missing nikki atc

Creating from the Soul

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello all my wonderful readers, hoping you all are creating today!

Today is a very somber yet distinct day for me; it is what would be my late sisters 40th birthday. Her name is Nicole, she passed away nearly 5 years ago this November, and even with therapy it does not get easier with time; it only gets, different. Needless to say, the week leading up to today has weighed heavily on my heart and mind and has shown through in my work as an artist. I honestly did not even realize it at first.

A little background, I love of making Artist Trading Cards (ATC). This is such great way to challenge myself, share my work, network, and just get to create without worrying if someone is going to buy this piece or not. There is no pressure, just to do whatever comes creatively natural to me. I put a lot into my ATC’s so they do take time and I had volunteered to make several of them so I did have plenty of work to do. Ok, so no one but my husband knows this but I end up being so fond of the ATCs that I make I started to make two of every one I do. If someone asks for something Wizard of Oz themed, I make two of them, one for them and one for me! Lol I did not always do this, but I started to make cards I knew I was not going to give away, so problem solved if I just make two of them, hahaha. Ok so anyway, as I was busy, working on several different cards at the time, my brain was able to let go and I just went on autopilot. This is where my soul takes over and my brain rests, and it is the most pure form of creativity that I have ever experienced! Really, creating from the soul, heart, subconscious, whatever it is that you call it, is the most direct reflection of the artists most inner self. I know this as I have experienced it.

The story starts when I began to create an ATC where the theme was ‘surprise me’. So I started in, not thinking, not planning, not organizing, just going, led by instinct, which if you know me, you know this is not at all like me. When I began the card it was for someone who requested to be surprised, but as I got further and further into project I realized more and more of what this was reminding me of; my late sister. She was notorious for being a lover of the color purple, and she always had these striking full brown eyes and eyelashes. This card I made without intention; a little girl angel, on a purple background, with purplish wings on purple clouds. The little angel has these full eyelashes that are so familiar.

The end of the story is of me reflecting off of the experience when I was done with the card and really stood back. All the signs were there in hindsight, but not fully realized when I was in my zone. This was my inner self speaking to me, or perhaps my inner self just speaking out, to anyone in particular. Moreover, the card is lovely, it absolutely has my touch, completely reminds me of my sis as a little girl, who is in heaven, and came from a place I cannot describe other than my soul. Lastly, I made a card with no duplicate; my subconscious knew who this card was really for the entire time. I experienced possibly the purest, rawest emotional expression an artist can have. That is powerful.

I look back on this past week, on today, my sister and it is these experiences that shape us. I wish I could have these experiences without the hurt, without the loss, but unfortunately I cannot change what has happened, so I have to embrace the fact that I am who I am today because of these things.

We grow as people because of the journeys our lives take. We grow as artists for our ability, weather to ourselves or to others, to express where that journey has taken us.

As I stare at this ATC that will forever be on my desk I leave you today with this; do not be afraid to let yourself go, to go on autopilot and let your inner creativity take over. We need this ability to express ourselves just as a singer needs to sing, or a needle needs a thing. Much love everyone, see you next week! Christeen

Is It Almost Halloween or Christmas?

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello readers, its October, and I’m getting ready for Christmas. Wait, what? Yes that is correct, it’s nearly a week until Halloween and I’ve been working on getting my online gift shop ready for the Christmas shopping season starting in November. I find this crazy, as this does not even mention how many other makers, artists, and crafters say I’m late and should have been doing this in September! WHAT!!??

None-the-less, I’m happy to be so busy. I’ve had an influx in sales, which of course is wonderful, so between commission work and preparing for the shopping season, I have plenty to do, multiple projects goings, and boy does my studio show it! My desk is full of things, different things, some things I need right now, other things I will need eventually lol. This is not my usual work habit, as I like clean, tidy, and organized. Buy hey whatcha going to do right!

This reminds me of a crafty post one of my art BFFs posted, “You can’t expect me to be creative and organized!” LOL I love that, as I feel this sums up my working space right now. But that’s ok, I feel it’s like a badge of honor, having an unorganized studio because of all the work I’m doing. I will take that any day over having a clean studio because I have nothing to do!

In addition, I wanted to bring light to the subject that the holiday shopping season is a very big deal to us makers, artists, crafters, and those of us that make handmade goods. So many of us depend of the holiday sales to help jump us into the New Year. So today, although this is a short and sweet blog post, where I will leave you is planting the seed to shop small business, to shop handmade, to shop local this holiday season. It means more to the maker than you could probably ever realize, and the money is truly being spent in a place that really does appreciate your business! Christeen

While I’ve Been Away

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Wow does time fly! Welcome back readers to my blog, I have to acknowledge my absence since March. First, I am very happy to announce a big part of why I have not posted any new blogs in a while is because Christeen Street Studios has officially moved. While it seems I shall never get finished moving in and everything put just how I want it, I am back to work creating new things in my new studio and have new stories and experiences to share.

This brings me to my next reason for having stopped blogging; I felt what I was blogging about was, well what everyone else is blogging about. I actually read a crafters blog back in March and I was surprised about how similar our blogs were. Then I saw this was an old blog back from 2009! That really got me down and honestly, I completely lost all motivation to continue writing. However, after a while, as I thought more and more about it, I knew I needed to get back at it and continue to share my experiences and my work. Not to mention I have had a few friends and family members ask me several times when I was going to get back at it. To my surprise, they actually missed my blog. Say what now!?

