Crafty Q&A: Jaclyn Rae of Polka Dot Teapot

It’s been a while since I posted a Crafty Q&A, and I’m really excited to share this next one with you all. I fell in love with Jaclyn Rae’s blog the moment I saw it. It’s an uplifting, beautifully inspiring place. I can always count on her to lift my spirits, inspire me, and encourage me in my faith.  Enjoy! :)

Tell us a little bit about your blog, Polka Dot Teapot, and how you got started blogging.

The blog is named after my grandma, who loved teapots, because she inspires me to be a better woman. My grandma was the most enchanting person I’ve ever met. She loved everyone and always gave without asking for anything in return. She truly radiated God’s love, and I think the world needs more people like that.  

 I started blogging because it’s cathartic. It allows me to rewrite pain as something poetic and beautiful, and I find that very healing. I continue to write because I want to connect with others and celebrate our hope in Christ.

If you had to describe your blog in three words, what three words would you choose?

Hopeful. Cheerful. Encouraging.  (That’s what I strive for, at least!)

 

What do you love most about blogging?


I love the blogging community! I never imagined that I could feel so connected and supported by a group of people I’ve never met. I feel blessed to have gained friendships with both like-minded bloggers and bloggers who challenge my ideas. You all bring inspiration and sunshine to my life on a daily basis, and I’m so thankful.  

Your faith really shines through each post you write. Has God taught you anything through your blogging experience?

I’ve learned that God responds when I’m intentional about spending time with Him and regularly taking an inventory of my heart. He has also taught me that it’s okay to admit that I struggle and make mistakes… And it’s okay to be vulnerable with people. Sometimes the greatest testimony is the person with enough courage to say, “I’ve made lots of mistakes and I can’t change yesterday… But, God, I worship you now.”

Any advice for others who would like to start sharing about their lives and faith on a blog?

I think we’re all artists of some form. If writing or story-telling or ministering to others is your passion, I encourage you to pursue it. God uses willing hearts as instruments of love, so don’t be afraid to boldly share your faith with others.

Start today… right now! :)

 What inspires you?

People who love life. 

People who are passionately engaged in the things going on around them.

People who face every day with as much courage and love as they possibly can.  


What’s on your reading list/playlist right now?

Playlist: JJ Heller, Joss Stone, Mozella, Brooke Fraser, Ben Rector, Gungor, Mumford and Sons, Sugarland

Reading: Shauna Niequist, Khaled Hosseini, Beth Moore, C.S. Lewis, Marianne Willamson

I share your desire to pay attention and give thanks for all the beautiful blessings in my life.  What little blessings are you loving lately?

The little blessings I love right now:

– Being able to wake up with sun and go for a run.
– Working less than full-time for the past year, which gave me time to volunteer at 3 of my favorite places.
– Conversations with strangers that make it feel like we’re old friends.
– My sweet 70 year-old church friend knitting me cute hand towels.
– My youngest brother (13) still hugging me in public.
– Opportunities to start over.

What’s next for you and your blog? Any creative dreams on your heart?

Restoring beauty… My latest hobby is thrifting furniture and painting/staining/restoring it. God seems to meet me when I’m painting and it makes me wonder if He wants to restore the beauty in all of us. I’m excited to explore this more.

 “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.” 2 Corinthians 4:16


Share three random facts about yourself. :)


1. I keep bubbles in the glove box of my car so I can blow them if I get stuck in traffic.

2. I brush my teeth at least 5 times everyday.

3. I can get ready for a cocktail party in under 7 minutes.

Stay in touch with Jaclyn Rae via her blog and twitter

Thanks so much for participating in this Q&A, Jaclyn Rae! :) You’re an inspiration, and I’m so thankful to have met you through blogging.

You can read past Q&As, here. Also, if you have a request for a Crafty Q&A, or are interested in being featured yourself, please contact me at letterbirdart [at] gmail [dot] com.

Hope you all have a beautiful start to your week!

{k}

Crafty Q&A: Jaclyn1423

Hi, everyone! I’m happy to share another new Crafty Q&A with you. Say hello to Jaclyn! She makes lovely jewelry pieces and sells them in her Etsy shop, Jaclyn1423. I have a feeling you’re going to love her work as much as I do! :) Enjoy!
Tell us a little bit about your jewelry-making adventures and how you got started.

