that day changed my life, i discovered a flat iron! { the hubby + i being our ridiculous selves. there is always laughter round these parts! }

that day changed my life, i discovered a flat iron! { the hubby + i being our ridiculous selves. there is always laughter round these parts! }

Hey, you! Christy here. I am just SO very glad you stopped by! There are at least a bazillion photos, adventures and projects for you to DIY - so grab a cupppa whatever your vice is, and stay a spell!

Day 16/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Michele Beschen

Day 16/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Michele Beschen

isn't it exciting to have the giveaways back?

i went through a touch of blog withdrawal while i was travelling

i didn't quite realizeJUSThow much i'd miss doing these

absence makes the heart grow fonder

or some crap thing like that anyhow

i'm so out of practice on this part

hope it's not horridly boring now

i could just tell you about the giveaway

well, perhaps in just one moment

see, lil ol' moi  tore myself from my studio

despitemy muse dancing and creating with pure delight !

to bring you this giveaway today as promised

yup. just forYOUi stopped creating

who luvs ya? that's right... obviously i must

i mean, i stopped creating when most inspired

helllll-loooo!i don't just do that for anyone

you don't really care eh? on with it?FINE!

obviously, it has to be an ultra-special giveaway

Oh, it is... it really, really is ...

well i suppose 2 weeks of suspense was enough

this was WELL worth waiting for folks

*cough* lemme get that ring announcer voice back i mentioned a few weeks ago

ladies and probably no more than handful of gentleman ...

hmm... that intro just isnt working for today

and i simply cannot think of another clever thing

let's just dive right into it, shall we?

 “The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” - Mitch Albom

Prior to making this project public, I grabbed my handy lists journal, and began jotting down ideas of things to giveaway. I realized, it'd be far more fun to include people I admire, respect and care for. So I then began doodling names, companies, products ... that I believed would make fan-tab-ulous gifts. One of the first names that sprung to mind was the talented Michele Beschen. I kinda thought she may be interested, but wondered if her schedule would allow it.. so when she agreed? I was not only elated, but extremely touched. All my joking aside - daily I am reminded of how generous our community is. Of things. Of themselves. Of their hearts.

Michele in my Baby Got Backgrounds Workshop | Pleasanton, California

If you aren't familar with Michele, then obviously you do live under that proverbial rock we've discussed in the past. Or don't have cable tv. Or some other lame excuse. (Get out from under that rock already! though if you have cool rock drawings, let us see first). ... See one day last year, Chel & I were talking ... and discussing some folks who could be potential keynote speakers for the convenzione. She was in sheer panic, and it was up to me to *sigh*  once again save the day. Ok, so maybe it wasn't quitethat extreme. But still,  I obviously *cough* singlehandedly saved ZNE by suggesting Michele. Or maybe it's justthe lil' voices in my head say I saved it ... I did however suggest Michele.  She accepted. Michele took MY workshop, yep... mine !!! (god, i'm horridly shameless aren't i?)

 There I go - sidetracked again.

Anyhow ... Michele was actually even better than I imagined. I have met other TV personalities before, and been disappointed. Ya know how it is, some have ego's, some are just not at all what they seem ... But Michele?She's the real deal. A what-you-see-is-what-you-get kinda gal. A gal after my own heart. My respect for her tripled after spending in-person time with her, and I honestly can't praise her enough. The girl is fearless - and I abso-friggin-lutely love that. She can create just about anything, quite possibly she's creativity's biggest cheerleader, isn't afraid to laugh at herself .. and the passion for what she does is evident at every turn. What more could you want?

I'll let you see for yourself in the interview I did with her! Don't worry, we'll reveal the giveaway package later.. yes, package!

Baby Got Back(grounds) Workshop

Michele Beschen & Chad Adams in my baby Got Backgrounds Class

(as always, the bold black questions are from me... the colored answers, are her answers... does anyone not know this by now? ha!)

Many of us, find you to be an amazing source of creative influence. What do you draw your inspiration/vision from? Who do you admire? Since it goes without saying that I was obviously the greatest teacher you have ever had *cough* and because humility is one of my greatest traits *cough*, you shouldn't feel at all pressured to say me, Chrysti Hydeck.

