{a NEW mini-series: “How I live a creative life,” featuring Kyla Roma}

Today is the start of a NEW mini-series focusing on the question, “How do I live a creative life?” I’m excited to share with you unique perspectives from a variety of my blogger friends all week. Each of these ladies has a defined style, career focus + family life, and creativity plays a key role in their everyday.

This week we’re focusing on outside perspectives with the goal that YOU leave here feeling inspired, and to encourage you to take a fresh new look at the creative life you already live ♥. Next week we’ll dig a little deeper, so I hope you’ll be back for week #2 :)

Let’s get started, shall we?

This week the question is, “How do you live a creative life?”

* * *

Hello, Gussy readers! I’m Kyla Roma — a web designer & co-owner of Freckled Nest Design, knitting fiend, black tea aficionado, puppy mama & wife. I live in a tiny hundred year old home in the middle of the Canadian prairies and blog at KylaRoma.com about thrifting, design, handmade, running my small business and living a fulfilling creative life. I’m excited to share how I live creatively with you, because it’s possible no matter where you work. To live a creative life you just need to welcome creativity in :)

I live my version of a creative life by packing my days full of inspiration and positivity. While I get ready for work in the mornings I get a cup of coffee and listen to TED talks, which help me start my day from a place of curiosity and learning. I try to approach every day with the attitude that everything I need to do an amazing job is right at my fingertips, and that attitude helps me power through hard days and lets me be thankful and present on the good days.

Every day I head into my studio where I meet my best friend Amber who works as Freckled Nest’s Customer Service Manager. I pour a cup of tea, turn on the music and dive into e-mail, blogs, design, and working with the team of Bloggers and Designers who are the Freckled Nest designers. Later in the day my business partner Leigh-Ann comes in and we catch up, brainstorm, make plans and support each other in any way we can. Working with friends inspires me to learn from them, and makes me want to learn how I can be a better version of myself for them.

At home I spend almost all of my time with my husband, puppies and family. I love exploring new restaurants, going to matinee movies, curling up with books about different parts of the world, knitting, taking photos for my blog or thrifting. I love what I do and being focused on the next big thing — from design clients to recipes I’ll be trying out.

The excitement and challenge of constantly learning keeps me smiling, thankful & present in the moment. Well, at least most of the time ;)

LET’S DISCUSS: what 3 places do you like to visit for inspiration? Why are you drawn to these places? How often do you visit, and is that often enough? xo

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  1. 1


    This series is going to be magical! :) I love that she approaches her work with the idea of self improvement in mind. What a brilliant way to stay in the moment and inspired!!

    That question has definitely stumped me. I don’t have any places I regularly visit in terms of traveling… but I love to sit on my front porch or in my back yard with my hubby. We have woods behind our house so it is always quiet back there and there is always some kind of wildlife action going on. Other than that there isn’t really anywhere I “visit” to be inspired. Maybe I should check into this more!

    Can’t wait to see more of this series Maggie! Love it!

  2. 2


    Good morning! I found this site via Kyla’s twitter, and I’m so excited to return – this creativity series sounds amazing! (I write a blog about reclaiming my creative life, so it’s kinda right up my alley :) )
    So, three places I visit to get inspired… Well it might sound obvious but one of the most inspiring things I can do is get myself to a museum or gallery or studio tour, anywhere I can see other people’s art in the flesh. It’s so easy to get myopic about your own work, and I find that there’s nothing like a big fat reminder of all the amazing variety of art other people are making to blow up my own silly boundaries and get the juices flowing. Then second is the woods or the beach, even if it’s just for a couple hours – I always feel refreshed and ready to work again after some unplugged time in nature. And third, I go to a weekly lunch at this amazing local social innovation center (purplecrayoncenter.org) for women who are launching themselves or their businesses into the world in a new way – we potluck lunch and brainstorm ideas for each other, and I always leave SO inspired. I know not everyone has access to something like that, but I think the point is to find or create community (especially of creative women).
    :) Alison (findtruenorth.typepad.com)

  3. 4


    This series has got me super excited & I can’t wait to see what other inspiring answers you get to the question this week! I may have to try some of Kyla’s tips (like the TED talks) to get a new look on things. I’m just starting to pursue my crafty dreams, so I’m still searching for just the right ways to bring creativity to me every day.

