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Speaking Through Silence


"Music of the Soul"
An Original, One of a Kind, Mixed Media Painting & Assemblage w/Beeswax
by Raleigh, NC Outsider Artist ~ Chrysti ~

Size: 6" x 6" x 3/4" D
Created On: Gallery Wrapped Canvas; Ready to Hang!

I completed this piece in April '07 -- all but one part, the caption. Last week, as I sat down.. the words just began to form...

 "Through silence you speak the music of your soul"

 I smiled to myself, as I realized that is slowly becoming my own, personal mantra.

 The last few months, have not only been extremely productive, but also very challenging for me. I have come face to face with myself, over & over again... both my strengths, and my weaknesses have been practically shoved in front of me as I have spent large amounts of time alone, in isolation -- simply trying to get caught up, and establish new routines. More time to myself means more silence, and more time to over contemplate every aspect of my life. Too much time in fact. For someone with bipolar disorder, this can often be a one way, fast track into extreme depression.

 What I initially found frightening -- that face to face time with myself, has since turned into an enlightening experience, as I find myself embracing my own, personal evolution. I am learning to trust in my own instincts, to trust a bit more in myself and a bit less in what other people think.. to not only trust but to seek that inner silence, that we all tend to push aside. A process I am beginning to find comforting, and not at all scary. See, we really do have a purpose for every part of our life -- even if we can't recognize it at the time.

 Blocking out all that external 'noise', has truly brought clarity to me, and a newfound strength that is manifesting itself through my art, my photography, my accomplishments, and most importantly in who I am, and who I want to become. A lifelong, never ending process for all of us.


 "Silence tells the seeker in us to love, to love himself.
It tells us it is wrong to hate ourselves because of our imperfections.
When the seeker loves himself, loves the Divine within himself,
he eventually realists the Ultimate Truth."

So go on, take a few silent moments for yourself today... you never know what you may discover, if you just give it a chance.



Polka Dots a Plenty

 Polka Dot Book - 17 Polka Dot Book - 1 Polka Dot Book - 11

Polka Dot Book - 9 

 So, Remember my brimming excitement about the Polka Dot Book.. and how thrilled I was to be working with paper backgrounds, vs. my usual painted ones? Well, suffice it to say.. this project got the best of me.. and has left me with a few regrets.

“If only. Those must be the two saddest words in the world.”
- Mercedes Lackey

I SO wanted to enjoy this book, and use all the potential that it held -- however, I failed at that. I'm not quite sure, just where exactly the trouble came in for me... If i had to guess? I'd say it boiled down to time -- I never enjoy cram sessions of art I 'have' to do ... and this project.. sadly.. became just that. The timing was bad, and in retrospect .. I should have realized my limitations.

I never feel good about things that I have rushed to do, especially when I know I could have done better. I'm the kind of person that isn't at all satisfied, with 'Good Enough'. I need to know at the end of the day that I gave something all I had... and worked to the best of my capabilities... to truly feel good about it.... and I dropped the ball here. I hope, my pages don't disappoint the other participants as well.

 Polka Dot Book - 5 Polka Dot Book - 8 Polka Dot Book - 12

Polka Dot Book - 4

"Regret for the things we did can be tempered by time; it is regret for the things we did not do that is inconsolable.”
-- Sydney Smith

If I had it do over (and I'd love to try a circle book again).. these are some of the things I would change.

Time: That's a given... I would have signed up for this, when I had the proper time to devote to the pages. Or I would use the time I had in a more productive way. This is one of the rare occasions that I believe designing one amazing page, and doing them all assembly style.. may have worked to my benefit.

My Comfort Zone: Oh how I wish I had realized the limitations of working outside of my comfort zone within a short time frame! Not only was the shape sumthin' unusual, but I used paper backgrounds vs. my almost infamous painted backgrounds. The result was a not so pretty visual that often left me with my mouth open wide, awkwardly staring at a blank page while cussing under my breath. I was simply, just unsure of where to go with them... unlike my painted backgrounds which often times tell me what they would like to become. That kind of work, is more a part of me.. where as this, lacked that warmth. If there's a next time, I'd stick with one lil discomfort zone, vs, several.

