Oh Creative Lady: Meet Georgie from Mini Monet Studio

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Georgie from Mini Monet Studio

The enthusiasm of Georgie from Mini Monet Studio is A-Grade infectious. When she says that her online art club is all about bringing JOY into the lives of mini-makers, it is due largely to the fact that this teacher-mumma is joy personified. Georgie is mum to little Eve who has the most enviable collection of knitted rainbow sweaters you’ll ever see. Hanging out with these two online is the raddest of rad.

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 Georgie from Mini Monet Studio.

I am… Georgie! I’m a Mum and an art teacher living on the Mornington Peninsular with my daughter, Eve and husband, Shaun.
I teach all things art and design in a P-12 school and I am the owner of Mini Monet Studio, an online art club for creative kids. When I’m not bouncing out of bed ready to draw and paint with kids you can find me going for long walks with the pram and sitting on the beach building sandcastles with Eve.

I find inspiration… I have always been drawn to pattern and colour. I have a huge collection of all things bright, bold and patterned fabric that I often dive into to find inspiration for new art projects. My family also love being outdoors and find new bush tracks to explore or rock pools play in at the beach.

My daughter also inspires me every single day! Eve is nearly 18 months old and was born with lung and heart disease. She’s a one in a million baby! Eve requires oxygen 24/7 to support her breathing, this means she is attached to a 15 cord and an oxygen tank at all times. With such a tricky start to life and so many day-to-day challenges, I am constantly blown away by her joyful nature. Her giggles, her smile, her ability to find everything and anything so fun inspires me to keep on being the best Mum I can.

I am excited about … the new launch of the Mini Monet Art Club for Kids. It has been a dream of mine for quite some time to create a space where kids can create and enjoy art-making without expectations, supervision or judgement.

As an art teacher at a P-12 school I know that kids come into my class with a bit of fear about being graded, assessed. We often have rush through a project to submit, and there can often be comparison with other students in the class or worry about not being “good enough”.

The Mini Monet Art Club is all about creating art for pure JOY. I created a membership program for creative families where you can find an online library of guided video art lessons with me, and some Live art classes for members every month. It’s designed to make it easy for families to foster creativity in their home through drawing, painting and creating projects for kids.


I’m always motivated by this promise to my Mini Monet families:
​I will help your kids discover that creating art is the shortcut to happiness and that every child can learn to draw, paint and create art that they love.

When I’m in a creative slump, I… stop what I’m doing and get out of the house! Usually a walk in nature, a swim at the beach or some time doing an activity completely different re-sets my creative flow!

 I’m really proud of… my baby daughter Eve. She has overcome so many challenges since birth just to be here, and she is THRIVING! Eve was born with a one in a million genetic condition that doesn’t allow her to breathe on her own. We don’t have any answers as to what this means for her future. But we do know her will to LIVE and find JOY every day is incredibly powerful. She lights my world up and I’m incredibly proud of her.

Someone once told me…

“You don’t have to get it perfect, you just have to get it going”

I love this because I often spend way too long trying to perfect minor details before I’m ready to finish/launch/post/start. Perfectionism can be a huge barrier to gaining any momentum in all aspects of life. I often find most people don’t even like to see “perfect”, they relate most to YOU being your authentic self.

I’ve been swimming in the freezing ocean everyday this September! I called it swim-tember! Now I’m on a roll I want to bounce into Ocean-october!

My advice to you is …

Whatever your dream, goals, aspirations are; find someone who is doing it well and connect with them. Reach out and ask them questions, watch their actions closely, observe what they value and how they spend their time. Connecting with mentors who are modelling your own aspirations is a great way to learn and seek really practical advice from.

There is always, always, always someone amazing out there to learn from and help you get to where you dream to be!

You can find me at …

The Mini Monet website

Instagram

Facebook

 

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 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.

(This is an affiliate link. You can read my Disclosure Policy here.)

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Katrina Lehman

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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Oh Creative Lady: Meet Katrina Lehman

Oh Creative Lady: Meet Cristin from Artsplorers

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.

Meet Cristin, beholder of not one, but two excellent blogs. At Artsplorers, she focuses on experiences involving the arts for kids in Sydney. Cristin’s passion for infusing the arts into the everyday for all children (not just the Sydney-based ones!) is contagious. There are so many points in this interview where I was furiously nodding my head like a crazy lady. People who don’t eat breakfast! Shower ideas! A world curated by Leslie Knope!

Cristin is originally from the US and shares her experiences of expat living on her second blog, Between Roots and Wings. I love, love, love having a sticky beak in to the lives of others and how they arrived at where they are. I adore how all of my Oh Creative Ladies are so open to sharing their pearls of wisdom. Prepare to add a few more pearls to your collection. Welcome, Cristin!

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet the incredible women I've met through blogging and Instagram. Meet Cristin from Artsplorers, a fab blog that focuses on arts for kids in Sydney.

I am… Hello! I’m Cristin. I like peanut butter, and folk music, and op shops, and Toni Morrison. I’m an insufferable politics sharer on Facebook. I make really good salsa. I don’t understand people who don’t eat breakfast.