    For me, when my craft cove is organized (which isn’t right now) I often hide away in there surrounded by all my crafty supplies to get inspired. Sometimes just relaxing in there & looking at all the colorful yarns/fabrics gets the wheels turning. Another ‘place’ I go is Hulu. I find a lot of inspiration from some of my favorite shows. Some days a costume in an episode might inspire me, other days it’s just the story that goes on. And then my third place of inspiration is outdoors (on a sunny day). Just taking in all the beauty of my surroundings can really speak to me. It helps me to relax & let go of all the stressful things that might be causing creative block.

  4. 6


    So excited for this series and will definitely be leaving today feeling inspired.

    For me the Flea Markets are a frequent stop in for me. The vintage fabrics, threads and story behind each piece always inspires me to want to make a lasting embroidering piece like the ones I find there. Being at home daily with my littles surprisingly enough brings lots of inspiration for me. Finding beauty in the everyday. The little things that make me taste the happy. Then snuggling up with the hubs in the same place in the evening sharing thoughts, dreams and goals always drives me to want to do more, strive for better. And most importantly God’s word. Taking time for God to fill me and lead me is a huge part of where phrases or quotes originate from when creating new pieces in my collections.

  5. 8


    I love this new series! I dream of one day living a creative lifestyle where I get to work from home and have fun running a small business. Those dreams may seem far off right now, but taking little steps to get there will help I think! Thanks for sharing this!

  6. 10


    Yay! What a great series. Sometimes I feel like it’s so hard to fit all of my creative ideas into my life. I’d love to hear about time management :)

    My 3 favorite places for inspiration are:
    •Art galleries or museums. I always get inspired when I look at other people’s art.
    •Art lectures at local colleges. These are usually really great. Sometimes it’s hit or miss, but it’s always great to hear someone talking about their art.
    •Go outside or on a trip. Trips always inspire me. I feel like I have a fresh view on life without the stress of every day life getting in the way.

    • 11


      hi lindsay! thanks for your comment!!! could you be a little more specific with your question? what about time management would you like to hear more of? xo

      • 12


        I guess questions like…How many hours a week do you create? Do you have set time frames to work on projects/create? How do you fit it all in (I have a full time job + hubby that I like to spend my free time with). Do you ever take a week/month/year off? :)

  7. 13

    Eubie McCrary says

    I love thrift stores! Lots of unwanted items that end up being my treasure. I look at them outside the box or you could say I look thru my creative glasses. I visit these places alot! Whether I purchase or not it feeds my creative souls! My daughters inspire me as well they encourage me to be creative all the time and they take pride when they wear my goods. They make sure they tell everyone ” My mom made it”. They are my best advertisers! Nature also inspires me so much. Hearing the birds sing and how the trees sway in the breeze really soothes my soul. I suppose it is the simplicity in it. I love it! I take walks now and then if I am at a block. Trying to do it more though and not because I am at a block.

    Thank you Gussy for always knowing what we need. I can see this mini-series helping me so! <3

  8. 15

    Eubie McCrary says

    Never saw taking a trip as an inspiration but I am going to think of this when I visit Albuquerque this coming weekend. Thanks Lindsay! :)

  9. 17

    Corinne says

    My all-time favorite place that inspired me is the bridge above High Street and the park it led to in Mt. Pleasant. I spent a lot of time there in my later college years. It holds lots of memories. Sadly I have not been there in years. My new inspirational place is the huge antique mall in my new home town. I have already spent a ton of time there. I love walking though there and coming up with ideas for new projects! My last inspiration place is somewhere I simply call “the lake.” Family friends own on a house and I love it there. I feel so calm there.

