Category Archives: art

So Thankful

Time to count my blessings.

I want to take a moment to be thankful for the opportunity to serve my community through creativity.
It was 10 years ago that I opened my garage door to invite my community into my dream of bringing art fun to everyone.

I am so happy that this vision resonated with people of all ages and for all this time. It is no small thing. I have so enjoyed watching kid and adult ideas come to life through their art making and it totally fills me up. I see the beauty of people through what they make. It reminds me how much goodness there is.

10 years back I invited friends and neighbors into my 400 square foot garage space and said, “make whatever you want with our array of recycled and crafty materials.” It is so wonderful that they said yes. Thank you so much!

Out of the mouths of babes.

Wise words from a six year old.

You know the changes in the world are big when a six year old talks about them. Lyle’s dad told me a story about how she likes to create at home. She reuses everything she can get her hands on. Lyle stopped her dad on a trip to the recycling can recently asking for the box he was holding. She said “reusing a box means one less piece of trash and one more piece of art”.
I couldn’t have said it better myself. I love that Lyle is aware of the bigger picture and, where things really go.
Perhaps that’s the next layer of conversation we can all start having with kids. The next time you take the recycling out for disposal you can tell your kids about where things go from there.
Waste Management has a Recycling Plant and Landfill right in our community. They process the trash we throw away and the recycling we pass along. From there, recycling collections may go to an MRF -Material Recovery Facility to get to more specific destinations.
There is a buzz the final steps for items like cardboard specifically, there is just too much out there. Talking a page from Lyle’s book and reusing everyday recyclables is a great way to help shift our habits at home. Make art not trash!

Art for all

Everyone has the right to explore their creativity.

I was talking to a parent last night who said she wasn’t artistic. We were making little glass magnets with map pieces. She loved the project because it was simple and she could collect pieces of map that matched the important places in her families lives like, where her husband and kids were born. She was having a great time creating. She thought she wasn’t artistic yet here she was, deciding that she would use the magnets to reflected her families heritage right on the fridge! Where did she get the idea she wasn’t artistic?

As we chatted I told her something that is the steam behind CReATE STUDIO and CReATE ON YOUR CAMPUS. Everyone should be able to explore the realm of art for themselves, even if it’s not their passion or skill. Art for all that it can be is a form of play and expression. We are all created to experience it.
She may not be an artist per say, but she absolutely gets to have a good time with art. I want to nurture that idea in people, from kids on up. Reusing things creatively is a pipeline to the art of individual expressiveness in such a health way. Everyone should be able to explore the realm of art as I said so, let’s get everyone some cardboard and stuff and create!

We’re 10!

WOW! We’re 10 this month!
Tuesday, March 6th was our opening day back in 2009. What a journey it’s been so far. I started building the studio with an inspired Idea that I actually followed through on (not my usual m.o. back then). I worked to create the studio using some hard learned lessons from having a tiny quilt company of fun and funky children’s quilts called, “Story Quilts”. I did that with my friend Roberta Durra, a fellow Costumer I got to know in the early 90’s. Our ;little company’s rise and fall centered around our artful blankets and, a super tough Rep at the Mart that all met it’s end when Barney’s went Bankrupt! Basically Roberta and I quit that business after the Barney situation and went on to start families, never looking back. Years later when I had the idea to create CReATE I found myself drifting back to our Story Quits saga and realized we had quite before we really saw where it could go. This time I wouldn’t quit. That gave me the steam I have needed to keep on trucking through these last ten years of creativity, reuse, business and tons of donations! I am so happy I have. At year 10 I am stepping into some bigger environmentally sustainability shoes as we deal with material donations way outside my comfort zone in terms of quantity and variety. It gets me thinking, how can we reuse these things and who can we share them with? Landfill is not an option.

It’s a good thing we’re here. Reusing is a cohesive and practical way to keep post-use items and materials out of land fills. Reusing them is our fun. Thinking back to the beginning I knew that using recycled materials was the way I wanted to create freedom in art but what has unfolded is just sheer creativity. The exciting challenge that comes with exploring concepts and ideas with the materials all around us sparks joy and creates a shift in how we see the everyday things that are donated to us. I think we are creating change if even just a little. To me a cracker box will never be just a cracker box again. It has becomes limitless possibilities for me and I hope it does the same for others too. We are all the stewards of this planet, as they say, there is no planet B.
Year 10 is marking the next wave of creativity for CReATE and how we make reuse THE way.
Though we don’t have that little quilt company anymore I see it’s lessons unfold for me all the time. Stay with it they say. The best is yet to come.

Scatter Joy.

I had read “the life changing magic of tidying up” by Marie Kondo and just finished watching her series “Tidying up with Marie Kondo on Netflix.
I had gotten a lot out of the book when I read it but I got even more from watching the show! There is a very important message for me in her tidying up method and the sensibilities that go along with it that are about sparking joy. She was so creative in developing her method for connecting with joy.
For years I have had a vision board I made with a piece of a card that says scatter joy. I realize after watching the show that that message was an underlying piece of creating the studio for me- to scatter a little joy in people by enabling them to be present and to create what they are sparked through inspiration to do. Marie’s message about sparking joy is really special. It’s wrapped up in gratitude, in appreciating what you already have and in seeing the value of it. It’s loving what you have that helps you love where you live. Those are the kinds of things I have been personally striving for for years. Being grateful for what you have has a space at create studio, Creating can be such a close connection to joy and loving what you make is a wonderful feeling. Those creations go home. Sometimes they stay a while and sometimes they are parted with but all that really matters is if creating them sparked joy. Thanks to Marie, I think I will keep a little mantra in my mind at the studio and in my day to day, “scatter some joy”. Perhaps here the universe is saying spark joy through creativity. Ok!

I am processing.

I recently visited Borderline Memorial. I was so touched by the love and community essence that enveloped it. I had never been to a memorial before. It was profoundly personal to me. There were stories and accounts and prayers for each of the victims and so many hand-made treasures that I felt came from the deepest places of love. Art heals. There were hand crafted pieces contributed by people out of state as well as local artists too.
I thought about the victims that I don’t know personally but I have gotten to know just a little through stories and this memorial. I have been thinking about Borderline since it happened. I have been reconciling the event in my mind and of all the other shootings we’ve heard about and been affected by. Visiting the memorial left me feeling that I had to create something- a way to contribute to honoring the loss and building the foundation of love that had been created. I reached out to my friend Alison and asked if she wanted to create something with me because I knew that she had been processing grief and loss about Borderline. She and I got together and collaborated on a project to contribute to the memorial and to heal our own hearts. It was healing indeed and something we could do. It was an opportunity for us to process the magnitude of Borderline and the weight on our community. I had heard it many times in my life but now I have an experience to draw from and to heal as a member of our community. Art heals indeed.
We created the art on a piece of wood that used to be part of our counter at the studio so it had a chalkboard finish. Alison and I thought that could be a space for more healing as we are an entire community trying to process this event and explore how to grow forward. If you see our piece out there we hope it helps you heal too.

Happy December!

We’re off to a great start with birthday celebrating and this sleek looking paper plate Wyvern Dragon. One plate cut just the right way makes this ancient creature and sparks resourcefulness in our creators.

We have a creative month in store for you with our Pinspired Project Night on the 7th, Parents Night Out on the 8th, Paint Pouring on the 14th, and our collaborative half day Artys Yoga Camp with @littlefoxyoga to name a few.
Let the creative reuse fun begin!


Curiosity lead me to creation

As a girl  I spent a lot of time at my grandparents, Darling and Grandad’s house. My only-child status seemed to trigger my curious nature to explore their house. I was a looky-loo. I could spend hours going through the kitchen junk drawer and any other drawer looking to see what I would find. I was so curious. The more random and everyday the finds were, the better. Those times were magical for me. My grandparents kept all sorts of things that made every drawer feel like a keep sake box. I felt like I was going on little odysseys as I sorted and sifted through notes, jars, trays and the like.

