Explore and Create Stories #16: Kori Nemme

The articulation of “exploring creativity” is such a wonderful philosophy to have. The wondering, pondering, inquiry, curiosity and openness to explore really underpins the notion that creativity can be approached in different ways. I am reminded of the quote from T. S. Eliot ‘We shall not cease from exploration; and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started. And know the place for the very first time" as our latest Explore and Create Stories interviewee shares her thoughts with us about the place of creativity in her professional and personal life. I think you will agree, the openness to explore and be totally absorbed with learning, fascination, perspectives and the flow of possibilities just oozes from Kori and her approach to…well, everything! I so hope you enjoy this interview, just as much as I do.

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Explore and Create Stories #15: Alke Groppel-Wegener

I’m so excited to be introducing Alke for this #exploreandcreatestories. I’m excited for many reasons, two of which are that I’m currently in the UK (hanging out with one of her great buddies and inspirations who introduced us (shout out Katy Vigurs who you'll connect with again later in the interview but did meet in the #exploreandcreatestories #9), and secondly for the way Alke describes what it is that she does. She does it in such an organic way. On her blog called Tactile Academia, Alke introduces herself as someone who is about living, breathing, and inspiring others to explore ways of teaching and learning in. She is focused on designing the learning opportunity particularly, but not exclusively, in Art, Media and Design as a way to link creative practice with academic research. That is, getting the right side of our brain in on the act and ready to party as part of academic research and writing.

I do hope you like this latest interview that really draws together how creativity and being present can align to what we do in our everyday life and the communication of this in visual, textual, spatial, written gestural and audio ways.

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Explore and Create Stories #14: Victoria Firth-Smith

This creative lady’s ability to bring people together is amazing. I have never quite seen someone juggle the empowerment of others with such sass, care and integrity. Say hello to Victoria Firth-Smith as our latest #exploreandcreatestories interviewee. Victoria enjoys making people think while promoting the best in them. She’s a creative thinker who allows others to also explore their creative ways of experiencing and viewing the world. Victoria has a mission (and one that I so so so love). She wants people to feel part of a community, and to feel and express creativity, empathy, and trust (oh yeah!). Don’t you just love this? I do hope you enjoy this chance to learn from and with Victoria as she shares her explorations and experiences in bringing people together, swimming in ideas and the potential of things, and how being creative is her version of mindfulness and flow.

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Explore & Create Stories #13: Mel Silk

Mel Silk is one smart cookie. She is a thinker, and indeed invites others around her to think as well. When talking about "flow" and "being in the moment" as a creative she really makes one think about their own being. As you will read in this interview, for Mel, "being is fluid...being a person creating and feeling immersed in the creation experience" is how she would describe those marvellous moments in time when ideas, space, and being all click.

Mel is an educator, and one that has inspired others to be empowered with their thinking about the world through design and making experiences - specifically making learning visible, because the learning is the experience in itself! She has had a wonderful background in schools and is now inspiring outside the walls of one school through her new endeavour called STEAMpop. Learning through making underpins STEAMpop and illuminates how making is an essential part of the creative process. Making enables us to understand abstract concepts,  it challenges our ideas about the world, helps us visualize mathematical concepts and scientific ideas, provides a real sense of achievement, allows us to fail and try again, and is most certainly joyful.

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Explore and Create Stories #12: Elizabeth Bull

Elizabeth has a beautiful story. It is one that I really connected with when I met her through the Creative Women’s Circle and The Resolution Project we participated in together last year. Elizabeth is one kick arse photographer. Her eye is incredible…you just can’t stop looking at the finer detail of her work while also appreciate the simplicity and freshness. She is also one of the most humble, curious, and gracious women I have ever met. I think you will agree that this Explore and Create Story shares so much in regards to the complexity of being a creative.


"We share beautiful and inspiring prints created by talented photographers, and make them accessible to people who would like to enjoy them in their home".

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Explore and Create Stories #11: Jonathon Hagger

In this Explore and Create Stories interview I’m so delighted to introduce Jonathon Hagger. Jonathon is a marvelous example in how you can balance your life and make sure you are true to yourself. As we were preparing for this interview Jonathon shared how reflecting on the questions has been a mixture of relief but also knowledge development. He shared that “I feel that in writing my answers I am able to see for myself how my thought processes and beliefs are/have changed and for that I am extremely grateful”.  His on going reflections about his well being, self care and mindfulness are just infectious. A future e-book on mindfulness is on its way to share his learnings and to empower others. This is such a gracious demonstration of how Jonathon connects with others. I also love how he lives his true belief in mindfulness - you’ll love the realisations about mindful writing and ironing! (that’s right!)  I do hope you enjoy this latest story.