  10. 19


    1. This is lame, but I am going to say the Internet. I love peeking into other people’s lives. Everyone is so interesting and has their own style to share. It challenges me and my thinking, and I am constantly coming away with new ideas. Plus it’s here all the time!
    2. Thrift shops. I always see new things and get new ideas. It’s so inspiring! I usually go a couple of times a month.
    3. New places. I most recently visited Montreal, and was so inspired by how sophisticated and gorgeous everyone looked! I love England and France, too. It’s awesome to shake things up and visit new places. I like to travel abroad at least once a year.

  11. 20


    Three places, hmmm, just three? Well if I limit myself, and I’m not always good at that, I’d go with:

    1. The beach- I walk or ride my bike at the beach as often as possible, and since I live at the beach, that’s often.
    2. My creative room- I don’t call it my sewing room because I’m a writer, I was calling it my office/sewing room, but I didn’t like that, so I’ve settled on creative room, and you can often find me here.
    3. Believe it or not, I love to go out and play pool with my hubby, and I often find inspiration there. Part of it is because I just relax and I’m distracted from all of the day to day responsibilities, and I think that re-energizes me!!

    Found you on twitter, and I’m looking forward to reading more of your blog posts!!

  12. 22


    Love this idea! And I wholly support working with friends – it’s so hard to transition to a new office without those who were/are close to you! Great blog!

  13. 23


    Hi Kyla so nice to meet you… I’m a fellow Canadian ya!!!! I digress :-)

    I love to get inspired in the yard watching my fur baby (puppy) play and chase the birds. I also find inspiration when I visit new places like different cities around the world or a new shop or restaurant in my community. My favorite place to be inspired is at a cottage on the lake it’s just so peaceful and the beauty of nature is breath taking. Sadly I can only get out to a cottage once a year for about a week but that week is like no other week during the year it is invaluable and sadly I don’t get there often enough that’s for sure.

    • 24


      when i think about my favorite place to visit for inspiration, being at the lake ranks pretty high up too :) water is so relaxing! i love having the cool breeze + warm sun dance around me. thanks for your comment christina! xoxo

  14. 25


    Lately, I find alot of creative ideas:

    1) Internet/Pinterest – I like to try new things and am inspired by others. I’m not much for directions, but can often get enough info to be dangerous from the internet.
    2) Books – I’m a digger. Once I find a new interest, I search the internet for more information and get all the books at my local library to draw ideas from. I’ve done this with quilting and doing mosaics.
    3) Craft Shows/Quilt Shows – I don’t necessarily go to buy, I go to draw inspiration. I was at a cool craft fair in Haddonfield NJ and saw a georgeous print of a picture of an angel statue cropped in a unique way. There is an angel by my father’s grave and I took a similar picture and framed it for my family for xmas. We have a cool image that has a significance only to us.
    4) So, I have many places that inspire me, I love to travel and shoot pictures. Architecture, nature. Today, I found an old Chevy in my neighborhood and shot pics of that. I also love bridges…
    Looking forward to seeing more on this site.

    • 26


      sharon, love #4. i think like that too. i see sites or objects and i think, that would make a great picture. i go to NYC in less than 2 weeks and i am more excited about the picture i will come home with than the experience. don’t get me wrong, i’m excited but i just can’t wait to take pics of the city that never sleeps.

  15. 27


    love this series, Gussy!

    my 3 places would have to be 1) antique stores, i love finding the treasures of history among the other stuff. 2) nature & outdoors, my eyes is like a camera lens. i often snap a picture with my minds eye. i can spot a photo op. 3) amongst my family of 4. we are a crafty little group and dream big things!

  16. 28


    Love that you said about working with friends!
    How great that you get to work with your friends and encourage/inspire one another!

    Looking forward to this series! =)


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