Well, I’ve been obsessed with jewelry forever. My jewelry box is a piece of furniture all on its own. A friend who makes jewelry showed me how to use crimp beads and jump rings and other jewelry-making staples—mainly, I just wanted to get my hands on some of the pretty beads. From there, my interest grew. I started Jaclyn1423 mainly because I kept making pieces but couldn’t possibly wear it all!

How would you describe the style of the jewelry you make?

Oooh, good question. I’m not sure! Maybe whimsicle? Vintage-meets-today’s-trends? “Pretty things”?

What do you enjoy most about making jewelry?

The creativity of each part of the process. I love going to Michael’s, or shopping online, or hitting up my favorite antique stores and finding pieces that, for lack of a better phrase, “speak to me.” (Lord, that sounds flaky.) I love it when I can hold a vintage brooch or pretty bead in my head and see it in a finished piece. I also love it when the finished piece looks nothing like my imagination, when reality takes off on its own and comes up with something I couldn’t have ever planned.


Do you have an all-time favorite piece that you’ve created?

Probably my Joey’s Hot Dogs, for the meaning behind them. My brother, Joey, has autism, and hot dogs are his favorite food. Last April, for Autism Awareness Month, I debuted the Joey’s Hot Dog necklaces on my Etsy site. They feature a brightly colored Czech glass bead, a puzzle piece (the symbol of autims) and a hot dog, plus an initial charm, if you like. I donate $5 of each sale to Autism Speaks.

I love the stories behind artwork. Do you have any jewelry creations that have interesting stories behind them?

The Joey’s Hot Dog story is probably my favorite of anything I’ve sold. I also got a really fabulous compliment regarding my shaggy necklace. When my best friend got married, I made the bridesmaid jewelry. She had an idea in mind of what she wanted for her own necklace, but ended up going another route. About a year later, she still had that idea in mind, and she told me about it. I took her idea and came up with the shaggy necklace for her, which she loved. She told me it was exactly what she had wanted for her wedding, and she wished she had asked for it sooner. That really touched me, that had she had the necklace earlier, she may have worn it on her wedding day.

Do you have any daily jewelry staples?

HA! I have way too much jewelry to have staples. The closest thing is probably my right-hand ring. My birthstone is a diamond, and when I was little, I asked my mom for a birthstone ring—all my friends had one! She told me no, that mommies don’t buy daughters dimaond rings, that boys did when girls were all grown up. I thought, in my second-grade way, that’s bull. I always remembered that and in high school, I told myself when I graduated college and had a job, I’d buy myself a diamond ring. I did, and it’s the piece I wear the most, hands down.

Tell us a little bit about your blog Snap, Crackle, Pop. When did you start blogging?

I’ve blogged for various jobs, but this is the first personal one I’ve had. I started it before I began to make jewelry, thinking it’d be primarily a pop culture blog. After starting Jaclyn1423, it quickly morphed into primarily an Etsy blog, with a little bit of pop culture and Life with Joey and autism thrown in there.

What inspires you?

Art and people are probably tied for my No. 1 bit of inspiration. Paintings, music, books, poems, movies, that special kind of friend who I’d swear grew in the same bit of space as I did … they all can create that little spark that makes me want to create.

What are you reading/listening to currently?

I finished “God-Shaped Hole” by Tiffanie DeBartolo last night. I buy books WAY faster than I can read (how else do you have enough to stock a library??), and I picked up “God-Shaped Hole” years ago becaue of the title. How great is that line?? It’s a modern-day love story with so, so many of those little lines that make me think, “I wish I had written that.” Next, I’ll start Stephen King’s, “Blockade Billy.” My current favorite CD is one I bought a few weeks ago — Bruno Mars, Doo-Wops & Hooligans. Songs to download:
“Marry You” and “Runaway Baby.” If these songs don’t make you bop in your seat, no matter where you are, you may be dead inside.
And just for fun:
Share three random facts about yourself. :)

1) Red and green peppers: What evil tastes like.
2) A very good friend in high school used to regularly pull on my finger nails because he was convinced I wore fake nails.
3) I don’t text. Neither does my beau. His brothers think that is proof we are made for each other.
Thanks for participating, Jaclyn!
P.S. If you’d like the chance to win something lovely from Jaclyn’s shop, check out this giveaway. If you enter, you’ll have a chance to win this beautiful Valentine’s Day necklace:

{ K }

Crafty Q&A: Marissa Bowers art * design * photo

Hi, everyone! I’m here to share my newest Crafty Q&A with Marissa of Marissa Bowers art * design * photo. She’s one multi-talented woman, and I’m excited to share her inspiring work with you all!

