Meet and Greet Monday | Tabitha of Fox Hollow Design Co.

The more of you we meet and get to know, the stronger the bond we have for this community of makers, small businesses and creatives becomes.  More and more of you are finding our little blog and reaching out with such an outpouring of love, support, and even nominations for fellow creatives you think deserve to be featured!!  It's truly amazing to meet such wonderful people who really want to support each other and raise each other up instead of competing or comparing.  

We found this week's talented lady from an Instagram nomination and as soon as we saw her work, we knew she had to be one of our 52!  Her work is beautiful and inspiring!!  The amazing creatures she paints feel as if they could walk off the page and right into your home!  Well, and the lovely lady holding the brush couldn't be any sweeter either!  Please join us in welcoming, Tabitha of Fox Hollow Design Co.  

Tabitha of Fox Hollow Design Co.  | Photography by KorieLynnPhotography

Tabitha of Fox Hollow Design Co.  | Photography by KorieLynnPhotography

TDB:  Tell us a little about yourself and Fox Hollow Design Co.

Tabitha | Fox Hollow Design Co.:  

Hi! My name is Tabitha Paige (Tabby to my close friends) and I am the artist behind Fox Hollow Design Co. I am a born and bred Texan residing in the lovely city of Fort Worth, also lovingly referred to as Cowtown. My husband and I live in a sweet little 1930's cottage along with our dog, Lola and our 9 crazy chickens. We love the simple life, good food with friends, hard work with our hands, and being outdoors.  I find much creative inspiration from my love of life and the outdoors.

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TDB:  What lead you to painting and beginning your business? How did you come up with the name?

Tabitha | Fox Hollow Design Co.: 

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Painting and I have a long history together, but I will get into that a little later. Fox Hollow was born in March of this year, somewhat out of desperation. I had been working as a Speech Language Pathologist for a little over 5 years after graduating in 2010. Don't get me wrong; I truly loved the work I was doing and the patients I had the pleasure of working with, but there was this deep creative longing inside of me that was itching to get out. It was nearly impossible to paint after work because my job was so physically and mentally exhausting. I knew that if I wanted to paint, I would have to do something drastic to make it happen. I almost felt like I was running out of time and if didn't go for it at this particular time in my life, I would never do anything about it. After two months of dreaming and planning, my very loving supportive husband gave me the okay to quit my full time SLP job and dive head first into my own business. Now I'm not saying my friends and family were not supportive, but I know many of them were thinking "what the heck are you doing?! You just went to 6 years of school for a degree you are burying in the ground to doodle all day!"  I knew I had one shot and a very small window of time to make my business work. We really were depending on it, financially. By the way, starting a business costs money, which no one told me about! Ha! So that was a fun learning curve! All I had was about six animal paintings lying around and a general idea of what I wanted to do. I knew the subject I wanted to paint and I knew it had to be watercolor. You see, watercolor is my fastest medium, and like I said, I was in a BIG rush! My sister and I were brainstorming one evening and I just kept thinking about this little fox that lives in our neighborhood. I started doodling and actually came up with the logo before I even knew the name. The rest just fell into place and my little business had a name and a face.

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TDB:  Quite a few of your paintings are wild animals.  Is that a subject you have always loved drawing and painting?  What inspired you to paint them?  Have you ever been commissioned to paint people?

Tabitha | Fox Hollow Design Co.: 

I would say the majority of my Fox Hollow line is animals and greenery/florals. My first painting in the collection was a little lamb and then I did a few more animal commissions. I started to fall in love with painting these animals, but put a lot of work into making each one have life and dimension. I didn't want to just paint a giraffe. I wanted to paint a giraffe that immediately made someone smile or think "now isn't that an inquisitive little giraffe." I really hope that the animals I paint mean something to someone and they are not just another face in the herd. Although I paint many animals, I would say the majority of my business is actually portrait work. I paint wedding portraits, pet portraits, and bridal portraits, which is one of my favorite things to paint. I do NOT paint traditional portraits though. Much like my animals, I find that natural poses and candid shots make the best paintings. Think Norman Rockwell. True emotion and character. That's just my personal style. 

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TDB:  Have you ever taken any classes or workshops for painting?  How young were you when you began and at what age did you realize this might be something you want to pursue?

Tabitha | Fox Hollow Design Co.: 

I was only an art major for one year until I fell into the trap of thinking I could never make a living in the creative world, hence the dramatic switch. Prior to that, I had been seriously painting and drawing since I was about 14. I was painting commissioned pieces and creating murals for small businesses and homes while in high school. I even won a scholarship from art contest at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo to pursue art but I ended up not using it. I really hope that someday I can speak to and mentor high school and college students about pursuing a career in the creative industry. Although, I learned so much through my other experiences, I feel like I really missed an incredible opportunity to hone my art skills through schooling. I do listen to painting podcasts daily and plan to take advantage of local workshops. A little secret...Fox Hollow Design Co is only a tiny piece of my art dream/career (hopefully). 

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 TDB:   What is your biggest source to draw inspiration from?  How do you acquire most of your clients?  Social media, word of mouth?  We have been noticing the best Instagram feeds are all very cohesive, what is the best tip you have for anyone trying to utilize Instagram for their business and struggling to make it one cohesive feed?

Tabitha | Fox Hollow Design Co.:  

My greatest source of inspiration comes from the true Master's of painting (Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Degas, Monet, etc.). I have traveled throughout Europe studying these artists and their brilliant techniques. Though Fox Hollow is a collection of minimalistic paintings, I have still been able to apply much of what I've learned through my classical training. I feel that I have developed knowledge of what is pleasing to the eye through my study of these truly amazing artists and their work. 

Most of my clients come from IG, etsy, and word of mouth. I have researched and listened to many podcasts on growing a business and a good solid instagram following. I attribute much of what I've been able to accomplish to a strong, consistent IG feed and lots of hard work 24/7!. Here is my IG advice that has worked for me: 

1. Post daily (between 10-1)

2. Interact with your audience

3. Balance your feed - I usually use a 2-2-1 ratio: process, product, personal (This is just me)

4. Take good pictures in natural light! 

Great advice from an amazing lady and when you go check out her Instagram feed, like, NOW (@foxhollowdesignco) you will see what a beautiful feed and amazing work this gal has!  Join us all week as we get to know more about Tabitha and Fox Hollow Design Co.  Also, be sure to check out her Etsy site to order some amazing goodies for you and your friends!  Fox Hollow Design Co. On Etsy 

Meet & Greet Monday | Jodi of Hello Neighbor Designs and The Neighborgoods

We all know those individuals that just ooze creativity from every ounce of their being.  You can look at their work and just sit back and say, wow, how does she do that?  This is the case with our newest creative feature, Jodi of Hello Neighbor Designs, and The Neighborgoods (TN).  Not only is she an amazing designer, but she screenprints her own original designs into wonderfully useful home gear, totes, and delightful onesies for your sweet babes!  We have been fans of her work for awhile now and we were thrilled when she was interested in allowing us to feature her.  Let's get the nitty gritty on this amazing lady!  

Meet Jodi, Designer and Owner of Hello NeighborDesigns and The Neighborgoods

Meet Jodi, Designer and Owner of Hello NeighborDesigns and The Neighborgoods

 TDB:   Tell us a little about yourself and Hello Neighbor Designs/The Neighborgoods.

Jodi | TN:  

Hi, I'm Jodi, the creator, maker, designer, and illustrator behind Hello NeighborDesigns (my design business) and The Neighborgoods (my goods business). I am so excited to be featured on The Daily Bits this week and to meet all of you!

I have been running my design business for the past ten years. Two years ago, I
slowly began shifting my focus to work on branding, packaging, and illustration
for clients in the food industry only. I love that my work now combines both of my
passions, food + design.

Wanting to take my combined passions one step further, I came up with the idea of illustrating family recipes to print onto dish towels for unique holiday gifts. Long story short (extended version below) that is how The Neighborgoods — my line of screen-printed, foodie-themed goods — was born.

Screen printing her logo

Screen printing her logo

TDB:   We see the theme of neighbors in your businesses, did you happen to like Mr. Rogers? How/why did you choose these as your business names?

Jodi | TN:   

Ha, I never even thought of the Mr. Rogers connection until you brought it up here! Perhaps it was subliminal because, FUN FACT, Mr. Rogers was from my hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania. I ran into him in a shoe store when I was little and was too shy to talk to him. These days, I would definitely walk up to him and give him my business card.

The neighborly names that I chose stem from wanting my businesses to reflect that local, neighbor-like feeling you get when working with me. But even more than that, the idea of having a neighborhood has always been something that's resonated with me. I'm frequently chatting with neighbors when I'm out walking my dog, and have formed great relationships with the people living in my buildings, next door, and down the street. I lived in Greenpoint, Brooklyn for ten years, and really grew to know and love the community. I loved that sense of "this is my neighborhood" and feeling like I was a part of it — getting to know the people, the shop owners, and all that was happening. That being said, I’ve done a lot of moving around this past year and three weeks ago I landed in a completely new city: Washington DC! I'm very much looking forward to exploring my new hood, and all it has to offer.

Packaging and illustrations designed by Jodi

Packaging and illustrations designed by Jodi

TDB:   You have done some pretty big collabs, ahem, Food Network, do you get nervous or giddy when they contact you? What advice would you give to new designers who aspire to get to that level someday?

Jodi | TN:   

SO GIDDY! When I first received that email from Food Network it was very exciting since working with them was (and still is) definitely a dream job of mine. I have been doing a bunch of illustration work for them over the past several months and it has been SO GREAT. I love every minute of working on those jobs.

My advice for new designers would be to find what you really love to do and figure out your own personal stye of design. It's usually what you have the most fun doing, and the style of work that just comes out naturally without overthinking or trying too hard to be something you're not. Once you figure out what it is you love and do best, focus on that and make it your niche. 

It took me a while to realize what type of work I enjoyed most, but it came out through side projects I did for myself. I used to bake cookies for my clients every year for the holidays and, of course, I had to design the packaging to go along with them. Those were the projects I loved working on the most, and at that time I had no food clients. Long story short, I attended a HOW design conference where a few light bulbs went off, and I realized I should try to work with food clients instead of just working on those extra fun jobs for myself.

I know it's scary narrowing down your focus, and I was against it for a while. I used to think, "I want to do it all," and "I like the variety." But focusing on one specific niche has helped me grow my business and it’s helped me grow as a designer too. I’ve been able to hone my skills more by consistently working within a particular industry. Plus, it allows me to be viewed as an expert in my field. In turn, my clients feel more inclined to work with me, compared to another designer
who doesn't focus solely on exactly what they need.

There is so much opportunity within this foodie niche that I never feel like I’m missing the "variety" of work that I initially wanted to hang on to; I still work on an assortment of projects and with an array of clientele.

Another tip: After you’ve found your niche and style, put your work out there as much as possible! These days there are so many ways to share your work (instagram, pinterest, tumblr, blogging, facebook, etc...). By sharing your work frequently and consistently, people you want to attract will start to notice, and that is how your dream clients can find YOU.

Prints from The Neighborgoods

Prints from The Neighborgoods

TDB:  You have screen printed items for sale in your Etsy shop, The Neighborgoods, how did you begin screen printing? Which screen printed product is your favorite and why?

Jodi | TN:  

Two years ago l was on a quest to create unique holiday gifts for friends and family, and played around with illustrating family recipes with the idea of printing them on dish towels. I initially was going to just make a one-off set of dish towels as gifts that year by taking a screen printing workshop. But after looking into it further I realized screen printing was a more intensive process than I had anticipated and one workshop wasn’t going to be enough. So I took a full semester course at the School of Visual Arts to really learn the process and see what else I could create. It allowed me to do so much more; I created personalized, screen printed, dish towels, tote bags, art prints and onesie gifts...for EVERYONE!

I LOVED getting away from the computer, using my hands, and getting messy to create something (which is what I love about cooking and baking!). People responded well to my designs, so I ordered a bunch of totes and towels to print up and try to sell. It just kept going, and soon I had a new business on my hands.

As for which product is my fav, it's so hard to say because they are all my babies! A lot of my designs come from a personal story, such as the cupcake recipe illustration. This was my very first design / screen printed item and is the recipe I used to make cupcakes for my hub's birthday every year. The pancake recipe illustration comes from my in-law's family recipe cook book and the pickle print was initially created for my pickle loving friend as a special birthday gift. I only intended to make the pickle print that one time for her, but I got so many requests from people wanting their own, I starting including it as another one of my products. Which led me to expand to print pickle onesies, which, naturally, are kind of a big dill.

Overall I just love seeing all of my creations come to life —particularly when
customers get as excited about what I’ve created as I do.

Screenprinting process

Screenprinting process

 TDB:   Mobile based apps have really increased productivity and effective time management for many creatives. What are the top apps you use to manage your businesses and how do you hear about new ones to try?

Jodi | TN:   

To be totally honest, I am the worst at technology! Needless to say apps aren't totally my jam, even though I KNOW they can help increase my productivity. So if anyone has any suggestions of any that I should try, let me know.

That being said, one form of technology that I'm completely into (on the border of obsession) is instagram! I started grammin a little over a year ago and have had a ton of great opportunities come about because I have put myself out there on insta on a consistent basis. You can find out more about my instagram tips and tricks here and here.

 A big thanks to Jodi for being so open and providing us with an amazing insight into her successful businesses!!  Make sure you go follow her amazing business on Instagram @theneighborgoodswithlove check out her Etsy shop to snag some of her amazingness for yourself or someone you love!  Be sure to follow along all week, we are going to have some serious fun with this boss lady!!

Meet & Greet Monday | Julia of Sweet Magnolia Handmade

Meet Julia Cangilose.  She's a West Coast mama maker who stitches some super dreamy baby duds and soft and cuddly blankets.  She also does print designs.  To say she is talented is an understatement.  Let's delve a bit deeper and meet the gal behind the brand, Sweet Magnolia Handmade.  

Julia and her son, Luciano. 

Julia and her son, Luciano. 

TDB:  Tell us a little about yourself and Sweet Magnolia Handmade.

 Julia | Sweet Magnolia Handmade:  

Hello! I’m Julia, the maker behind Sweet Magnolia Handmade. I live in Southern Oregon with my sweet husband and our 2 year old son, Luciano. Our goals are to live simply and with intention, to be present in each day, and do everything with love. I’ve had the opportunity to transition these goals into my small business with the support of my amazing husband and family. I’m truly thankful for this life, to have the opportunity to stay home with our son, and to have the time to sew sweet handmade items for little babes.

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 TDB:  How did you begin your handmade business and what does it mean to you?  How did you come up with the name, Sweet Magnolia Handmade?

 Julia | Sweet Magnolia Handmade:

Sweet Magnolia {named after a tree in my grandmother’s yard} began January of this year as a way for me to pursue my creative passion, as well as contribute to our family.  I absolutely love being a mother. I adore my son and all he has opened my eyes to about life.  One huge lesson has been that it’s not only okay, but necessary for me to have a sense of “self” outside of my role as a mom.  Prior to having my son, I was working in Finance for Dutch Bros. Coffee (careful, you’ll find yourself addicted!full time and also part time as a Hair Stylist at Blue Door Salon (a definite go to if you’re in Grants Pass).  When I quit both interests to become a full time mom and wife, it was a definite change.  I suddenly felt more in love with life than ever and so lost all at the same time. Although I felt so incredibly lucky for this opportunity to love on my guys every day, I learned that I needed to love on myself a little as well.  So I spent some time reconnecting with my love for sewing and it felt amazing! It was such positive outlet for me that I’ve been able to turn it into a source of positivity for our family as well. My husband is currently starting his second year of pursuing his Fire Science Degree through an Internship. He has also completed his EMT license and won every award possible in his Fire Academy, all while working full time and still making time to be a wonderful dad and supportive husband. He is my hero. Sweet Magnolia not only means that I have something of my own to create, but something also to give in support of our family.

