I've been eagerly awaiting the next installment in our on-going series, Interview with a Renaissance Mom where we get to cozy up with a cup of something yummy and get to know another creative mama who is balancing home and family and art. Today, I am overjoyed to introduce you to KariAnne Wood of Thistlewood Farm — I know you'll be blessed by the beauty she brings to the online conversation with her incredible decorating skills and wonderful story-telling.
Please introduce yourself and share a bit about your family and where you live!
My name is KariAnne and I live in the middle of the country in Western Kentucky with my husband, our four children, two dogs, a cat, rabbits, deer, owls and a giant turtle named Fred.
Within the message of Life Creative, we believe creativity can morph as women transition from season to season. Share a bit of what your creativity has looked like over the seasons of your life — childhood, school years, early adulthood prior to having children. How has that changed over the years and what shape does your creativity take today?
That is an awesome question — I think I can trace all my creativity back to my first Barbie DreamHouse. I spent hours cutting out wallpaper scraps to decorate each room and carpet scraps to throw on the floors. I even created an entire Thanksgiving feast of miniature salt-dough sweet potatoes and green beans. The rooms were filled with tiny pillows and umbrella stands and sparkling chandeliers made out of pipe cleaners. And now? I decorate my grown-up dream house — minus the salt-dough vegetables!
In the busyness of motherhood it can be hard to find the place and space to fit your passions within the practical pieces of family life. Where and when have you carved out the time to create in your busy days?
About two years ago I discovered the early morning. You know, the one that shows up before the sun
and goes perfectly with coffee? I love the silence and serenity found in those moments before the house wakes up. It’s my time for myself — to think and write and dream and create and get ready for the day before the chaos descends.
God has purposed our creativity as a vehicle for responding to the Great Commission. Writing books and songs, painting pictures of His glorious creation, and selling wares to raise funds for missions work are all examples of how others focus their creativity into Kingdom-building work. How has God given you opportunities to share His love with others through your creative gifts?
I never really thought of myself as being "creative" during my growing up years. I just knew I loved to tell stories. I’d tell stories to anyone who would listen — my mother, my friends, even people in aisle seven at Walmart. As I grew older I discovered God had a purpose for all those stories. They leapt onto the pages of books and onto my blog and I shared them in women’s groups and Sunday school classes and in my witness. And God took those stories — every word, every line, every beginning and middle and end — and used them for His glory.
We spend our days caring for “our most beautiful creations” but there are other creations we long to pen, sing, paint, stitch and bake. It’s hard to embrace any other dream during this dream-come-true season of mothering. Share one of your dreams with us?
I wish I could bake. I actually wish I could cook in general. I wish I knew how to grill and broil and sauté and sear, and make biscuits that would make butter melt. But I can’t. Not right now at least. One day I’ll learn and spend my days with an apron and a wooden spoon. But for now, I’ll stick to macaroni and cheese and save my fluffy pastry dreams for another day.
We love discovering other creative women who are balancing art and home and family just like us! Would you share with us one of your “creative crushes” – another creative mom who inspires you and why.
I wish I could be Ruth Simons from GraceLaced when I grow up. I am in awe of her heart and her talent and the way her art inspires me to become the woman God intended me to be.
If you had one piece of advice to leave us with, concerning this awkward dance between faith, family and the flourishing arts, what would it be?
Just one? What if I have buckets of completely unsolicited advice just waiting to be handed out *wink* Seriously, I would simply encourage you to find your “amazing.” Everyone has one. Something you are incredible at. Something that poems and odes and lines of iambic pentameter should be written about for future generations to read. Maybe you are amazing at being a mother or amazing at being a friend. Perhaps you're an amazing artist or writer or creator or knitter or scrapbooker or duster or vacuumer or dishwasher emptier. Embrace that “amazing” and then? Share it with the world!
Where can we find more of your work and connect with you online?
I’d love to connect further! Come hang out with me over at my blog or on Facebook!
And my new book, So Close to Amazing, a humorous memoir about discovering the joy in imperfection, released this month! I would love for you to check it out!