Tell us a little bit about your art, photography, and design business and how you got started.

My business started officially last February 2010, but had been a freelance business (in addition to a full-time career as a Design Manager for a craft book line for a publishing company) since 2008. I went to college in Chicago and received a degree in graphic design, but had always had a secondary interest in photography. I kind of ‘curbed’ that interest in photography because I wanted to be focused on getting a degree in something I enjoyed (I knew what I really enjoyed was design + layout of things visually; whether it was logos, publication design or posters) and be DONE with college. Little did I realize at that time that eventually my path in design careers would lead me back to my love of photography and would spark in me an interest to combine both into a business I could do on my own. From Chicago, I moved to Nashville (one of the greatest creative communities you could be in as a young artist)—and from there, I moved back to my hometown area of Cincinnati in 2003, when I had my daughter.

What has been the most challenging aspect of starting your own creative business?
I think the challenge for most creatives is to identify what it is you do really well and channel that into an effective business model that will give you enjoyment in doing it on a daily basis, while also providing the salary you need to live with. In other words, I need to build on my past key successes and use those successes to branch out and make me successful in new areas and with new clients. Having your own business relies on networking, finding new and interesting clients, and marketing yourself when sometimes you just don’t feel like tooting your own horn, but you must, in order to make it known you are “out there.”


What do you love most about what you do?

Currently, I am loving the diversity I have created with my client list and the diversity of the things I work on on a daily basis. Over the course of a year, I’ve designed numerous craft books, designed a catalog of used medical books for a book distributor, made posters for my local theatre company, and photographed five weddings. But I’ve also found time to begin the inklings of new projects that are particularly focused on expanding my abilities and pursuing my dreams even further; I’ve started a big idea photography venture with K9 police officers and their partners that I hope will one day turn into a gallery collection for me to raise funds for honoring their service in some way. I’ve also begun to work with creating artwork with my photography and designs—together—which is a dream come true in and of itself, and giving first dibs at this artwork to local small businesses to sell through their stores. My goal for 2011 is to build that business idea even further and offer more creations.

Any advice for others who have a creative dream they want to pursue?

I always love the quote from Alan Alda that I found years ago when thinking about starting my own business. I keep it close and read it often.

“Be brave enough to live creatively. The creative is the place where no one else has even been. You have to leave the city of your comfort and go into the wilderness of your intuition. What you will discover will be wonderful. What you will discover will be yourself.” -Alan Alda

This quote sums up to me, at least, exactly what it is that is so scary and unknown about leaping out and having faith in yourself to start your own dream. A dream like living a creative life is one that is usually frowned upon (first by parents, then by peers). It is not innately “secure,” but can lead to the most rewarding experiences of your life. It is a pathway that is meant to grow on, and not always necessarily know the answers to.

What inspires you?

My children, definitely. I began the photography adventure with my business because when they were born, I really started to fall in love with what I created behind the lens—pictures of them. I still think I do my finest work when my focus is on them, even though they typically get me the most frustrated now that they are older and give me the silly faces or are just kind of “over” being in front of my camera.

I love being inspired by others, whether it be through crafters, other photographers, or design (graphic, interior, fashion). Particularly why I’ve fallen in love with the website Pinterest (http://www.pinterest.com) as of late. It is all of those things combined!

Do you have any must-have supplies?

My Apple computers (an iMac and a MacBook laptop) where I do all of my finished creations, my camera (a Canon 50d), my favorite lens (a Canon 50mm) and various and sundry craft supplies and papers (although they are completely unorganized right now in my office and just piled up in stacks and boxes).

Share three random facts about yourself. :)

When I was in grade school, I had awesome cursive handwriting—all of my 4th grade friends wanted me to give them lessons. (I should hone this skill even further and make my design services include hand lettering, but in actuality, I don’t really like my handwriting that much and fear that I would get frustrated at myself if a job relied on me ‘liking’ my writing.)

I started out as a journalism major in college and was editor of both my college and high school newspapers. It was my found love of laying out the paper in college that made me realize I would much rather have a career in design than journalism.

