Thursday, November 13, 2014

A Bitty Book!

A Bitty Book
{Altered Composition Book Cover}
3.25 x 4.5"

"A mighty flame followeth a tiny spark"
- Dante Alighieri

I was out with a girlfriend recently when she pulled out the tiniest little composition book you ever did see. Well okay, maybe you have seen one before, but I had not and I loved it! It was just like the old-school black & white books that come to mind, but only colorful. And itty-bity. And I knew right then what my next project would be. . . .

As luck would have it, an accidentally-on-purpose trip to the dollar store (where I had heard such tiny things live) shortly thereafter found me beaming over 3 little books bundled together. SO cute. And at 33 cents each, a guilt-free substrate to alter. 

I took my little books and some limited supplies with me during an outing with the family last week. And in case you wanted to see it, I took a ton of process shots along the way. Ready? Okay, go:

Protect composition book with wax paper and painters tape

Apply several coats of gesso and then sand for a smooth surface

Sketch girl and spray with workable fixative

Begin defining her features with watercolor and acrylic paints

Add heavier acrylic, gouache paints and black ink.

Final details include oil pastels, shimmer ink and plenty pops of white

And there you have it! A little bitty book. And now that she's done, I can't wait to try my hand at more. . . . 

Happy Friday, Happy Weekend and Happy PPF!

To Love & Art,
Kristin xo

Friday, October 31, 2014

"But I Have Nothing to Wear!"

 8 x 8 Birchwood Canvas
"But I Have Nothing to Wear!"

"Halloween is confusing. All my life my parents said, "Never take candy from strangers." Then they dressed me up and said, "Go beg for it." I didn't know what to do! I'd knock on people's door and go, "Trick or treat." "No thank you." 
-- Rita Rudner

Boo! I hope this finds you happy, well and in the process of stuffing your face full of candy. . . .

In the spirit of Halloween, I have a little vampire girl to share with you. It was actually Kendra's idea to give her vampire teeth, which in the end, worked perfectly with my idea to create a young, dark creature struggling with the problem of having nothing to wear for the occasion. Here's what we came up with:

Neck extending down the deeply cradled canvas

Fiber paste helped to create texture for the limited palette

And scribbly-swirls (I'm certain that's a word) define the sides

And here she is! Our little one concerned about her costume. 

I hope you & your little ghouls have a wonderful, happy Halloween!

See you at Party!

To Love, Art & Reese's Peanut Butter Cups,
Kristin xo

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Just For The Birds. . . .

"Just for the Birds"
Altered Matchboxes 

"Deep inside her heart, I was feeling my home like a hay made nest."
-- M. F.  Moonzajer

I've always loved birds. Pretty little bluebirds especially, but birds and nests in general always make me swoon. So much so, that I find myself drawn to anything sweet with a bird on it: sugar bowls, jewelry holders and even Christmas ornaments have made it home with me, but delicate as they are, they don't always stay pristine. Or, um, intact. 

So, over the years I've grown quite a collection of broken birds, broken wings and, naturally, other bits and baubles. I've always wanted to do something with them, but it wasn't until I saw some large & small matchboxes in a dollar store that it occurred to me: they needed a home! And these little would-be cottages seemed like the perfect solution. . . .

Wanna know how I got there? (I took a ton of process shots just in case):

I first applied several coats of gesso before playing with the composition

Fiber paste mixed with white acrylic created this push-and-pull texture

I then applied several washes of pastel paints, splattered grey acrylic, sepia and charcoal

(Weighing their options) 

Playing with the bits, baubles and plenty of things that sparkle

And securing the drawer "pulls" with wire

And the results? Tiny little altered homes. Just for the birds. . . .

Thanks for taking a peep! I'll see you around the Party!

To Love & Art,
Kristin xo

Sunday, October 5, 2014

LIFE BOOK Registration NOW OPEN!

"Enthusiasm is excitement with inspiration, motivation, and a pinch of creativity."
- Bo Bennett

It's here! It's here! Um, can you tell that I'm excited?! (Okay, well if it's not glaringly obvious, then let me tell you, I'm like a kid in a candy store. With an unlimited budget. And no parents around to stop me from eating my face off).  

Why you ask? Because registration for Life Book 2015 is Now. Officially. OPEN. 

As a matter of fact, it's SO OPEN, that I've made a little video to celebrate:

Wanna know more? You've got it! Just click here to read all about it. 

Pretty fan-ta-bulous, right?! (Eeeee, I know). Thank you for considering signing up through me, but either way, I can't wait to see you there!

To Love & Art
Kristin xo

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Somerset Life Cover & Life Book Winner!

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

I've always loved this quote. As a matter of fact, in my former life as a cosmetics instructor, I used to plaster all the educational materials I created with it. There it was - on the top of every page I handed out - my tiny sermon on the power of possibility. Truth be told, I don't know why it struck me so, but it's been my "go to" pep talk - if even to myself - ever since. 

So it seems fitting that on this day of exciting dreams come true, that I share my favorite quote with you. (And um, that I share what's so exciting). You see, in addition to being able to giveaway a FREE SPOT on Life Book 2015 today, I also get to express my oh-my-heavens-please-don't-let-me-pee-my-pants-in-public excitement as I just received the newest addition of Somerset Life and uh, I made the cover! Seriously, a cover girl?! Yes, Kristin, dreams really do come true. Thank you Mrs. Roosevelt, you were right all along. . . .

