The other day a gentleman was walking past our studio and stopped to look in. Our reuse style seemed to inspire him. He looked around for a few minutes taking it in as he drew himself to the counter where we have our giant ball of masking tape on display.
He told me a story about being a boy in Los angeles during World War Two and how during that time there was a competition with the families in his neighborhood about who could make the biggest aluminum foil ball. They were all was saving every scrap of foil they could find to add to their balls, even gum wrappers. That memory brought a few more that he shared about that time so long ago. He said he hadn’t thought about any of those things so long. It was seeing the tape ball that brought it all back. We were both inspired by what seeing our tape ball triggered. Nostalgia is funny like that, it rides on the wings of subtle things like something baking in the oven a song that’s playing in a store. Even a funny tape ball can do it taking us both back to a moment in time where saving things was a thing.
I loved seeing his memories unfold. Hearing them was like going back in time.
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.
The kids had a good time learning cross stitch during our sewing enrichment class Yerba Buena Elementary School today.
Building skills is so fun and empowering!
Cross Stitch Design inspired by Peacock and Fig 🙂
Today is National Random Acts of Kindness Day!
Stop by CReATE STUDIO for a free workshop between 1-3pm today to make “Kindness Clips”- clothespins with kind words and messages to leave at the places you go!
Your act of kindness is sure to spark kindness in others too.
Sometimes it’s the funnest to fill a bottle with all kinds of stuff and that’s all.We’ve been having a blast with diy creating and our projects zone at Reyes Adobe Days. Join us tomorrow for more fun tomorrow from 11am-4pm at Reyes Adobe Park in Agoura Hills.
Thanks to our CReATE friend Limor Gallo of GoGo Squeez for a great sit down interview with me about CReATE and all that goes on in my mind about just being, reuse, creativity and kids!
I am always on the lookout for teaching and learning opportunities at CReATE. As Alfred Mercier said, “What we learn with pleasure we never forget” and we need to keep learning for the sake of our minds and our sense of curiousness in spirit. I touched on the sparkle of fun I felt after learning the ins-and-outs of Modern Calligraphy where my childhood spirit shone through.
I choose to have classes and workshops at the studio that I know can find the lovely balance between teaching and learning which for me includes a big grey area of curiosity, exploration and discovery. This is where each person participating can find their place with the skill they learn and its just for them. Our open-structure is all about those pieces which are like diamonds that crack open with deeper, more brilliant facets of personal learning. I believe more and more that we do better in life when we look at things curiously which intern translates to creatively. I feel there is magic in the process of trying something out for the sake of personal enrichment. Learning unfolds in the creative flow.
Join me in exploring experiences this fall at the studio. It is after all a family studio where there is something fun for everyone.
Come have fun with us at The Thousand Oaks Library today between 1-4pm.
We’ll be hosting a FREE Pinspired Family Crafternoon where you can make wood signs, picnic boards and kid car boards while supplies last.
Meet us in the Marvin E. Smith room.
We’ll see you there!
The projects we’ll have on hand at this event are inspired by the projects we do for our regular Pinspired adult night at the studio where it’s all about hands-on making your way.
*The studio is open as usual from 12-4pm too!
We’re excited to have Calligraphy artist Kristina Virtue offering this super fun “Back To School Boards” workshop at CReATE STUDIO on both Thursday, July 26th and Thursday, August 9th from 7-9pm. Kristina guides us in this workshop with ideas, inspirations and Modern Calligraphy tips to make share worthy boards for little ones embarking on big milestones.
$50 per person. Includes everything you need to make an awesome photo chalk board.Call us to register at 818-575-9566
We Are All Connected Somehow. Right now, one of my connectors seems to be Joy Prouty, @joyprouty on instagram.
Years ago when my daughter Maisy joined instagram one of her early follows was Joy Prouty, she would tell me about her story, her images, her then only one young daughter and the beautiful family she had. One day Maisy came into our kitchen thrilled that Joy Prouty was having an estate sale and it was right in our Thousand Oaks Backyard! Until then she had assumed Joy was far away in another state with her lovely tales of family life. We went to the sale but didn’t connect with the Proutys’ then.
A few years later I met Joy as she brought her eldest daughter to the studio for a CReATE date with a friend. I told her about my connection to her family.
Years later still, during a birthday party at the studio I talked with a parent who was a photographer @erin_m_fox. She had trained under Joy Prouty. I loved that connection so I tucked it away in my memory to go back to someday.
Someday came recently when I thought about updating my website with fresh photos. Erin immediately came to my mind, so I called her. When she came to the studio to meet with me we connected. We talked about work, family, life and of course, Joy Prouty. When Maisy had told me about Joy all those years ago I was intrigued by what drew my teenage daughter to an adult mama. She was intrigued by Joy’s photography and her heartfelt story posts.
I followed Joy too then and understood what connected Maisy to her. Talking to Erin recently I understood what connected her to Joy too. It was humanness, kindness, realness, rawness and Joy’s relishing in the beautyness too. As Erin and I talked we shared some nesses of our own.
Today Erin came to the studio to shoot it in-action during a Birthday Party. I watched her work, she connected with people, with inspired views she had, I just can’t wait to see it all. At the end of the day I feel lucky to take note of the thread that is woven through all of us while connecting us all. That’s what it’s really about, being in the connection. Thank you Joy for being a piece of my thread and for weaving into my life’s story that connected me to Erin. I am sure the connection won’t stop here. After all, we are all connected somehow.