Nick Holmes: Time Spent Falling

by Sarah Stevenson

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Poetry has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. As a child my aunt-Sally Morrison would read A. A. Milne out loud to me and my cousin; later in high school I remember reading Beowulf and really falling in love with way the words flowed across the page. This summer, I picked up a copy of Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman and have I Sing The Body Electric” marked dutifully with a pencil. I had almost forgotten my love of language and then I read Time Spent Falling by my friend Nick Holmes.

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Nick is a portrait photographer, actor and an incredibly talented poet. His portrait work spans across Hollywood and beyond and I feel blessed that my own son Ben is included in his portfolio. You may know Nick as a “Gilmore Guy” who is reprising his role as Robert on the upcoming Gilmore Girls – A Year in the Life. But to me, it’s his words and photography that really show his true artistry.

Poetry is not something that you read quickly; instead it is something to be savored to allow the words to truly enter your soul. It is a beautiful form of writing that expresses deep emotions and feeling without being pretentious. Nick captures this perfectly with his prose and keeps you wanting more.

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Time Spent Falling renewed something in me that has been laying under the surface for many years. Sometimes in life we can forget parts of our deepest selves only to be reminded by beautiful words on a page. Nicks poetry does just that…gives you a reminder, a nudge if you will, to something deep inside and encourages you in bringing it back to the surface.

In his words:

“My hopeful wish is that any one of these, with luck perhaps a few, will serve you as they served me. A memory recalled, a flavor not forgotten, a lover called to attention, or the simple escape inside yourself.”

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I quite often write about the cross over of disciplines in this space and have lately been broadening my reach of creatives to share with you here. As artists, we are often called to many different sources of creativity, whether it be acting, photography, painting, or writing. Nick transforms these many disciplines and shares his mastery of seeing and feeling in both his writing and photography.

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Virginia Madsen wrote about the book:

“In many ways, poetry is the music of literature. It often reflects the changing moods and trends in society. But somewhere along the way, we have lost the gift of language. TIME SPENT FALLING is reminiscent of a time when that gift was treasured…”

Thank you Nick for sharing this treasure with the world and thank you for providing all the excerpts, photos and cover art for this piece. You are a pleasure and someone I am happy to call a friend.

You can find Nick at the following:

Website: Nick Holmes

Instagram: @narcissusholmes @narcissushorse and @nickholmeshair

Twitter: @narcissusholmes

Have a great weekend everyone!

NOTE: Please do not use images from this post unless you have permission from the artist. Thank You.

 

 

 

 


Friday Moments in Creativity – May 20

by Sarah

I’ve been thinking a lot about music lately and also about sharing deep personal stories and how they can really impact the way we see the world around us. Today, I want to share some pieces with you that I have found from people I admire for their honesty, friendship and the bigger impact they have on the world around us.

Up first is this awesome video above Ordinary Love created by Oliver Jeffers and Mac Premo with U2. As I have been talking about the last several weeks, when creative disciplines make a cross over something magical happens…

Design Sponge I have followed Grace Bonney’s work for many years and have written several posts for her blog: Design Sponge. Her essay today reminds us that in the face of difficult life experiences that it takes time to heal and to develop a path to move forward. I appreciate her honesty and candor and understand personally how difficult medical issues can be for anyone trying to run a creative business and juggle everything life hands you.

Joy is Always Possible In the past year I have reconnected with several of my high school friends. My high school experience was unique in that most of us also went to middle school together. This essay written by my middle school friend Melinda is a beautiful reminder of music and its healing virtues. It is an honor to share her thoughts with you today.

In case you missed our most recent posts:

On Pursuing and Living Your Dreams

Memories of Prince

Elle Luna: The Crossroads of Should and Must

Matt and Mike Czuchry: Brothers on Life   Incidently its Matt’s birthday today – Happy Birthday Matt

Have a great Friday everyone!


Matt and Mike Czuchry: Brothers on Life

by Andrew Sieracki

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As you may know, I am an avid reader. I love finding books that may not be on the mainstream bestseller list but are well written and share something of deep value. These types of books don’t come around often but when they do, they can provide a space of deep reflection for your own life and creative journey. In addition, they are the one’s you can read over and over again and find different nuggets of wisdom each time you look through their pages. They are also the ones that you mark up and write notes in the margins to come back to whenever you need that spark or push to move you forward.

Brothers on Life by Matt and Mike Czuchry is one of those books. For those of you who don’t know Matt, he has played the role of Cary Agos in The Good Wife on CBS for the past 7 seasons and will be reprising his role as Logan Huntzberger on Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life later this year on Netflix. At the printing of this book, his brother Mike was an assistant professor in Psychology at a small liberal arts college in Texas and has his Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology.

Written in three acts, the brothers share their stories through what Mike calls GEMS (thoughts about life written on notebook paper)…. These GEMS give a glimpse into certain points of the brothers personal journeys. At the opening of the book each writes their own letter to the reader sharing that we are all universally connected in one way or another but to always remember that our imagination and dreams are what allow us to live in the moment.

“…I had forgotten an essential cornerstone of my childhood; the beauty of life embraced through imagination, dreams and living in the moment.” xii – Matt

“…we both embrace the core perception that life is beautiful, challenging, precious, and an experience that interconnects us all.” xiii – Mike
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Throughout the book, the brothers share these moments through prose, photographs and handwritten messages to each other. Each piece shows real individuals sharing their thoughts, troubles, loves, losses and the deep bond that only siblings can know. It’s these moments in our own lives that we need to stop and take stock of because sometimes they can be fleeting or just out of our grasp if we don’t savor them completely.

Having now read and reread this book several times, I have marked the pieces that I could relate back to my own personal experience and counted 24 as I sat down to write this…Pieces on love, family, dreams, faith, fear and death all brought my memories to the surface.

One such piece called Paint on Windows recalls Mikes experience with his daughter in the hospital and how as parents we hold and protect but that we must also allow something greater than ourselves to take over in times of need. My own daughter had life threatening surgery when she was just 6 months old. What got me through that experience was being surrounded by family, loving friends and a deep sense of faith that everything would be OK. At one point during the surgery I walked outside in a garden with my family and a hummingbird flew over head as if to say, don’t worry I am here with you and I like what I see…. I’m not leaving yet. After the surgery the anesthesiologist told me we had a fighter on our hands and that she made it through. Today, that little fighter is 14, strong willed and confident and makes my life so happy each and every day. We still have to visit the doctors once a year and they are continually astonished at what an incredible person she has become.

Matt Czuchry - Jorg Meyer

(photo credit: Jorg Meyer via mattczuchryofficial.com)

In addition to the stories shared in Brothers on Life, I marvel at the crossover of disciplines that many creatives make within their professions. Seeing Matt first as an actor and then as a writer sparked a curiosity that I have had for many years with how, as creatives, we are not bound by just one thing and it seems that we have many loves and passions that drive us. Although we may not share the same creative path, you can take some basic elements from each discipline and be able to find a common thread that connects us all – dreaming, imagination and storytelling. This for me is the basis of creativity. First, DREAM and IMAGINE and then TELL YOUR STORY in whatever way serves you, then perhaps we will grow and develop into something greater than ourselves.

Special thanks to Matt and Mike for writing and sharing their story. You can find Brothers on Life through Matt’s website.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!


Elle Luna: The Crossroads of Should and Must

by Sarah

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Last fall I read The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna. After I read the book, I put it down for a few months. For some reason I kept coming back to the beautiful illustrations and the message that it was sharing for me. I’d tried to write a post but the right words wouldn’t come so I tucked the book away and moved on with my fall doing normal life things that Elle calls SHOULD.

“Should is how other people want us to live our lives…. It’s all the expectations that others layer upon us….” p. 29

I also signed up for ALT Summit (a design blogging conference in Salt Lake City) and lo and behold Elle was slated as the closing keynote speaker. I’ve attended ALT four times and this year really was a turning point for me and my business. At the keynote, I sat in the front row and throughout the speech I kept nodding in agreement to everything that Elle was saying.

As a speaker, I know that when you find someone in the audience that connects with your topic you have a tendency to continually look at and focus on that person. Elle was looking at me in the front row and I was nodding!

Alt Winter 2016 Closing Keynote with Elle Luna from ALT Summit on Vimeo.

Here is a link to her speech in its entirety. Its really worth a listen and something to come back to over and over again.

After ALT I came home and again pulled out The Crossroads of Should and Must This time I absorbed the meaning behind it in terms of my own life and career. I’ve been incredibly lucky in choosing MUST…and having such a great network of support all around me has definitely helped along the way.

