Inspiring Creative Women #3: Creatively Living with Katie

I Gotta Create! Inspiring Creative Women Series: Katie Goldsworthy at Creatively Living
Katie Goldsworthy is the DiY genius behind Creatively Living. Her projects wow me every week. Katie has been able to turn her love for renovation and her skill for thriftiness into a small business. In this interview she gives us great junking tips, how to do more with less, and she gets real about balancing projects, blogging and family. Here's a peek inside Katie's creative life: 

The Inspiring Creative Women series is dedicated to
in-depth interviews designed to bring the
creative process into sharper focus.

Click any photo to visit the specific post at Katie's blog, Creatively Living.
Appropriate pins can also be found on my Pinterest Page.

{Christina} Katie, I'm so thrilled to have you here. Tell us about yourself.
{Katie} I am a busy mom of 5 kids. The older three I home school. I enjoy running, playing the piano, and doing anything outdoors. I have a small dietetics job, but my biggest interest is renovating and decorating houses! When my husband and I first decided to buy a house, we got the cheapest, dumpiest one we could find. This not only made my love for decorating more practical, but it became a small business. I'm on my third house now and I'm completely loving what I get to do.

{Christina}  What personal characteristics do you draw on most in expressing your creativity?
{Katie} My thriftiness. I'm sure any of my friends would mention 'cheap and resourceful,' but also that I care about people being comfortable and truly loving the space they live in. I think my spaces tend to look happy and comfortable, but stylish. I think this reflects that I'm generally a pretty happy person.

Please pin from original source:

{Christina} You are so creative, I swear I could feature you every single week! How do you come up with your ideas? Where do you go for inspiration?

{Katie} I try to use items that I have on hand when I'm working on a space. I really like to have a certain amount of color and certain sizes of objects in certain places, and this causes me to think outside the box. If I have only a couple of items that would work in a space, I will think about different ways to use them to make one of them work. Pinterest is also a great go-to in these situations! I am inspired by so many bloggers out there. 
I also love to look at many different design and decor magazines. Anything from BH&G to Domino. Even Pottery Barn and West Elm have taught me how to place things. Blogs like Vintage Revivals and Apartment Therapy push me outside my comfort zone (I think that is necessary  to be a better creator and keep on top of upcoming trends). Dear Lillie, House of Smiths, and Jones Design Company keep me focused on making every little part of a house beautiful. There are so many bloggers that are so talented! It's amazing the ideas that I've come by! 

{Christina}  Your thriftiness and knack for finding ways to live inexpensively: How does that help or hinder your creative expression?
{Katie} If I see something at a yard sale or thrift store that has the 'right' shape, (maybe a lamp base) or it is the 'right' color, (maybe aqua for this year) or is just good basic, black material, I pick it up and put it in my back room. This way, when I go to do a room, I have lots of cool, inexpensive things to choose from. It really helps the rooms come together for a low price. This also helps me to be very creative with what I have, and makes me think outside the box. I actually end up coming up with better projects when I have less to use, instead of going and purchasing things.

Please pin from the original source:

{Christina}  To turn trash into treasure, what do you look for in the so-called piece of 'trash'? Give us some tips!
{Katie} Right now I look for shape: spheres, sunbursts, curved lamps. I'm also drawn to pointy objects and star shapes. Animal figurines and head sculptures are also on my 'buy it' list.
Color: right now I purchase an material, table cloths, and bed spreads that are white, creme, gray, and black...possibly a good yellow. Teal, aqua and yellow items are also colors that I will grab. Yet, I tend to go for shape over color, because you can almost always spray-paint items.
Old wood or metal: everyone loves old wood and metal right now...and you can do so much with it! Really I'll almost buy metal anything because it's just really cool! Vintage pieces that are inexpensive I'll also pick up to have on hand.

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{Christina}  What projects are you most proud of, and why? What has been most popular?
{Katie} Room reveals are one of my favorite things on blogs...including my own. I just love all the pieces people use and how it all comes together. I think my Master Bedroom, my sister's room, and my kitchen are some of my favorites on the blog. I also love my nursery, but I posted it before I started blogging professionally and the pictures need to be retaken. My kid hand-print wall art has by far been the most popular. It's funny how sometimes you have a project you think will be so-so and it turns out to be the one people really like.