A beautiful, handmade blanket from Sweet Magnolia Handmade.   

A beautiful, handmade blanket from Sweet Magnolia Handmade.   

TDB:  Let's fast forward 5 years, where would you envision your business? What would be your ultimate pinch me moment for your business?

 Julia | Sweet Magnolia Handmade:  

My dream for Sweet Magnolia is to become a business that can help give the basic needs of clean water and food to children who live in areas that don’t have the sources. Since I was a child, this has been a dream of mine and I see Sweet Magnolia being a path towards making a difference.  There is so much poverty, so much disease, such a need for love...

I dream that in five years, this small business will have grown to the capacity that enables a difference to be made. My ultimate pinch me moment would be to travel with my family to the end result of that love. To put aside all things that really don’t matter, to connect with the lives that were changed, to listen, and to truly live. My heart would be forever grateful.

Sweet babes wrapped in a Sweet Magnolia Handmade blanket. 

Sweet babes wrapped in a Sweet Magnolia Handmade blanket. 

 TDB:  Has sewing always been a passion of yours?  How do you gain inspiration for your products? Do you have a favorite product you sell?

 Julia | Sweet Magnolia Handmade:  

My interest with sewing sparked while taking Mrs. Ballinger’s home economics class in high school. It was love at first pair of pajama pants, which were a hideous bright blue print...along with the huge bangs and permed “Sun In” hair...I really don’t know what I was thinking!  I sewed on and off for years until I met my mother-in-law who is an amazing quilter, and her mother who makes beautiful garments. We’ve sewn projects together and I’m grateful to have learned so much from them. Our first project was a gorgeous Anthropologie inspired duvet cover. We spent hours and hours working on it and looking back it was such a beautiful time of sharing stories and learning about each other. There really is something special about a sewing room. It brings women together. 

I gain most inspiration from the area we live. Oregon is so full of nature’s miracles. Just today we spent the day at the river. As my son and I were collecting rocks to skip, I noticed just how incredible the colors were once the water ran over them. I kept a couple as inspiration for this Winter’s color palate. My style inspiration comes from my experiences as a mom. I aspire to make items that I would want my child to live and play in every day. I choose fabrics that are extremely soft and allow for movement, because really that is all children do.....go, go, go! The Bamboo fabrics I’ve fallen in love with are just perfect and I can’t wait to share what I’ve been working on for Fall! 

Bamboo newborn set from Sweet Magnolia Handmade  

Bamboo newborn set from Sweet Magnolia Handmade  

My favorite items to make are the Bamboo Newborn Sets and the Faux Fur Blankets. Although I love all babies, there is nothing like snuggling a brand new little babe. It’s so fun to dream of that new baby getting wrapped up in something I got to make for them!

TDB:  How do you promote your products?  Do you do any handmade fairs or sell at any local boutiques?  What's the hardest part about being a maker in your opinion?

 Julia | Sweet Magnolia Handmade:  

I promote my children’s items through EtsyInstagram, and Pinterest.  Instagram has been especially incredible. Not just in promoting my business, but in the friendships I’ve made with other makers and friends who have made purchases. 

Leggings from Sweet Magnolia Handmade. 

Leggings from Sweet Magnolia Handmade. 

I remember the first time I was tagged in a photo of the cutest little girl wearing a pair of leggings I had made. I was beyond excited and it still makes my heart so happy to see little ones wearing things I’ve poured love into. I’m thankful for that connection!

I have done a few local fairs and had such a great time connecting with other women. It’s incredible what can happen when women come together to support each other and the community. 

In my opinion, the hardest part of being a maker is the not having the physical hours to do all the things I want to do. I have so many ideas and I burst with excitement over it but I don’t always have the time to put into it. I promised my family when I started Sweet Magnolia that they would always come first. So I work on my ideas during naps, when the boys are doing projects or grandparents come to play, and after everyone goes to sleep.  But in a way, that’s also one of the best parts of being a maker...designing your own schedule around what matters most.

Thank you to Julia for allowing us the insight into herself and her beautiful business!  You can stay up to date with her on Instagram (@sweetmagnoliahandmade).  She sells her beautiful handmade items on Etsy at (https://www.etsy.com/shop/shopsweetmagnolia). Make sure you follow us all week as we get some sneak peeks into her brand as well as a little something from her shop that you just might get the chance to snag 👌

  

 

Meet & Greet Monday | Ginger of A Year of Words/Edye & Ethel

By now, our loyal followers know what day it is and what that day brings here at The Daily Bits. To the newbies, it's Meet and Greet Monday!  Did you know we will feature 52 creatives in one year?  52 people in a sea of creatives, is not a lot!  We could feature plenty more, like quite a few other 'gramers do, but we are passionate about not just showing their art or creations, but who they are and why they do what they do.  We feel we can develop a much more personal creative community and network by spending a whole week on each individual.  These relationships we are building each week are much more than networking to us, they feel like friendships amongst strangers.  There is a camaraderie that once you get to know someone, develops and makes you root for them, want to cheer them on and help them pursue their passion, which in turn, inspires you to pursue yours.  That natural progression has developed with each of our creatives and this week is no different.  Meet Ginger, the beauty, brains, and talent behind the Instagram, @ayearofwords and the Etsy shop, Edye&Ethel.

Ginger, A Year of Words and Edye & Ethel

Ginger, A Year of Words and Edye & Ethel

TDB:  Tell us a little about yourself.

Ginger | A Year of Words:   

Hi there! I'm Ginger, and I am so honored to be featured on The Daily Bits this week (thanks L&L)!! I am a special education teacher by day and an avid letterer/ calligrapher/ graphic designer by night. I'm fairly new to the lettering game, but it has quickly become a passion of mine and I love being able to encourage and inspire others through this art form.

TDB:  What is A Year of Words and can you tell us the inspiration behind it?

Ginger | A Year of Words:  

Oh gosh, what a fabulous question. "A Year of Words" actually began as a New Years Resolution in January 2015. 

My husband is currently a law student, and after his first semester, I had watched a ridiculous amount of Netflix, read a ton of books, and become the world's best online shopper ;) I'm kidding (sort of...) But really, at the end of his first semester I started doing some self-reflection and realized that over the next 2.5 years with his schooling, I'm going to have A LOT of free time. And I just couldn't stand the thought of wasting all of that precious time! So I made the decision that I would invest that time into something that I'd always admired but never been particularly good at... HANDLETTERING. And so I decided to do something about it...

That something was "A Year of Words". Essentially I decided to write something (ANYTHING) every day for 365 days in a row. I began with Sharpies, a BIC pen, a set of markers I'd had since middle school, and a set of watercolors that I had gotten for Christmas. The most basic of basics. I spent hours just "doodling" alphabets until the letters looked the way I wanted them to. In March, I bought my first calligraphy set and started adding the pointed pen to my repertoire. Now with 7/12 months under my belt, I love looking back at those earliest entries (all of which can be seen on my Instagram feed) and celebrating the growth and progress I've made in my lettering journey. From Day 1 to now, it's been a joy to practice the discipline and perfect the craft of handlettering.

Edye & Ethel business cards

Edye & Ethel business cards

TDB:  What has been the most unexpected thing to occur since you began creating? 

