Where We Create - Emily Jeffords of Beautiful Hello

It's been a while since I did an installment of "where we create" and I thought that it's about time for a new one. Let me introduce you to Emily of Beautiful Hello.

When I learned that she lives just outside of Charleston, SC I almost swooned. Why, you ask? Well, I shared a cab at Alt Design Summit last January from the airport to downtown with THE most charming gentleman from Charleston. Emphasis on gentleman - LOVE how gracious he was and a great conversationalist. That southern charm. So I can ONLY imagine how lovely Emily would be in real life!

She's an artist AND an art blogger. You'll find all sorts of interesting interviews with creatives and diy's on her blog. How about this easy diy for chalkboard lettering? You can't tell me that some of the pros aren't using this trick! And this beautiful inspiration board.

Take a look at her online shop with its paintings (oil and watercolour), collages and necklaces.

To put it simply, Emily creates, often finishing a painting, collage, or design each day. She researches, explores, and discovers new ways to express herself and loves helping others view their world differently through art.

Let's hear from Emily about where she creates... 

My studio is a converted bedroom accessible from the living areas in our home.  It’s so full of light and an ever-rotating collection of artwork.  One of the perks to being an artist is that my studio is always full of fresh work being sold online or prepped for art shows!

I find it is very important for me to have beautiful storage. I love displaying my supplies and tools in a pleasing way. I make such a mess while I work, I need everything around me to look orderly and lovely so I don’t drive myself crazy! I am an artist, designer, and blogger, but I am also (first and foremost) a mom to two little girls ages 1 and 3. I love working from home because it allows me to be a part of their lives each and every day. They come into my studio and color, or play with clay, or sort my ever-messy assortment of beads. It’s so wonderful to have them a part of my space (at times!).

What time of day do you do your work and why?

Because I have two little girls I have the oddest of “work hours”. I work off and on all day, grabbing time when I can find it, then work for four-five hours after my girls go to bed, usually ending around 2:00am. I’m such a night owl.

What's your go-to snack when you are feeling peckish? 

Bold Coffee. Every time. Cream, no sugar. I’m overly addicted. (Oo! And my late-night bowl of dark chocolate ice cream!)

When you are procrastinating, what do you do?

I find that when I’m procrastinating it’s because I’m uninspired. To fix that, I gather inspiration (from mid century design, nature, magazines…), spend time sketching, and simply get busy! Within moments of sitting at my art table I usually have new ideas and feel excited again. If not, I walk away for a few hours. Bake something, watch a show, relax… but always go right back to creating or writing.  I also get a lot of encouragement from my community that helps me to keep working and creating. I’m a firm believer that a support group is crucial to a successful life.

Can you believe what she is able to create with a 1 year old and a 3 year old? That's how we do it once we become parents - squeezing it into those in-between moments. I love how her kids are there messing about with art supplies as well. Seeing their mom make art and making their own art.

I'm the opposite of Emily - as a morning person I get up extra early rather than work into the night! How about you?

And having a community that supports what you do - as creatives we all need that. Friends and family to cheer you on AND to be honest when you are slipping off track. Do you have that kind of community?

Where We Create - Giulia of Fishly News

Good morning everyone! Today I am pleased to introduce you to a fellow Canadian, Giulia of Fishly News. Well, she's Canadian at least by virtue of having lived here for 9 years. An east coaster stole her European heart and here she is.
   
You might recognize her from Design Mom where she was part of her Living With Kids series. She's had a few posts at Apartment Therapy as well. This girl is working it!
   
But let's hear about where she creates...
   
   
   
   
             
   
          
   
This is our dining room table. It's a solid ebony coloured wooden table from Provence and is our only expensive furniture purchase. We eat dinner at this table, create crafts, use the sewing machine, make advent calendars, wrap gift, host parties and I take 90% of my food photos on this table. The dining room is flooded with light so it works very well for my photography, but it's also the gathering space for everything else we seem to do, including not so fun things like folding the laundry. While I don't edit my photos here or write my blog post, this is definitely the space where we create.
   
   
1. What time of day do you do your work and why?
I write my blog posts for the week either on Saturday or Sunday during the day, usually after grocery shopping or when the kids are out with their dad. I can't work late at night, so this is the only way I can get my content ready. I also prefer to plan ahead rather than posting last minute. Photos are taken during specific events, if they are part of a reno or the Friday Food Files they are most likely taken on the weekend as well.
   
2. What's your go-to snack when you are feeling peckish?
I never eat while I'm working at the computer, but my favourite late night snack is a piece of toast with melted butter and a drizzle of honey.
   
3. When you are procrastinating, what do you do?
At night I'd be on Pinterest or Twitter, during the day I don't usually procrastinate - I have trouble sitting still if I know things need to be picked up and put away. So, I might be procrastinating in finishing my fireplace reno, but at least things are pretty tidy around the house ;).
   
The fireplace reno that she started has been tempting me to remake our fireplace. It's not as ugly as Giulia's but when the previous owners renovated the cottage, they chose the blandest and dullest and least stylish tiles available. Think beige tumbled ceramic 4"x4" tiles. I'll be following her closely to pick up some tips! And if you have any suggestions or advice for Giulia, go at it.

Where We Create - Caroline from Salsa Pie

You know how you are meant to find your voice on your blog? To be "you"? And you know how lucky you feel when you stumble upon a blog that does just that? Right from your first look at Caroline's blog Salsa Pie, you know that you are in for something unique. 
   
I mean, it's not just a blog, it's a verb!
   
Sahl-suh payh: to make or create something.
   
But let's hear from her...
   
Our house is very small so I only have a small corner designated just for me. It's actually an old little writing desk that was my great grandmother's. I'm sentimental so I like to sit there. On top, there is just enough space for my computer, my little idea notebooks (where I brainstorm and sketch things) and a few other things. Since I create crafts mostly geared towards kids, I normally involve the kids in my projects and we work on our kitchen table. But when I'm writing or uploading pictures or doing general blogging-related things, I sit here.
1. What time of day do you do your work and why? 
   
I honestly just seize whatever moment I see available for accomplishing something. With children ages 6, 5, 3 and 21 months my house can get a super crazy sometimes and each day can be unpredictable. I work in short spurts rather than finishing any task in one full swoop. I've found that working in short increments of time is more realistic with small children afoot.  
   

2. What's you go-to snack when you are feeling peckish? 
   
Almonds. My husband is kind of a health nut and he eats almonds all day long. We buy them in bulk, raw and I roast them in the oven. Since they're always around, I just gravitate towards those. A small handful is enough for me to fuel-up and keep going. 
   
3. When you are procrastinating, what do you do?
   
I do two things: I walk around from room to room picking up toys off the floor (which is a totally pointless activity until after the kids are in bed) or, I read all my favorite blogs and comment away! I just think what we women are doing in the blog world is so creative and so inspiring that I can't help but get excited about it. 
   
Working in short increments - for me that was the most difficult adjustment when I had my daughter. I was used to blocks of time where I could lose myself in making something. Hours. Post kid it's all about grabbing a few minutes here and there. Quickly shifting out of parenting gear and into creative brain and then back again. I'm thinking that her chevron striped notebook entitled "ideas" is probably a huge help!
   
How about you? How do you handle working in short bits of time when you are "salsa pie-ing"?

Where We Create - Meet Sheri of Donuts, Dresses and Dirt

Here is lovely Sheri who blogs at Donuts, Dresses and Dirt about "everything she is most passionate about". I discovered Sheri's blog through Melanie at Inward Facing Girl. Well, the comment section of her blog actually. Don't you do the same? Find a blog you like, scour the list of blogs that they read and hang out in the comments section?

