Oh Creative Lady: Meet Rachel from The Maker Mum

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Rachel from The Maker Mum

Rachel from The Maker Mum is a ray of sunshine for your Instagram feed. She is an Aussie mama raising two little sunshine babes and her posts ooze outdoorsy, creative goodness. I love Rachel’s commitment to looking at old things in new ways and the way she reuses and revamps household materials. Hanging on her Insta will make you want to head straight out into the Great Outdoors.

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

Over to Rachel from The Maker Mum.

 

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I am… Rachel! I’m 27 years old and live in Brisbane, Australia. I married my husband Sharn when I was 20 and we now have two very blonde babies. Harvey is 3.5years, Meg is 2 and I’m ageing rapidly in this season of young children. I’m a full time stay at home mother with no intention of returning to paid work any time soon. Before children, I nannied a family of three young children then went on to working with primary school aged children in before and after school care. Without planning or really knowing it, I became totally into crafting with children! Now my children are reaping the benefits and to be honest, I’m enjoying it so much. I’m an introverted extrovert meaning I love connecting with people and can often be the life of the party but at the same time it drains me. To re-energize myself, I love watching Netflix, reading a book or going to a cafe for something delicious.

I find inspiration… Everywhere! I have a creative brain so I can be walking down the street and something will catch my eye and my mind wanders off into a creative day dream. I love surrounding myself in nature because I love being inspired by all the details that you could miss if you weren’t paying attention.

Also other creative people inspire me. Even if its a completely different style of creative, people always inspire me!

 

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I am excited about … I am excited about creating interesting spaces to play in without buying more stuff. I’m excited about creating things with everyday resources. Pretty much, I’m excited to keep on encouraging people to use what they already have to create.

I think one day I will do something special, but I’m really not sure what it is yet. I’m going to keep doing what I am doing and just see what opportunities come up and say “yes!” even when it’s out of my comfort zone.

When I’m in a creative slump, I… Take a break.  Forced things never turn out so great. Forced activities are never that popular with the children so it’s just worth taking a break. For a naturally creative person, I know that it will come back to me. Also spending time outside clears the mind!

 

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I’m really proud of… The fact that I’m currently living the life that I have always wanted. Ever since I was young, I just knew I wanted to be a mother and stay at home with my children – just like my own mum. I’m proud that I can be creative and inspiring in a role that can sometimes be so ‘groundhog day’ and just plain old hard.

Someone once told me… That my hair was really boring in my early high school years. You better believe that I had the best, most unique hairstyles for the remainder of my schooling years.

My advice to you is … Stop waiting for big exciting things in your life to bring meaning. Learn to find joy in the smallest moments. Aim for a deep contentment in where you are at this particular stage of life. Where you are right now is significant and you have purpose in the now.

You  can find me at … www.instagram.com/themakermum

Oh Creative Lady: Meet JoJo from Avocado Smash

Oh Creative Lady: Meet JoJo from Avocado Smash

Remember back in the olden days- ahem – I mean, back in your younger pre-kid days, when you would hang out for your favourite band to tour? Or when you’d eagerly anticipate the announcement of a festival line-up? Heck, I remember actually PHYSICALLY lining up to buy tickets for some of my fave bands. As a mum, I’m still clearly living the rock star life except that I eagerly await for tickets to go on sale for concerts that start at 10am and run for 45 minutes and DON’T FORGET TO PACK SNACKS!

But seriously, kids these days have access to some of the coolest acts, don’t they? One such act is Avocado Smash.
Their shows are a bonanza of musical variety with different languages, vocal harmonies, multiple instruments and dance moves from around the world. We have been gifted some tickets to the Avocado Smash gig at Sydney Fringe Festival and cannot wait! Their Fringe show focuses on food and how it bring us all together. Along the way you’ll meet new friends like Tata the Tiger from Sumatra and Olchaeng-i the Tadpole from Korea, and learn about how cultures across the globe enjoy and celebrate delicious delicacies.

Here is the contagiously enthusiastic JoJo from Avocado Smash!

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

I am… Joanna, or JoJo, from Avocado Smash, a funky new children’s music group! We make music for modern families – thoughtful, expressive, diverse music.

I live in the Inner West of Sydney, in a little apartment filled with plants and musical instruments.  I make music, all day every day! I conduct choirs, teach singing, and write music and perform with Avocado Smash! I love writing music for kids. I get to set aside time in my day to play and have fun. I personally think we all should make more time for playing and being silly in adult life! Kids remind us of this all the time, they get it!

