redlinedesign: studio sneak peek

by Sarah

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This week, I had my studio professionally photographed by local photographer Kyle David Jones. Several months ago you may remember me mentioning about converting the playroom that my kids had outgrown into a home studio space. It has taken me several months to get the room in working order and just so you know, I moved a lot of the day to out in order to get the pristine shots that Kyle took. While it will be a few weeks until I have his shots, I took a series with my iphone so that I could share with you here on the blog.


I have to say, I was so happy once I set up my art and photography. It is amazing the change of mood you can create when you place things around you that you love. In this photograph you can see where I work on my computer. I am surrounded by things that I love, a picture my daughter painted, sticky notes from both my children, a picture of my grandmother and small pieces that have special meaning to me.


This shot is of my main desk area where I paint and assemble all my products. It is usually a sea of “mess” although I still know exactly where everything is…I think creative minds work in that way, don’t you?


Finally, I have a solid black chalkboard wall on one side of my studio that I can use for inspiration, hanging art and displaying pieces I have finished or that are in progress. I like the contrast of the black behind many of my mixed media works because they make the color “pop”

What are some of your favorite studio pieces? I’d love to know…
Have a great Thursday everyone.

the lear theater – reno

by Sarah

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On Monday, I made a trip to downtown Reno to scout out the location for the Maker Faire which will be held on June 7th. Part of the draw to the location of the faire is the  Lear Theater and TEDx Reno event the day before. Reno is in the process of a huge rebirth and many local businesses, groups and projects are making strides to redevelop the Biggest Little City.

As I took this photo a group of women approached me from Reno Historical  and we began talking about a new app they have created showing all sorts of historical buildings around Reno. This really intrigued me as the neighborhood my husband and I moved from in Chicago was on the National Registry and I truly believe that the roots of a community begin in its history and especially in its architectural history.

The name of the app is Reno Historical and it is now available in the app store for free. I downloaded it on the spot was amazed at the number of buildings already listed.

Have a great Thursday everyone.



a reno color story – coffee bar

by Sarah




Happy Thursday everyone!


a portland color story

by Sarah

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Happy Thursday everyone!

a new york color story

by Sarah

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Happy Thursday everyone!


4th Annual Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit

by Sarah


Calling all creative entrepreneurs! If you’re ready to build a profitable and lasting business on your terms, come join me at the f*ree 4th annual Right-Brainers in Business Video Summit April 7th through April 18th. Grab your no-cost pass to get practical and proven business-building resources that are as playful and passionate as you are.
My friend Jennifer Lee is launching her second book Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way and she’s inviting us to celebrate with her during the event. And I’m excited to share that I’ll be one of the speakers. Join me live in the chat room on Thursday, April 17th – I can’t wait to interact with you.

Grab your F*ree pass here: Building Your Business the Right-Brain Way
Some of the things you’ll learn from this fabulous line-up include:
·       The power of thinking BIG, and leveraging your creativity and experience
·       How to make art that sells
·       How to create a highly profitable business, and work part-time
·       Advice on how to manage multiple moola-making methods
·       Using Pinterest effectively to grow your creative business
·       Why branding can get in your way – and why positioning is way more important
Plus right when you sign-up you’ll get instant exclusive access to a special bonus interview that Jenn did with Andrea J. Lee, founder and owner of Wealthy Thought Leader. It’ll whet your entrepreneurial appetite as we gear up for the full-on creative feast during the live summit!
I can’t wait to “see” you there!
Happy Thursday everyone.


lilla rogers bootcamp: cuckoo clocks

by Sarah


For the past year, I have been a participant in Lilla Rogers, Make Art that Sells courses. I have not shared much of my work from those classes here as they are mainly in process or “experiments” for my developing my style and building a portfolio of work. I am involved right now in the 3rd installment of classes called Bootcamp, where for 6 months you receive a mini project and guidelines for a larger project that gets loaded to a gallery where your work can be seen by a greater audience.

The lessons I am learning from taking these courses are huge and I want to share some of them with you today.

1. Start where you are and embrace that point in your own creativity. There are artists at all different levels participating in this course and it can be intimidating seeing the work of people that have skills that you may or may not have developed. Do it anyway. You will grow and advance your own skills only by doing the work.

2. People buy your joy. Share your story but also share how much you love creating because that is what will show through in your work and developing your skills/style. Renew your own excitement about creativity and embrace the joy of creating just like when you were a child. Have fun, don’t stress over perfection and just enjoy the work.

3. Join in with the community. The most valuable part of being in a creative online course is engaging with the community and sharing your work with others. Out of the sessions I have taken, I am seeing artist groups forming, excitement shared when someone achieves a goal or lands a project, creative resources shared and templates shared to help you achieve a positive outcome in your own work. There is nothing greater for an artist to have and build a community.

