Launch Your Creativity Blog

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Truth from a fortune cookie!

 This fortune has been pinned on my inspiration board for months
if not a year or two and I just realized that its 


I know you have dreams and I know you have doubts. 
We all have doubts, but we also have within us the ability to overcome obstacles.

Don't let the doubts crowd out your dreams. 

Believe in Yourself.

I Believe in YOU.

Please share what you are dreaming about, I'd love to hear from you.

~Follow Your Creative BLISS~

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I'm Ashley from The Shine Project, and I need you to help me CHANGE the world.

Yes, I said it, we CAN change the world!
I started my blog The Shine Project at the beginning of the year to motivate everyone to go after their DREAMS.
I wanted a place where people could come to feel supported, inspired, and encouraged.
I wanted to see how much good we could do in the lives of those around us, and see changes.
To do this, I started doing weekly SHINE CHALLENGES.
Each Monday, I post a challenge that pushes us out of our comfort zones.
From doing something you've never done, to writing a note to a teacher who's influenced you,
the goal is to get us to STOP procrastinating, and do these things NOW!

I also set up service projects so we can all SHINE in our communities. YOU all have the opportunity to be a SHINE service leader in your city! 3 weeks ago we did a clothing drive for a domestic violence shelter in downtown Phoenix,and spent a few hours organizing their donation center. It was AMAZING to team up with people around Arizona who wanted to spread their light to those who needed to be helped out of darkness.

This is what YOU have the potential of doing.
The Shine Project is coming to SAN DIEGO, June 11th for a big beach clean up!
JUNE 11th is the day for us ALL to help clean our communities, whether you can make it to Mission Beach or not!

(email me at for details)
I believe that all of us can use our talents to influence the world for GOOD.
As a daily reminder, I created SHINE necklaces to motivate us.
$1 from each one sold goes to The Shine Project Scholarship Fund which will give a scholarship
to an inner city highschool student in January 2012. SHINE t-shirts are also available.

Raise your hand if you've ever had a dream that you've put on the shelf. Raise it higher...I'm right there with you! Could you imagine what would happen if we all lived up to our potential?

Let's make the world SHINE.
Come join me! 

If that didn't inspire you, I don't know what will! Get involved, SHINE!!!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Lisa Gundersen of Polka Dot Pound Cake

~ From Ballet Slippers to Banana Bread ~

After owning a dance studio for 12 years, I decided to hang up my tutu so I could be home with my two year old daughter Emily. A year later, Hannah arrived and soon a favorite afternoon activity for us was baking.

A very fast 10 years later, as flour flew around the kitchen, I found myself thinking of creating a new business...and the answer was on the kitchen counter, the Banana bread that had been baked earlier that day. 

In the fall of 2008, after taking care of all the legalities, I started selling my cakes at various fairs and festivals on Long Island NY. I was filled with a passion for baking and the entrepreneurial spirit.
My passion for baking was inspired by my childhood memories of the heavenly aromas of my Norwegian mother's daily baking. Her influence is found in the traditional American classics that are baked lovingly at Polka Dot Pound Cake. The company name and signature polka dot ribbons are a tribute to my mother. A sweet reminder of the decorative ribbons that she sewed onto my childhood dresses that she made for me.

The biggest obstacle I faced this year was finding a commercial kitchen space that was affordable to rent.  Finding one was necessary to take my business to the next level. Thankfully I found one after months of searching.  This will allow me to sell at 4 LI Farmers Markets June-November. I am thrilled to take this huge step forward!  I also look forward to the day that I can hire employees. Currently I hold the crown for employee of the month J
It can be difficult at times to juggle being an entrepreneur, wife, and mother.  Family and friends had suggested for years that I sell my baked goods. They continue to be incredibly supportive and enthusiastic about my goals and dreams. They believed in me from the beginning even when I had my own doubts!  
I feel that it is necessary to connect with other women entrepreneurs. The Networks that I belong to { Savor the Success and Martha Stewarts Dreamers into Doers} have been a valuable source of advice, and friendship. It is very easy to find myself working almost 24/7 when building a business, but making time for my family and for me is so important. One way I find time for me is teaching an adult tap class every Monday night.
My advice to anyone who has an idea for a business would be to start slowly. Do not be in a rush, let the business evolve and take you on a journey. For me, when I look back and connect the dots…I see why and how I got to be where I am now. I look forward to where Polka Dot Pound Cake will take me.