My daughter Hope was born in July 2002. I found out I was pregnant with her in October, 2001 just one month after the 9-11 attacks. Up until that point, our firstborn daughter’s name was going to be Kayleigh. But the moment I found out that she was going to be, I knew her name had to be Hope. I love that her name brings life to exactly what this country had to have to get through such a difficult time.

Thanks for participating, Marissa! :)

Crafty Q&A: Katie Licht

Hi, everyone! I’m happy to share my newest Crafty Q&A with you all: Katie Licht. Katie blogs at katielicht.tumblr.com. She shares my love of old black-and-white photos, vintage papers, and the creative joy to be found in art journaling.

Tell us a little bit about your blog, and how you got started blogging.

I feel like an internet old fogey. . . I actually started to keep a 
web journal on diaryland.com around 1999 and have had some form of
 public or private blog ever since. I’m not sure why, I guess I just 
feel compelled to share things about myself with total strangers! My 
blog now is a mix of my art, some personal stories, and things I find
 online that are inspiring or beautiful. I have really enjoyed the Tumblr platform, and there is a great supportive community there.

When and why did you start making art journals?

In my college graphic design and studio art classes, I remember being introduced to handmade books, and I studied abroad in Rome for a
semester and took a mixed media art class that required us to keep a
sketchbook. Combine those two things, with a natural inclination 
towards collage, and always having kept a written journal, and I think 
that art journalling naturally progressed from there.  And like so
 many others, I also discovered Sabrina Ward Harrison’s books around
 that same time, and it opened my eyes to a whole new way of creating 
things.

What do you love most about creating art journals?

I really love the process. There’s nothing like sitting down with 
scissors, paper, and glue, and just making something new. It’s 
something I find relaxing and invigorating at the same time, and I
 always feel happier after I’ve spent some time working. I love looking
 back at my old journals, too. It’s the best when they start to get 
really fat and splay out and have little pieces sticking out
 everywhere.

Do you have any favorite pages you’ve created?

I have a lot of fondness for the pages I made right before my son was born, just sitting at home waiting and wondering when I’d go into labor. I also feel really satisfied with a lot of pages from my recent November daily project.

Do you have any must-have collage/art journaling supplies?

In my recent projects, I have started to use vintage and handmade or 
handpainted paper almost exclusively. The texture and weight of
 vintage paper is unmatched with anything commercially produced these 
days, at least as far as I have found. I love and hoard old photos
 too, snapshots from the 40s and 50s are my favorite. Plus, finding
 those things is half of the fun, looking in flea markets and digging
 for good old books from the thrift store. Other than that, lots of
 glue sticks and Pilot rolling ball black pens. I should probably start 
buying them in bulk.

How would you describe the style of your artwork?

I struggle with this actually, since I feel like my work doesn’t really fit the mold of a lot of what I see in the majority of art journals online and in publications. Composition, texture, and color palette are the aspects of my work I focus on the most, as well as trying to use vintage and antique ephemera in a modern way. I love some good white space, and doodling, and hand drawn or hand cut lettering. Does that even answer the question? :) Like I said, this is one I myself have a hard time pinning down! It’s evolving.

How does your career as a graphic designer influence your art
journal/collage work?

Part of the reason I love making art is that it’s a great break from 
working on the computer all day. I love creating something with my own
 two hands, rather than just with pixels on a screen. And like a lot of 
graphic designers, I’m obsessed with typography, so type and lettering 
play a big role in my art and collage work. I’d be hard pressed to 
find something I’ve made that doesn’t have a letter or word in it.


What inspires you?

The ultimate most inspiring thing to me is when I actually have the 
energy to sit down and work on art after dinner has been made and 
cleaned up, toys put away, and the boy bathed and put to bed. I know 
that’s such a practical thing, but it’s true! The materials I find, 
color palettes, coffee, nature/the weather, and all the amazing 
artists on flickr are other things that make me excited about 
creating.

You participated in the 2011 Sketchbook Project, too. Tell us a little bit about your experience working in your sketchbook. Did you learn anything about yourself or your artwork by participating in the project?

I really enjoyed working on the 2011 Sketchbook Project. I have 
learned through the years that if I think too much about a piece, it 
can get overworked and feel a little flat. I took a lot of liberty and 
felt really free working on my sketchbook, and I am so happy with how 
it turned out. So, it taught me to let go a little bit more, and trust
 my instincts.

