Friday, March 30, 2012


We are not destined to be victims. We have the power to choose, and this power is both the greatest responsibility we have and the greatest opportunity.
Hara Estroff Marano

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Live Life

I hope you will go out and let stories happen to you, and that you will work them, water them with your blood and tears and your laughter till they bloom, till you yourself burst into bloom.
Clarissa Pinkola Estés

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Let Your Light Shine

If you listen closely you’ll hear a small voice hidden in the
dim shade of all your fears that whispers, “this isn’t real.”
Jackson Kiddard

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Writing to Your Depth

If something inside of you is real, we will probably find it interesting, and it will probably be universal.
So you must risk placing real emotion at the center of your work. Write straight into the emotional center of things. Write toward vulnerability. Risk being unliked.

Anne Lamott

Monday, March 26, 2012

20 Words

Come to the Water
{to the}
Dream Giver
Warrior {you are}
{It's} time to 
Your Dream is
Unique and Important
{and only} yours...

The exercise is from the book Inner Excavation by Liz Lamoreaux.  It is from the section "Creating a Word Toolbox" and invites the reader to take a book off the shelf and pick the first 20 words that the reader is drawn to in the book.  The book I used is The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson.  

"The list is interesting to me.  The words that jump out really capture how this day (1/8/12) was for me.  I feel empowered.  The ideas were flowing and the tone of 2012 was set in an instant."

Reading over the list almost three months later, I feel like I have moved deeper into them.  The projects I am working on are not bringing instant gratification like the etsy shops usually do - meaning there is some cash flow.  I find myself second guessing the projects as a waste of time.  But I am following all the rules of my favorites creativity coaches and believing to God that when I am working out of my DEEPEST passion,  this will bring the success I am desiring.  I want to be able to support my family given the enormous sacrifice that has been made to pay for my education.  It seems somehow that this is the way the world is supposed to work, right?

Find more of my work CLICK HERE

An Open Heart

What’s difficult in life is to stay centered when somebody does or says something that tempts us to close our hearts because their heart was closed. That is hard.  But that is also how we grow. We go through those circumstances in order to evolve into people who can hold to our loving center no matter what the world throws us.
Marianne Williamson

Friday, March 23, 2012

Making Room

Life is made up of moments, small pieces of glittering mica in a long stretch of gray cement. It would be wonderful if they came to us unsummoned, but particularly in lives as busy as the ones most of us lead now, that won’t happen.
We have to teach ourselves how to make room for them, to love them, and to live, really live.
Anna Quindlen

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What Do you Want?

"Always, when you know what you don’t want, that’s when the rocket of desire is born of what you do want." - Esther Abraham-Hicks

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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Stay Awake

If we can stay awake when our lives are changing, secrets will be revealed to us — secrets about ourselves, about the nature of life, and about the eternal source of happiness and peace that is always available, always renewable, already within us.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Sparkle Through the Struggle

Funny how circumstances can really paralyze the desire to look for hope in your surroundings.  I was feeling that way this week.  Noticing that I do not really take many pictures anymore.  Wondering how much I am missing because I am stuck in the mindset of  "when things get better, I will..."

The whole point of life is to find joy, find peace, find sparkle in the MIDST of whatever is going on.  I know this. You know this.  But sometimes I need an activity to jump start that reminder.  So I decided to create new category on the blog: "Sparkle in the Struggle" referring to the challenges of life whether it is incredibly intense or incredibly mundane.  

I walked around my house and I snapped some of my favorite things:
  • an old blue typewriter I found at a thrift in Longmont Colorado
  • a dress form wall piece that I coupled with a butterfly mirror I found at a store called Ross
  • the door to my daughter's room that has pictures from an old calendar of my FIRST favorite mixed media artist: Curly Girl Designs
  • My daughter's St. Patrick's Day outfit she put together very thoughtfully

Find more of my work CLICK HERE

Your Future

Tell me for what you yearn and I shall tell you
who you are. We are what we reach for.
James Hillman

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Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday, March 15, 2012


The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance, the wise grows it under his feet.
       - James Oppenheim

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Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Things don’t go wrong and break your heart so you can become
bitter and give up. They happen to break you down and build
you up so you can be all that you were intended to be.
Charles “Tremendous” Jones

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Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Artist Interview: Cathy Craveiro

Name: Cathy Craveiro
Name of Business: mateo & tobias
Creative Influences: my parents, Martha Stewart, other fabulous artists that I have connected.
Preferred Medium of Creativity: digital art in Photoshop, paper art, and sewing

Brief Bio - I am a wife, a stay-at-home-mama, and the creator behind mateo & tobias. I enjoy all things crafty - sewing, scrapbooking, card making, digital design, web design, and photography.

When I am not on my sewing machine, in front of the computer using Photoshop or cutting paper and cardstock, I love to read, take pictures, cook, bake, and garden.  But my favorite thing above everything else is time spent with my boys.

Links -
Etsy shop

What is one of your earliest creative memories? 
 My earliest creative memories include using acrylics and painting wildlife animals on canvas.  I loved taking photos from magazines that I would get out of the library and paint away.  I also loved to sew animals and design clothes for myself (like my grade 12 graduation dress). 

How did you find your creative voice? 

I was always interested in art and explored many different avenues.  From painting, to sewing, to scrapbooking, to card making, to digital design, to photography.  I love to experiment and try different things.  If something interested me I had to try it.  


Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?  What did the evolution look like?  
I love experimenting with different things.  During my school years, everything was just for my fun and enjoyment.  As I got older I enjoyed creating things to sell at craft fairs and before my oldest son was born I sold premade scrapbook pages and scrapbooking elements through eBay and now plush toys and wall art prints on Etsy.  I have absolutely loved my journey.

If you had a creative hiatus, what event/circumstance brought you back to your creative lifestyle? 

After my first child was born (and then my second), I stopped selling on eBay because I wanted to devote my time to being a full-time Mama and enjoy every moment with my sweet children.  As my youngest got older, I found that I really missed creating. I didn't want to go back to creating and selling scrapbook pages on eBay, so pondered what else I enjoyed doing. I love sewing. I love graphic design and art. I love photography. What could I do?  I started designing wall prints for my kid's rooms and absolutely fell in love with doing this. I then decided to offer them for sale on Etsy. I love color. I love typography. I love design. Wall prints were the perfect answer to my obsession with these three things. So here I am today, at this present moment. I have so many ideas in my head, that I keep a journal with the ideas written down, so I don't forget them!

How has GOD been a part of your creative process/lifestyle? 
I want to use the gifts that God has given me for His honor and glory.   Every good gift and every perfect gift comes from above. (James 1:17)  You will often find me listening to Christian music and sermons no matter what I am doing…work around the house and work on my business.  I love this verse - “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” (Joshua 24:15)

Is there a particular moment where your creativity became infused into a spiritual practice?  
When I am creating I love to listen to music.  A few of my favorite artists are Hillsong, Jeremy Camp and Casting Crowns.  I'll also have sermons on throughout the day.  I love listening to John McArthur and John Piper.  I have a few Christian themed prints in my shop and am planning to create more that are centered around Bible verses.

Favorite Quote?
I love these quotes – “She Believed She Could, So She Did”, “Shoot for the moon even if you miss you'll land among the stars”, and these Bible verses “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” and "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding".

CLICK HERE to purchase the e-book of this Interview series for $4.99

Monday, March 12, 2012

Let Go

Let go of the things you fear to lose. Die to your attachments.
Free yourself from everything you think you are and embrace the
truth that you are abundant, eternal, fearless and worth being loved.
Jackson Kiddard

Robin's Courses

Letting Go of the Destination

 Some of the biggest issues I am needing to let go of taking this art journaling class is the format.  I would prefer someone to give me a project and help me to know which colors blend together well.  There are certain color pallets that I gravitate to which of course showed up in this first journal page.  But I want to get out of my comfort zone with this and move into colors that I would not normally bring together but know that when I see them I love the look and the feel of them.

Right now I am just fiddling with technique. And even in that I am finding out things about myself.  Things like simply having a page that I have techniques all over must be turned into SOMETHING.  The time it took to prep the book and the fight I have to battle in order to get 20 minutes to even focus on the class... well again I am reminded of something I already know about myself: I am results oriented.

Find more of my work CLICK HERE

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Welcome to your Life

Let this truth go as deep in you as possible: that life is already here, arrived.
You are standing on the goal. Don’t ask about the path.

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Artist Interview: Christine Elizabeth Brown

Christine Elizabeth Brown
Shop Name: Fawn Over Me
Favorite Materials: Vintage Material, Sharp Scissors, Things with a mysterious past

Brief Bio:

I had the privilege of living with both sets of grandparents for different periods in my life
growing up. In both households nothing was thrown away. I think thereʼs a show for that
now called ʻHoardersʼ. No, it really wasn't that bad. Both were born in and around the
depression, and being thrifty was just a way of life for them. Needing to reuse and
salvage things, and my love for vintage came natural because I was constantly
surrounded by it. Weekends were spent either at: 1. The dump, or 2. Yard Sailing
(pronounced “yaad saillinʼ with a New England accent) or 3. Church. We were always
on the hunt for something that someone else was getting rid of so we could reuse it, fix
it, or place it with some collection already started.

My first creative memories...
I remember being in kindergarten and drawing a ladybug. The paper was huge, I
remember the plastic-y smell of my oversized smock. The teacher called out step-by-
step instructions as she walked around the table. The outcome was this beautiful
masterpiece in red paint and black crayon. My grandmother kept it for 20+ years and
gave it to me as a gift few years ago in a frame. I couldn't believe she kept it. It inspires
and reminds me why I am on this earth. One day will be on display in my own studio.

I was always drawing. In fourth grade I was only allowed to have one writing utensil and
was constantly monitored because I was drawing on everything, even my desk. I used
to feel like an outsider, and I didn't understand why I saw things differently. Being artistic
was like a punishment instead of a gift. Fast forward a fey years, to when my mother
took me to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston when I turned 13. It changed my life. I
realized I wasn't the only person who saw the world in this huge collage of color,
emotion, pattern and form. That trip opened my eyes in a lot of ways. It took awhile to
explore and accept over the years, but now I boldly declare: “Hey, Iʼm an artist.” I see
the world different because I believe I was meant to.

My Creative life transitioned...
now that I am married. Sometimes I feel guilty that our house is overflowing with stacks of fabric, canvases, hat boxes, pyrex bowls full of buttons, clothes racks, and multiple vintage baby scales. I wonder when my husband will say that he wants the dining room back. But he is the most supportive, understanding man I have ever met. God knows what he is doing when He puts two people together. corny...just say it, I know you want to.

I have always been creating/making something, if not for me, then for someone else. Planning weddings, performing poetry. The need to express myself through some creative process has so far overridden any other event or circumstance. If I do stall, I go to an art museum, a poetry reading or listen to music to get re-inspired. I explore blogs, etsy, and have discovered Pinterest, which is new and amazing. I have already logged hundreds of hours.

God and creativity... 
I believe that God has a plan for each of us. My business card says: “Created” with
the scripture Ephesians 2:10.  What it means to me is that we all need to be striving to fulfill what God has individually created us to do.  He designed us and thought about who we were going to be at the beginning of time. Thats amazing!

God is the ultimate artist. Have you ever looked really close at a flower petal? Or
slowly sifted a handful of sand?. I see the simplest things as art, art is all around. We
just need to slow down and really look at things sometimes. If we take the time, we can
be really inspired, and humbled.

One thing that ushers me into worship is...
Music. To get into true worship I think about how undeserving I am of the things that I
have. I think about what God has done for me, and my family. I think about how small
I am in this expanding universe. I stop thinking about how I look, or who is looking at
me. I lift my palms and close my eyes. The music envelopes me and I become part of
the fold with the rest of the worshipers. Its amazing to me that God created each one
of us, and he cares for us so much.

My Creative influences are... 
my mother. Since she is an artist herself, she understands me in a way no one else can.
plus she “Grew me in her body!”...a phrase I heard all the time growing up when I was
being an unreasonable selfish teenager. She sacrificed a lot so we could have the best
life possible, and she pushed me and encouraged me in my artists journey. She has purchased supplies, and is my #2 at flea markets, always finding things for me and
pointing me in the right direction. Another influence is my dear friend Kathryn Smith.
She was also my youth leader, and ran a ministry for young adults from her house
where I met my husband (she also takes credit for this!). One day the sewing machine
she gave me broke, and she lent me another one of her own so I could make my
deadlines and finish products. I am still using that machine. She is selfless, infinitely
creative, and is led by God in everything she does.


 My husband Ethan is the one who I run all my ideas through, and he has to deal with the small mountains of fabric all around our house. He motivates me and handles logistics for all my shows. He is also my biggest cheerleader, oh how I love that man. 