4. Most importantly, make time to CREATE. The only way you will grow as an artist is to make time (even if it is small chunks between picking up kids at school or during nap time or late at night after working a long day) to hone your craft. I can speak from authority on this one as I manage two kids, a spouse, two dogs and a small business and I still carve out some time during my day to draw, take a photograph, dream and create.

The photo I am sharing above is part of this months project. I did not meet the deadline because of all the “other” things I had going on but I am still using the skills I learned from class this month to complete the assignment and make art that I enjoy and will be sharing with you guys as I go along. My goal for next month is to complete the project and upload it to the gallery at the end of the month so that it can be shared along with approx. 400 other students work. For now, I share the “in process” piece with you and a goal of completing it before the March project arrives in my inbox.

If you would like to see the gallery of work created this month, feel free to pop on over to Lilla Rogers site. You can link to many artists websites from their pieces and even purchases the products through them.

Have a great Thursday everyone.

Art Inside Women Event

by Sarah

Who are your favorite women? What do you do together? How about a day out to enjoy their company and make some art?

On March 1st, I am co-hosting Art Inside Women with my friend Sharon DeMattia. Sharon and I met through our children as many of us do and immediately connected. Over the last 6 months or so we have been hugely supportive of each other in our own entrepreneurial adventures and I have watched as Sharon has been extraordinarily blessed in growing her own business: Art Inside Me.

In my mind, Sharon is leading a revolution of looking inside yourself and starting a conversation with yourself through art. Her projects are awe inspiring and have included: breast cancer survivors, the homeless of Reno, men, women and most recently an entire local elementary school. She is changing lives through these projects and it is my honor to co-host this event in March.

So grab your favorite ladies and enjoy a day out together. We have set the date (March 1), the location (SoDo Restaurant), the time (11:30-4:00pm) and have rounded up some amazing speakers to share their stories; now all we need is you!

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Have a great Thursday, everyone.

the little prince

by Sarah

the little prince

The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint Exupery is quite possibly my most favorite books from childhood. I have read it in English and French, seen the movie with Gene Wilder and have had a sort of love affair with the princes character for as long as I remember.

Earlier this week, Tiffany Han and Erin Loechner of Design for Mankind challenged the #moreshannigansplease crew to share their favorite childhood story. Of course I went straight for The Little Prince.

little prince in french

{L’essentiel est invisible pour les yeux” – what is essential is invisible to the eye.}

This past summer I was on my very first trip to Paris and I got caught red handed in a french bookstore sneaking a photo of a book full of Little Prince sketches. I was so embarrassed but at the same time excited to capture an image of this sweet little man.

little prince sketch

The sketches, the writing and the fact that I was in Paris looking at them were beyond my wildest dreams. In the course of this trip I purchased a commemorative edition in French, with sketches and speeches that have been given about the book and a new moleskine notebook with the quote I mentioned above on the cover. I have held them closely since returning from Paris and every now and then I pull out the book to just look at the pictures.

the little prince 1971

{my very first copy of The Little Prince – circa 1971}

What are some of your favorite childhood books? Take a few moments some time this weekend and step back into your childhood. It could be just what you need to refuel your creative energy.

Happy Thursday, everyone.



the good life project – milton glaser

by Sarah

An excellent video on creativity, design, leaving a legacy and the history of an incredible designer, Milton Glaser. I share this with you today in hopes to provide you some inspiration in staying the course on your own creative journey. One thing to note: look at how Milton Glaser sits during the interview, is he grounded or what?

The video is about 45 minutes long and is produced as part of The Good Life Project by Jonathan Fields.

Happy Thursday everyone…

paris – assouline bookstore

by Sarah


Paris is filled with amazing sites and their bookstores are no exception. The neighborhood of St. Germain houses many bookstores, which makes it really easy to visit them all in one afternoon. On our recent trip to Paris, we started our day at Deux Magot  and a tour of the oldest church in Paris – St. Germain des Pres (which I will share in another post) right across the street from the church you can begin your bookstore tour.

First a trip to La Hune is a must. Browsing a store that has books all in French is a real treat and the design of the shop is classic. I found La belle histoire du Petit Prince which gives the history of one of my childhood favorites, The Little Prince, pictures of original sketches and the original story in one great hardbound book. (All in French of course – I read it in French back in high school so its a good lesson for me to go back and try and read it again.)

Next, if you venture a little further down Rue Boneparte you will come across one of my favorite bookstores – Assouline. Its counterpart is in New York and I recently wrote about my visit there as well.


The staff in the Paris shop were really helpful and expressed that their store is the “original”. The books are art pieces in themselves and the way they are displayed makes you want to sit for hours browsing at all the stunning pictures. Art and design books are everywhere and the attention to detail in the interior design was no exception. Books are in both English and French and the staff does speak English.

