FEATURED MAKER: Stephanie Rose + “Garden Made” Book Giveaway!

Please welcome our newest Featured Maker: Stephanie Rose! Stephanie is a Master Gardener, author and creative mastermind behind her blog, Garden Therapy. Stephanie and I started working together in the blogging world almost five years ago and I am so excited to learn more about her life and work today. She has also graciously offered us a signed copy of her new book, Garden Made to give away to one lucky winner! See details on how to enter at the end of this post…

stephanie-gardentherapy-a5-1600x0Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What is your background?

I’m a Master Gardener, author and the creator of the crafty-gardening blog, Garden Therapy. I make garden projects in my small, urban Vancouver (Canada) garden to show the world that everyone can get a little garden therapy, no matter what your knowledge, skill, ability, or garden size!

What do you make and sell?

I mostly make crafty garden projects as I love to be out in the garden all year long. I also make all my own natural beauty products and soaps, plenty of handmade gifts, and a bunch of healthy recipes from the garden. I don’t sell the products I make, but instead share the DIY instructions so that everyone can learn to make them too. I have over 700 projects on my blog, Garden Therapy that you can browse through, as well as a print book, Garden Made: A Year of Seasonal Projects to Beautify Your Garden and Your Life, and three eBooks:

What made you decide to take the leap and start your own creative business?

In 2006 I had to stop working at my corporate job due to sudden illness. I was hit hard and suffered from crippling pain for many years. After a few years of being confined to bed, I was able to slowly start moving. I used gardening as a way to heal my body and strengthen my mind. I learned to use gardening, photography, and writing as a way to add joy to each and every day.

How did you get started and when did you launch your business?

I began blogging as a way to reach out to others and ease the isolation. I met plenty of lovely people like me and began to share not just what I was making, but HOW I was making it. When I started to feel like I could begin working again, I decided not to go back to the corporate world, but give blogging and writing a shot as a full-time gig. I’m happy to say that it has worked out better than I had hoped! I’m able to work from home, spend time with my family, and do what I love for a living.

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Do you have any philosophies or ideals you try to represent with your work?

I’d like the projects I make to inspire others to try making themselves. While I do really love all the beautiful handmade creations around my home and garden, I love it more when I see that someone has made it for their own home or garden. I know that they are spending their time feeding their creativity and enjoying the garden.

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What’s your process for coming up with ideas for new products?

Generally I have a long list of things I want to make so I gather the materials in my studio and get to them when the time is right. Sometimes that is days, other times it can be years. I may find a birdcage and keep it for 2-3 years before one day turning it into a succulent planter. Or I could see a candle planter at the garden center and rush home to make one that day!

Where do you look for inspiration?

Because I craft from the garden, I look for inspiration on garden tours, garden centers, catalogs, and in parks. I collect materials wherever I go and keep them in my studio until they become something.

What does your workspace/studio look like?

I have a garden full of creative projects and a studio space to store all of my stuff. One day the studio will be set up for more than just storage but until then you can find me out here in my play garden.

Hopscotch Stepping Stones featured in Stephanie's Play Garden

Hopscotch Stepping Stones featured in Stephanie’s Play Garden

What are some of your favorite tools or techniques?

I love to work with outdoor succulents which are colorful and ornamental. I also like to work with lighting in the garden. I’ve made citronella candles out of tin cans, solar lanterns from mason jars, and a little solar chandelier out of a hanging basket.

Tell us about a challenge you’ve overcome in your business? Or something you tried but didn’t work the way you planned?

A few years back I started an Etsy shop to sell some of the things I made and quickly learned that it wasn’t for me. I didn’t like packaging, shipping, and all the non-creative work involved. I enjoyed making the crafts and writing about them so I wrote a number of books to sell instead.

What does a day in the life of Stephanie look like?

About ¼ of my time is gardening & creating, ½ is writing and editing, and ¼ marketing and website housekeeping. I try to spend a little time outdoors or gardening each day to ensure that I continue my recovery and stay healthy.

Visit Stephanie’s blog, Garden Therapy and check out her YouTube Channel!

Thank you so much Stephanie for sharing your story with us! Do you want to be our next Featured Maker? Visit our Contribute Page for more info!


Enter to Win A signed copy of Stephanie’s book!

We are so excited to be giving away a signed copy of Stephanie’s new book, Garden Made: A Year of Seasonal Projects to Beautify Your Garden & Your Life. The giveaway starts today, April 6th and will end on Wednesday, April 13th. We’ll announce the lucky winner on Thursday, April 14th. Just click on the link below to enter. Good luck everyone!