I draw my inspiration from absolutely everything around me.  People, Places, Nature, Trash, Books....I see ideas in the most unexpected places and I think that really stems from training our eyes and our minds to open to their absolute fullest.  I admire everyday people who are resourceful and innovative; authentic, interesting people who love to learn and love to share.  And, yes that includes you, my friend.  I loved the anything goes approach with your class because that's what encourages people to let loose of their ideas and their expression of them.   You were so generous with your time and your ideas and that is something I greatly admire in people.

"talent is always conscious of its own abundance and does not object to sharing"...

Your talent, originality and enthusiasm aside - I am also remarkably impressed by your business sense. It's a tough job, carving out an original, creative career path - could you give my readers any tips on taking that journey?

It's extremely tough, and some days I have questioned "if this is what I'm really supposed to be doing, should it be this hard and this much of a challenge?!" -- but at the end of the day, I know in my heart this is what I'm meant to do and I truly believe that when you embrace what you are truly passionate about and combine that with determination, resourcefulness and resilience, the path will keep getting longer and longer and wider and wider - (with of course, a few unexpected turns and roadblocks to work around here and there along the way) - and it's at those junctures that the resourcefulness, the determination and the resilience need to be at their strongest.  It's also important to surround yourself with positive, like-minded people that you can honestly share ideas, concerns and challenges with. It's ok to ask for help now and then.  If you're fortunate enough to have a direct line to an inspiring mentor, draw and learn as much as you can from them.

Here are a few of the quotes I have written on the wall behind my desk (yes, I write and scribble on the walls in my office):  "in a crowded marketplace, fitting in is failure" & "a person who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints"-- these remind me that it's ok to be different, and that we should always be challenging ourselves to explore new ways of doing things.    This one reinforces the whole belief that one thing always leads to the next and everything happens for a reason --  "Love the moment. Flowers grow out of dark moments.  Therefore, each moment is vital.  It affects the whole.  Life is a succession of such moments and to live each, is to succeed"...corita kent.  Everyone always needs to remember...... 'It's what YOU make of it'.

I am a big believer in creative fearlessness and one of the things I adore about you is that you are undoubtedly a jill-of-all-trades! What advice can you give to those folks who are intimidated to try a new skill, use a power tool, or make something that seems a bit off the wall? Have you/are you ever been intimidated to try something?

I'm with you on that one, sister!  Everything I do is designed to remove the fear from trying new creative things and experimenting.  That's how great things happen and exciting discoveries are made.  One thing that I never think or say is "I Can't Do That" -- instead I think "I could learn to do that!"  I was fortunate to have a family that nurtured my can-do spirit and I have always believed that I can do whatever I set my mind to and I'm not afraid to try.  Granted, it doesn't always pan out as planned, but I love the whole process of learning and researching.  I am always trying to instill that can-do spirit in everyone, because it's the self-doubt, the fear and the inner-critic that usually gets in the way for people.  It is so important to ignore those negative thoughts because they will cheat you out of the whole invigorating creative experience.  Do it for you! If you like it, that's all that matters.  My house is filled with off the wall stuff, because that's what I like!  Isn't that the beauty of creative expression? You're able to create things however, whenever, wherever, you want!

To be honest, I've always been more fearful of the criticism and judgment than I ever have been of actually trying something.  It's in those moments that I look at these quotes on my wall  "I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure: which is: try to please everybody"...herber b. swope. "Some look at things that are, and ask why.  I dream of things that never were and ask why not?"...george bernard shaw

 It's no secret that I love power tools.  And, I don't understand the hesitation and fear so many people have over using them.  In my mind, they are no different than the electric mixer or the sewing machine.  They can open up an expansive new world of creative opportunity. I didn't have all those tools when I started, nor did I know how to run all of them, but I slowly started adding to the workshop.   I started small and I started cheap. I would buy the most economical, space saving version of a tool, be it a sander, a saw, etc. to get familiar with how it worked, what I could do with it and then would upgrade as needed or could afford.    I am all about personal responsibility and I think that each and every one of us is capable of operating tools and being smart and safe about how we go about using them. They can really enable you to take your creative projects to a whole new level!

