Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Kelly Diemond

Nobody was more surprised than me...

A little over a year ago (at the age of 41), my hidden artist snuck out of the closet.  It seems that I am a creator!  This is a part of myself that I never really paid too much attention to, but as I started to listen to what I really enjoy and to follow my own inklings of glee, this is where I was led.
I have always journaled and when I discovered art journaling online, I was curious.  I had never thought of bringing art into my practice.  My curiosity found it's way to intuitive painting, a form of painting based on tapping into your inner wisdom to create.  Learning that it didn't matter what the painting looked like, that it is the experience-the contact with intuition, the deep learning that can be found, is what freed me to begin to create.  Knowing that it didn't matter what it looked like shut up my bossy little critic who always said I wasn't good enough to make art. Having permission to paint like a 5 year old freed me and I began painting intuitively every day. Then a month or two after I started painting I held my breath and dove into an intense, year-long teacher training class which I'll be finishing up next week. It's been a wild year!
It seems like I woke up a sleeping creative giant that does not want to rest.  I want to soak it all in.  In January I took a jewelry making class and the next day I went out and bought all of the supplies to start making and selling my own earrings. I realized I have sold 46 pair of earrings in 3 months!  I'm pretty excited as I am just really at the beginning of this.  I even signed up to teach a jewelry making class for adults this fall and winter through my school district. 

This past Spring I began teaching art classes to kids that I call "Saturday Art Adventures".  We hike out to a Yurt to make art and play games (I'm a Recreation Therapist so this is a natural fit for me, to bring the art into the mix).  I want to help kids to realize that they are creative and to hold on to that creative spark, even when they think they aren't good enough.  We focus on having fun and making art that feels good-not on perfection or neatness or staying in the lines.  We explode paint, we paint with things we find in nature.  We play goofy games.  It's a great time that hopefully they will carry with them into their serious, structured classes.  I'm hoping they remember the joy that can be found in making art.
I love what painting is teaching me about myself. I've journaled my whole life, but I never knew that painting could hold up a mirror and allow you to clearly see yourself and your patterns.  I recently read that 'how you do anything is how you do everything' and I'm starting to believe that is true.  How you approach the canvas, where you get stuck, how much you're willing to be daring or brave.  It all shows up in your painting process.  It's really amazing to see it in yourself and others.
I'm starting to build a life for myself that includes making jewelry and art, teaching classes for kids and supporting other artists who are on a similar path.  The support peice comes through my blog and through women's circles that I'm participating in and plan to start facilitating as well.  I think it's really important to encourage and support other women and to let them know what they're doing made a difference to you, that it mattered.  So I'm focusing on sharing the greatness I see in others to both support those who are doing it (like you) and help those aspiring to similar greatness to know where to begin.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

seeking stories to share

It's been quite awhile since I've shared a creative Late Bloomer story and quite frankly I am antsy.  I am putting my intentions out there with high expectations that the answer(s) will come.  This is what I know to be true, 
 "be clear on your intention and the Universe will rise up to meet you wherever you are".
I am looking for creative Late Bloomer stories to tell.  We all have a story and when we share our creative Late Bloomer story it may just be the one that someone else can relate to and therefore encourage her to let her creative spirit out to play.  You just never know!

Read the Wikipedia definition below.  If it fits you or someone you know please allow me share your story.
It's real easy.  You send me the info and I design the post.  Just contact me at and I will eagerly tell you more.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Teresa Taylor

 I am still blooming, and I couldn't be happier about it.

I grew up with a very creative mother. We had limited resources, and yet she still seemed to find ways to create unique things. Something as simple as cutting paper star shapes out of magazine pages, and hanging them over our dinner table. The seed of creativity was in my brain, however I never felt a need to explore it.     

Ten years ago I gave birth to my third daughter. During this much wanted pregnancy, I suffered from severe anti-partum depression. Just by chance I started a craft project, and three hours later, realized I had actually been meditating. The creativity took my mind to a different place.  My sadness took a break.