I just loved the iron ladder used along the bookcases and how the books were displayed in artistic groupings.


My daughter made the only purchase this day with a book called Barbie. It is a great tribute to this classic icon and has really funny quotes along with posed Barbie Dolls in various high fashion and design settings.

If traveling to Paris you can find both bookstores and a myriad of others in the 6th arrondissement.

La Hune: 170 Boulevard St. Germain

Assouline: 35 Rue Boneparte

Special thanks to the staff of Assouline – Paris for allowing me to shoot these photos during our visit.

Have a great day.



A Journey to self care

by Sarah


Today I am sitting down to write about self care as part of a special project and book being launched by two friends Michelle Ward and Jessica Swift called The Declaration of  You”. I am incredibly honored to know both of these women, although I have never met Jess in person, we came connected through online courses and the launch of her rain boot project several years ago. Michelle and I first met in Blogging Your Way, a course taught by Holly Becker of Decor8 and somehow our paths kept crossing until eventually I joined her mentor program called Golden Goddesses and ended up in New York last January filming a video and spending the day with her. Michelle has been a huge cheerleader to me and my business and yes guiding me in finding my true passions in my life.


(one of the first photos I took during therapy and the basis of the business you see here today)

My own journey to self care began about 4 years ago after I had shoulder surgery. After such a surgery you are connected with a physical therapist to help you heal and regain the movement you may have lost after the injury. My physical therapist was awesome. Three times a week we would meet and run through a series of strengthening exercises, icing and heat in order to free up the shoulder and increase its movement. Things were going well until we reached a point that my shoulder decided to freeze up and not go any further. This is an uncommon occurrence in the orthopedic surgery world but being the spouse of a physician my doctor and I figured it was probably Karma. Initially, I was supposed to spend about 3-4 months in therapy and would be able to return back to most activities that I did before the surgery. Instead, 15 months of therapy 3-4 days a week for 1-1/2 hours was in the cards. With the frozen shoulder, I soon came to the realization that certain activities would no longer be in my self care repertoire.

One day I came to therapy, overwhelmed and exhausted from not making progress. My therapist pulled me aside asked me to list the activities that give me joy and pleasure. I listed walks in nature, photography, and art. Instead of therapy that day, he sent me out with my camera and said give yourself an hour, take photos and let me know how you feel.

This simple task of listing my joys and pleasures and then acting upon them was the basis of my initial self care and is what has kept me on the path of healing for the last several years. My portfolio and all the photos I share on this site began from this little nudge in the right direction.

Funny thing happened with this little hour of me time. My shoulder began to loosen, I began to relax and healing was allowed to occur.

Self Care is Declaration #4 in Michelle and Jessicas new book and the chapter gives you all sorts of fun activities to help get you started on the path of more “me time”. The book is available online and at local bookstores but if you want a signed copy from these fabulous ladies you can find them at declarationofyou.

What is your self-care declaration? I declare that I take care of myself by:_________________________

Share your answer in the comments and begin The Declaration of You…..


“The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do! This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m thrilled to participate in alongside over 200 other creative bloggers. Learn more — and join us! — by clicking here.”



Travel Diary – Paris, France

by Sarah


Have you ever wanted to go somewhere so badly that whenever you think about it, you get giddy with excitement? That’s me with Paris.

I have had a love for Paris since I was a little girl. The language, the culture, the art, the design and the incredible beauty and history of the city have captured my imagination forever.


Yesterday, I arrived in Paris for the first time with my family. We will be visiting relatives that live here and exploring all week and I will be sharing a few of my favorite design spots, neighborhoods and of course food!

We began our day with a quick trip down one of the side streets in the 7th arrondissement (which is the neighborhood surrounding the Eiffel Tower and where we will call home for the week) It was lined with bakeries, cheese shops, fish shops, cafes, flower shops and even a tiny French bookstore. From there, we wandered through a weekend market on Boulevard de Grenelle that had fresh fruit, veges, baked goods, candy, butchers and more and more flowers.


We stopped for lunch a little cafe on Place Joffre before heading on to catch a glimpse of the Eiffel Tower. After wandering around the Eiffel Tower we ended our day back at the hotel and settled in for the night. With a room view like this out the window, I definitely feel at home and even more excited to explore what this incredible city has to offer.

Au revoir from Paris…


Assouline – New York City

by Sarah


When I am traveling, one of my favorite things to do is visit design, art and used bookstores. When I was in New York recently I had the chance to stop in Assouline, which is a French design and art bookstore that is located in The Plaza Hotel. It is a tiny store but filled with all sorts of incredibly inspirational books and home decor products.


For me, these types of stores are not only inspirational for the books they sell but also for the design and layout of the shops. I was able to snap a couple of photos with my iphone while browsing for books and I am sharing that inspiration with you today.

