it would be boring."
-- Tila Tequila

If you've seen some of these girls on Instagram, then you know I've been trying my best to keep the creativity flowing by creating quick sofa sketches (new term; I kinda like it ;) whenever I can. Some of them I've completed in 10 minutes and some have taken much longer. But either way, each are in pencil, with my only other tools being an eraser and blending stumps.

Along the way, I have amassed quite a few sketches. I know that there are several that will eventually turn into completed, painted pieces but in the meantime, I wanted a way to store the ones I like to be used for future reference. I decided to take my favorites and turn them into a visual deck of cards (of sorts). I selected 9 sketches that I have deemed, "My Girly Guide" and went to work cutting them out and adding them to pieces of decorative cardboard I cut from a storage box for wine. To keep them together, I punched holes in the corner of each and attached them with a chain. I can now have them all in one place, all at a glance. Wanna see?

Tidy, right? It was fun to make and if I'm lucky, the deck will continue to grow and grow. All I need now is to find a longer chain. . . .

Thanks for taking a peek,
Kristin xo

Friday, November 15, 2013

Bad Blogger, Bad!

(Look, that Art Journal I promised to Share)

You know it's been too long since you've posted if you have to log into your account in order to do so. In my defense, life's just not as free as it was before homeschooling the rug rat. My arting these days comes in two forms: either quick, late-night sketches or long spurts of creativity often fueled by a deadline. . . . 

But, here I am. Finally finished with that Art Journal I spoke of like, um, a month ago. The majority of it was created while on vacation with my girlie friend Daniele, but it was tossed aside when I got home awaiting the inspiration - and time - to finish it. It was Daniele's idea to add photographs to the spreads that were screaming for something more, but it wasn't until I saw that process shots of our work together that I realized how right she was. So, without further adieu, here it is in it's entirety, pictures and all:

Cover (with decorative paper from World Market)

First spread using elements from Mindy Lacefield's new stamp line. The picture shows how each of us used the same materials, both with very different results. 

Detail shot includes a defination from a vintage children's dictionary and some bubble gum wrappers.

Second spread using the new "Frames" stencil from Jessica Sporn for Stencil Girl Products.

This process shot shows how we each used decorative napkins in our layouts. 

The third - very green - spread.

A pencil sketch added as an element to the page (with a Stickles Glitter heart).

And features a picture of our make-shift "studio" on the floor.

The fourth spread is a play on pink and includes another dictionary definition, a lot of washi tape and a  piece of a ripped Starbuck's bag.

A bunny with a Swarovski Crystal necklace.

 And a lot of molding paste pushed through a stencil and painted with pink acrylic gouache.  

The last spread features more decorative napkins (the Dutch girls), molding paste and an Amsterdam stencil and the only color photograph.

(My favorite bit is the piece of Caran D'Ache crayon wrapper added as a collage element to the page).

This picture shows the view from our balcony on our last day. 
(We were treated with a beautiful blanket of snow upon our departure ;)

And the final element? A plastic spoon with the letters, BBFF to mirror Daniele's published article in Somerset Memories of our last adventure together to Art & Soul, Portland.

There you have it! Done & done. And my next trick? To find a way to blog more. Thanks for your patience as I navigate my way through this beautiful, crazy year . . . .

To love and art, 
Kristin xo

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Send in the Clowns . . .

Okay, so if you were paying real close attention, I told you that I'd share the rest of the journal I created while on vacation (the sneak peek is over here) in this post. But, um, I lied. Well, not really lied, but rather was derailed from finishing it because of this little one. The inspiration hit and I went with it, sooooo instead, here is my latest painting: "Send in the Clowns. . . ."

She was created on a piece of heavy watercolor paper (Arches) that had been previously painted and left in my stash. I started by ripping the paper in an organic shape and then roughly sketching the figure of a clown onto the surface. I then colored her in using a combination of acrylic paints, watercolor crayons (Caran d'ache Neocolor 11), wax crayons (my new obsession - Caran d'ache Neocolor 1), neon acrylic gouaches, glittered gel pens and charcoal.

A progression shot

The piece was then further enhanced with some faint pencil marks, molding paste mixed with iridescent Stickles glitter and white acrylic for the clown collar and Swarovski crystals to define the neckline:

Lastly, an actual piece of yellow balloon was adhered to the drawn balloon with matte gel medium:

And there you have it! My little Clown . . . .

Thanks for taking a peek here and at all of the other Party posts:

Until next time,
Kristin xo

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Stencil Test Drive with Jessica Sporn

Can you see me dancing? I look fabulous, by the way, as I jump up and down clapping my hands in frenzied excitement. . . . 

Okay, so it may not be the prettiest thing to see, but the excitement is genuine as I. Am. Thrilled to be participating in Jessica Sporn's Test Drive for one of her newest Stencil Girl products; Frames!

It felt like my birthday when I received the elegant 9 x 12 stencil in the mail, and I've been playing with it like a toddler with a new toy ever since. But I digress. Wanna see what I did with it? Okay then, here goes:

Journaling with Frames

My first play date with the stencil was with my journal. I used the oval frame in the set as a central element on the left of the spread and then used a piece of another (turned upside down) to represent a necklace on the right. Wait, here's a better shot of the oval:

Gel pen, molding paste, silver leaf and Stickles glitter

I began by placing the stencil on the page and simply colored in the exposed areas with an iridescent gel pen. I then off set it a bit and pushed molding paste through the same stencil. Before it dried completely, I applied silver leaf to the surface and then waited (impatiently) for it to finish drying. I loved the raised look it gave me and decided to finish it off with a few smudges of silver Stickles glitter.

Frames Banner
But I wasn't done there. I really wanted to do something that showed the variety of the stencil, so I decided to take some 4 x 6 pieces of painted cardboard I had in my stash and create a banner of sorts using all of the frames in the set. Since I'm a Mother Goose fan, some of those vintage images made their way to the party as well. Here's a close up of each piece of the puzzle, all of which were created with a mixture of molding paste and black fluid acrylic paint:

A portion of the rectangle frame (shown in the green piece above) was masked off to create a "door" and another stencil in the set was used to create a "roof". 
Each were highlighted with iridescent Stickles glitter for movement and depth.

Rounded Rectangle Frame

Oval Frame 
(this is the same stencil used in the journal above)

Square Frame

Rectangle Frame

And there you have it! I loved my play date with Jessica's Frames and look forward to using the beautiful stencil set again and again. Thank you Jessica for your support and generosity! 

Oh but wait! You can win one too! Here's the deal:

Now go see what the other artists did with the Frames stencil! But before you do, be sure to leave a comment here because Jessica is giving away a Frames stencil to one lucky winner, and EVERY comment in the test drive will be eligible to win. The more times you comment, the more chances you have to win!

Comment by Midnight, EST 10/13/2013

So go check them out! Here are all of the artists participating in this week's Stencil Test Drive:

Have fun and good luck! 

The giveaway is now closed. Thank you for taking the drive with us . . . xo!

(Happily linking to Paint Party Friday too!)

Kristin xo