Monday, November 08, 2010

I'm Almost There!

.... sung in "Princess and the Frog" style, of course. That is, I've almost finished with my graduate career! As far as my MS goes, at least. And it's the reason for my lack of updating, again. I actually have so much to post about; just no time in which to do it! Also, I joined Fine Art America, so in addition to my original artwork in my Etsy shop, you may now purchase prints of my work from my FAA shop!

I've several paintings in the works, been altering practically my whole wardrobe, making jewelry, and I've a couple of knitting projects to show you, including a finished one! AND this blog is getting a long-and-much-needed makeover! But all this must wait until the week is over and I have turned in all of my work. So expect some posts with actual content soon. :)

I just noticed that this new template apparently colors some of the links in black, which blends in with the black background... bummer. So, if it looks like a link should be in a particular spot, it probably is!


Crystal Nicole

Edited: Fixed the links!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


As may be apparent, there has been a lack of updating for longer than usual. I have had a busy summer that has mainly consisted of conducting my graduate research. Not much in the way of crafting has been done, although I have done some artwork. However! I am going to be updating more frequently as I have begin the initial planning for my Mardi Gras costume. I even painted the "brass slippers" yesterday! I'll end this post with a photo of shoes in their current painted-but-unfinished condition.

*Note: these are not spray painted, but hand painted with acrylic paint mixed in a medium designed for fabrics. So, they are not any more stiff after being painted than they were before. Actually, they seem quite comfortable. I bought these shoes as "damaged items" from Vintique Online. They are REALLY beautiful in person, but I do not recommend attempting to tea dye them, or heating them in any way. Suffice to say, I almost ruined this pair trying to dye them. The heat melted the glue and I had to super glue them back together in places. Now I am hoping they will hold up to a day at the French Quarter! One of the heels feels a bit weak.

Also in the works is redecorating a hat inspired by Anthropologie's Topiary Hat.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Announcing The Opening...

Of my Etsy store! When I first signed up for Etsy, I never gave a thought to having a store, hence the boring user ID I chose. But I finally decided that I really can't keep every thing I paint or make. I give handmade gifts to almost everyone, but still I just don't have the room for it all. So, I opened Color Enthusiast, so that others, who love the same freedom, color, and joy in art as I, now have the option of owning one of my original works!

Shipping is free for US customers unless stated otherwise (currently, all of my listings have free shipping). International customers will need to PM me so that I can give them the best shipping option possible and a credit of $20 for artwork! All paintings will be shipped with insurance as well.

Additionally, I will be donating 10% of each sold painting (minus shipping costs) to charity. My preferred charities are St. Jude's,, Nothing But Nets, America's Wetland Foundation, and the ASPCA.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Bella Lili Jewelry Giveaway!

Just a quick post about the giveaway at!

She has such gorgeous stuff! I often rock one of her fairy cameos, and now I am particularly loving her winged designs such as Someday My Prince Will Come and, being that we know how obsessed I am with Steampunk right now, the Chaos Theory in Brass.

I really need to update, I know... I just have been so busy, and time that could be spent blogging, I'd rather spend crafting. But I do have projects to post about, nothing finished, though. I won't be updating any more today because I have a Forensics exam tomorrow, yikes! Time to get back to studying.

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Favorite Thing Today

My favorite thing of the day is not a material item, but the website GivesMeHope. Truly beautiful and inspirational!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

A busy, yet laid-back day

Today has been busy - I've been planting my Bhut jolokia seeds (oh, how I hope they grow!!), replanting my passion flowers, cleaning my apartment, and I dyed a top. The top was a gorgeous lace top, but stark white. When I put it on, I just felt it should be softer. So, I used my "40% off one item" Hobby Lobby coupon to buy some Rit dye in Taupe (it was the closest color I could find to what I had in mind, which was antique lace). The top came out, not quite as I hoped, but cute - a light, rosy tannish color. It was a rayon/spandex blend, and I'd read that rayon should dye, but spandex would not. Apparently part of it was also polyester, which of course doesn't take color, and that part is still white, but I think it actually looks cute that way. I'll post photos when it dries. I know I could have tea-dyed it and possibly gotten more of an antique lace color, but I've read that the tannic acid in tea can weaken fabrics and I didn't want to risk it with this top.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

