Creative Places-Copper Cat Studio

During Reno Open Studios last October I was fortunate to meet Katie Packham, mosaic artist and owner of Copper Cat Studio.

What inspired the start of your business?

I’ve always been creative, enjoying and excelling at many different art forms from a young age. It’s when I got to college that I was hesitant to make a career out of it. I got a degree in interior design because it was creative but also included a lot of problem solving and project management. I’m very right/left brain equal. I did that for many years and was able to nurture a mural business on the side for about 9 years before delving into mosaics. That is what ignited the passion to make me quit my day job 11 years ago.

My biggest breakthrough came when…

My biggest breakthrough to the path I’m on now is when the mosaic supply company where I taught class for years offered to sell me their business. It was mainly an online business but there was local clientele and I quickly found running it out of my home studio wasn’t going to work. My first move to a public location was in a cute boutique location in Midtown. It was immediately apparent that the space wasn’t big enough for how the business was evolving- mostly workshops, and so when my rent significantly increased after a little over a year, we moved into our current location. I guess that was a huge breakthrough too. I was really upset about the rent increase, but it ended up being the catalyst for the exponential growth we’ve experienced in the last year and a half. I couldn’t be happier with where we are right now!

How do you balance your creative pursuits with your day-to-day commitments?

I would say finding that balance in my day-to-day commitments of running a studio, workshop space, retail front and yoga studio is tough. My time for my own creativity has definitely suffered. I have created a space where others come to nurture their souls through the arts. I feel like I’m finally on the right track and am starting to get in the groove after the move a year and a half ago, so that I can find that bit of creative nurturing I need as well. I love the bustle and energy of a busy studio, but find that I really appreciate those days where it is quiet and I can just mosaic all day without interruption.

What’s next?

I’m not sure…I’ve learned to let the universe guide me. I know that sounds cheesy, but I’ve found that if I lay out some intentions and not try to be too specific with details, the right opportunities pop up at exactly the right time. I am enjoying what we are doing currently but it’s always evolving. The diverse workshops we offer are hugely popular but it’s a lot of work. I see myself simplifying in the years to come and concentrating on just mosaics, yoga and Reiki and other healing modalities.

Anything else to share with the readers?

Just that with our crazy lives, it’s important to take care of ourselves. Whether through yoga, meditation, creativity or getting out in nature…whatever nurtures YOUR soul, we have to fill our own vessel before being able to give to others.

Copper Cat Studio

300 Kresge Lane, Sparks, NV 89431

www.CopperCatStudio.com

Blog: coppercatstudio.blogspot.com

Tessera Glass

www.tesseraglass.com

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Author/Artist Interview S.L. Dearing

I met Shannon through her Etsy business, Underdweller Treasures. I needed some swag for an upcoming author event. Not only did she meet my deadline, but the treasures she crafted for Ever After were a big hit.

Describe your day job.

My day job LOL. I am an Office Assistant and receptionist at a marketing firm in Century City, CA. It is part-time, but I am blessed in that I can do marketing for my books and side business, Underdweller Treasures.

 

Tell me about your latest book.

My most recent release is a two part collaboration with three other authors (Magen McMinimy, Jax Walsh and Jean Michaels). It’s called The Similayer Project and it is a post-apocalyptic, contagion, survival story loaded with intrigue, romance and everything in between. It is also formatted as a normal timeline, so it’s not a collection, but rather a fully fleshed out book that we all wrote. It was a huge undertaking and I have to say I’m super proud of it!

Who are your writing role models?

My biggest influences are Stephen King, Dean Koontz, JK Rowling, Robin Jarvis, William Shakespeare, Magen McMinimy

 

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?

I can’t say I’m always successful with that. I try to manage my time as best I can, but I drop the ball a lot. That is life. As long as the most important aspects of your life are intact, it’s okay. So that means, sometimes writing falls to the wayside, and I try to do it when I can.

What are your other passions outside of writing?

