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Where Creativity Means to Me
Jo - Manager of Where Creativity Happens, 25 years
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Finish this sentence: To me, creativity means….
being free to use the gift God so graciously gave me with no restrictions. It's creating wonderful art, beautiful gifts, and inspiring friendships. It's coloring outside the lines, its making something from nothing, its pink polka dot alligators and talking puppets.

What type of projects do you do best?
My best projects are those that don't involve paint! My nickname in the industry is NO SHADE. I'm not a decorative painter at all but I am a pretty good jewellery maker. I do love to create beautiful, shiny, glittery diamond like jewellery pieces, and I love the vintage look to beads and findings.

What would you consider to be your signature technique or tip?
I don't really have a signature tip but my signature would defiantly be in glitter! Bright, sparkly, messy glitter!

When did you first realize you were creative?
I started crafting when I was just about 8. I made pot holders and sold them to my aunts, using the money I made to buy more stuff! I'm pretty sure I sold them at an inflated price! My daddy always said I could sell ice to Eskimos. Then I graduated to huck towels, this was a craft that was a little more costly, so of course the price was higher. The fabric had little threads 2 by 2 that you threaded thru with crochet cotton to create a design, they were very cool! Might have to look into that again.

What's the coolest thing you've ever created?
One of the coolest things I ever made was a soft sculpture faces. They were created out of panty hose and then I dressed them up. I use to buy my polyfil by the six foot bag—not sure how much it weighed, not much, but it did take up the entire back of a truck—it was very soft and wonderful to work with. I would sit and stuff the pantyhose leg with a handful of polyfil and tie it off with baby rubber bands. Then I stitched the faces, 100's at a time. I never went anywhere without a bag of balls to stitch! People loved to watch. Then I stitched on their hair and gave them a tee shirt to wear. I glued them to stained plaques and personalized them at craft shows. They had personalities for sure!

What inspires you to create?
My 108 year old house inspires me every day. I have some rather unusual things in my house, like mannequin legs for spindles going up my stairs, a door on my ceiling with Dorothy shoes from the Wizard of Oz, old game boards covering the walls going up the stairs and a costume shop in my guest bath! The house is like my canvas, I can be inspired, create the unusual, and paint over it when I don't like it anymore! What fun.

What was your biggest creative goof? How did you fix it?
How did you fix it? I'm sure over the years there are some big goofs, but nothing stands out as the goof of the century.

When and where do you feel the most creative?
I'm probably the most creative at home in my studio. I'm lucky enough to have a studio detached from my house. I call it The Queens Cottage. My buddy Chris and I renovated it about 10 years ago and it is pretty cool. I have my husband's grandmother's bed springs hanging from the rafters that I hang stuff from, every wall is a different color, and my girlfriends painted murals on the walls as a birthday gift for me! I have old lockers and book cases filled with treasures. The bathroom even has a 24 karat gold potty in it!

How do you find the time to let your creativity loose?
I never sit still; I'm making and creating all the time. I can't just sit and watch TV unless I have something to make in my hands. So the better question would be when do I find time to relax! But creating is relaxing to me!

What would be in your dream craft room/work space?
I actually have my dream craft room. My studio is like my house, a canvas to do with whatever I want with no restrictions! I have lots of storage, heat and air and someplace to go hide if I need to.

What tools and supplies do you always have on hand?
Tools are important, and the right tools will make all the difference in your outcome. My daddy always told me never scrimp on the best tools. So I am never without a GREAT pair of scissors for fabric, a set of beading tools with the best wire cutters you can buy, and of course a GLUE GUN. If you can't glue it don't do it is a favorite saying of mine!

What's your favorite color?
My favorite color is GLITTER—oh sorry not a color you say—then pink, actually pink glitter!

What projects are you working on now?
I am working on Christmas web casts right now, we tape in a couple of weeks and I want the inspiration to ooze out and make people run to Michaels to buy Christmas. At home, its time to make Halloween magic around the house, so glittering skeletons and pumpkins is taking up lots of creative time.

If you had a $100 Michaels gift card, what would you buy?
A $100.00 gift card would buy lots of beads, we do love beads! And of course glitter!

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