My Favorite Thing Today

I've been looking into my closet lately. See, I really don't dress up. Jeans and t-shirts are my normal uniform; a pair of earrings is usually my only accessory. I'd LIKE to dress with some sort of "style," but generally anything I buy toward this goal, I end up disliking on myself. I was looking in my closet at the non-t-shirt part of my wardrobe, and had a revelation. Much of this stuff would be wearable if I just fixed something about the way it fit, or added a punch of something so it wouldn't be quite so plain jane. Today's favorite thing is inspired by the beginning of my "Project Wardrobe Remodel," in which I attempt to make the existing bits of my wardrobe more chic - I love the tone-on-tone embellishment of this dress by Ruche.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Favorite Thing in the Rain

Today is a rainy day, and so today's "Favorite Things" post are these wonderful "Artist" Jeffery Campbell rainboots. I wanted these for a long time before I finally got them. The price held me back, but finally - when Amazon was down to the last pair in my size, I broke down and ordered them. I made good use of them today, splashing through the mud and the rain on my way home from class!

While I'm posting, I may as well add that I'm planning a new knitting project. I am thinking of starting on Ysolda's Little Birds cardigan, from Twist Collective. I've been wanting to make it, and there is a KAL going on for it. I'll probably use colors similar to the ones in the original, except that I'd like to have the background yellow. I also want to knit a Snapdragon Tam in a lovely goldenrod color.

I've been realizing that I don't have a wardrobe, just random things I wear. I don't have particular outfits, I'm not sure if I own any "wardrobe basics," and I'm terrible at accessorizing (except, of course for my earring obsession!). I wear jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers most days, and I am really tired of that. My main problem is that the styles I like aren't flattering on me, and the things that are flattering are BORING (also, I like to sleep in which sort-of inhibits the morning ritual of cuteness). I can't be the only one who has had this problem. Anyone who relates, how did you change your style from causal into chic (or in my case, just almost-chic would do)?

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Introducing "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things"

I've decided, in an attempt to get back to this blogging-with-some-frequency thing, to start a new section, entitled "These Are A Few Of My Favorite Things" (original, I know). These will be posts, at least three times a week, in which I will post a photo of something I love - anything that is inspiring me or making me happy that day. Today's is this wonderful throw pillow I received for Christmas! I've been lying on it to study, and it's super comfy as well as gorgeous. I don't know where it is from - maybe Pier 1?

Crystal Nicole

Finished at last, Sylvi Evenstar!

That's right! I have finally finished my (sort of) Lord of the Rings-inspired Sylvi. I am so pleased with it. It looks very like I imagined when I was planning it, which is a rarity for me. The photos are not very good - I took them with a self-timer, after my boyfriend reported seeing snakes in the yard (I hate snakes!), and it was really, really hot and bright outside. But, here is me modeling my Sylvi.

If you are familiar with the pattern, you'll notice quite a few changes. The front of the original design was just too plain for me, and I'd been researching Arwen's Chase Dress from LotR (someday I will make it). So, naturally both the edges of the coat and the collar are inspired by that dress. Then I decided that I may as well do the petal sleeves. I also added a bit of waist shaping as I've never had good luck with A-lines (I know they are supposed to be universally flattering but I've never liked anything with an A-line). In retrospect, I probably would have left the A-line as it would have left more room in the back for my flowers and might have even been more flattering, but I'm ok with it as is. I didn't make any large flowers (well I MADE three of them, but I didn't USE any). The back is all small flowers, and the front is a small flower knit with only one strand of yarn. (BTW, this is knit using Wool of the Andes, held double). The trim is Paton's, originally in natural but hand-dyed by me to a silvery-lavender. I added pockets to the sides (although I wish they were deeper). I initially planned to line it, but right now I don't see the need to. I may later. The clasps I originally bought, while very "elven" were too small, so I bought these findings and used jump rings to attach the original clasps onto the findings to make them larger. And of course, I have a love affair with pretty glass buttons, and I used quite a few of them, as centers for my flowers and to hold my petal sleeves together (as those sleeves wouldn't be very practical for a sweater coat otherwise). Obviously the color is less Tolkien-inspired, and actually more What Dreams May Come-inspired, but I think it's still appropriate for the elves.