According to Elle:

“Must is different. Must is who we are, what we believe, and what we do when we are alone with our truest, most authentic self.” p.31

I knew I wanted to be an interior designer as a senior in high school and I followed that path. Once I got into the business of interior design I followed my PASSION for 13 years working in Chicago for Fortune 500 clients. Along the way I learned how to project manage, design and made some of the best friends in my life. But ultimately I was missing some piece of my own creativity. I could never quite put my finger on it until I had my first child and then my second. After both their births I had come another crossroads and had chosen a different MUST – raising a family. This has been the most important MUST of my life and one that I have treasured every step of the way. I have shared art, design, photography, creativity and a love for the world with my children and have helped them grow into who they are today! (Thanks to my dear friends Aryn and Lisa for reminding me of this recently)

Now that my kids are older, I am once again coming to those crossroads. Elle’s book reminds us that we come to this over and over again in our lives and this really isn’t a bad thing at all. I’m excited what MUST has in store for me now and have been exploring what it means for me…Photography, painting, writing, books, music, theater, film and travel. With these passions I always thought that they must be my career but I have come to realize that they are now just an extension of who I have become. I am lucky enough to get to share my passions with the world through my business and in this space. But I also get to savor some of the MUSTS just for myself and that’s the best part of all.

For those of you out there who are unsure of where your path is leading, look at where you are and you will find that you are actually right where you need to be on this journey. Enjoy the moment!

Elle says it best at the end of her book:

“We each have a unique potential that was given to us at birth, but whether or not we cultivate it is entirely up to us. In its purest sense, Must is why we are here to begin with, and choosing it is the journey of our lives.”

Special Thanks to Rebecca and Jenny of Workman Publishing for providing photos from the book, ALT Summit for the Keynote Address, Brooke Dennis and Justin Hackworth photography from ALT and Elle Luna for creating such a beautiful book and story about choosing MUST.

You can follow Elle on Instagram: @elleluna

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

 

 

 


Memories of Prince

by Sarah

Last week, when the news was announced, it took awhile for it to sink in. You see, Prince was a significant piece of my teenage years and most importantly my senior year of high school. Memories came flooding back that I had pushed away for many years. Riding on a bus for a school trip and the main topic of conversation: his music and his movie Purple Rain. Of all the memories why would that one be buried in my subconscious and why now would it be the first to come to light after hearing the news? The only reason I could possibly imagine is that there are parts of us that live in the past and parts of us that recall images of times that have a significance to us.

That bus trip was a turning point for me. I was so determined to be done with high school and move on with my life. It couldn’t happen quickly enough.

Capturing that moment, where I was with friends and slowing down time to just be a teenager was necessary for me to be able to move forward into the next phase of my life: college. That year we voted on our favorite band, song and movies for the yearbook and Prince inevitably came out on top. He had impacted me in a way that I would not really understand until last week.

My husband and I talk about this all the time; a song will come on the radio, a scene in a movie will remind us of something. Its our remember when moment…Music connects us to something larger than ourselves; it provides us with a release and sometimes connects us with a place and time in our lives that sparks memories. The 80’s for me were Prince – they were leaving childhood and becoming an adult; knowing innocence and seeing it drift away; for a moment his music was about bringing me back and helping me see fun, laughter and friendship in a new way where so much was possible.

As I began to watch on social media throughout the day, I noticed a similar recounting of memories. Everyone seemed to have their own thoughts on how Prince had impacted their lives. People were sharing and reminiscing. For just a moment, the news had turned something sad into happy and it made me smile.

Music can do that…it can help heal, it can help to give us hope and it can bring us peace.

At one point I popped on Twitter and noticed the three top trending items were: #Prince, #JasonBourne and #ChicagoCubs. I love music, good storytelling and of course Chicago Cubs Baseball! My three favorite passions were at the top. Prince was rockin, Jason Bourne was back and the Chicago Cubs were winning…

All was right with the world.

 

 


December Reflections with Susannah Conway

by Sarah

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As the last month of the year approaches and the busyness of the season sets in, my friend Susannah Conway steps back and takes a moment to reflect. This month she has a special project that I am participating in for the 2nd year and I hope you will follow along as well.

December Reflections is a photo or journal project to help you look back at your year and to find some quiet special moments during what can be a very overwhelming time for some. The prompts are listed above and if you take a look at Susannah’s site you can add your blog, sign up for a flickr group to share your images or simply take a moment to read her post and spend a few moments reflecting.