I find inspiration… I am definitely inspired by children – I have some dear friends with brilliant little ones who have sparked ideas for many of my songs – actually they’ve co-written them!  I love creating music with children, when we do workshops in early learning centres, it’s an anything goes environment where children can explore their own creativity, whether it’s through percussion instruments, making up vocal lines or dancing freely.

I am excited about … We are debuting a new show at the Sydney Fringe Festival in mid September.  I am so excited to share it with the world. It’s a musical bonanza with vocal harmonies, world dance, live instruments, different languages and a lot of silliness. The story is all about food, and how it brings cultures around the world together. It’s a wonderful journey!

When I’m in a creative slump, I… go to the ocean. It clears my head. I’ve written many a song floating in the water, staring out where the ocean meets the sky.

I’m really proud of… putting together a show for Sydney Fringe – it is so thrilling to take our music to the stage! The show we’ve written, with our amazing director Kah Myla is funny, thoughtful, educational and silly!

Someone once told me… to find your joy, and I did – in music. I was actually working as a social worker, which I enjoyed immensely. But music has called me all my life, and it only grew louder as I got older. I actually see my music practice to be a type of social work – creating spaces for people to express themselves through song, whether it’s an adult in a community choir or a child dancing along to a song about eating spicy food – I believe music is important for us all and I feel immensely grateful to be able to share it with others.

My advice to you is … Do what you love.

You can find me at …

Instagram

Facebook

Grab tickets to our Sydney Fringe Festival show

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Edwina Wyatt

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Edwina Wyatt

There is something really special about being able to enjoy a book with your children and then connecting directly with the author thanks to the Interweb. I always get a bit giddy when an author comments back on something I’ve posted about their book on Instagram.
I’m just here still marveling at the awesomeness of the Internet.
Meanwhile Edwina Wyatt is there creating stories that make you sigh with their beauty. Her latest picture book, Fox and Bird, is on high rotation here. It is a beautifully simple and subtle tale about the need for reciprocity in friendship. Edwina’s words are paired with Alice Lindstrom’s exquisite collage illustrations.
I’m calling it early but this is one of the top ones for 2019.

It’s a pleasure and privilege to have Edwina Wyatt here as the latest Oh Creative Lady.

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

Photo of author Edwina Wyatt

I am… Edwina Wyatt, a children’s author from the south coast of New South Wales.

I find inspiration… in words. I can trace most of my stories back to something as simple as an affection for a certain word. I have notebooks full of single words that I like — the lists of a madwoman. Words like: confetti, chimes and mackerel. A good word will always stir up some sort of mood, image or association. Funnily, none of the original words have ended up featuring in the finished products – they were all cut out in the revisions – but they got me writing.

I am excited about … the unopened packet of biscuits in the cupboard.

Also looking forward to sharing my latest picture book Fox & Bird illustrated by the talented Alice Lindstrom and published by Little Hare Books. And my junior fiction novel, The Secrets of Magnolia Moon out in November, illustrated by Katherine Quinn and published by Walker Books.

Front cover of picture book Fox and Bird by Edwina Wyatt and ALice Lindstrom

When I’m in a creative slump, I… read and walk. A bit of dummy spitting can help too; sometimes quitting can help you find your way back. It can free up mental space and take the pressure off.

And if all else fails, refer to Dr Seuss. He has some good things to say about how to avoid going to The Waiting Place.

“And when you’re in a Slump,
You’re not in for much fun.
Un-slumping yourself
is not easily done.”

Oh, The Places You’ll Go

I’m really proud of…  My family.

Someone once told me… to ask myself WIBBOW: Would I Be Better Off Writing?

Such a brilliant acronym from Perth writer, H.Y. Hanna that I heard about from Annabel Smith on The First Time Podcast. It made me smile. The answer is unfailingly: yes! Always. This applies so well to social media hang-ups, procrastination, perfectionism, networking, courses, that extra blog post, time sucks like self-doubt, jealousy and negative self-talk that writers are so good at, refreshing your emails, checking Goodreads….

There is no substitute for time in the chair, mucking around and making a horrible mess of it all – it’s the only way out of it.

My advice to you is…I am not really one for giving advice, as usually when it comes to writing, I think there are no rules, and you need to follow your instincts – just do what feels right to you.

