guest series

Guest series 2012: I asked fellow bloggers, makers and creators to write on their creativity and focus their essay on one of four topics: creativity and health, creativity and business, creativity and parenting or creativity and process. These wonderful fellow creative folk guest posted here at during 2012.

I introduced the series here with a showcase of my creative space. {Browse the whole series here}. There were 57 participants in this series and it ran for 3 months – lots of fun – I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.


Creativity and Health


Berber Vos blogs {blog} There is a spark of creativity in everyone

Maryanne {blog} Sewing with the flow

Nat {Blog} How craft gave me back my confidence

Lara Cameron {web} Step outside the rat race

Maize Hutton {blog} Healing through craft

Sayraphim Lothian {web} Crafting brings the joy {image above from this essay}

Heidi {blog} Crafting is my lifeboat

Colleen Babcock {blog} Four essential truths about my creative self

Leisl {blog} Stitch by stitch, I healed


Creativity and Business


Lisa Siebert {web} My business brings me fulfilment 

Weeks Ringle {blog} Never let a crisis go to waste

Laura Malek {web} Hobby turned business

Destri {blog} How my business became my hobby {image above from this essay}

Rachel Wolf {web} Manifesting your dreams

Nicole Blum and Debra Immergut {blog} Building a business, a book, and a life

Diane Gilleland {blog} Some straight talk on monetizing your craft blog


Creativity and Parenting


Abby Glassenberg {blog} The relationship between time and creativity 

Tania {blogNot a lot of serious

John Adams {blog} quilt + dad = a winning combination

Verity Heysen Kizek {blog} Time is precious

Molly Balint {blog} Creativity is the soul of motherhood

Becca {blog} Creativity is a word in every mothers dictionary

Delia {blog} Creativity requires risk and vulnerability

The family at {Se7en + 1} Memories made creating together

Joanie Gorman {blog} Creativity is naturally woven into our lives

Vanessa Lynch {blog} Creativity is contagious 

Maggie Brereton {blog} My children are my muses

Laura Bray {blog} Two pink lines

Ellen Luckett Baker {blog} Understand the value of creativity {image above from this essay}

Jo Ebisujima {blog} Creating for children

Lorraine {blog} The stream of inspiration runs both ways

Marcie {blog} Slowing down and connecting with each other

Abigail Doan {blog} Fiber art for families and the nomadic studio life

Amy Palanjian {blog} I did the best with what I had

Christine Chitnis {blog} Take your creativity where you can find it


Creativity and Process

Niamh O’Connor {blog} Finding time to fail

Lilly Blue and Jo Pollitt {web} Creativity and Coauthorship

Kay Gardiner {blog} Something from something

Jen {blog} Creating adds sparkle to my life

Erin Dollar {blog} Visual overload

Claire Dollan {blog} Snatching a little creativity here and there

Alissa Haight Carlton {blog} Creative process for designing a quilt

Anne Weil {blog} Dive in! Explore open ended creativity

Ann Shayne {blog} Self publishing, easy, hard and everything in between

Katie {blog} Cultivate an appreciation for the slow mastery of a craft

Blair Stocker {blog} My creative process always begins with my sketchbook

Chawne {blog} Mistakes become opportunities {image above from this essay}

Mollie Johanson {blog} It is as much about the process as it is about the product

Sophie {blog} The ultimate compliment

Devon Iott {blog} Connections to the past

Angel Funk and Jenny Bartoy {blog} Nature and the creative process

Khadija {blog} Doodling away the boredom

Kate Lilly {blog} A tiny (happy) corner of the web

Jodi Anderson {blog} Listen and watch

Tracey McNamee {blog} A failed attempt to control the chaos

Cam {blog} I am mostly a self taught creative type


{I really enjoyed this series and am planning on another one for 2013, if you would like to participate please shoot me an email kathreen[at]}


Guest series 2012: I asked fellow bloggers, makers and creators to write on their creativity and focus their essay on one of four topics: creativity and health, creativity and business, creativity and parenting or creativity and process. I am very excited to have a wonderful lot of fellow creative folk guest posting here at over the next couple of months. Please welcome…

Laura Malek is a felter and sells her creations on feltjar. When she isn’t felting she is found behind a camera. Her work can be seen at and in the book, 1,2,3 Sew by Ellen Luckett Baker.

Thanks Kathreen for inviting me to share my creative process with your readers today.

