Into the Deep Group Show

by Sarah

For the past 10 weeks I have been honored to work along side Catherine Just and 10 amazing women photographers to create a body of work in a master photography class called Into the Deep. I have known Catherine for many years but this was only the second time I have taken a course from her. By spending some time every day making and photographing the world around me, I have been able to strengthen my creative practice, something that it so important for artists of any medium.

Throughout the process Catherine challenged us to view as much photography and art as we could. This is something I do anyway on a weekly basis but Catherine opened my eyes to additional photographers that I did not previously know about. Cig Harvey was one such artist. I was drawn to her work because we both shoot mainly in a square format and her subject matter of home, nature and family were intriguing to me. Her handmade photo books are beautiful pieces of art in their own right and something I aspire to create more of with my work.

For Into the Deep, my subject matter included Reno/Tahoe, San Francisco and Los Angeles. I live in the Reno/Tahoe area but am constantly drawn to San Francisco and LA for work, family and play and have a deep love and longing to live back in the city.

All the photographs for this project are black and white and I chose to exclude myself from the images. It was important to me to be able to evoke a feeling and sense of longing through what I was seeing in the camera. Many days, I would stop the car and capture an image of the clouds as I glanced and saw something that caught my eye. In addition, when I travel I like to sit in the window seat so I can glance at the world below the airplane. Again, if something captured my attention, I would shoot several images through the window of the plane and adjust them slightly to create the feeling I was looking for.

In the course of the last 10 weeks, I took hundreds of photos and narrowed them down to just 20 for the exhibit. This was probably the hardest part of creating a collection. Being able to decide what stays in and what gets discarded, I am sure is a life long endeavor as you keep creating.

At the beginning of the course, Catherine asked us who inspires our work or who is inspiring us now? As part of my business I work with many creatives, who constantly inspire me to work harder and smarter but for this particular project, my friend and fellow photographer – Nick Holmes influenced much of the work I created. His use of light and shadow to enhance his subject matter encouraged me to view my work in a completely different way and allowed me to set aside my expectations of perfection and just shoot. For that I am grateful.

To view the entire show please visit Into the Deep on Catherine’s website. This group of women are remarkably talented and I am honored to be exhibiting along side them.

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

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


On Pursuing and Living Your Dreams

by Sarah

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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!



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!


sneak peek: 2016 redlinedesign calendar

by Sarah


So excited to share a sneak peek of our 2016 calendar with you. This year, flowers were everywhere in my world and I am thrilled to announce that our calendar will be filled with my favorites for each month. Most of the flowers were actually taken in my garden in Northern Nevada, so they have an extra personal touch from me.


Special thanks to Libby at Stan Can Design for helping design the template and thank you to everyone that has liked my flowers over on instagram. It’s what keeps me creating!


The calendar is now available for pre-order and will be available to ship on November 1st. We will only be printing 25 calendars in this first run!

Happy Friday 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!

52 weeks of black and white: week 8

by Sarah


{dreaming of future possibilities}

I’m two months into this project and just want to remind you that you can play along. Just tag your photos #100wednesdaysbw and I may feature your work on the blog and instagram!

Have a great Thursday everyone!


Embrace YOU!

by Sarah

{portrait session with Vivienne McMaster}

Last fall I had some photos taken by Vivienne McMaster at a business retreat I was attending. Vivienne is a photographer that teaches you to embrace YOU through self love and self portraiture. Our morning included journaling, self-portraits and a 20 minute individual photo session with Viv.

{Sarah and Viv} photo by Sarah

This was admittedly one of the hardest things I have done. As women, we can be so critical of our appearance and of what we look like as we age that it is often difficult to see ourselves without blinders on. I am no different. I automatically thought “oh my god, those wrinkles around my eyes” instead of saying those wrinkles have so much to tell and to share from what they have seen.

I’ve held on to the photographs from our session for the last several months and have only just begun to share them. I think part of this is because I was nervous. I nervous because I was critical. All the things I have been teaching my own teenage daughter to embrace and I was not embracing them myself. This is where I am in my life: a 47 year old woman with two teenage children and I have been married for 25 years. I have a lot to be proud of and Vivienne helped me to see that.

{self portrait}

I decided to share these photos today because last week I received this video from Susannah Conway and I also read about a similar experience that my friend Lisa Congdon shared. These are both women that I admire deeply for consistently sharing their own truths. This is an important dialogue and one I hope to continue to talk about more in this space.

In the meantime:

YOU are your most important asset and YOU are ENOUGH!

Have a great Monday everyone!



52 weeks of black and white: week 7

by Sarah

{Santa Monica Pier at Sunset}

Once again this week, I am a tad late in posting my 100 Wednesday Black and White. My family is off school this week and my husband is on vacation so I’m a bit distracted with good things and family time.

My son turned 18 this week and it has put me into a major reflection mode. Both of my kids call it my “Hallmark” moments but I am realizing how quickly they are both growing up and how soon our daily family dynamic will change and I want to savor every last moment and enjoy.

This photo reminded me also of savoring our moments and taking the time to reflect and be connected to nature. I have wanted to touch the sand and hear the waves crash for about 6 months and finally last week I got to do that. Even just a brief beach visit reconnected me with a slower pace, fresh air and the journey I am on…

Have a great Friday everyone!


redinedesign: Red Hearts and Flowers

by Sarah


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!

52 weeks of black and white: week 5

by Sarah

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{my girl}

Got a bit behind this week in posting my black and white image to the blog. But here she is…I was asked yesterday if I took this photo. The answer is YES, I take all the photos on this site unless I am profiling another artist or have images given to me by someone else. At those times I clearly let you know who the photographer or artist is as photo credit is a very important topic for me as an artist.

Hope you had a great Wednesday, yesterday!


redlinedesign + BRIKA

by Sarah

Screen Shot 2015-01-29 at 8.09.12 AM

For the last several weeks I have been working behind the scenes on a wonderful collaboration and I am so excited to share today that (16) pieces of my work are now available for sale on BRIKA. BRIKA is an online curated shopping experience based in Toronto, Canada that believes in handmade, good quality design.

I hope you will take a look at their site and at my shop page. They interviewed me and have highlighted some of the questions on the site. I have a new headshot featured in my shop taken by Vivienne McMaster. (Thanks Viv!)

Thank you also to Kena, Gavin and Stephanie for working with me on getting the shop together. I am super excited for our collaboration!

Have a great Thursday everyone!

52 weeks of black and white: week 4

by Sarah

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{the plaza hotel}

While in New York last week my son and I walked from the Guggenheim to the Plaza Hotel for afternoon tea. The floral displays always wow me in the front lobby as does much of the old grandeur of the lobby’s interior.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!


52 weeks of black and white: week 3

by Sarah

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{my view for the next few days}

Have a great Wednesday!


redlinedesign: new york color story

by Sarah

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I’m traveling in New York this week but wanted to share a few photos of my adventures!

Hope you had a great Tuesday!

redlinedesign: valentine framed prints

by Sarah


Wander Paris, is a collection of photos that were taken during some time I spent in Paris recently. For many of the square pieces we have matted and framed them and they are now for sale in our shop. These make a great addition for a loved one, a college student, a good friend or a special treat for yourself this Valentines Day.

Happy Friday, everyone.

52 weeks of black and white: week 2

by Sarah

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Cloud cover over Lake Tahoe – week 2

Have a great Wednesday, everyone!

redlinedesign: valentine cards

by Sarah


Have you started looking for Valentines Cards yet? We have several offerings that are now available.

Have a great Friday everyone!

5 day black and white challenge – part two

by Sarah

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I have just returned from a 5 day trip to Illinois and specifically Chicago. As many of you may know this was my home before moving to Reno 14 years ago. I love visiting and walking and find that I walk everywhere in this city. I love it! Last week I was in the midst of a 5 day black and white photo challenge from my friend Lisa Kurt.

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These are the last two photos from the challenge and I am so happy that they were images from Chicago. I have always loved black and white photography and even have a board on pinterest dedicated to my love for the medium.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

5 day black and white challenge

by Sarah

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A few weeks ago my friend Lisa Kurt challenged me to take part in the 5 day black and white challenge on instagram. It took me awhile to find my flow and my first shot for inspiration but I am now 3 days in am enjoying capturing images in black and white.

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For me capturing images comes from what I see around me. Sometimes I pull over in the car because I see something that makes me go “WOW”; other times it may be a city capture on a trip or a moment with my family where I want to remove all the color and just see the variations of black, white and grey in the image.

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The weather in Reno the past several days has been rainy, sunny, foggy, cloudy, snowy and at times dark. It is the perfect time and location to capture black and white images because of how the sky appears.

Thanks for the challenge Lisa and I will report back with the final two photos at the end of the 5 days. In the meantime if you want to see other black and white photos the hashtag on instagram is #5dayblackandwhitechallenge and dont forget to follow me on instagram to see them in real time.

Have a great Wednesday everyone!

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