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

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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Oh Creative Lady: Meet Katrina Lehman

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Katrina Lehman

Oh Creative Lady - Oh Creative Day

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.
Today’s Oh Creative Lady is celebrating her book baby’s birthday! Katrina Lehman’s Wren is released today and it is the sweet tale of a sensitive soul who yearns for some peace and quiet. A newborn sister means that Wren’s noisy, inner-city family home is even noisier.
He tries everything to block out her wailing. To no avail.
So he decides to move to his grandparent’s country home.
He enjoys the peace and quiet. For a week.
The grass is always greener, isn’t it?
I adore how this book explores how being a part of a family also sometimes requires space and time alone.
This is a joyous debut from Katrina Lehman that, teamed with the gloriously busy and colourful illustrations from Sophie Beer, celebrates the sweet chaos of family life.

Later in the week, I am sharing my Top Picture Books of 2018 (so far) and SPOILER ALERT! Wren makes my list. It really is a delight.
And pop by my Instagram, where I’ll be giving away a copy of Wren tomorrow.
It’s a pleasure to introduce Katrina!

I am… Katrina Lehman, multi-tasker, part-time author/mum/wife/renovator. Full-time dreamer.

I find inspiration… So many everyday moments give me inspiration: finding a perfect sentence in an unpublished manuscript in my day job as a children’s book editor for Penguin Books; people’s anecdotes about their family and their childhood (often at night, over red wine); my childhood memories; and my three exhausting, amazing children.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. Meet Katrina Lehman, the author of Wren.

I am excited about … Having my first book published – I’ve wanted to be an author since I was little and wrote my own (very bad and very long) version of Famous Five, illustrated, stapled and distributed around school.
When I’m in a creative slump, I… sit in a bustling cafe and drink endless coffee and people watch with pen poised. Or I re-read an old childhood favourite like Storm Boy, The Lake at the End of the World, The Silver Sword, I am David, My Sister Sif, Tomorrow when the War Began...

I’m really proud of… bringing a picture book into the world and finding a dream home for it with Scribble. And I’m so proud of my illustrator, Sophie Beer. This was her first picture book and her artwork is unique and full of energy and chaos, just like Wren’s story.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. Meet Katrina Lehman, the author of Wren.

Someone once told me…  Follow your dreams – if you really want something, you can make it happen. It might take a long time, life might get in the way, but it will happen.

My advice to you is… Trust me: no matter what bad things life throws at you, someone else has had it worse. There is ALWAYS an upside.

You can find me at… I’m not so good at social stuff. (I didn’t know Instagram had a privacy settings and  posted my entire life to the world…). But you can find me on katrinalehman.net (Note: this is WIP!)

Click here to grab your copy of Wren from Book Depository.

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Oh Creative Lady: Meet Sian from Teach. Investigate. Play.

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Sian from Teach. Investigate. Play.

Oh Creative Lady - Oh Creative Day

 

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 know I sound like a broken record, but let’s all channel our inner-Oprahs and say a big “PRAISE BE” for the way Instagram connects people. The lovely and talented Sian from Teach. Investigate. Play is a part of my Insty Girl Squad. She’s an expat mum of 3 who shares playful learning experiences. There is always something fun and colourful happening at her place. We’ve collaborated on such creative ventures as Hopfest and Craftmas and she was a super-duper supportive cheerleader when I launched my Christmas eBook. Sian happens to be launching her own eBook later in the year- and it’s the second baby she has birthed this year. She also welcomed baby Elliot into the world in April. The lady is a powerhouse. It’s such a pleasure to introduce Sian!

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet the incredible women I've met through blogging and Instagram. Meet Sian from Teach. Investigate. Play.

I am… Sian from Teach. Investigate. Play. I’m a British expat currently living in Canberra, Australia.

I live with my patient husband, Greg and our three children. We’ve got Harrison aged 9, Zoey aged 2.5 and baby Elliott who was born in April this year. Life is busy, chaotic even but I really wouldn’t have it any other way.

It’s hard to exactly pin down what I do right now. I’m a full-time mamma and education blogger who loves getting creative (read messy) with the kiddos. My career has been a bit random so far, I originally worked as a media researcher in London, before retraining as a primary school teacher when Harrison was tiny. I guess right now my job is somewhere between educator and blogger?

I find inspiration… The fellow mammas that I meet both in real life and in the little squares of Instagram inspire me on a daily basis. Moving countries and having young children soon after meant that I’ve often felt isolated so being able to connect with people and instantly find an idea to try is pretty comforting. It’s like a global mum’s group!

I guess my general outlook on life is to go with the flow and only put energy into the things that really matter. Having three small humans to care for has taught me that. Do I care that the house is a mess 90% of the time? Nope. I’m more focused on creating a happy childhood for all three. Spending time playing with the kids, reading to them and making messy art projects is far more important than keeping the house spotless!

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet the incredible women I've met through blogging and Instagram. Meet Sian from Teach. Investigate. Play.

I am excited about … I’m both super excited and completely terrified about launching Teach. Investigate. Play as a proper business venture. Before baby Elliott was born, I was working on my very first e-book the ‘Creative Play A-Z’ which will now launch in July.

When we first moved to Australia I felt pretty adrift. I had no idea how to make a career work with all of the travelling we do, but now I’ve finally found my way – thanks mainly to the awesome community I’ve met on Instagram.

Later in the year, I’ll be launching an online workshop, so look out for that too!

When I’m in a creative slump, I… There’s a few things that seem to work wonders when I find my creativity ebbing away.

I often just take some time out. Forcing myself to be creative when I’m just not in the mood makes matters worse, I find. I’ll go out for a walk or do a workout and wait until inspiration hits.

I’m also extremely fortunate to live close to The National Gallery of Australia. Its an endless source of artistic inspiration and I often find that creativity returns again after a visit.

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet the incredible women I've met through blogging and Instagram. Meet Sian from Teach. Investigate. Play.

I’m really proud of…

Gah! This is probably the most difficult question to answer because the achievement I’m most proud of changes. My Britishness also means that I feel slightly embarrassed to celebrate my achievements!

Professionally, would it be weird to say I’m proud of my ability to adapt? Having children and moving continents has meant that I’m constantly looking for a way to forge a career and lifestyle that works.

Someone once told me…

‘Spend your money on experiences not things.’

The best advice I have ever been given is to spend money on experiences rather than things. It’s actually something I’ve learnt from my husband who is something of a travel expert.

When I was fresh out of university in the early noughties, I made the decision to become a fashion journalist. For a while I was really caught up in that lifestyle, constantly fretting about outfits and spending more money that I should have on the latest trend.

After having children that all changed. The stuff that seemed important before became insignificant. Nowadays, I’m happiest spending time at the beach with my family or going on a road trip as they are memories that will last a lifetime.

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet the incredible women I've met through blogging and Instagram. Meet Sian from Teach. Investigate. Play.

My advice to you is …

Don’t get caught up in the idea that you have to be talented in order to be creative. In fact, this advice goes for anything, not just creativity! I always think that so long as you are enjoying what you are doing, then that’s all that matters. I received a distinctively average ‘B’ grade at GCSE art but this doesn’t put me off getting the paints out with the kids because we all have an absolute blast!

You can find me at …

Teach. Investigate. Play

Facebook

Instagram

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet the incredible women I've met through blogging and Instagram. Meet Sian from Teach. Investigate. Play.

Want to meet some other Oh Creative Ladies?

Meet Cristin from Artsplorers

Through blogging and Instagramming, I’ve been introduced to an amazing Virtual Sisterhood of Creative Ladies. Meet Karla, from Blastastic Day.

Meet Karla from Blastastic Day

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