How to redefine what it means to create
I belong here, and so do you!
If you are new around here, then I will bring you up to speed in a hurry. Over 5 years ago I started this blog. The main purpose was to provide a web space of my custom painted furniture portfolio. I was running a busy one woman business of providing custom painted furniture and just wanted an online space to show case my work to potential clients. Let’s just say I didn’t look like this every day.
Fast forward two years and I decided to rent myself a space at a consignment store to sell my furniture. To keep my profit margins higher, I started cruising Craigs List for Free Furniture. When I exhausted this route, I started cruising Dumpsters for cast off furniture. I soon found my love for all things Free and Dumped. I found I had an extreme love of rehabbing broken, tossed out, left for dead pieces and parts of furniture and turning them into functional, beautiful pieces of furniture and decor. I love Junk! And I looked more like this. I started a series on my blog called Trashy Tuesday. Every Tuesday I posted what I had found for free that week (I still post this series occasionally, but at present, my garage and my warehouse are quite full, no Dumpster Shopping for a bit). I found I loved Dumpster Diving so much, I created a three part series of blog posts called The Complete Guide To Dumpster Diving, many thanks to the Nancherrow blog for suggesting it!!
Early on in my junking career, everything started coming together like magic. Chalk Type paints had been introduced to the U.S. at a professionally produced level. I had a successful linky party then. Another blogger linked up this project and called it “I love my CeCe Caldwell’s paints”. I was intrigued. I had not heard of CeCe Caldwell’s paints! It was an American company, making a chalk and clay based paint, 100% natural, and all made in America. Today, CeCe Caldwell’s has not only Chalk + Clay based paints, but a line of all natural clear coats, waxes and ehancments, including my faves, 100% Natural Metallic Waxes.
I emailed CeCe Caldwell’s to find out more. They were based in the South then, but were about to go National. One of their Distributors would be in my neck of the woods teaching a workshop in Sonoma soon, would I be interested in attending? Heck yeah!! From first brush stroke, it was true love and I knew I HAD to be a part of this company. I knew, with CeCe Caldwell’s, I belong here. (Picture from a Video Kim and I made. How to do Glaze on Glaze with two award winning CeCe Caldwell’s employees in Prescott, Arizona, where CeCe Caldwell’s is made)
CeCe Caldwell’s Paints is a family owned company. Everything they make is either 100% natural or as close to natural as you will find. Their cans are recyclable, the paper they print their labels on are recyclable paper. Their packaging is earth friendly. Everything about this company completely aligned with my principles. Tread lightly on the earth, use what resources you have and give them a new life. Keep it in the family. Bring joy to other people’s lives by offering something that will enhance their surroundings and not harm their health. I started out as a blogger with CeCe Caldwell’s and teaching CeCe Caldwell’s Paints workshops. From there, I started tagging along to promotional events, like this one here at the America’s Mart in Atlanta. It wasn’t long before I truly felt like I was part of their family.
If you would like to read more about CeCe Caldwell’s and the story of its creation, read this very popular post, “My interview with CeCe Herself”. It is truly inspiring.
As my involvement with CeCe Caldwell’s grew, I began to redefine what it means to create. I was teaching, I was promoting, was I still creating? The answer is yes. I was creating opportunities I didn’t even know yet existed. I may not have been painting as much (like 24/7 as I used to). I was creating ideas. I was creating skills while teaching new students. I was creating artistic endeavors and creating joy. I was creating a much larger world for myself than I ever imagined I would have created when I started this little blog with no expectations all those years ago.
Last January, CeCe Caldwell’s had a need for a new Distributor for the Western Region. They approached me with this opportunity and my business partner and I jumped in with both feet. (Most likely creating anxiety for our spouses). Together, Kim and I started creating a business of Distributing CeCe Caldwell’s Paints to California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado CeCe Caldwell’s retailers. We are Oui Redoux (We Redo).
We created more workshops, we have brought on new retailers, and we have created more excitement for CeCe Caldwell’s Paints and Products with our existing CeCe retailers. Kim and I have been busy creating new businesses. We have created new retailers in all of these states, which in turn has not only created more of an income for us, but for all of the amazing new retailers we have been privileged to bring into the CeCe Family.
This past year I have been so busy creating a new business that I have really had to cut back on the fundamental things I love to create the most. Junk makeovers painted with CeCe Caldwell’s Paints and products. I have been thinking a lot about this. I don’t get pick up a paint brush as often as I would like. I don’t get to get in my workshop and tear apart a book case to turn it into a rolling cart (like this one).
I don’t have time to blog and write about what I have created. Writing is another one of my creative loves, and it has had to take a back seat while I have been busy creating a Paint Business in the West. As any successful entrepeneur can tell you, starting a business, then making that business a profitable one is hard work and takes all of your might, mind and strength. But it is creating. It is a manifestation of what was inside of you, driving it forward and creating something that didn’t exist before. It is in short, exhilarating. It is finding out what you are made of, then discovering you are made of so much more than you even knew. I know, I definitely belong here, where I am now.
All of this creating has brought me back to my basic question. How to redefine what it means to create. One of the most soul satisfying things a human can create is something with their own two hands. Truly, just with your hands. Be it typing, writing, or making something. Using your hands in a repetitive way is Zen like. Numerous studies have shown how it reduces stress, lowers our heart rates, increases endorphins. And makes us happier all around. Especially nice for our loved ones, like Suffering Husband here.
I am a book junkie (readaholic) and a Podcast junkie. I recently discovered one of my favorite authors, Elizabeth Gilbert (of Eat Pray Love fame) has a new book coming out end of September. Big Magic.
It is all about navigating the creative force within each of us and creating magic with it. How to overcome the fear of it, and how to make the space for it. Elizabeth (Liz), we are on a casual name basis now, has a Pod Cast called Big Magic. Every Wednesday she discusses the issues that hold us back from creating and gives the listener all different approaches to going forward. Through interviews with famous artists and authors to interviews with regular folks like you and I, she discusses the creative process in a way that makes me well, sometimes weep! Today, Liz gave advice to someone who was a photographer that was longing to become a Podcaster. The guest was discussing her fear of feeling like a “phony” when she was longing to jump into the podcasting world, that she didn’t belong there. Guess what? We do belong wherever we choose to create. If we stand up and state, I created this and I belong in this creative space, be it my blog, a podcast, a book I might self publish, or any other space where I create (and I am not violating public or private property). I belong there. And so do you.
We so often beat ourselves up that we don’t “create” anything. We all create something every single day. We create our lives, we create a mood around us. We create joy for others if we choose to be kind. We create chaos if we spread our anger around. We create. You and me. We are creators. We need to redefine what it means to create. I created this post about all the things I created with CeCe Caldwell’s Paints. See how many ways there are to create? lol.
Back to my creating…I long to have regular time with that paint brush. I crave the power rush I feel when I fire up my chop saw. Today, I am announcing to you, and the Universe, I am creating time to create my junk makeovers. There is a time and a season for all of us to create different things. We need to remember that creating something, sometimes just for ourselves, not even for public consumption is essential to our very creative natures. I need to get myself back in creative balance, play with that paint brush, experiment with some of our new CeCe Caldwell’s colors coming out soon. I may not share here all that I create, but I will share this with you. I have redefined what is means to create. I belong here, and so do you.