Now, on to more excitement! Who in the world won that FREE SPOT for Life Book 2015 that the lovely Tam from Willowing Arts allowed me to giveaway? Well, the random number generator did it's magic and - after removing all duplicate comments - the winner is (can you hear the drum roll?). . . .

Congratulations Gemma! Please send your email address to and I'll get it right off to Tam & Gracie. 

Now, for those who have yet to win a space on next year's Life Book, please keep in mind that there are still chances to win by following the the blog hop. For more on that, just check out my post below

Of course, you can always join the old fashioned way by signing up when registration opens on October 6th. Should you decided to do so, I'd be ever so grateful if you'd consider signing up through me. As a Life Book instructor I receive credit when you join under me, which can be done by clicking on the Life Book link on my sidebar. Either way, it's gonna be a fun ride & I look froward to seeing you there!

To love, Art & Dreams Come True, 
Kristin xo

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Win A FREE Spot on Life Book 2015!

"In our life there is a single color, as on an artist's palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love."
- Marc Chagall

Hellllooooo & Welcome . . . .  

I can't tell you how happy I am that you're here! And, thanks to the generosity of our lovely host Tam, how excited I am to be able to offer ONE FREE SPOT on Life Book 2015!

What is Life Book? Um, only the most amazing, year-long online course featuring Tamara Laporte & 25 mixed media artists who'll share their tips and tricks with YOU beginning January 1st, 2015. 

Wanna know more? Here's what you'll receive when you win:

◙ 10 In depth Mixed Media Art Lessons by Tam of Willowing Arts
◙ 22 In depth Mixed Media Art Lessons by Spectacular Guest Teachers (see below who the 2015 guest teachers are)
◙ 20 (Smaller) Bonus Activities like: extra PDF prompts & step by steps/ artist interviews/ ATC swaps/ give aways/ audio meditations/ writing prompts etc by Tam & Guest Teachers

Speaking of Spectacular Guest Teachers, check out this line up!

Pretty amazing, right?! (I'm incredibly honored to be among them). For more information about all of the teachers, just pop over here. I think you'll agree that this is one opportunity not to be missed . . . .

NOW, to the business at hand! How do you win that ONE FREE SPOT from here? Well, as the host of The Summer of Color, I thought it would be fun to talk color.

So, here goes: simply leave a comment below & tell us your favorite color combination to play with. That's it! You have until next Saturday, September 27th (10:00 PM Pacific Standard Time) to do so. One winner will be chosen at random and announced here the following day. 

Of course you have many more chances to win by following the blog hop. Here's where we are now:

8th September 2014 – Tamara Laporte -
9th September 2014 – Jane Davenport –
10th September 2014 – Joanne Sharpe –
11th September 2014 -  Jenny Lee Wentworth –
12th September 2014 -  Violette Clark –
13th September 2014 -  Chris Zydel –
14th September 2014 -  Danielle Donaldson –
15th September 2014 -  Effy Wild –
16th September 2014 -  Flora Bowley –
17th September 2014 -  Alisa Burke –
18th September 2014 -  Rachael Rice –
19th September 2014 -  Jeanne Oliver –
20th September 2014 -  Andrea Gomoll –

21st September 2014 -  Kristin Van Valkenburgh –

22nd September 2014 -  Jill K. Berry –
23rd September 2014 -  Alena Hennessy –
24th September 2014 -  Juliette Crane –
25th September 2014 -  Jenny Doh –
26th September 2014 -  Mati Rose McDonough –
27th September 2014 -  Patti Ballard –
28th September 2014 -  Lynzee Lynx –
29th September 2014 -  Roben Marie Smith –
30th September 2014 -  Andrea Schroeder –
1st October 2014 -  Lynn Whipple –
2nd October 2014 -  Donna Downey –

Have fun and Good luck! I look forward to playing with you now and in the year to come! 

To Love & Art,
Kristin xo

Friday, September 19, 2014

Waxy Rainbows & A Giveaway to Come . . . .

“Don't seek to be happy; let everyone else chase after that rainbow. 
Seek to be kind, and you'll find the rainbow follows you.” 
― Richelle E. Goodrich

Hey Everyone! Happy Friday and happy PPF. . . .

I have a project here that's been in the works since - believe it or not - this year's Summer of Color! I've finally gotten around to finishing her, and took copious amounts of pictures along the way to show the progression from a quick sketch to a colorfully drippy & waxy finished piece. Wanna take a peek? Okay then, here we go. . . .

The initial sketch

Addition of collage pieces including decorative napkins, tissue paper & washi tape

Washes of blues and grays and the beginnings of her face

The rainbow is colored using 2-3 hues for each segment in a variety of mediums

Texture is added with acrylic white paint mixed with fiber paste pushed through a stencil

Using a quilting iron and crayons, I carefully melted 2 colors for each segment and let 'em drip

The final result! Additional touches include iridescent stars, Stickles glitter in her hair and tights, hash marks made with pencil, wax crayon scribbles (Caran D'ache 1), stamping and charcoal.

Thanks for looking! Now I'm headed over to PPF to see what everyone else is up to this week! 

But wait! Before you go, I'm really excited to offer you a chance to win a FREE SPOT on the next Life Book 2015

To do so, make sure you come back HERE this Sunday, 9/21 and enter. It's that simple. I'd love you to join us and am thrilled to offer you a chance to play along for an entire year of mixed media goodness for nothing, nada, zilch . . . . 

See you Sunday!

To Love & Art,
Kristin xo