Ginger | A Year of Words:  

I would say opening my Etsy shop. When I started "A Year of Words" I just wanted to get better at handlettering and become disciplined in a craft. I had NO idea that people would actually like much less want the things that I wrote!! I opened my Etsy Shop (Edye & Ethel Designs) shortly after getting my calligraphy set and the focus was mostly embroidered jewelry and wedding envelope addressing. I still have both of those items listed in my shop, but now I also have handlettered prints, coffee mugs, rubber stamps, Moleskin journals, and other random things that I've written on ;) I have just been blown away by the opportunities that one little dream has led to! And there's so much more to come!

TDB:  What is the biggest resource for your shop to get exposure and then gain business from?  Any advice for any makers just beginning this journey? 

Ginger | A Year of Words:  

Instagram. Holy cow... There is an AMAZING community of creatives on Instagram and everyone is so loving, supportive, and encouraging. I remember the first time I got a comment. It was from a complete stranger and they said something like "Wow, I really like your style". I was floored. It just meant the world to me that someone out there that wasn't my mom or husband liked what I was doing.

My advice to any maker just starting out would be to interact with people through social media. That doesn't mean just having an account. INTERACT and ENCOURAGE others... They will always return the favor and provide you with a community that you can lean on (even if you've never actually met in person before).

Ginger's handcrafted logo stamp

Ginger's handcrafted logo stamp

TDB:  Your lettering style is beautiful, are you self taught? 

Ginger | A Year of Words:   

First of all, THANK YOU! :) And yes, I am completely self-taught. From January 1 of this year up until now, I have learned more than I ever could have imagined (mostly through trial and error and 1 million drafts of quotes). The thing I love most about handlettering is that it is a skill that you can learn completely on your own. While others can show you letter forms, what you're really going to use is what comes natural and what becomes YOUR font and style. Plus, it's so much fun to create something completely on your own and then look back on your progress and feel that satisfaction.

TDB:  What are your must have lettering tools?

Ginger | A Year of Words:   

My must-have tools... Hm... These days I don't leave home without a Tombow dual brush pen (or five ;) ), and with fall wedding season picking up, I pretty much feel incomplete without my oblique calligraphy pen holder and my Dr. Ph. Martin's Iridescent Gold ink. Brushlettering and calligraphy are my go-tos, so I'd have to say that those are the supplies that I can't live without. 

Ginger will be featured all week and guys, it's gonna be goooddd!!  You can find her on Instagram @ayearofwords and Etsy - www.etsy.com/shop/edyeandetheldesigns 👌

Meet and Greet Monday | Brianne of B Vintage

Happy August!!  This month will bring lots of changes for us!  We have some exciting things in the works, lots of new features lined up and the kiddos head back to school!!  Can we get an Amen?!  Now, just to be clear, we are definitely not wishing the time to pass quickly because we truly love spending every week showcasing creative talent!  Speaking of talent...This week we have a small shop owner and upcycle furniture extraordinaire, Brianne of B.Vintage! 

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TDB:  Tell us a little about yourself and B. Vintage. 

Brianne | B.Vintage:   

 I grew up in Shepherdstown, WV, but lived out of the state for my entire adult life until 2013 when my husband and I decided to move back to WV to be near family and raise our children as Mountaineers! When we moved back, I was spending a lot of time with my mother and sister painting furniture in my basement.  Our “hobby” turned into a business after running into a family friend with space to rent in Charles Town. B.Vintage was born shortly after! I truly feel blessed to be back home, making a living and pursuing my passion. 

B.Vintage logo

B.Vintage logo

TDB:  You began by upcycling furniture, and have since opened a storefront in Charles Town, West Virginia.  Had opening a store always been a dream of yours?  What was the process like of actually having a space for yourself and customers come to fruition?   

Brianne | B.Vintage:  
 
I’m a very practical and cautious person.  The idea of opening a store was a dream of mine, but always seemed too scary to pursue.  It was my husband who pushed me to follow this dream and gave me the confidence to take a chance.  When I was approached about renting space downtown Charles Town, I just took it as a sign from above that this was what I needed to do.  When I walked into 304 W. Washington St for the first time, I knew it was meant to be!
 
Inside B.Vintage, Charles Town, WV

Inside B.Vintage, Charles Town, WV

TDB:  What has been the hardest aspect of owning a small business?  The easiest?

Brianne | B.Vintage:   

For me, the hardest part of being a small business owner is all of the “non-creative” aspects.  I wish I could just paint and buy inventory every day.  Instead, there are forms to fill out, permits to apply for, taxes to pay, IT issues to work out, etc… The easiest part of owning a small business is building relationships with my customers.  I have met so many amazing people over the last year!

TDB:  Handmade products are becoming more and more popular.  They also support the growing concept of shopping small.  Your store supports a lot of other makers, how do you go about selecting what products you will sell?

Brianne | B.Vintage:   

I am very selective about what I sell in my shop.  Everything has been hand selected by myself.  I never purchase anything that I wouldn’t place in my own home. I also keep price in mind.  It’s very important to keep the price points reasonable so that people leave feeling like they didn’t overpay for an item.

TDB:  Where do you envision B.Vintage in 5 years?

Brianne | B.Vintage:  

In 5 years, I’d love to see B.Vintage selling and shipping products all over the country through on online store.  I’d also like to open another location within 5 years!

Go check out B.Vintage on Facebook at https://m.facebook.com/bvintagefurniture and follow her on Instagram at @BVintage2014

A Weekend with Warby

Warby Parker home try-on kit

Warby Parker home try-on kit

About a week ago, were received an email from Warby Parker asking us to join in on their summer campaign, #seesummerbetter.  We've loved this brand for awhile so we said sure!  We are sharing our experiences in two parts here and on our social media!  Join us for our staycation with Warby!

Who is Warby Parker?  Well, they are an awesome company that has a mission to sell glasses at an affordable price!  Great idea!  We don't know about you, but the price of a good pair of glasses or sunglasses lately, umm, goodbye budget!  Not so with Warby Parker!  They are knocking out the prices of the competition!!  And we haven't even covered two of the best parts!!  1. For every pair of glasses sold, Warby Parker donates a pair to someone in need!  This is important because 15% of our population doesn't have access to glasses and therefore, goes without.  2.  The home try-on program.  Picking glasses is hard, like really hard!  You need opinions, different lighting, real life scenarios.  How are you supposed to spend that kind of money on something you will wear all.the.time in 15 mins in a retail location with a salesperson hovering like a mosquito?  Uhh, no thanks!  This was our first time ordering and let us tell you, easy peasy!  Head to www.warbyparker.com and select the ones you want to try, free shipping both ways!  You have NOTHING to lose!!  

After receiving our try-on kit, we headed out to #seesummerbetter in some new stylish shades!  Follow along all weekend as we show you where we went with Warby!

Warby Parker Thatcher in whiskey tortoise

Warby Parker Thatcher in whiskey tortoise

Warby Parker Crossfield in polished gold

Warby Parker Crossfield in polished gold

We started at National Harbor in Fort Washington, Maryland.  It's a beautiful destination on the Potomac River right across from Alexandria, VA.  In fact, you can take a water taxi across to Alexandria, or even take a water taxi to the National Monument in D.C.  Hello perfect summer activity!  National Harbor is also home to the Capitol Wheel.  Super cool views from here!  You can also grab some delicious food, take a relaxing stroll along the piers, or take a swan out to paddleboat!  They have a large screen that plays movies on summer nights as well, it's family friendly, date friendly and Daily Bits approved.  Find out more about National Harbor here: www.nationalharbor.com.  

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Here is Lesley, one half of The Daily Bits, rocking the heck out of these Warby's!   

Lesley rocking the Warby Parker Jennings in whiskey tortoise

Lesley rocking the Warby Parker Jennings in whiskey tortoise

When you can't decide, you rock them all...well,  maybe that's overkill...😂

Never enough sunglasses! 

Never enough sunglasses! 

Order your try-on kit today, you won't be disappointed!  Together we can #seesummerbetter 😎 

xoxo! 

