September Creativity Tips – Starting a Personal Project

by Sarah

Copy of Copy of Copy of holiday sale

“Creativity is a habit, and the best creativity is the result of good work habits” – Twyla Tharp

Back in June, I asked you to follow along with a new book I was reading called The Wander Society. I have read about 3/4 of the book. In it, Keri Smith discusses Walt Whitman and the fact that he may be one of the founders of this “secret society”. I’m not sure what I think about the possibility of a secret society of artists and creatives but I do believe it’s a great place to begin to explore and find new ways of refining your path.


[Mary Jo Hoffman – STILL – relative losses]

This month, I’m taking that explorer notion and opening it up to “personal projects”. These are projects you create that are purely for the desire of making and building your skill set as an artist. I have completed several of these over the past few years and find my art and photography has really grown because of the discipline to do something continuously.


[Mary Jo Hoffman – STILL – one pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small]

I’m also inspired by other artists and their thought processes behind what they create. Have you seen STILL blog? It is a blog created by artist – Mary Jo Hoffman. She has been sharing a daily photo for (4) years, of gathered natural objects, on a white background. The images are strikingly beautiful but its also the discipline to keep creating after such a long period of time that interests me.



[Lisa Congdon – Collection a Day – 2010]

Of course, I couldn’t write a post about personal projects without including, my dear friend Lisa Congdon. One of her first personal projects is called: A Collection a Day where she photographed a collection each day for 365 days. This project had it’s own blog and eventually turned into a book published by Uppercase Magazine.


[Lisa Congdon – Experiments in Blue – Week 34]

Lisa’s most recent project is entitled Experiments in Blue. For 52 weeks, Lisa is painting, drawing and creating artwork using primarily blue as a starting point for her creations. As you can see these are two very different projects that show a great range in her development as an artist.


[Lisa Congdon – Experiments in Blue – Week 23]

By continually stretching yourself and gathering subjects that interest you, your art, photography and creative discipline will grow into a body of work that over time can become a jumping off point for further exploration.

In the coming months I will be exploring personal projects in greater depth and sharing some of my personal journeys with you.

Have a great Thursday!

Note: Special Thanks to Mary Jo Hoffman for the use of her images and to Lisa Congdon for the constant friendship and YES! when asked to use her images!


Nick Holmes: Time Spent Falling

by Sarah Stevenson

nick holmes

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.

nick holmes

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.

nick holmes

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.”

nick holmes

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.

nick holmes

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.





June Creative Tips

by Sarah


” Creativity is the quality that you bring to the activity that you are doing. It is an attitude, an inner approach – how you look at things . . . Whatsoever you do, if you do it joyfully, if you do it lovingly, if your act of doing is not purely economical, then it is creative.” –  Osho

Its summer! and time to go outside. It’s also time to wander, discover and explore the world around us. For me it’s all about travel and visits to Lake Tahoe and mini adventures that I can create at the last minute to see where I will end up. These are the best ways I find to develop my creative muscles. I’ll be traveling to San Francisco and Chicago and will have my camera ready to capture all that I see.

I just came across a new book by Keri Smith called the Wander Society. I have been a huge fan of Keri’s for quite some time and even started my own creative journey on this blog with her 100 Ideas. I’m intrigued by the subject matter of the book and want to go exploring and wandering to see what I can find out about this secret society.

This month, I want you to explore. If you are so inclined, purchase the book and follow along with me. Or pull out your phone, camera or sketchbook and go outside. Take a walk, stop along the way and record what you see, hear, feel and smell. These records can turn into inspiration for your writing, your art or just be something special for your sketchbook. If you get stuck, pull an idea off Keri’s 100 ideas worksheet and see where that takes you.

Most importantly, these exercise are meant to be fun, easy and not perfect. Get outside and enjoy!

Friday Moments in Creativity – June 3

by Sarah

For me, my creative journey has taken many twists and turns. I absolutely love exploring new aspects of creativity that may in some way affect what I am making and definitely relates to how I see the world around me. Since I posted about the death of Prince back in April my deep love of music has seen a resurgence and I find I am constantly seeking out how music and musicians play a role in my own journey as an artist.

I have followed U2 since the days of their New’s Years Day video on MTV back in the 1980’s and I have to say that they are really my all time favorite band. The video above is really interesting to watch because it goes through the process of the Edge picking and designing his new Fender guitar. Designing and making a musical instrument is one of the quintessential creative processes and what the musician is able to do with the instrument constantly amazes me.

Another place that we can look for inspiration is the acting profession. I know I may be biased with a son that is a theater major but as I have looked deeper I have grown ever more appreciative for what it takes to work as a professional actor on stage and screen. While on my injury hiatus, I came across Tanc Sade, an Australian actor who played Finn on the Gilmore Girls and is Christopher House in the upcoming Showtime series: Roadies. Somehow I started following Tanc first on instagram and then on twitter and became interested in his story because of the intense hours he was putting in to develop new skills.

Many creatives I know talk about how they love so many different things and cannot decide what they should pursue. After following Tanc, I can say keep exploring and do everything. This is what a creative journey is about; the learning, the growing, the hard work and the satisfaction of making something at the end that you can be proud of!

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It has been refreshing for me to see a working actor share his story through social media that is NOT tabloid media. In the course of me following him (which has only been since March) he has learned to Tango, to play the piano, and to golf all in the name of having a passion for his craft – acting. Tanc is also a two time Australian National Freediving record holder, sings and plays guitar and is an incredible photographer. My photo above – which was taken over the Pacific Ocean in March was inspired by this one that he also took over the Pacific after spearfishing and freediving. Incidently, my photo has been the most liked photo ever in my instagram feed.

We can also take a personal branding/social media lesson from musicians and actors such as Tanc; he shares his story with humor, honesty and an enthusiastic look into his world. Sometimes, we get so intense about having a perfectly curated feed that we lose sight of the real story behind our brands – OURSELVES. Take a moment to look at your own brand and your social media – make sure you are sharing what truly makes you happy.

Creativity comes in many shapes and forms but there are many crossovers within each of our disciplines. When you get to that moment of creative block (and we all do) take a look at music, musicians, photographers, actors and design. You might just find some nugget of inspiration that will keep you moving forward in your own endeavours.

Have a great weekend! and enjoy the videos.

Summer Photo Series – June 23

by Sarah


It’s time to Explore.

Create Explore Discover and redlinedesign® are excited to offer a series of summer photo workshops.

Not a great photographer?

This class is designed to help you feel more comfortable in creating great images with your iPhone that you can share for your business or personal use.
This is a hands on course and will cover basics of how to take a photo with your phone, useful apps to edit your photos and setting up a series of photos to post on social media throughout the week that focus on building your business or wowing your friends.
No camera experience necessary, just a desire to learn and have fun. You will leave knowing how to use your phone camera and an added confidence in photo taking.
We will be taking a photo walk in downtown Reno – come out an enjoy a beautiful summer day along the Truckee River. This is an easy walk. We will walk .5-1.0 miles along Riverside Drive and the Truckee River
Date: Thursday, June 23
Time: 1:00-2:30pm

Location: Please meet at Hub Coffee Roasters on Riverside Drive.

Registration Now Open

Please bring the following to class:
• iPhone
• notebook and favorite pen
• bottle of water
This is a hands on course and will cover basics of how to take a photo with your phone, useful apps to edit your photos and several methods for saving, storing and printing your images. 
You will receive a specialized handout with step by step instructions for the class.
*Please note this is not a technical photography class. No camera experience is necessary, just a desire to learn and have fun. This is a flat, easy walk.
USE CODE: NOSHIPPING in the checkout to avoid automatically added shipping costs
Class size is limited to 15 students to allow personal assistance and interaction


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

brothers on life book cover

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
matt czuchry brothers on life

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

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

Should_Must_Jacket Image_2D

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.



On Pursuing and Living Your Dreams

by Sarah

2016-02-22 09.53.42

For the past 6 weeks I have been recouping from a torn plantar fascia. When I first found out I would have to wear a boot on my right foot for 4 months and stay off it as much as possible I sent myself into quite a tail spin. You see last year I had a 2nd major shoulder surgery which took my away from my business for almost 10 months. I wasn’t quite sure what all this meant and I certainly was not happy with the outcome.

I was on track in January to hit the ground running and go all out with new projects and new products. It starting to happen and was gaining momentum when my injury hit. So I did what the doctor ordered, stayed off my foot and binge watched movies and TV for a month. During the course of this time I began to wonder about my dreams and where they were going and exactly what I wanted to accomplish with my business and my life.

Part of this wondering lead me down a path that was surprising. You see I haven’t actually watched much TV since my obsession with Seinfeld back in the 90’s.  Last summer, my daughter Emily introduced me to Gilmore Girls on Netflix. I watched a few episodes with her to make sure it was “appropriate TV” and then tucked it away into my Netflix profile. She would keep coming to me to share funny moments and story lines that she enjoyed and kept telling me that I needed to watch it. So I did. I began halfway through Season 5 and binge watched until the end of the series on Season 7. This fall, she began watching it again so naturally I took another look. It wasn’t until the middle of February that I started from Season 1 and watched all the way through. I had no idea the buzz around the show until I started looking up some of the actors. This lead me down a rabbit hole and to a book: Brothers on Life by Matt and Mike Czuchry. (Matt was on the series for Seasons 5-7 and stars in The Good Wife on CBS)


If you have followed me in this space for a long time you know I used to interview fellow creatives and I shared a lot about books that have had some impact on my creative journey. Reading this book reminded me of my original mission of sharing about creativity and what drives us to follow our passions. So in a weird round about way, the book brought me back and has opened the flood gates to a project I have had on the back burner for the last two years.