In the first photo, the color and the styling of the book bindery section are what caught my eye. I will be able to pull several color palettes for future projects from the book linens and also from the bindery styling on the table. In the second photo, the punches of red, black and white give me ideas of how I can package and style the redlinedesign® brand and also the Proust books in the lower left corner give me additional ideas of adding yellow into my own color palettes.


The book displays were also inspiring as they continued the stores color palette but highlighted the beautiful art books they were showcasing. I purchased two books on this little side adventure, The Little Black Dress and Pioneers of the Possible.

“The Little Black Dress” by Didier Ludot is a history of the black dress from the French designer perspective. I love little black dresses and have many of them in my wardrobe, so this addition to my book collection will definitely be a constant reference.

“Pioneers of the Possible” by Angela Nazarian is a look at 20 of the world’s most inspiring women. What I love about this book is that the women are from all over the world and some I personally did not know much about. I have read several of the stories but it also will be something I will refer to often.

If you are in New York, visit Assouline on the 2nd floor of the Plaza Hotel. It is definitely worth a quick trip and if you do purchase, they will package and ship to you as well.


In the Studio – New Mixed Media Work

by Sarah


{in the city – (work in progress)}

Last April, you might remember that I took a 3 day painting course at the Makerie with Flora Bowley. This started a whole new path for my art and for my return to sketching in my sketchbooks. I started a sketchbook during that class which is now filled with wonderful ideas for mixed media pieces. This is the first of a batch that I am creating on small art board panels (incidently, I learned about the panels from my friend Marisa as she does most of her work on them)

They are a perfect option for me, as I can complete a piece in one sitting and feel a true sense of accomplishment.


I used three tools to create this piece: 4×4 art board panel, xs pitt pen and acrylic paint. I also limited my color palette to 4 colors as you can see in the photo and white with iridescent silver for accent.


The piece now needs to be finished with matte medium and it will be ready for cards, postcards, prints etc.

Thanks for popping by today for a quick glimpse into my studio.

Have a great day everyone.


Creative Thursday: Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice

by Sarah

For the first Tea Time Thursday post of 2013, I am sharing the new book from one of my favorite artists and friends: Marisa Anne from Creative Thursday. When I started my business back in 2009, I found Marisa while surfing Decor 8. For about a month, I researched different blogs and artists. Marisa’s writing was warm, inviting and kept me coming back each week so I could find out more about her work and her path to creativity.

I have followed her work since and if you have been following me for a long time you know I am a collector of her artwork and she was one of the inaugural instructors and key note speaker at Create Explore Discover two years ago. I consider her an artistic mentor and definitely a dear sweet friend.

Her book, Creative Thursday: Everyday Inspiration to Grow Your Creative Practice is both a chronicle of her own creative journey and a look at her creative process. In it she shares about how to begin your own creativity journey by setting an intention and how to follow through once you do.  There are great tips on how to find inspiration, daily creating, becoming accountable for your work and your creative time, how to still find time for yourself within your creativity and how to move forward with your creativity if you are ready to share it with the world.

There are lots of tips, tricks, questions and encouragement throughout the book and Marisa’s style of writing will make you feel right at home, giving you a new friend for guidance and kindness along the way.

If there is one creative book to pick up this year, to set you on the path to daily creating, this is the one.

Special congratulations to Marisa for continually creating such fabulous inspiration.

Have a great day everyone.

Unravel the Red Thread: Tara Mohr

by Sarah


Tara Mohr from Sarah G. Stevenson on Vimeo.  video length: 26.09 minutes

Video Links:

create explore discover art retreat

Mother Theresa

Eve Ensler

Ten Rules for Brilliant Women


Yesterday, I had the wonderful opportunity to interview Tara Mohr, founder of Wise Living and Playing Big. I have been working with Tara for just about a year and have written several posts about my own Playing Big work and am thrilled to introduce you to her today. She is part of the Unraveling the Red Thread Series as she has been a huge advocate in my own life journey and has become someone that I would truly call a mentor. Thanks Tara for participating.

If  you are interested in revisiting my past posts here are the links:

Going for the Gasp

Love Your Inner Critic (via Creative Thursday)

Brave Steps (via Kelly Rae Roberts)


If you are interested in finding out more about Tara or the Playing Big Program:

Playing Big is a six-month, in-depth program for women who want to play bigger in their work and in their lives, created and led by women’s leadership expert Tara Sophia Mohr. The Playing Big journey is part inner work to help you overcome fears, end procrastination, and clarify your vision. It’s part practical training in skills such as communication, negotiation, and getting media attention for your work. Past participant Ariane Hunter had this to say: “From day one of the Playing Big course, I felt things begin to shift within me like I haven’t experienced before. It was the most transformative process I have ever engaged in.” Click Here to learn more about Playing Big and see if it’s the right fit for you.

Thanks so much for joining in today and if you would like to see more video interviews as part of this series stay tuned…

Have a great day everyone.





