Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Coldest Day Ever

It's been 40 hours since I have been outside.  About 32 hours ago the temperature fell below 0 degrees. And I mean air temperature, not wind chill.  This morning I woke up to this. . .

It's mind blowing!  Especially after yesterday. . .

I am going to have to stand on my balcony today just to see what it feels like.  I think I will finish my morning coffee, though (and build up my courage).

It's tough being a native Floridian living in the cold midwest.  I hope you are staying warm wherever you are.
- christina

Thursday, January 23, 2014


One day I was walking through the lobby of my apt building and happened upon an abandoned painting.  It was a print of giant poppies, the kind that can be bought at a bed and bath store.  I decided that it would be the perfect canvas for an experiment in abstract art, so I took it home.

First I collaged the canvas with fabric, paper, and book pages.  I used cardboard and crumpled tissue paper for texture.

I painted it with buff and then white acrylic paint using a credit card as a brush in order to leave some of the background uncovered.  Finally I added the orange and black to complete the painting.  I used a charcoal pencil to shadow some of the textured areas but I’m not sure it’s even noticeable to anyone but me.

I am happy with the way this piece turned out because it looks the way I imagined it.   Believe me, that doesn't happen all that often.  In addition, my daughter wants this painting.  She has never before asked me to give her a piece of my art.  She says she is going to hang it over her desk and I am extremely happy that she likes it.

- christina

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Arm Knitting

You know how weird coincidences happen in life sometimes?  I was talking to a friend the other day and she asked me if I had ever done arm knitting.  Well, I haven’t thought about arm knitting in a long time.  It’s something I had heard of, but never tried (I am not one of those women who have a stash of yarn lying around the house).  I told my friend that I had never tried it, but would like to learn how to do it someday.

Three days later I am at a friend’s house for dinner and a young lady is wearing a scarf that she made herself by … (you guessed it ) … arm knitting!  It was adorable.  She said she could teach me how to do it and I could make a scarf in less than an hour.  Luckily, my gracious hostess IS one of those women who have a stash of yarn and she gave me 2 skeins of beautiful blue llama/wool yarn.  I was so excited!

My young friend taught me how to arm knit and she completed a scarf for our hostess.  I completed my scarf in about 45 minutes.  I think I could have done it in a shorter amount of time, but I was drinking wine at the same time.   

The process was very simple and I would like to do it again.  I’d have to find a YouTube video (such as this one) to guide me in the casting on and off, but the rest I could do from memory.  I recommend you try it because it's an instant gratification project.

The bad news is that you will have to go into a yarn store to buy yarn and we both know how dangerous that will be!  Good luck.
- christina
My finished scarf. :)

Monday, January 6, 2014

My Word for 2014

I keep hearing about people choosing a special word for 2014.  It's a variation on the New Year's resolution, which is something I don't like to make.  Selecting a word for the year means that your actions and decisions are guided by that word.  After some thought, I have selected my word for the year.


I plan to consciously strive to stretch myself this year in all the things that I do whether it is art, work, or relationships.  I will try to do a little bit more than I think I am capable of.  I will stretch myself beyond my limits.

What is your word for the year?

- christina

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

100 Papers

Back in August, I set a goal to paint 100 pieces of paper by the end of 2013.  The good news is that I successfully met my goal!  I did have to work all the way up through New Years Eve to make it happen though (I work best under pressure).  Here is a portion of my collection.

As you may be able to tell from the photos, I started with large pieces of paper and got smaller toward the end.  Yes, I actually counted a tag as 1 piece of paper!  If it had paint on it, then I counted it.

I used my Gelli plate for almost all of the papers.   I think I am getting better at creating with the plate, but I still have to practice more.  I used mostly craft paint and I think my results would have been better if I had used higher quality paint.  I wanted to use up what I had rather than buy new paint.

I’m sure you are wondering what I am going to do with my 100 papers.  When I set my original goal, I decided not to worry about what the final products were going to be.  Creating the painted papers was enough for now and I am happy with the results.  

Perhaps my goal for 2014 should be to create art using 100 pieces of painted paper!  I'm going to think about that for awhile longer before I decide.
- christina