an interview with sandi devenny {adalou}


I'm happy to introduce the sweet Sandi Devenny, of Adalou Vintage!  Unfortunately for me, she lives very far away, so instead of chatting with her over coffee to get to know her better, I decided to do a long distance interview instead.  By day, she illustrates for Hallmark cards.  By evening she is a busy mother, she authors the blog Adalou, and runs 2 etsy shops!

1.  What was the first blog you ever read?  When did you begin blogging and why?

I've always enjoyed reading blogs. I can't recall which was the first ever but, the first which I felt connected with and followed along was over at Frecklewonder by Jenny Mitchell. We met thru Flickr, while being pregnant with our kiddos (which are about the same age). I found her blog and loved that she wrote about general life and things she enjoyed doing which was an inspiration to me.

I didn't start blogging myself, until last year when I was asked if I blogged where I shared things. Every blog I read was about general life, which I greatly enjoyed, but I'm actually an introverted person so me writing about me, I wasn't so sure about this. I love hunting for design and illustrative inspiration so I started my blog by posting a few things I loved. I made every effort to post one new piece of inspiration a day as an ongoing place for my personal likes. I blogged not with the intent to have a huge following but in hopes to meet a few new friends who may enjoy the same things I did, and to offer up inspiration to others which I had found. I slowly added a bit of general life (me chit chatting and sharing life with my family) but I mainly hunt for research. I started sharing some of my personal collections which is a big part of who I am... a Collector. In return this helps keeps me be creative and inspired. 

2.  I just love your mini collections series.  What is your largest/favorite collection to date?

Collection... oh where to even begin... the mister and myself collect a lot of different things. One of our largest collections to date would be designer vinyl toy, which is somewhere over 700+ figures (action figures of various sorts). Currently they're in storage until we figure out another solution for displaying them about our tiny home. It's a toss up for favorite collections between, my vintage mugs, my Pez Dispensers (which tops somewhere over 500+) or my enamelware pieces. It's so hard to choose a favorite, I guess I just love them all.

3.  Your design/art resume history is very impressive! You have a degree in illustration, you were a designer at Carter's Clothes, and you presently work as an illustrator/designer at Hallmark.  It's no wonder that you are now designing blogs for clients.  Is this something you would like to do more of? 

I love interacting with people and thru my design and illustrative work I can do this. Since I do work a full time job and have my handfuls with my family and my small etsy shops, web design isn't on the top of my list currently. Not that I'm not available or open for business, because I surely am. But I take jobs case by case if I have time and when personal schedule allows such. If someone has an idea I'm always all ears.   


4.  Where do you find your artistic inspiration?

I love looking thru illustration books and magazines (we own a small collection of favorites). But recently I have found Pinterest to be such a great source for inspiration. The web is filled with so much creativity. Sometimes it's hard not to loose yourself in it all so when I'm stumped for ideas, I do turn to my family and friends for day to day inspiration.

5.  With such an awesome and full work schedule, what do you do when it's time to play?

Play... well I'm not to sure what some consider play but in my free time I really enjoy sewing. You can also find me hanging out with my family, thrifting, exploring outdoors, playing board games with friends or getting cozy on the couch with the mister, an ice cream sundae and a movie.   

Sandi, thanks so much for taking the time to tell us a bit more about yourself, you are one amazing woman!

Please go check out Sandi at Adalou, say "hi", and don't forget to peak into her shops to see what she's been collecting and creating!

lindsay {lee la la}: interviewed

I've been having so much fun interviewing my blogger friends!
Today I introduce to you Lindsay, from Lee la la.
Lindsay is perhaps my very first "online" friend I ever made.

She is just adorable. She authors a very honest, truth be told, light hearted blog.
She also makes sweet accessories for girls and women and sells them on etsy.
Some day, I plan on meeting her face to face!

Hi Blue Corduroy friends. I am so excited to be featured here today.

1) Hi Lindsay! It's been so fun watching your blog grow over the last year or so and I'm so glad to get to share you with my friends!! What was the first blog you ever read? At what point did you decide you needed your own blog? The first blog I ever read was my best friend's family blog. I loved how it kept family and friends updated on her busy life, while being creative with pictures at the same time. I initially started my own blog to do just that, document the life of my new family of 3. Then I saw the business side of it, and followed my passion to write.

2) You often mention how shy you are/used to be, but lately I have noticed such a raw honesty in your writing that can only come from boldness. Has this just come naturally, or was there something you've learned to acheive this? Growing up, I was painfully shy. I admitted that with a raw and vulnerable post titled "My Secret, EXPOSED". I honestly think I get more confident with age. Becoming a momma has helped tremendously.