Love Sheri's blog and love just as much how generous she is - with her kudos and sharing of other people's posts on Facebook and twitter. She also has a series called Blove where she highlights her favourite bloggers.

And she is JUST like that in person - generous and passionate and bubbly and charming. I know, because I got to meet her on my last trip to NYC! How lucky am I??!!

Let's hear from Sheri about where she creates...

I sent 3 photos because I create everywhere!

When I’m baking and cooking I’m obviously in my kitchen – which we had built 5 years ago and where I truly LIVE in my house (pictured is my latest creation – homemade s’mores!).

My drafting table (in our family room) is where I draw up plans for clients’ gardens. I have my talented older son’s artwork all around me, which is always so inspiring!

Finally – the couch in our family room is where I typically write my blog. Feet up, blanket on my lap.


What time of day do you do your work and why?

Loaded question! With 3 kids (ages 3, 15 and 20), my own business and a house to run I have to fit the work in where and when I can. Forget about no two days being alike – no TWO HOURS are! I do the bulk of my work during Noah’s nap-time and when he goes to sleep. The early mornings are for fine-tuning (blurry, late-night eyes are the worst proofreaders!) and kitchen prep.

What's your go-to snack when you are feeling peckish?

Salty? Cashews. Sweet? Sour belts. Both? Kettle corn.

When you are procrastinating, what do you do?

I let myself read one article that I’ve bookmarked and planned to read. It’s a break in my routine and I can cross something off the “to-do” list. That, or I iron.

So go over there and look around. You'll enjoy what you find, trust me!

Where We Create - Meet Anna of Canoe Design

   
Anna of Canoe Design is a charming Canadian interior designer who is a recent transplant to Manhattan via London. 
   
You know how as a blogger you are meant to be distinctively "you" and create a brand? Anna has done that in spades. She has a unique take on design and travel with beautiful photos to illustrate her thoughts.
   
One of her weekly columns is Furniture Fridays where she has a guest speak about their favourite piece of furniture. 
   
(photo of Anna and Lina the greyhound courtesy of Nikki Leigh McKean)
   
And of course me being a fan of NYC, she has a bunch of posts of her discoveries as learns about her new home.
   
Let's take a look and find out where she creates...
   
This is my home office/our dining room and it is where I sit and do most of my writing for Canoe Design. When we moved to New York we purchased a couple of Eames DAW chairs and I can’t love them enough – with a sheepskin cushion to make them even more comfortable it is a perfect place to be inspired.  I love having full bookshelves at my fingertips as the internet is great for ideas, but I love using all my design books to get my creativity going! 


What time of day do you do your work and why?

I tend to put my posts together in the evening - after dinner! Now that I am working full time I find that this is really the only time I have for me. Throughout the day I often send myself email about thoughts and ideas I could blog about, but they really only come to fruition once I sit down and get into my groove.

What's your go-to snack when you are feeling peckish?

I enjoy savory snacks much more than sweet (although, don't get me wrong I do love candy), so when I am feeling peckish I tend to go for olives or pickles.  We always have a few different kinds in the fridge and for me they are the perfect midnight snack!

When you are procrastinating, what do you do?

I procrastinate a lot! Twitter, Bloglovin’, Pinterest are my weaknesses to name a few! I like to think that it isn’t really procrastinating but rather finding more inspiration and fellow social media enthusiasts to connect with. 

Something else that I appreciate about Anna is that she has been a window to some new-to-me bloggers in the creative/design realm. Sometimes it seems like we are all reading the same things and looking at the same images. Having lived and worked in London for four years she has that European flair that comes through in her blog. She has a fresh take on design and a wonderful way of describing it.

Don't forget to check out her before and afters from her London apartment - love seeing how designers successfully tackle a small footprint.

Where We Create - Meet Adina of Gluten Free Travellette

Yet another amazing thing about this whole blogging life is all of the unique niches you find.

Do you remember a time when there were no options available for anyone with gluten allergies? Locally, I mean. 

And what if you loved to travel as well? How would you cope? Where would you eat? WHAT would you eat? Well, meet Adina who has combined her need for gluten free food with her passion for travel and created Gluten Free Travellette

She also has THE cutest dog on the planet, a Viszla.

At heart I’m a maker. I do everything from gardening, cooking, knitting, sewing, and more. If it’s possible to make at home – it’s likely I’ve tried it or it’s on my list. Right now my life is mostly consumed with travel planning, writing my Gluten Free Travelette blog, and sewing. I work from the kitchen table looking out at our front yard, which is in the process of being converted to a garden of edibles. I’m setting up a studio in our second bedroom to expand my making, but it’s still a work in process.

What time of day do you work and why?

During the week, I work at night, after my day job, around 7pm. My favorite time to work is weekend mornings, before anyone else is up and then I can watch the sun slowly light up the garden.

What's your go-to snack when feeling peckish?

A combination of Popcorn, dark chocolate, and genmaicha green tea.

When you are procrastinating, what are you doing?

Reading posts on Bloglovin’, perusing Apartment Therapy, or cuddling with our pup.

Don't forget to check out her recipe for rhubarb and meyer lemon jam - two of my favourite ingredients! And bookmark her blog for all your friends and family with gluten allergies. Adina bravely took part in the recent series going around about "things I'm afraid to tell you". (I wasn't that brave!). She'll also be at BlogHer Food 2012 in a month - think we can convince her to report back on her blog all about it?

Do you or your friends/family have any food intolerances? How do you cope?

Where We Create - Meet Leslie of Lights and Letters

I can honestly say that I met Leslie twice - first through her lovely blog Lights and Letters and the second time a little over a week ago on my trip to NYC. Although we both attended Alt Summit, I didn't meet her there. Most likely at that point I was hiding out in the bathroom, taking a break and thinking, "so.many.people." Extroverted introverts unite!

When I first read her blog I found a few commonalities - "hey, we both were born in Alberta. And we both have lived in a few different places." But it was the honest and charming and heartfelt writing illustrated by beautiful photos that drew me in.

She's creative and kind. She's generous and thoughtful.  But let's hear from her. (By the way in the first photo on the top right you can see her two sweet boys. I got to meet them too when I was in NYC - what a couple of cuties!).

I have a few workspaces. The studio, where I like to paint, sew and collage is in a separate building that is semi-attached to the house. My desktop computer that I edit photos on and do most of my work on is in the family room of the main house. I also have a laptop that I can travel with and sometimes I take it to a local coffee shop when I have to focus on writing. My workspace is constantly changing depending on what I have to do. I did try having my desktop computer out in the studio but because of the winter weather and it being so far removed from the main house where the kids and my husband are, it just didn’t work. It’s nice that I have flexible spaces and I can work in different environments.

What time of day do you do your work and why?

10 am – 1 pm during the week is my most productive time. That is when both of my kids are in school. I usually also put in another 2 - 3 hours after they go to bed at 9 pm if I am feeling up for it or I have a deadline. On the weekend, it depends on our family’s schedule but I do try to work a few hours while my husband hangs out the kids.

What's your go-to snack when you are feeling peckish?

I love to snack on popcorn, walnuts or pecans and whole apples or dried fruit. During the day, I drink a couple cups of coffee and I love a cup of peppermint tea with honey at night.

When you are procrastinating, what do you do?

If I don’t feel like working it’s usually because I am feeling overwhelmed, so it helps me get a handle on all the tasks I have to do. I’ll make a list and organize my workspace to get a better handle on things. I’m more of a “go with the flow” kind of person though, so there really is no procrastinating. If I have a deadline, I get the work done. If there is no deadline and I don’t feel like working, I take a break. I spend down time reading, catching up with friends, tidying the house, sketching or daydreaming.

And that is Leslie. Take a peak at her blog - I know you will enjoy it as much as I do.