What Inspires Me To Create on Live In Color Blog

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Me and our daughter Nai

I miss sharing in this space with you all. There are moments though, when we need time away to bring us back. We must sit with ourselves and rediscover what ignites the soul. I certainly do not ever want this blog to feel like a job. Creativity is my oxygen; it sustains me, nourishes me in a way I cannot explain fully…

Photo Credit: Frank McKenna

As a little girl, I fell madly in love with words (poetry, books  and songwriting) and visual art (painting, sketching, and later photography). Often my younger brother Dave and I acted out plays we wrote, perched in our treehouse.

We were constructing new worlds with ever growing imaginations. Growing up in Baltimore meant surviving, but our parents always ensured we embraced possibilities. We understood there were experiences beyond our neighborhood.

Photo from my photo series – Baltimore: Sorrow, Promise & Hope | Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color blog

Photo from my photo series – Baltimore: Sorrow, Promise & Hope | Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color blog
Perhaps it’s why creativity never left me, even years later, when I found myself in the 9-5 grind. I felt deeply that actively creating held liberation. Inspiration for me abounds, sitting within the sounds of nature, hearing laughter from our little one, Nai, artistic culture, and the endurance of the human spirit.

Photo Credit: Emelda De Coteau
Live In Color Blog
On a brisk Saturday morning in January of 2010, I started Live In Color blog, and, like my life, it’s taken shape and grown over the years. Initially I simply sought to inspire others and share my spiritual journey.

I now feel called to not only blog, but cultivate a community which empowers women in three core areas: faith, activism and inspiration / motivation. I want you to not only exist, but live in color!

P.S.

Wednesday I’ll share where else you can read my words online…

What inspires you to create? Tell me in the comments below! 

Beauty / Style Finds: Brooklyn-Based Artist Murj’s Vibrant Creations   

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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I discovered the vibrant and eclectic artwork of Murj on Instagram last year, and have been so impressed by the range of her creations. She makes  paintings, along with décor and other everyday items like t-shirts, clocks and watches. It seems there is nothing she cannot bring to life with her artistry! I am sure you all will enjoy seeing her lovely pieces.

Murjani Holmes, artist & entrepreneur

What materials do you use to create your artwork?  How much might someone pay for your pieces? 

A lot of my work is acrylic paint on wood, and canvas. I also do wooden jewelry boxes, picture frames – [you know], items that are pretty to see but serve a purpose in your life. Well, my prices range from $30 and up to $150 and up for custom paintings (this also depends on the size).

Portrait of Grace Jones | Photo & Artwork by Murj

What lead you to start your business?

My desire to get my creations out to the world, and to see the response people would have to them.

What is your business philosophy and mission?

It is to let people know its ok to have something that makes you feel good by just looking at it, and be a little selfish. Go for it since art is very personal for THAT particular person. I like the idea of people doing something nice for themselves.

Photo & Artwork by Murj

What inspires you to keep creating art? What artists do you admire and why?

I am inspired to make art because it’s a need I have like breathing. I just HAVE to create for my own equilibrium.

Portrait of Lauryn Hill | Photo & Artwork by Murj

I love the artwork of Doze Green. I have been a fan of his for a while. His work speaks directly to his ancestry and his use of color is awesome.

Share 3 random fun facts about you!

I love all things art!

I love animals, and as someone who has lived in New York City for 10 years,  I have never gone on the rides at Coney Island! I got to get on that [one]. Lol!

Photo & Artwork by Murj
Photo & Artwork by Murj

If you could chose one quote that summarizes your biz, what would it be? Why? 

“Just Do It.” I know it’s a little straight to the point, but that’s it in a nutshell.  I will continue to create artwork until I can’t anymore, and I encourage those that are interested in art to go for it, and bring some work home with them. Because its more than just a painting, or sculpture, etc. when the right person finds the right piece.

Photo / Clock artwork by Murj

Keep up with Murj:

Visit her websites: www.MURJART.com,  https://society6.com/murj and modifywatches.com/murjaniholmes

IG:@murj_art

Twitter: @murjart

Facebook: Murjani Holmes Art Page

Eco-Friendly / Vegan Beauty & Style Finds: From Tutus & Cosmetics to Soap

Emelda De Coteau
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Emelda De Coteau

Mother, wife, sister, friend, writer / blogger / creative organizer, budding photographer... These are just a few of the many hats I juggle each day. I believe creativity is oxygen for the soul. I created Live In Color blog to celebrate the beauty in every moment, from faith to inspiration and motherhood.And it is soon becoming Pray with Our Feet blog which will focus on the intersection of faith and activism. Follow the inspiration on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/praywithourfeetblog/
Emelda De Coteau
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Graphic by Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color Blog
Graphic by Emelda De Coteau, Live In Color Blog

This is the beginning of a new blog series – Beauty / Style Finds  – where I’ll highlight awesome brands (every other Friday) which are eco-friendly / vegan, along with small shops created by Mompreneurs. I am meeting so many wonderful Mama entrepreneurs on Instagram, and sharing their lovely products fills my heart with delight. What better way to spend a Friday, right?

Featured Shop – Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique

Michelle Dowell Photo courtesy of Michelle Dowell
Michelle Dowell
Photo courtesy of Michelle Dowell

Our first featured shop is Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique, run by Michelle Stephanie Dowell. Founded in 2011, this is a cruelty-free boutique – no lead, animal parts of any kind (leather, fur, etc.)  If you follow my blog here, or on Instagram, you know she’s my bestie / sis.

This multi-talented lady creates lovely handmade tutus and hair accessories for toddlers, tweens, fellow Mamas and everyone in between! The many mom-affordable items also include dresses, tutus, rompers, hairbows, headbands, room decor and more. Sizes range from newborns to women’s plus size!

Her shop just re-opened, and there is currently a spring / Easter giveaway (ends Wed., March 10), and sale so head on over to her blog for details.

Follow Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique on Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google+ and Pinterest for the most up-to-date news on all the latest creations!

Flyer courtesy of Ruffles Ribbons N' Bows Boutique
Flyer courtesy of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique

 

Photo courtesy of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique
Photo courtesy of Ruffles Ribbons N’ Bows Boutique

 

Cruelty-Free Cosmetics – Shea Moisture

Photo via Hype Hair
Photo via Hype Hair

 

A few years ago I discovered Shea Moisture when looking for organic baby and hair products. Last fall while shopping in Target I found their cosmetics, and have been a huge fan ever since. From an array of foundations for women of color to lipsticks / gloss, concealer, blush, eyeshadow and more they have us covered, ladies. This family-owned company is built on their Grandmother Sofi’s legacy of hard work and dedication to her community in West Africa.

Dr. Bronner’s     

Photo via VitaSun Blog
Photo via VitaSun Blog

 

Dr. Bronner’s became a staple in my home while searching for an organic product to mop our floors. Our beagle girl Foxy would sometimes pee in the hallway, and we needed something strong but not off putting to eliminate the scent.

Fast forward to today and we use a variety of Dr. Bronner’s soaps for a number of purposes – washing dishes, bathing (the lavender scented soap helps our little Nai sleep) and cleaning numerous household surfaces.

They also sell other cleaning  supplies, too, plus body care, tooth paste, lotions, and baby / sensitive skin products. It’s affordable, and best of all, a little goes a long way!