Yesterday, I shared a series of books on facebook and instagram that I will be talking about in this space over the next month or so. Brothers on Life is one of them. My plan is to write a synopsis each book and talk about the way each has impacted me, reach out to the authors for a possible interview and fully develop the special project I started so long ago. I hope you will come along on this journey with me and please feel free to share any of your favorite creative books in the comments, I might add them for future posts…

Happy Tuesday everyone!



January 2016 – Creative Tips

by Sarah

January 2016 Creative Tips

January is a time for new beginnings, renewing your creative alignment and starting new projects. For me, that means cleaning my studio, starting a new sketchbook, setting creative goals and adding a few new tools to my creative practice. It also means assessing how I grew as an artist last year and where I want to see myself at the end of 2016.

Last year was a different year for me creatively. I had shoulder surgery in March so that took out many months of creative exploration. I did however participate in my first show – The Strike Away Show and I have plans to submit my work to several shows this year. I completed my 100 Wednesdays Black and White Photography Project and this year have decided to tackle a 365 Pattern Play Personal Project to grow my surface pattern making skills. I like sketching and playing with pattern in my sketchbook so for January most of the pieces will be simple patterns that I draw or paint in an 8×8 sketchbook. You can follow along at #100wednesdaypp on instagram and of course in this space on Wednesdays throughout the year. I painted a lot over November and December and am still continuing on my #52paintingclass journey. I have now painted 13 pieces of the 52 I had set out to complete.

My children gave me a full set of Crayola crayons, markers, and paints for Christmas and also a beautiful coloring book so these are fun tools for me to play and explore with during the month.

If you are just beginning your own creative journey this year – I encourage you to pick something simple and fun and try it for 30 days. It can be as easy as picking up a coloring book and coloring the pages before you or as challenging as a personal project for the year.

I’d love to hear what you have in store. Please feel free to share in the comments and don’t forget to link to where we can find you. We’d love to follow your creative journey.

Happy Tuesday everyone!

December Reflections with Susannah Conway

by Sarah


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!


Enjoy Life Sip by Sip

by Sarah

enjoy life

Although I have been relatively quiet here in the last several months I have been creating like a mad woman. Sketching, photography, painting, and reading a lot!

Part of all this creating has been experimenting with different art supplies including gouache, pen and ink and marker. this piece is one of my experiments and I am showing it to you today to remind you doing the work is the only way to grow a creative practice. I have now filled several pads of mixed media paper with different pieces including this one. Some days it is really hard, others the inspiration comes quickly.

week 5 pattern colored

One of my favorite areas of experimenting has been with pattern design. I learned how to create an 8×8 pattern from Molly Hatch on Creative Live last month and I think I have finally found a way to create patterns that works with my hand drawing background and my computer skills. I have a companion piece in the works for this one. I’ll share it here and on instagram once its complete.

Have a great Monday everyone!


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!

Elizabeth Gilbert: Success, Failure and the Drive to Keep Creating

by Sarah

I have been following Elizabeth Gilbert for a number of years and I find her TED talks on creativity really motivating. At various times in my own creative process I have achieved both success and failure but somehow I still continue to create. This is what Elizabeth is speaking about in her most recent TED Talk… Hope you enjoy.

I am off to San Francisco for a meeting tomorrow. I’m sure I will capture some photos along the way so please feel free to follow along on instagram. You can find me @redlinedesign.

Have a great Monday and I would love to hear your thoughts on the drive to keep creating!

redlinedesign: coloring books as inspiration

by Sarah


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.


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.


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.


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!

Impossible Project – Paris

by Sarah


Last year as many of you may remember I spent 10 days in Paris with my family. Amongst all the walking, museum going, shopping and just plain walking around with my eyes wide open, I happened upon The Impossible Project Space Paris. A week earlier my friend Andrea Jenkins had visited and posted photos so I did have a little nudge to go and find it.

As it happened we were adventuring in the neighborhood and stumbled upon the right street at the right time.

For those of you that don’t know about The Impossible Project, let me take a moment to explain.

In the world of Polaroid photography The Impossible Project has made it possible for Polaroid photographers to continue to buy film for their cameras as Polaroid stop producing it and their classic cameras in 2008.


Direct from the Impossible Project site:  “In October 2009 – Having bought the production machinery from Polaroid, this small but ambitious team decided to embark on ‘The Impossible Project’ – using old Agfa technology to simulate Polaroid’s chemistry and re-establish the production of Polaroid-format instant film. They’re inspired by a quote from Polaroid founder Edwin Land: “Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible.”