Liberate your art post card swap

by Sarah

Last month, I joined a group of 193 artists in a post card swap coordinated by Kat Sloma of Kat Eye Studio. Kat did the swap out of the goodness of her heart and asked that you send 5 postcards of your artwork that she would then organize and mail to other participating artists. All you had to do was provide the postcard, postage and your mailing address. I love projects like these and I love the people that coordinate them as I feel this is such a part of giving back that is so important to me.

I received postcards from all around the world and loved going to the mailbox each week to see what Kat had mailed. The photo above shows the special artwork that came my way.

1. Lee Flint “Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous” – Bill Moyers

2. Nini “there is no path to happiness: happiness is the path.” Siddhartha Gautama

3. Kristen

4. Carolyn Jane

5. Kat Sloma

Watch for next year’s swap and join in the fun. Thanks Kat for bringing snail mail full of great art to my mail box this summer. In the meantime enjoy this video that Kat created with pieces from the swap. If you can find my art in the video (its near the middle-hint hint) I will send you a package of postcards for you to mail to your family and friends! Just leave your guess in the comments and I will pick a winner.

Thanks so much Kat, the video made me cry at the beauty that was sent your way!



From the Archives: Deb Lloyd – Artist

by Sarah

deb lloyd - louvre

When I first starting blogging about three and a half years ago, I introduced a theme on Thursdays called: Who Would You Invite to Tea? Over the years the name has changed into Tea Time Thursdays but the concept of introducing you to other creatives and speaking to them about how they lead creative lives still is at the forefront of the Tea Time Thursday posts. This interview, with artist Deb Lloyd was the very first Tea Time Thursday post. I share it with you again today as it is Deb’s birthday, she is someone I think you should know and I will be sharing about a special team of women she captains as part of the Reno Tahoe Odyssey. Enjoy a look back into my archives and a visit with Deb:

Welcome to the first “Who Would You Invite to Tea?”. As I mentioned last week, our guest today is Deb L.. Deb is an artist, mom, runner, and a true inspirational guide to me. We met several years ago at our children’s swim practice and have been friends ever since. We bounce ideas off one another, share funny stories through texts throughout the day and every once in awhile try and sneak away for something creative. She was the first person to encourage me about starting Red Line Design and is a fellow creative soul mate.

As you also know, during the month of April  I completed a creative journey called April In Paris with Marisa from Creative Thursday and Sean her partner and screen writer. They created this incredible e-course BE It Live IT Do It, about defining creativity in your life, setting a goal and working towards achieving that goal. The unique thing about this course was that it took place almost entirely from Paris, France. Marisa and Sean live in LA but decided to take a leap of faith and visit France to seek out their own creative journey and shared with us along the way.

Since taking the course I have been pondering the best way to use the material I have learned. That is how Who Would You Invite to Tea? was born. Every Thursday I will be sharing an individual in my life that I feel is defining, setting and achieving a creative, fulfilling life or dream.

This morning I met with Deb, after spilling my tea all over myself in car, and dropping my son for his second to last day of school. We met to finalize this post and to gather photos that explain part of her creative journey. The photo above is amazing. Deb took this at the Louvre in Paris in 1984. It sits on her desk as a daily reminder of her own creative journey. I was touched by it , as it is so fitting for me as a way to round out my April In Paris and continue on my own journey. Hopefully one day I will sit at the Louvre and paint the Mona Lisa. Although, mine will not be as stunning as his…….

Please grab a cup of tea or coffee in Deb’s case, sit back, relax and enjoy a few minutes of creative journey…


debs work

(some of Deb’s early painting work)

Tell a little about yourself. Where you have lived, what type of creative work you have done and how you came to Reno.

After University, I began working in the Art Field in Toronto Ontario. I was the head project supervisor for Moss and Lam orchestrating and overseeing freelance Artists creating textured surfaces both in corporate and residential spaces. After working for Moss and Lam I went on to start my own business in Decorative Paint Finishes. In 1994 my husband and I moved to the island of Bermuda. After being granted a work permit I was able to paint for some very interesting clients the entire time we lived there. While waiting for my permit I was a docent at the Bermuda National Gallery. I was very fortunate to help hang some major exhibits like Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keefe. To pull such valuable art from crates and follow hanging instructions, for me was pure inspiration.

By 2000 we had moved back to Canada needing more living space and schooling for our younger children. While my husband Trevor began searching for work I commuted back to Toronto to work for Moss and Lam. The projects were huge and very exciting…..I was working on motifs for iron divisions for a restaurant in New York City, as well as large scale abstract paintings for a fashion store in Quebec City.

We moved to Ithaca New York in 2003 where Trevor took on a new job and I gave birth to our 3rd child. Ithaca NY is a college town where 80 % of the population is under 30. A very engaging ivy league school, Cornell absolutely absorbs the community….so life was good with our 3rd “American ” child.