Besides, family and friends, I have a side business I mentioned above, Underdweller Treasures. I make jewelry and swag, and I really love that. My sister taught me when I was in my twenties. I read, love movies and music. I’m trying to learn some new languages and would like to learn to play the banjo.

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

Oh, wow, I guess be patient with your favorite authors. Writing can be a slow process sometimes. As a reader I know it’s frustrating to wait for the next book, but it is a long process. Other than that, find your passion, try to make it your life’s work, and if you can’t, make sure to take time out to enjoy. Oh, and remember, there is no shelf life to dreams… you can always find a new one.

Links to S.L. Dearing

Website:

Facebook Author Page:

Facebook Lia Fail Page:

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Pinterest:

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Blog:

Goodreads:

Amazon Author Page:

Amazon.co.uk Author Page:

Amazon.de Author Page:

Rising Indies United:

Rising Indies United (FB):

Twitter page:

Underdweller Treasures page (FB):

Etsy:

Twitter page:

Artist Interview-Kelly Burr

I met Kelly Burr at the Copper Cat during Reno Open Studios and I was impressed by her warmth and energy.  

 What are some of the challenges you faced transitioning your artistic work into retirement?

The challenges….OH the challenges. The biggest challenge I’ve had so far, with the exception of my body cooperating with my need to work, is the feeling of “ not contributing to the household”, so finding a way to balance that, has been interesting. Because my “retirement” was forced upon me after my accident, I didn’t have that lead time one takes, before planning such a big change. But, I’ve adapted, and I’m learning to work WITH my body’s schedule, and not against it. My days are random as far as what I can do, but we are making it work.

Kelly included one of her art magnets along with her business card.

What advice would you give someone at a similar place in her journey?

The advice I would give is just to embrace your new place…like anything else in life, it’s an adjustment and you’ll need to find the right balance for YOU, but I promise, once you arrive, you’ll feel amazing, energized and ready to take on the world.

What are your other passions?

I was in the catering/event planning business for 40 years, with my last few years being an executive assistant to a fairly famous( in my neck of the woods) Chef, and I love to plan elaborate parties and cook awesome meals…I just don’t want to do the cleanup!

What’s next for you?

Hmmmmm….what’s next? I’m hoping to be able to teach more, do more private lessons. It’s so cool to watch students, of all ages, learn and create something in THEIR vision, not mine. I love sharing my art and I want others to be as joyful as I feel when I make something!

Anything that you’d like to share with our readers?

EVERYONE has creativity, in some form. I can’t draw, or paint a “picture”. I cannot crochet, knit, spin or weave. I can’t do metalwork, woodwork or blow glass…Find YOUR thing. Study it. Experiment with it. PLAY WITH IT. Let your mind wander. It’s ok. In fact, it’s essential to happiness. You know the old saying…All work and no play, make us ALL very dull people. Go out and be shiny!!!

Website info: Coming soon…MaiWheyArtStudios.com

Facebook:  Mai Whey Art Studios

 

September 6th-National Read a Book Day

If you don’t have time to read, you don’t have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that.”

Stephen King

September 6th is National Read a Book Day. While this notable day doesn’t include any paid vacation, celebrating is as easy as reaching for your favorite read, no need to endure long lines at the grocery to pick-up the ingredients for the celebratory meal.  However if you choose to make it a family affair, opt for take-out so you and the kids have more time for reading.  Remember children’s books expose kids to 50% more words than prime time TV.

By the way, the pictured dragon resides at Sundance Books and Music, a Reno indie bookstore. He’s appeared in at least one previous post, but you never can have too much dragon in your life (or too many books). So what are you waiting for?

Art & The Biggest Little City

Local band, Fine Motor.

When I was a little girl, I loved leafing through catalogs at Christmas time. I’d study the pages intently and carefully record my choices on my list to Santa. Although Santa was very good to me, I’d never get everything on my list, but for a brief time all the possibilities were mine.

