A Creative Place


This page is for  all those who create, if your like me your mind is going all the time with things you want to do and make. Getting it done is a different story. There are so many talented women that I wanted a place where we can meet and find out about creative women  and what they create.


A Blossoming Homestead
The Story of Our Growing Faith, Family, & Backyard Farm
Hi there! My name is Megan Jenelle
I Adore: Jesus, My Fun Family, Adventures, All Things Domestic, Creating, Dancing, Shower Singing, Eating Mexican Food, Sunshine, Country Life.....  & Photography!!
I am married to the most amazing Godly man!  He is my best friend, and I still can't believe He chose me to be his wife!  We are going on five years of marriage, and literally living life better than a fairy tale!  I am momma to two sweet little girls.  God blessed us with 3 acres and a cute little country house!  In order to be good stewards of this gift, and save money while eating healthy(ier) food, we have turned our sweet little home into our very own homestead!  Currently we have 24 hens, one rooster, two bee hives, tilapia, meat chickens, an orchard, and a greenhouse garden.
What is my blog all about?  When you drop in to visit, you will get to read pieces of my heart, and get a glimpse into our crazy, fun country life!  I write here at A Blossoming Homestead in hopes of keeping memories for our family, and offering bits of encouragement and inspiration to my readers! I also recently discovered a love for photography, and now have a part time photography business!
1.  Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because my husband and I were about to embark on an adventure in raising chickens, and trying out some other homesteading-type stuff.  I knew our life would be growing in faith, hobby farming, and God-willing family in the upcoming years.  I wanted a place to keep our memories and share the fun.
2.  How did your name come about?
A "Blossoming Homestead" was just kind of the first name I thought of using.  I felt like it was appropriate since we were just starting out with these homestead adventures and had no idea what we were doing.  It eventually fit quite nicely for our growing family as well!  Of course the Lord is continuing to transform us everyday, and "A Blossoming Homestead" has come to have a pretty profound meaning really.
3.  How do you find time to create?
Oh my!  time is definitely a precious commodity around here.  I mainly work on my photography ,blog, and other projects while the girls are napping or after they go to sleep at night.  I've joked with my husband about how I could get so much more done if my body didn't need sleep.  I I get going on a project, I will stay up until one or two in the morning working on it.  I am very project oriented and have a hard time starting a project unless I can spend several hours at a time on it.  This just isn't possible in my world, unless I stay up late.
4.  Who has been an influence in your life?
My pastor's wife Minette, has been a real-life inspiration to me. She's said before that all she ever wanted was to be a wife and  mother.  I have said this very thing since high school, and even though people always told me I should want more, she has encouraged me in realizing that being a wife and mother is the greatest calling a woman can have!  I have been very blessed to have her in my life.
5.  Finish this sentence.. Megan_____________________
Megan is a sinner saved by God's grace.  I have been crucified with Christ.  It is no longer I who live but Christ who lives through me.  And the life I now live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.  Galatians 2:20
6.  What were our expectations for your blog?
My expectations for my blog have changed quite a bit over the past few years. At times I was really hoping to grow my blog, and be able to make a little side money through the advertising etc.  There have been times I wasn't able to put as much effort into blogging and then I kept it up for the sake of keeping family memories.  No matter what I always ask myself how blogging will glorify the Lord, and be beneficial for my family.  If I feel like it is taking too much time away from my top priorities   
7.  How has the blogging community inspired you?
The blogging community is an inspiration to me in many ways, but mostly it is FUN to find like-minded women who share my love for the Lord and have a desire to live ALL for God.
8.  If you could change one thing in your life what would that be?
If I could change one thing?  I guess I would say, I wish my husband could be  home with us more.  He and my father-in-law run a family business, and the Lord has blessed us greatly these past few years.  They bought out their biggest competitor and have taken on several more employees.  This is a wonderful blessing, so I guess I wouldn't really change it, but I am looking forward to the day when working for ourselves, means a little more flexibility and freedom.  In these early stages, it mostly means a whole lot of work.
9.  What is your next project, dream, goal?
Well, I have the rest of the fall completely booked with photography sessions, so I will be working on getting those edited.  I have recently been inspired to add a fashion segment to the blog.  I am falling in love with dressing femine and modest and I hope to show others this can be done while being fashionable too!  I am also planning to kick some of our two-year old activity into high gear!  We have a new theme every couple of weeks, and I am getting excited about planning some FUN for Kyria.
10.  Your encouragement to other women.
My encouragement to other women would be this...  It's really all about the Gospel.  Make it your life ambition to know Christ.  It will take all eternity to discover the depths of who He is! As you discover more of who you are in Christ and what He has planned for your life.
Thank you Megan, for this wonderful and inspiring interview.
Please visit Megan's website:

DiAnn Mills

Don't miss her new book coming out in July.

After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal.  Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband missing and they're both considered prime suspects in the attack.
Please visit her website:

All Aboard The USS Self-Sabotage
By Jane Freund


Alyce Cornym-Selby, an American businesswoman, defines self-sabotage as "When we say we want something and then go about making sure it doesn't happen."  For women entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs-to-be, self-sabotage is not simply words on a page but a reality of life.  We can find all sorts of reasons, both inside and outside of ourselves, to not reach our goals.

Now you might be saying to yourself that you don't MEAN to self-sabotage and you're correct as self-sabotage can be very subtle and is often done in the name of helping others.  Colleagues, friends and family members have things they want done so you do those before what you want to do.  Now sometimes you do have to do other things first but ask yourself this question: Do I do for others first as an EVENT or EVERY TIME?  If the answer is EVERY TIME then you may be a passenger on the USS Self-Sabotage.

However, you are not alone in that reality.  In my book, "Best Friend Worst Enemy-Overcoming Self-Sabotage in YOUR life", my first chapter is titled "If you got it, you can spot it" because I too struggle with self-sabotage.  In fact, it took me three years to write the book!  But now, let me introduce you to some women entrepreneur friends of mine who know self-sabotage from a personal perspective.  As you read these stories, see if any of what is shared hits home with you.

My friend Linda owns a retail store and was previously in real estate. Here's her take on her self-sabotage: "I sabotage myself and my business by staying stuck in the day-to-day operations of the business and not looking at the big picture i.e.: events, marketing, branding etc. It seems when I personally try to focus on the big picture I get overwhelmed, run in circles and go back to the day-to-day operations where I am more comfortable.  It's a vicious cycle!"

Linda's melody struck a chord with me as I too can lose sight of the "big picture" part of the day-to-day by implementing "Vision Time".  I take 15 minutes each day and think about the big picture and what I need to do.  Doing so keeps the big picture in view on a regular basis.

My realtor friend, Carmel, has a different form of self-sabotage when she makes this statement: "I don't make phone calls to people who I know already like me! Duh, seems easier to talk to a stranger.  I'll spend $ on advertising, when I could talk to a known group of positive supportive people. Hard to ask for business for me, easy to promote others..."

Carmel's last sentence is a sentiment that I hear from a LOT  of women and one that I pointed to in the first part of this article: putting others first is easier than putting myself first.  Women tend to be able to ask people to support other businesses before their own.  In my opinion, this problem begins with the still small voice known a negative self-talk.

Any communication you make begins inside of you.  That comment may sound obvious but stop to think about it for a minute.  If somebody says something to you, you consciously or unconsciously develop your response inside of your head, heart or combination of both. Where negative self-talk and thus self-sabotage can get such a hold is when you do NOT factor in outside cues/feedback when you respond.

Negative self-talk's hold can be broken by simply repeating the statement to somebody else.  Think of something negative you say to yourself about yourself and then say it to another person.  Well of course you wouldn't turn to somebody else and say "Nobody wants to do business with you" or "You're never going to understand how to do this." So then why do you make such statements to yourself?  But by vocalizing the statements, you can then give "fresh air" to your "stale" negative self-talk. As a result, you can clear those negative self-statements out of your head and get down to business.

My friend and fellow author, Sheila, paints a terrific picture of uncompleted multi-tasking (one of the most common forms of self-sabotage): "Since I was raised on a small farm, I will share an agricultural analogy: There are times when I try to stuff 50 lbs. of potatoes into a 10 pound sac and the sack breaks and the spuds fall on the floor.  I am trying to do WAY too much at one time which keeps me distracted and frustrated.  Stated another way, I have gone through the buffet line at the local "All You Can Eat Restaurant" and placed way too much food on my plate that does not have sideboards.  So instead of doing a few things well I am trying to do too many things at once which can render me ineffective and lessens my desire to get something accomplished."

Stop and think about the myth known as multi-tasking: Can you really do more than one thing at once?  While I am writing this article, my books are selling online and in the bookstores but I am not personally selling them.  If I got a request right now asking how to get my books, I would have to stop writing this article to respond.   In other words, I can only still do one thing at a time.  Furthermore, Sheila hits the nail on the head when she points out that uncompleted multi-tasking hits us in action (ineffectiveness) an in thoughts (desire).

Tackling uncompleted multi-tasking starts by having a workable daily to-do list. Rather than making a list of what you WANT to do, make a list of what you NEED to do (and make it a manageable list).  completing a short to-do list is energizing while failing at a long to-do list can be draining.  Another technique I use it to write the to-do's on sticky notes and then throw them away each time I complete a task.

When all the tasks are done, I celebrate my accomplishments with some sort of reward to energize myself to keep going.  Regardless, I practice daily forgiveness of others and of myself (and that's the key to overcoming self-sabotage and ending my journey on the USS Self-Sabotage).

Jane Freund is an author, speaker, and book coach based in Boise, Idaho.  She has written or co-written 13 print, electronic and audio books including "Best Friend Worst Enemy-Overcoming Self-Sabotage in YOUR life".  In addition, Jane taught Communication for 10 years at Boise State University.  She can be reached at
Great article Jane, sorry to say I see myself in a few places.
Jane would love to hear from you, let her know what you think of
the article and do you see yourself in any of the personal stories.