After my beautiful daughter was born, I made my first mosaic project. And I was HOOKED.  Making something beautifully expressive out of tiny pieces of anything and everything, just does something to my heart and psyche.

I have since volunteered on public projects, freelanced, taken some courses and participated in shows abroad in France, as well as local art shows, and every once in awhile show some pieces in our local gallery. I am still blooming, and I couldn't be happier about it. :)

Some links:
Anzy le Duc mosaic project, Anzy le Duc, France

Photo St.lukes mosaic mural, San Francisco

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Amy Kanka-Valadarsky

I can pinpoint, exactly, when the seed was sewn.

I was 47 years at the time, an executive in a hi-tech firm, living a very intensive life centered on work - when i was not sleeping or on the plane - I was never really far from the email...with 2 grown up sons and a hi-tech working husband - there was nothing really to distract me from work.  And one day I decided, that I should consciously introduce something that will force me to stay away from work, make me do something else. Yes, I was practicing Yoga - but the Yoga lesson was too easy to ditch - 'I have a document to read quietly in the morning', and I do love gardening - but this I just crammed on weekends.

So, I went to the Internet to look for something I could learn, something creative. I always loved art, took a few drawing lesson once, even started a long distance interior design course. After some research, found a distance learning course in jewelry design and with a slightly trembling hand (the tuition was not negligible, I am committing here ....) I enrolled.

During the next 8 month, I learned to work with wire, bead, string pearls. Learned what is forging, and how you design a collection, and at the end of the class, even had to open an ETSY store!! Looking back at it now, I know how bad this initial store was, but at the time displaying something I did for the whole world to see was really scary.

So a little bud was formed, but now - I wanted more. So I enrolled to a thorough silversmith year long course in a studio - every Sunday from 1600 to 2200. Needless to say this was in addition to my 'around the clock job', and more than once I returned from the studio, took the briefcase and zoomed to the airport to catch the plane to yet another meeting. Once I amazed my teacher by arriving to the studio with the suitcase, directly from the airport, to an extra lecture!!  This was about a year ago. Since then I started to build my home studio, continued to a 2nd year of studies in the studio, and worked on my jewelry on weekends ( when I was not cooking - as even grown up sons and husband eat !!, or working in the garden.). 

You can see many more pieces at my Etsy store:

About 3 months ago I was told my hi-tech position will disappear and I should look for another position in the company, or after 23 years - to part goodbye.  Was I shocked and depressed? Not really. Looking at this as an incentive to change my life, started to seriously think about living a creative and useful life, doing beautiful pieces of wearable art and starting to finally volunteer (another thing I never had the time for). 
My Facebook fan page (would love to get more likes there :-)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Loretta Headrick

I look back at my "late blooming" almost daily. 

Still surprised at the mystery that laid so long undiscovered 

in these two older hands. 

At the time, I was a nurse on a mental ward and on death row in a California state prison.  I also cared for my dying mother.  I worked all day with prisoners, and my husband and I cared for Mom at night.  My favorite hobby had always been sewing, but there was no time or thought of hobbies while Mom was so ill.  Emerging, from mourning after her passing, I thought to look online at art dolls and collector dolls, a hobby of mine long since abandoned. Along with beautiful dolls I saw DVDs about how to sculpt a doll.  Intrigued, I ordered a DVD and promptly sculpted squatty aliens that were truly alarming-many of them for many weeks-and all equally poor.

I went online to look for sculpting techniques, gleaning all I could.  One search contained reference to the sculpting techniques inside two books by Katherine Dewey, Sculpting a Life-like Figure in Polymer Clay and Sculpting Life-like Animals in Polymer Clay. With everything to gain I ordered the books.  I had struggled for a couple of months with lumps of clay without success.  These books contained precise pictures and sculpting methods and in a very short time I had my first lifelike sculpt.  No one could have been more stunned than me.  
Ahesh "the warrior"

Two hands that had never sculpted successfully held the head of an African warrior who looked up at me with expression and realism. My first human sculpt. I was amazed.!