Five years ago, I was parenting a toddler and eager to find something to do besides day to day mom duties. This is when I began to felt. My good friend Ellen Luckett Baker from The Long Thread had found her place and much success in the craft world, creating a blog, selling on Etsy, and writing a book on sewing. I found myself inspired by her work along with the countless other moms who were sharing their hobbies, work, craft and parenting through blogs. It was here that I discovered the beauty and originality of felted items. My curiosity led to searching the internet for how to’s, which then led to lots of practice, blood and broken needles. After five years, I can say that there is far less blood and I rarely break a needle.

It was just over a year ago, with Ellen’s urging, that I decided to sell my creations on Etsy, opening up feltjar. It was exciting to take something that started out as a handmade hobby and turn it into a super part time job (financially) but with full time hours. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

But what I really fell in love with is the wool and the idea of sculpting simple, modern designs. With just a needle and a penchant for poking something for sometimes hours on end, I am able to create just about anything. And because wool is a natural fiber – tactile and colorful – it is only natural that my work would be inspired by nature. Most of my inspiration comes specifically from the change of seasons which serves as an invite to design something new.

Before I delve into felting an object, I create several sketches – deciding on size and color options. Most of my work is quite small except for a very large nest that I created as a prop for newborn baby photography. Fortunately, because felting does not require much space, my studio is my home – but more specifically my couch – in front of the television. I love that I can sit just about anywhere and create. Although, I do find that any sort of distraction will usually result in injury (ie. a real good finger poke).

While I have the privilege of working anywhere, I do require a lot of storage space for the pounds of wool that I have amassed over the past few years. It is easily uncontrollable and is spread out between closets, storage chests, and scattered here and there throughout my house. Because each creation may require a different type of wool (ie. coarse vs. silky), I buy from a few different online shops. Besides the wool, a felter requires either a barbed needle (for needle felting – I prefer Wizpick) or hot sudsy water for wet felting.

My day to day work schedule no longer consists of obsessing over a clean house, but revolves around parenting, felting, photographing and promoting my work through various Etsy teams. I am constantly inspired by the variety and amount of talent I find on Etsy, and the pleasure of creating relationships with others whose days look similar to mine.


Guest series 2012: I asked fellow bloggers, makers and creators to write on their creativity and focus their essay on one of four topics: creativity and health, creativity and business, creativity and parenting or creativity and process. I am very excited to have a wonderful lot of fellow creative folk guest posting here at over the next couple of months. Please welcome…

Christine Chitnis is a Providence, Rhode Island-based writer, photographer and mother.  Her writing has appeared in Country LivingThe Boston Globe, Time Out New York and many other local and national publications. Her first book, Markets of New England highlights fifty of the most vibrant farmers markets and art events in the region. Visit her at

To say that having a baby changes every aspect of your life would be an understatement, as all of us moms know.  There are joys, struggles, and sacrifices, to be sure- but there are also so many wonderful, unexpected surprises.  I have always been a creative-type; dabbling in everything from sewing and knitting, to photography and writing, but I couldn’t have anticipated how having children would change my approach to crafting and creativity.

Although the time I spend creating has lessened since having my son over a year ago (and our second is due in July!), I tend to be much more productive and focused with the time I do have in my studio.  I find great pleasure in crafting for my son- whether it’s knitting him a sweater, making felt blocks for him to play with, or quilting big beach blankets for our summer picnics.  But I also make sure to carve out time to craft for myself- I am currently working on an incredibly girly quilt entirely in shades of purple!  That one’s for me- just for me!

Since having my son, I have expanded my view of creativity to include all of the things that I naturally do each day to make our family life full of warmth and love- this includes healthy cooking, keeping a clean, beautiful house, taking my son on daily adventures to libraries, museums, farms, beaches and nature walks, and documenting our memories with pictures and words on my blog.  All of these things fuel my creativity and imagination, and that has been the unexpected gift – you take your creativity where you can find it, and you try to let your creative spirit come through no matter how mundane the task at hand.

I am endlessly inspired by mothers who manage to seamlessly integrate their creativity into their family life.  A few of my favorite inspiring moms:
SouleMama :: Sew Liberated :: Nectar and Light :: Maya*Made :: Film in the Fridge :: Oh Happy Day

Whenever I need crafty inspiration, I turn to these great resources: Purl Bee :: Make Something :: Squam :: Creature Comforts :: And, of course, I love perusing Flickr and Pinterest!