Meraki-lous Woman Series
Karen Dyck

This post is a continuation of our Meraki-lous Women Series that we will feature here once a month(ish). Our goal is to talk to meraki-lous women who live brave, creative lives. We will find out what inspires these women to be creative and we will take a peek into their sacred, creative spaces.

What is Meraki?

meraki (N.) The soul, creativity or love that is put into something that you do or make; the essence of yourself that you leave in your work..  Greek

This month's featured Meraki-lous Woman is Karen Dyck. Karen is an artist of life and the true epitome of someone who lives each day with meraki. Her creative and generous spirit shine through in everything she does. It just so happens that she is a dear friend of mine and I have been on the receiving end of her creative generosity many times. Lucky me!

I have known Karen for over ten years and during this time, we have traveled together and shared many amazing dinners together... and laughter, there is always the laughter. Her positive outlook is contagious and her impish smile is always threatening to bubble over into giggles.

She is a quilter, a paper crafter and a setter of beautiful tables. She is also an amazing hobby chef who has, on occasion, been known to channel Julia Childs. Although honestly, I really don't think she needs Julia's help in the kitchen!

"I believe we are born creative.  As children, our creativity is boundless, our imagination and delight in all that we experience everyday.   As adults, what if we could reach our inner child today? What surprises would we find there?"

OCEAN GIRL   What does creativity mean to you?

KD   Creativity is in the soul.  It shines in so many ways; the love that goes into a sewing project or cooking for your family and friends. The list is endless.  It’s what makes you happy.

OCEAN GIRL   Have you always been creative?

KD   I believe we are born creative.  As children, our creativity is boundless, our imagination and delight in all that we experience everyday.   As adults, what if we could reach our inner child today? What surprises would we find there?  I used to spend hours writing stories.  My books would fill up and I could hardly wait to go to town to buy a new one. 

 OCEAN GIRL   Where do you get your inspiration?

KD   Everywhere!  Magazines, Pinterest, blogs, friends... to name just a few. My husband and I love to travel. We are very fortunate to have seen some of this amazing world.  We’ve talked with wood carvers in remote villages in Africa, and viewed contemporary art sculptures in Tokyo.  No matter where we are we seem to find ourselves wandering into an art gallery.

OCEAN GIRL  Do you sell some of the things that you make?

KD  Mostly, I love to give my creations as gifts, but yes, I have sold many baby minky blankets. There is a glimmer of a plan to one day set up an online store but I think more for my husband than for myself.  The pieces that come from his wood lathe are exquisite.  He is always thinking of new designs.

OCEAN GIRL  Do you have a specific place where you create?

KD  I have a dedicated little area set aside, where there can be found a jumble of different projects on the go - whether it be a stack of fabric waiting to be turned into a quilt, or a scrapbook coming to life.  Time can get away from me.  I’ve spent many happy hours lost in that room!

OCEAN GIRL   What is your medium of choice? Are you creative in other ways as well?

KD  I have a love of paper.  I confess to having a large collection of beautiful designs that I love to use in my scrapbooking and card making.  Sewing!!  I find myself in a quilting shop and wish I I could bring all the gorgeous bolts of fabric home with me.  I also love to cook, the joy of planning, shopping and prepping for a dinner party to enjoy with our friends, is to me, time well spent. 

OCEAN GIRL Do you have a creative community or do you mostly create by yourself?If you have a community, is it an online community or is it an IRL community or both?

KD  The past few years I have gone on a weekend retreat with some very talented ladies.  What fun we have sharing our ideas, chatting, laughing and recharging.  Very inspiring!

OCEAN GIRL  Do you think that creativity is a spiritual thing?

KD   Absolutely! Creativity is a gift from God and is within every one of us.

OCEAN GIRL   Where would you be without creativity? 

KD   Where would be the excitement of creating something that brings happiness of self expression and the joy of giving of yourself and sharing it with others.

OCEAN GIRL   Do you think that everybody is creative?