And just for fun:
Share three random facts about yourself. :)

For a few semesters in college I worked at the college radio station.
My on air name was “DJ Friendship.”

My dream job is a mythical combination of stay-at-home mom, artist, fashion blogger, and working on visual merchandising at Anthropologie.

I’ve lived in the midwest pretty much my whole life, and it’s really affected my aesthetic preferences. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than a summertime cornfield at dusk.

. . .

Thanks so much for participating, Katie! :)

Katie’s inspired me to start up a new art journal now that I’ve completed the Sketchbook Project. Do you keep an art journal? If so, leave me a link in the comments. I’d love to take a peek!

Crafty Q&A: BD Photography

Hi, everyone! I’m here to share my newest Crafty Q&A with Bridgette of BDPhotography. She captures so many beautiful moments—you’ll definitely be inspired by her work! Enjoy! :)

Tell us a little bit about your photography business, BD Photography, and how you got started.

BDphotography is a special place in my world where i get to meet families, couples, seniors, delicious little newborns, and cool single people. i get to be a grown up, which means accepting and being myself, unapologetically, and it’s turning out that some people actually respect and dig that me. i also get to be a kid with the kids i chase with my camera; i get to feel butterflies with my young love clients; i get to learn from great parents and capture the special bonds in their family; and i get to be motivated by confident young people that are excited about the future.

i’m not a business woman. i bought my camera with intentions of being able to have good quality pictures of my family, so i could remember the life that was whizzing past me at a dizzying pace. it just so happened that i’m frugal, and the camera cost a lot more than i felt comfortable spending without justification. so, i decided that i would try doing a few shoots for friends or family for a little bit of cash to pay us back what was spent. i hoped i could stay busy for a few weeks or so and be done. but with the ease of sharing on social media, my friends posted their pics, and then their friends started sending me requests, and then their friends, until there was this crazy snowball, and i suddenly had a photography career. i think that was 3 years ago, and i still sometimes feel like people are giving me too much credit, or that i’m not qualified to be doing this. but oh my gosh, there a million things i love about it, and i’m discovering new stuff every day, so if you’ll have me, i’m yours!

{photo by ©Tara Clark Photography}

What kind of camera do you use/what are your photography must-haves?
i’m a very bare bones kinda girl when it comes to tech goodies. i have that same basic entry level Nikon DSLR still, and i hope she lives forever. i don’t often change glass, as i’m so comfortable with the 18-55mm kit lens that came with my bundle. a big occupational hazard in this industry is becoming addicted to upgrading, because there is always a newer camera body or lens or just-released version of your editing software. i’ve been able to avoid that habit pretty well, and predict my nikon will quit on me before i quit on her ;)

my true must-haves are natural light and a willing subject. i can even work on the willing part if need be.

Any fun or touching anecdotes to share from recent photo shoots?
i’m super sarcastic and like to find the funny in every situation. inevitably, there’s always a take-away line for me from every shoot. whether it’s something a client has said to me, or an interaction between themselves. i find myself laughing at my computer days later, alone and editing, replaying the quote in my head. they are all inside jokes/you had to be there kinda things, but in general, observing the relationships my subjects have is always a blessings—something to learn from and cherish. when you get to pull yourself out of your own world, and glimpse into someone else’s, it gives you a chance to stop and smell the roses so to speak.

What inspires you?
the super power of being able to freeze time! i’m notorious for my bad memory. it’s quite annoying to my friends, family and myself. but what i’ve discovered is that photography effectively gives me a “pause button for life.” and then once a moment or stage or hairstyle or relationship is captured, you can press rewind whenever you like to remember and relive those fleeting days. for me, that’s absolutely priceless.

What’s next for BD Photography? Any creative dreams on your heart currently?

hmm, well… i’m not much of a planner. i’m more of the “whatever happens, happens” philosophy. it makes things so exciting because you never know what’s around the corner. and i have to say, thus far, it’s worked out very well for me. when i was a teenager, i had specific ignorant naive opinions and plans that all {THANK GOD!} went down the drain when i was given an amazing man that i thought i didn’t need. turns out, i’ve been married to him for 9 1/2 years, and we have 2 gorgeous girls who are our living sunshines. i never expected this life and had planned pretty much the opposite, but i’m confident now that would have been a disaster. so, i’ve learned that when i stop trying to be in control, God does a much better job of laying out my life than i could. final shocking case-in-point… on my wedding day, i decided that we should celebrate our 10 year anniversary with an extravagant 2nd wedding vow renewal ceremony, or go on an international 2nd honeymoon vacation, and as of recent years, I thought our celebration should include a fabulous trash the dress photography session for this old bride and groom. neither of us dreamed that our 6 and 8 year old daughters would be getting a new baby brother or sister instead!!!

{photo by Sheila of sheilacastlephotography.com}

my creative dream is just to continue to follow this photography path as long as it’s working. I absolutely LOVE meeting so many people and intertwining my life with theirs. i’m so grateful for that. who knows how it will all play out, but it’s such a fun ride. for me, photography isn’t a talent or skill that i studied and honed and invested or earned my way into with hard work. i humbly understand that it is a gifting, which is always for divine purpose, and my challenge is to make sure i continue to find ways to honor that.

{photo by Sheila of sheilacastlephotography.com}

Share three random facts about yourself. :)
1}when i was in 6th grade, my best friend and i thought we would become millionaires with our invention of pickle juice popsicles.
2}i prefer dinner foods for breakfast consistently. chili or lasagna beats scramble eggs every time.
3}having someone invite me over for home cooked food is better than any present you could wrap.

3.5}even if i weren’t pregnant, these facts would all still be food related :)

Thanks so much for participating, Bridgette! Visit her website, BDPhotography, to see more of her work and follow along on her photography adventures.

Crafty Q&A: Selective Potential

Hi, everyone! I’m back with a new Crafty Q&A with the sweet and stylish Tieka of Selective Potential. Enjoy! :)


Tell us a little bit about Selective Potential and how you got started blogging.

Selective Potential has been a place where I can have fun with my personal style and document my life with adventures and trips. I started blogging in September 2009 after losing 35 pounds. I, all of a sudden, had a new body and no idea how to dress it! So I did some online researching, stumbled on some fashion blogs and have been hooked ever since!

2010Dec28_0053 DSC_9696

How would you describe your personal style?

My personal style is very defined by the seasons and my settings. I love to match a location or a theme to my outfit — so planning ahead is a big deal with my personal style! I’m very much girly — I love florals, bows, flats, tights, but I also have a grunge-edge that likes to sneak out every once in a while — with a bomber leather jacket, ripped tights or lace up boots. Mixing the two is perfect and definitely explains my background in matching outfits to places. I live in a small beach town just 40 minutes from a gorgeous city, so it makes sense I have a small town style with an urban edge.

Do you have an all-time favorite outfit you’ve styled?

My favorite outfit that I’ve styled that perfectly describes me is probably Floral Grunge. It has my favorite floral-sleeved dress, opaque black tights, a chunky belt and my beloved Jeffrey Campbell lace-up boots. It’s the perfect combination of girly and grunge — which is the look I feel most comfortable in!

What are your fashion must-haves?

I adore sleeved dresses. I can’t imagine my closet without them. I wear them in every season! I also can’t imagine my closet without lace up boots, chunky belts and cardigans. You can mix and match those in a million different ways.

2010Dec28_0000

Any advice for readers who are interested in discovering and developing their own styles?

If you like a certain style on someone else, try it on you! If you don’t like it on you, move on. I love strapless dresses on other girls, but I cannot for the life of me pull it off, so I stay away because I’ve learned my lesson. Be true to your body type and your own sense of style — don’t follow trends because they are trends. If you want to follow a trend, follow it because you love it! The more you experiment with your style, the more you’ll learn what works for you and what doesn’t.

1. August 7 2010 9, 2. Happy September 1st!, 3. Millicent Launches Forth, 4. 18th July 2010 7, 5. Not available, 6. 60s bob with bangs, 7. Not available, 8. Not available, 9. Not available, 10. Not available, 11. Fall, 12. november 10, 13. 4 December 2010 – Batwings and Belted Scarves, 14. Fall, 15. Easter Sunday, 16.November 7th, 17. Rainy Sunday, 18. november 9, 19. August 29, 20. Shabby Apple Giveaway

To give you all an example of discovering and developing your own style, I made this inspiration mosaic to share with Tieka. It showcases a variety of looks that inspire me. I also shared some of my favorite personal outfit photos (below).

Here’s what Tieka had to say about my style:

Katie’s style is very girly, classic and vintage-inspired. Between bright colors, boots, floral patterns and vintage-inspired elements, you can easily define Katie’s style just by her outfit choices or her favorite outfits from other bloggers. If you can’t figure out your style, make a collage of your favorite outfits — yours and your favorite bloggers or style icons. Once you have them all together, you’ll easily be able to see what your favorite items are and how they are worn. It makes shopping so much easier if you know you love outfits paired with boots, or you like a bright pop of color in tights, some chunky belts and a vintage-inspired dress. Once you have the “ideal” outfit down that describes “your” style, you’ll easily be able to recreate other outfits that are similar and wa-la, you have your own personal style!

During the cold winter months, it can be difficult to put together cute, cozy outfits. Any suggestions for creating a functional (and warm!), but stylish winter wardrobe?

DSC_2024

First, my biggest tip for dressing during the cold winter months is to put together your outfit the night before. For me, in the dark, cold winter mornings — I am so uninspired, tired and just ready to wear my pajamas out the door. I always put together an outfit the night before, and I always keep in mind that I’m going to be tired, cranky and cold. I am always thinking about layers. Like tonight, I just put together my outfit for tomorrow.. and I really wanted to wear this cute open-back floral dress, but it’s 20 degrees here! So I paired it with some sweater tights, a chunky cardigan, a belt and matching shoes and even laid out my accessories — long necklaces and a chunky beaded ring! Tomorrow morning, I’ll force myself to wear it…and not only will I have a warm, cozy outfit, but it’ll be cute and styled while I was inspired!

Any tips for achieving chic style on a budget?

I would highly recommend thrifting if you’re on a budget. When I first started my style blog, I was in college full-time and working only part-time, and we didn’t have money to maintain my love for my blog and wanting to feature new outfits all the time! I would scour our local Goodwill for any cute print or pattern and see what I could do with it. My favorite thing to do now is to buy old lady skirts that are stretchy, pull them up as dresses, belt them, throw on a cardigan, pair some tights and boots… and I’m all set. Most skirts you can buy for $2-$4, and they can make a really cute dress! Think about items differently, like a dress that’s too short can be worn as a top with a cute skirt over it. Thrifting can lead to amazing old belts and shoes — try layering old thrifted belts or vintage jewelry. Be creative and think outside the box! Try a million options on in the mirror. Everything helps!

And just for fun: Share three random facts about yourself. :-)

Ooh, fun! I’m a total nail-biter, my hair is naturally curly and I could eat half a confetti cake by myself. ;]

Visit Tieka’s blog, Selective Potential, for much more style inspiration. And you can follow her on Twitter, here.

Thanks so much for participating in this Q&A, Tieka! :)

I hope you all had as much fun reading this, as I did putting it together. And between Carmen’s Q&A and this Q&A with Tieka, I feel super inspired this week.

P.S. How would you describe your style? Leave me a comment describing your personal style, or link to your Flickr account or blog, if you post photos of your outfits there.

Happy Tuesday!

K

Interested in being featured in a Crafty Q&A? E-mail me at letterbirdart [at] gmail [dot] com.


Crafty Q&A: Life Blessons

Hi, everyone!

I’m really excited to kick off a regular new Q&A feature, which will affectionately be called Crafty Q&As. I’ll be featuring talented and crafty bloggers (as the name probably suggests). I can’t wait to share lots of crafty goodness and inspiration with you all (and possibly introduce you to some amazing bloggers you might not already know)!

So, without further adieu, I’d like to introduce you to the talented and very inspiring Carmen of Life Blessons.

Carmen lives in Atlanta, Georgia with her husband. She shares what is going on in her life, her faith and all her domestic ambitions on her blog Life Blessons.

1. Tell us a little bit about your blog, Life Blessons, and how you got started blogging.
Well, I’ve had a couple of blogs off and on over the years, that I dabbled with. But when I moved to Atlanta with my husband and knew no one here but him, I decided to use blogging as an outlet to share what God was doing in my life. I wanted it to be a place where I could use my talent of writing and my opportunity of having ample time on my hands to give God glory for all he’s done and hopefully offer encouragement to others. The idea for the title came by combining the two things I wanted my blog to revolve around: the blessings and lessons that God was working in my life.

