Thursday, January 8, 2015

Design Improvised Turns 4… and Why I Blog

Yes, I drafted these rules around age 8… more on that in a minute. ;)

But first, have I really been at this for four years?! I must say, it made me pause when I realized Design Improvised's 4 year anniversary is this month. I guess time flies when you are having fun. This blog, and having you here reading it, has provided a lot of joy in my life these past few years. I had no real expectations for my blog when I wrote my first post in January 2011. What started as a creative outlet for a newly stay-at-home mom has evolved into a multi-year exploration of what truly makes me tick.

Awhile back my friend PJ wrote a post about why she blogs and she challenged me to do the same. As soon as I read her story, I know I wanted to share mine as well. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to step away from my usual craft tutorials and share a little bit more about myself.

Crafting is in My DNA

My story is really pretty simple. The above set of rules I drafted for my first craft club says it all. Crafting is in my DNA. Apparently, so is telling people what to do (just ask my younger sister, one of the other two members of that first craft club). ;)

I have been making things for as long as I can remember. I've also been trying to turn my making into a business - as evidenced by these beautiful glittered containers I tried selling at a local YWCA craft sale 25 years ago. If you want to see more of my earliest crafts, you can find them here!

I thrive off of coming up with new ideas of things to make. I think about them in the shower, while I'm watching TV, while I'm shopping for groceries. Nothing makes me more giddy than coming up with a cool idea that I just have to try out. 

Having this blog gives me permission to craft, to daydream about crafting, and to spend a lot of time at the craft store… "It's for the blog!" It challenges me to keep coming up with new ideas. Your reactions to my ideas - the sharing, pinning, and making them on your own - is the most thrilling part of all!

I'm a Type A Personality

As my husband once told me, I treat everything I do like a job. He meant that in the best of ways. ;) If I commit to something, like this blog, I'm going to commit to it 100%. Before I had Stella, I worked in management consulting for 7 years, 50-60 hours a week. I was used to working hard. It was stressful, but part of me thrived off of that type of job where I was always "on". When I decided to stay home after Stella was born, I missed the professional motivation the job had provided.

This blog gives me the sense of structure and goal setting I crave. I have an editorial calendar, deadlines to meet, monthly goals to reach! I often can't wait to sit down with my planner and plot out the upcoming weeks on Design Improvised - a Type A personality's dream!

While it is still largely a hobby, I treat my blog like a job and it makes me feel good.

I'm Headed in the Right Direction

I know this little blog is getting me closer to where I'm supposed to be. I'll never forget a conversation I had in my previous life as a consultant. My mentor, a female partner at the firm, asked me if I could have any job, what I would ultimately want to do. I said I wanted to be the next Martha Stewart. The look on her face was priceless! She knew then I was in the wrong job. Advising health care and financial companies seemed worlds away from what I truly loved doing. I just never thought it would be possible to make a leap from my business background to the creative field.

However now 4 years into it, I see a career shift as a real possibility. I would've never imagined that I would create crafts for Martha Stewart, have my craft room featured on the cover of a magazine, design rooms for great companies like, or have a couple thousand people come to my site each day to be inspired by my ideas! It is honestly a dream come true.

It has been one amazing journey, and it's a journey I want to keep going on. Even if it means my house being in a constant state of mess and in-progress craft projects (believe me, the pretty rooms you see pictured on my blog only remain clean long enough to take the photo!), letting my girls watch more TV than I'd like to admit in order to get a blog post out, or spending too many nights in front of the computer. I know I need my blog in my life and I know that there are more good things to come from it!

Lastly - I Blog Because of YOU! 

If it wasn't for you, I would've probably fizzled out a long time ago. While I spent the first year or so just blogging for myself and my immediate family, things got really exciting when I realized that people I didn't know were reading it! Then you started sharing photos of projects you made based on an idea from Design Improvised… it really doesn't get better than that for me! I can't thank you enough for your love and support. Let's see what 2015 has in store for us!

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