Where does creativity come from? Is it a spontaneous spark that draws communities of people with similar interests together or does creativity spring up from communities? No matter how you look at it, communities foster creativity and benefit from it. We learn from and support each other as we solve problems, innovate, and grow the economy.
Seeing my family and friends do positive, creative things has always inspired me. I greatly admire my sister, lifestyle photographer Kimberly Tempas, and her work that so beautifully captures families and life’s most special moments.
My first little creative community was at home; my mom was my first creative role model. She has showed me that there’s a little time in every day to do something you love and making things together brings you closer to your inner circle.
My love for all things vintage and upcycling started when I was a little girl. Years before the term upcycling was widely used, I watched my mom find ways to creatively reuse and transform items. Always an avid sewer and maker, she started making crazy quilts. An invention of the Victorian era, crazy quilts combine snippets of many kinds of fabric, embroidery, jewelry, beads, buttons, ribbons, and mementoes to create something new.
Sometimes my mom found a jar of buttons or the perfect vintage silk tie at the thrift shop. She scanned vintage postcards and Valentines and transferred the images to fabric. I would watch in amazement as she incorporated these found objects into her quilts. She made it look effortless!
Here are some photos of one of her elaborate, gorgeous quilts:
My mom made one fabulous find that sold me on thrifting forever: a vintage cross-stitched purse with a wheat design from the 1940s. Inside of it was a coin purse and a comb. I was fascinated by this purse! It was a tiny time capsule that gave me a glimpse into a woman’s life in another era. We can often learn something from the past that is still relevant today and tomorrow.
My mom’s creativity has always motivated me. She has always supported my dreams and ideas. Thank you, Mom, and keep making your art!
Jeans and a boyfriend blazer, a chambray blouse and leggings—denim is one of my style mainstays. My love for this American classic will never fade.
Every era is defined by its jeans. With denim trends passing by in the blink of an eye, a lot of jeans end up in the trash and in thrift shops. I’m incorporating denim into my upcycling projects to offset my part in mass consumerism and the waste it generates.
It’s a bittersweet day when my favorite pair of jeans wears thin at the knees and it’s time to let go of them. There’s an undeniable, uncomfortable gap in my wardrobe. It’s both exciting and daunting to have to try something new!
I loved the floral print of these jeans so much that I upcycled the fabric when they wore out. Here are the jeans before upcycling!
I put the denim in natural wooden embroidery hoops and embellished it with wildflowers of Wisconsin. Denim if the perfect backdrop of blue sky for fields of wild roses, black-eyed Susans, and coneflowers. The trio of pictures will remind me of the beauty of summer all year long. My old favorite pants are now my new favorite wall art!
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