Make Beautiful Things


chalkboard diy

Make beautiful things.

It’s what I try to do everyday. Not a bad job description.

I especially like making beautiful things out of not-so-beautiful things.

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That’s how this “chalkboard” started out. I found this Dega-ish painting at a thrift store. (Love it when I can nab a framed canvas for less than five dollars!) I sure hope the original artist of this painting is not reading. Sorry Mr. or Mrs. Ford! I paint over my old paintings all the time! Don’t feel bad!

Here’s how the transformation took place.

I like to make these projects as effortless as possible. Why take the whole thing apart? I just left the frame on and painted the canvas with black gesso. Why black gesso? Because I was out of the black acrylic craft paint I had planned to use. Roll with it, baby. I actually think the gesso ended up the better choice because it is naturally flat and chalky.

Lettering is next! I recommend working from an image on Pinterest that has a phrase or style that you like. Use a white charcoal pencil or white chalk to try a few layouts, drawing out the words right onto the black canvas. The charcoal pencil or chalk wipes off with a damp cloth so no worries. Just keep trying until you like it.

I then freehand painted the letters. I know, I know, you think you can’t do that. I think you can. Try it. If you can write in cursive, you can do this. Study some good examples and look at where they make the lines thicker and thinner. That’s the secret!  It doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful! I used white acrylic paint with a narrow round brush, but a white paint pen will do the trick too!

To finish it off and make it look more authenticly chalkboard-ish, I rubbed white chalk in the gaps between the words. It’s very convincing!

Now I have a daily reminder to do my work.

Make beautiful things…the laundry can wait.



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Resist the Resistance

do the work 2

“The most important thing about art is to work. Nothing else matters except sitting down every day and trying.” ~Steven Pressfield. The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

It’s been hard to call myself an artist these days because there’s not a whole lot of art making going on around here. I’ve got resistance coming from every direction. No time…no space…no quiet…more important things to do…things that need fixing…mini-emergencies…places to be…mom jobs…you name it. That kind of thinking tempts a girl to hang up her apron and retire the brushes because life just keeps getting in the way.

But then I remember.

I remember making 100 Faces.

I remember how just a few minutes a day and a few scraps of paper and the corner of a desk was all it took to make a little art. I remember how a little art = lots of happy.

I remember how day after day, a little art grew into a lot of art, and then that art landed itself on a gallery wall, and now that art is heading for Art Prize with over 1,500 other works of art, where it could potentially be seen by tens of thousands of people over the course of the next three weeks.

Wow. Just wow.

I don’t think I’m ready to retire quite yet. Nope, not even close. Hopefully not ever.

God wrote this story, and all the resistance in the world isn’t going to change who He made me to be…

an artist.

I have to go now. My brushes are calling.

What’s calling you?


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Mornings in the Studio

Kristi Lynn Studio

In the morning, the house is quiet. The computer is not yet humming with it’s usual distractions and the day planner will wait. In the morning, the responsibilities of the day have not yet chipped away at my time, the inner critic has not yet chipped away at my heart, and the resistance has not yet chipped away at my conviction.

In the morning, I turn on the music and the muse and I create. This is when time stands still. The hours feel like minutes and my heart is full with possibilities. I say yes to God’s gifts and promise us both that I will never again let them go. It is a time of giving thanks and giving back to the Giver. It is a time of birthing the beauty He places on my heart.

In the morning, I delight in creating for and with my Creator, and He delights in me.Because He First Loved Me

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Mr. Churchill Saves the Day

I saw a pin on Pinterest and I just had to paint it.

I created this  painting the very same day.  My daughter is a big  Katie Daisy fan, and this is very much inspired by her art.  Besides, this time of year I NEED FLOWERS!  I think I shall continue to paint flowers until every drop of snow has melted.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I am crazy about this painting! The flowers, the colors, the texture, the style…YUM!

But those words are what really get to me. Oh, they are good. So good, and yet so very hard to live out.