I was interested in seeing the space as I had taken a Polaroid class with Andrea a few years ago and it sparked an interest that I did not have prior to the course. I now own (2) vintage land cameras in their original leather case; a refurbished SX-70 camera and a newer Polaroid that shoots 2×3 photos. I purchased some film for the SX-70 and it traveled with me to London, back to Reno, to San Francisco (where I used a roll) and now resides in my refrigerator waiting for me to find time to use it.


I’m always searching and seeking out new ways to build my photography and I must say this is one of that really excites me. Three photographers that have inspired me on this path are Andrea Jenkins, Meghan Davidson and Susannah Conway. They have all taken a unique approach in using these cameras for building their work and I truly admire each one.

In October, I am honored to share that Andrea will be joining us at to teach (2) Polaroid classes like I took with her a few years ago and a basic photography class for those wanting to learn more about their cameras. There’s still a few spaces left for you to join us so please consider it. You will not be disappointed. In addition, Andrea is giving away two of her prints this week on the CED blog.



Finding unique shops and interesting details while traveling is one of my favorite things to do. I love exploring and adventuring with my family and when I find spaces like The Impossible Project I use it as a learning exercise for all of us.

Have a great Wednesday everyone.

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.


Daring Adventures in Collage – Week Three/Four

by Sarah


{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.


{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.


{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 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.




Daring Adventures in Collage – week one/two

by Sarah


{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.


{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.


{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.


{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 art retreat as well.


Reno Mini Maker Faire – Art

by Sarah

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{The Lear Theater by ABCArtAttack}

For me, the Mini Maker Faire in Reno was all about collaboration, connection and art. I was blown away by the art pieces that were showcased for the TEDxReno event and then for our event last Saturday. The piece above was created by Bryce Chisholm a local artist who’s work can be seen all over Reno. This piece was painted on the side of an electrical box outside the theater and will become a part of the local landscape around Riverside Drive. TEDx shared a great video about Bryce’s art which you can see here: Bryce Chisholm Video


{Believe by Jeff Schomberg and Laura Kimpton}

The full word Believe is now in its temporary home at the ice rink in downtown Reno. Reno Gazette Journal also has a great video to watch on the making of the art pieces. So definitely take a moment and click on the link above. I particularly enjoyed Jeff speaking about how he gives away the bird pieces and that they now exist all over the world.


{Library of Babel by Warwick Macmillian and crew}

Warwick and his crew currently work out of the Generator in Sparks and are creating a new installation for this years upcoming Burning Man. The installation aptly named The Library of Babel will house hand made books with handmade paper and a series of lighted pieces that you see below based upon the works of Borges. You can follow along their journey of creating their exhibit on their facebook page: The Library of Babel and most recently they have started a kickstarter campaign that you can connect to through this video: The Library of Babel


{Library of Babel by Warwick McMillian and Crew}

Inspired by all this making and creating? Why not share something you have been working on in the comments?

Have a great Friday everyone!


Reno Mini Maker Faire: Thank You

by Sarah

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This past weekend I was involved in the Reno Mini Maker Faire. This was a collaborative event between Ashley Jennings of GirlMade, EDAWN, The City of Reno, Chrissy Klenke of The DeLaMare Science and Engineering Library at University of Nevada-Reno and many volunteers and local businesses. My responsibility was first to help secure makers and exhibitors for the event and then to coordinate their setup and participation in the fair.

I have to say that through all my collaborations that this has been one of the most well run, well coordinated and most enjoyable events I have been a part of. Everyone on our team took their jobs on with so much enthusiasm and excitement that it was easy to be a part of the group. I’ll be sharing some of my photos throughout the week, but just wanted to say a special thank you to Ashley, Chrissy, Sue-Ting, and Brian for making me feel a part of something that I am sure is going to be a yearly tradition for our city.

It was a pleasure working with everyone on the team, the makers and exhibitors and all the volunteers that came out to help on Saturday. I look forward to working with you all again for next year (of course if you will have me back?)

Have a great Monday everyone!




Mini Maker Faire – Reno

by Sarah


On Saturday, June 7th, Reno will be hosting its first ever Maker Faire. There will be robots, electronics, roving artists, local and regional artists and crafters selling their work and a whole lot of fun for the entire family.

What is the Maker Faire?

“The original Maker Faire event was held in San Mateo, CA and in 2013 celebrated its eighth annual show with some 900 makers and 120,000 people in attendance. World Maker Faire New York, the other flagship event, has grown in four years to 600+ makers and 75,000 attendees.  Detroit, Kansas City, Newcastle (UK), Rome, Oslo and Tokyo are the home of “featured” 2013 Maker Faires (200+ makers), and community-driven, independently organized Mini Maker Faires are now being produced around the United States and the world—including right here in Reno.”

To find out more about our local event and to purchase tickets, hop on over to makerfairereno.

Happy Monday, 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!

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