L&L

P.S. This post was not sponsored.  We opted to participate and all opinions are our own.  We only showcase companies and creatives that we truly care about and want to promote.   

Meet & Greet Monday | Liz of Pretty Sweet Life

Creativity blossoms in lots of different ways.  We don't consider the only creatives to be the ones selling on Etsy.  You can be creative as a mom, an organizer, a chef, a photographer, a fashion stylist and plenty of areas in between.  We aim to celebrate them all.  We also hope that instead of viewing someone else as competition, that instead you can view them as part of your community.  There is room for us all to be successful!  This week's creative is a lifestyle blogger who shares her fashion sense, delicious recipes, as well as love of home decor through her blog, Pretty Sweet Life.  She used to reside in the state for lovers, Virginia, and has since relocated to call the peach state, Georgia, home.   Hey y'all, meet Liz!

Liz Flodstrom of Pretty Sweet Life

TDB:  Tell us a little about yourself and Pretty Sweet Life.

Liz | PSL:  I'm Liz, the owner/editor for Pretty Sweet Life.  I live in Georgia with my boyfriend and our two pups, a yorkie named Lola and a lab mix named Dutch. Pretty Sweet Life started as my creative outlet when I was in a job that I didn't really love. I craved inspiration and thought other girls may also. I didn't really have an exact starting place in mind, but knew I wanted to share things that people were always asking me about. Coworkers, friends, family and sometimes strangers would ask me things like "Where did you find that dress? These are good, can I have the recipe? You have a good eye, what do you think about this?". Those questions were always in the departments of Style, Food and Decor - three things that I love and so it started. That's how I came up with Pretty Sweet Life. To feel pretty, to make sweet (and sometimes savory) treats, to make life pretty and to enjoy it all was what I wanted, what they wanted...and still want.  Pretty Sweet Life took form what seems like forever ago (maybe 5 years ago?) and I haven't stopped sharing since. The blog has gone through plenty of different looks as I'm constantly seeking perfection in a never perfect world, but one thing has remained the same. My vision for PSL. It's my goal to create an outlet, somewhere girls can go to get a real girl view on pretty (fashion, beauty and decor), deliciousness (recipes) and inspiration in life.

TDB:  Blogging takes a lot of time!  How do you manage and what are the best tips you would give to someone having a hard time balancing their blog with everyday life? 

Liz | PSL:  Blogging does take a lot of time and I'm still learning how to properly manage it all! Though I hoped, I never really thought people would read my blog and I'm tickled to death that they do so that motivates me to make it a priority. I find that scheduling posts and post prep helps a ton. I'm very much a "need to write it down" kind of person so although I have an iPhone with a great calendar app I still turn to a planner. I've recently gone as far as having a separate planner devoted to Pretty Sweet Life only. I recently launched my online shop so it's been super helpful in managing that too. It keeps me on track with all my post information and all of my shipments. Scheduling everything also helps me post more often. I don't blog full time (that would be amazing) and life along with my full-time job can get busy so I have to plan and just make time for it all.

TDB:  What is the coolest thing that has happened with your blog since you began?

Liz | PSL:  I guess the coolest thing has been just seeing my blog grow and getting my LLC for it and my online shop. Becoming an actual business was such a leap of faith and I'm still hoping works out in my favor. I'm really happy with PSL and only want bigger and better things for the future.

TDB:  What is your favorite aspect of running PSL?

Liz | PSL:  My favorite aspect of running PSL has to be the interaction with other girls, bloggers or not, that have the same passion and zest for life and things in life that I do.  I know it takes all kinds to make the world go 'round, but finding a commonality among strangers is so fun!

TDB:  What are five things you are currently loving?

Liz | PSL:  In true PSL style a little fashion, beauty, decor, recipe and fun...

- I love that floppy felt hats are still in style for this fall.  I just picked this one up in black from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale.

- I recently got this mascara from Physician's Formula and LOVE it. It's seriously ah-mazing!

- I can't get enough of Caitlin Wilson Textiles and am really loving her Navy Burnside Buffalo Check pillow covers (among many others). I have a few pillow covers of hers already and think it might be time for a new addition. I also love that she is offering coated canvas now. Although advertised as being kid friendly I think the material screams perfection for any upholstered kitchen stool - chic and kitchen friendly.

- Danielle Walker (Against All Grain) has one of the best paleo friendly chocolate chip cookie recipes.  Her Real-Deal Chocolate Chip Cookies are exactly that and so yummy.  It's a go-to recipe of mine.  

- Okay I have two more things, is that okay? Because puppies + Friends is so good and this just makes me giggle so much / wonder where I can find a class like this. 

TDB:  How do you go about curating the items for sale in your shop?

Liz | PSL:  Honestly, I pick what I would want to shop for. If something makes me stop and say "Oh I love that!" it's shop worthy. I hope that doesn't seem arrogant, like "I've just got the best taste". It's just that I want the shop to stay authentic to who I am and who I think my readers & shoppers are, it's like I'm sharing a part of me. I'm only going to share things on my blog that I truly love and am passionate about and same goes for what I offer in my shop. I might have items you can find other places, but I also try to find and share items you may not find so easily.
Thanks for joining us for a glimpse into this Southern beauty!  We have a fabulous fun-filled week planned so make sure you jump over to our social media so you won't miss a thing!  You can find Liz at (@prettysweetlife) on Instagram and Facebook (PrettySweetLifeas well as her website at www.prettysweetlife.com.  

xoxo!

L&L

 

Meet & Greet Monday | Mariko of Miks Letterpress +

Can you guys believe it's Monday again and we are more than halfway through July?  Time seriously flies!  It was another scorching weekend here in our Nation's Capitol, but hey, that's summer for ya!  Our feature this week has something in common with us.  She is a cool creative from our neck of the woods, or should we say, DC.  Her name is Mariko and she does some really cool letterpress pieces. If you haven't ever seen a letterpress in action, you are seriously missing out!  Let's get some ink on our hands and jump in to this week's creative feature!   Here is what Mariko had to say when we interviewed her.  

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 TDB:  Tell us about yourself and Miks Letterpress.

Miks Letterpress | Mariko:  

Miks Letterpress + is based out of D.C. The company came about as I found it harder and harder to find witty simple cards to send friends and family. My goal is to capture modern sentiments on traditional cards. We are such an online culture and we do things so differently (i.e. dating, watching tv, expressing thank you) that I want cards to reflect that.

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TDB:  How did you first get started doing letterpress?  

Miks Letterpress | Mariko:

 I started getting into letterpress when I decided to make my own wedding invitations. I took a class at The Arm in Brooklyn and fell in love with the process. When I moved to D.C. I began to print at Pyramid Atlantic and loved it so much I bought my own press.

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TDB:  What is your creative process?  Best sources for inspiration? How do you come up with new card ideas?

Miks Letterpress | Mariko:

 I jot down different things all the time. After a few months or so I come back to the phrases I've got and select the ones that will go on cards. The phrases come from what I hear people say, sometimes it's something I've read in a magazine or it might be a slight variation - something I wish people said.

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TDB:  How would you ideally like to see your business grow over the next year?

Miks Letterpress | Mariko:

 I'm working on diversifying what I offer and grow the custom side of things. I'm working on a wedding line, which brings me back to when I started learning letterpress.

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TDB:  Give us five cool facts about yourself. 

Miks Letterpress | Mariko:

 1. I taught English in Japan for a year after college

2. I grew up with 5 cats and a dog

3. I can make ravioli from scratch

4. I once took a road trip to visit salvation army's in the south

5. When I was a kid I'd always carry around a notepad and pen according to my mother, even before I could write.

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We want to go learn letterpress now!  How about y'all?!  You can find her at:  http://www.mikspress.com/  and on Instagram (@mikspress)!  American Greetings doesn't have anything on Miks Letterpress + 😎.

