Are You a Blogger Who Makes or a Maker Who Blogs?

Because, let’s face it.  These are two different approaches to blogging.

Are you a Blogger or a Maker first?  |
When I first discovered this idea, I was rocking my daughter to sleep + the question came at me like a riddle.  Which one are you? it wanted to know.  It took a couple of rockings for me to decide.  

A Blogger Who Makes

You blog to tell a story + if your craft or wares come into the picture, it is because they are part of your story.  You blog to put your voice out there + to hear others validate your thoughts through comments + shares.  You may blog to build a community through more interactive approaches like knitalongs + link parties.

You probably have quite a few categories of topics that you love to cover and this helps you build a large following around many topics.  My personal favorites are sustainable family living, crafting, and minimalism.

Some of my favorite Bloggers are Buckaloo View + Field*Wonderful + Thrifty Frugal Mama
 + Little House Living + High Heels & Two Wheels + Reading My Tea Leaves

A Maker Who Blogs

You blog to share your process or your wares with your fans + build a following around your product or services.  You want your readers to have behind-the-scenes access to your creative process + all that it entails.  You are most likely using your community’s feedback to better understand what your audience is seeking in your business.

Your categories are more in line with your business niche + less about your personal life (though I know plenty of business blogs that deviate from this).

I don’t find myself following as many of these blogs as the former, but when I do, I binge read them because they are full of self-help articles + pretty stylized images.  My favorites include:
Pickles + DarlingbeBrave + A Bowl Full of Lemons + Elle&Co + byRegina + KylaRoma

Certainly there isn’t only one way to blog.  And readers need a mixture to keep things interesting.  I just thought this would be fun to see who identifies with which personality. 

Ultimately I’m a Blogger first who happens to make + sell things.  Looking at how long I’ve been writing, what motivates me to write, and why I write, all point to my reason for blogging: community engagement.  That’s not to say I don’t want to monetize or mention my Etsy shop, but it does highlight the fact that those are or have become secondary to my motivation for reader engagement.

So I pose the same question to you:  Are you a Blogger who makes or a Maker who blogs?

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How to Organize Shipping Supplies

As I’m going through the 14 Week Challenge by A Bowl Full of Lemons I find myself googling “How to organize shipping supplies.”  I can’t say I’ve found much inspiration so far, but I did find this helpful round up of stores to help you get organized & this blog sharing her recently organized spaces.

So far I’m thinking a couple wall-mounted magazine racks or “pockets” to hold shipping envelopes, a table top to package on and also hold the printer (or store it below the tabletop) to print shipping labels.

& then based on what inspiration I did find, I’m thinking…

Shallow drawers for the tools & small supplies (labeler, stamps, extra ink cartridges, packaging tape, scale etc) with clear drawer organizers.

Source: iHeart Organizing

Teal file folders for inside my newly-painted filing cabinet…

The more I daydream, the more I’m really loving the white on white palette.  I also thought the Martha Stewart teal + white is pretty swoon-worthy too.  (Does anyone else think she’s a bit overpriced?)

What does your shipping or mail center look like?  Please inspire me with your ideas! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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A Space of One’s Own

Remember that home addition we started back in June?  Well after the mad dash to get it enclosed for the winter, progress has all but stalled.  We gave ourselves permission to take a break for December and now it’s been a push to get the motivation going again.

I think with it being the new year & EJ’s first birthday coming up in a month(!??) , we have plenty of reasons to light the fire and get going.  I’ve been feeling especially motivated with Home Organization 101 filling my newsfeed with real-life inspirational images of newly de-cluttered & decorated homes right out of Pinterest.  I’m ready for my own little sanctuary!

Looking through the old bathroom door

New backdoor, bathroom on the right.

I could (and have – whoops!) spend an entire day on Pinterest devouring beautiful work spaces.  But thanks to the Home Organization group, I’m starting to realize the beauty of paring down to the necessities.  A mommy friend also suggested keeping a simple color palette for the whole HOUSE to keep it feeling cohesive.  With these two empowering motivators, I’ve started envisioning what this space will actually look like if I stick to what entices me the most on Pinterest: white on white.

So far I’ve found baskets & memory boxes from Michael’s that I’ve already started filling & labeling for their new home.  This only gets me more excited for the day when I can finally put them on the shelf! ๐Ÿ™‚

 Next: I want to paint our dull black metal filing cabinet (tiffany blue or peach pink?) white and bring it up from the basement to make filing a lot easier.  I’m thinking one drawer for personal/family stuff & the other for Etsy.

Keeping with the paring-down theme, I’m giveaway a collection of knitting needles on March 16.  Find out how you can enter here.

What are you dreaming about?  

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Knitting Needles Giveaway

Today I’m hosting a giveaway for knitting needles!  These were handed down to me from another friend who was cleaning out his mother’s home in hopes that I could get some use out of them.

Since I already have quite a collection of my own, I thought it was time to share the wealth with other friends who are still building up their collection.

Sizes up for grabs: Circular US 10 1/2, 29″ long  /  Straight Needles: 1, 5, 8 & 10 (x3)

To enter, comment below with the sizes you are either lacking or already own along with a current pattern you are working on.  For additional entries (one per share), share this post via Tweet/ blog/ facebook/ Instagram/ Google+  and comment with your link(s).

I’ll close entries by Sunday evening, March 15, and announce a winner Monday morning (16th).

So, what size knitting needles are lacking in your collection?

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Purging + Organzing

Even though this blog has been relatively quiet the last week, I’ve been spinning my wheels around the house purging + organizing like crazy!  Little EJ is well on the move and nothing is safe.  So I’ve frantically been baby proofing and chasing her nearly every minute of the day.  Naptimes have been devoted to chores + more purging.  Today was a big virtual purge day of old files from college and even high school!  I’ve found a couple fun documents that I shared on my private blog but perhaps I’ll post them over here in the future.

Teaching has been picking up pace.  Monday had 9 people signed up for Arm Knitting!  NINE!  My second largest class was only 4!  It was definitely a new experience, but a fun one for me.  I hope all the rest of my students enjoyed themselves.  Nearly everyone left with a completed double-wrap cowl (only one person gave up, our resident Crocheter who has always refused to learn to knit) and an enthusiasm to return for the Yarn Night in March.  Maybe I can convince our Crocheter to give Arm Knitting another try…

Tonight I finished my own Arm Knitting cowl that I didn’t have time to complete Monday night – and I even had enough to make a single-wrap cowl with the left over yarn.  While knitting, I came across this post by Kyla Roma and I loved the idea of interviewing your clients instead of “imagining your ideal customer.”  I have never been good at “guessing” who my ideal customer is because I am always (happily!) surprised at who stops at my table, what they pick up, and even their comments/suggestions educates and inspires me.  Maybe I can start handing out a brief questionnaire and ask them to fill it out in exchange for a discount?  Would that peak your interest at your local art fairs?

Help me write an inspiring + constructive questionnaire.  What questions do you wish your favorite craft biz owners knew about you?

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Lots of Inspiration!

Most Januarys are filled with resolutions and to-do lists to stay on track.  Mine has been filled with education, pretty pictures, & support groups.  ๐Ÿ˜›

Lately I’ve been bingeing on new podcasts (Elise Gets Crafty), new facebook groups, youtube videos,  & the ever-enticing how-to blog posts.

Some new things I’ve learned:
 – play music while you work!  (NOT the TV)
 – Podcasts or YouTube videos (the how-to kind) while washing dishes and loading/folding laundry have made me WANT to do more chores!
 – It’s ok to redirect my blog (Thanks Laura – new blog friend from Daring Creative Workshop)
 – Affiliate programs can be mutually rewarding

New Discoveries:
 – Daring Creative Workshop – a facebook support group for bloggers & creatives
 – Bowl of Lemons Home Organization – another facebook support group, for purging clutter & organizing your home in style.  I love all the amazing support & plethora of suggestions from members (just ask a question/post a pic & wait for the comments to roll in!) as well as the pretty pictures from real homes that people post.

I’d love to hear what you are discovering this new year!  It will help me fill my days indoors with all these snowstorms.  I hope you are enjoying your winter weather!

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What Does Your Workspace Look Like?

I wish this is what I looked like when blogging & commenting…
I just want my little blogging corner to look like one of these pins.  

I think that’s why I pin these; not because they all promise the same thing, but because their pictures are so convincing that if I just follow their “10 things to…” whatever, then I’ll have the same pretty, streamline workspace, too.  ๐Ÿ˜›  (You can see more on my Etsy Board here)


Anyone else?

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