Years later when I’d grown up and my grandparents had both passed away I found myself going through those magical drawers. I came away with a small bag of special treasures from the famed kitchen drawer that I saved for just the right occasion. When my girls were small we got an idea for an art project that the junk drawer bag would be perfect for. As we laid out the contents of the bag and thought of our Beach Birthday Party theme we had the loveliest time sharing in the curiousness of exploring my Darlings kitchen junk drawer things. Most of them made it onto our mixed media collaboration and touch my heart still as I look at the finished creation hanging on a wall at our home today. The things from her drawer that are still most wondrous to me are the handmade candle for her 21st birthday, the $2 bill and the bottom half of a heart shaped china box. They are nothing to look at per say but they carry curious wonderings about their origins and why she kept them for all those years. It’s funny to connect my childhood experiences as an explorer to the studio I have created that I now realize has a touch of her junk drawer magic available for all who create with our recycled this and that selection.
Creating the piece with my girls back in 2004 was a beautiful, presence filled experience. I want that kind of memory for you and the ones you love after you’ve spent time together at CReATE. Keep curiosity with you and I know you will.


The Re Odyssey

When I am posting on social media and hashtagging words, I wind up including lots of words that start with Re. That lead me on a thinking odyssey, I can put a “re” in front of tons of words that connect to creativity and get a descriptive match to our creative reuse sensibilities!
When kids and adults recycle by reusing they are applying these R’s and that’s exactly the things we need to be doing not just in art but in an everyday way!
When it comes to recycling it’s all about the “Re”.
Try applying it to the things you don’t want any more. It’s good food for thought.

The importance of Art

If your reading this blog you know art is important, but do you know why?

As dancer Twyla Tharp once said, “art is the only way to run away without leaving the house.”

The truth of that statement has fluttered about the internet this week as the importance of art once again rises to the surface of our consciousness.
I have long enjoyed the quote and it’s implications to run away or escape into more aptly our own  space to really be ourselves and to explore new worlds with colorful doorways to imagination. We can express ourselves,go somewhere, anywhere we like. It’s as if we have Willy Wonka’s world at our beck and call with art. Dream it, create it, see it.

The hard part is that art for the majority, art doing, especially for kids isn’t about their expression, Its often about their exposure to other peoples art, someone else’s expression. When kids do art or view it, they are tuning  into the artists way of expressing and not the children’s own. Art is wonderful to appreciate and learn about but it’s most nurturing when kids and adults are encouraged to create their own art, their own way. Art is important because it transports us to deep places within and spaces that art far out, all while we are sitting or standing in one place. This is where confidence waits to grow and flourish, this is where we, as humans get to feel our wholeness. Art doesn’t have to be a passion to be powerful. It can be subtly revealing things we like and things we don’t. It can help us say what no words can attempt. it can make us feel giggle and mad, all at once.

I sense that we as today’s parents want our kids to feel confident, to lead yet, we direct them, steer them, even control them away from their escapes into self expression.
In part, I built CReATE STUDIO to be an art studio where running away without leaving the space is encouraged. For kids, to dive into their own world of interest, colored just the way they like it to enhance their self regard, confidence and to strengthen their abilities to be resourceful. Our kids deserve the same play in the mud mindsets we had as kids to let ideas unfold into other ideas, bigger ideas for hours on end.
Kids NEED to be creative whether they everything not art. Art is the vehicle of self expression. It helps us honor who we are. Painting with gobs of color until it all turns brown, taping tones of paper together until it becomes a flying carpet on the living room floor, with doodled instruments and secret compartments. It’s all good stuff.
Art is big and broad and free and the perfect way for you to be you and me to be me.