Redefining Creativity – Creativity

Good Time Charlie, Le Junque

Redefining Creativity – What it Means to create

welcome to create redoux

What a Creative Path May Look Like

If you are new around here, I will quickly bring you up to speed.  Over 15 years ago I started this blog.  The main purpose was to provide a web space for my custom-painted furniture portfolio.  I was running a busy one-woman business providing custom-painted furniture and just wanted an online space to showcase my work to potential clients. Let’s just say I didn’t look like this every day.

Fast forward a few years, 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 (yes, this was pre-Facebook if you can believe it). 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 as all paths we start do not end up where we originally planned, so many more doors have opened that previously did not even exist.  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. Through blogging I was introduced to Debi’s Design Diary and DIY Paint. At first, Debi and I were both working and writing/YouTubing for the same company. As time and companies and the Chalk Paint industry evolved, Debi started her own private label making 100% Natural Clay and Chalk Paint. An entire new world was born.

Because I have been in this industry for so long, I am blessed to witness some of the most ingenious and talented women and artists. I am blown away daily by people’s imaginations, the beautiful things they create, and the products they use to enhance our daily lives and beautify our surroundings. One of my favorite product lines is Iron Orchid Designs Furniture and Decor Enhancements. The beautiful products from Sally and Josi of IOD allow even a beginner (which I often still feel like) to create furniture, decor, gifts (think baby showers and cute onesies with stamps!), and artwork. The sky is the limit.

Shifting our Perception of Creativity

For years, my passion was Dumpster Diving, then repurposing things I found in the trash into valuable and beautiful items to sell. As with everything in life, my kids grew, my business grew in different directions, and I began to be limited in the time I had to flip furniture.

I had to place some of my passions on a back burner while I tended to other life responsibilities. Now at the Empty Nest stage of life, I am actively working to reclaim this time and passion for myself.

One of my favorite Trash Find Makeovers I did with DIY Paint and IOD Transfers

Who Gets to Define what is Creative work?

A perfect Yellow Rose from my Garden

Finding A Creative Community

Stepping away from a passion and stepping back into it with both feet can be intimidating. All the thoughts went through my head, “Am I too old for this now?” Aren’t there enough people doing this work already?” What do I possibly have to contribute that has not been done already?”

A collage I created recently in a Facebook Live 

And the biggest one of all. “What if all of my creative ideas are just dried up?” These questions are what led me to think about the question of who gets to decide who is creative and who is not. Who gets to be the gatekeeper of creativity? The answer, my friend, is YOU. You, the creator, get to decide.

I believe we are all created in God’s image. My belief in a Divine God may differ significantly from yours, but we all are divine. And because we were all created from a Divine source that created the Universe, we, in turn, have creativity running through our blood.

I love this quote from Music Producer and Author Rick Rubin. “Creativity is not a rare ability. It is not difficult to access. Creativity is a fundamental aspect of being human. It’s our birthright. And it’s for all of us.”

One of the best ways to nurture your creativity is to join a community of like-minded people. Some of you beautiful readers have become dear friends. Some people I meet daily through my Facebook Page and Instagram Account. Others I have come to know through my YouTube Channel. I love my Facebook community; if you are not following me there, I hope you will; it’s a fun place where conversations often spark between creative friends in the thread of a fun post.

Some of my favorite people at The Turqouise Iris Journal Contributor’s retreat

My favorite creative community is the Creative Connection by Dionne Woods of the Turquoise Iris. I am blessed to be a regular contributor to The Turquoise Iris Journal. The women I know from this community have indeed become my family. A creative community, even online, is my favorite way to nurture and support your creativity. Whatever that looks like to 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 the 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.

What does creativity look like to you? How do you define it? What do you do in your life to nurture it? Leave a comment and share. I hope this post sparks some creativity in you. We are created to create, so let’s get creating!




  1. Katsy

    Marvelous post, sister mine. Looking forward to reading that book too- and thank you for the reminder that we all need to satisfy the need to create in order to be fulfilled.

    • tina barros

      Wow , you are an inspiration!! Thank you for sharing , yes fear is overwhelming.I’ve had my share with her myself , isn’t it great that we can call on our Jesus !! I’ve have so many stories of fear 😧 the latest challenge of fear was at 41 when my health took a spiral turn that lead to body building and at 55 I’m still at it , at 54 I qualified for a national show , which means becoming a IFFB pro figure competitor, I took 2 nd , which was bitter sweet. I was going to try again but my hand was injured and needed surgery. I was so scared and full of fear , I’m also a hair stylist , so my hands are everything ! I prayed and prayed God cb lead me to my orthopedic doctor, who wax amazing !! I was hoping my miracle would come instantly, but God used a man who gave him the he gift of othropedics !!For that I’m so grateful!! I’m on my journey again ! With such a different approach! God made me rest and slow down , since then I work less taking time with family and friends and most of all our amazing God I’m on a Bible study every Tuesday with my parents ! It made stop and realize balance is healthier!🦋

      • GTC

        Oh this is such an amazing story! I love that you are into bodybuilding. Years ago, I got into weight lifting with my trainer who is a figure competitor. I can honestly say not only did the challenges she put me through change my body but also my mind set. I am just getting back to a gym after working out at home with my own weights for the past 3 years. I realized I was no where near pushing myself to what I could do, so I sold my home gym stuff and went back into a real gym. I am beyond sore some days, but I know the stronger I get, the stronger my mind gets as I push past fear, it translates into everything. I am so thrilled you do Bible study with your parents too and that your hands are healing. Thank you for taking the time!