3) You make some super cute jewelry and accessories, where do you get inspired? I think my biggest source of inspiration is pinterest and window shopping. I love seeing styles change with the seasons and adapting my creations accordingly.

4) If you were asked to speak at a blogger/indy business conference, what would your topic be? It would be a DREAM COME TRUE to speak at a blog conference, in fact, this is on the top of my bucket list. I think my topic would be "staying positive in the midst of hardship" or "keeping it real in the mommy hood".

5) If you could learn 3 things this next year to improve your blog/business, what would they be? I would LOVE to learn BALANCE, tips for GROWTH of a blog/business, and time management, my weakness.

Thank you so much for stopping by. I LOVE meeting new friends so I'd be tickled if you'd stop by my blog and say hello.


And thank YOU, Lindsay, for your friendship and inspiration!!

porridge's toni weber *interviewed*

Many of you may know Toni from her first blog, Simple Sparrow.
She is an artist in all things.
She has a knack for finding beauty in the everyday.
She has become a very close friend to me,
and a mentor in so many ways.
She is now the author of porridge, photography, living & other satisfying things
and toni weber photography indy business owner.
I'm so thankful to have her share with us some valuable insight into blogging...

1. what was the first blog you read, and when did you decide you wanted in?

The first blog I came across was Bella Dia. I was totally smitten with her gorgeous felt pincushions right away. She also had links to other craft blogs on her sidebar, and that's when the world of creative blogging opened up to me. It only took about three seconds flat to know that I wanted in, definitely! That was six years ago, and I've been blogging ever since. Cassy doesn't seem to be updating her blog any longer, but it's still available to read: I eventually became the very proud owner of one of her pincushions and it sits on my desk to this very day. Here's a photo of it from her gallery:

2. in your opinion, what are the top 3 things a blogger can give their readers? the top 3 pitfalls that are critical to avoid while blogging?

Oh goodness. Lets see...

*Well, first and foremost one should be absolutely genuine. Be true to who "you" are. It can be tempting to imitate other bloggers you admire or who are super popular--it's just human nature. Here's a quote I like, " Be yourself, everyone else is taken." Besides, people are already reading a blog "like that one". It's awesome to glean inspiration from others, but give the world your spin on things--you have a lot to offer!

*Value what you post--from the simplest thoughts to the most complex. Don't share it if you don't love it. Never post just to get something up there--your readers are smart people and they can smell insincerity a mile away and will move on.

*I also like to offer my readers information they might find useful and inspiring. This comes in the form of recipes, how-to's, links to other artists and websites, etc... I certainly don't want my blog to be all about me all the time.

* Lastly, I try hard to connect with my readers. This can be a challenge because my life away from the computer is full (like most people!) Even so, that 'human touch' is valuable so I make an effort--even if I'm only able to respond to one reader.

As far as pitfalls go, the opposites of what I shared above would definitely be some things to avoid!

3. at some point, your craft blog with great pictures turned into a photographer's blog. what do you think was the biggest influence in the crossover?

Boy Em, you are really making me think hard this morning! Writing Simple Sparrow for four years was definitely an integral part of my creative journey. Without it, I'm not so sure my love for photography would have developed to where it is today. Years back, there was definitely a trend, or maybe desire is a better word, to take one's photographs to the next level. Simple snapshots were not cutting it any more--and beautiful, artistic, thoughtful photos were definitely more satisfying to look at, no one would argue with that. I think what influenced me was seeing all the gorgeous photos that others were posting--it was totally inspiring. It wasn't too long after that when photography in and of itself became a part of me--and how I wanted to express myself.

4. what tips on photography would you only give to a close friend?

I would share anything I've learned with a new friend or a close friend! I have been helped in life by so many generous people, artistically and otherwise. I want to give back in the same way.

5. how has summer affected your blog and photography?

Photography wise I get super excited! Summer is my favorite season and the light at this time of year moves me like no other. Blogging wise, this happens to be one of the busiest summers for my family that I can remember--so my posting may be spotty. But I'm always thinking about my blog even when I'm away. It's been a connection with people and creativity that I will always hold dear!

Thank you so much Toni!

You can stay up to date on Toni and her lovely life at porridge.
You can also find a beautiful variety of photos for sale at Toni Weber Photography.

*all photos courtesy of Toni Weber*

krystina of lollipops *interviewed*

I had the pleasure of interviewing the sweet Krystina of lollipops.
I have actually known Krystina for about 4 years now.
Her girls attend the same school that my girls attend.
(classical education/part time home school).
But it wasn't until the last couple of years that we have discovered our new commonality:
we're both mother's who own our own craft business.