In 2006 Trevor’s employer offered Trevor a job in Reno Nevada, and here we are. (Since this interview Deb and her family have moved back to Canada)

deb lloyd - favorite letter

(Deb’s favorite letter: “A”)

Do you think most people are living their creative dreams? Are you living your creative dreams? How?

I will re-phrase this question so I can best answer it. I would say I live my life by consciously  being creative or design conscious. I make daily decisions on creativity and design. Whether it is as simple as saving a piece of packaging because of great color or texture for a scrap of paper, or a purchase on sheer ” great color or label”. A creative dream so to speak would be a studio space one day, so that is always tucked in the back of my head.

How does family and life experience play into you achieving your goals? Who around you encourages you?

For me personally family comes first, so I have to fit myself into my families busy schedule. you must make time for yourself. I run for myself. Running allows my body to de-stress, relax and move. While running my mind can organize the “to do’s” or simply explore an idea. I draw encouragement from my friends.

How do you conquer fear? How do you encourage others to conquer  their fears?

I wouldn’t say I conquer fear, however I conquer challenges. To conquer challenges, you have to work towards a goal. I would encourage others to conquer their challenges by taking one day at a time. No matter how big or small the challenge, overwhelming yourself with too big of a” to do” is setting yourself up negatively. Conquer in small bits and the end becomes more visible. Surround yourself with positive people.

What are the steps you follow when you are working towards a goal?

When working on a goal, I have to follow my calendar and not let the crazy every day life with kids take over completely.

Deb Lloyd - Scattered Daisies

(a Scattered Daisy Runner sporting their uniform)

You just completed the Reno Tahoe Odyssey. What were the creative steps you took in organizing your team, The Scattered Daisies?

For the Scattered Daisies women’s Odyssey team name, it suited our team as we are somewhat scattered from different places. Daisies took on a nice whimsical feminine touch. Last year I designed a gestural stick runner with a daisy flower head. It seemed to work well in black and white, and also was simple yet a fresh design. Many teams take on a more “Halloween ” approach to their gear for this event. However we are all mothers. We want to run in nice fabric. This year my friends at rungirlrun were able to outfit us in a daisy fabric skort with a matching tank and jacket.

What does it mean to you to be “an active participant in life”?

To be an active participant in life to me means to be positive and encouraging and to “Get Out There”

After you have achieved a major goal?  How do you wind down and still keep that momentum moving forward?

After completing a major goal ie. like the past weekend of the Reno Tahoe Odyssey I take a rest. Then reflect on all the positives and list my personal “what can I do to make my runs better” list. Our core group for my team reflects instantly for next year. To keep the momentum going forward I will look for a few races to put on the calendar. As summer begins and the kids are out of school, I will start a project at home with all 3 of my kids. I have purchased new sketchbooks for everyone and we will begin our summer one drawing/day. By the end of summer we could all have close to 75 entries to the sketchbook!

Deb Lloyd - Guggenhiem

(One of Deb’s favorite museums)

Can you share a favorite website with us?

A favorite website Jackson Pollock by Miltos Manetas. My kids and I have more fun on this site. Every time you click your mouse your paint spray changes so you can create your own ” Pollock ” painting.

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step. Chinese Proverb (Debs favorite quote)

Stay tuned, as I bring you coverage of the 2012 Scattered Daisies Running Team and update you on what Deb is up to these days…

Photo Credits: Deb Lloyd and Sarah Stevenson

Jess Greene – Jumpstart Creativity Tour – Part Three

by Sarah

Today, we’ve been sharing thoughts on creativity with Jess Greene of Seek Your Course. If you missed the first two posts the links are available: Part One and Part Two. Jess has shared her views on living a creative life, the founding of seek your course and now she shares her newest adventure: Jumpstart Creativity Tour 2012. In order for Jess to complete this journey she is going to need some help. Jumpstart Creativity Tour is now a project on kickstarter, where Jess is raising funds for her journey. If you have been following me for a long time, then you know that I love kickstarter projects…the last project I supported was with Jessica Swift last summer when she was developing funding for her rain boot project.

Kickstarter provides entrepreneurs an opportunity to raise funds that can support their business ideas. Projects like Jess’s are listed on their site for a certain amount of time and varying levels of commitment are listed for each project. With Jumpstart Creativity Tour the project will only be funded if at least $10,000 is pledged by Monday May 28, 9:00pm EDT. With a minimum pledge of $5.00 you can help support this creative endeavour and make it a reality. Please consider supporting Jess…


Thank you so much Jess for joining us today. It was a pleasure to bring your story to Tea Time Thursday and always a pleasure working with you.

Have a great day everyone!