  2. Suffering Husband

    Your best blog post ever. The greatest stories are true. You have created much joy and happiness especially to your family.

    • Cheryl r Atkinson

      Hi Karen! Great Blog post. I miss being a part of the CC but I still follow and like everyone in there. I wasn’t creative until about 5 years ago when I moved from Texas to Florida. I was ni long taking care of my children or my I’ll mom. It was time to take care of me. That’s when I found Jami.Ray and Debi and Dionne and my whole world changed. I’m still trying to think outside of the box and really let it flow and I thank people like you for getting me there.

      • GTC

        Hi Cheryl! Thank you so much for commenting and your sweet words. I love that you are taking care of you! By working on your creativity and taking care of yourself, you will ultimately bring a lot of joy and love to others.

  3. Barbara Ann

    I miss you soooo much!! What did you found while driving around. How you got it home, and like me, where in the heck to put it??
    A lot of dreams to create and have. I have bought CeCe’s before and had a hard time finding it where I live. I hope we get more distributors soon. (Claremont CA)
    I respect your need to expand your creative side and seeing where it can take you. I’m excited to hear what you’ve done in a short time.
    But I needed to take a step back and really see what I want and need to do.
    What is the next step and do a own a pair of ” big girl pants” that fits so I could just do it…
    I’m gonna take the rest of the year to evaluate. I have one last vintage show to sell this year and I will see if I get a “sign” from the junk’n Gods to tell me what to do.

    But I am excited to see what you paint next time you have time…. also I will check out the Big Magic and see if it sparks me to continue on the junk’n path to create great stuff.
    Barbara Ann

    • GTC

      Thank you so much for your fun comments Barabara Ann! Oh the process of figuring out what to do with your junk is a hard one. Sometimes junk just speaks right up and tells you what it wants to be. Other times it is silent for a long time, just taking up space in your garage/work place until you threaten to throw it out and suddenly it speaks to you! I have found that the more I just dive in, the easier it gets.
      Re Cece retailers, we have one not far from you in Upland. Rusty Gypsy. Here is the info to their store:

      The Rusty Gypsy
      160 C St
      Upland, California
      (909) 908-6236

      Tell Courtney I said Hi!

  4. Audra @ Renewed Projects

    Such a wonderful post on the journey of creating and the many dimensions it takes. Thank you for writing it. 🙂 I agree that the act of creating is therapeutic. The other day I was half joking with a friend that when my kids start stressing me out I feel the need to go sand or paint something! lol Glad that you are carving out time to nourish your soul and continue to develop the God-given talent that has taken you where you are today. 🙂 Look forward, as always, to your posts.

    • GTC

      Audra I can so relate!! I am sure sanding or painting or taking something apart makes you a better mom! It is my favorite sort of therapy. Thank you for your sweet words too, just made my day 🙂

  5. Catherine

    I agree with Long Suffering Husband–great post!
    Don’t you think all creative people go through bouts of -what next, how, where do I belong- along their journey? It seems to be the mantra of us not following the “regular path,” RIGHT??
    Haven’t “talked” with you in SO long–really miss that, but glad things are coming together so well for you–

    • GTC

      Hey you! Oh I so agree that the self examination is part of the creative person’s routine. We finish projects, businesses and then wonder what we are going to do next. The nice thing, usually when we are done with something, it opens up other doors we didn’t even know existed. I do miss talking to you too! I miss a lot of my blogging friends. I pop in here behind the scenes, I am around, just not as public. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods and you are creating more amazing one of a kind pieces.

      • Susan Chilberg

        Hi! As usual when I see you have posted something I stop to read and think about it! Do we ever, as Daughters of The Most High King, really consider that the gift of creativity is a God-gift? Sometimes I wonder! Because I frequently give in to “what if it’s not good enough? What if what I do is not good enough???” And that, sisters, is not of God … that is the Punk trying to discourage us from BECOMING! Lately I have seemingly run into a wall if resistance in getting my refurbishments sold to their new homes. And Punkster rolls in with his stupid doubting thoughts. You know, it isn’t that he is so smart!! It IS that he uses our thoughts/words against us! He hasn’t changed since he lured Mama Eve in the garden. He is not smart enough to change. And why would he? We fall for his line of lies over and over! So who is being DUMB here?? We are!! And that is why we must rely on our connection to Abba and Yeshua and shut off the sibilant hissing of the Punk… lean into relationships of sisterhood and grow as Daughters of The Most High King! Punkster has no hold here!!
        Thanks for this board, Karen! And thanks for inviting us to share & grow together!
        Be blessed everyone of us!! Where He leads we can follow and make the world more beautiful!

        • GTC

          Hi Susie! Thank you for such a sweet compliment and yes, Fear is the thief of faith!

  6. Vicki Westbrook

    Love the post, was wondering where you’ve been. I, too, am a dumpster diver and always have my “trash eye” open. I feel like I have to “create” something everyday or I just might wither away. It’s just something within. Oh, and I love Ce Ce paints too. Keep on Keepin’ on!

    • GTC

      Hey you! Oh I so agree that the self examination is part of the creative person’s routine. We finish projects, businesses and then wonder what we are going to do next. The nice thing, usually when we are done with something, it opens up other doors we didn’t even know existed. I do miss talking to you too! I miss a lot of my blogging friends. I pop in here behind the scenes, I am around, just not as public. Hope all is well in your neck of the woods and you are creating more amazing one of a kind pieces.

  7. kirby carespodi

    Awesome post! Wish I could create more, and teach less. Someday!

    • GTC

      Being a grown up sometimes is sort of a drag, huh Kirby? I always refer to my “projects” as a jealous boy friend/girl friend. They are always calling you and you never have enough time to get to them. But then sometimes when you commit yourself to them completely, you get tired of them and have to go back to your committed relationship. The real job. Lol. I keep thinking I am getting closer to the point where I can get back to creating on a more regular basis, but business keeps chugging along and gaining momentum. That’s a very good thing.
      Hope the school year is off to a good start for you.

  8. Kathryn Griffin @TheDedicatedHouse

    Girl, I’m so happy for you! I know you are an awesome teacher helping others find their creativity! Have a lovely weekend! Toodles, Kathryn @TheDedicatedHouse

  9. Fabiola Garcia

    What a great post. I love it. After reading the 3 series part on Dumpster Diving, a while ago. I started to do my dumpster diving more frequently and following your advises on private property and when and where to go. And it been great. I also started a series of Free Furniture Wednesday. Thanks for the inspiration. Linkin your blog at my FFW, at my post. Thanks and congratulations on your new position at CC Caldwell Paints.

    • Mandi Pike

      Great post!!! I find my self re-creating what I’m doing every few years, though I’ve been thinking of it as re-inventing myself….re-creating makes more sense! I find my creative passions change over time…and while I love all I do, my creative brain needs to focus on fewer things at a time to allow me to do them well. I’m not painting these days (still love me some CeCe’s BC for chalkboards though!) but doing smaller paper and hand crafts like crazy. So happy you are loving what you do and able to share that creativity with others!

  10. JSelep

    Thoughtful topic! I’m interested in the workings of creativity, and you have given me new concepts to think about.

    Be Creative!

  11. Susan Chilberg

    Hi! I don’t often respond to your posts, but now in yet another transition I found much to think on. I have been painting/redoing furniture for 10 years. Started by creating my own chalky paint and then found different brands. Found a new dear friend in Shelly Andrade in Grand Rapids MI, began buying paint from her. And Then was inspired to blend many colors . Thus began my career in furniture rehabbing! I once warned my husband if he didn’t move I would be painting him!!
    I have done the Word of Mouth thing, the stores, and am back to my trusty garage store. Now we are preparing to sell our house… but the next one HAS to have a sunroom/4 season room that will be my paint/creating room! Or I won’t move!!
    Nice to read your transitions too! When the furniture speaks we gotta listen, right? And laugh at ourselves in the process!!

    • GTC

      Hello my friend Susan! So lovely to hear from you. I love that we have traveled in the same circles of furniture painters for so many years. I love that you are back in your garage painting once again! I love that you are looking for a new home, but the deal breaker is it has to have a Sun Room for you to paint in. Thank you for spreading your sunshine here. I love Shelly! She is one of those friends that you can pick up where you left off at any time, even if it has been over a year since you connected. Good luck house hunting! I am sure the perfect home is out there for you. Send me pictures when you find it so I can share in your joy. Thanks again -Karen

    • GTC

      Hi Mindy! I LOVE that you kicked fear to the curb! It’s such a thief of our joy.

  12. Jeni Groseclose

    Oh my friend – you are brave beyond brave. Fear be damned. Thank you for baring your soul and giving inspiration to us! Fear can be debilitating and truly physically paralyzing- but I believe it can also be a catalyst (catapult?) to finding out what we are made of and capable of. During the darkest time of my life, when my fear of what was to come was overwhelming- I leaned on my faith and my hopes and when when that wasn’t quite enough- I leaned on friends. YOU are remarkable- the world is a much, much more wonderful and beautiful place because you are in it!

    • GTC

      AH Thank you SO MUCH! You are one of the bravest people I know!



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