Thursday, January 15, 2015

in the studio with sara torbett

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I have always loved anything and everything creative!  I grew up knowing my heart beat very loudly with excitement over diy projects, decorating, and art. My mom is an excellent seamstress so it was very normal for me to see a maker complete something with satisfaction within our home. I tried to mimic her as I became an adult and bought my first sewing machine. I couldn't yet see how my heart-thumping excitement and my mom's sewing had a connection. After a few years of being an elementary teacher and then becoming a stay-at-home mama I found my truest calling. I began painting and learning about mixed media and the lightbulb went off.  The idea that sewing and painting and paper and photography and all the things I already loved could be combined into something new was life-changing to me.  And so, I began to paint and step into my calling as a mixed-media artist.  

I love seeing how other artists set up their creative space. Can you tell us a little bit your studio?

My husband and I had our home built before my oldest daughter was born. Though I hadn't yet stepped foot into the mixed-media world I very much knew I wanted a craft room for supplies, fabric, and my sewing machine. The idea was born to combine the laundry room and craft room, giving me plenty of cabinet and counter space.  This space has transitioned so well to a studio for me!  I try to keep as much counter space free as possible because I'm a very messy creator. I also like to make sure my space is super inviting, colorful, and inspiring. That means plenty of photographs, pages from magazines, and sketches of mine are hung and strung around the room. I have most of my supplies in cute jars, buckets, and containers because I'm a very visual person. This allows me to stay inspired and stay organized at the same time! I also have supplies for my shop organized in this room, as well as my Epson printer to easily make my own art prints.  My favorite part of the room though?  The colorful bunting hung from the ceiling that was a collaborative effort between my husband and I! I sewed, he hung. It is the first thing people notice when they see my studio. 

What inspires you? What motivates you to create?

We live on a farm and spend most of our days (when it's not too cold) outside, traipsing around the pastures and fields. We also garden and the colors and textures of our everyday life are a huge inspiration to me. We try to live a slow, simple life and I find that's the message I want to send out into the world. A message of kindness and light and joy.  Whether it's the bright green moss I discover on a walk with my girls or the pattern on a feather found, I am constantly inspired by God's handiwork. I'm also very inspired by my girls!  They are two and three years-old and love to create with me. They hold nothing back when they paint and boldly mix colors and shapes, never stopping to fear or question their ideas.  They are my biggest teachers about grabbing hold of an idea and just going for it. I am motivated to create because it's simply something I just have to do, as much as I need food and air.I need creating.  My world is quite lifeless without it.

How do you organize your creative schedule?

I wake early, before my girls and sneak into the studio with coffee and my bible. After reading I usually type a blog post for the day and then play in my art journal! Afternoons are for packaging orders and answering emails and then after my girls are in bed I like to pull double-duty. Sometimes I'll fold laundry and watch an art video or online course. Other times I'll relax with my husband while continuing to try new ideas and sketches in my art journal.  Of course there are always times I end up spending the entire evening in the studio, painting away.  

What is a typical day like for you?

A typical day for me includes my creative schedule but also includes plenty of play and art time with my girls as well!  I love to be inspired by my girls' imaginations as well as the illustrations in the kids' books we read. We roam on our farm a lot and in the spring, summer, and fall spend time gathering in the garden. Some of my best art ideas have hatched in the garden! 

What are you working on right now?

I'm currently working on adding more stitched paper flowers to my Etsy shop, as well as wood photo blocks. I also have a list a mile long (at least) of new canvases I'd like to paint.  I'm creating in my art journal daily, sometimes coming up with a finished idea, but mostly just playing and letting myself be free to learn.  

One of the biggest things I'm working on is art for my first show in April, called Vintage Market Days!  I'm also hosting three Rosy Retreats this spring and summer. 

And that's not even mentioning the other crafty things I want to try, like weaving and bookmaking.  Sigh…so many projects, so little time. 

Want to see more of Sara?

Check out her blog 

She's also the host of Rosy Retreats in NW Arkansas and information about the retreats (which were featured in Mingle magazine this month!) can be found on her blog.  This spring and summer Sara is offering three retreats : a craft night, photography retreat (about recording the rosy in your routine), and a mama and me craft morning for parents and kids! 

You can find her  mixed-media shop at

"In the Studio" is a new feature here on the blog where I share a glimpse into friends and fellow artists and crafters spaces. 

If you are interested in submitting your studio to be featured, send me an email at



Pretty fun!!

C. Jaeger said...

I love it! This is a great feature!

Unknown said...

thanks for giving us this introduction.

moongirl said...

Wonderful post! I love to read about how others bring time to create into their daily lives - so inspiring!

I'm Sara. said...

Thank-you so much for the opportunity to be featured on your lovely, inspiring blog!

AlexM said...

Thanks for this new section! Love to peek into artists's studio!

Arianna said...

I love this new feature, it's always inspiring to look at other people's art and dive a bit into their different lives.

Patty Marker said...

Love this feature and love Sara's work.

Unknown said...

That creative space is one of the happiest places I've ever seen! So inspiring!!

Carol McCready said...

Love the feature. What a fantastic craft space.

Sharon Stanley said...

my goodness what a fun post and a wonderful studio...keep these coming, very nice to 'meet' sara!

Jennifer Josephson said...

Fun feature! I look forward to more. I've long admired your colorful art and creative philosophies.

It was really fun to read this interview with Sara. I first came across her art within the last year or so when I saw a photo of her studio space and those buntings on Pinterest! I love her colorful artwork and it inspires me in mine, as does yours. (I just started painting for the first time in my life a couple of years ago and have found a new passion.) Thank you both for being such an inspiration!

studioGypsy said...

love the buntings and quilted chair! :D soo bright beautiful inspiring! xxooox said...

love love love this! I'd never heard of Sara before this! Awesome, thanks Alisa!

dawn said...

I LOVE LOVE THIS SO MUCH!! What a great first guest to read about, have never heard of her before. YAY!! Excited for this new series your doing, looking forward to seeing them!

p.s. I got your art journal yesterday and LOVE IT!! Happy Weekend!

Stephanie said...

Thanks for the profile.

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