I feel the same way when I review the Reno Artown calendar in early July. During Artown, the Biggest Little City hosts a month-long celebration of the arts.  In July casinos and churches even hospitals suddenly become art galleries and music halls. And while I know I’ll never get around to all the events when I first receive the calendar, the possibilities are endless.

And while all of the events are carefully organized according to date, artist, genre and cost, there’s always an element of the unexpected to Artown events. Last night at Sundance Books and Music while listening to the smooth rhythms of Fine Motor under the trees, I noticed an impromptu book signing in the audience. An older gentleman emerged from the bookstore and handed his recent purchase to another gentleman to sign. And while I’ll never know the author or the title of the book, I know the inscription was heartfelt from the way the author filled the entire page with his flowing script.

Check out Artown and make your own discoveries.

Writer Interview-Mary Frame

Imperfect Series - High Resolution - Book 4b (1)Describe your day job.

I work for a super-secret government agency. Just kidding! I do work for the government, but it’s not very glamorous. Mostly paperwork—your basic desk job in cubicle land. It is very busy, but I’m grateful for it and I enjoy being able to talk to people and help them on a daily basis.

Tell me about your latest book.

I just released the fourth book in the Imperfect Series—Picture Imperfect. The series consists of interconnected stand-alones. They are all romantic comedies with quirky characters and beta heroes. Picture Imperfect is a twist on the fake relationship trope—instead of falling for her fake boyfriend, our heroine falls for his brother.

Who are your writing role models?

I have so many! My favorite writers who help other writers with craft and storytelling have to be Larry Brooks and James Scott Bell. Larry runs storyfix.com, and he has a ton of information about writing and crafting compelling fiction. Both Larry and James have written excellent books on the craft of fiction writing that I highly recommend. My favorite from James Scott Bell is Write Your Novel From the Middle. For Romance writers in particular, I really love Gwen Hayes book, Romancing the Beat. It’s perfect for learning to craft a compelling and satisfying romance!

How do you balance your day-to-day commitments with your writing life?

I write on my breaks and lunch at work. I get two fifteen minute breaks and a thirty minute lunch break. So that’s an hour of writing time every day—even if I have to break it up into chunks. I also wake up early in the morning to write before work starts. I try to leave weekends and evenings for my family, but periodically I do cheat and spend a bit of time writing or marketing. I also bring my laptop with me to places where I have to wait around, like the DMV, doctor’s offices, etc. You can get things done in small amounts of time if you can focus.

What are your other passions outside of writing?

I love reading and cooking and spending time with my family. I also like traveling (and need to do it more!).

Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

One of my favorite quotes is from Jim Rohn, and it states, “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” I have it printed up at my desk and I think it’s true for anyone who has any kind of goals or ambitions. There will always be obstacles. We all make choices about what we do with our time, whether it’s watching TV or being on social media. There’s always extra space somewhere, you just have to find it and maybe give up something else. 😉

Of Mothers & Books

“All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my angel mother.” Abraham Lincoln

Like many grateful children, I owe a lot to my mother especially my love of reading.  Although reading to a child often conjures up blissful images of calm contentment, the reality looks a little different.  At the end of a long day, all Mom wants to do is sit quietly and relax and Little One still full of wiggles wants a story. Chances are it is the same story she read to Little One, last night and the night before that and so on…  While there are many wonderful children’s stories out there, most of them wear a little thin by the 20th time.  I swear my mom must have read “One Hundred & One Dalmatians” to me about a million times—not the thin flimsy paperback based on the Disney movie, but the original novel by Dodie Smith.

While the Dalmatians will always have a special place in my heart, my love of books extends beyond that one–much to my mom’s relief.  Since she is such a voracious reader (and happens to be retired), it can be a challenge for me to find a book for my mom that she hasn’t already read. Just in time for Mother’s Day weekend, fellow author, P.D. Workman’s post Give Yourself a Book for Mother’s Day features a list of links for women’s fiction and cozy mysteries, including Mixed Blessings (which happens to be from yours truly).  Check it out to find the next read for that special mom in your life or for yourself.