To contact Lisa or to order her amazing baked goods visit

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Sonia Crouse of "Creating Vintage Charm"

Meet the Beauty & Brains behind the magazine, Sonia Crouse

Interview by Cari Robertson
1.  Tell me a little bit about your childhood - have you always enjoyed arts and crafts?

I have wonderful memories of my childhood; it was simple living with the advantage of being brought up on a small island, surrounded by family and friends continuously. I had several cousins from different families growing up on my street, from both mum and dad’s side of the family, besides having three siblings of my own. What child doesn’t like company to play with? We played outside every evening, all summer long, and on the weekends, we packed our car and left for the beach.

During the summer, I also remember sewing a lot, by hand. My doll had a new outfit everyday with clothes I designed for her using ideas I got from doll catalogs. I tried to put together the dresses as best I could. Drawing and sketching were also things I did continuously at home and school, and as I progressed, it drew a lot of attention from my high school teacher, Ms. Ventura. She encouraged me and inspired me in many ways.
2.  What 
artistic expressions are your favorites?  Do they change?

Artistic expressions do change for me, yes. There are so many ways to let out creativity and art. I do like to try everything once if I get the chance. I did a lot of painting and still life while in high school and after.
Then after that, I was more interested in textile design and sewing. At the same time, I developed a digital art and graphic design interest, also involving photography.

I am interested in most creative outlets and also have developed visions of my own creations in so many ways and would love to work on them all. It may take me a lifetime, but that is fine by me. 

3.  Tell me about an artist who inspires you.

There was no artist in particular that inspired me. It was more of a collection of artists and their work collected in a book. This one book called Enchanted World: The magic of pictures, by Bryan Holme, belonged to my brother, and I flipped through this book countless times, mesmerized by each painting and all different artwork styles and eras. I was particularly fascinated by the Baroque and Rococo era art work - the romance and the detail in their work. I could stare at each painting for a long time, searching for new hidden details. A later painting by  Walter Crane called "Neptune’s horses" also fascinated me. Growing up on an island, obviously surrounded by the ocean, when I first saw Walter’s imagining of white horses representing the white foamy waves riding to the shores, it really struck me as amazing.

Creating Vintage Charm Magazine
4.  How did you first decide to publish a magazine?  How did you decide on the focus of vintage arts and crafts?

After contemplating graphic design for a newspaper, I had this thought about how much more fun and inspiring it would be if I was creating a publication about artwork that I (and so many others I am connected with) enjoy. That is creating vintage charm. Honestly at first I thought that it was an idea way beyond me, but somehow I kept reaching toward it and searching about how I could actually make it work. The more I realized how possible it could be for me, the more excited I got, and the more ideas I had about the magazine. I guess, you can say, there was no turning back from there. It simply became a mission for me.
I also know so many of us who do the most beautiful work and show it in the most humble ways; yet, we all are proud of each other and what we create. It is amazing to me what a great, supportive community of artists we have created. For any of us, seeing our work printed and distributed in a magazine is the most amazing thing that could happen. But not many of us ever give much thought to seeing our own work published. My mission is to reach out and help artists reach a new level in publicity for their artwork and perhaps in a "not so overwhelming manner" since I am one of the crowd. 

5.  What is especially gratifying for you as you create the magazine?

The reviews and emails filled with compliments and encouragement to continue the good work. Especially those who are inspired by the magazine to explore their creative outlet.
6.  What is difficult or scary about being in charge of the magazine?

I get more nervous the closer I get to releasing an issue. I work on the magazine continuously and being the one who develops it from start to finish, I don’t get the opportunity to look at it with fresh eyes like the readers would. That is scary to me - not knowing how it will look to those flipping through the magazine, since I cannot experience that.
7.  How does being a single mom influence your creations?

It makes me appreciate more the time that I do find to create.

One of many of Sonia's beautiful creations
8.  If you could spend a day creating anything with anyone, what would you choose and why?

Right now, I would say painting or mixed media collage. I have nothing in particular in mind, but I am inspired by so many beautiful things in nature and style that somehow I want to put them together on canvas.
Sonia's Studio
9. What words of encouragement would you give other women out there who are looking for opportunities to be creative in a way that counts?

Never give up, of course. If an idea hits, don't dismiss it without any further thought. Even if it is too big and you have to start small, at least it is a start. There is always room to grow later on and perhaps make changes to where you can make it work better for your needs. After all, if you got excited about the idea in the first place, then you are probably going to enjoy it. 

To order your copy of Creating Vintage Charm visit Creating Vintage Charm