Jennifer Bertrand
HGTV design star
1. Did you always want to be a designer?  If you weren't a designer what would you want to be?
When I was little I wanted to be a fashion designer or an advertising executive. (Don't ask me where I decided advertising would be cool... must have seen it in a movie.)  But I use to draw and design my clothes for every day of the week.  My love of design happened slowly.  As a child we lived in Germany and seeing all of the castles and chateauxs it made me realize I loved timeless elegance and the aesthetic concept of luxe.  But then again who doesn't love making things that are cost efficient look expensive.
2.  Now looking back to your childhood were there definite signs that you would do what your doing today?
Hilariously, no.  Maybe my Barbie houses were well designed but really and truly I learned by watching my mom .  My father is a former Colonel in the Air Force and every time we moved my mom would choose the ugliest house and transform it cost efficiently but beautifully.  I give her the credit of inspiring me to jump into design
3.  You were the winner of HGTV's design star in season 3.  Tell us how you decided to try out for that show and what that all entailed.
I joke that I am delusional and I always knew I wanted to use my Masters Degree in Education to teach adults to color outside the lines.  But seriously, something in me has always loved inspiring others to have fun with their design.  It was a long process of interviews and tryouts and out of 8,000 applicants, 38 people making it to casting in LA, then making it to the cast of 9, and then 5 million viewers who voted on the winner...  I feel supremely privileged.  How my life has unfolded since is the unexpected journey and yet I wouldn't change a thing.
For those who don't know 2 days before I won the show, I found out I was pregnant.  At five months pregnant they said Winston had a tumor.  On birth they said it was mis-diagnosed and instead he had two rare malformations.
At the highest moment of our lives, life took an extreme left turn.  Winston was in the NICU for seven weeks, had a trache, a feeding tube, he died on us once at home and my husband had to resuscitate him, we had nurses 18 hours a day to help.  We then found the best doctors in the world to help and began flying to NYC and I think Winston is currently on number 21 of surgeries and treatments.  We lost our house and our car and in the midst of extreme chaos, friends, family and strangers helped carry us through the turbulent times.
Now it is very easy to pick a paint color.  I am a better designer for what we have been through.
4.  What was the hardest part of doing the HGTV design star show?
The hardest part was not seeing my husband for six weeks.  But in terms of design the hardest part was trying to impress America with unrealistic time lines, budgets and scenarios.  But I always saw the fun in every challenge, so I truly just had a blast.  To me, I was in heaven.  It was a captive audience that had to listen to me talk about what I truly enjoyed doing.  I hope to be doing that again soon.  However, I have learned that I want to be my own producer.  The television world teaches you many things.


5.  What style of design is your personal style?  How does that show up in your home?
My personal style is different than what I do for my clients.  For clients I am a chameleon and try to reach into their brains and figure out their dream rooms, because as we know design is personal.

But in my own home, I design in a very eclectic, modern yet kooky way.

We have a four year old son so I try to design with color and a happy feel yet in a style that doesn't make my husband feel like its too feminine.  But due to our personal obstacles I have learned how to create our home design from purely Craigslist, Target and other super cost efficient sources.  A can of paint became my best friend yet again.

My personal design influences are Jonathan Adler, Kelly Wearstler, Thom Filicia, Kelly Hoppen, Tim Burton, Betsey Johnson and tom Ford.  I know that's quite a few but really my influences are all design, fashion and art world peeps. I soak it all in.  I spend most of my time reading Belle Magazine from Australia and the UK's Elle Decoration which allow me to travel abroad from the comforts of my own home.
6.  What about being a designer do you love?
I absolutely adore making people happy and creating spaces that teach them to relax and take a few risks.  I always feel like I get to be a bit of a Willy Wonka for people.  Because life can get a bit beige and sometimes you need an outside person to inject a bit of life back into your home.

I get to add the sassiness or elegance that is needed.  Your home should have grand moments even if it's a comfortable style.

And so often that is created purely by teaching homeowners, how to play with scale, pattern texture, etc.


 7.  You have such a bubbly personality and I know you love to encourage others, who was the encourager in your life?
In terms of being the happy encourager, honestly it was growing up on Disney and musicals.  I truly bought in to the concept of life being a complete joy.  My lovely husband, Chris keeps me laughing everyday.  I call him the "English Larry Daniel".

8.  What are your goals for 2014?
I actually have big goals for 2014.  It is my push off the bottom in terms of re- branding and eventually creating my products.  In terms of life, we have been on the edge and back.  I am a different person and designer in a positive way because of it.  I am physically working on becoming my own self and forgive myself for comfort eating through all the hard times.
Thank you Jennifer for being so completely honest in this interview.
It encourages others to know that no matter how it looks on the outside,
we all have trials in life that others can't see.
Praying the best 2014 for you and your family.
You can keep up with Jennifer on her Facebook page.
Jennifer "Oldham" Bertrand


Alice Wisler

About This Author:

*Born in Osaka, Japan and lived in Japan for 18 yrs.
*Went to Kyoto International School and Canadian Academy
*Majored in Social work and graduated in 1983 from Eastern Mennonite University
*Worked at a group home for disadvantaged kids outside of Philadelphia
*Taught English and Culture Orientation at a refugee camp in the Philippines
*Taught English as a Second Language in Japan
*Speaks and teaches on Writing the heartache
*Has three kids on earth, and one in Heaven
*Married Carl on 2/7/09

Alice J. Wisler is a public speaker, advocate, fundraiser, and the author of five contemporary novels, two of them How Sweet It Is and Rain Song, she was a Christy Award finalist.
How Sweet It Is

Rain Song
She has been a guest on several radio and TV programs to promote her self-published cook books, Slices of Sunlight and Down The Cereal Aisle.  She has a Bachelor of Science and has traveled the world in jobs that minister to people.  Alice and her family live in Durham North Carolina.
1.  When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I suppose that was the day that my teacher, Miss Terwilliger, marched our first grade class into the third and fourth grade rooms so that I could read my newest story to them.  My first stories were "Susie has the Chicken Pops" and "The Birthday Party".
2.  What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can work on a number of projects at one time.  In the course of a writing day, I get tired or lacking motivation for one, so I move to another and then dabble in another, go back to the first one, and continue back and forth like that.  I think it sounds a little ADHD, but it works for me.
3.  What do you like to do when your not writing?
I enjoy baking and perhaps that's why each of my novels have recipes in the back.  Bread in a Can is in Still Life in Shadows, my ex-Amish novel, and I love to steam the ingredients for it in a coffee can on top of my kitchen stove.  Since the novel's release, I take orders for those wanting a round of this tasty bread.
4.  What do you think makes a good story?
Realistic characters, a strong narrative, and the ability to entertain.
5.  As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I wanted to become an author.  A famous one, of course!
6.  What is the hardest part of writing your book?
Discipline and sticking to it through the rough patches.
7.  Are there any new authors that have grasp your interest?
As for a new author, I like Carla Stewart's books.  One of my all-time favorites is Elizabeth Berg.
8.  How do you come up with your titles?
Sometimes they are my own creations and at times, my publisher has come up with them.  Rain Song, my first novel, was named "The Kimono Lady Sings" by me, but my publisher didn't like that title, so my agent came up with Rain Song.  That title made everybody happy.
9.  Do you have any suggestions to help others to become a better writer?
Practice, practice.  Even if no one reads your work at first, hone it and make it shine.  Read your favorite authors and learn from them.  Make time to write.  Join a writers critique group.  My list goes on and on as you can see!
10.  Tell us about your next book or project.
Under the Silk Hibiscus takes place in an interment camp during World War II.  I don't think that many Americans realize that after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the Japanese-Americans on the West coast had to leave their homes and businesses and were sent to camps in other parts of the country.  My story starts off at a camp in Wyoming---Heart Mountain---and follows the years of a fifteen-year-old boy, Nathan.  There's romance, suspense, theft, loss, and sorrow. Under the Silk Hibiscus is set to come out in October 2014 from Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas.


Thank you Alice for taking the time to do this
wonderfully interesting interview.

Please check our her website:



Chautona Havig

Chautona Havig

I live in a small, remote town in California's Mojave Desert with my husband and seven of my nine children.  When not writing, I enjoy paper crafting, sewing, and trying to get the rest of my children educated so that I can retire from home education.
1.  What inspires you to write?
That's a hard question, actually. I think that's because it changes from day to day.  One day it might be a new idea, something I've become passionate about of late, or just the need to escape, but as I thought about it further, I realized that people are the root of my inspiration.  I want to encourage Christians in their relationship with Jesus.
2.  Who is your favorite author and what really strikes you about their work?  
I don't know how to choose one author.  I tend to have favorites based upon what's going on in my life at the time.  I love Jane Austen's subtle wit, Agatha Christie's genius, Dorothy Sayers' use of language, and C.S. Lewis' ability to say so much with so few words.  If you look at The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, so much happened that you see in vivid detail, in a very short book.  If Tolkien or Rowling had told that story, it would have been three times longer.  In the Christian market, I really love Kristen Heitzmann, Tim Downs, and Michael Phillips (at least his older works). Heitzmann knows how to keep you on the edge of your seat, while Downs can give you a ton of technical information without you realizing, as you read it, that he's doing it.  Michael Phillips knows how to tell a story.  His characters are strong, consistent, and emulateable (how's that for making up words!)  I always recommend his "Secret of the Rose" series.  Great books right there.  Of course, I also have to mention Betty Smith who wrote A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.  Without her, I would have been a very frustrated child.
3.  Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your life?
My books do sometimes have scenes based upon something that has happened to me or my family or to someone I know well.  Aggie and the coffee almost happened to me with my first baby-although it was hot chocolate.  I don't drink coffee. Ick.  Um...the dog Boozer in Argosy Junction did not only exist, she also used to run head on to meet our car, dash to the side, swing around, and jump through Mom's window and into my lap.  And almost every time I still had my homework open.  I wasn't a quick learner.  That dog never missed.  Other small things like that sometimes make it into my books, but for the most part, it's all "what would have happened if we hadn't prevented it" or just conjured from my overly-active imagination.  Of course, my latest book, A Bird Died is a glaring exception.  this is the fictionalized account of my grandson's electrocution and the subsequent weeks and months of how our community rallied around our family to help.  That story is more fact then fiction.  I just set it in my fictional community and brought in familiar characters to keep it consistent.
4.  Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I remember it vividly.  I have, from my earliest recollection, told myself stories-often as I am falling asleep.  However, sometime around the age of twelve, my mom gave me the book A Tree Grows in Brooklyn for a summer read.  I devoured that book, but there is one scene at the end of chapter twenty-six that changed my life.  Francie Nolan, the protagonist of the book, tells her teacher an obviously romanticized and untrue story designed to disguise the very prosaic truth regarding the consumption of one tiny little pie.  The teacher, being an observant woman, tells her, "Tell exactly how it happened but write down for yourself the way you think it should have happened.  Tell the truth and write the story."  That made such an enormous impact on me.  I had always hated the truth.  But, I also hated lies.  The truth was never as I thought it should be, and a lie was something very dirty and vile to me.  So, those words gave me a way to reconcile the two things.  I could be completely honest while fixing what I thought should have been the way things happened.  After that, I began writing on a semi-consistent basis...including the most self-righteous pietistic garbage ever penned.  Truly the kind of stuff that I despise now.
5.  What was one of the most surprising things  you learned in creating  your books? 
I have to say the fact that it takes longer to properly edit a book than it does to write it.  I'm not just talking a million drafts.  One edit can take twice as long as it takes to write the book in the first place.  In fact, my early stuff that I am just getting published now, I actually split my screen with the old on the left and the new on the right and retype every single word, rephrasing things-the works.  It is quite the process, but it has made for much better books, so it's worth it.  Oh, and equal if not more surprising to me is that I discovered a love of book cover design.  I absolutely love it!
6.  How many books have you written?  Which is your favorite?
This one is embarrassing.  I have thirty books in print.  I have in progress, in addition to those, a hundred and twenty books in progress.  My favorite book in print right now is Not A Word and my favorite that I'm working on at the moment is Tales of the Ashdowne...or maybe Legends of the Vengeance. Oh, that's a tough one.  I'm also really having fun with the ten book series, Valle de Morado.  Let's stick with what's in print.  Today, it's Not a Word.  That's subject to change without notice.
7.  What do you think makes a good story?
I think without rich characters that people identify with (either love to love or love to hate), even the best plot falls flat.  You need characters that are interesting and appealing.  Then they have to do something that holds the readers' attention.  That "something" doesn't have to be wildly exciting.  I think Willow in Past Forward demonstrates that well.  I mean most of what she does is housework and gardening.  The same is true with the Aggie series.  Aggie doesn't do anything that a million other mothers do; although she does do it with a few more children then most.  I really think that strong characterization is the most important thing.
8.  As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
I was a good student-loved school.  I was certain that I wanted to be a teacher-high school.  I thought I'd work for nine months of the year and then spend my summers in my little yellow cottage with the white picket fence, with an oak tree in the front yard, and with a collie by my side.  I'd spend that summer writing every year.  I figured I could do one book per year if I concentrated during those three months.  Then I'd spend the rest of the year editing the previous year's work.  Genius, right?  Ahem.  Teachers don't get three months off anymore, and um well...I hate teaching.  I have three more children to finish home educating, and can I just say I'm soooooooooo ready to be done!
9.  What would your advice be to other writers?
Write. Then write.  Then write some  more.  Then read.  A lot.  Read all the time.  Then write some more.  Read good fiction, good books about writing fiction, and more good fiction-even if you're a non-fiction writer.  Fiction writers tend to use words more creatively, so reading it infuses those ideas into writers' heads.  Never give up.  Don't take criticism too lightly or too seriously.  Not everyone is going to love your work.  Sometimes criticism is just a matter of personal taste.  Other times it's because you need to improve.  Learn to discern which applies to that particular piece of criticism.  This is one of those areas where a "multitude of counselors" is important.  I recommend not asking family, though.  Sometimes that just backfires.  Talk to other writers and to voracious readers.  Take their advice and try it.  Does it work? If so, learn more.  If not, you need to keep going , keep trying.   and no matter what  you do, never let yourself think you've  "got this writing thing down."  Trust me, everyone can always learn more. I learn something new with every. single. book.
10. Tell us about your next book or project.
The next is kind of embarrassing.  I realized, while in the middle of two very busy projects, that my silver anniversary is coming up November 25th.  (2013)  I wanted to write something for it, but of course, what?  Then...out of the blue...BAM!  Fun idea.  I am now writing feverishly hoping to have it done.  The book is Tarnished Silver.  The owner of Fairbury's "The Confectionery" is overwhelmed with holiday orders and her house is suffering.  So, she hires local mom, Kelly Cox, to do a little housecleaning to keep her afloat until after Christmas.  But everything turns upside down when Kelly finds a tax return with interesting information on it!  See why I'm aching to write it?  I'm working like crazy, but we'll see.  Thankfully, I have "two anniversaries" so if I have to turn it into a Valentine's story instead of Christmas, I can manage to get away with it, but I'd rather not.  I prefer this one.
Thank you Chautona for taking time to do this interview, it put a smile on my face.
Please visit Chautona at:
Please check out her books





I was  born with the desire to create embedded in my soul.  But it wasn't until I was closer to forty then not, that I actually believed I could create.  It was a matter of finally putting all the "oh no you can't" voices behind me and simply taking one step. The most important step.  The first step.
For the past 6-7 years I have been very much ensconced in the fascinating world of mixed media and digital manipulation.  I still have my hands dipped in paint, just in different ways.  While I normally work in a soft and vintage style, all pretty and girly, lately I have developed a passion for a more gritty graffiti messy paint look.  I have also recently discovered the world of gelatin monoprinting and Thermofax screens and have been experimenting with printing my own fabric.  I am at the fascinating part of learning...the beginning...where possibilities can be overwhelming.  I am immersed in a world of color and patterns and mark making and asking, always asking....what if?
I started blogging in 2006 and back then blogs were just starting to become popular but nothing like they are today.  In the beginning I really was just looking at blogging as a good marketing tool.  It took about six months before I realized the power and reach a blog has and that it was more than a marketing tool, and could actually become the voice of who you are as an artist.
Oh my that would be difficult decision.  As an artist I am into so many areas of creating, but I suppose as long as I could always have my hand creating with texture and color I would be happy no matter what medium I worked in.  Texture and color are so pleasing to my eye and make me happy, plus texture has the added bonus of being not only visually pleasing, but tactile as well and I'm one of those women who always has to touch everything.
I started teaching painting back in the mid 90's.  I had been taking painting classes and was so totally obsessed with paint back then that I literally painted 7 days a week.   I was eventually asked to teach beginners in the studio where I was taking classes and that is how it began.  In 1997 we moved and I opened my own studio/retail store and continued teaching paint workshops.  We moved one more time in 2001 to our present location in Tennessee.  I opened a studio/store one more time but found the area I am in difficult to sustain that kind of business and burned out after several years of struggling to make it work.  When I managed to step past the burnout threshold, I found I no longer had the desire to paint as I used to.  I turned my eye and hands to the world of mixed media and digital design.  Eventually with the rapid growth of the internet and all that is available to us, I realized I could still teach, but this time it would be online, where the audience for students hungry to learn was a larger pool then what I had locally. So I opened Creative Workshops at the end of 2008 not realizing that it would grow beyond my wildest dream.  I had thought it would be a venue for my own classes, and that since I had some computer skills I could offer other teachers who wanted to teach, but did not have the skills needed to run a site of their own, a place where they too could offer classes and I would take care of all the technical aspects for them.  As of this writing we are over 7000 members, 20 teachers, and 60 classes available.  And we continue to grow.
I am the first to admit I move slower these days, more so than I used to, when it comes to creating. And I was not blessed with children so that is one demand I do not have to add to my particular mix.  I know of women who are even busier than I am, plus have a family to take care of, who are much more productively creative then me.  I always, always tip my hat to those ladies.  I'm not sure really how I find the time, I do make a lot of lists and it is very satisfying when I can cross items off those lists.  And there are days when I just make myself get up from the computer and the business and walk into my studio, and pick a starting place, and just start.  People always say they will do this, or that when they have more time.  But you never have more time, there will always be something to fill that void, so I believe it is a matter of just starting with one step and the next step will follow and you will find you do have the time.  Maybe not long periods of time at any given point but it's amazing what one can accomplish in even short bouts of time.  If you want to do something bad enough you stop making excuses and you fit it in.
Anything can be a spark.  Even small and common day to day things... like the way a shadow falls on the ground, the color of a dish, the pattern on a dress, a costume in a movie, a particular word said in the right way at the right time, the textures of things old and discarded, a deep felt emotion... I could go on and on.
I had to give this question a lot of thought.  There has never been one particular person in my life that I consider an influence if in the sense you mean like a mentor.  But my hard working parents were a major influence in that they gave me such a great foundation to get through life in an honest and straightforward manner.  They taught me about being trustworthy and standing by my word, they taught me about honesty, integrity and ethics and being a good human being.  You can not deny the power of these lessons.
Believes no matter how small or how big, we must all have a dream.  Once we have a dream we must then take the first step in that direction and keep putting one foot in front of the other to the end, even if the end is not what we expected.  Because if a dream proves to be not what you thought you wanted, even if it changes into something totally different, it was a journey of discovery and what you discover may be amazing.  It also becomes one less regret you will have at the end of your life.  And if a dream does come true...well what more can one ask for!
Oh! gosh no, no book inside me, I just keep putting that one foot in front of the other. :)
You ask such hard questions! LOL! Since I feel my life is uneventful and unexciting it's hard to even imagine these last two questions.  I think though if I had to title a book it would be called "Never Say Never".  A strong lesson learned in my life.
I believe women can do anything they set their mind to.  But I also think a lot of women allow society, and even friends and family and others to bring them down. Now society has always been a struggle that we women have been fighting for way too long.  We've made great strides and will make even greater ones.  But if you have people in your own small world who say they love you and yet they do not support you, do not hold you up to see your own strengths and the beauty within you, then do not be fooled by their words of love.  Because love DOES hold you up, support you, believe in you, show you how beautiful you are and what you can accomplish.  Believe in yourself and find your tribe, no matter how small or large, a tribe that will give you that support and love when you need it, and because in the end that is what matters. Always.
Thank you Gail for your wonderful answers.  Thank you for taking time to do this great interview.
Gail has been published in:






Make sure you visit Gail's website:


Lives in: Louisville, Ky
1. Why did you start blogging?
When I started to build my home, I would get online and find all these gorgeous photos. So, I thought I would start the blog to be a place to store the photos. Then, I started coming across all of these amazing blogs by other women who would leave comments on my blog. I started connecting and learning from others soon after....making me Love Blogging!!
2. How did the name come about? What is the style of your blog?
Daisy of course came from my name. Pink came about because it's my favorite color and Cupcake just sorta fell in place. Who doesn't like cupcakes... at least every now and then!
3. How do you find time to get creative...women want to know.
To create is a passion of mine and with that, I feel you make the time. People always say they don't have the time, but I feel you can always make the time somewhere.
4. If your life was a book...what would the title be? Why?
I know it's somewhat cliche but my title would probably be-Just Daisy. For one, it's my name but also because it's a flower that people consider happy and feminine. 
5. Have you considered writing a book? What would the topic be?
It would be interesting to write a book, but I've always thought it would be interesting to write children's books. These books would have something to do with cupcakes, some fairy dust, dancing and ???
6. Who has been an influence in your life?
My husband. He has been there for me for almost half of my life now... since I was 16 years old. His influence in my life is what encourages me to move forward no natter what the situation may be. He's the person that has lifted me when times were sad, the person that helped bring my children into the world and he's always there for me no matter what life brings. I am grateful for him!!
7. Finish this sentence, Daisy_________________
Pinky Promises
8. If you could change one thing in your life what would that be?
At the moment, my career. Even though, I am going through nursing school soon, one of my passions is creating hair bows and jewelry for children. I would love to have my own brand out in the stores one day but have no idea how to make that happen!
9. What is your next project, dreams, goals?
Since I love creating hair bows and jewelry for children, I have created an Etsy shop set-up at this time, but I am still stocking products and when I feel the time is right it will be opening...hopefully soon!
10. Your encouragement to other women.
Keep your head high and do as you wish. Never loose your SPARKLE!! Don't ever let anyone get the best of you and make your dreams come alive !!
Your interview makes us all want to sparkle!!
Please check out her blog:

Etsy Shop



Debbie Dusenberry
Kansas City native Debbie Dusenberry opened Curious Sofa in September of 2000 as a retail boutique specializing in slipcovered sofas, home décor and antiques, with an eye for buying and an unorthodox way of display. Debbie led Curious Sofa to be one of the nations top small retailers and a destination shop for customers from across the country.
For ten successful years Curious Sofa and Debbie's home were featured by many national, trade and local publications which led to a strong following on the shop's website and blog.
In January of 2011, Dusenberry closed her brick and mortar store to focus on internet sales only. Today her time is spent designing her online store, blogging, styling magazine editorials and hunting for original goods at various antique shows across the country.
Look for Debbie at your favorite flea market with her beloved Bichon Pearl by her side.
1. Why did you start blogging?
In 2006 I started blogging to let customers know of the latest news and items that were for sale in my store, Curious Sofa. Back then, updating your website was such a pain that blogging seemed like the perfect, up-to-the-minute venue to use.
2. Tell us about your online business.. how did it start?
Curious Sofa was fortunate to be featured in many national magazines and each time a publication would come out we would receive many emails and calls around the country asking us if we sold online. I dreaded the task of making that happen because like most things I do, it had to be 99% perfect and styled right for my brand. In 2010, after the market crashed, I could see our regular customers not buying as usual. I knew selling online would help supplement what we were losing from local business.
After launching the online store, it did quite well selling about $4,000 a month. I thought if I could work on it full-time and increase sales, I could close the store and this might be able to support me! 
I closed my store in 2011 and now is my full-time business. It is much less stressful than a brick and mortar store but it is still very time consuming. There is always something to manage, promote and update. I buy all the product, shoot every item, retouch and resize the pictures, measure and write the description, design and load every product to the website. Once shot, I must inventory and deliver the products to the warehouse. Once items are loaded to the website I then have to promote them with Facebook, emails and blogging. You can see now while adding the shipping would have been a nightmare!
3. How did the name come about?
In 2000 I found a location to open my store and applied for a small business loan but I still did not have a name for my shop. A girlfriend collected books by Edward Gorey and was showing me one of her rare finds. I discovered the Curious Sofa was in Gorey's repertoire and it seemed to glow off the page! I was specializing in Shabby Chic sofas back then so it was a perfect fit.
4. How do you find time to get creative.. women want to know.
Creativity is a way of life for me. It comes naturally in everything I do and how I think. I cannot turn it off, it is just how I see and I have been fortunate to make a living from it. Whether it is owning a retail store or antique booth, decorating for a client, doing graphics for others, shooting for my website, tinkering with crafts, even cooking; it's all a part of the creative life the Lord has blessed me with.
I do find if I do too much computer work or room decorating I need to add some hand work to the mix. I cannot sit on the sofa and just watch TV. I have to be on my laptop designing, hand sewing, crafting, making jewelry or something... that part of creativity is a curse. I never rest with it.
5. Have you considered writing a book? What would the topic be?
My friends and customers are always suggesting I write a book but my answer has been, "Who finances that?!! I have a few up my sleeve: A series of books on seasonal decorating. Display Techniques of a Photo Stylist. Retail 101. I've also thought it would be fun to find the most eclectic people at a large antique show and say, "I want to come shoot your home." It would be great to do portraits of them mirrored with their house.
6. If you could change one thing in your life what would that be?
Discipline, I HAVE NONE.
7. What is your next project, dream, goal?
A studio. I am working on top of myself and building, finding, renting a large art/craft/storage photo studio is a  must have for better production.
8. Your encouragement to other women.
Keep a balance.
Thank you Debbie for the great interview.
Please visit Debbie's website:
or her blog



Susan lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two beautiful children. Her blog allows her to share her love of decorating and crafting with a French vintage style. She is pleased to have found so many like-minded friends in the process. The blog is named in honor of her grandmother Evelyn and great-grandmother Rose, whose talents   she can only hope to have inherited. Her interests are: decorating, sewing, knitting crocheting, embroidery and crafting.
1. Why did you start blogging?
I discovered blogs several years ago via my favorite craft and decorating magazines. Once I started regularly reading them, I realized I wanted to be a part of this inspirational and supportive community. Blogging has been a wonderful medium for sharing what I do creatively and for learning from bloggers with similar style. I've met so many dear friends in the process.
2. How did you get started vintage style creating?
When I bought my own condo 15 years ago I was excited to start decorating. Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic style really influenced me at that time. I've always enjoyed sewing and needlecraft, as well as vintage flea market finds. My new 'castle' gave me a place to experiment creatively. That little 900 sq. foot dwelling was where I started pulling my creative muscle.
3. How do you find time to get creative...women want to know.
I'm good at making lists and prioritizing tasks each week. Once my 'must-do' tasks are taken care of, I allow time to design and craft. I'm fortunate to be able to stay at home with our young children, so much of that creative time happens when the house is quiet while they're at school. A lot of my decorating happens while I'm cleaning or rearranging the house, usually seasonally. When a creative idea pops into my head at an inopportune time (e.g. kids are hungry for dinner), oftentimes I'll just jot it down to remember later. I'm always writing down ideas-the challenge is to find a block of time to bring the idea to fruition. My projects are usually completed a few steps at a time, rather than start to finish. Not to mention, I'm definitely more of a daytime worker then evening. By that time, the lighting is too dark and I'm too tired to craft!
4. What sparks your creativity?
Books and magazines-plenty of them! I have such a large collection that I peruse often. I've even kept my classic Victoria magazine from the 1990's and early 2000's. Sometimes flipping through one of these will spark a decorating or craft idea, even if it's just a particular color in a photo. Nordic-style blogs are also a huge inspiration to me-they're so serene!
5. If your life was a book....what would the title be? Why?
'Blessings'.....Each year of my life has been filled with blessings, too many to count. I feel utterly grateful for my husband, children, family, friends and faith in God. I met my husband at church and we know God had a hand in that. I was blessed to have a job as a software engineer for years, and now I'm blessed to be able to use the other side of my brain to create.
6. Have you considered writing a book? What would the topic be?
Actually, yes I have. I've been so inspired by the Tilda's World craft books by Tone Finnanger of Norway. Sometimes I daydream about writing a similar craft book with soft colors and crafts with vintage style. It may be just a dream, but those are fun to have.
7. Finish this sentence...Susan feels like______________
The luckiest girl in the world.
8. Who has been a big influence in your life?
My husband-he's kind, intelligent, incredibly humble, witty, loving man of God. I want to be more like him. My children-they teach me so much about living simply and capturing innocent joys.
 My grandmothers were also great influences. They taught me much about life, love, faith, and living creatively. I've named my blog for my grandmother Evelyn and great-grandmother Rose. They were so talented with a needle!
9. What is your next project, dream, goal?
I'd like to expand my Etsy shop to include vintage items and handmade dolls. I'm trying new things while staying true to my style. Who knows...maybe I'll write that craft book someday. I've been so tickled to have my work and writings published in the Somerset Life magazine by Stampington Co. It's nice to feel encouraged in that way and it boosts me to challenge myself.
10. Your encouragement to other women
Find what  you love to do, that which comes naturally to you. Find time to do it and share with others. Always feel grateful, for that is the key to happiness.
Thank you, Susan for this really interesting interview, and thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to encourage others.
Please visit Susan's blog:
Make sure you stop by her Etsy store:



Lisa Shatzer
When I started this blog I lived in Las Vegas, NV. Our family then moved to the suburbs of Chicago, IL. Now we are living outside of Houston TX.  I love Jesus, my hubby and  two boys. My blog shares my love of cottage decorating and I am always looking for ways to make my home pretty on a budget.
1. Why did you start blogging?
I really believe that God led me to start a blog. Years ago a friend casually mentioned her blog in conversation and I blurted out "I want to start a blog" and she graciously agreed to help me set one up. Looking back it seems so strange that I would ask to start my own blog because I barely knew what one was! In fact I didn't even know how to download photos from my camera onto the computer. Our family was in the process of adopting a baby at the time and I thought it would be an easy way to send out announcements once a baby was placed with our family. So my blog started sharing what was going on with our family. Then I was introduced to design/diy/ blogs and I fell in love! I decided it made more sense for my blog to reflect what I am passionate about and I started putting some of my craft projects on my blog. It evolved from that into what it is now, a blog that shares my love of cottage style as well as a place where I show you how I decorate my home by transforming thrift store and garage sale finds.
2. One of your talents is cottage decorating, how do you know when shopping, if a piece is going to work? What do you look for?
I am often inspired by ideas I see in blogs and magazines and so I keep my eyes open for things that reflect my taste. I think it is important when shopping to have a good idea of the color scheme and style you want your rooms to have and look for things that reflect that. Scale is important as well. If you bring something home and it ends up being too big or too small it is better to return it. I try to always have an idea of where I'll place something in my home before I buy it,otherwise  something you loved in the store may just end up in the closet because you aren't sure where to put it.
3. How did you get started decorating cottage style?
I have always loved cottage style decorating, but before blogging the only time I saw cottage decor was in magazines. I didn't know any "real" people who had a cottage style home. Cottage style blogs opened up a whole new world to me. I saw real people scouring flea markets and getting out their paintbrushes and transforming their homes. It was so exciting for me! In the last five years I have been changing my home to reflect this style. If I had a money tree in the backyard it would have come together a lot sooner! If you aren't happy with the look of your home don't worry about changing it all over night, just take the first step and go from there.
4. How do you find time to get creative? Women want to know.
Finding time can be very difficult! I try to squeeze in time when my kids are busy with their own activities or when they are in bed. Often times it can be months from when a project is complete to when I show it on my blog because finishing a project is only half the battle. With blogging you still need to take photos in great light, edit the photos and write up a blog post. All of these things take a lot of time. While my family is my priority, I believe I am a better wife and mother because I have my blog which is such a great creative outlet for me. I am happiest when I am creating. You know what they say "happy wife, happy life" :)
5. What sparks your creativity?
Lately I am often inspired by scrolling through Pinterest. I am also inspired by other bloggers. Taking walks through nature is also a great inspiration, all of the wonderful colors and textures in God's creation. Even walking through my own home can inspire me. When I notice how dinged up my coffee table looks the wheels start turning...should I paint it or strip it and re-stain, should I give it a new top and keep the legs? etc.
6. Where do you find most of your projects? Sales, auctions, etc. Do you have a favorite place to shop?
I find a lot from thrift stores and antique malls and most of my furniture projects come from Craigslist. When I'm just too tired to make something myself I usually find really cute things for a good price at T. J. Maxx. We just moved to the Houston area last summer so I am still discovering the best places to shop.
7. Finish this sentence...Lisa Shatzer____________________
Lisa Shatzer is a work in progress. She is thankful that God and her family give her the chance to start over again each day and try to do better. Growing and improving is something I hope to do for the rest of my life. I don't ever think you should say "that's just the way I am".
8. Who has been an influence in your life?
My mother encouraged me by always being so enthusiastic about anything I created. She acted amazed by every drawing I showed her while growing up and leaves sweet comments on my blog today. My dad inspires me because he is an incredible builder and DIYer. He has shown me that if you want your home to look a certain way you can go about creating it yourself. My husband has been a great example for me because he is organized and plans ahead. Over the years I've acquired some of these traits so my head isn't always in the clouds and I get to places on time. In my spiritual life I am inspired by Beth Moore.Although I have never met her, I love her bible studies and have learned so much from them. Now that I live in Houston I've been blessed to see her teaching live a few times. My kids are a wonderful influence because they get so excited by the world around them and it helps me to look at things with fresh eyes. 
9. Creative people always have a book in you? What would the topic be?
I have honestly never thought about writing a book before being asked this question, but without a doubt it would be a book about creating a beautiful home on a budget. I have more projects going on in my mind than I'll ever be able to catch up on and I keep getting new ones all the time. I love sharing with others how you can transform your rooms without breaking the bank.
10. Your encouragement to other women.
With just a little money and a lot of elbow grease you can have a beautiful home. We are blessed to live in a time with the internet. You can find instructions for just about anything online. Instead of looking at projects that others do and thinking "I could never do that" why not decide "I'm going to try". You may be surprised by what you can do. If a project doesn't work out perfectly the first time, try again. Think how often we tell our children things like practice makes perfect, but we are often so hard on ourselves and don't cut ourselves a break. The old furniture I've worked on with my own hands always means more to me than a new piece I've bought from a big furniture store. You can fall in love with your home too!
Thank you so much Lisa, for this very informative interview!
Please visit Lisa's blog


Kimberly McCole
Kimberly McCole is a freelance writer and photographer and has had her writing and photos, along with her cottage home published in American, Italian, and Israeli shelter magazines. Some of those publications include Cottage Style, Romantic Homes, Casa Romantica, Country Sampler, Artful Blogging, Where Women Create, and Romantic Prairie Style. She finds beauty in the simple and joy in the moments and shares her discoveries on her website.
1. Why did you start blogging?
After stumbling upon the wonderful world of blogs and enjoying all that they had to offer, I was encouraged by my sister to create one of my own and share about my cottage home which I did in my original blog, Dear Daisy Cottage. I created my site, Imagery by Kimberly, to share random images and thoughts of what I am living as I live them.
2. Tell us about your did you start?
I have always loved taking pictures and blogging really brought out that passion within me. I take pictures every day. Sometimes I share an image straight out of the camera and other times I process them in the way that the image and  moment captured speaks to me. I especially love sharing images of the birds on the lake for the joy that they bring to our world. I am moved to capture their spirits for their lives here on earth can be fleeting. I feel they deserve to be remembered.
3. Your also a freelance writer, tell us about that.
My mentor and dear friend, FiFi O'Neill, gave me the opportunity to write for her when she was the editor of Romantic Country magazine and I shall be forever grateful. It is a joy to work with her and the homeowners and a real honor to write about their homes.
4. Creative and talented people always have a book inside of them, how about you? What would the topic be?
As a little girl I would have books spinning inside my mind and I would spend summers writing stories in spiral notebooks. I still have some of them in my cedar chest. The topic varies as it depends on where I am in life and what I am living but I do have a very special swan that is my topic now.
5. How do you find time to do all the creative things you do? Women want to know.
I always need to be creative in some way so I find a way to do a little something every day that fulfills my spirit. Does that make sense? My creativity is pretty random so it is not accomplished at specific times or on specific days. I may get a burst of creativity at 5 am or midnight. I also TRY not to put pressure on myself. Creativity should be empowering and healing not another task to check off our lists.
6. Anyone been an influence in your life?
Everyone who has been in my life has been an influence on me-one way or another. I have been influenced by complete strangers that no longer were strangers after we shared a conversation. I am an observer and a listener so I am influenced all the time by what I see and who I meet.
7. Finish this sentence Kimberly McCole________________________
A person in progress.
8. What sparks your creativity?
Oh so many things! Some of these things would include nature, music, books, blogs, magazines, artists, and on and on. I am a very visual person and love studying my surroundings wherever I may be. Visiting the homes of my family, friends, and neighbors always sparks my creativity. I love seeing how others live and always come away inspired. The beautiful city of Savannah, Georgia is my go-to-city for inspiration.
9. If you could change one thing in your life, what would that be?
Such a hard question and one that I interpreted in the view of reflection. I originally replied with several things, however when I read my answers I pushed the backspace button. I realized after reading that everything I have lived so far-the good and the bad-is what has brought me to this place and time so therefore I would want nothing changed for all constitutes my life and makes me who I am now. Life has unfurled the way it has meant to.
10. Your encouragement to other women
Stay true to you. Remember you. Believe in you. As you care and nurture your loved ones care and nurture YOU. Never give up. Listen to your heart, tend to  your soul, and let your spirit soar. You are worthy and deserving. You are precious.
Thank you Kimberly for this interview, what an encouragement to others and what wonderful accomplishments you have achieved. Thank You for taking time to do this interview.
Please visit Kimberly's website:



A former actress and theatre professor specializing in voice, speech, text, Shakespeare and dialects." Has taught at two of the best actor training schools in the country. She does freelance as a Voice/Speech/Dialect/Text Coach for the theater. She has worked On and Off-Broadway, at regional theaters throughout the country and with private clients. Her husband is an actor and a singer-songwriter. They live in the country with their dog, Scout.
1. Why did you start blogging?
I discovered blogs around 6 or 7 years ago and was fascinated by them. I loved that I had the chance to get a glimpse into someone's life. Blogging seemed to me to be the perfect marriage of photography and a sort of journal. Since I'm a very visual as well as word-oriented person, this intrigued me. I mentioned to my husband that I thought a blog might be a wonderful way for me to write consistently. I've always loved to write. I love telling a story and sharing my interests and passions with others. As someone who tried writing in a journal for years and never did it consistently, this new idea of blogging seemed like it might be a good fit. And the growing community of bloggers seemed to be welcoming and friendly. What could be better? Finally, I did it. I love every minute of it.
2. If you could do just one thing the rest of your life what would that be? 
I would be bored out of my mind! I have so many different interests and I really don't think I could choose just one. Gardening? Well, yes, but what do I do in the winter? Crochet? Yes, but what about when I want to quilt? Decorate? Not all the time! Read? Yes, but I can't read all day . Work in the theater? Of course, but not just that!
I do know that I want to keep blogging-writing daily has been transformative for me. The improvement of my photography skills has come about because of blogging.
I know! I'll say 'Blog' because it challenges me to be creative, to come up with new projects, to take better pictures, to improve my writing skills, to see the world with fresh eyes, to reach out to others, to be honest, and to be a better person. Through blogging I have friends all over the world. I have learned more than I can say.
3. How do you find time to get creative? Women want to know....
Like everyone, I juggle a lot. I freelance in the theater as a dialect, voice, speech and text coach. So at times I'm enormously busy and then I can suddenly have a fair amount of free time. We live in the country on two acres and I have the property and gardens to maintain and, of course, my home. Then there is the computer. To be frank, I have to pull myself away from my laptop and make sure I allow myself the time to create. I also make sure I allow myself time to read. Reading allows the imagination to soar. Our highly technical world is wonderful, but I never want to become that person who is tied to her 'devices'. Creativity needs space in which to flow. I do my best to leave spaces in my day where ideas can come to me, where I allow myself time to breathe. But blogging is also highly creative and I get enormous satisfaction from all aspects of blogging: writing, photography, planning a post, designing my website-everything. It certainly satisfies a lot of my creative urges.
4. What sparks your creativity?
Sometimes it's an idea that pops in my head, sometimes it's something I see on a website or a blog-such an abundance of creative people out there! Sometimes I walk around my house and something that I barely notice suddenly jumps out at me and I see new possibilities. Color. Texture. Whimsy. Walking around a flea market. Being around other creative people-seeing things through their eyes. Going to a museum. Taking a walk in the woods. I find when I'm doing something like gardening in which I lose all sense of time, or something repetitive like crocheting, or a crossword puzzle-somehow those tasks allow space for fresh ideas to pop into my head. And the shower, of course.
5. If you could change one thing in you life, what would that be?
I'd truly embrace the idea that age is just a number. We live in a society that is so youth-oriented, so concerned with the way people look, so botoxed, so teeth-whitened, that I really have to work hard to counterbalance all that nonsense. I just turned 60 last November and, for a while, I had trouble even saying that number. But then again, why does it matter? I'm the same girl I always have been. I'm working on it.
6. If your life was a book, what would the title be and why?
She's Funny and She Loves Animals.
Because I've always been able to make people laugh and I love all animals-fighting for their rights is very important to me. I would take in every stray in the world if I could.
7. Have you considered writing a book, if so what would be the topic?
Now, there's a tough question. I've been encouraged by many people to write a  book, but when I think about that, I can't narrow down all the possible topics! I have strong political beliefs, I love all things creative, I love helping others...what to do? And the truth is, I did start writing a mystery several years ago and I got about 100 pages into it. Maybe I'll go back to it-or start a new one.
8. Who has been a big influence in your life?
So many people. My parents, obviously. My sister and brother. My junior high school music/theater teacher who was an incredible mentor to so many budding theater lovers. But the biggest influence has been my husband. He is such a fine person, so good and honest and compassionate and kind. Many, many times I have learned from him. He raises the bar and helps me to be a better person.
9. Finish the sentence Claudia Hill________________________
Claudia Hill is a Nester.
10. Your encouragement to other women.
Oh goodness. Go for your dreams. Don't live with regret. I don't believe for one moment that regret or guilt does anything but pull us down. Learn from your mistakes, of course, but move forward vowing to be the best you can be at this point in time. And, referring to what I spoke about earlier, DO NOT  compare yourself to others. No good can come from that. You are unique. There is no one else like you in this universe of ours. Let your own unique voice and heart lead you as you discover the tremendous possibilities that are out there, just waiting for you.
What a fun interview.
Please visit Claudia's Blog

Pam Carriker
A long-life art lover, I was raised in the Pacific Northwest. Drawing inspiration from my role as "mom" to three boys, two of whom are currently serving our country, and from my flyboy husband, my work is reflective of more than 20 years of experience using a variety of media.
My articles and artwork can be found in many publications including:
Somerset Studios (Cover Artist Nov/Dec 2010)
The Stampers' Sampler
Art Journaling (Cover Artist Summer 2010)
Somerset Apprentice
Where Women Create
Artful Blogging
Cloth Paper Scissors
Serving as a Directors'Circle Artist for Stamptington & Co, I'm also currently developing instructional videos for Strathmore Artist Papers new line of Visual Journals and a product line for Derivan Liquid Pencil from Matisse.
My first book,'Art at the Speed of Life: Motivation & Inspiration for Creating Mixed Media Art Every Day' from Interveave Press hit shelves February, 2011.
I feel extremely fortunate that many blessings and much hard work has allowed me to follow my dreams and to live my creative life.
1. Why did you start blogging?
To share artwork and the process of creating. It was a way to connect with other creative people.
2. You're an artist, author, teacher with so many accomplishments..if you could do just one thing the rest of your life what would that be?
Continue to create and share art. I really love what I'm doing and want to continue to develop products, books and classes that motivate and inspire others to create on a regular basis.
3. How do you find the time to be creative? Women really want to know.
I give myself permission. I think one of the biggest stumbling blocks to creating is allowing ourselves the time to do it. As women we often put our needs after everything else, but by tapping into our creative nature we are able to more fully give and experience other areas of our lives.
4. What sparks your creativity?
Messing around in my sketchbook and art journal. Working with no expectation, just for my own pleasure, really gets my creative muse going.
5. I know you have written a book titled: Art At The Speed O Life. Tell us about that.
The book is based around my first article written for Cloth Paper Scissors magazine. I included artists from all walks of life, some known and others not but all had found ways to live a creative life. The main message in the book is that everyone has a creative spirit and by recognizing that and allowing it to manifest itself in different forms, we can all lead more fulfilling lives.
6.Is there  someone who has influenced your creativeness along the way?
My family has always encouraged me and I'm very thankful for that.
7. Anyone you admire?
Too many people to list, but there are several artists who's integrity and professionalism and pure 'niceness' in our community inspire me daily, Mary Beth Shaw, Joanne sharp, Jen Cushman, Dawn Devrie Sokol, Kari McKnight Holbrook, Lesley Riley and Traci Bautista to name a few.
8. Tell us about your next project or goals.
I'm working on developing my product line with Dervan Matisse and to get a larger distribution established.
9. Finish this sentence Pam Carriker______________
Works very hard to bring her best to the table in all areas of her creativity.
10. Your encouragement to other women.
If you want to create, do it. It's really as simple as that. You don't have to be great at it, you will get better if you put the time in.
Thank you Pam, for taking the time out of your busy schedule to do this interview.
What a encouragement to others!
Please visit Pam's website:
Email Address:



Heather is a folk artist living in Northeastern Oklahoma.
She loves to create unique pieces of artwork that draws inspiration from history, literature, faith, old photographs, folk lore, American and European folk art, twangy music, lovely landscapes, beautifully bearded men, Scandinavia, and everything English.
When she's not painting she loves to read historical novels. She loves to knit, take long rambling walks with her dogs and be with her family (which includes one bearded husband and a blond-headed daughter named Audrey who is passionate about ponies and dancing.)
Audrey Eclectic Folk Art has been featured in these publications:
Somerset Life-summer issue
The Anglican Digest (cover!) winter issue
Prims Magazine-spring issue
Somerset Studio-July-Aug issue
Somerset Home-summer issue
Artful Blogging-winter issue
"Sharing Stitches" by Chrissie Grace
Prims Magazine-spring issue
Somerset Studio-Sept-Oct issue
Tulsa World-article on Indie Emporium
Somerset Studio-Sept-Oct issue
Artbeat Oklahoma (cover!)
1.Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in the fall of 2007 when I started my folk art business, Audrey Eclectic. I was a stay at home mom to a new baby at the time, and was wanting to connect to other creative people out in the world, and also to promote my artwork. Over time it just evolved, and my blog has been instrumental in the making of many friendships as well as great business opportunities!
2.If you could do just one thing the rest of your life what would that be?
Quite simply, I'd just love to keep painting for the rest of my life! I wake up each day eager to paint or create. I do so many things with my hands--knitting, painting, reading, drawing, sewing, I hope I can continue until I'm a very very old lady!
3.How do you find the time to get creative, women everywhere want to know
I find that we make time for the things that are really important to us, even if they're just snatched moments. I did a lot of my painting for years during my daughter's naptime or after she'd gone to bed. As women, and especially mothers, I know we always have a never ending list of things "to do" that we feel like we have to get done before we can really sit down and do something for ourselves. But sometimes the best thing you can do for your own happiness (and thus the happiness of those around you!) is to let the dishes sit in the sink a little longer while you indulge in what your passionate about.
4. What sparks your creativity?
So many different things! I love folk art--both Americana and Scandinavian in particular. I am also drawn to old photographs, twangy music, and I've always had a fondness for stories about pioneers as well as literary classics by the Brontes and Austen. When I hit a wall creatively, I know its time to put down the paint brush and pick up a good book, take a long walk, or watch a good film. I find that inspiration will always come back, but sometimes you have to fill your creative well with other ideas and stories and images to spark it.
5. Most creative people have a book in their head. Do you? If so what would that be?
I'm actually working on a story I'd love to illustrate right now! It involves my home on the prairie, but also Swedish folklore and traditions!
6. Is there someone who has influenced your creativeness along the way?
I have been lucky to always have people around me who supported my creativity. My mom did crafts and painting when I was a child--she actually took a painting class when she was expecting me and I like to joke that I learned through osmosis. We would spend a lot of time together out in the garage painting little wooden things--I'd even paint rocks! I know when I was in the first grade, my teacher made me feel really special about a drawing I made--she even laminated it for me! I think very early on I took a lot of my identity and purpose from art and being the "creative one" It gave me confidence to know there was something I was really good at.
7. Anyone you admire?
So many! I fell in love with the art of Paula Modersohn-Becker while in college. I admired her for following her artistic dreams as a middle class woman in Germany in the early 1900s. Her art was amazing. Tasha Tudor is also a big influence on me, she created such beautiful illustrations and books and really created the life she wanted to live--that's something I really respect and admire! I also greatly admire Mary Engelbreit for her amazing vision, creativity and scope of her artistic business--or empire, really! In general, I really admire so many for their efforts and tenacity to follow their dreams and see them into fruition.
8. If you could change one thing about your life what would that be?
There's not much I would change! I feel so fortunate to have a family that is so supportive, and a husband who is willing to help me make my dreams come true--from driving me to craft shows and manning my booth with me, to doing my taxes! And I am blessed with great friends, family, and a lovely little daughter who's birth inspired me to get painting so much that I named my business after her! I think if I could change one thing it might be to have a larger studio space! And I'd love to have some sort of shop in the future, or at least a space that I could invite others into...that was filled with art.
9. Finish this sentence-Heather Sleightholm________
Is trying to "live the life she has imagined."
10. Your words of encouragement to other women
As the saying goes, following your dreams and pursuing your passion is about the journey, not the destination. Take time to enjoy the process, and have patience (something I try to do but it's a constant fight!) you'll make mistakes, but you'll learn from them. But just putting yourself out there will lead to something. Just be open to where life takes you, even if it's not the path you initially imagined. Sometimes life has something better in store!
Please visit Heather at:


Becky Lamb
Becky is a 46 year old mother of 3 plus 1 sweet son waiting for her in heaven, wife, Jesus follower, junker, teacher. She loves hunting junk that she can repurpose, build with, or paint on. She loves taking the advantage of the great outdoors in the beautiful place of Montana, where she lives. She has also had one of her projects featured in Country Home Magazine.
Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I was inspired by so many creative blogs and I hoped to do the same---share and inspire others. It has been a blessing, although not always easy. Some days, or even weeks, blogging is a chore. But, other bloggers keep me going. Blogging truly is a supportive community of (mostly) women who get me and my, at times, crazy way of thinking and creating.
You are very creative and talented, but if you could do just one thing the rest of your life what would that be?
That is a tough question and I am not sure, but no matter what I do, I aim to share my blessings and help others. For example at a recent Christmas Market that a friend and I organized and put on, we collected an admission fee at the door to give to the local food bank. I was able to sell and share what I love with others and do good in the process. I do love what I am doing now--building and repurposing from salvaged materials and my hope is to own a successful occasional store--a store that is open a few days every month. By successful, I mean earn enough to not only help contribute to our family income, but to help those in need, in a BIG way.
How do you find the time to get creative? Women want to know!
Time to create is a priority and so I schedule it in, just like anything else. Sometimes that means letting the laundry go a day longer or eating leftovers two nights in a row ( I cook in big quantities so leftovers are always an option). I do have a hard time being creative if my house is too messy so often times I "reward" myself with creative time if I clean up first. If I don't create for a few days, I can tell, it is a need I have.
What sparks your creativity?
I love looking at  magazines, blogs, and Pinterest when I am in a creative slump. Seeing other people's creativity sparks mine. It might be the smallest  thing, a color scheme or the shape of a piece of furniture that gives me an idea. For me it is not about copying or recreating something someone else made, but just seeing others' ingenuity gets my creative juices going.
Most creative people have a book in their head. Do you? If so what would that be?
Oh, I have written, drafted, imagined many books over the years. I taught elementary school for twenty four years, so I have "written" children's books--anything from picture books to chapter books. About ten or so years ago I had the idea for a book that would repurpose one commonly found item many different ways. Each item would be its own chapter. Currently I would love to be part of publishing a magazine that was chock full of hand-on ideas using found and salvaged materials.
Is there someone who has influenced your creativeness along the way?
I was inspired by Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer who would occasionally be in various HGTV shows sharing their repurposed junk ideas. It was the start of my repurposing "career". I also was influenced by Mary Englebreit and her Home Companion magazine that always featured such a wide variety of creative souls.
Anyone you admire?
Admire? I am not sure. I admire everyday people--women and people in my church who have adopted a gaggle of children, women in my area who have built their own businesses, single parents-, not sure if I could do it without my husband, people who are always upbeat and positive despite their circumstances. Life can be hard and I admire those who seem to go through it without letting it get them down. I strive to be that person, but know I fail miserably at times.
If you could change one thing about your life what would that be?
I would travel more (and have an income that supported that). I love visiting new places, seeing the way other people live and seeing the beauty God created in this wonderful world.
Finish this sentence hard to be the best person God created her to be. Sometimes I hit the mark, many  times I don't. But I continue to strive to be who God wants me to be and to be His hands and feet.
Your words of encouragement to other women
Breathe-take life one day, one moment at a time. women are multi-taskers and that often means we try to do too much and get overwhelmed. As the saying goes, Rome wasn't built in one day and neither are your hopes and dreams. Just keep putting one foot in front of the other--some days that will mean taking baby steps,some days that means taking giant leaps--just keep moving in the right direction and you will get somewhere.
Thank you so much Becky for sharing your life with us.
Great answers with such encouragement.
Thank you for your time.
Please visit Becky's blog

stephanie levy : a studio with a view




Stephanie is an artist/illustrator originally from Memphis, Tennessee, USA, now living in Berlin, Germany. She studied art at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and The University of the Arts in Berlin, Germany.
She loves to travel, make art, and interview other artists and creative people. For over 16 years she has been living abroad in Germany. On her blog, she post news about her current projects, workshops, e-courses, artist interviews and studio sneak peeks of her work in progress. She is also happy to share her favorite spots in Europe with you.
Her photography, writing, and illustrations have been published in many books and magazines, such as Artful Blogging Magazine, Seasons Magazine in Moscow, Selvedge Magazine, the new Master's Collage book published by Lark Books, The Big Book of Contemporary Illustration, and Sarah Ahearn's Painted Pages.
Her artwork has been featured on many art design, and personal blogs, including: design sponge, Poppytalk, decor8, Apartment Therapy, bloesem and Scoutie Girl.
Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging in 2008 after discovering the depths of the creative blog world sometime in late 2007. One of my friends from art school, Anna Maria Horner, has a beautiful blog
and through her blog, I found links to an entire creative community. Also I was at home with two small children, and I needed a creative outlet. Blogging was perfect because it was something I could do from home to connect with other creative women, visually and through my daily life.
If you could do just one thing the rest of your life what would that be?
Oh, one thing is difficult. Impossible. How about this: I'd love to travel endlessly throughout the world, with camera, laptop, notebook, and art supplies, with kind people to help me, and create beautiful, visual books, while trying out as many ethnic culinary specialties as possible.
A great question actually!
How do you find the time to get creative, women everywhere want to know.
I don't really. At least I don't feel that I have enough time to do all of the creative things I want to do. I spend a lot of time making plans and feeling frustrated that I can't cram everything into my schedule that I want. I have lots of ideas,but trouble prioritizing. I'm working on this.
One thing that has already helped quite a lot this year is that I am now using a giant wall calendar where I can see all of the months, weeks, and days of the year. It has little colored, removable stickers where I can write in no more than 3 things for each day.
Seeing my entire year at a glance has helped me spread out my project ideas more and not feel so overwhelmed. When I start thinking about an upcoming project and I get distracted from what I am currently working on-I can remind myself that there is time to worry about that in 2 weeks, or 2 months-or whenever that project start is due rather than stress about it today. I am learning to pace myself (I hope!) (a photo of wall calendar in my blog post here-
What sparks your creativity?
Two of the best remedies I know for getting my creativity going are to take a long hot bath (I love this and don't take time for it nearly as often as I'd like!) and to take a long walk outside. If I'm working on a creative problem and can't find a solution, either taking a bath or a walk usually helps.
Most creative people have a book in their head. Do you? If so what would that be?
I have about 5-6 books in my head! Creating books is my personal "big dream" and I hope to get started with my first book project (or two) this year. I would love to create a book based on my writings from my Creative Courage e-course and the 60 interviews I've collected during the past 16 months, and I'd love to create a book about my experiences traveling during my 12 Countries in 12 Months tour and the creative women I interviewed throughout Europe.
I have lots of other interesting ideas and notes about future books for the years to come...we will see!
Is there someone who has influenced your creativeness along the way?
Actually, lots of people influence my creativity every day...Just walking down the street in Berlin inspires me, there are so many wild and crazy looking people,and everyone is trying very hard to show their individual style. I love it.
Anyone you admire?
I just made a fun board on Pinterest called "heroes"
It's certainly not a complete list, but it is an amazing, unusual group of women.
If you could change one thing about your life what would that be?
My bank account balance :) I'd add enough Euros to finance my response to question #2.
Finish this sentence-Stephanie Levy- is doing the best she can right now.
Your words of encouragement to other women
I do truly believe that we are all capable of living a life that we enjoy, but sometimes it is a challenge and a long process to get there. I believe that a community of support and a positive attitude can help us all reach our personal goals much more quickly, and that is one reason I started my Creative Courage e-course
I would encourage you to reach out, make contacts with people you admire, and start living your dreams-whatever they are-in some form. Make it happen. We aren't here for very long, so there is no time to waste. Start today.
Thank you so much Stephanie! This was such a great interview and I love your personality and sense of humor. You are truly an encouragement to other women.
Please be sure to visit Stephanie's blogs and check out her Creative Courage e-course which is just now starting.




