Sunday, November 20, 2011

Just in time: St. Nicholas cards!

I love St. Nicholas, and I love how he is reverred so enthusiastically all across the world, especially within Orthodox Christianity. St. Nicholas is an ever-popular saint, and his feast day is coming up! If you've already visited my ordinary blog, I'm sorry for the repetitive information... But I have 6-packs of these special St. Nicholas cards available in my Etsy shop now! You'll find them there, along with other Nativity cards and goodies. Take a look!

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you are well.

Friday, November 4, 2011

And the winner is...

The lucky winner of the pack of cards is HANNAH! Wahoo for first-time commenters! Nice work-- Congrats, Hannah! Please drop me a note-- xktussing(at)yahoo(dot)com-- and let me know which cards you'd like and where to mail them.

Elizabeth, Marfa, Phronsie, Michelle-- thanks so much for commenting and for your support! I really appreciate it! It made the "Winter re-opening" of the shop extra special. I hope you have a blessed November and, as of the 15th and thru Christmas, a very blessed Nativity! Much love to all~ Xenia Katie

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Nativity is just around the corner....

(this one is not yet in the shop, but I'll be adding them tonight, after the kids are in bed)

All right, I have some NEW ITEMS in my Etsy shop!

Get a head start on your Christmas shopping and pick up some unique, Orthodox Christmas cards! Take a look!

I've also got some vintage items that I've been hoarding for too long-- time to find them them new homes!

In honor of the new goodies, I am giving away a pack of cards! Please leave a comment and I'll have a drawing next Friday, NOVEMBER 4th. The winner gets to choose whichever style available in my Etsy shop. Tell your friends, and comment away (well, one per person, please)!

Thanks, as always, for your support!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall "Thank You" notes

A little preview! If I can get my act together, I'm hoping to have the etsy shop up and running this Friday (Oct. 14th) and have some boxed thank you notes for sale.

Which one is your favorite? "Leaf" a comment-- I'd love your feedback.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Welcome and an Update


If you happen to be visiting for the first time, and you've seen my auction item for the Greek Open, please click here to browse some of my portrait work! Thanks for stopping by!

It's been a long time since I've updated this blog. Life has been busy. I spent the summer working on some sewing projects and even a few art projects, here and there. Mainly, though, I just enjoyed being with the kiddos. Now it's back to school, and I find myself with more opportunities to be diligent in housework... not to mention, getting back on the ball with ART. As a disclaimer, I will say that I thought I'd have "more" free-time with 2/3 of my children shuttled off to school. This isn't necessarily true. However, it is giving me a glimpse into the future, and I can't help but wonder how big of a part creating art will have in it. You see, even as a child, I always wanted to be a mom and an artist. I always envisioned having a studio and creating art once my kids were old enough and in school. Now that I'm actually, kind of, sort of, at that point, I want to take baby steps into making my old dream a reality.

I'm trying to make some goals to get myself motivated, even it I won't be able to work on those goals for another 2-5 years or so (then again, who knows? Maybe sooner).

Mainly, I'm eager to take a class or two on how to use the Linux-version of Illustrator and Photoshop programs. You see, I'm kicking myself in the head for not taking more graphic design courses in college! I just wanted to spend all of my time painting and drawing... But now, it seems there are so many hoops to jump through just to attain my goals. These "hoops" wouldn't be a problem if they didn't involve expensive technology applications or equipment or classes that take me out of the home.

So for now, I'll just keep drawing and painting and scanning and fidgeting with images in the compartively-primitive Paint program (or in my case, the Linux equivalent, KolourPaint). The main goal for now? To get pen to paper, and to just give myself permission to create. Even if it's just to beautify my home, or the lives of my children, or family and friends.

In the end, I just hope I can be responsible and a good steward of the gifts and talents that God has given me-- may His will be done.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Etsy news

Pascha cards, in the shop! Take a gander if you want :)

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


This is also one of my favorites. This is a painting of a little girl that was like a younger sister to me. My mom babysat her for years and years. This was her Halloween costume one year, and a photo was taken of her in our backyard. The October lighting and shadows on the window, the polyester costume, the yellow siding that my dad put onto the addition of the house... all of these are elements that I really enjoyed capturing.