 Make sure you stay up to date with our social media resources so you won't miss a second of Mariko's Instatakeover tomorrow on our feed!  Also, don't forget to subscribe to The Daily Bits so you can get our blog delivered right to your inbox!  

Meet & Greet Monday | Amanda of Brynn & Co.

Monday's are for meetin' and greetin' the movers, makers, crafters and creators!  And guess what?!  It's MONDAY!!  So...allow us to introduce a lovely stitcher transplanted from Canada to the good ol' Down Under!! Her name is Amanda and her shop is called Brynn & Co.  Come on, let's meet this momma maker!

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TDB:  Who is Amanda Bryde? 

Brynn & Co. | Amanda:    

Let’s see, I am a 32 year old Canadian gal who up and married an Aussie back in 2009 and now resides in Queensland, Australia. If you had asked me 10 years ago if this was where I thought I would be oh boy would I have laughed. Having said that though this is exactly where I want to be! I became a mother for the first time almost a year and a half ago now and our sweet little Evelynn Brynn has turned our lives upside down, in the best kind of way! I am the creator and designer of Brynn&Co. I am quirky and creative, I love coffee, embroidery, music, travelling, trying new things and being surrounded by the ones I love. 

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TDB:   How did you come up with your shop name, Brynn & Co.?

Brynn & Co. | Amanda:   

It’s pretty simple really, Brynn is our daughters middle name. Evelynn’s birth was not easy to say the least and she came into the world a month premature quite abruptly. All of a sudden she was here but man did we fall in love. She’s changed our lives in so many ways, she’s the reason I took the plunge into small business, she inspires me daily. Our prayer is that her life inspires others too and we hope that part of that prayer can be realized through Brynn&Co.

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TDB:   What is the coolest thing that you have discovered about yourself via your creativity?

Brynn & Co. | Amanda:   

I feel like I have found a piece of myself that I wasn’t aware was missing. I never tire of any of the elements involved in doing what I do. I didn’t realize that was possible, to feel so content doing something until I found it. If I was to use one word to describe what I have discovered about myself through Brynn&Co. it would be “confidence”. Sure I still have moments of insecurity, we all do. The difference now is that I trust my creativity and I desire to see it grow, develop and most importantly bring others joy. 

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TDB:   Tell us something very few people know about you.

Brynn & Co. | Amanda:   

Hmmm, this is tricky I’m a pretty open person I don’t really hide much. But there is something that always seems to surprise people, I didn’t start dating till I was 25. Not only that but my husband Stephen was the first guy I ever dated, kissed and then married! I never wanted to spend a lot of time dating, I can’t really explain it other than I just had this feeling to wait and that when I found the right guy I would know and that would be it…and it was!

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TDB:   If your business could take you anywhere in the world, where would you most like to go and why?

Brynn & Co. | Amanda:   

To be honest one of the things I love about my work is that I can do it anywhere! So for the most part I’m perfectly content where we are. But seeing as we’re dreaming, if my work could take me anywhere I would follow it to New York City in a heartbeat! I love city life, getting lost for hours and finding new exciting places along the way. I love the bustle of people and creativity that surrounds you everywhere you go. Plus the first time I visited the city it stole my heart!

She'll be featured all week at The Daily Bits so come hang out with us!  Don't miss her Instatakeover tomorrow as well as a giveaway for #WinitWednesday!  Be sure to check out her Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/au/shop/brynnandco) and her beautiful Instagram (@brynnandcoshop) 

Meet & Greet Monday | Nicole of Jelly Bird Signs

Happy July!  That means that The Daily Bits has been sharing creative features for two whole months!!  We hope to continue along thIs journey for a long time to come 😊 How was your weekend?  Did our American bitties get enough hot dogs, bomb pops, apple pie and fireworks?  We sure did!  We love heading out of town to celebrate, but it sure is nice to come home!  Let's jump back into our routine and share this week's uber popular creative, Nicole, a.k.a. Jelly Bird Signs! 

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TDB:  Welcome, Nicole!  Can you give us all a short bio?

JBS | Nicole:  Sure. My name is Nicole DeFord, and I am the creator and designer behind Jelly Bird Signs. I am a Jesus-loving, tattoo-wearing, big-hair-having, pasta-eating wife to a bearded stud and mother to two little rascals. I'm an east-coast transplant who's loving life on left coast (the best coast!!). Originally I worked in juvenile probation, so obviously it's been a natural transition to now making handmade rustic wooden signs. 

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TDB:  Jelly Bird Signs is your shop name, can you explain what a jelly bird is and how did you decide on that name for your business?

JBS | Nicole:  Oh gosh, this story is just about the silliest, most anti-climactic tale to tell. Truly, my husband I are the worst at naming things (I'm still not sure how our children managed to escape this relatively unscathed). When we decided we wanted to open up shop, we knew we couldn't do so without a name. Not wanting to go the traditional route of using our own last name, we used a random-word generator online and wrote down any word that struck a chord with us. Pretty soon, we had a whole list of words, and we started pairing them up in silly combinations. Jelly Bird was one, and I think another was Unique Tumbleweed. We ended up with five or so pairings that we really liked and I sent them to a graphic-designer friend who'd agreed to draw our logo. I told him we liked them all and would be happy with whichever he chose; he didn't even hesitate -- he said, "Jelly Bird. I already know what it'll look like." And BOOM: the Jelly Bird was born. Gosh I love that little guy.

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TDB:  What is the greatest thing your creative journey has given you?  What is the worst aspect?

JBS | Nicole:  This journey is, in short, AMAZING. It's still pretty surreal to us. The greatest part about it has been being able to grow and carve out my own little niche in this giant realm of sign-making. Really, there are so many of us out there, and for the most part, we're all exploring this medium of creativity and taking the time to make our work our own. This kind of brings me to the worst aspect, though -- there's a downside to so many people looking at your work, and that is that it gets copied. A lot. The saying, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" is only applicable when the intent of the imitation is to honor or pay homage to the original piece and/or artist, not when trying to take credit for the idea. Watching something I worked so hard to design get knocked off by someone else honestly has been devastating, and it's staggering how much it happens to many of us makers across the board. I will be the first to stand up and admit of course I've copied -- we all have. We're all trying to figure out what we're doing, and sometimes trying to make something someone else has made is the only way we know how to start that process. But then once you've done it, don't claim it as your own, and definitely don't continue. Make your own path, create your own style. Make your work your own. 

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TDB:  What 5 things are you loving currently?

JBS | Nicole:  Currently loving flowy tanks, wildflowers, watermelon, Target sandals, and big hair. But then again, when am I *not* loving big hair? 

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 TDB:  What would be your ultimate "pinch me" moment?

JBS | Nicole:  Oh man, I feel like I've been having a few of these lately. Seriously, I just can't believe where our shop is right now. This year has been full of firsts and I'm still reeling from all of them (in a good way, I promise). This year we hit 10,000 followers on Instagram, and sometimes I just look at that number and wonder if my phone is glitching or if that number is actually right because, I mean, come on -- don't only cool people and celebrities have over 10,000 followers? The ultimate "pinch me" moment, though, came when we did one of our regular Etsy shop restocks and everything sold out in under 10 minutes. I freaked out and thought I had uploaded things incorrectly or listed the wrong quantities. Then I went back and checked. Nope. Everything was correct, we just sold out THAT. FAST. It was really cool, really surreal, and really scary. And it's kinda been happening on a pretty regular basis. So there's that. 

Rockstar. status.  Now y'all know why we just adore this brand and the gal behind it.  ThIs community of creatives is just so inspirational and brings people from all areas and all genres together!  We love that Nicole was open to sharing her behind the scenes with us!!  Get ready to drool over some serious signage when you check out her shop on social media!  You can find her here: Instagram (@jellybirdsigns) Facebook www.facebook.com/jellybirdsigns and Etsy www.etsy.com/shop/jellybirdsigns 👍 She will be taking over our account tomorrow so make sure you follow us so you don't miss any of the fun!  