She is wigged by Susie McMahon of Tasmania.

Since then I have sculpted animals, full figure dolls, face masks, and full head and shoulder plates to affix to cloth dolls. My passion for sculpting is the human face.

Equally strong is my passion for color and texture which led to bead embroidery and bead weaving at age 60.   This year a bead woven necklace I made will be published in the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of of Beadwork magazine.                               

Then there is an iconic painting of St. Nick I did in November 2012 at age 62.

At 63, I can't wait to see what's next.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Marie Sardalla-Davis

All the other flowers have peaked, but we're popping out multiple blossoms like a floribunda. This is what I'd tell my 20-something stay-at-home mom self.  "Is this all there is?" my 20-something self had asked, staring at the dirty laundry. Little did I know!
"Am I all washed up?" my 44-year-old self had lamented, driving home after losing my job as a well paid speech writer and editor.
"How did I live this long and not know I could do this?" I ask my 49-year-old self almost daily.

After being unchained from my desk and adjusting our lifestyle so we could live on just my husband's income, I focused on becoming the best ballroom dance teacher and choreographer I could be. It had been my evening job for two years prior.  To save on costumes for annual performances, I design and sew my and my partner's costumes from thrift store finds. I have never taken a sewing class and still don't own a machine. Everything is handsewn. To think I hated my home economics classes!

I really enjoy the challenge of reinventing clothing discards. They've been dismissed as has-beens—we have that in common. I see a has-been as a will-be, waiting for someone to see the beauty it can be. This passion led me to open an etsy shop of upcycled women's clothing. I haven't bought any new clothes for myself in three years, but my dance students often express astonished delight at what I wear. I plan to sew a series of prayer flags and chuppahs, too. 

My Facebook business page and blog are a way for me to brighten someone's moment with whimsy or cause them to notice something meaningful. It's amazing and so gratifying to have the opportunity to encourage someone I have never met in person. This month I began to widen my local circle of encouragement by training to be a yoga teacher specializing in baby boomer health needs.

Blooming late means I have the luxury of focusing on my husband, our Maine Coon cat, and me. Our three daughters are grown and well adjusted, and we have two grandsons to enjoy. 

I think back and chuckle that back when I worked at a desk, I was denied a three percent raise because, as the temporary vice president put it, "All she does is write." She may have been right at the time, but she isn't now.

You can watch a video of one of my dance performances at

I blog at Scrollwork: Quirkyisms from a Tropical Transplant at

My upcycled wearable art shop is Swoosh by Scrollwork at

Come get your daily quirky at

Thank you for this opportunity to tell my story, Teresa!

Monday, May 6, 2013

thanks for listening

I will  spare you all of my long sentimental emotions in this post to simply assure you that I am learning to trust in the Universe.  Letting go is probably one of  my hardest lessons ever  to learn .  Yet within the last few years it has been one of the easiest changes  to implement.  Being consistent with it is still a work in progress.  Confusing, huh?   For most of my adult life I have been a goal setter, making a plan and working the plan.  Writing out my 10 most important things to get done each day and then getting them done. Following all the steps to achieve my desired results.  Not too long ago  I realized that I am only responsible for my actions and once I have done all that I can do I have to release it.  And accept whatever results come my way.  This is what I have been experiencing with this blog.

Sharing stories of other creative Late Bloomers pulls on my heart strings. I simply LOVE sharing your stories.  I LOVE witnessing the friendships developed.   Magical things can happen when we let out creative spirits out to play.  Everyone has a story and it’s in telling your story that  you can encourage and inspire someone else.    Being a creative Late Bloomer is not about being a certain age or doing something totally magnificent.  It’s about finding your creative self, later in life, even in the simple things.  So for those of you who do not think your story matters I am here to tell you that is does.  Your creative story, large or small, does matter. 