Krystina is such a kind, peaceful soul.
I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know her over the years,
and am pleased to introduce her to you all!

what was the first blog you read, and when did you decide you needed your own blog? Lisa Leonard's blog, listed from her biz card. I was intrigued because we were attending the same Linkchurch and she seemed like such a talented gal, so smart, and yes, I fell in love with her blog and jewelry :)
I didn't think I could do anything like that until she and Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy encouraged me to do so for building a presence in the online handmade community and for sales and marketing. It started off lemon drops and lollipops and I simplified it to lollipops. It really has taken on a life of it's own!

can you describe your blog in 6 words or less? oh boy, ok, um... full of inspiration, family, and handmade love

what do you think the top 3 things are that a blogger can give to her readers? 1. eye candy -this is needed to draw the audience in for the first impression 2. originality -if my blog looks and or sounds just like the pioneer woman's or simple mom then I am not needed. I am a stickler for copy cats it's a pet peeve of mine, it really gets me going. "be yourself and you won't have any competition." 3. something of value either amazing photos, great writing, neat tutorials, tips, or all of the above -a reason for people to read and return to your blog.

what 3 things would you tell your best friend to avoid when keeping a blog? 1. do not copy as previously mentioned 2. don't make it difficult to interact with - make everything easy for the reader i.e. easy to subscribe via rss, easy to tweet your posts, easy to find by putting blog address on everything twitter, facebook, etsy, in emails and easy to comment -no comment moderation, no captcha code to type in. 3. don't worry about numbers - followers, analytics etc do what you love and things will move upwards.

you have many talents beyond blogging krystina. the most obvious being paper crafts and photography. how have these evolved with your blog? Well, thank you so much Emily :) I guess these are the things my blog is, my photography and cards are like the structure and my family and life are the paint full of color. My photography has become more in the moment, less staged, I am finding that a random thing like my morning cup of coffee paints a more interesting picture and blog post than a perfectly shot landscape - the cup of coffee is more meaningful. Things that make up our everyday life are more interesting then staged, fake scenes. My cards take on new flavors every month or so that flow with my inspiration. My home is beige and white -never would have guessed, right? My feelings come out through inspiration and style onto my cards and paper, these evolve as I find new pretty things around me seen in my "what i love wednesdays".

Thank you so much for having me on your beautiful blog Emily!


Thank you, Krystina, for sharing here!!!
You can visit Krystina at lolllipops
and her shop!

stacy lynn designs *interviewed*

i have this awesome friend i'd love for you to meet.
i've known her for over 15 years and have enjoyed every minute of it!
we love to surf together, sew together, but my favorite is the laughing together.
this friend of mine is funny!!
she is the most humble, generous person i know.
i have always admired her sewing genius and her sense of stlye.

let me introduce to you, stacy, of
stacy lynn designs...

1) tell us who you are? I'm Stacy Lynn, if you say it with a southern accent.. it sounds better. When I was little and heard the "lynn" part... I was usually in trouble. Oh and I am a hypocrite... a vegetarian who makes leather bags? I married my favorite boy 11 years ago. We are getting used to our new existence here in Santa Barbara after 15 wonderful years in Santa Cruz. Making things is part of my daily life. If it is not with my sewing machine, then it is in the kitchen, the garden, and now with the world of technology... it is also on the computer.

2) my 1st experience selling something I made? When we were small.. my best friend and I spent all our allowance on beads, made some awful jewelry and had a "jewelry sale". Thanks to some nice neighbors.. we sold a few. We promptly closed up shop and spent all our profits of bubble gum.

3) my style, where do I get inspired? The style I am and the style I want to be are two different things. Weather I buy something new or old I seem to modify it in some way, and I am not talking about hemming jeans (since we all need to do that). I love colors, but always seem to buy black, brown, green. My favorite black dress has lasted for 4 years. I can dress it up with a cute colored cardigan and sandals or boots, or dress it down with flip flops and wear to the beach or a weekend camping. I love fashion and I live for function.

4) most challenging for your business so far? any advice for someone starting out? It has been said there is no new music, only remakes. It is hard sometimes to follow through with a "new" idea. You have to believe that your new twist is unique. Advice - do it even if people say it has been done, because sometimes the best results morph along the way. Your end product will be as unique as you are.

5) what keeps you wanting to create? The unexpected! If you have an idea.. go for it! Accidental tangents can be the most fun.

stacy's latest projects include recycled leather handbags and accessories, full and flirty skirts, ruffly aprons, and anything else her creative mind dreams up.

thank you so much, stacy, for stopping in and meeting everyone!