Now... as for my "model"... does she know I made this into a painting years later? Probably not! I hope she doesn't find this and hate me.

Steve and Gyme

This is probably one of my favorites. In college I did a big project and presentation on Regionalism. As part of the project, I had to create a piece of art in the style of one of the Regionalists. Can you guess who I modeled this painting after? Grant Wood, whose art I find fascinating (and not JUST 'American Gothic').

I used my then-fiance (now husband) and his grandmother as my models. I changed their hair and clothing, and I mimicked the Dutch-realist-type of landscape backgrounds the same way Wood did.

A friend commented the other day that I need to make another painting similar to this, only with my husband and I as the subjects. Maybe! :)


This style was experimental, and heavily influenced by Ben Shahn, whose work I discovered in college, and who I admire as an artist. I tend to paint objects and portraits that are really big, and take up most of my canvas. This painting was a good exercise for me focus on setting an entire scene, and incorporating a lot of detail.

The theme of the painting is open-ended, though I was "going" for jealousy. Others' reactions have varied from "lonely" to "CUTE!" All right! :)

Monday, March 21, 2011


I think I forgot to add this to my senior thesis collection back when I first started this blog. Oops! Here'tis another one!

St. Xenia

The Trio... and Put a Bird on it

Watercolor sketches from a few years back

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I guess it [was] Christmas?

This was the illustration I did for our Christmas card this year. Acrylic and tempera paints with colored pencil detail, on watercolor paper. A different style than last year's pen and ink , but I'm amazed I sent anything out this year, with our mid-winter move and everything. We've had no break from the chaos since we've moved... HENCE, the reason for this Christmas-themed post coming nearly 7 weeks overdue.

As far as art goes, lately I've just been doing doodles or working on volunteer-related projects for church and Vasi's school. Oh, and of course drawing with Vasi, who has been coloring and drawing NONSTOP since she received her own set of markers for Christmas. Not that she didn't have a bajillion markers before... *shrug*

Boy does she love to draw. It's nice to "bond" with her over a fairy coloring book and a rainbow of Faber Castel felt-tip pens. Looks like we have a little artist on our hands!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Art Minute: Sucie Stevenson

My husband loves to take the girls to the library down the street. Since moving here just two months ago, I still haven't made it there myself, but Job tells me the selection is incredible.

The girls have fallen in love with the Henry and Mudge books, much to my approval! My little brother used to read these books, and I even liked them myself (when I wasn't reading Goosebumps). The stories are entertaining, and the illustrations are absolutely charming!

As an artist with aspirations to illustrate, I've often struggled with the concept of style. Namely, what kind of style REALLY appeals to kids? I remember when my mom would bring home picture books from the library. Many were filled with gorgeous, glossy illustrations that were realistic and rich. I think most parents are drawn toward and impressed by illustrations painted in the realist style, and understandably so-- they are beautiful after all. In the long run, though, do they limit the imagination? IT probably depends on the story.

But now that I have children of my own, and a sizable book collection too, it's interesting to see what my kids gravitate towards over and over again.

Children's illustrations require a lot of skill, but they should also evoke a sense of fun and spontaniety. That's what I like about the Sucie Stevenson's illustrations for Henry and Mudge. The stories are endearingly written by Cynthia Rylant, and both author and illustrator imbue their work with a great sense of humor.

I love how Stevenson's work is loose and whimsical, yet colorful and highly detailed at the same time. It's not overwhelming, and yet you seem to notice something new about the pictures each time. Overall, the illustrations are so very sweet. Even my "non-artist" husband is charmed!

There are no other books on earth that actually make me WANT a 182 pound bull mastiff! And as an artist, I find Sucie Stevenson's artwork very inspiring and spot-on when it comes to what kids (of every age!) like.