Meet & Greet Monday | Marlissa of Mai Lin Jewelry

Hey there, bitties!  It's MONDAY!  We don't know about y'all, but Monday is becoming a rather, shall we say, liked day around here?!  It's just so much fun introducing you to a cool creative that you may never have heard of or seen!  It's like a blind date that knocks it out of the park EVERY.SINGLE.TIME!  Well, this week will NOT disappoint!

Our feature this week is a girl boss, a self-proclaimed "jock" and has the sweetest heart for giving!  We love her jewelry and can't wait for you to love it too!  Meet Marlissa!  She is the beauty behind Mai Lin Jewelry!  We chatted her up to get the behind the scenes scoop that can only be found on The Daily Bits!  

Marlissa Flint of Mai Lin Jewelry

TDB:  Mai Lin Jewelry is your creative business, how did it come about and what does it mean to you?  Is Mai Lin just a shortened form of your name?

MLJ | Marlissa:  My business has become the biggest part of my life aside from my family. In my final year of design school, I spent 9 months exploring gift giving around the world. When I graduated, I started Mai Lin as an extension of my research. 

Mai Lin is my Chinese name, given to me by my grandmother. Before starting my business, I had never really used the name but I always wanted it to be on the forefront of my life in some way. When it came to naming my jewelry company, nothing felt more natural than using the name Mai Lin. 

TDB:  If your business could take off and grow infinitely, where would you envision it going?  

MLJ | Marlissa:  Oh boy. I really love where my business is right now. I am enjoying playing a major role in every aspect of my business from the making to the accounting. I have learned so much and I feel so lucky to have this little company. I would love to travel more. It would be so amazing if my business could take me around the world. I suppose if we're being completely honest here...I would love to see my reminder bracelets in every Anthropologie in North America :)

Mai Lin Jewelry

TDB:  Have you always been creative by nature and do you have any other secret aspects of your creativity that aren't showcased by Mai Lin Jewelry?  

MLJ | Marlissa:  I have always been creative and I have always made new things on a regular basis. I love to challenge myself to learn new skills, use new tools and just enjoy the thrill of making something I've never made before. In the spring and summer, I love to spend time in my back yard dyeing fabric and clothing. Dyeing was something I did a lot of during my years in undergraduate school so it's familiar and fun to do on a sunny day. 

Mai Lin Jewelry Custom Wedding

TDB:  When you aren't busy creating pieces to sell or making custom orders, what do you find yourself mostly enjoying?  Can you describe a typical Saturday for you?  

MLJ | Marlissa:  I am a big jock at heart. I love to do anything active. On a Saturday, I love a nice big cup of coffee, followed by an indoor cycling class. Then I go to some sweet, cozy spot for some brunch with friends. I live in Toronto Canada which is the perfect city for a nice neighbourhood walk or weekend market, or a combination of both. In the evening, I love to relax by cooking a hearty meal for my family. 

Make sure you head over to Instagram and start following her beautiful feed (@mailinjewelry) and be sure to check our her website (http://www.mailinjewelry.com)  where you can also find the link to her Etsy store so you can sport some of her handmade lovelies!  Marlissa has a great week planned for all our Instagram fans, including a giveaway!  Be sure to head over to our Insta account (@the_daily_bits) so you can see what her life is like when she takes over tomorrow!  

Meet & Greet Monday | Field and Forest Design

It's officially summer!!  We don't know about you, but we LOVE summer!  Summer sparks new experiences, more time spent outdoors, and fresh creative perspectives.  What are your plans for summer?  

This week we have a creative gal who has a strong sense of purpose behind her craft.  Not sure what we mean?  You can read all about Lindsey and Field and Forest Design now! 

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TDB:  Tell us a bit about you.

FAFD | Lindsey:  I have always loved to paint, draw, take photos, etc.  After college, I worked some odd jobs but didn’t enjoy them and struggled with what I was supposed to do within life.  I ended up moving to Louisville and doing an internship at a homeless shelter.  It was there that I met my husband and after two years of marriage, we had our son and I began staying home with him.  I still loved to create and tried my hand at lots of things like photography, wood burning, and calligraphy, but found that I loved hand lettering.  I took a few online classes and practiced everyday.  

  I sold my pieces at two art shows at the end of 2014 and opened my Etsy shop last October.  Opening my Etsy shop and starting our adoption process just happened to start around the same time. I decided to use all of the profit from the shop to go towards our adoption costs.  We are adopting a little boy from China and will be traveling to bring him home sometime at the end of this year. He has a Cleft lip and palate and will need multiple surgeries once he is home. We will then use the funds to help cover medical costs. 

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TDB:  Your business name is Field and Forest Design, what is the story behind that choice and what inspired you to create and design what you sell?

FAFD | Lindsey:  It comes from the hymn, “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee”

Field and forest, vale and mountain,

Flowery meadow, flashing sea

Singing bird and flowing fountain

Call us to rejoice in Thee”

I love being outdoors and am inspired by nature.  Just as the song says, creation inspires me to rejoice in the Creator.  Since my work is all done on wood (from the forest), I thought it was fitting.

I first started hand lettering on paper. I got frustrated by that medium because in order to reproduce pieces, I needed to learn how to work Photoshop and Illustrator. I got frustrated spending more time at a computer than using my hands.

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 Around this time, we went to my parents' house and had a bonfire. My dad was using these smooth, cut pieces of wood to kindle the fire. They were scrap pieces he had gotten from work that were going to be tossed but they were nice looking pieces. I asked if I could have some. He gave me some pieces and I started trying out wood burning my hand lettering on wood. This was OK but I wasn't thrilled at how it was turning out. Finally I tried painting and found my niche! 

I love getting to use my hands to create and I love giving new life to pieces of wood that would have otherwise been tossed aside.

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TDB:  What are the top three things you have gained from creating your art?

FAFD | Lindsey:  Feeling alive and that I am doing what I was created to do.

Funds for our adoption. 

Growing in my creativity. I didn't use my creativity much for years. I have found that the more I use my creative "muscles" the more they grow. 

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TDB:  You get an email requesting a collaboration from someone, who would you absolutely love that to be from and why?

FAFD | Lindsey:  Hmm...probably my friend Chelsey of Chelsey Lynea Photography. Her photography is absolutely gorgeous. I'm kind of obsessed.  She does an amazing job of capturing both light and life. She also has a heart to use her photography to tell others' stories. This would be lots of work but maybe we could do a book with her photography and my hand lettering working together to tell the others' stories in a way that inspires and calls people to action.  Maybe to educate others about orphans, poverty, a certain people group, etc.

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TDB:  What/Who has been the most supportive of your design and how so?

FAFD | Lindsey:  My husband has been supportive but also helps me to not feel pressure financially. I get stressed easily and he knows it. He supports me while helping me feel the freedom of not having  to bring in "x" number of dollars. My friend Kiana has been supportive from the beginning as well. I tell her she is my biggest fan. When I first started out, she was always excited about my creativeness and bought my work which was such an encouragement. Sharing your work with the world for the first time can be intimidating. 

Isn't she lovely?  We love that her creative business is helping to fund her adoption!!  Let's all support this #girlboss and don't forget to tune into our Instagram to watch Lindsey's takeover tomorrow!!  You can find her on Instagram (@field_and_forest_design) and her Etsy shop is fieldandforestdesign.etsy.com 😊

#WinitWednesday | Material Culture Co.

Happy #Humpday!  We have renamed this day to #winitwednesday because we would much rather give you a chance to win something cool instead of just letting you know you are halfway through the work week!  Duh!  Entering giveaways on Wednesdays are totally better, right?  Especially when it comes from a new creative, like this week's Material Culture Co.!  