Jess Greene – Seek Your Course – Part Two

by Sarah

Welcome back to part two with Jess Greene. If you missed part one it is available here. When I first saw this photo that Jess passed along, the first word that came to mind was visionary. Jess always has goals she is working towards that set her apart from others in creative fields. As she sees something missing, she moves to make a difference and provide what is missing for her creative audience. Seek Your Course is just the beginning of that visionary journey. In part two, Jess will be sharing her thoughts on achieving goals, engaging creativity in your life and websites that she goes to in order to keep her creative endeavours thriving.

What are the steps you follow when you are working towards a goal?

I tend to think and plan big, so I usually then need to break things down and work smaller. I make lists. I gather my resources. I ask for help. If there is a timeline I try to work backwards to set goals by week. But I tend to be a procrastinator, so the mini-goals work better for me when they are loose. I generally find the energy to do things as the deadlines loom closer.

After you have achieved a major goal? How do you wind down and still keep that momentum moving forward?

I put every ounce I have into my projects and so when they are over I tend to crash. I watch a lot of TV (something I don’t do much of generally) and decompress. And I’ve learned to just go with it and not judge myself. Another wave will pick me up again – maybe a lunch with a friend or a networking event – and I will then get going again. I’ve learned to follow the cycle that seems to always know where to go. If I feel stuck I try to get out of the house and meet up with someone. Talking with others is key for me.

Here is a list of websites, where Jess goes for inspiration and business tips:

For inspiration (I really love design):
Creature Comforts
Oh Happy Day
My Love For You
Apartment Therapy

For running my own business:
Trello (to do lists and task management)
Freckle (time management/tracking)
SproutSocial (social media management)
Squarespace (for an easy and beautiful websites and blogs)
Mail Chimp (for newsletters)

Some final thoughts from Jess…

Seek Your Course is not about me. It is about the power of creative engagement and about making opportunities accessible. I do what I do to inspire and serve others. I believe that beauty can change the world and I am doing my part to spread the availability of life-changing opportunities. Art shouldn’t be about critique or judgement. Most people just want to make something free from expectations. We want to express ourselves and most of us lack opportunities to do so. The creative community that Seek Your Course represents has so much to offer. Seek Your Course is just the portal, but a portal that can change lives.

Coming up next in part three: Jumpstart Creativity Tour 2012. Jess will share her next great adventure with us, and she could be coming to a city near you!

please note: all photography and videos for this piece are created by Jess Greene.

Jess Greene – Seek Your Course – Part One

by Sarah

Today marks the beginning of a series of posts about creative individuals and how they live a creative life. What better way to start this series than with an introduction to Jess Greene of Seek Your Course. Seek Your Course is a website that provides a place for artists and creative event planners to list their course offerings in one place. In addition to Seek Your Course, Jess is about to embark on a cross country journey called Jumpstart Creativity Tour, which will take her on a 10,000 mile journey to 50 cities to share her love of creativity with adults. Jess and I took a moment to chat about creativity and her life and I am so excited to share her responses with you today. (This will be a 3 part series including information about Jumpstart Creativity Tour)


Tell a little about yourself. Where you have lived, what type of creative work you have done and how you came to build seek your course?

I have lived in Western Massachusetts my whole life. I started doing photography and graphic design in high school, but quickly switched to pursue other passions once in college. I went into teaching and taught science for five years. During that time I started reading art blogs and taking a few workshops. After attending my first art retreat I knew things were shifting. I started painting and taking my creative desires more seriously.

The idea for Seek Your Course came from the frustration of trying to keep track of what creative e-courses and retreats were being offered, since more are launched each week it seems. I felt that the creative community needed one website with information about upcoming creative experiences. So I built it. The goal of Seek Your Course is to make creative experiences more accessible for adults worldwide.


Do you think most people are living their creative dreams? Are you living your creative dreams? How?

I see both groups of people. I see my creative, artist friends living beautiful art-filled lives and making a living at it. And I also see many closet artists and writers who don’t make time for their passions. I think there are a lot of adults in 2012 who are craving creative engagement.

I quit my day job last summer and now make art and run Seek Your Course full time. Right now I am living my creative dream. It is a lot harder than I thought it would be because so much of what I do right now is business development and marketing and it is all new to me. But it is creative and rewarding.

How does family and life experience play into you achieving your goals? Who around you encourages you?

My husband is a huge supporter of what I do. He knows I am happier when I am creating or solving problems. I have a lot of support from my family too. That really helps. And the creative community that Seek Your Course supports is fabulous.

How do you conquer fear? How do you encourage others to conquer their fears?

My mom used to tell me all the time, “It’s all what you tell yourself.” So I give myself pep talks. I listen to music to get pumped up before networking events. I break down scary tasks into smaller pieces. But overall I tend to just go for it. I leap when I know I’m following the path I was meant to follow. It is not that I am not afraid. I just do it anyway.

