A Little History

chc-me 100     You’ve arrived at a very happy place!

Hello, I’m Mimmy.  Marji Stevens is my real name, but all my grandkids and friends call me Mimmy.

I started doing art years ago on a tippy card table in the corner of my old farmhouse kitchen.

It was dark and the table was rickety, but it was MY space  (after the kids went to bed!).  Late at night, when the house was still. I’d retreat to my corner, prop the table straight with my knee, and draw.

After we finally got heat in our laundry room I moved in  there.  I actually found a huge, professional drawing table on the side of the road!  It was hauled into the middle of blue jeans and matching socks. I was in love with my new space until I discovered it was just another spot for everyone to throw their stuff.  I’d be in the middle of a detailed pen and ink drawing and the kids would run in after playing outside. Sadly, too many projects got spattered with mud or snow no matter how careful they were, or how I threatened them with sure death.

Finally, I gave up trying. While the kids were little, my art table became a place to fold laundry.  So, my creativity took on a different look.  I refinished furniture, decorated my old farmhouse, and worked on music.

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These were the music years. I was invited to sing and speak in churches and women’s conferences and had no time for art.  When my mother became ill, my next door neighbor, a nurse, became a needed lifeline for me. I wanted to give her something to express my love and appreciating, so I cleared the laundry and Legos off my art table and started to draw.  She loved Noah’s Arks so I used watercolor pencils to create the first picture I’d done in years.

 

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ark_rainbow_lg reducedPeople began to ask if I sold prints. I got excited about doing artwork again.

 

The sadness surrounding my mother’s illness and passing drove me to search for anything “happy”.  It came across in my artwork.  This is when I began doing cartoons.

Eventually, my sons left home, and the laundry room became “mine” again.  I concentrated on building my inventory to sell at speaking engagements.

A fresh surge of creativity followed the birth of my first grandson.  I wrote Teedle’s Treasure, and A Gift For Teedle,  The Little Clock That Couldn’t Tock, and the Baby Moose series. Toys and play kitchens surrounded now my art table. As surfaces were filled with Fisher Price toys, I moved my studio into the garage (anything for the grandkids!)

In 2007, my husband, Bill, became ill and passed away at only 63.  Sadness seemed to rule the house for a long while, but never once did I lose the flow of creativity.  I believe God knew I needed it to help me survive the loss.  Bill’s mom still lived with me.  As her care became more intense, art was great comfort.  My garage studio became a sanctuary. I kept a baby monitor on at all times so I could hear her call.

In 2012 my mother-in-law passed away.  I’d planned to rent her apartment, but one day, as I was clearing her things, I felt the Lord say, “This is your new studio.”

I couldn’t believe it.  It never occurred to me that I would ever have such a lovely space and I knew it was meant to be shared. This is how the Creative Hands Community was born.

Now groups of artists meet on a regular basis to create, encourage each other, and dream.  “This is Your space, Lord, use it for Your glory.”  Our website, Happy CHC, is for sharing our projects and events,  and to encourage the fires of creativity to burn brightly.