2. What do you love most about blogging?
I think what I love the most about blogging is the intimacy it enables. It can be really hard in normal, everyday conversation to share your hardships and struggles and fears, especially in terms of your spiritual life. But on my blog, I can put to words what I’m going through, what I’m learning, and anyone can come by, read it and (hopefully!) be inspired or encouraged.

3. Any advice for others who would like to start sharing about their lives and faith on a blog?
I think that the hardest thing about sharing your faith is overcoming the fear of what will happen when you bare your soul like that. I used to cringe sometimes when people who aren’t believers told me that they read my blog because I was afraid that they would judge me or stop liking me or laugh at me. But I was surprised when a girl who isn’t a Christian told me, so sincerely, that she loved reading my blog. I honestly wondered, “Why?!” But I’ve come to understand that I shouldn’t be surprised that even those who don’t yet love God won’t be attracted to his love and power and mercy, which I strive to share on my blog. You never know how and to whom God is going to use your words to impact others!

4. You have such a lovely style with a vintage flair (both in your wardrobe and your home decor). What are your favorite vintage finds?
Oh, thanks, Katie!! I appreciate that compliment tremendously!

Let’s see, some of my favorite vintage finds probably are ones I’ve incorporated into my home décor, including a hodge podge of paintings and frames from the 60s and 70s, a handmade bedspread covered in little green swiss dots, my 1950s-ish wood dining chairs, and (my all-time fave) a gorgeous dark wood buffet that is so huge and hulking that it’s still sitting in my parents garage, waiting for the day when I have a home of my own and don’t have to haul it up a few flights of stairs!

5. Do you have any tips for thrifting and incorporating your finds into your wardrobe or home?
My first piece of advice would be to find a thrift store you like. If you look, you’re likely to find tons of thrift shops in your city, but some are usually better than others. (My experience has been that the ones near wealthier areas are usually better!) That will give you a leg up on finding better stuff to begin with. Also, be willing to take something that is imperfect (as most thriftstore finds will be) and experiment with ways to make it better. I’ve learned not to be afraid of sewing my own hems, taking shirts in on the sides or adding embellishments. Or with home décor, let spray paint be your best friend! The good thing about these tactics, is that even if you end up ruining the item, you’re only out a couple of bucks. But the flip side is that you have the opportunity to turn the object into exactly what you want, in the exact shade or size you need it. That always wins out for me!

6. You’ve featured some great crafty projects on Life Blessons (making your own shampoo, your own cosmetics, etc.). Anything currently on your “to-make” list?
Oh, there is always something on my “to-make” list, although some are more practical than others. I’d love to revamp the desks that my husband and I built last spring, with hopes of making them look less noticeably handmade. (It was a lofty experiment that did not live up to our expectations, but I still would like to try to make the most of it.) I’d also really love to create some terrariums!

7. What’s next for Life Blessons? Any creative dreams on your heart right now?
That’s a really good question, and honestly, I don’t know what’s next for my blog! It feels like I’m in a season right now when everything is up in the air and able to change: I’m looking for a new job, contemplating moving to a new apartment, still trying to discover what’s my “mission.” So I haven’t given much thought of what will come of my blog, although I do want to protect the integrity of focusing on matters of faith rather than just posting for the sake of posting. That might mean less posts in the future or it might mean no changes at all!

8. What inspires you?
The things that inspire me most are things that are unique and one-of-a-kind, whether it’s from a beautiful piece of artwork or an inspiring phrase in a book or a surprising color combination. I love being able to look at things in new ways and see new ways of piecing images or outfits or decorations together.

9. Just for fun: Share three random facts about yourself. :)
1) I had a 10 week engagement to my husband before we got married, and even then, we got married before we’d even been dating a full year! Sometimes spontaneity totally works :)
2) I think it took me until I was 21 years old to be happy with my style and comfortable in my own skin. It’s a shame to think it takes that long to stop caring what other people think or expect, but I’m just thankful I finally have!
3) The greatest compliment I’ve ever received about my decorating was when a friend came over and told me my apartment looked like Anthropologie. I don’t know if I can ever top that! (On the flip side, one of my husband’s friends said that our place looked like a “bachelor pad.” I wasn’t quite as flattered!)

Thanks so much for participating, Carmen! :-) Visit Carmen’s blog, Life Blessons, to learn more and follow along on her latest adventure.

Interested in being featured in a Crafty Q&A? E-mail me at letterbirdart [at] gmail [dot] com.