(Sorry to turn on the word verification, but I was starting to get lots of spam comments. While I loooove to get comments from people, comments from "bots" are quite unwelcome. But real people, please comment although the annoying word verification is now activated!)

Also, I'm going in costume to Mardi Gras next year, I think. I am going to start planning that soon.

Finally, I'm looking to pick up a few new things. I want Anthropologie-esque style but at a more affordable price. Does anyone know of sites offering this? I know of and, of course, I love handmade items, too, so suggestions for your own shops are welcome! (and I don't mind paying more if I am supporting local/handmade businesses). Of course, I'm not skinny enough to pull off most trendy styles right now, but I like things that are romantic and flattering, with a hint of faerie.

Now I've got to get back to studying for Forensics. I'll post again fairly soon, I hope, and discuss projects, books, and Jim Henson's wonderful "The Storyteller" which you should see if you have Netflix streaming. Also hoping to finish up my first real portrait ever (a self-portrait) soon, and I'll be posting that. Someday I'll figure out how to make this blog prettier, too. Won't that be wonderful and lovely?

Crystal Nicole

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

A little update before bed

I've been so busy with school, Mardi Gras, and personal things that I've quite neglected this blog. I want to say thanks to those of you who left such nice comments! Sorry I don't keep up with the blog better! It's all Ravelry's fault - I've just been knitting, and it's easiest to go update the notes section of the project on my Ravelry project page than to come here and make a new post, etc. I've a few things I'm finishing up and will be posting soon, including the long-awaited Sylvi! I am THISCLOSE to being finished with it, at last. I have a couple of paintings to finish as well, which I'll post. And I am going to start planning a costume for next year's Mardi Gras. I intend to keep up with my progress here. Here is a sleeve from Sylvi to make up for the lack of content lately. It's quite a bit different from the original sleeve.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Starting a new composition

I have been inspired to try painting on watercolor sheets again, and today I started a little composition. This is a unicorn, obviously. I usually think of unicorns as something like a mix of a deer and a horse, neither quite as light as the one nor nearly as heavy as the other. Immediately recognizable as a unicorn, but whether more horse-like or more deer-like, who knows? Peter S. Beagle had it right; they are certainly not just a horse with a horn, and I hope that comes through in this quick drawing. I drew the unicorn directly onto my watercolor paper, and then outlined it with black acrylic. I haven't gotten around to the background yet, but there will be a lot of shrubbery, bushes, and the like around, some tallish grasses, and (hopefully) a magical atmosphere. Color scheme is undecided as I haven't randomly chosen colors or looked to a spirit card yet.

In pencil: (I like how you can see my shadows on this photo)

And outlined in black:

Also, have been working on (the third [??] go-round of) Sylvi (finished the back, one front, almost done with the second front), reading as many books as I can manage (I swear for every book I read on my list, I add two more), and trying to finish a belated Christmas present.

Speaking of gifts, I can now post pictures of things I made for Christmas. Here's the gift I painted for Dusty's mother. This is her favorite kitty, Sugar. Acrylic on canvas, 8x10"

And here is a photo of the painting I did for my Paulette Insall class. I've posted it before, but the colors are MUCH truer here! Mixed media on canvas, 8x10"