Have a great Tuesday everyone!

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notes on taking a blogging break

by Sarah

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I’ve been blogging since 2010 and have owned my own business since 2009. This past March I was faced with a major shoulder surgery and a child graduating from high school and heading off to college. I decided to take a break; a break from blogging and a break from my business. It was a hard decision but one that proved to be just what I needed at this point in time.

I spent 4 months recouping from surgery and enjoying my time with my family. Several times I sat down to write a post but the words would not come. So I rested… I traveled…I played…I painted and I photographed…It was the best time for renewing myself and for strengthening my relationship with my family.

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Today, September 1st marks a new beginning a renewed sense of where I am. I have been painting, photographing and sharing my story over on instagram and I do hope you will join me there. It is truly my favorite social media tool and also a great outlet to show my work.

Also, I am back to blogging and will be sharing more about my process, my work, owning a small business and creating space for ease. In addition, I will be back to sharing more interviews, book reviews and creative inspiration as I used to do several years ago.

I hope you will come along with me again and thank you from the bottom of heart for all your support these past 6 years.

Happy Tuesday everyone!


redinedesign: Red Hearts and Flowers

by Sarah

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Looking at these images takes me back to Paris and the incredible trip we took as a family a few years ago. We were lucky enough to stay with my uncle and his family on this trip and their view was of the Eiffel Tower. Everything about our stay was magical. The meals we shared, the places we walked, the sights and sounds we gathered on our daily trips.

I’m drawn to images of flowers and hearts. They envelop me in memories of my family. Flowers remind me of my grandmother and hearts make me feel connected to family far away. I’m also a hopeless romantic. I think it drives my husband crazy but he indulges it on occasion.

Take a moment today, to think about someone you love; write them a note, give them a kiss, and don’t forget to tell them that you LOVE them!

Happy Friday everyone!


redlinedesign: coloring books as inspiration

by Sarah

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I have always had a love for coloring books. I remember as a little girl, carefully outlining my coloring pages with a beautiful colored marker and then filling in the drawing with its matching pencil. This has not changed since becoming an adult. Coloring books provide me with freedom to choose a subject without having to make it up myself, a place to explore color and a new way of looking at my own sketching and drawing.

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One of my favorite coloring books is The Coloring Book by Herve Tullet. This book has simple black and white line drawings with prompts on each page. The paper is also fabulous for coloring and does not bleed through unless you use a sharpie marker.

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Coloring books by artists and designers have come into the spotlight in the last year and several of my friends have created their own versions :

Janean Morrison has flowers, mandalas and pattern & design versions of her own beautiful design work.

Marisa Anne Creative Thursday Coloring Book (Creative Thursday Coloring Books) (Volume 1)published her first coloring book with her whimsical characters in December.

and Lisa Congdon has several flowers, geometrics and folk art coloring books.

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If you are timid about keeping a journal or sketchbook, a coloring book is another way to start a creative practice. Get yourself some markers and pencils and a coloring book that excites you; keep it in a place that is easy to pull out and start exploring.

Happy New Year everyone!


redlinedesign: happy holidays

by Sarah

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A few weeks ago, I was in Chicago with my son Ben and we met up with good friends to work on a school project in Andersonville. Andersonville is a neighborhood on the north side of the city that was originally founded by Swedish immigrants. The history of these immigrants is still alive and well throughout the neighborhood and especially at The Swedish American Museum. The day we visited there happened to be an art/craft fair sharing the traditions of Swedish culture.

This made me think of my own family traditions and what I would like to pass along to my children so that they can become their traditions someday with their own families. Each year at the holidays, I make an advent candle wreath. This year, I was a bit busy, so Ben actually finished it for me. What I love about this tradition is that it reminds us to slow down and appreciate the holiday season. With all the hustle and bustle, gifts to wrap, gatherings to attend and trees to decorate, this can be a hard thing to remember. Traditions also make me see how my kids grow from year to year and how much they still want to keep those traditions alive as they grow up. Decorating gingerbread houses, opening the door each day on their advent calendars and decorating the tree.