 CLICK HERE to purchase the e-book of this Interview series for $4.99

Monday, March 5, 2012

Take A Walk Through Your Life and Take Your Camera with You

I just completed the assignment from Liz Lamoreux's book Inner Excavation to take a walk.  For me with the cold weather, I reinterpreted it to mean to take a walk in my life.  And my life is filled with my girl.  Even at 6 years old and full day kindergarten, I am still quite an integral part in her life.  For most of the last seven months I have spent quite a bit of energy just normalizing life for her.  My hubby came home after almost three years away and he is still learning to adjust to civilian life.  Add to this, our big move to Colorado where a support system has never really materialized in this mountain town.  Plus seven months of unemployment for my husband has all of us fighting to stay positive.

My role - which I take very seriously - is to build hope around my girl no matter what.  I remember when I was young and not having much.  I remember being teased for wearing the wrong clothes.  I had the added bonus of being a mixed kid in the 1970s and it was not as cool as it is (in some places) now.  I will confess we are not living in a town where it is "cool" and I am in disbelief about it.  But such is life and I will find a way to hope in the midst of my circumstances.

Find more of my work CLICK HERE

Sponsor Spotlight: White Rabbit Studio

Chami is a 21-year- old mother of one from Alaska. When she had her daughter, she fell in love with the do-it-yourself aspects of being a mommy and started making her clothes. This soon expanded to hair bows as her hair got longer, and she realized it could be a nice way to make another person smile.  

Chami makes hair bows and other accessories for those who wish to brighten up their lives.  She also has hair extensions available.

Check out her shop CLICK HERE

Friday, March 2, 2012

Artist Interview: Susan Boelman

shop link
Name: Susan Boelman
Name of Business: Designversation
Creative Influences:  My 4-H leaders, Nina Jenkins and Arlene Wolsky, were the first people to show me how to create something from nothing. The creative spirit of my Grandmother’s and Mom, who allowed me explore with their supplies, color, and paint.
Preferred Medium of Creativity: I love working with thread, floss and textured yarns for all types of needlework – both hand and machine stitching.  Currently, I am really in love with variegated colored yarns.

What is one of your earliest creative memories? 
 An early memory is making Christmas ornaments out of Styrofoam, felt, sequins and stickpins with my family. I still have them today. Lots of details and each one required a mix of materials to complete. The sequins sparkled on the tree when placed next to a bulb. The ornament kit really intrigued me. 

How did you find your creative voice? 
As soon as I learned a new skill such as cross-stitch, embroidery, appliqué, etc, I would start making my own patterns or revise an existing one adding my touch of style. In high school, I announced that I wanted to be an interior designer and several people including my guidance counselor tried to talk me out of it. I have thanked God many times for not letting me listen to them and follow my passion. My professional career as an interior designer led me to work on billion dollar commercial projects, travel the world, and win several design awards. The success of that career gave me the confidence to design and manufacture a line of inspirational home décor products. 

Did your creative habits make a smooth transition into your adult life?  What did the evolution look like? 
 As a young adult trying to fit into society, I thought it was viewed as “uncool” to be creative or crafty. Therefore, I never talked about it with my friends or significant others.  I would just hideaway on weekends and create. I was a professional interior designer with a successful, very creative career, but I separated that from handmade crafts. As I grew older and became more aware of my authentic self, I realized that my all my creative endeavors are an amazing GIFT from God. A gift too big NOT to share. Now I relish in my asset. 

If you had a creative hiatus, what event/circumstance brought you back to your creative lifestyle? 
 I have never taken a hiatus from my creativity as it makes my days truly colorful. Real heartache in my life always brings me closer to my creative self.  Some amazing creations have come out of periods of grief, illness and solidarity. A form of internal therapy and contemplation that lets me get lost in a world of unknown and come out of it with something beautiful and colorful. When my Mom passed, I created Gift tags and made an elaborate dress-up chest for my niece. When my sweet kitty Charlie passed, I created Branding Bags, the list goes on … 

Is there a particular moment where your creativity became infused into a spiritual practice?
 I realized how important my create talents were to God about 7 years ago in a bible study. We were studying a book titled, Purpose Driven Life by Rick Warren. The final chapter asks the reader why you are put on this earth? After prayer and quiet time, I felt I needed to create a modern Christian home décor line and teach people how to design their home showcasing a love for God. 

“Linger” Question - Food for thought to leave with the readers
Does the room you are sitting in right now, motivate you or bore you? 

 CLICK HERE to meet other creatives

CLICK HERE to purchase the e-book of this Interview series for $4.99