Creative Spaces…

The work table in my Studio is a busy, creative space!

The work table in my Studio is a busy, creative space!

Hi Friends!

Oh, the joy! Have you felt it, too? The creative process fills your soul and the hours seem to fly by in just moments. A blissful feeling of pure relaxation just carries you away. Those times when your heart sings with joy as you follow your passions! The more time you spend creating, the more energized you feel.

“Being creative is not a hobby,

it is a way of life.”

Along the way, it seemed that each decade in my life, there was a new creative passion for me!  With great fondness, I remember writing poetry in a precious little notebook when I was very young. In my teens, I loved to sew my some of my own clothes, and would spend hours working on embroidery stitches. There will always be a special place in my heart for those denim shirts and jeans that I passionately embellished, with a needle and colorful embroidery floss.

“Creating means living.”

~ Dejan Stojanovic

In my twenties, calligraphy became my creative passion. Spending hours and hours practicing, learning new lettering styles, and mixing my own ink to match the postage stamps on hand-lettered envelopes. Collecting favorite quotations inspired me to hand letter words of wisdom, lovingly matted and framed, and displayed on my walls. Friends would say, “You can get a college education just reading the all of the quotes, as you climb the stairs to Dawn’s apartment.”

“You can’t use up


The more you use,

the more you have.”

~Maya Angelou

As life grew busier, in my thirties, my creative passions took on a more practical flavor. There was endless creativity in my classroom each day, as I strived to meet the learning needs of each young student. Scrapbooks, lovingly created, held our classroom memories of each precious year together. As a new homeowner, with a passion for restoring an old home, I quickly traded my calligraphy pens and inks for a heat gun and scrapers, to restore the woodwork to its original beauty. Flowers and herbs became my ‘ink’ and the garden beds became my ‘paper,’ as I created my cottage gardens. Creative pleasures have brought joy to my days throughout each year.

“Creativity takes courage.”

~ Henri Matisse

Have you felt those creative stirrings that seem to tug on your heartstrings? As the years quickly passed, my need to be creative has grown stronger and stronger. In my ‘Renaissance’ (my special word for Retirement), I have been blessed with more time to explore new creative pastimes. Creating handmade cards, playing with watercolors, and returning to scrapbooking have become new creative joys! I am so excited to explore Art journaling, too!

“Inspiration exists,

but it has to find you working.”

~ Pablo Picasso

Have you ever drooled over amazing Craft Rooms on Pinterest, filled with beautiful, white IKEA furniture? Have you watched the Craft Room Tours on You Tube, with such wonderful storage ideas? There is so much inspiration everywhere! With a great deal of thought and soul-searching, I recently designed a special creative space of my very own. My new papercrafting Studio is just my style ~ simple, old-fashioned, and filled with heart!
It is such a blessing to finally have a real space, dedicated to exploring creativity and being messy! (It’s so much nicer than all of the years I spent working at our dining room table!)  My Studio is not fancy at all… but it feels just perfect! Each day, when creative inspiration strikes, I brew a cup of hot tea and happily head downstairs. It’s chilly in our unfinished basement, but my heart is warmed whenever I walk into my Studio.  I am inspired by the dried flowers and herbs from my garden hanging from the ceiling rafters. Vintage wooden boxes, crocks, and Mason jars hold craft supplies. The furniture, collected over time, holds very special memories for me. A favorite rag rug adds color and warmth. My Studio just feels ‘right’ with the perfect blend of old treasures and lots of new supplies!

The steamer trunk, that held my grandfather’s most important treasures as he moved from Ireland to America so long ago, now stands in the corner of my Studio.

Daylight bulbs in all of the lamps and happy hours spent crafting fill the space with ‘sunshine’ each time I plan a ‘crafternoon’ in the Studio. My favorite, lively music adds to the creative energy. I keep a special journal on my work table to hold a long list of the handmade cards I’ve sent to family and friends, near and far. The ink is barely dry, as I slip the cards into envelopes and mail them off, sending messages of love and happy thoughts.


A special red, white and blue box holds handmade cards that will be sent to our deployed military heroes across the globe, through the wonderful organization, ‘Operation Write Home.’  Only the most special cards are added to this box, for they will let our military members and their families know how much we truly appreciate their service and sacrifice… for all of us!

Another favorite, my ‘Inspiration Box,’ holds brand new supplies. Placing my newest stamps, dies, embossing folders, ink, and embellishments in the ‘Inspiration Box’ reminds me to play with them!  After I use these new supplies once or twice, they will be placed in their storage containers. Hopefully, I will remember to use them often as I create.

Whenever I begin a new project, I look in my ‘Inspiration Box’ first, as a reminder to try some new supplies!

Take time to do

what makes your soul happy!

I would love to hear about your favorite creative space!

