Friday, August 22, 2014

5 Questions For: Blogger Jennifer of Earl Grey

Happy Friday! I'm so so excited to begin this new blogger Q&A series on my blog! I've wanted to make if found, make. a space dedicated to sharing the perspectives of other bloggers and creatives for awhile now, and I finally decided to make it happen! Check back periodically (dates TBA) for brief interviews with other bloggers + small biz owners to gain insight into their work, get inspiration, and discover new websites. You can read my about page + this post for more info on how this idea came about.

Thanks to Jennifer of Earl Grey for helping me kick off this series!

Earl Grey is a crafty design blog and I think that sums it up pretty perfectly. I love seeing new posts on anything from DIY to blog design come up in my bloglovin' feed! Jennifer has recently added posts dedicated to helping people customize their blogs. I actually just watched her Photoshop collage tutorial and it taught me a few shortcuts I hadn't thought of yet!

1. Which post(s) has been your favorite to write?
One of my very favorite posts to write was my Intro to CSS + CSS Cheat Sheet post. I was kind of holding my breath when I published it because I didn’t know if people would be interested in it. It ended up being one of my most popular posts yet and it encouraged me to create more design-related posts.

2. How important is it to have a blog that fits into a certain category?
I think blogs can fit into multiple categories but there should always be an overall focus. If you have a main focus (design, the handmade lifestyle, travel, etc.), it becomes easier to share a variety of topics while keeping a cohesive feel.

3. What is the single best investment you’ve made in your blog? 
E-courses! I don't think I can choose just one. In the past few years, I have taken many courses and workshops to learn things about content development, blog customization, and photography. It’s wonderful being able to develop new (and relevant) skills without spending a ton of money. Some courses have been better than others but I have always learned something new that I was able to incorporate into my blog.

4. With all the blogs emerging every day, you think it’s still possible to organically grow a blog?
Yes! I have noticed that with each new blog that is created, another blog withers away. Sometimes I come across fantastic looking blogs and then I see that their last post was from a year ago. It’s really easy to get discouraged and feel like it's taking forever to grow your blog (I feel that way all the time!), but if you stick with it and work towards improving your blog every day, I think you will definitely stand out in the end.

5. How does your blog life influence your “real” life?
My blog life influences my real life in such a valuable way. Since I’m always looking for inspiration, I feel like I am more aware of what’s around me. It has made me more adventurous and more appreciative of little things like color schemes, patterns, and typography.

Thanks for all the inspiration Jenn! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

summer succulents + working from home

They may be a little dry, but these are the light of my little deck. It's been in the 80s and 90s since who knows, so I can't see planting anything else. I have a routine of working from my small patio set when the sun isn't directly on it, and moving to my new workspace when it is. Gotta do something when you work from your own house everyday! With that and trying to go work from a cafe or some place new every week, I try to keep myself from going crazy in this little apartment. I know I shouldn't complain, but I'll sure be happy when it's cooled off a little in the fall! Meanwhile, I'll just take to Craigslist every now and then juuuust in case a beachfront apartment opens up in my price range. One day... 

Do you ever work from home? Tips appreciated!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Margaret of Rainy Day Colors

Rainy Day Colors is a sweet handmade card shop on Etsy. Margaret uses clean lines, simple shapes, and bright pops of color in each piece. I first checked out her shop after reading a blog post in her new series, Handmade Business Basics, where she talks about starting off as a maker, and keeping at it. Here's a bit more about the biz...

I've had a love of paper since school supply shopping in kindergarten. I worked at a scrapbooking store through college and fell in love with solid colored, textured cardstock. All of the paper I use is super sturdy textured cardstock in rich, bright colors. I love the detail the contrast of textures and colors adds to simple designs. After college, I worked in a Montessori school for awhile. My favorite days were spent with the kids in the light-filled art studio, showing them different techniques and materials. I started my shop as a hobby when I began staying home with my son full-time. It's been so fun growing from a hobby to a real small business. I love Etsy and their support for the handmade community.

I've done all sorts of custom orders, mostly for weddings and parties. I've also done some custom work for other small businesses, which has been really fun. It's always such an honor that someone wants my work to be a part of something big and their life, like a wedding or baby shower.

Such cute styling!

Margaret recently started on Etsy wholesale - can't wait to see how that goes. I also asked her what her best investment for her business as been and she said: The best investment I've recently made is paying a babysitter. Once a week, a sweet girl comes over and hangs out while I knock out a ton of work. It's so nice to know that I have a few hours set aide just to get work done. 

She also works from a super small and inspiring space in her home that she blogged about here. It's always nice to see that you CAN work from anywhere. Makers gonna make!

Rainy Day Colors | All items above available in her shop: