Sunday, June 19, 2011


"Friendship" - 5x7 - Mixed Media Collage
I have always valued friendship and have firmly believed that one can never have too many friends. I treasure all my friends, their strengths and their weaknesses, because no one is perfect. I know which friend is best to call upon when I need to laugh and who will lend the widest shoulder when I need to cry. I know which friends will let me rant when I'm on a tirade and which ones will boost my confidence when I'm feeling weak. And I try to always be available to my friends when they need me.

Facebook has opened the door to an even wider number of friendships. A little over a year ago I became friends with a gal named Karin out in Washington State. I saw her conversing with my brother on FB and discovered that they had gone to school together briefly when my family was living in Virginia. I was immediately attracted to her sense of humor, but we later discovered that we had a lot in common. We like the same music, movies, plays, actors; share the same political beliefs and even have similar jobs. She proved to be a great help to me when I was learning the ropes (I'm still learning the ropes) of medical billing. And we discovered that we both enjoy playing Scrabble on Facebook as well. (She's much better at it than me and I hope she doesn't get bored with me as her opponent.)

Last year (I think it was in the fall) Karin announced that she'd been to the zoo and had purchased paper made from elephant dung. Then she jokingly asked if anyone wanted to be her pen pal. Being an ardent papyrophile, I advised her that I seriously wanted to become her pen pal and could she please write something in Estonian (the country of her parents and a language in which she is fluent). 

She cheerfully obliged and sent me six different pieces of paper in three different colors. She wrote something on three of the pieces and sent an accompanying translation as well. One piece was satirical, one was patriotic of Estonia and the third was about friendship.

When I discovered that Karin was returning east for a week, I jumped at the chance to make plans to actually meet her and we got together for dinner and drinks at Pussers in Annapolis this past Wednesday evening. Of course I wanted to present her with a piece of my artwork, and so I incorporated her elephant poop paper with the note on friendship in the piece of art. The flowers are also made from elephant paper, too.

We had a great time that evening and I hope that one day, in the not too distant future, that I make it out to the west coast to meet up with her again.

The paper reads:
"Friendship - whether near or far, is the most precious gift in the world."
Kristeena Crabb & Karin Vercamer

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Blue Crabs

"Blue Crab 2" 5x7 Mixed Media Collage
Recently I received an email from one of my collectors. Because he had been purchasing my artwork through a gallery which no longer exists, I was unaware that he was collecting my artwork (a topic for another blog post). 

Anyway... he was describing to me a piece that he'd purchased years ago and I realized he was talking about my favorite blue crab collage (the one I use as the image on my business card). He loved the piece so much that he asked me to make a similar one that he could give as a gift. 

"Blue Crab" 5x7 Mixed Media Collage
Fortunately, I still possess the papers that made this particular piece so distinctive and was able to create a piece that was to his liking. Sometimes it's fun to revisit old subject matter and be able to give new life to it by adding to it those style elements that you've acquired since the creation of the original piece. I have to admit I enjoyed this project and I like the new piece even better than the old one... which is as it should be.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Lavender Fields

This bee was way too busy to stop and "pose" for my mediocre camera. The number of bees & butterflies in the lavender was countless!
A couple of years ago I discovered that five acres of rural southern France had been transplanted in lower, slower Delaware. This is the first year that I've managed to visit that piece of France during mid-June. The weather this past Sunday was perfect for a ride into the country to see the color purple... and it was visible everywhere on the farm known as Lavender Fields. And it's not just the color, either, that's so heady. The heavenly perfumed air that accompanied the violet haze was a treat in itself. So with only a few more words, I'm presenting the sites of Lavender Fields.

Cottage Store

This cottage houses the Delaware Shore Artists whose work is hugely inspired by the lavender.

Yes... she was still breathing.
And the purple haze continued throughout the cottage store!

These lavender sachets really reminded me of Provence. They even sport a ceramic cicada (la cigale). The cicada is the logo and good luck charm of Provence.