Monday, April 28, 2008

the following takes place in the comfort of my family room...

Ask anyone who knows me, and they will tell you there are two certainties about Christina: 1) I sleep like a baby, and 2) I keep my finger on the pulse of America.
Because I am on the cutting edge of all things pop culture, I have started watching TV's brand new phenom: 24*.
I'm no expert, but I think Fox may be on to something here.
*I live in my own special world where 2001 and 2008 are practically interchangeable.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

...a difficult lesson to learn.

There are many things in life that I have a hard time accepting.
Right now my challenge is understanding that we each choose our own path in life.
How do I stand back and allow someone I love very much follow a path that is not just out of my neighborhood, but completely off my map?

Sunday, April 20, 2008

the long road back...

Last night with friends we talked of burning bridges. I don't mean thoroughfares over waterways engulfed in flames, of course. I'm talking instead of the decisions we make in life where there is no going back. For whatever reason, and in whatever way, we not only closed a door behind us, we nailed it shut, double-bolt deadlocked it, threw the keys out the window in the middle of no where, and erased all evidence of a path to or from said door. It's done. Over. The fat lady has sung. You get the picture.

What if we want to go back though?

I shared yesterday that I'm now officially a published artist (depending on how loose your definition of "artist" is). What I didn't share, is that I got published as punishment.

The article my artwork is featured in is called, "Share, and Share Alike". The author interviewed my once very good friend Marina Lenzino, owner and designer of Cherry Pie Art Stamps, about the art of swapping art. Several years ago, Marina started a Yahoo group for her customers. Before long, the group started setting up formal swaps. If you've never swapped anything before, the concept is pretty straightforward.

A swap host will come up with the guidelines for the swap. Based on how many spots are available, others will sign up to participate, and then everyone gets to work on their swap items. For instance, I actually hosted the swap that I made my published piece for. It was a Valentine's Day swap, and at the time Target was selling these awesome decks of heart-shaped playing cards. I bought several sets and sent each player 11 cards to use as the base for their submissions. Each participant was instructed to make 11 identical but original pieces and send them back to me by a set date. I then took all of the cards and sorted them into sets so each player would get back one of each of the other players' submissions, along with one of their own. To make that swap extra special, I actually compiled the pieces into key-ring books for everyone. (That should help explain the errant hole punched on the upper left side of my "Hearts are Wild" piece.) Once all the books were made, I sent each player their completed masterpiece. These swaps are really a lot of fun, and I am the proud owner of some amazing pieces of art thanks to the many swaps I have been able to participate in.

If you happen to actually get your hands on a copy of RSM and actually read the article, you will find the following sentence after Marina's description of how swaps work: "The important thing with all the swaps is that she (the host) sends the entries back!"

Aha. THIS is why I am published.

This saga will continue after a requisite amount of sleep. I need it before I come clean with my confession.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

i'm officially a published artist...

I returned home tonight after an awesome day spent with friends and reluctantly checked the mailbox before heading inside. Much to my surprise, there was a thick white envelope bearing the return post of Rubber Stamp Madness. RSM, as it is affectionately known in the stamping underground, has been around for almost thirty years chronicaling the world of, you guessed it, rubber stamping. Back when I used to care, I submitted four or five pieces that I was incredibly proud of for their consideration. RSM gladly returned them to me in my reluctantly provided self-addressed-stamped-rejection-letter-container-resembling-an-envelope (SASRLCRAE). The expeditious rate at which they completed their round-trip vacation only added to my humiliation.

So you can imagine my surprise, all these years later (OK...two to be exact!), to receive this package emblazoned with the words, "Thank you for your contribution!". Fortunately, I didn't have to flip through too many pages before I saw a very familiar piece featured on page 14.

This is incredibly cool but also bittersweet. More on that twist of fate tomorrow...