Stephanie's book, Garden Made

Stephanie’s book, Garden Made

CLICK HERE TO ENTER TO WIN!

FEATURED MAKER: Carrie Schmitt

Please welcome our newest Featured Maker: Carrie Schmitt! Carrie is an artist and author living in the Pacific Northwest. She began painting in 2009 as a way to cope with health issues. Now she has her own creative business where she makes art, teaches e-courses, practices yoga and more. We are so excited to learn more about her life and work today and we hope you enjoy getting to know Carrie as much as we have!

FEATURED MAKER: Carrie Schmitt #artist #interview

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What is your background?

I am an artist and author who began painting in 2009 after developing a life-threatening allergy to heat. No longer able to spend time in my beloved garden outdoors, I began painting flowers instead of planting them. In 2010, my family and I moved from the humid Midwest to the Pacific Northwest for its temperate climate. Today my art is licensed for home décor and stationery with several companies, including Hallmark, teNeues Publishing, Dianoche Designs and Woodmansterne. I paint daily from my mountain studio just outside Seattle.

What do you make and sell?

I sell original artwork, giclee prints, notecards, and hand-painted yoga mats. I share art techniques and ways to nurture your creative spirit in my book, Painted Blossoms: Creating Expressive Flower Art with Mixed Media, is now available for preorder on Amazon. I also teach an online yoga inspired art e-course called Journey to the Self that blends my passions for yoga and art-making. You can learn more about that here.

I also have 3 video art tutorials that will be released from FW Media this summer that shares three special art projects related to Finding Inspiration, Finding Your Style, and Surrendering to the Flow of Creativity. And, I will be presenting a FREE live online presentation about my art journey with Artists Network on July 21. You can sign up to listen and even ask live questions here.

FEATURED MAKER: Carrie Schmitt #artist #interview

What made you decide to take the leap and start your own creative business?

I started painting as a therapeutic practice to deal with my limitations from my heat allergy—not being able to go outside and do any physical activity was a huge emotional challenge for me. This led to the awakening of my truest passion—creativity! I decided I wanted to make a living doing what makes me feel most alive so I began paying attention to how other fulltime artists were able to make this work in their lives.

How did you get started and when did you launch your business?

When I began painting, I was lucky enough to take Kelly Rae Robert’s online art business course, Flying Lessons: Tips and Tricks to Help Your Creative Biz Soar. This proved to be invaluable as I began to put my art out in the world. I learned how to use social media and connect with an amazing community of artists who have provided support and inspiration over the years. Understanding how to navigate the business side has allowed my art to flourish much more quickly than it would have without this knowledge. Most of my licensing deals have resulted from companies finding me on social media.

FEATURED MAKER: Carrie Schmitt #artist #interview

Do you have any philosophies or ideals you try to represent with your work?

My work is a celebration of color, lightheartedness and joy. I’ve never understood the violence and negativity that is so easily accepted in our world—on tv shows, movies, news and more. I suppose this is my own subtle and peaceful response to this mixed up world. I hope people look at my art and somehow feel uplifted and smile.

Tell us about your process. How do you go about creating your art from start to finish?

My process is intuitive and aligned with the belief that every mark made on the canvas was meant to be, aka there are no mistakes! I start my randomly applying paint and making various marks on the canvas. I continue to build layers of paint on top of each other to create depth, interest, and texture. Eventually, imagery (usually in the form of flowers) begin to reveal themselves to me. It’s almost as if the painting just appears as long as I am open to it. Sometimes this takes a long time and sometimes it happens quickly. You can learn more about my different techniques in my book, Painted Blossoms. I’m also going to be teaching my process and various art projects at the Art Makers Retreat in Denver in September.

FEATURED MAKER: Carrie Schmitt #artist #interview

Where do you look for inspiration?

Inspiration is everywhere, which makes every moment of every day a treasure hunt. When something takes my breath away or tugs at me on a soulful level, I pay attention. These objects that appeal to our senses are like mirrors for our soul. So by paying attention, I am able to find out more about my own style and express my unique creativity with the world.

What does your workspace/studio look like?

I’m a firm believer that everyone needs a room of her own. My studio is in my home and looks like an indoor garden bursting with color and light. This space houses my joy and inspiration that is a reflection of my soul. Plants are a very important part of my space as well, as they are living companions that keep me company while I create.

