Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Creative Space

 Working on tiny canvases. Notice the half a tube of red paint my daughter squeezed out. :) When I asked her why she did that she said to be an artist mommy. Of course. :)

 Exploring this wonderful site. Have you tried it yet?

Making masks for the Halloween party at school tomorrow along with 20 cupcakes. :)

If you want to share your space and see other fun spaces, go here

Saturday, October 23, 2010


I am happy to share my finished painting with you! I kept thinking I need to add MORE but I decided to not add too much because what I love is the simplicity and looseness of this piece. I have some tiny 5"x7" supports to paint on. I don't know about me and tiny pieces but I have a variety-clayboard, wood, and canvas.

I hope you are having a great weekend!

P.S. Click on the link in the sidebar to join a stitched postcard swap! I think it will be fun.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Guest Post: April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle

Photo by Teri H. Hoover
Today I am happy to share a guest post by April Bowles-Olin of Blacksburg Belle. My first ever guest post!
I hope you enjoy April's thoughtful post.

The Importance of Following Your Creative Whispers

Everyone experiences creative whispers. It might be that prickly feeling that rises up your arms each time you think about learning how to paint or that curious sensation you get when you consider writing fiction.

Your whisper might be telling you to purchase that camera and take photographs as a hobby. It doesn't have to be a life or career changing urge.

The whispers pop up regularly, urging us to pursue our dreams. But, many times we don't listen.

Why? Because everyone also has an inner critic. The voice in your head that says, "You couldn't possibly paint anything anyone would want to look at, much less buy. Who do you think you are?"

Learning to follow your whispers is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

My Journey

The first time I heard about the idea of "creative whispers" was in Kelly Rae Robert's book, Taking Flight, but as soon as I read about the idea I completely understood what she meant.

I've always had the creative bug. I used sit and draw for hours as a child, I learned to sew and make my own clothes in college, and I moved on to making jewelry and scrapbooking during my time in graduate school. I never thought I could make a living from my creative passions, so I went to what I thought was the next best thing.

I got a master's degree in social work, and I practiced individual and family therapy with at-risk adolescents. I loved it. Unfortunately, I could never figure out how to turn off my "social work self" when I was away from the job. Those teens were always on my mind, and it took a large toll on me physically and emotionally.

My husband and I decided we wanted to move back to Virginia to be with friends and family, so I had to leave my job as a therapist in Brooklyn. That's when I took some time to decide what I wanted to do next. Over the next few months, I started listening to my creative whispers more and more. But, I also had that inner critic telling me that it wouldn't be possible to make money selling art and jewelry--that I needed to find another safe job with benefits.

I took a lot of long walks where I just listened to my body. It was telling me that it was now or never. I needed to pursue my creative passions.

Thankfully, I followed my whispers, even though I was terrified.

How To Follow Your Own Whispers

Start listening. The first step in following your own creative whispers is to be open to the idea.

When you walk past the books on mixed media in your local bookstore and your heart beats a little faster, it's a whisper. Pick one up, find a project that speaks to you, and have some fun.

The second step entails pushing past your inner critic. Whenever you start something new, your inner critic will try to pop up and try to ruin it. He'll laugh at your first attempt to knit a scarf. He'll mock your idea for your novel. You have to be brave enough to tell your inner critic to butt out.

Follow your gut feeling. When you're creating, your body will lead the way if you allow it. When you think about working at the day job you despise for the rest of your life, you might feel nauseous, sad, or angry. But, your gut might also tell you that you can't quit your day job until you pay off your debts and save some money. That's when you take baby steps.

Here's the thing about creative dreams: you'll usually be worse off if you never try. Ask yourself these two questions:

1. What's the worse that could happen if I follow this creative whisper?

2. What's the worse that could happen if I never follow this creative whisper?

Usually, the answer to the second question is much worse than the answer to the first, and really--that's your answer.

April Bowles-Olin works with creative women to lead more fulfilling lives while they make money doing it. She also attempts to add a little prettiness to the world with her art and jewelry. You can learn more about her at Blacksburg Belle and connect with her on Twitter @blacksburgbelle.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Thank you

 fragile heart
I just wanted to say a huge THANK YOU to you lovely blog readers! You have touched and warmed my heart with your kind and wise words.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Since my last post on beginnings I have been up against my own worst enemy, my inner critic.

It affected:

* My ART with things like you aren't as good as so and so. Others must have more support, more money, a bigger house, an actual studio. Who do you think you are painting? You should be cooking and cleaning. You are a stay at home mom after all. People won't like it. Why bother?

*This BLOG. I started feeling like I have nothing to say. Nothing to share. I really felt stopping.

*My DREAMS. It is too hard. Again, who do I think I am? I will never be able to do it all. I should really just pack it all away. I can't.... I can't .... I can't. Blah, Blah, Blah.

Ugghh... I knew exactly what it was. But it still  gets  me  every  time. 

These are all valid beliefs if you are living from a place of fear. It is what we tell ourselves when we are afraid. It seems easier to talk the talk and never do then to do and fail. BUT IT ISN'T. I think it is harder to suppress what is in your heart then to fully express what you know in your heart.

Marianne Williamson does a great job with this...

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
I carry this in my wallet and it always strikes a chord.

I am working my way out... yes, you always come out of it.  I will keep creating, keep sharing, keep going.

Coming up soon... a new Art Biz Mama interview, a guest post and a very talented artist I discovered recently. And don't you just love these colors of fall? The eye candy outside is just fantastic!

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I started a painting. I have had this inspiration board hanging around and FINALLY I am using it. I love the direction this is going. I can't wait to get back to it.

I hope your weekend is a WONDERFUL one!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

This and That

Again a week has flown by! Life with all of the twists and turns has been happening.

*We now have a cute little kitty. She is super sweet. My son named her Cutie. And she really is. 

*I started this scarf over the weekend. My mom who is a wonderful knitter and crocheter gave me some yarn and it was out and I felt like making something so I started to stitch. So far I really love it! And to have something portable to work on is great.

 * I have been painting and making collages (first image) in my mixed media book. This was such a great purchase. You can paint in acrylic or watercolor. The paper holds up well and I love the large size.

*After many, many hours (and complete frustration may I add) spent trying to work with to create a web site I think I will throw in the towel and I am doing a trial over here.  I really like the look of the sites and it is reasonably priced. So we will see how it goes.

* I am reading  The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp. Have you read it? Borrow it from the library if you can. She shares some interesting insights on creativity.

How is it going for you?