creative musings - with Janelle Richards

Sometimes I feel like the luckiest human alive working on projects big or small with other creatives {it is my absolute favourite thing}.  I met Janelle at her first trade show in Melbourne.  She was at a first timers tiny booth and as we chatted I could feel instantly what a kind, genuine and talented person she was.  She wanted to make a difference in this world and make it better for people.  I reached out to Janelle after that show to let her know what she was doing was amazing.  We worked on a couple of little projects together which was fun + wonderful but what I love most about her is her heart for what she does, whether that is creating her beautiful journals, gift boxes or bringing people together in her mindful makers workshops in her home in Sydney. 

If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be?

I had to ask my son as I’m terrible at things like this….he couldn’t decide between kind and empathetic.  He’s obviously a keeper and loves his mother but can also not keep to a one word limit ;)

What inspires you the most? 

I’m constantly inspired by creative people.  I can lose hours at a time on Instagram and Pinterest just looking at the incredible things people create and put out into the world.  The key for me is to make sure my love of ‘looking’ is not overtaken by my joy in ‘doing’. Note to self, but seriously, how glorious is it that we have access to so much inspiration in the world?

Black, white or all things earthy…which would you choose and why?

 White - it represents light to me and I love nothing more than a light sunlit room, white linen, clean crisp white sheets, and a white linen shirt.  

If you could rearrange the furniture in one room of your house, what room would it be and why?

There is a room in my home that is particularly special and it’s had three names over the years:

1. the formal lounge (during my marriage) 

2. the healing room (during my divorce)

and now, it’s known as The Mindful Maker workshop space

It’s the room where Silvana and I run our creative workshops such as knitting, crochet, embroidery, felting and really, anything creative.  It has a large area rug on the floor, a rectangular 10 seater table, a gas fireplace and a grand piano (a reference back to it being the formal lounge!) but part of me knows it’s not finished yet.  I want it to be a place where people walk in and feel like they’re wrapped in a warm hug.  A place where deep conversations can be had over a cup of coffee and some knitting.  A place where people can gather to learn a new skill that will bring them joy and peace.  I think a part of me is still trying to recreate the feeling I got many years ago when my family and I were living in New York and my heart was more broken than I could ever imagine it being.  In the midst of this, my local knitting store became a safe haven of friendship, community, creativity and warmth.  I learnt to knit as a means of calming and distracting my mind and it highlighted to me so clearly, there is a huge therapeutic element to using our hands to create.  So this room whilst lovely, is not yet complete in my mind.  Perhaps what’s missing isn’t something tangible - maybe it’s not missing anything other than for people to come sit at the table and know they’re in a safe place where they can escape from life for a few hours while they use their hands to create something new.  There’s always healing in that…but I still think there will be changes to come in this particular room and I can’t wait.

Favorite quote?

"When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” - Maya Angelou

You can find Janelle's beautiful website HERE

                             Or visit her on instagram