KD   Positively!   It is a lifelong journey for what brings a song to your heart. The search of finding what feeds your creative soul at that particular moment.

"There may be a small seed of an idea, and once I start working it develops. It can be quite exciting to see where it ends up. Sometimes it surprises me, and it is nothing like what I envisioned at the beginning!"

OCEAN GIRL   Do you or did you have a creative mentor?

KD   For many years, I’ve admired my Aunt. She is an accomplished watercolor artist and has sold countless works at her art shows.  One day I will try my hand at it and if I am lucky I will experience the love of painting that shows in her work.

 OCEAN GIRL  How do you calm the inner critic?

KD   I don’t!  As time passes, I find I can accept that I am not perfect and it’s these imperfections that bring a uniqueness of expression to my creativity.  The inner critic will always be there, just a bit more muted now.

OCEAN GIRL   How do you think social media has affected creativity?

KD   It has made it easier to try new ideas, new mediums.  It definitely has made the world a smaller place where you can connect with people and their work that you may, otherwise, never have discovered.

OCEAN GIRL  Julia Cameron from the Artist’s Way says that as artists, we need to fill our creative well in order to draw from it, how do you do this?

KD   There can, at times, be days or even weeks where I don’t go and mess up my room. Then I may see something online or a friend has posted a picture of a project online and then there begins this feeling of missing something and I wander in the door. Before you know it I have spent many hours of happiness in there.

OCEAN GIRL   Are there certain circumstances that need to be in place before you create or can you just create any time?

KD   There may be a small seed of an idea and once I start working it develops. It can be quite exciting to see where it ends up. Sometimes it’s surprises me and it is nothing like what I envisioned at the beginning!

"There is nothing wrong with trying something, then finding its not for you.  Leave it behind you and move on.  Life is changing everyday and so is our creative soul.  The joy is in the journey."

OCEAN GIRL Do you have any advice for someone who doesn't think they are creative but wants to be?

KD   There is nothing wrong with trying something, then finding its not for you.  Leave it behind you and move on.  Life is changing everyday and so is our creative soul.  The joy is in the journey.

OCEAN GIRL   Is there anything else that you would like to add?

KD   I have some beautiful, creative women in my life and I am so grateful to call them my friends.  What would the world be without each one of them?! How lucky I am, Kelly, that you are one of them.  You inspire me more than you know and I love you for that.

OCEAN GIRL  Oh, Karen. You inspire me too! I am truly blessed to call you a friend. Thank you so much for sharing! 



Quintessential Questions

Five Random Things About You.

  1. I love gardens and flowers but do not have a green thumb.
  2. I cannot whistle…although I still try.
  3. I’ve always wanted to learn to play a musical instrument…and just may do it one day.
  4. I have an adventurous soul and love to travel.
  5. When I’m into a really good book I will not put it down until its finished…then I am sorry that its done so quickly.

Five women… or men… that you would like to invite to a dinner party and why.

  1. Rosa Parks… such a courageous woman.
  2. The Rolling Stones…yes all of them!
  3. Albert Einstein…I think he could teach us a thing or two.
  4. Stephen King… "life isn’t a support system for art, it’s the other way around.”
  5. Johnny Cash…for my husband.

Five new things that you would like to do or try.

  1. Watercolors.
  2. Biking around Ireland would be totally amazing.
  3. Pottery.  I did it as a child, now I would like to do it grownup style.
  4. River cruising in Russia... to see where my Grandparents were raised.
  5. Experience the Northern Lights in Norway.

Five of your favourite foods.

  1. Although I don’t eat it anymore…pasta, any kind of pasta!
  2. Chocolate...who doesn’t love it?
  3. Wine…is that a food?
  4. BBQ…it hits the senses. You hear that sizzle, smell the charring, see all the juicy goodness, and of course, taste all the yumminess.

Five songs/artists to get the creative juices flowing.

  1. Bob Dylan
  2. Jann Arden
  3. Colbie Caillat
  4. Serena Ryder
  5. Alanis Morisette

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