As you are aware,  it’s been a little while since I have introduced a new creative Late Bloomer.   This is the part where “I will spare you all of my long sentimental emotions”.   I have avoided addressing it because I have felt  like I was let you guys down.  I know, I know... that sounds crazy!  It even sounds crazy as I write it but it is the way I have been feeling.   

As fate would have it, I happened upon Brene Brown on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.  What she said impacted me and the way I had been feeling.  Once I openly admitted that to myself, thru journaling, I realize, once again that I had not been practicing  “letting  go and trusting”.  It is false to think that I am letting anyone down when the truth I merely in a lull to find stories to share.  Right?  I believe in the impact of your stories.  I believe  the stories are out there.  I believe they will be directed to me.  Just hang in there with me during this time.  And be ready for some awesome  stories to come your way.
Thanks for listening.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Thank You!

THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART!                              

I've heard "little whispers" since October 2011 and I didn't follow thru until 8 months later.   Since June 2012 I've had the privilege to host this site.  click here to read the details   Every Wednesday I introduce a story of a creative Late Bloomer.  There is no certain age for a creative Late Bloomer.  I simply ask if you believe the Wikipedia definition fits you - "a late blooming adult is a person who does not discover their talents and abilities until later than normally expected".  These stories are amazing!  These creative Late Bloomers are amazing!  I am blessed to have met each and everyone you and been able to share your story.  Friendships have been developed, threads have been weaved in and out of each others' lives and every week I witness encouragement and support that has filled my heart.  In April 2012 when this site only had a construction sign up I got a post, from Connie, that said, " I am writing to encourage you to get up and get going, because when you do, it is going to open you up to meeting so many wonderful creative women.  There is so much support out there and it is waiting."  That sentence of encouragement embodies what this site is all about.  Connie's encouragement was just the "little push" I needed.  

Your story may just be the "little push" that someone else needs. 
PLEASE allow me to share your story.

Every life has a story - tell yours
Every story has a lesson - learn from it

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Carol Bray


From my earliest memories I was always drawing, painting and creating.

My mother eventually guided me to take home economic classes and I went on to pursue a degree in home economics education.  Family and life got in the way of my creativity until around 1986 when I took a basket weaving class.  I quickly became quite addictive to the entire weaving process.  So much so that I quit a teacher's aide position that I was currently employed in.  From 1987 until 1998 I traveled around the country doing art shows with my baskets.  Stenciling on baskets was quite popular and when I couldn't find the right stencil I wanted, I branched out and started painting freehand on my baskets.  I was amazed at what I was creating.  It got to the point where I all I wanted to do was to paint and not weave baskets any longer. 

In 2005, my husband retired and we started spending our winters in Florida.  We were staying at a great RV park that offered lots of activities.  I discovered that watercolor was being offered, but I had heard it was a very unforgiving medium and very hard to work with.  Finally around 2008 I got the courage to sign up for and invest in watercolors and I've never looked back.  I was drawn to it like a bee to honey.  All the classes were taught by volunteers in the park and I was mesmerized by all the wonderful techniques I was learning.  Just a few weeks ago I was one of the volunteers who taught a class on how to paint a red fox.  I couldn't find any information for me to learn how to paint one, so I just did my own from an actual photo.  It's one of my favorites and I named him Ever Watchful. 

My husband has been so very supportive of my art.  So much so that many nights we've eaten our meals on our lap while my paints and papers covered our small dining table in our RV.  I may be a late bloomer, but the one thing I'm enjoying is the fact that I can paint and create all I want and have no stress about it.  I just became Medicare eligible a few months ago and I figure any sales I make from my paintings is extra cash for traveling adventures.  I know so many younger artists feel more pressure to succeed at their art so they can make this their full time profession. 

My word of advice is to JUST DO IT!  That's what I did back in 1987 when I quit a job to pursue my dream and I have never regretted it.  Just remember, no one is ever to old to begin something new.  EVER!!