{Christina}  What's important to you about the creative process? What impact does it have on your quality of life?
{Katie} Living in a finished space makes me happy. I like to come home and have it look a certain way. Renovating houses with little kids is also pretty intense. Added blogging was even more of a time crunch. For the past 7 years I've had many late nights, working after the kids have gone to bed. In the past 1/2 year, I've finally started to make it a point of getting more sleep (not to say that it's worked very well).

{Christina}  Have you ever hit a creative block or felt discouraged or unsupported in your endeavors?
{Katie} Sure. No one else who lives at my house is really into decorating. My husband will do some small electrical and plumbing fixes, and my kids will say 'good job mom,' but people really wouldn't care if we were living in a house with flower wallpaper borders or in a renovated space. That's probably why I blog.

Please pin from the original source:

{Christina}  How do you handle creative blocks or discouragement?
{Katie} I have to sell a house by a certain time, so I don't have the option of not doing it. I can always work on baseboard! Blogging also helps me complete projects. I used to get half way done and then move on to something else, but blogging makes me finish projects so I have something to blog about.

{Christina}  Sounds like blogging is a critical part of the mix for you and your creative process.
{Katie} Yes. I started a DIY blog in 2010 mainly to show friends and family my projects and our makeovers. I started following others and really enjoyed the process. It took a LOT of time and my family and I decided it was too time-consuming. After a year of basically not blogging, I realized I could make it practical by considering it a small business. So that's what I did. I revamped my site, started getting social media, and wanted to start a small etsy. I do make a little money to cover a few craft supplies at Hobby Lobby for now. I use Adsense, Social Spark, and have started tailing with BlogHer.

{Christina}  With a family of seven and all those creative projects, Katie, how on earth do you balance it all?
{Katie} I wish I could 'do it all' but for every time consuming thing that someone does there is a trade off! My house is probably my biggest trade-off, and sometimes friend time. I'm not a 'house has to be clean' tip of person, so when I'm constantly working on projects with little kids, my house is in absolute disarray 1/2 the time. It can go from clean to craft and kid bombs everywhere in 1 day!
While working on our first house, I told my husband, "I can't get all the projects done if I have to have it clean at the end of the day. Are you willing for me to clean up every 3 days?" He said yes. This is extremely helpful in getting things done, but it's also a little embarrassing when people stop by in the middle of big projects!
I am also home schooling year round this year, so I could have a logistical blogging day one day a week and not home school that day. I would love to make my blog layout better. I would love to learn to use my camera better. I'd love to start an ETSY business with my kids. But my worst fear would be to look back and regret that I ignored my 5 kids while I got sucked into everything I loved to do. So...some things will just have to wait. 
My husband REALLY helps me balance also. I've learned I have a problem with prioritizing. I can't stop the unnecessary details (like adding trim to the outdoor umbrellas) when I still don't have the basement ceiling finished. So my husband makes lists with me and we schedule what big projects I will be working on what days.

{Christina}  Is there something you'd want to know about other creative women?
{Katie} I always want to know how other people schedule their lives. It's one of my biggest challenges. Learning how other bloggers/crafters schedule all they need to do and craft and blog gives me more ideas on how to better organize my own life. 

Please pin from the original source at

{Christina}  What values do you hope to express through your work?
{Katie} When people read my blog, I hope they take away that a wonderful living space doesn't necessarily have to cost a lot. It can be fun and beautiful on the tightest of budgets! When I'm designing spaces for other people, I really like to take into account their situation and find how the space will work best for them. I think your home should be your retreat, and a place to share with and care for others.

{Christina}  Any other tips or perspective you'd like to share?
{Katie} With projects, follow your heart and your intuition. There are no rules in creativity and people love unique things. In life, when you have a craft or DIY business and/or blog, make a point to get some sleep and prioritize, prioritize, and then go over what you said your most important priorities would be!  

