Relevant Experience: I've been a crafter my entire life. I have taken many classes in all kinds of art, and I really like finding new art forms to try. Although crochet is my go-to medium, I love all kinds of arts and crafts and am currently obsessed with alcohol inks, quilling, and Zentangle®.
Fun Creative Memory: In 2019, I won two Best in Show ribbons: one for my 2D collage piece and the other for my 3D quilling sculpture!
What Makes Her Heart Sing: I thoroughly enjoy crocheting because it's a very relaxing craft, and quilling is one of my favs because it's so meditative.
Relevant Experience: I have been creating with polymer for over 30 years and have worked extensively with clay manufacturers to develop texture stamps, templates, and tools for clay artists. I have also had the pleasure of writing twelve books and numerous magazine articles on design and instruction, including books on polymer clay, wire, beads, and children's art.
Fun Creative Memory: I have fond memories of sewing with my mom. It nurtured my creative "can do" spirit and, ultimately, my desire to create unique and personal wearable art.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: I love creating beads with icons of fantasy creatures, fairies, and butterflies!
Relevant Experience: My experience as an artist and teacher spans over 40 years and includes: Fashion Illustrator, Textile Designer, Fiber Artist, College Adjunct Professor in Textile Design, Studio Artist, and High School Studio Art and Art History Teacher. I have a B.F.A. from Caldwell University in NJ and an M.A. from FIT and Parsons in NY.
Fun Creative Memory: A wonderful creative memory for me is when, one year, I had my high school class pick and interpret a theme for a class project. They picked Asia, and they created everything from a 6' 3D pagoda, to a mosaic dragon that wrapped around the walls of the class, to a tiny origami crane. It was an enriching cultural experience for all of us!
What Makes Her Heart Sing: I get so excited and happy when I see the look of accomplishment on my students' faces after completing a challenging project. Art is a form of self-expression to be shared and appreciated by all. We learn from each other, and sharing our talents is part of experiencing art!
Relevant Experience: Most of my life, I thought I couldn’t be an artist because I didn’t have drawing or painting skills. When I started taking workshops in collage, it opened a door for me. Over the last 20 years, I have taken many workshops in collage, assemblage, encaustic, alcohol inks, and altered books. Locally, I have had classes with Ginger Heubner, Fleta Monaghan, Celia Gray, Danial Essig and Ursula Gullow. I have discovered there are many ways to be a creator!
Fun Creative Memory: When I was a child, I spent many hours alone under the azalea bushes in my Grandmother’s garden. I had an elaborate imaginary world peopled with “dolls” I made out of flowers, clad in gowns made out of petals and leaves pinned together with thorns. My love of color and texture began there as I “played.”
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Creating intuitively, with no set destination and finding something that evokes an emotion I didn’t know I had.
Relevant Experience: I have been an avid quilter, quilt designer, long arm quilter, and sewer for over 20 years. I have taught both sewing and quilting classes in California. In addition to quilting and sewing, I also enjoy dyeing fabric, painting on fabric, watercolor, fluid art, alcohol inks, pyrography, beading, jewelry making, book art, and just about anything that lets me express my creative self.
Fun Creative Memory: I remember when I was about 6 or 8, my grandmother taught me how to sew and crochet, even though I was a “true” tomboy. Apparently, her lessons were good, and they stuck. When I was in junior high school, I would come home from school and make myself a new outfit just about every day!
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Life. There is just so much creativity in the world to experience!
Relevant Experience: I have over thirty years of training and teaching experience in spiritual development, integrative health, fine art, and coaching. My work is nature-centered to inspire co-creation and innovation in individuals, teams, and cultures. My vision is to honor the heart and mind by providing tools, ceremonies, and rituals that can powerfully and compassionately support the evolutionary processes we are experiencing on the planet today. www.desireedemars.com
Fun Creative Memory: The first time I took an encaustic workshop (painting with molten beeswax), I was ecstatic when I realized I could use fire in a safe and creative way! From that day on, I was hooked and still continue to discover new ways to explore the medium.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Exploring, discovering, creating, collaborating, and being in nature and with animals. I am endlessly amazed at the beauty and diversity of this planet!
Relevant Experience: I did my first resin art pour about a year ago, and I was hooked! Since then, I’ve experimented with many different products and techniques and finally figured out how to make the resin do what I want versus the other way around. Now I have a hard time keeping my resin art trays, clocks, and other pieces in stock—a good “problem” to have! I’ve also taught myself how to do fractal wood burning, quilting, jewelry making, mosaic art, and lampwork bead making, and have taken classes in pottery.
Fun Creative Memory: The first time I poured resin on a canvas, applied heat and watched it move.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Looking at all my resin pigment colors and thinking “What beautiful thing can I make today?”