 Thought: Until this project, I do not think I realized just how much of the allotted swap times I spend becoming inspired, and loosely planning my pages. I like a few months to simmer on the ideas.. then like a bolt of lightning.. BAM!... an idea hits and I sit down, and feverishly work through them. I think of the one thing I'd like to learn throughout the process, and apply that as well .. with this project, I didn't do that. Truth be told -- I was often thinking of everything else in my life that needed done -- and it shows within my pages. They are as scattered as my mind was-- blech

Polka Dot Book - 3 Polka Dot Book - 15 Polka Dot Book - 16

Polka Dot Book - 14 Polka Dot Book - 18 

“Regret is insight that comes a day too late"

 So there you have it -- not my proudest display, but a genuine one. I've filed this into that lessons learned category within my brain. When I began my blog, I promised to share the good right along with the bad .. as we all have that range. Hope it was of help to someone.

 But alas, despite the gloomy feeling I was left with on my own work, I cannot wait to see the completed project!

 As always, I eagerly await your thoughts as well..


Polka Dot Book - 10 Polka Dot Book - 20 Polka Dot Book - 19

Polka Dot Book - 13 Polka Dot Book - 2 Polka Dot Book - 7

 P.S. To see the backs of these pages .. click here to go to my Flickr Set for all the Polka Dot goodness you can muster.


Charmed, I'm sure

“There is no personal charm so great as the charm of a cheerful temperament.”
-- Henry Van Dyke


I'm really not a jewelry kinda gal.

In fact, I cannot fathom why so many women are... (sorry ladies!)

I have a handful of pieces, that I wear to death.. all very simple, very classic... and all have personal meaning to me.

I do however, appreciate the craftsmanship... the styles, the colors... but aside from the occasional whim? You won't find me wearing it. I'd be more comfortable walking around a formal dinner party in a tacky leprechaun suit, then to adorn myself with big necklaces, colorful bracelets, rings and god forbid -- insert gagging sound here -- toe & ankle jewelry (remember, I HATE feet). Why anyone in their right mind would choose to draw attention to their f... blech.

Now, all that being said -- I have nothing against folks who love to accessorize, it just isn't me. In fact, a part of me envies the freedom those women must feel to pull some of the pieces off.   

             "Nest" Mini Jar Charms by Chrysti
April 2007 - AAO Charm Swap

Months and months ago... I stumbled across this blog, where a group of 20 some, talented women & artists created these breathtaking charms.. and when they were all put together? Well the final product just sang to me!

Better yet? It brought back a host of wonderful memories along with a flood of ooey,gooey, mushy, sappy emotions.. for a pastime I once adored. I really don't know where my passion for small things came from, all I know... is I fall head over platform heels for the tiniest of things -- dollhouses & their accessories, charms, seashells, sharks teeth, really...mini anything..... and I always have.

Somewhere, I have stashed some favorite childhood charms, well... the ones i didn't lose anyway. (sorry mom) I just find the small things...and not simply the material objects... the fine details in life, in people... so very fascinating... not many things, can capture my attention more then some small, secret treasure.. that feels as if it is just for me.

“Charm is a way of getting the answer yes without asking a clear question.”
--Albert Camus

Anyhow -- The Just Simply Charming blog more then peaked my interest, it pushed me to try making charms, which I had never really done before. Sure, I have created embellishments, danglies, adornments.. but never one someone may consider wearing! I've said it many, many times... I love being pushed outside of my comfort zone - as it truly is the only way you grow. So when the opportunity came up to swap some charms at AAO & at The Embellished Circus... I jumped at the chance!

I wanted to keep my bird theme going and present it in a new outlet... a challenge, and neither are quite what i initially envisioned -- but what really is? The "Nest" jar charms have mini bird eggs inside of them, silver german glass glitter, and 'nesting' materials. They have faux copper leafing as well. The "Star Bird" charms each have miniature, amber, rhinestone stars. I tried to make the packaging fun as well -- I'd love to hear your thoughts!

My final attempts, are what you see throughout this post... I'll be posting tutorials at my site, shortly after it opens...and discuss the pitfalls I encountered along the way. I have a few extras, that I have for sale on Etsy of the "Nest" charms.. But the star bird ones, have already sold out.. If time permits, I may make some more...let me know if you want them!

"Star Bird" Charms by Chrysti
May 2007 - EC Charm Swap
Sold Out

“Only actions give life strength; only moderation gives it charm.”
-- Jean Paul Richter

I haven't received back my charms back from the EC swap yet, but the ones from AAO were amazing! Now, what to do with them all? You won't find me wearing them... but I will be sure, to properly showcase them -- and when I do...y'all will be the first to see!

I'm itching to make more -- so if you know of any good swaps open, please share!
-- Chrysti