Is it a rocking chair near a sunny window where you knit? Is it a sewing room stocked with colorful fabric? Is it your busy kitchen filled with your favorite cookbooks? Is it a craft room overflowing with supplies? Is it a loft with a quilt frame and baskets of fat quarters? Is it a sunporch with an easel and a paint palette? Do you find your creative inspiration in peace and quiet, listening to birdsong through an open window, with your favorite music playing, while watching TV, or listening to audio books?  Do you typically craft alone or with a group of friends? Is your creative space neat and tidy or super messy at the moment?

Celebrate your creative life

and all of the joy it brings!

{via Pinterest}

Create something wonderful today!

♡ Dawn


28 thoughts on “Creative Spaces…

  1. Dawn,
    What a wonderful and inspiring post. I’ve always loved being creative but seem to have less time for my passion lately. Your post reminds me how much I enjoy the process and that I need to make more time to create. I don’t have a designated room to work in, but find a place to complete my projects depending on the season.

    • Heartfelt thanks, Karen! There are seasons in our lives when our creative energies seem to be pulled in other directions. I’m sure that you are just being creative in new ways. Blogging counts! It is a huge investment of creative time and energy!! It sounds lovely to have different creative spaces in each season. The older I get, the more I can feel the the need to express my creativity! In fact, tonight I just took a wonderful class about writing memoirs. There are so many interesting ways to document our stories! Wishing your family a wonderful Easter, Karen! ♡

  2. This is a wonderful post ending with a great quote that I’d love printed on a shirt to always remember it. I’m in my Renaissance era as well and with a downsized home I have an alcove area where I keep my sewing/serger/embroidery machines. The one challenge with it out in the open is I do need to keep it picked up which is okay. At least with my first passion, gardening, all the ‘stuff’ stays outside. 🙂 It seems like you have created a wonderful studio for yourself. Enjoy.

    • Hi, Judy! That quote brought tears to my eyes! I’m so glad that it touched your heart, too. Your sewing alcove sounds delightful… and comes with the inspiration to keep it neat and presentable! We are so lucky that our passion for gardening keeps our supplies and tools outside!! I named my papercrafting studio the ‘Paper Garden.’ Now I can spend time in the ‘garden’ all year long! Happy Easter, Judy! ♡

  3. Oh Dawn, I am doing just this all week: I am on spring break! I love Wordsworth quote at the top of your page here; these feelings of joy and musings must go somewhere, and I choose poetry. But I’ve had my share of quiet moment with art and all of it is NECESSARY! Enjoy yourself sweet friend! Anita

    • Hi Anita! What a wonderfully creative week you must be having!! I’m so glad that you are making more time for your poetry! You must… those words in your heart must be put to paper. Do you have a favorite place to sit and write at home or in your garden? Or perhaps you find a sunny spot anywhere to sit and write? Do you prefer peaceful, quiet time for your poetry or are you inspired by lovely harp music? Enjoy every moment of your much-deserved Spring Break, dear Anita! Happy hugs! ♡

    • Oh, Jodi! Many thanks for your sweet words! We both feel the passion to create. I know that you have a special creative space… and your cards are just lovely!! I’m sure that your supply stash is growing by leaps and bounds now. What fun to share the joy of card making! Happy Easter, Jodi! ♡

  4. You have always been so creative. It is nice to see you taking the time to continue. I just came back from a day’s lesson on the making of Ukrainian eggs, something I’ve always admired from afar.

    • Anne, dear one! You are the person who inspired me to begin watercoloring in my Renaissance! I’m hoping to take my watercolors out to the garden this summer. Last night, I took an amazing class on Writing Memoir. I’m so inspired! It’s really important to document our stories. How amazing that you are learning to create Ukrainian eggs! Hope you will send a photo of your artwork. Sending sunny Easter greetings, dear Anne! ♡

  5. Thank for stopping by my blog. I’m a stamper too. My craft space is up a ladder stairs in our loft. Dedicated to crafts and a special wicker reading chair that came from my mom and before that my grandma. Hmm. Maybe I should feature that space sometime.

    • Hi, Marcia! So happy that you stopped to visit! I can just imagine you happily stamping away in your loft. What a treasure to have your special antique wicker chair… for reading and reflecting! I’m sure it feels like a warm hug whenever you sit there. You must write about your special creative space! ♡

  6. I love hearing about your creative progression! You were BORN creative, Dawn! I can see that! There is nothing more beautiful than your hand-calligraphy on letters and envelopes! I think you need to do that ending quote and frame it! I love that quote. So true! My creative space is a bit cluttered and so it is not something I work in but just use as a storeroom of crafty loveliness! LOL! It IS organized (don’t want to sound as though I am a hoarder)….filled with wonderful books of all sorts (my addiction!)….a closet full of fabrics…stacks of scrapbooking paper books….craft supplies to do virtually ANY and EVERY craft known to crafty personhood! 🙂 I am ready when the mood hits! It’s nice to go “shopping” in my room! I feel badly for my kids when I pass away one day and they are left with everything! But, as the quote says I am taking “time to do what makes my soul happy” and I know that you are, too! Thanks for sharing! xo

    • Heartfelt thanks for your kind words, Karen! I think my inspiration comes from my mom. She took lots of different crafty lessons as I was growing up. She made pottery, did stained class, and made a quilt, among other handmade treasures! I agree… that wonderful quote needs to be in a frame. It would be perfect in the scrapbooking area of my Studio! There are framed photos of special times in my life, artwork from my dear aunt (a brilliant artist, in all areas of her life), and beautiful things and words to inspire me to remember the special moments in my life. You really have a great collection of crafty goodness!! Since papercrafting is a new passion, I am slowing adding to my supplies. It’s wonderful to have them in one place… and at my fingertips! So glad you stopped by today, Karen! ♡

  7. Dawn, I’m so happy you have a space that is allocated just for your creative juices to flow! I used to have a room in our basement that was my craft room. I used to sew, make cards, and just “be” in that room. While it used to be a guest room/ craft room–I loved it. Like you, it’s nice to have a space that doesn’t have to be clean all the time. Our grandson moved into our home last July to attend school in our city. The basement is the perfect place for him to kick back and enjoy the family room and his room as well. –So this grandmother gave up her craft room for him. Don’t feel bad—I find I like being in our sunny Florida room to work on whatever project I’m into at the moment. I love your post today—it’s spot on for all us gals–no matter what stage of life we are in! ♥

    • Oh, Martha Ellen! I love the story of how your creative space has moved to the Florida room. Such a wonderful reason! What could be better than spending more time with your grandson? Are you still making cards? It’s such fun to discover how much we have in common! No matter what projects we are working on, we put a lot of time and love into them. It’s so important that we make time to do the things that make our souls happy! Thanks so much for visiting today, Martha Ellen! ♡

  8. Cute Saint Patrick’s Day card! I can’t say I have a special space, my entire house is a craft space, even the attic is filling up now with my SABLE {Stash Acquired Beyond Life Expectancy} In fact, I have enough stamps and embossing folders now that I could make Christmas cards for thirty years without repeating the designs, only having to buy more paper and card stock. I have unfinished quilts mounting up {or is that mountain up?} because I can’t stop from moving on to the next project before one is finished. It’s one of my little foibles. Always a use for even the smallest scrap of fabric, paper, yarn, paint. I have lost count of my sewing machines ~ I think I have seven, or maybe it is eight.
    ~~~Deb in Wales

    • Hi Deb! Your entire cottage is a creative space! With your art background, you have such a variety of artistic passions. No wonder you have so many supplies! I’m quite new to papercrafting. As I discover my style, little by little I have been adding more supplies to my Studio space. Scraps of pretty paper collect so quickly! I try to use them up, too. I have always had a passion for paper! Have a creative, crafty day, sweet Deb! ♡

    • Hi Sam! Thanks for stopping by! Having a Studio space for papercrafting is a dream-come-true. I’ll check out your Scrapbook Series. Happy crafting! ♡

    • Hi Lily! So happy that you stopped to visit. So true! It’s wonderful to use our creativity to decorate our homes in unique ways. Wishing you a creative day, Lily! ♡

  9. Thank you for stopping by my blog – I have enjoyed reading your blogposts, it seems that we have a lot in commen, I am in my Renaissance era as well (love that word) and are trying to learn myself sketching and watercolor painting,:-) I do some scrapbooking, love my garden and as you, I love writing (and getting) letters, although people mostly sms their greetings nowadays, alas
    Lovely to “meet” you 🙂 Sorry for the random misspellings,I didn’t bother to use the dictionary,accordingly my words mostly origin from old american movies :o)
    Love Sussi

    • Oh, Sussi! I am so happy to ‘meet’ you, too! We really are kindred spirits. Your English is wonderful. I don’t speak Danish, so I was very happy to find the translator on your blog! Your beautiful photos told me that we share so many of the same interests. We also share a favorite book ~ ‘A Fine Romance.’ Isn’t it a treasure? I laughed and cried as I read it. Can you imagine how happy I was to meet Susan Branch? You can find a post with photos, from last September. (Click on the orange stripe to the left to find the Archives for my blog.) Hope we can keep in touch, Sussi! Happy Spring! ♡

  10. Dawn, I’m so happy you’ve carved out your own little space. I’ll tell you the story of mine when I have more time.

    I love your inspiration box and the concept of keeping new things aside so that you are sure to use them. What a terrific idea. I might just borrow this idea for clients.

    Lots of great quotes here. It’s nice to see the space where you create. xox

    • Alys, the Inspiration Box is such a helpful reminder to use my new supplies. Sometimes I wish for a bigger box,:) but I think the small size inspires me to really use those things! Definitely share this good idea with your clients! {Credit goes to artist & cardmaker Sandy Allnock. She has an Inspiration Drawer in her well-organized craft room!} I’d love to hear the story of your space, too! It’s always a treat when you stop to visit, Alys! Big hugs!♡

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