{Christina}  Thank you, Katie. I love your unbounded creativity and how real you are about the whole process. THAT is an inspiring combination!!

Click here to visit Katie's blog, Creatively Living.

UPDATE:  Wow! One of Katie's reveals 
just showed up on Bob Vila Nation! Congrats, Katie!

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Come link up!{I host a weekly linky party. Come find out more here!  I'm sharing this Inspiring Creative Women interview with...Monday:  CraftomaniacMaking The World CuterProject QueenThe Gunny SackAlderberry HillA Round TuitSkip to My LouCherished BlissTuesday:  Not Just a Housewife, The DIY Dreamer, Tip JunkieToday's Creative BlogUncommon, Gingersnap CraftsThe NY Melrose Family; Wednesday:  The 36th Avenue, Live-Laugh-Rowe, No Minimalist Here, Nest of PosiesSavvy Southern StyleSomeday Crafts, The Trendy TreehouseVery Merry Vintage StyleFamily Home and LifeWhat We Wore & Made,SnapThursday:  Bliss Ranch Hot Fun in the Summertime, My Repurposed LifeShabby NestFriday:  Funky Junk InteriorsAnything Goes, Finding FabulousMy Simple Home LifeRomantic HomeFrench Country CottageTatertots and Jello, Thirty Handmade DaysFaith Trust & Pixie DustNaptime Crafters, Too Much Time on my Hands, Stuff & NonsenseSaturday:  Be Different Act Normal,  It's OverflowingSisters of the Wild West, Sew Country ChickSunday: Nifty Thrifty Things, DIY Project Parade, Under The Table and DreamingMy 1929 CharmerSew Darned Crafty}


Maureen Wyatt said...

What a great interview! I've followed many of her projects and it's nice to hear how she fits it all into her busy life. ~ Maureen

Danni@SiloHillFarm said...

Awesome interview! I love Katies blog and have been a follower of hers for a long time. She has inspired me more than once!

kristi@ishouldbemoppingthefloor said...

Fabulous interview with a fabulous person!! Loving the coat rack & tree branch...gorgeous! Would be super delighted if you could link up with us over at Mop It Up Mondays:
Thanks so much!


Jill said...

What a great interview - it's made me want to head straight on over to Katie's blog to read more!

Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
Hope you have a fabulous week!
Jill @ Creating my way to Success

Sherry @ No Minimalist Here said...

I loved the interview with Katie. She is a very creative lady and I always enjoy reading her blog. Thanks for sharing this at the Open House Party and have a great week.

Unknown said...

Love these pictures! Looks great. I'm a new follower and would love if you followed back at

cathy@my1929charmer said...

Great interview, and thanks for sharing your creative inspiration with Sunday's Best!

Rosemary@villabarnes said...

Great interview, and some nice tips.

Holly @ Bella Nest said...

Great interview! Katie has got it going on... with all that she has to juggle, it's amazing how consistent she is with her creativity! I'm so thankful I met her through her blog and now can call her my friend. =)

karen@somewhatquirky said...

A great feature! How could anyone not admire Katie! Love this series. Can't remember if I told you I'm a new follower. Linked up to your party as well!

Sarah Leonard said...

Excellent interview and a great insight into how someone else's creative mind works.

Visiting via the Bacon Time Hop :)

Mackenzie said...

Great interview with great ideas! Thanks for sharing this! We'd love to invite you to join us at Saturday Show & Tell on Cheerios and Lattes! I know everyone will love this! Have a great weekend!
Mackenzie :)

HeARTworks said...

Thanks for introducing me to Katie! I'm going to hop over to her blog. I love makeovers and wish I could be a genius like that with my home! Patsy from
HeARTworks and

Toodie said...

Great interview! I've visited Katie's blog many times and always taken something away from it, whether it be color or placement.

cathywhatisoldisnew said...

Wow such a great interview with wonderful tips! She is one ball of energy and a wonderufl inspiration.

Honey I'm Home Blog said...

What a great spotlight. Thanks so much for linking up on Fabulous Friday at Faith, Trust & Pixie Dust.

Warmly, Michelle