Why? Because being brave with your life also means accepting failure along the way. I mean really, who likes to fail? I’d prefer guaranteed success, wouldn’t you?

The very first art class I offered for children was a complete fail. True story. I didn’t promote it well and I had a very limited target audience. Still, not a single drop of interest? OUCH! I took it pretty hard. Harder than I expected. Harder than I should have.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

A year later, I tried again. The one class I planned filled quickly and I was able to offer a second class to accommodate more. I think I cried happy tears for a whole week.

For the the next session, I offered three classes and filled 24 spots in 24 hours with five more trickling in later. Boo-yah!!! More happy tears!

But for the next three weeks? I have just 9 kids signed up for Monday and 2 kids for Wednesday! WHAAAAAT????? (in my best minion voice)

I contacted the Wednesday families and cancelled that class. Is that a failure? No, not really, but it still FEELS like failure. It’s so tempting to let my disappointment become a stumbling block.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

Providentially, a friend posted a quote on Facebook the same day I cancelled my class.

This quote very quickly changed my perspective as I scribbled it down in a journal:

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  ~Churchill

Why, thank you for timely reminder, wise Mr. Churchill, you are so absolutely right.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I’m totally looking forward to my smaller class. Less people means less crowd control and more connecting. Whether I have 29 kids or 9 kids, I absolutely love what I do, and what they do, and our time together. Kids are so smart and so creative. It’s just such an honor to be a part of a little artist’s life and to provide creative experiences for them to grow.

Floral Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

So yes, cancelling class was a bummer. I could stress myself over the whys and analyze all the variables. I could take it personally and be blue. The truth is, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m okay with that. I 100% believe in this calling, even if I have to “fail” sometimes.

Besides, with one less class to plan, prepare, and teach, I have extra time for planning something else. Something I’m very excited about.

Something I’ll tell you about LATER!


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Painted Words

Mixed Media Painting by Kristi Lynn Studio

I recently had coffee with a friend and she shared with me two little words that God has been whispering (and shouting) in her ear.

It seems my friend and I both wrestle with all the things that we’re told we need to do to be “successful” in the online world of writing and art.  Just this morning I was watching tutorials, trying to educate myself on SEO (search engine optimization) and strategies to promote my Etsy shop.  Yada, yada, yada……yawn.  This stuff both bores me to death and drives me to anxiety induced chocolate binges.

Today I worried. Worried about my website’s SEO. Worried about selling my art on Etsy. Worried about filling my classes. Worried about the kids being home for yet another snow day. Worried I would get nothing done.

Mixed Media Collage by Kristi Lynn Studio

Worry is fear. Worry is resistance.

Worry is me staring at the computer, searching for every answer to every question.

For me, the best way to still the wandering worrying mind is to be creative.

So, today I painted. I painted words.

Mixed Media Collage by Kristi Lynn Studio

 Praying these words will sink right down into my winter weary heart … and yours.

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This Is The Day

kristi lynn studio

 The ninety and nine are with dreams, content,

but the hope of the world made new is the hundredth man who is grimly bent

on making those dreams come true.”

~Edgar Allan Poe

This is the day. For the past year, I have been “grimly bent’ on making this dream come true.  I open this place up to the world today with quiet confidence. There will be no fanfare, no big ta-dah’s.  Instead, there will be one giant sigh of relief and the deep down gratitude that comes from winning the hard fought fight for your dreams.

I now know more than I ever wanted to know about web design.  It has brought me to tears and frustration many times, but it has also brought me to Alysa Passage with Passage Hill Designs.  I absolutely could not have gotten here without her professional skills. As an added bonus, Alysa is a dream believer, a heart encourager, and inspiration giver.  Lucky for me, she has become a treasured friend.

I don’t really know what will come of this one little place on the great big world of the web, but I have an open and expectant heart for all the things God has planned.  Have a look around.  Make yourself at home.  Subscribe!  Leave a comment?  Do whatever you like.  Take your time.  No hurry.

I think I’m going to be here for awhile.


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