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I’ll be taking the next week off from blogging in this space so that I can spend time with family and truly unplug. This is the last Christmas before Ben goes off to college and the last time we will all be together before the holidays. He has taken over the job of putting the angel on the tree from his dad and discussions have already started about when we will decorate the tree next year…

Thank you all for continuing to join me here in this space and I hope you have the most wonderful and joyous of holiday seasons.

xo

Sarah


5 photographer favorites on instagram

by Sarah

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{peacock from Late Harvest exhibit at Nevada Museum of Art}

I have been an instagram user since its inception several years ago and I use it as a tool in my photography practice to share photos on a daily basis. My feed is filled with pattern designers, artists, bloggers and photographers and today I would like to share some of my favorite photographers.

1. Alice Gao: Alice is a New York based photographer who posts what she calls “snaps” from her iphone.

2. Hogger & Co: Smita Jacobs is a Boston based photographer who shoots fashion, lifestyle and travel. She has the most beautiful feed of photos from the Boston Ballet that I instantly fell in love with.

3. Vivienne McMaster: Vivienne is the creator of Be Your Own Beloved Workshops and teaches self-portraiture to students. We met in person for a photo shoot recently and I love her feed. Lots of incredible images.

4. Sibella Court: I have written about Sibella on my blog many times and her instagram feed is always a treat. She is an Australian Interior Stylist and owner of one of my favorite shops: The Society, Inc. Her photography is an extension of her brand and often includes photos of her shoots.

5. Marte Marie Forsberg: Marte is a Norwegian Photographer that lives in England. One of her images this morning is what prompted me to write this post. It is a video outtake from a recent photo shoot with a cup of tea an empty chair and a handwritten note on a table. She blows me away with every photo.

Hope you enjoy a little foray into my instagram feed and have a fabulous weekend. I am off to take my son Ben for his first college audition!


photo meditations with susannah conway

by Sarah

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For the past 3 weeks I have been participating in Photo Meditations with Susannah Conway. This course is by far one of the most complete photo courses I have taken. It is not a technical course, but more a way to teach you to look with your eyes and your soul. I love teachers that do this. It seems more real to me than the technical aspects of photography and I believe this is a great place to start to learn about what you see around you.

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These are images from week one of the course. I went on a photo walk in a neighborhood that I know but often don’t take time to really see what beauty exists there. The lesson for me was about slowing down, taking in my surroundings and finding peace.

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As an artist, I believe this is a really important part of the creative process. We are all going at such a fast speed and want everything so quickly that actually stopping can be a difficult task for us. I encourage you to try it and see how it changes your perspective. I know it has changed mine.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

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Maira Kalman: Portraits in Creativity

by Sarah

I’m off today on a little adventure with my husband to get my creative fix and pick up some art supplies in San Francisco. In the meantime, I thought you would all enjoy this incredible video on Maira Kalman about Creativity. The video is part of a series by: Gael Towey, a former Creative Director for Martha Stewart Living magazine. “Gael Towey’s great love is storytelling. “Portraits in Creativity”, the series of short-form videos directed and produced by Towey, seeks to capture the bravery of artists and artisans, and reveals the visual seduction of the creative process.”

One of my favorite parts of the video is towards the end when she is learning ballet for Peter and the Wolf.

In addition, she talks about the book she created: Girls Standing on Lawns with MoMA and Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). I purchased this book on one of my last trips to New York. I absolutely love it and was so excited that Maira shared about its creation in the video.

Have a great Monday everyone and I look forward to sharing my own portraits in creativity in the coming weeks.

 


august break 2014: drink

by Sarah

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A boy turning into a man…my thoughts when I captured this photo. At first I wanted just the drink and then he started playing and covering up the mug with his phone. All of a sudden it struck me…his hands around the mug, him growing and getting ready to leave the nest…I had to capture the moment..so I slowed us down and reminded myself of when he was younger…this will forever be one of my favorite moments captured…he made me smile, he always does and he reminded me to slow down and take in the moment not just capture an image. I had him put his hands around the mug just like he would when he was about to drink from it and we stopped for a moment in time and gathered the story.

I hope I can capture the story this year in this way. He will be going to college soon and I want so badly to remember his movements and funny words and laughter.

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august break 2014 – windows

by Sarah

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My neighbors have been clearing out an old farming field near my house; it is an area that I use many times for inspiration in my photographic work so when I saw they were clearing it, I panicked a little and wanted to capture it just as it has been for the past 10 years.

This is an image of a window in an old barn on the property. As I was out for my walk I noticed that the gate was open and went in to take a better look. I climbed over old tires, beat up car seats and wooden planks to come to the barn.