FEATURED MAKER: Carrie Schmitt #artist #interview

Tell us about a challenge you’ve overcome in your business? Or something you tried but didn’t work the way you planned?

One of the greatest challenges for me has been having the time and money to pursue my passion. Patience and persistence has paid off even though I have had some serious and frequent moments of self doubt. Your faith just has to be stronger than those moments. It does take time to build a business so I try not to be too hard on myself. It seems as though things just work out as long as I work hard and put my energy toward this dream.

What does a day in the life of Carrie Schmitt look like?

I start my day getting my kids to school and then doing yoga or swimming. Physical activity, especially yoga, has become key to enhancing my creativity in the most magical and fulfilling ways. Yoga is about clearing energy channels and this has allowed this previously stuck loose energy to manifest in my art. Practicing yoga has been a powerful journey! I wasn’t expecting it to affect my art in the ways that it has but am incredibly grateful that it has become an intrinsic part of my process.

After yoga and/or swimming, I like to do administrative work – answering emails, posting on social media, writing articles for magazines, or whatever else comes my way. Then, it is time to paint! I turn on some music, light a scented candle, and begin throwing paint on the canvas. Time seems to stand still and before I know it, it is time to pick up my kids from school. The rest of the day is devoted to taking care of them, and I never have enough time to get all my art biz stuff done. Sometimes I work late at night or wake up early and often work weekends. I love the flexibility of my schedule because I am able to be present for my kids. It can be a huge challenge to find time for myself, but I just try my best every day.

Visit Carrie’s website and follow her on Facebook!

Thank you so much Carrie for sharing your story with us! Do you want to be our next Featured Maker? Visit our Contribute Page for more info!

FEATURED MAKER: Rachel DeJohn of Surfy Birdy

Featured Maker: Rachel DeJohn of Surfy Birdy #surfybirdy #artist #interview
We are excited to announce a new series on Adventures In Making called Featured Maker! We ask an artist/crafter/maker some questions so that we can get to know them better. I’m so happy to have Rachel DeJohn of Surfy Birdy (formerly Peace Owl Forest) talking with us today. I’ve been a huge fan of her work for years. Her art is oozing with hippie flowers, free spirited surfers, and happy thoughts.

Tell us a little about yourself. Where are you from? What is your background?

My name is Rachel from sunny south Florida, a big lover of the sea and flower power. I have been painting and doing art shows since 2009. I formerly was called Peace Owl Forest but recently have changed to Surfy Birdy. My art represents a love for the sea and the freedom it makes you feel.

What do you make and sell?

Paintings done on scrap wood or cardboard, prints, tote bags, baby tees, adult tanks, ceramic things, and more. Lately I have been painting a lot of surf art, longboard surfers, lady sliding, hanging 10, and dream homes like a treehouse, A-frame home, VW van, or tent with some fun waves out back. I also do inspirational quote art and other art that hopes to brighten your day.

Featured Maker: Rachel DeJohn of Surfy Birdy #surfybirdy #artist #interview

How did you get started and when did you launch your business?

I started back in 2009 when I saw a chance to paint live at a local music festival. I had been painting and decorating my walls and for friends and family and decided to try painting at this festival with my Peace Owl character and from there I was hooked. I started my etsy shop right after and have done many different craft shows, art shows and little music festivals in Florida.

Do you have any philosophies or ideals you try to represent with your work?

I just want to make people smile to feel warm and to inspire adventure.

Where do you look for inspiration?

I get my inspiration from the sea and road trips and adventures and daydreams.

Featured Maker: Rachel DeJohn of Surfy Birdy #surfybirdy #artist #interview

What does your workspace/studio look like?

I live in a little cottage that feels like a treehouse. It is small with a wood ceiling and marble floor. It has the feeling of living in a camper and it is just perfect for me and my pup Shelly dingo. I craft next to where I sleep and I eat next to where I craft. I like to live simply and have the option the pack up and go if adventure calls.

Featured Maker: Rachel DeJohn of Surfy Birdy #surfybirdy #artist #interview

Is your business your full time job? Or do you have a day job?

Right now I just do my art on the side. I work at an office with my family. I dream about one day creating full time or even part time but for now it is a balance of work, sea time, and craft time.

Featured Maker: Rachel DeJohn of Surfy Birdy #surfybirdy #artist #interview

Visit her Etsy Shop and follow her on Facebook and Instagram!

Photos by: Ryan Pinder Photography

Thank you so much Rachel for sharing your story with us! Want to be our next Featured Maker?
Visit our Contribute Page for more info!