What's the oddest object within your reach right now?

a jar filled with 'lucky stones' -- my dad is a commercial fisherman and they are found inside the head of a perch.  (May sound gross to some I know, but it's really not!) They are these beautiful pearly white 'stones' that I'm trying to work into some jewelry. People used to carry them in their pockets in belief they brought them luck.

I spoke last year about just a few of the art mishaps I have had. Could you share some of yours? The more embarrassing the better!

I had somehow smeared black paint/ink across my face without realizing and made a trip to Lowe's of course chatting up loud and proud to everyone I know.  Got a glimpse of myself in the car mirror.  Face went from black to that really hot red color that I'm sure you're aware of, in a hurry.  Why do people not tell you about that stuff?

I'm not exactly graceful, myself, so I am usually spilling this or that in the shop, and when it spills over something I'm actually working on, It doesn't even phase me anymore, because I've gotten very good at just making it part of the piece.  It gives me some looks that I wouldn't have otherwise thought of.

I was hauling some used gallons of house paint from the town studio over to the studio behind the house and was in a hurry, so I just set them on the floor of the back seat (and, maybe I had piled one on top of another)...of my husband's truck (I also might want to mention I'm not always diligent about making sure the lids are tightly back on things).  I got to the studio and went about working on something, not unloading the paint right away, and a few hours later, as my husband went to use his truck, I saw a paint can go flying across the yard along with some very colorful words, and quickly realized that this amazing shade of golden ochre (almost a full gallon of it, mind you) had covered the car floor -- and had been sitting there for a few hours.  Have you ever tried to get paint out of carpet?  My tip on that is to keep it wet and get out the wet/dry shop vac!   Luckily it was summer and I could make good use of the garden hose.  I can proudly say that I was able to clean up every drop. 

There are many, many more but I better keep moving along here....

With the economy crunched right now, many people are reverting back to a handmade holiday. (yay!) What are some your handmade holiday traditions?

Handmade holidays are all the more special, aren't they?!  For this Christmas, we as a family made every ornament for the tree.  We strung cranberries, we baked dough ornaments, we rummaged around the yard for materials to use. Our tree is the quirkiest looking thing you've ever seen and we all love it!  It was two weekends of doing things as a family and we smile big every time we walk by it.  We also make a point to exchange handmade gifts and it's so exciting to see what everyone comes up with.  A handmade gift gives everyone the opportunity to inject extra thought into the gift and really personalize it for the person you're making it for.  It doesn't take money or commercial things to make the holidays merry!  Another fun holiday tradition that's not tied in with christmas, but rather my wedding anniversary.  My husband and I exchange new handmade rings each year.  We alternate who's responsible for it each year and sometimes we make them ourselves or we search out unique rings from area artists. It's a fun way to change things up and celebrate growth and it makes for an interesting collection. 

And kind of on a side note....Handmade doesn't always mean it has to be made with your hands, either.  There are amazing artisans all around us offering up some of the most original works.  I think it's important for everyone to support local artisans by making a point to search them out when looking for that unique, one of a kind gift or even when your shopping efforts are focused on yourself.  I love to buy clothes and jewelry from independent designers.  You won't catch me at the mall very often!

Let's talk toilet paper - Pull from the top, or the bottom?

Do not care, as long as it's there! :)

How do you work out new ideas and get past being in a creative block? We'd love a lil' glimpse into your creative process.

I wander around my shop.  I open bins, I flip through sketch books, I stare at my shelves.  I find all my supplies very inspiring, and sometimes all it takes is to just look, feel and play with my creative things that don't have anything to do with the project  I'm working on. If that doesn't get things into gear, I take a break from it.  I take a walk or go for a drive.  It frees the mind so that it's not feeling forced and as a result, the ideas start flowing again.