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Explore and Create Stories #10: Duncan Gibson and Sam Hambour

A core part of living a life where you are always exploring and creating is being open to new opportunities. This is where Duncan Gibson and Sam Hambour of Hop Nation Brewing Co. are a glowing example of how their love and passion for beer, and great tasting beer with hop forward flavours (that’s one of the ingredients that imparts biter, zesty or citric flavours…and smells devine) shines. I’ve been chatting (and watching with a smile) these guys who burst into public eyes in 2016 with one cool, trendy and vision packed brewery and tasting house in the inner West suburb of Footscray in Melbourne, Australia. What I love is their genuine passion and desire to continually create new recipes that are not only bursting with flavour but are original and punchy as a whole package (you just have to check out their names and art work that go with each beer, way cool). They are passionate about sustainability that comes with small batch brewing, and produce beer made using quality, natural ingredients, with no fining or pasteurization and minimal filtration.

I sat down with Dunc and Sam on a Saturday afternoon at their bar. We chatted about their past, future visions, the creative process, and how they work as a collaboration. I also gained some insights into how they show some self care for themselves as they develop their business, join the Footscray (and I like to think Seddon) community, and become a standard product on the beverage list for our barbecues, parties, and casual Sunday afternoon drinks. 

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Explore and Create Stories #9: Katy Vigurs

I met Katy a few years ago in Chicago after we had been connected for some time via Twitter and Instagram. The power of social media and networking is so great (as you know I’m an advocate for social media as a powerful learning tool!). We met on a spring day and the tulips were shining. I remember this so well, apart from the fact that I captured it on film, but because the yellow was like a metaphor for Katy – bright, bold, beautiful, refreshing, and just so lovely. I do hope that you enjoy this Explore and Create Story. Katy really does share with us how it is possible to stay true to ones self and be involved in creative projects that inspire those she works with, and indeed herself. Her ability to weave this way of working into her professional and personal life is contagious...I'm a big fan of her everyday photography on Instagram that just ignites many moments of inspiration.

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Explore and Create Stories #8: Sharon McDonough

I just love chatting with Sharon. She is someone I just love to talk with in regards to writing, being creative, and exploring mindful self-care. When we first met we shared strategies on multitasking and surviving other people’s expectations when it comes to the ‘diary’ and ‘email emergencies’ (or perceived emergencies from others’ when they have left things to the last minute) and how we don’t ‘wear’ this in terms of how we manage our own time and be true to our self. I just love it when you meet someone who you can bond with and are able to constantly reflect on how to be a better version of yourself, while also helping others’ do the same. 


What I love about Sharon is her willingness to explore new things. She does this in her writing, her teaching, her crafting, her cooking, her personal life, and how she engages with others. Her “pretend olive farm” produces some just awesome olive oil (we enjoyed it over the end of year break with homemade fresh bread and dukka…yum yum), but is also for me, something that stands out to how Sharon balances her life with her hubby to spend time with nature, on the land, and with a sustainable and mindful approach. This time on the land just oozes mindful practices that are in the moment, compassionate, and allowing for moments of being present. She relishes meaningful relationships, opportunities to learn and to also share her learnings with others, and try new things.


I so hope you enjoy this #exploreandcreatestories interview with Sharon. I think you will agree her passion and enthusiasm to explore and create possibilities in life are just infectious.

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Just one word.

So as we transition from 2016 into 2017 I'm thinking about my mindful intentions for the incoming year. These are connected to how I want to be as a person and how I want to engage with the world personally and professionally. This intention focuses on the present and provide the guiding light to living mindfully moment-to-moment. In thinking about my intention for 2017 I'm drawn to the word Renewal.

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Explore & Create Stories #7: Nicole Bilinski

Nicole and I have been all systems go with our creative goals this year as part of the Creative Women’s Circle Resolution Project. I’ve been so excited to hear all about and follow Nicole’s adventures into being true to her self and making sure creativity is a part of her life. I was just blown away by her determination and passion to make this real with a mission to practice every morning. With the blessing of her boss, and true alignment, Nicole is showing all of us just how it is possible to find time within a busy life and various commitments to explore-create-make-be. I just love it, and I do so hope you enjoy reading this latest #exploreandcreatestories interview. 

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Explore & Create Stories #6: Helen Kara

Helen is one of my social media buddies. We have never met face-to-face (although when she visits Melbourne at the end of this month we'll be having a coffee for sure!!!!) and we engage with each other through various social media platforms. Our passion for research, sharing people's voice, arts and creative practices has meant that our online interactions have continually collided...and in great and inspiring ways! In this Explore & Create Stories interview I am so delighted to introduce Helen. She has a background in private, public, and voluntary sectors, and now carries out commissioned research and evaluation, mainly for public and voluntary sector organisations and partnerships. Her focus is in the areas of social care, health, and the voluntary/third sector. Say hello to Helen, and I do hope you enjoy this wonderful interview...and the surprise video towards the end!

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Explore and Create Series #5: Kylie Budge

When I find something on social media that I think is inpsiring or thought provoking, one of the first people I think of sharing my findwith is the lovely Kylie Budge. Each of our DM folders on Instagram and Twitter are full of links and images of visual stimulation to drool over and reading to ponder about. As Kylie shares in this Explore and Create Series, the visual wonderland of Instagram and Blogs is addictive!  Kylie is passionate about art and design. And having known Kylie know for a few years, I'd have to agree. She is one stylislish lady who is gracious and gernous in her abilty to integrate her beliefs into life and work while helping others grow in their confidence to add a bit of style to their bling, reflect on art work from a different perspective, or explore a publication that celebrates design. With a background in education and research and now shining in the museum world, Kylie has so many life experiences that contribute to her way of seeing the world. As you will read, a truly pure and raw moment is shared in this interview that can only be interpreted as inspiring. Grab a cup of tea, some tissues, and a quiet moment to read and reflect on this lovely interview about how creativity and mindfulness can contribute to life adventures.

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Explore and Create Series #4: Annette Wagner

This Explore and Create Series is a super special edition. In amongst my leaping into new and exciting creative adventures I have met this lovely lady, Annette Wagner, or Netti as we so affectionally call her. Netti has a smile that knocks you down from the other side of the room. She oozes grace, care, kindness and a genuine interest in those whom she engages with. As a creative women you can’t just be blown away at her amazing juggling act to maintain her creative practice, be mindful, be healthy, while also being a women, mother, wife, friend, commitee member, and all things else that are thrown up in the air as a part of discovery and exploration in life. Netti share’s her honest and insightful journey into how she stays true to herself and is creative. I so hope you enjoy this story in the series as much as I have in preparing it for you all to read.

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Explore and Create Stories #3: Kim Tairi

Kim is a dabbler in all things creative. She inspires me with her endeavours, approaches, and the wonderful projects she engages with. If you check out her Instagram feed you will find a visual explosion of pop culture, wonderful tattoos as pieces of art in their own right, wicked outfits with palettes of colour to dream over, and crochet just to start with. You also form a great sense of how much Kim enjoys adventures with her loved ones and travel. Kim is a librarian and creative problem solver. Her smile and groove is just contagious. I so enjoy engaging with Kim, and through her interview you can gain an awesome insight into how she draws and captures her ideas and thinking through Sketchnoting.

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Explore and Create Stories #2: Anitra Nottingham

If ever there is a lady that you can meet who makes you sit up and listen, Anitra Nottingham would be this lady. I have known Anitra for a few years now. From the very moment I met her, I  have admired Anitra’s way of seeing the world and her amazing way of articulating just how it is! As you will read, throughout this Explore & Create Series interview, Anitra shares openly and honestly about her approach to creativity from various perspectives, including being a writer, graphic designer, and educator. She is so honest about her approaches and need for self care that you just can’t help but nod your head as you read this interview (my head nearly feel off as I nodded in empathy to the learnings that occur from those we treasure and those who have perhaps not been so kind to us). I think you will all relate. Enjoy this interview with one amazing creative and inspirational woman.



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Explore & Create Stories #1: Nicole Monteduro

I am so delighted to introduce an amazing woman for the launch of the first Explore & Create Co. Blog Interview Series called Explore & Create Stories.

This Explore & Create Stories series is all about celebrating creative and mindful peeps and how they find their flow. By sharing stories and insights we are helping others find their place and ah ha moments as creativity is explored from a variety of perspectives and backgrounds. 

Every time I spend time with Nicole Monteduro I am blown away by her energy, enthusiasm and genuine interest in connecting with others. She has a smile, mind and heart that are just inspirational.  You just want to spend time with her. She is infectious. I have so enjoyed talking to Nicole over many years about creative endeavors, finding our mojo, discovering mindfulness colouring-in, music, women and our personal growth, and creating possibilities to be true to our self.  Just recently we have been bonding over finding and reconnecting with our creative flow. Enjoy this insight into Nicole and her creative explorations. 

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