Stay tuned to for part two….where we will discuss Jess’s thoughts on goals and creative engagement. She will also share some of her favorite websites.

please note: all photography and videos are by Jess Greene.


Tea Time Thursday – Rick Beerhorst

by Sarah

(shoes and houses – Rick Beerhorst – graphite on paper)

As part of our Tea Time Thursday series, I had the opportunity recently to speak with Rick Beerhorst, an artist from Michigan. Today, he shares his thoughts on art, creativity and who has influenced him along the way.

Tell me about your “story” and how you got to be where you are today…

I grew up making things. From the time I was very little, my dads brother was a full time artist who would come by from time to time and use us kids as models, so I had some notion that it was an option. My wife Brenda and I, from the time we were dating 25 years ago, had it in mind we wanted to make art for a living and built that into our life style before the kids even came into the picture. We learned early on how to live on next to nothing, pulling broken furniture off the curb, fixing it up and loving it more than what you might buy new.

What is important to you in teaching an artist family of eight about art and creativity?

What is most important is everything revolves around our home. Where most people are gone all day and come home at night, our home is humming and occupied 24/7. You don’t need a lot of money, you need a vision and often you can just get started with what you have laying about the house.

(Not Digital – Rick Beerhorst – handmade and printed card)

What type of pieces do you create in your studio and how do you make them?

I make wood cut prints and oil paintings. My process is pretty traditional but I do work most every day, keeping a regular schedule and repeat certain patterns every day. The paintings are a long, slow process beginning with drawings and then transferred to wood panels and then lots of thin layers of paint laid one over another in mostly transparent glazes. They have become very expensive, between $2,000 and $15,000. So the wood cut prints remain easy to purchase for most people with a moderate income.

(girl with the plaid dress – Rick Beerhorst – original oil painting)

Who has been most influential in your art career and whom do you admire as an artist?

I always loved the paintings of Frida Kahlo for their poetic transformation of her daily sufferings into something spiritual and inspiringly beautiful. I love the music of the Talking Heads for its quirky visionary lyrics, fun melodies and danceable rhythms. I look up to Julian Schnabel for the way he became a professional film maker after mastering large scale oil painting.

Rick Beerhorst’s work can be found in his shop studiobeerhorst on Etsy.


Oh Darling, Let’s Be Adventurers – Fifi du Vie

by Sarah

Izabella Dennis is the creative genius behind Fifi du Vie, a screen printing shop and design studio that shared her pieces at last months ALT Summit. I was lucky enough to receive her print, Oh Darling, Lets Be Adventurers as my gift for attending one of the luncheons at the conference.  Izabella and I caught up recently to chat about her business, her thoughts on handmade products and their importance. In addition, we also discussed a little bit about her own story.

How did you come up with the name Fifi Du Vie for your business?

The name doesn’t actually mean anything. It just came to me one night. I like that it has kind of a sing-song quality to it. (pronounced fifi dooo veee) I went through a zillion names with actual meanings behind them and none felt as right as Fifi du Vie.

What are your thoughts on providing handmade designs and products to your customers and clients? Why do you feel that is important?

I believe that products, particularly those in your home, take on a personality. They become part of the sentimental and visual fabric of your life. I think that it’s valuable to have a connection to the designer and maker of pieces that become important to you. I love that handmade items are personal, a bit raw and each one is slightly difference. Furthermore, I feel that it is important to be an active part of your community, to foster its creativity and to support your local artists.


Tell me about your “story”…How did you get to be doing what you are doing today?

I grew up with very creative parents and was always making some kind of craft or art. I had considered it to be a passion, but not one that I would ever pursue as a career. After studying architecture in college and falling in love with both furniture and home decor, I went on to work in merchandising at several large retailers. My love of home products and clean design grew as I built up the knowledge and experience to market and sell. I had taught myself how to screen print in college for fun (I love learning new crafts and techniques! Right now, I am in the midst of woodworking classes.) and decided to start making prints for myself and friends. I started Fifi du Vie in April of 2010 as a side project and it ended up taking off. Six months later, I left my corporate job and dove in head first. It has been quite the adventure and would not have been possible without both my supportive, artistic upbringing and professional experience.

Who is inspiring you now?

Lately, I’ve been really inspired by Best Made Co and their very well curated assortment of products.

In the Fifi du Vie shop you can find typographic prints, tote bags and greeting cards all with a modern yet accessible aesthetic. All the products are original in design and, screen printed by hand using a photo emulsion process. All prints are limited editions and are signed and numbered by the artist.

The motto of Fifi du Vie is “Live Gorgeously” something all think we aspire to in some way….

Fifi du Vie can be found here:

twitter: @fifduvie

A special thank you to Izabella for sharing her thoughts today for Tea Time Thursday.

all photos for this article were contributed by Izabella Dennis.