I live in Sydney with my very nice husband and two sweet little girls, aged 1 and 5. We moved to Australia from the U.S. in 2010, and I feel like we’re probably going to stick around for awhile (I like flat whites, and health care and I definitely don’t like Donald Trump).

My background is in the theatre. I have a BFA in Theatre Management and an MFA in Dramaturgy/Theatre Criticism. After graduating, I was the Literary Manager at a theatre in Florida. When I moved to Australia, I found that there wasn’t an amazing amount of demand for someone with my professional background, so I spent a few years trying to carve out a niche for myself. I started a website where I interviewed Australian playwrights. I did an internship at Playwriting Australia (it was hilarious to be a 30 year old intern!). I did a project where I read 100 Australian plays in 100 days, and wrote about it for AustralianPlays.org.

But, once my daughter came along, my interest in doing that sort of hustle and working theatre hours really waned, as I focused on being a stay-at-home mother. I’d started an expat blog when we moved here, and that became my creative outlet when she was little. Then, a couple of years ago, I had a “shower idea” that I couldn’t shake, which was to start another blog about kids and the arts. I’d never seen anything quite like what I had in mind. I’d seen “out and about” blogs, and book blogs, and craft blogs, but I wanted to do something with an overarching theme about the importance of all of the arts being a regular part of children’s lives. So, my current project, Artsplorers was born. It focuses on the arts for kids in Sydney, with local reviews, a calendar of events, and a directory of area arts classes for kids; but, many of the posts are also relevant to parents everywhere.

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet the incredible women I've met through blogging and Instagram. Meet Cristin from Artsplorers, a fab blog that focuses on arts for kids in Sydney.

I find inspiration… I’m inspired by people who don’t try to hide their intelligence in a culture where being smart isn’t always considered the coolest thing going. I’m so over cynicism, being blasé, and not “rocking the boat.” I want to spend my time with people who think about things, care about issues, and are happy to share their wild, weird and wonderful passions because I’m always looking for the courage to do more of that, myself. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve also begun to refuse to give time, whether in real life or in the media I consume, to people who don’t choose compassion and kindness.

I guess what I’m saying here is that I want to live in a world curated by Leslie Knope from Parks and Recreation!

I am excited about … At the beginning of this year, I started a new monthly feature on Artsplorers where I’m reviewing children’s music (music that you can actually stand to listen to). I’m no music expert, but I’ve been discovering this whole world of Australian children’s artists who are so great, and are just hustling their tails off to get their music out there. It seems impossible to escape The Wiggles, but seriously, you have got to hear Angie Who and the Teeny Tiny Stevies, and all these other great acts out there who both you and your kids can love. Artsplorers is just little, but I love that I have a rooftop to shout out about something that not many people are putting a spotlight on.

When I’m in a creative slump, I… A few years ago, I had this epiphany that whenever I’m about to break something open creatively, I always go into this awful existential crisis funk for a few days. I go into a complete grump, and I just want to wall myself off, and not talk to anyone. Such an introvert! And then, I get myself out for a really long walk in the sun, and suddenly things just break wide open with a new idea or way of looking at a problem. I’d love to figure out how to get myself unstuck without the terrible mood first!

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet the incredible women I've met through blogging and Instagram. Meet Cristin from Artsplorers, a fab blog that focuses on arts for kids in Sydney.

I’m really proud of… Is it too cliche to say that I’m proud of my kids? Seriously, though, raising little people is tough stuff, and I think my girls are coming up pretty ace, so far.

Getting my Master’s degree at Brooklyn College was probably the hardest and most rewarding thing I’ve done. I sometimes miss those days of deep diving into Shakespeare, Ibsen, Brecht, and all the great writers, plus getting to do so much collaborative, creative work, all while surviving on Chinese takeaway, pizza slices, and almost no sleep or money.

And, I suppose moving half way around the world to a place I’d never been with a two suitcases and my boyfriend was a pretty big leap.

Someone once told me… The most influential thing I’ve ever read has been the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell. I always go back to his words when I need to take a step forward or understand something. He explained how our need for stories and metaphor is a universal human experience, across all times and cultures. They teach us how to live. His most famous quote is, “Follow your bliss, and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” Follow your bliss has never steered me wrong in my life.

The Oh Creative Lady series is your chance to meet the incredible women I've met through blogging and Instagram. Meet Cristin from Artsplorers, a fab blog that focuses on arts for kids in Sydney.

My advice to you is … Take your kids to a museum. Make something with them. See a play. Talk about street art when you pass it. Pick out gorgeous picture books to read with your little ones, and give them as gifts. Show them a famous dance company on YouTube. Listen to a lot of different types of music. Have a dance party in your living room. In short, support the arts and make them part of your life every day. We all have busy days, and the arts are the heart and soul that make our lives rich.

You can find me at …

Artsplorers blog
Artsplorers on Facebook
Artsplorers on Facebook

Or on my expat blog
Between Roots and Wings
Between Toots and Wings on Facebook
Between Toots and Wings on Facebook