But I can tell you the advice I have been giving myself…

I have also been listening to conversations between Charlotte Wood and psychologist, Allison Manning, on A Mind Of One’s Own. From those I have really taken away the importance of focusing on the thing that I can control, which is my relationship with the work: how I feel about it, and its quality. All the other externalities which writers obsess over belong to the publishing machine. You can’t do anything about those. Also learning how to separate the worth of the work from your worth as a person, so that you’re not invested in the idea of the book’s ‘success’ or ‘failure’ as being tied up in your own self-worth. I found these conversations to be fascinating and hugely comforting.

They have been a real gift to me in creating some good mental habits.

You can find me at …
My website
Instagram

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Maggy from Red Ted Art

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Maggy from Red Ted Art

An image with the text Oh Creative Lady and graphics of pencils.

Maggy from Red Ted Art, in my humble opinion, is Kids Arts and Crafts Blogging ROYALTY.
Her site is chock-a-block filled with ideas and tutorials. All hail Queen Maggy!
I adore the way Maggy aims to inspire kids to independently create with her simple and fun projects, even if they have limited access to materials.
But what I admire most of all is how generous Maggy is with her time and advice to fellow bloggers. Maggy has been blogging for a very long time now and has an extremely successful site as testament to that. Many bloggers in her field look up to her and Maggy is always willing to share her pearls of wisdom.
Enough fan-girling from me. Introducing Maggy from Red Ted Art!

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.

Photo of Maggy from Red Ted Art against a blue background

I am… Maggy from Red Ted Art! Where I share fun and EASY crafts for kids. I am passionate about getting kids crafting and excited about art (I hear far too often “but I am rubbish at crafts”… no, you are not.. you have just not been helped in the right sort of way.. but I digress). I am also author of two books – Red Ted Art  (now out of print, sniff) and Paper Crafts (be the first to get it on pre-order!) Quite excited about the second book – as it really brings crafts back down to basics: LOTS of great ideas using more or less just paper! Hopefully making crafting more accessible to a LOT of kids with restricted access to materials!

I am also mum of two (a now 11yr and 9yrs old – crikey, they grow up so quickly) and married. We have a house of full of pets (some now deceased but still in our hearts) – cats, chickens, gerbils, hamsters and now the kids want fish. It feels like a zoo. But isn’t that what childhood is about?

We live in big, smelly BUT wonderful London and we feel very lucky to be here.

In my spare time I love to read.. and devour more or less any book given or lent to me.

I find inspiration… mainly in other people! Everyone around you is inspirational in some form or another. We all have some special and unique to contribute. And I love seeing how diverse my friends are.

I love going to art galleries and seeing how you can bring “real” art into the home and inspire the kids. In London, we are so lucky to have so many great galleries on our doorstep and for free! My favourite has to be Tate Britain. They are always so friendly and welcoming to kids and families too.

I am excited about …  Ooh I am excited about two big things for Red Ted Art.. the first.. as mentioned above already, is my brand new book – out in September 2019! I love the concept of the book (which is quite different to my “old” book) – all about crafting with JUST paper. I focussed on providing different techniques and ideas of how to craft with paper in the book. Keeping the crafts as simple as possible, but also encouraging the readers to make their own versions and designs. I love that all you need is paper, a glue stick and scissors (well.. more or less!). I am hoping that this book, a pad of paper and some glue will make for great Birthday Gifts for many children going forward!

The second, is that I am finally rebranding Red Ted Art. I say “rebranding”.. Red Ted Art was never really “branded” as such. The current branding is taken from my first book – which is nice, but was never thought through. I am about to do a big brand reveal and can’t wait to share the new logo and… MASCOT! So excited!

When I’m in a creative slump, I… Give myself a break. Other times I power on. It really varies. I am lucky enough, that my blog is quite “big” now – by that I mean it has a LOT of content. Well over 2000 craft ideas. So, I know it is “ok” to give myself a break and just revamp and republish some old content or to focus a little more on SEO. Other times, I find “powering on” works. Yes, I may not FEEL like making, but I Have a huge list of content ideas.. and I just start to work my way through it, until the spark comes naturally again.

I accept that creative slumps are totally normal and am not too worried by them!

 

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I’m really proud of… my kids! What else can I say.. right?! But if I had to pick something other than them… then it is Red Ted Art as a whole and the community that supports it. If you had told me 10yrs ago, that it would be what it is today, I wouldn’t have believed you. I love receiving emails from my readers sharing what they have made or hearing their stories of how my crafts have helped them in some way. It is really lovely! And leaves me feeling chuffed.

Someone once told me… I would make a living from crafts. It was my brother. I didn’t believe him. I couldn’t work out how crafts could possibly be profitable, there is so much labour involved in creating. Luckily, my brother believed in me and when I started Red Ted Art, really supported what I was doing. And somehow I ended up on this path of blogging. I never planned to write a blog… it was meant to be an add on to another business idea. But there you go. Never say never! Anything is possible.