Yoga is also a big thing for me. My mind is always racing from one thought to another, so practicing yoga every morning has really made a difference in what I like to call my 'creative endurance'!  

Personally, I'm a quote whore. Do you have a favorite quote or two?

I love quotes too!  I find them thought provoking, empowering and inspiring. I've given you quite a few throughout my answers, but here are a couple that were my 'drivers' when I first started this business: 

"Creativity is the greatest gift one can possess"

"Without creativity, there would be no progress"...edward de bono"

"Creativity can solve almost any problem.  The creative act, the defeat of habit by originality overcomes everything"....george lois

and my own personal mantra..."a curious mind and a courageous soul make for a creative spirit"

When you are not creating, what can we find you doing? Aside from taking one of my amazing workshops that is. (shameless, aren't I?)

I hate to say it, but I'm always creating.  Even when I'm reading, I have my sketchbook nearby to sketch things as they come.  If I go for a walk, I'm looking for things to play with.  When I play with my daughter, we're always coming up with new ways to do this or that.  When my husband and I go out, there are always conversations about ideas of things we're wanting to build or try, or things we're 'dreaming' of doing or trying!  When I'm on a road trip back to my parents, (and not the one driving) I'll have the woodburner plugged into the adaptor so I can make good use of my road time!  What can I say, it's a way of life for me!  (And, yes, if you were closer I would be taking your amazing workshops...only that would still count as creating, right?!):)

Don't you think Simply Michele Inc. would sound just a bit better as Simply Michele & Chrysti Inc? Ok, Ok, I won't put you on the spot -- why don't you just give us a sneak peek of some of the wonderful things you have in store for us!

That does have a nice ring to it, doesn't it?!  I think 2009 is going to be a fabulous year for sharing ideas, so I encourage everyone to stay tuned.

Today's giveaway is outstanding! (y'all are lucky I didn't steal it for myself) Make my readers work for it and have them answer a question to be entered - what would you like to know about them?

What's one creative thing (product, technique, tool, etc) you want to learn more about?

So what is the outstanding prize package you ask? It's seriously an amazing bundle of creative goodness that one lucky reader will soon call their own! (and you'll totally dig the packaging too!) .. Check it out..

Michele Beschen's Courage to Create with Paint DVD

Michele Beschen's Courage to Create with Paint DVD

that's just for starters...

Michele Beschen's Courage to Create with Jewelry DVD

Michele Beschen's Courage to Create with Jewelry DVD

nope, not done yet ...

YBNRML Leather Cuff Bracelet SIGNED by Michele!

YBNRML Leather Cuff Bracelet SIGNED by Michele!

and wait... there's more!

New Brunswick retro license plate belt buckle- SIGNED by Michele!

New Brunswick retro license plate belt buckle- SIGNED by Michele!

Yup - over $85.00 worth of amazing creative goodness !!!!!!!!!!!  Man, I am SOOOO wishing I could enter my own giveaways. Is there any reason i can't? I'll just have to hop on over to her shop and get my own goods ... her newsletter had a killer coupon I need to take advantage of tonight! I'm dying for a quiltless scarf.

So ... want to have your crack at this abundance of inspirational goodies?

On this post in the comments answer Michele's question: “What's one creative thing (product, technique, tool, etc) you want to learn more about?” and/or my silly question “toilet paper - Pull from the top, or the bottom”  - Extra Credit if you plead with Michele to make it Simply Michele & Chrysti Inc. The whole MC thing makes for great puns...

Do this by: Sunday, January 18th, 2009

PLEASE keep Spreading  the word! Blog it, Tell your friends — the works! I’m amazed daily at the impact this project is having on people. I want it to be contagious, plus it fuels me to make it bigger & better! 

Enter Day 0 still!

Check out the first batch of winners, the second batch of winners and the third batch of winners!

Visit Michele's Blog  for even MORE inspiration, her site & her store (great prices, even better items!)

Glad to be back - Missed you all! - Chrysti

Day 17/29 Days of Giving is…

Day 17/29 Days of Giving is…

Day 14/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Jon Troast

Day 14/29 Days of Giving is… +An Interview With Jon Troast