Just a little window in the barn almost closed by another plank but beckoning me to take its photo. I wonder what mysteries are inside waiting to be explored?

 

This month I am taking a break from my normal blogging practice and participating in Susannah Conway’s August Break 2014. You can find daily prompts over on her site and a series of photos by the participants at the hashtag: #augustbreak2014

Have a great Monday everyone!

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Daring Adventures in Collage – Week Three/Four

by Sarah

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{Em – week 3}

A few weeks ago, I shared a post with artwork from Daring Adventures in Collage, a course my daughter and I have been taking with Mati McDonough. Today, I am sharing week three and four with you. Our project for week three was to create a surrealist collage.

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{Sarah – Week 3}

These pieces were really fun to create. Em chose to completely collage first and then highlight areas with white pen. I chose to explore with some of my pen work and old photographs and leave the background of my board in a natural state.

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{collaboration by Sarah and Em – Week 4}

For week four we “got our collage on” and chose to work with our initials. Em combined all the colors and patterns to create the ampersand in the middle. This was definitely like stepping back into crafting and all three pieces were created with paper and matte medium.

Mati really knows how to help you have fun during your creative moments. We were able to sit back, relax and let the paper be our guide. Next week, we will be giving away a copy of Mati’s book: Daring Adventures in Paint over on the create.explore.discover facebook page. We will also be highlighting Mati as she will be teaching for the 3rd year at our retreat. Her classes sell out quickly and from taking this course with her you can see why. She is fun, easy going, creative and embraces her creativity in all she creates.

 

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california color story: miette, san francisco

by Sarah

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Happy Wednesday everyone!


Daring Adventures in Collage – week one/two

by Sarah

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{week one – sarah}

For the last month my daughter Emily and I have been participating in Daring Adventures in Collage with my friend Mati McDonough. Daring Adventures is a 5 week mixed media collage and painting class that is a perfect course to do with a friend or a child. Em and I have enjoyed creating together each week and I am excited to share our work with you.

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{week one – Emily}

For week one, we selected an animal and made our images strictly out of collage and paint. I went back to a project I worked on last year for Making Art that Sells and recreated a piece with the snail. Em chose one of our favorite books Zen Shorts as the basis for her piece.

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{week two – sarah}

Week Two was all about using collage as the basis for your piece. We both started by collaging and layering paper on our canvas. I love how we each took different directions and and color schemes. It was fun for both of us to interpret the exercise in different ways.

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{week two – Em}

I know several of you have asked about classes you can take with your children and I would highly recommend any of Mati’s courses. You can find out more about her classes on her website and she will be teaching at this years create.explore.discover art retreat as well.

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Emily Jeffords

by Sarah

Emily Jeffords from Traveling Storytellers on Vimeo.

I first came across Emily Jeffords work at ALT Summit this past January. As you may or may not know, ALT is known for their business card walls. If you attend a summit you will see several magnetized areas to hang your business cards. Theses are not your run of the mill cards but instead a beautiful collection of artistic pieces created by bloggers, graphic designers, and artists.

This is where I found Emily’s work. It instantly caught my eye and I knew I had found something of value and incredible beauty. Once I got home, I signed up for her newsletter and instagram and have been following her work since.

Today, I received this lovely video via Emily’s newsletter and just had to share it with you this morning. Now I really need to buy one of her pieces…

Happy Tuesday everyone!


TED Talks: Elizabeth Gilbert

by Sarah

This video was shared with me by Rebecca Villareal in my Right-Brain Business Group. Such a great way to inspire you to keep on going not matter what when you are creating. The video is a TED talk by Elizabeth Gilbert.

Happy Saturday everyone!


friday reflection: chicago cubs baseball

by Sarah

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I used to live 2 blocks from this fire station. Its sits directly across the street, on Waveland Ave, from Wrigley Field the home of the Chicago Cubs. It is an institution in this neighborhood and I remember one summer walking to “the Jewel” (our neighborhood grocery store – for you non Chicagoans) when the firetruck came, full sirens blaring , past us down our street. My husband, as he still to this day, says to fireman and policeman “go get ’em boys”. We rounded the corner and saw that the fire truck was parked at the Jewel and wondered what was going on…. To our surprise, the fireman were in the grocery store purchasing watermelon for their dinner! They were in a hurry and just in case anyone got in their way or they got called out to a fire they ran their sirens.