A quote from Maggy at Red Ted Art that reads "But the thing is.. whatever you are passionate about.. just do it! And be prepared to change your path along the way. If you don’t even start, how are you going to get anywhere? Having said that, do have realistic expectations of yourself, allow your idea to grow and develop over time. Accept any failures along with the successes. Just keep at it."

My advice to you is …. make your dreams come true. Ha yes, that is a bit of a big statement and can be quite daunting. But the thing is.. whatever you are passionate about.. just do it! And be prepared to change your path along the way. If you don’t even start, how are you going to get anywhere? Having said that, do have realistic expectations of yourself, allow your idea to grow and develop over time. Accept any failures along with the successes. Just keep at it.

You can find me at …

Instagram

Youtube

Pinterest

Facebook and my Easy Crafts for Kids group

Must Read Books for Mums Who Value Creativity

Must Read Books for Mums Who Value Creativity

Here are some of my favourite books for mums who value creativity or who are looking to embrace getting creative with their little ones. #creativemums #booksforcreativemums #booksformumswhovaluecreativity

“Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten. Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with dry, uninspiring books on algebra, history, etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the ‘creative bug’ is just a wee voice telling you, ‘I’d like my crayons back, please.”

― Hugh MacLeod

I initially titled this post “Must Read Books for Creative Mums.”
And it didn’t feel quite right.
I was worried that some mums might think “Well, that’s not me.”
WE ARE ALL CREATIVE.
Yet for many of us, somewhere along the line, we start saying “Oh! But I’m not creative.”
I started embracing that Apparent Truth after an unfortunate run-in with Van Gogh and a Year 8 Art teacher.
And I believed that I wasn’t creative for most of my young adulthood.
It took (several) stern talking tos from my husband before I started shifting my perceptions around creativity.

We are all creative at something or with something.
Here are some of my favourite books for mums who value creativity or who are looking to embrace getting creative with their little ones.

This book contains affiliate links.
Thanks for your support!

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert

Quote that reads "If You're Alive, You're A Creative Person." by Elizabeth GilbertThis is my textbook. Elizabeth Gilbert is my guru.
My main takeaway from this book?
The world needs you to embrace and follow your creativity.
If you’re going to buy any book on this list, make it Big Magic.
You can also listen to the Big Magic podcast. (I’ve listened to both seasons twice. It’s that good.)

Craft a Life You Love: Infusing Creativity, Fun & Intention into Your Everyday by Amy Tangerine

This book is like the ultimate pep talk from one of my Instagram Faves, Amy Tangerine.
It’s Amy’s autobiography meets journal meets inspirational self-help guide.
It’s an awesome manifesto on pursuing your creative passions.

Journal Sparks by Emily Neuburger

Do you have a journaling habit?
We have art journals here and this book started that family habit.
Every few weeks, we sit down at the dining table, pull out this book, find a prompt and spend quality family time journaling.
You can read more about Emily Neuburger in her Oh Creative Lady interview.

Art Workshops for Children by Herve Tullet

This book gives me tingles.
Herve Tullet is a legend in my books and this glorious, over-sized guide book shares some of the art experiences he has delivered to children around the world.
The joy of each arty experience leaps off the page and each project is filled with insightful tips and tricks.

Creative Schools : Revolutionizing Education from the Ground Up by Ken Robinson

My adoration for Sir Ken rivals that of my love for Elizabeth Gilbert.
Have you seen his TED talk on how schools are killing creativity?
It’s easy to get down on the modern education system and the onslaught of standardised testing.
Sir Ken provides a voice of reason on how we can work our way forward for the benefit of all students.
This book synthesises research, anecdotes and professional recommendations in an easily digestible way.

Art Matters By Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell

This book is pulled together from various Neil Gaiman speeches and poems. His powerful words are perfectly paired with the illustrations of Chris Riddell.
This is the book to pull off the shelf when you’re questioning the value of your creations.

The Artful Parent by Jean Van’T Hul

This book contains over 60 artsy, creative activities for you to explore with your mini makers.
The first section of the book contains suggestions on how to prepare for art experiences, what materials to consider and ways to speak about your child’s art with them.

Art Workshop for Children : How to Foster Original Thinking with more than 25 Process Art Experiences by Barbara Rucci and Betsy McKenna

You may know the author of this book from her site of awesomeness, Art Bar.
Oh Art Bar… how do I love thee?
Let me count the ways.
(If we do that, we could be here forever. #ArtBarFanGirl)

The book is packed with easy to execute, open-ended art and craft experiences that emphasise process over product and original thinking.
You can read more about me Fangirling over Art Workshop for Children here.

Tinkerlab: A Hands On Guide for Little Inventors by Rachelle Doorley

This book contains “55 playful experiments that encourage tinkering, curiosity and creative thinking.”
I especially love all the suggestions around preparing your creative space.
The projects are easy to follow with easy to source materials.
This book gets pulled off the shelf regularly!

How do you carry around all your must-read books?
I’m running a competition over on Instagram to win an awesome Teacher Carry All bag.
These bags have a variety of compartments and pockets so you can carry all. the. things.
Bonus points for the fact that the bag is sturdy and stylish.
Pop by my Insta to enter!

The images and titles of each book will take you to Book Depository. As a Book Depository Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy here.

The Amazon links will take you to Amazon. I am also an affiliate with Amazon and will receive a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books.

If you prefer, you can order from Australian based online bookstore Booktopia.

Thanks for your support. Happy reading!

Some of the books in this post were provided free for review purposes. I always post my honest opinions and never post books that I do not rate.

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Here are some of my favourite books for mums who value creativity or who are looking to embrace getting creative with their little ones. #creativemums #booksforcreativemums #booksformumswhovaluecreativity

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Heidi from The Harmony Tree House

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Heidi from The Harmony Tree House

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies.
The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet these incredible, kind-hearted, inspiring <insert ALL the happy, positive adjectives HERE> women.
It is such a pleasure to introduce my friend and fellow Aussie mama, Heidi from The Harmony Tree House.
I feel as though life at Heidi’s house is a magical mix of whimsy, mud pies, imaginative play and laughter. Heidi is such a warm-hearted, generous and hilarious creative spirit. So many parts of this interview had me giggling or sighing dreamily. Her two boys are so lucky to be able to call her “Mum.”

I am… Heidi. I live in a country town in South Australia, by the sea.
I am the girl with the floral dress and the oversized basket walking through the markets hunting for vintage.
I don’t like winter because it means I have to cover my feet.
The sound of rain on the window pane, the smell of a fresh packet of colour pencils.
Afternoon walks on the beach. I grow what I eat. I wear rose oil on my skin.
I like the colour yellow. I am obsessed with constellations. I have sewn the quilt on my bed.
I drink tea made of peppermint and flowers. I listen to the blues. I collect sea glass.
I like to paint, sometimes with brushes, sometimes with my hands. I like the feeling of squished paint in between my fingers. I have two sons.
Before I was a Mum, I planned weddings and was a florist. I believe in Karma. I am always late. Sometimes I don’t even show up at all.
Thunderstorms energise me. I am a introverted extrovert. I am intuitive.
When I smile I have one crooked tooth. I love to cook. I believe in miracles.
I write myself notes. I have so many ideas, I often forget them. I like getting lost.
Reading is one of my most favourite things to do, except I get sad when the story ends.

I find inspiration in… everything. Seriously. I am very visual and way too dreamy. Inspiration strikes me all day long.
Patterns, colours, sounds you name it. And then I get side tracked creating, and realise I have forgotten to adult. Again.
But mostly I dream about my art and ideas. I am not making it up I promise. I often create art projects in my dreams and then I have to follow through with them when I wake up.
I have a massive canvas hanging in my living room that is a dream I had to paint. It is still one of my most favorite paintings.

 

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I am excited about… seeing what life has in store for me. I have never really traveled far. There is a lot to explore. I decided I have a date with INDIA on my 40th birthday. A bit of a soul journey is on the cards. I think I want to spend my later life just wandering.
I have big plans for my little Harmony Tree House, I want to see it blossom. I am working on a few big projects at the moment I can not wait to share.
I am also excited about watching my babies grow into men. Although pretty sure they will be taller than me by third grade.

When I am in a creative slump I… sleep. Just joking I never sleep. I don’t do anything, I just ride it out. Like everything it will pass, but like most things eventually you will be able to draw inspiration from it.

I am really proud of… my kids. My greatest achievement by far. And my husband. He is a pretty good egg.

 

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Someone once told me… if only you could see yourself through my eyes. That person was my mother. And now I am also a mother I know how much love was in that sentence. So if I ever feel low I remember those words and all is right in the world once more.

My advice to you is… never stop dreaming.

You can find me at…

my website

Instagram

Facebook

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