Relevant Experience: I have over 25 years of experience teaching creativity/art workshops for children and adults. As a former elementary art school teacher, I enjoy encouraging adults to learn to “play” again by introducing art forms that open up the “right” brain and clear the pathway towards getting in touch with your creative side. I’ve taught Kripalu Hatha Yoga for decades and strive to create a comfortable, relaxed, non-intimidating environment to help students make that transition easily. I’ve been playing with silk batik painting since 1991, and I find that experiencing the free flow of color over silk is not only beautiful, but therapeutic.
I’ve enjoyed teaching and doing batik demonstrations in many venues, from museums, community
centers and galleries to the public school classroom. Over the past several years, I’ve taught both
weekend and week long workshops at the John C. Campbell Folk School, and I currently show my work at ArtMob Studios in Hendersonville.
Fun Creative Memory: First time touching a brush to silk and watching the colors flow together. Something clicked, and I was immediately “in love” with the technique. When I was a student at the University of Central Florida in 1991, I had the privilege to work with a visiting artist-in-residence, Lois Rector. She was in her early 80’s then and had creative energy that was hard to match! For an entire semester, I worked as Lois’s studio assistant at the Crealde School of Art in Winter Park, Florida. We formed a bond and lasting friendship for many years after that experience. Lois was a master silk painter, and encouraged me to continue my studies of this art form and to teach it to others. It truly changed my life.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Fabric. All kinds of fibers, with color, texture and strong pattern. I can happily get lost in fabric and find that, when I work spontaneously, I discover a voice I never knew I had. Time seems to float away in my studio as I enter into this wonderful world of my own creations.
Relevant Experience: I have been demonstrating and teaching needle felting for over 6 years. I sold my needle felted pumpkins, snow people, and cairns at the Grovewood Gallery when I lived in Asheville.
Fun Creative Memory: My Graduate Exhibit from Haywood Community College was held at The Folk Art Center. I was a weaver and had a woven shibori kimono wall hanging as a signature piece. A young woman was so very excited to be purchasing it as her first piece of "art" for her new home. Having someone respond so positively to something I created was life-changing for me. From that day forward, I could proudly and confidently call myself an "artist."
What Makes Her Heart Sing: While working on a piece, the way ideas pop up and alter the course you had planned—the what-ifs that just appear and give you an answer to a challenge you were having. The moments that happen while I'm working lift my spirits and really make my heart sing!
Relevant Experience: I began creating greeting cards about 25 years ago and have since expanded into collages, assemblage art, and jewelry made from vintage buttons. I have displayed and sold my work at several gift shops and a number of art markets. For 30 years, I taught middle school, high school, and adult education in Madison, Wisconsin. With Linda Robinson, I co-taught a course titled “Sparking Your Creative Muse” at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in Asheville in the spring and fall of 2019.
Fun Creative Memory: While teaching at a summer camp for the arts, many years ago, I participated in a multimedia performance that incorporated poetry, music, dance, and drama. An outstanding combination of talents, energy, and synergy.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Playing with my supplies—arranging, rearranging, reorganizing, and juxtaposing—and trying new techniques. The play helps me see things in a different way and stimulates new ideas.
Relevant Experience: I was a co-instructor with Kate Corcoran at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) in Asheville for two terms. We taught a course called "Sparking Your Creative Muse." I have also been a free-lance creativity instructor for over 10 years and a glass artist for 25 years.
Fun Creative Memory: I took a creativity class years ago in another city. I was amazed at the impact that class had on my confidence as an artist and my willingness to explore various media.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Creating a thing of beauty!
Relevant Experience: I have been working with polymer clay and mixed media for many years. I started experimenting with polymer clay first, and, later, found a way to incorporate it into mixed media. My unique, happy, and colorful pieces are showcased at Artisans on the Ave in Lake Worth, Levis JCC Sandler Center in Boca Raton, Eco Depot in Asheville NC, and various stores in Sedona Arizona. I received the “Best Mixed Media Artist” award at the 19th Annual Arts in the Pines Festival and was selected in the “Emerging Artist Category” at Arti-Gras 2016. I’ve also been featured in several Polymer Clay magazines and two West Palm Beach Magazines and have participated in other juried arts and crafts shows around South Florida. I currently teach polymer clay and mixed media classes at Artisans on the Ave, The Craft Gallery, Levis JCC Sandler Center, JCC in Asheville NC, South Florida Polymer Clay Guild, and, of course, at Purple Crayon!
Fun Creative Memory: The adventure of finding my favorite creative moment is never ending. Each time I take a master class or work with other artists, I learn more, and that additional knowledge adds to the dimension and creativity of my art.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: I love working with polymer clay! I always choose to present my art in strong, bold, bright, happy colors, and it is this love for colorful things and patterns that drew me to the medium. The intensely saturated colors and the details that I can achieve with polymer clay, combined with the wonderful tactile experience the clay provides, has me hooked!
Relevant Experience: I was an elementary school teacher for 14 years before being introduced to wire wrapping in 2000. I took to it naturally and have been creating one-of-a-kind pieces and teaching jewelry making at various local bead shops, Blue Ridge Community College, and, of course, Purple Crayon, since then. I hand wrap semi-precious gemstones, fossils, pearls, vintage china, and glass cabochons and also use wire to create weaving or chain maille jewelry. My jewelry can be found at Vessel in Hendersonville, Kress Emporium, Linden Boutique, and the NC Arboretum in Asheville, and more. www.JewelrybyNadine.com
Fun Creative Memory: Winning Best in Show for Craft in a large show in Atlanta.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Turning a design I dreamt about into a finished piece of jewelry.
Relevant Experience: Being the daughter of a crafter, I’ve played with arts and crafts for as long as I can remember, and I’m self-taught except for a 2019 Mixed Media class with Ursula Gullow. Making mosaic "anything" has been one of my favorite things for more than 25 years. About 7 years ago, I decided a second-story space above the garage needed “something.” When I couldn’t find art I liked, I realized I’d just have to create it myself! That’s when I discovered the joy of designing and painting smaller barn quilts, scaled down to be perfectly sized for houses and gardens. Now, I mostly do commissions for barn quilts and mosaic art, which enable me to co-create and fulfill what someone else has visualized. I love making one-of-a-kind pieces.
Fun Creative Memory: Traditional quilt designs are the inspiration for barn quilts; however, I like to create custom pieces which are styled as barn quilts but have unique twists. That very first barn quilt I made still hangs high above our garage and is a traditional Double Dahlia pattern. Instead of a solid center square, though, that space has an edelweiss to celebrate the fact that our son lives in the Bavarian Alps.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Noticing patterns in everyday life that speak to me and then successfully recreating them in some form. A recent barn quilt was inspired by a piece of framed woven fabric art I found online. My eye saw that, even though it was a somewhat intricate design, I could draw it as a barn quilt pattern and recreate it with my choice of paint colors. This gift to myself hangs on my studio wall and makes me happy everyday!
Relevant Experience: I come from a fine arts background (oil and acrylic realism), but I fell in love with dot mandala painting last year. I started out working on stone, then moved to paper, and now prefer canvas. I use Pinterest and Instagram for inspiration but come up with my own ideas and designs for more elaborate projects.
Fun Creative Memory: A fun creative memory is being a kid and designing barbie compounds out of shoe boxes and designing and sewing doll clothes.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Nature, good friends, music, good food. The sound of birds singing in the morning, and a good swim in a beautiful ocean.
Relevant Experience: I’m a writer, author, performer, and certified Kaizen Muse creativity coach. I’m also a Gateless Method writing teacher—"a method of teaching the art and craft of writing using creative brain science, ancient non-dual teachings and highly-effective craft tools...allowing writers to access the creative genius inside." My first collection of surreal short fictions called "Somewhere in a Town You Never Knew Existed Somewhere" was selected as a finalist in Foreword Reviews' 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Awards. I was an original member of the experimental dance troupe Contraband, in San Francisco, and, playing a purple electric bass, have recorded and performed with numerous bands.
Fun Creative Memory: Oh so many! One happened in a messy cafe in Seattle around a little table with a motley crew of the most unlikely writers. I found acceptance there because there was no critique and no such thing as a mistake. It was all process, and I felt free to experiment and explore. And then one day it happened—I let go. I stopped the effort and struggle. I literally felt a rush of words flow down and through the top of my head. What a lucky moment for me!
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Lately, it has been doing comedy improvisation—it is so much fun I can hardly stand it. Oh, and then there’s teaching students like you. I love it.
Relevant Experience: I have been practicing yoga and meditation for more than 20 years. I teach public classes, lead workshops and retreats, work with private clients, and am on the staff of the teacher training program at Asheville Yoga Center. My classes are known for their meditative quality and deeply supportive and restorative atmosphere. In response to students repeatedly asking for a way to “take a bit of class home,” I launched her podcast of free audio offerings, Embodied Meditation, in April 2019. Join my mailing list (), or connect with me on Instagram (@gilchristpaige) or Facebook (Paige Gilchrist).
Fun Creative Memory: Family legend has it that, as a young child on a road trip with an aunt and uncle, I regaled them with the entire score of the musical Oklahoma from the back seat. Over and over. (Years later, I put all that energy to use and earned a BFA in theatre.)