Karen is a women with her hands and her heart in many things. She is the creator of Valentine Design, a thriving blog design business with a vintage and feminine touch, author of the e-book Building Beautiful Blogs....A Guide to Blogger, and the author of My Desert Cottage, a blog where Karen shares her love of cottage style, vintage decor and arts and crafts through photos and tutorials.

Karen lives in Phoenix Az. with a husband she adores and two more furry family members. When she is not working and creating at the computer she loves to spend time in her studio or out in her garden.

Why did you start blogging?

4 years ago I picked up a copy of "Artful Blogging" on a news stand. I was immediately drawn to the articles and the beautiful photos in the magazine. I took it home with me, got on my computer and discovered a whole world that I didn't even know existed! I knew as soon as I visited my first blog,  that this was something I wanted to do. I'd never really had friends who understood and could relate with my love of old things, or my style of art. In Blogland there are huge numbers of these women all willing to share their ideas, their creativity and their friendships.
If you could do just one thing the rest of your life what would that be?
Oh my gosh! That is a hard question!!! I have so many things I like to do, and I always find new things I want to try. I guess, my favorite medium is paper. There are so many things you can do with it! So, to make a long answer shorter, I guess I would have to say mixed media paper crafts.
How do you find the time to get creative, women everywhere want to know.
I really do have to schedule that time in. It's so easy to let everyday life take up all our time. I am very lucky, being a blog designer, to have a career that let's me be creative everyday, but it's a different kind of creativity since it's all on the computer. I try to give myself at least one or two days a week to just play in my studio and get my hands dirty.
What sparks your creativity?
There are so many extremely talented women in the world! Blogland and Pinterest have become my creative sparks because I cannot help but be inspired there. With every visit, I see something I want to try to make or something that sparks an idea that develops on it's own.
Most creative people have a book in their head. Do you?
The only book I had in my head came to fruition a year ago. It's probably not the kind of book you mean, but it was really wonderful to put out there because I got such a wonderful response from it. It's called "Building Beautiful Blogs" (a guide to blogger) I wrote it because I had so many women asking me questions about starting a blog, or needing help with one they already had. the book came from the "right side" of my brain rather the more creative "left side", but I wrote it to help other women create a blog that they love so they can share their creativity with others.
Is there someone who has influenced your creativeness along the way?
I know I sound like a broken record, but the women of blogland have been the biggest influence. I am a better artist because of them They have taught me new things, encouraged me along the way, and in the sharing of their creativity, allowed me to expand my own.
Anyone you admire?
Women with small children who run their own small businesses! I don't know how they do it!!! My son is grown and no longer lives at home, and there are often just not enough hours in the day for me. I can't imagine how much hard work it is for them, and yet they keep going because they love it.
If you could change one thing about your life what would that be?
I am very blessed. I have a beautiful home, a beloved husband, two dogs I adore and a very drama free life. I do however have one thing that I would change in a heartbeat...I would get the heck out of the Arizona desert and live someplace with green trees and water!!! My hubby and I have visited Eastern Tennessee twice and fell in love with it. I hope someday we can live there.
Finish this sentence-Karen Valentine____________
Is happier at 49 than she ever was at 29!!!
Your words of encouragement to other women
My favorite quote of all time is Joseph Campbell. "When you follow your bliss, doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors." "Follow your bliss" has been my mantra for several years now. Those 3 little words changed my life. When I lost a job I liked very much due to cutbacks, I knew it was time to "follow my bliss". Because I already had a love affair with blogland, and enjoyed helping others with their blogs, I started Valentine Design. Becoming a blog designer full time, was a way for me to follow my bliss because it fulfilled my desire to be creative, and allowed me to help others with their dreams.
I encourage you to find what it is that you love, and do it. If it's a full time creative career, great! If it's a part time home business, awesome!! If it's simply a hobby that brings you joy...please do it as often as you can. You will be a better wife, mother and human being if you do what you love, and love what you do.
I have one last poem to share with you. I have it hanging in my studio and read it every time I'm in there.
Believe in yourself
to the depth of your being.
Nourish the talents
your spirit is freeing.
Know in your heart
when the going gets slow
That your faith in yourself
will continue to grow.
Don't forfeit ambition
when others may doubt.
It's your life to live
you must live it throughout!
Learn from your errors
don't dwell in the past.
Never withdraw
from a world that is vast.
Believe in yourself;
to find the best that is you.
Let your spirit prevail,
steer a course that is true.

Thank you Karen for encouraging us to follow our bliss.
What a great interview! 
Sharon is passionate about vintage, shabby chic and all that goes with it. She has been published in magazines: Inspired Ideas, Somerset Studio, Paper Crafting With Carol Duvall. She has also appeared on HGTV's The Carol Duvall Show.
Why Did You Start Blogging?
Back in 2008, I had been following some blogs which were so lovely and inspiring, that I decided it would be a great way for me to express my creativity and meet other like-minded women. Since then , I've met so many people who share the same type of passion for being creative, both online and in person. It's a great way to find communities for those things for which you have an interest or passion. The bonus to me was that it ensures that I keep taking photos on a regular basis. I've always loved taking photos, and my blog provides a platform for sharing some of them No blog post is complete without a photo!


I've Read Your Bio, You Have Accomplished Much And Still Going. If You Could Do Just One Thing The Rest Of Your Life What Would That Be?
That's not so easy to answer because I'm of the personality type that is always interested in many things. I also tend to get really excited about new things, which further complicates it because I don't want to leave the current things behind, yet there is only so much one person can do. I do know however, that whatever that one thing would be, it would be something creative. That is the one thread that has run through my life since I was a child. I'm at my happiest when I'm creating.
How Do You Find The Time To Get Creative, Women Everywhere Want To Know.
Yes. this is definitely a challenge with the busy lives we all lead today. Even though I'm tired at the end of my workday, I do manage to spend some time each evening on the computer. I use this time to prepare blog posts, check in on the groups in any classes I may be taking, and stay alert through blogs or Facebook to new articles that I can learn from or inspire me.
When I am creating something not on the computer, whether it is doing a photo shoot, trying a new recipe, redecorating or just making a birthday card, that's normally on the weekend when I'm feeling fresh and have more energy. That being said, it can still be a challenge since there are always weekend obligations but I can always carve out a little time.
My main secret? The house does not have to be perfectly clean and organized all the time. We all have choices to make with our time, so I get a little help around the house at times or choose to delay certain things in order to spend more time being creative. Sometimes the laundry just has to wait! Letting go of perfectionism is a must. But of course, each person has to do what works for them.
What Sparks Your Creativity?
So many things inspire me! I subscribe to a lot of magazines and it can be anything from an article to an advertisement. I also find inspiration visiting blogs and websites. Pinterest is fabulous for sparking ideas and so easy to get lost in. I also enjoy looking at store window displays for inspiration. No matter what it is, some small aspect of something I see may cause an idea to pop into my head on something I can do in my own look and style.
Most Creative People Have a Book In Their Head. Do You? If So What Would That Be?
So funny you would ask I was recently telling a colleague that I've always felt it was in my future to publish a book. I'm not a writer of stories; I'm definitely more visual and hands-on, so I expect the book would be about creative projects. Either that, or a book that would provide inspiration to others in their lives. I really enjoy teaching and encouraging others.
Is There Someone Who Has Influenced Your Creativeness Along The Way?
I'm not sure how much I've been influenced, but I'm definitely drawn to people whose style's match my own or whose styles I greatly admire. If there were anyone, it would be my Auntie Rose, who was the most creative person I knew as a child. She taught me how to make things (knitting, baking, etc.) and encouraged my creative interests. 
Anyone You Admire?
Lots of people! Rhonna Farrer for her gorgeous artwork and talent; Rachel Ashwell for her business acumen. Oprah for her generosity and uplifting of women. So many more, but in general, women on a local or national level who were able to create a business they love that expresses their creativity or enables them to help other women grow.
If You Could Change One thing About Your Life What Would That Be?
If I had it to do all over again, I would have gone to art or photography school to pursue a career as a creative. Rather, I went to business school, which served me well, but being a creative at heart, I would have liked to have made my living in that area. I just didn't know it at the time!
Your Words Of Encouragement To Other Women
* Have confidence in yourself and don't pay attention to your inner critic (it's not easy but the more aware of it you are, the more you can resist it).
* Surround yourself with positive people who will support your dreams and passions.
* If you are having trouble finding time to spend on your interests, make an appointment with yourself and put it in your calendar.
* Don't be afraid of rejection, just put yourself out there. Better to have at least tried, then to have regrets later.
* Perfection is overrated-and that's coming from a recovering perfectionist. Sometimes we just have to call something finished and let go.
* Always use your best china. I've always remembered the story of a woman who passed on. Her family was going through her belongings and came upon her cherished china set. She had rarely used it because it was special to her, but by doing so, never experienced the joy of it, nor sharing that joy. Shouldn't every day be special? My china comes out almost any time a friend comes over and I've never looked back. So use that special paper, journal, fabric, yarn, dress, or china. and don't be afraid to sparkle-wear those rhinestones to work!
Thank You Sharon, For Sharing Your Words Of Encouragement
Great Interview!




9:00 A.M.- 4:00 P.M.

1305 NORTH 25TH ST.
3blks. from Sugar Plum Festival




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