Neighborhoods are part of the fabric and culture of Chicago and Wrigleyville for us was no exception. We loved living there and many of our college friends made it their home as well. On our last trip to Chicago we took our kids to a Cubs game and for the first time sat along the third base line about 4 rows up. I was amazed that we could get these tickets but so wanted to share our love of the Cubs with our kids. Something funny struck me when we were sitting down that it was the first time in my history of visiting Wrigley Field that it was not full.

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I asked several friends about it later and they said that the neighborhood has gotten too expensive, the new owners have not included the neighborhood in decision making and that most 20-30 year olds can’t afford to attend the games anymore and people don’t want to pay big money for a losing team. It made me sad to hear this and prompted me to write about my memories of living in such a vibrant and incredibly fun neighborhood.

I was also asked to fill by cubs.com to fill out a survey after we attended the game. Somehow through my answers the survey said that I was not what they were looking for in their survey results. I lived in the neighborhood for 13 years, attended many many games throughout my childhood and throughout my time in the neighborhood. I can now afford to take my family to a game and sit in nice seats and would put it as number one on the list of things to do when we visit Chicago.

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I have great memories of being in Wrigley Field, including scraping a few dollars on my anniversary to sit in the bleachers and winning the bleacher pool for attendance allowing my husband and I to have a nice dinner out for our special day (one which we could not have afforded otherwise). I got hit in the head with a foul ball along the 3rd base line, on a Friday afternoon in the summer 4 months after my first child was born. I was whisked away by cubs security and called for months after to make sure I wasn’t going to sue them. I would never have even thought about that, I loved the Cubs! That was 17 years ago, and I still love telling the story.

In my apartment on Waveland Ave. we had an enclosed sun porch. Once baseball season started we would sit out on the porch and listen to the roar of the crowd and Harry Carey sing the 7th inning stretch. When Harry Carey died I watched his funeral on TV and remembered back to those days on the porch.

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I have friends that met at Wrigley Field, lived in the neighborhood, were later married and had photos taken outside the day of their wedding. (yes, Hoods I am talking to you here)

I now live on the west coast, have traveled to Mesa to see Cubs spring training, attended Giants games in San Francisco when the Cubs have played them and watch them on TV on WGN during the week just to hear the buzz from the crowd and to remind me of my time in the neighborhood.

If I’m not what the Cubs are looking for in a survey, then who is? This year is the 100th anniversary of Wrigley Field. To me, there is still no better place to see a baseball game, connect with friends and share in a neighborhoods love of the game. I hope the new owners of the Cubs can figure out their issues as I want my kids to take their kids and make their memories in this incredibly nostalgic home on the north side.

I’d love to hear your favorite memories of the Cubs, will you share them in the comments below?

Have a great weekend everyone!

 


Inspiring me today: Jake Barton: The Museum of You

by Sarah

“our hope, that’s there’s poetry inside of each of our stories” – Jake Barton

Happy Friday everyone!

 


inspiring me this week: Jimmy Fallon

by Sarah

Need I say more?

After a truly awesome week, Brene Brown posted this incredibly funny video from Jimmy Fallon of Brian Williams )my favorite newscaster rapping to one of my favorite rap songs of all times.

Have a great weekend everyone! and take a moment to dance with your besties!


Leaving LA

by Sarah

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I have just returned from a week in LA with my family. One thing I love about LA is leaving. I know this sounds odd, but stick with me here. I love leaving LA at the end of the day when the sun is about to set.

You board the plane, it gets ready for take off and the sky begins to change color. You know, the end of the day color, the color right before sunset. The pink, deep and mysterious and the orange so dark and warm that you can feel it glow inside you.

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If you are lucky enough to sit on the left side of the plane, you can watch the sun set over the ocean as you take off. Most people consider this the ending of the day but not me. I think of it as the beginning. As our day is ending, I think of the sun as it dips below the horizon only to rise in another part of the world as the  beginning of a new day. My extended family lives in this part of the world and I always wonder what awaits them as their day begins.

I have been leaving LA since I was a teenager. I have never lived there but instead it is my entrance and exit point of the country I now call home. Sometimes I am alone, sometimes with my family but the constant is always the sunset. It never disappoints me and never questions but always fills me instead with warmth. LA has become my stopping point before I continue my journey. It is my beginning.

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As the plane settles in at its altitude I see the sky begin to go dark, deep yellow, dark blue then black.

Have a great Monday, everyone.

 

 

 



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