What Makes Her Heart Sing: Learning! About anything: yoga philosophy, anatomy, neuroscience, social justice, herbalism, poetry, parenting—you name it.
Relevant Experience: Prior to opening Purple Crayon in 2017, I was an Instructional Designer and Performance Consultant for a large corporation. In 2003, I graduated from Coach U and became a Life Coach.
I have been helping women discover the joy of play since then, initially encouraging them to create and, now, being fortunate enough to also be able to provide a space to do it.
Currently, my favorite creative activities are probably quilting, collaging, and mosaicking—and, of course, running the studio and teaching workshops, both of which I LOVE!
Fun Creative Memory: When I was in third or fourth grade, my best friend, Pam, and I would write stories together. I think I saved pretty much all of them, and I pull them out whenever I need a chuckle!
What Makes Her Heart Sing: I love exploring new ways of making art by building on skills I already have. I figured out how to do pixel quilting, for example, by combining my skills in electronic photo manipulation with watercolor quilting. It took me a while to get the technique just right, but that was part of the fun!
Relevant Experience: I began studying art at age 9, and my focus has always been on the human figure. I majored in Fine Arts and Theater in college.
For 24 years, my husband and I owned Blue Moon Puppets in Atlanta and, later, Charlotte, making puppets, writing scripts, building sets, and touring the Southeast. We were chosen as "Best of Charlotte in Children's Entertainment" and awarded numerous grants and fellowships.
In my few spare moments, I joined the Flights of Fantasy Doll Club in Charlotte, NC, and attended workshops with nationally known doll artists.
In 2016, I retired and relocated to the mountains, where I am now free to pursue my passions of doll making in new media and teaching creativity workshops.
Fun Creative Memory: In addition to Blue Moon, I freelanced with performance artist Suzy Ferriss in Atlanta. "The Box of Night" was selected for the Henson International Puppetry Festival at the Joseph Papp Theatre in New York in 1994. I discovered the excitement of meeting and working alongside puppeteers from all over the world and performing for international audiences.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: That moment in making art when one small change opens up a whole new vision of the piece. All the unexpected discoveries that have changed the way I see everyday objects, familiar faces, and even myself.
SARAH JANE KENNEDY
Relevant Experience: A horticulturist by trade and artist by heart, I was diagnosed at a young age with a rare form of breast cancer. During a very difficult and emotional recovery, I was inspired by a piece of art created over 40 years ago by my great grandmother Jean. I began handcrafting unique wire bonsai trees just as my great grandmother had many years before. My work is currently sold in shops and galleries throughout North Carolina.
Fun Creative Memory: I remember 7 years ago creating a vision board of cut-out pictures from magazines of everything I wanted to manifest for the remainder of my life. So many of those things have already come true, and I believe the best is yet to come!
What Makes Her Heart Sing: My son, nature, and the beautiful mountains that surround us!
Relevant Experience: As the Senior Director of Admissions for the largest hospice provider in the country, I taught staff for 20+ years, both in-person and remotely. In 2015, I decided that I wanted to do art, something I hadn’t done since Jr. High.
I was certified to teach Zentangle® in 2016 by the founders, Rick and Maria, and have taught classes in Florida and NC since then.
I also enjoy using found objects to create mixed-media projects. It amazes me how easy—and fun!—it is to transform a discarded circuit board, or an ordinary switch plate, into a beautiful piece of art with just a little paint and imagination!
Fun Creative Memory: I have been a collector of "things" since I was little: rocks, broken glass pieces, pens, craft materials… "You just never know when you’ll need it!" is something I’ve said all too frequently throughout my life. I am finally getting the chance to use everything I've collected as I continue to explore different mediums and types of art.
What Makes Her Heart Sing: My heart sings when I’m working on any piece of art now that I’m using the creative side of my brain. Teaching others and seeing their joy is a close second!
Relevant Experience: With a BFA in drawing and painting, and various MFA classes, I have been teaching fine arts for over 30 years to a variety of age groups, at a variety of levels, and in a variety of media. I've also taught in both private and group settings.
Presently, I am a represented by the Asheville Gallery of Art and am active in national Pastel Societies, and teach at the Asheville Art Museum. Links to my art shows and exhibits, local and international, are on my website: .
Fun Creative Memory: My favorite creative memory, as a teacher, is watching a student grasp an idea and burst through to her personal creative spirit with excitement and creativity!
What Makes Her Heart Sing: My heart sings the most when I'm outdoors, painting in pastel, with a wonderful, creative flow. I barely realize how the image gets on the canvas as the colors and texture start to sing along with me!