Well, here I am avoiding the sweltering heat in my studio and blogging instead.

So what to talk about?

What have I been up to?

Well I’m glad you asked! First, I’m super happy to say I finally got to try my hand at using epoxy resin to make things. It is a ton of fun, incredibly detailed, and wow can things go wrong fast! In addition, like everything else there is a learning curve to it. Epoxy resin is a chemical, so there is much to learn about, like how the resin reacts to other materials, and to itself; too little hardener and it will not cure correctly, too much hardener and same thing! Its tedious work but once I can manage to get it down I will have amazing creations to share with you all. Unfortunately, so far my resin and hardener mixes have not exactly been ideal and let me just say we have some limp bookmarkers on our hands lol! I’m sure I will figure something to do with them, but more about resin later.

I also finally got my Facebook business page up and going, you can find me @ChristeenStreetStudios

I’m getting ready to hold a photoshoot for a 3 piece series I’m incredibly happy with. The series focuses on texture, dimension, the three astrological elements (sun, moon, and stars) as well as the three major metal elements (gold, silver, and copper). However, taking good photographs of art, at least for me, is harder than actually creating the art itself ha-ha! Nevertheless, I’m getting there. This reminds me of a popular real estate broker Ryan Serhant, he has a saying that is pithy and well, excellent to try and adopt; grow always, in all ways! I love that! Part of what I do, or at least what I am striving to do as an artist is grow always in all ways! Therefore, if I need photos taken, then I’m going to have to learn how to take really good photographs! So until then, I guess you will need to continue to follow me on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and everywhere else I’m on, that you probably haven’t even heard of lol. So check out my feed, I’ve snuck a few photos of work in progress in there!

Although you may already know these next things I’ve been up to from following me on social media, I will say briefly what I’ve been up to is work! Commissioned art! Yes, paid art jobs! I know right, I’m happy too! I have had a commissioned triptych, two commissioned pieces for a special effects artist, I completely refinished a canister for a client to match their space, and among other things…drum roll please… I was asked to create background art for an upcoming E-book! I was and am so excited, humbled, grateful, blessed for these experiences. Every project I do I learn something, and am so happy to be working during this difficult time in our country. But before I get carried away, I will save all these stories for another day and blog spot.

I thank you all for taking the time to read my posts, please feel free to leave me a comment, you can always subscribe to my blog and get them right in your inbox! Also, please if you’re not already; don’t forget to follow me across the various social media platforms




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Thanks to HootSuit Blog (2018) for providing the social media Icons

It’s All Elementary, blog #14

Christeen Street Studios Weekly Blog

Hello and happy Monday readers! I hope your Christmas was joyous and full of love this year. With Christmas being over, we can reflect back on our holiday season, the gifts, the love, and the experiences we all had. I want to share a very fond experience I had in the studio back in November when I had just started making some gifts and decorations; insert my husband into the mix and a fond memory was born.

This year, for the first time I bought glass Christmas tree bulbs to finish. I bought some to make as a gift set, but I also bought a few just to play with, again, as I have never worked with blubs before. Since they came in a pack of two, I had one to spare so-to-speak. I thought it would be fun to have another join in with me so naturally, my hubby wanted to participate, and I was so glad for it, as playing is always better with a friend!

So began the preparation; setting out paints, brushes, rags, a water well to clean brushes, and of course glitter at the ready. Setting up workstations at the table so we each had everything we would need within hands reach. With both of us ready to let our inner child run wild, and anticipating just what we will create, we get set at the table and dive in. First, starting off with some very deep thought as to what each of us will create, when we each had an idea on what we wanted, we began with childlike glee! My husband decided he wanted to paint a forest filled with snow, a full moon, and sparkling stars. I decided to go with snowflakes of all different designs.

As we begin, both deep in concentration to make our first paint marks perfect, we start to share ideas of our pieces, and explain what we are doing. Then that childlike giddy kicked in high gear for my husband. He shakes his leg, which shakes the table. He is fidgety and every time he reaches for something, anything, he hits the table, bump here bump there, everywhere a bump bump! Reaching for the water well to clean off his paintbrush he spills the water. Then his indecisiveness for which color to use causes the water to clean your brush with to become so dirty, it is no longer doing what it was intended for.

Talk about an amateur! LOL! This made me realize a few things about my husband and myself. First, as if I needed any more proof, my husband is just a big kid, which I adore and keeps us a balanced pair, as he is still very much a kid, and I am very much not. Second, for the first time in a while I really felt like a professional. Perhaps more like a grade school art teacher, but none-the-less, it was a good feeling. It forced me to reflect on how far I have come with my art. Now I will admit, a few times I got frustrated with all the bumping, but I quickly realized that this is what it’s all about! After that, I was able to laugh at my husband for his quirks and adolescent heart. Eventually the bulbs we made will break, or get damaged and thrown away or even lost, but it is the memory I will have forever!

All too often we forget about the journey and solely focus on the destination. However, it is the journey that we remember; the destination is just a side note, a point B, an ending. Be careful not to miss the journey, or you will miss out on life! After all, that old saying has withstood the test of time for a reason; Don’t forget to stop and smell the roses. Until next week, I wish you a happy, healthy, and safe New Year’s celebration! Christeen