September 19, 2013

creative thursday: book review + giveaway

i first came across marisa's shop, creative thursday, in late 2007 while browsing etsy for woodland-related artwork. i fell in love with her sweet characters and her story: she'd started following her creative path by reserving one day a week to her artful pursuits.

it's been exciting to watch marisa's growth and expansion over the years and when her book, creative thursday: everyday inspiration to grow your creative practice,came out i knew i had to have it!

of course, me being me, it's been a minute. i picked it up almost six months after it came out and i only recently finished it, but let me tell you, it's been my trusty sidekick for three months. i quickly read through it once and then again slowly, savoring every bit. like any favorite book of mine it is now complete with water (or coffee?) stains and my own notes throughout. i knew i'd like it but i had no idea just how perfectly executed it would be.

mine has seen some use!

if you're a visual artist, you need this book. no matter where your discipline is or where you are on your journey, marisa's words provide gentle assurance and reminders that our creative voice matters.

this isn't a huge book but it is JAM-PACKED with inspiration, motivation, and guidance that honors how our creativity is connected to every aspect of our lives. i was delighted to find that every few pages or so marisa would present a concept that was familiar but with the strength of her own voice and experience, it was like seeing it for the first time. and the illustrations! oh. every page has gorgeous, full-color photographs of marisa's artwork or beautiful surroundings. truly a feast for mind + spirit!

while reading creative thursday, i was also reading art + fearand both touched upon the unique challenges that artists face when it comes to managing time and expectations but i will refer to creative thursday much more often as marisa's attention to distraction, resistance, and fear spoke directly to my heart. she really has a way of expressing the importance of pushing through our comfort zones with grace and peace.

just as i was finishing up the book i already knew it would be my handy guide for years to come and that i was going to read it again, right away, but go deeper. take notes. etc. the pages had already been ruined by a cup of water that one of the boys spilled, i'd already lightly underlined some things, it was already cherished and these thoughts were racing through my head as i get to marisa's final thoughts, in which she shares that her wish is for the book to be with you for years, sit among your most treasured items, and provide just the thing you need to see if you pick it up and open a page, at random.

it was as though she was reading my mind. her wish came true for me and she has so generously provided me with a signed copy for one lucky reader (and i bet her wish will come true for you, too!)

i am so excited to share this beautiful, positively uplifting resource. like i said, i came across marisa on etsy several years ago. shortly thereafter i decided to "make art everyday" because dedicating a single day, or even several hours, once a week seemed so impossible. i turned, what felt like a negative, into a positive by being satisfied if all i managed was a quick napkin doodle some days. i knew that i had to create momentum, everyday, no matter how small and it was in some part due to marisa. my own journey in the last five years, which has been perfect, has also felt arduous and slow, at times. just last month i reached out to a long-time friend, ready to put up my paints forever. the demands of art and motherhood had become too heavy and i was desperate for help. through a beautiful, humbling experience, we came up with a supportive solution better than i could have imagined and i now have five hours a week to dedicate to my creative work (or general self-care, solitude, and silence). and as it turns out, the five hour chunk of time my friend could provide me happened to be on thursdays! seriously, unplanned, but oh, how i love little coincidences (and here's a couple more: marisa and i both go by our first and middle names *and* she printed my very most favorite anais nin quote in the book.) ♥

no doubt i love anything with the word 'blossom' but this quote is just perfect.

now for the giveaway...(i love this part!)

how to enter - you may enter up to four times but please leave a new comment for each entry:

1. tell me when you first heard of creative thursday (the shop or the book) or how you find your creative time. you may also share some tips on how you best manage your time or what your current obstacles and challenges are.

2. share this blog post on facebook and leave a comment stating so, for another chance to win.

3. follow me on twitter and then tag me in tweet (@valeriblossom) about this giveaway with a link to this blog. then leave a comment here for an extra chance to win.

4. share this on your blog and leave a comment, linking to your post.

i will select a winner, at random, next thursday, september 26th, by 5pm EST. good luck!! now i have to get ready for adventure tomorrow in santa fe with tracy verdugo and a group of other creative ladies before we take tracy's paint mojo workshop this weekend. squeee!

eta: this giveaway is open to all US and Canadian residents.

eta, part two: a winner has been selected. yay!!! and only a week late (eep!). blogging is going to become a bigger priority, it will, and i apologize for my delay. a couple of peeps mentioned they'd shared the giveaway on FB in a single comment so i added an extra entry for them and *drumroll please......*

the winner is ....

KAT!!!! ♥ ♥ ♥
(which is pretty cool because she's not too far from me and maybe we can snag a coffee date!)

thanks everyone ;)


  1. Valerie, this book sounds great. I first heard of Marisa from a friend who, if I recall correctly, knows someone who is friends with her husband (or a relation? can't remember exactly - it's been some years).

  2. Shared on my fb page - (don't do twitter). Thanks for this opportunity!

  3. I first heard of Creative Thursday right here. From the website Marisa's artwork is incredibly cute. My best creative time is late at night. I paint the last couple of hours before I go to bed.

  4. Hello! This is the first I've heard of Creative Thursday :) I would love a copy of this book, it sounds inspiring! Thank you for the entry! Going to share on Facebbok!

  5. this looks like a really cute must have book. i sure would love to win one. i volunteer for a group that raises money and helps people thru art but i dont find much time to create myself. gonna work on changing that. i will be sharing on facebook also. xoxo

  6. OH I love Marisa's work! I don't remember how I found her, but I came across her blog one time many months ago. I haven't seen her book yet, it sounds amazing! Thank you so much for the chance to win a copy! :)

  7. I found Marisa about eleventybillion years ago from her podcast, and have been watching ever since. I was dying to take a few of her classes, but haven't had a chance to yet, so was excited she was coming out with a book I could hoard and love on my own time. :)

    Tips: Turn off the phone, the computer, and hang a DO NOT DISTURB sign during your creative production time. If you work at home, for some reason, the outside world likes to think that you sit around eating bon-bons in your pajamas all day long, and thus, are at their beck and call at all times....which, as you can imagine, is bad for productivity. Tune out the world and don't feel guilty about it in the slightest -- if you were at an office, you'd be unreachable. There's no reason you shouldn't have the same boundaries at home/in the studio. :)

  8. Yay!! Thanks so much, Valeri! Would love to meet up again - let me know when.


thanks you for making a connection. all comments and feedback are like little sprinkles of starshine!

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