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Emily is graciously giving away these amazing pouches and we are already dreaming up all the cool things we could use them for!!  Head on over to our Instagram or Facebook for full contest details and to make sure you are entered to win these bad boys!!  Spread the word, tell your friends and throw your name in the hat before Friday, June 19th at Midnight EST!!  We will announce the winner on social media June 20!  Good Luck, Bitties!!

Meet & Greet Monday | Emily of Material Culture Co.

🎶Welcome back, welcome back, welcome back🎶 We hope you had a stellar weekend and are ready to hit Monday hard with whatever it may throw at you!  It's such a wonderful thing for us to be able to feature these amazingly talented and creative individuals each week and really get to know them!  We are in such awe of the kind responses we have gotten from this community and their willingness to allow us the opportunity to show them in a different perspective!  Thank you for taking the time each week to learn about someone new and following along as we explore them!  

Well, we are half way through June!  Time flies when you are having fun, right?  This week we have Miss Emily from Material Culture Co. (@materialcultureco)  She is a beautifully talented creative who loves her some fabric!!  Before I spill all the beans on this maker maven, let's see what she had to say when we interviewed her!  

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TDB:  What can you tell us about yourself?

MCC | Emily:  I’m a self-taught sewist who was gifted her first sewing machine at age 13 (I watched my mom sew a lot of curtains and pillows when I was growing up!).  I rediscovered my love of sewing about four years ago after I made a set of quilts for a new set of twin babies!  And once my friends discovered that I could sew, the list of custom projects began.  Although it wasn’t until last year, in 2014, that I officially started my sewing business, Material Culture Co and began to develop my own products which now include pillows, zipper pouches and flag bunting and banners.

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TDB:  Your shop is called Material Culture Co., what's the story behind the name and what made you choose to create what you sell?

MCC | Emily:  I chose the name “Material Culture Co” for two reasons: one, because the word “material” is another name for my chosen medium of fabric, and two, because “material culture” is a term that refers to the everyday use of materials and objects.  I have always been very interested in how people use, love, keep, and discard different kinds of objects.

My love of fabric and the amazing things that you can create with it (although you have to do a lot of imagining beforehand!) has led me to focus on sewn objects.  Exactly what I make tends to be guided by my good friends, who will often ask me – “hey, can you make this?”, and then my experiment for them often turns into something I offer in my Etsy shop.

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TDB:  If you could see your creations used in a magazine, which magazine would it be and which item would you most like to see?

MCC | Emily:  I am currently in love with the gorgeous craft magazine Mollie Makes!  It is absolutely beautiful in layout, content and style.  I would love to see anything I made on its pages (what a dream for the future!).

Photo courtesy of  Katarina Kuruc of Boakview Photography

Photo courtesy of  Katarina Kuruc of Boakview Photography

TDB:  What are five current favorites of yours?

MCC | Emily:  

  • neon anything/everything
  • monochromatic colour schemes
  • the wonderfully supportive and positive maker community that I’ve found on instagram (and especially with the amazing group @makersgonnatrade)
  • thrift store shopping for housewares and used clothing (I am addicted!)
  • doily garlands and the “granny chic” trend

 TDB:  What is the best environment for you to design in?  Try your best to describe the setting, the noise or lack of and anything else that can paint a picture for us.  

MCC | Emily:  The best environment for me is a quiet one, early in the morning after I’ve tidied my desk the night before and I’m starting with a clean space.  I always have a mug of tea (a big one!) and a pencil and notebook for making “to-do” lists and crossing off tasks as I complete them.  Lovely.  Sounds like heaven to me.

Make sure you follow along all week to get more insider scoop and for a chance to win a lovely giveaway!!  Also, be sure to follow Emily on Instagram (@materialcultureco) and shop your favorites at www.etsy.com/shop/materialcultureco 
 
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Meet & Greet Monday | Margaux Pepper

Manic Monday?  No way!  Not with a lovely new feature week starting here at The Daily Bits!  We are proudly introducing a gal who hails from the Bayou State, but now resides in the Windy City!  Her name, which we are super jelly of because it is totally amazing, is Margaux Pepper!  So good, right?  Let us just say, her creativity surpasses her amazingly stupendous name.  Let's dig in and get to know this sassy southerner!

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TDB:  Give us a quick peek into who you are.

MP | Margaux Pepper:  I'm originally from the south and came to Chicago for school at Northwestern.  I've been working in the digital department at Weber Shandwick since I graduated and doing art and freelance design in my free time.  

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TDB:  You are so multi-faceted, which medium would you choose if you could only be creative in one and why?

MP | Margaux Pepper:  I would definitely have to say art - I always have a lot of fun when I'm working on new art projects, but more than that, it's incredibly cathartic.  Art has always been a great way for me to channel my stress and turn it into something positive that I can be proud of.  

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TDB:  What creatively inspires you and what is one thing you have created that you are most proud of?

MP | Margaux Pepper:  I like getting creative inspiration from other artists around me.  I'll explore Instagram and Pinterest to find new people to follow whose work I find interesting, and then I try to make my next project in that aesthetic.  Trying on other people's styles has really helped me find my own voice!

I think the project I'm most proud of is the design I did for my friend's sister's wedding.  She and her family were so excited about how everything turned out that they ended up putting the custom logo I made on a handmade ring box and the guest book in addition to the invitations!

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TDB:  If you could be invited to collaborate with someone, who would it be and why?

MP | Margaux Pepper:  Lauren Hom of Hom Sweet Hom.  She's one of the first people I followed when I started getting into lettering, and I've always admired how her work is both beautiful and imbued with a sense of humor.  Plus I think her Will Letter for Lunch idea is genius and such a fun adventure!

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TDB:  What is one challenge you have faced and overcome and how did you do it?  What advice would you have for someone facing a similar challenge?

MP | Margaux Pepper:  I don't know if I've fully overcome it, but I'm always working on managing my time better.  I get excited about so many projects that it's hard to juggle sometimes, but you have to learn to say no to things.  I always have a better time when there are just a few projects that I can really focus on and commit to.  

Please join us this week as we learn more about Margaux!  You can easily find her on Instagram (@margauxpepper) and follow her lovely life in little squares as well as check out her website (www.margauxpepper.com) showcasing some snippets of her talent!  Have a great day, bitties!

xoxo!

L+L

Meet & Greet Monday | Elizabeth Heard

Happy Monday!  We are loving these weeks spent with all these amazing creatives and we hope you are as well!  This week we want to introduce you to someone with lots of flair.  Her name is Elizabeth Heard.  This is a girl you will want to know, she is super fun and she is attracting some attention from some large places!  Marie Claire magazine anyone?!  Let's see what she had to say during our interview with her!  

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TDB:  What can you tell us about yourself?

EH | Elizabeth Heard:  

I have an unabashed obsession with hair barrettes, and have since childhood. From swimming to sleeping, you would rarely find me without one.  My love for barrettes stayed intact but I noticed a niche in the market for quality and unique hair accessories as I aged out of my giant grosgrain bows.  I always dreamed of starting my own line.  I attended Parsons School of Design after graduating from SMU in Dallas, TX, where I was able to hone my skills for crafting custom hair wear.  I am currently living and working in the peach state with my sweet fiancee, Jeb.  My barrettes began as a fun personal passion and have recently evolved into a small online and wholesale business.  I am so grateful for the women with flair who find their finishing touch with one of my barrettes and I am really excited for what's to come. 

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TDB:  What got you started making barrettes?

EH | Elizabeth Heard:  

I wanted to start my own line and upon my move to Atlanta I had a little more time on my hands and I realized that if I wanted to make and sell my own product- I was the only person that could make it happen. I am constantly working to improve the quality and appearance. The barrettes are a total work in progress but the more I do, the more I realize what I don't know, and the more excited I am to learn.

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TDB:  If you could wholesale your barrettes to one store, which would it be and why?

EH | Elizabeth Heard:  

If I could sell wholesale to anyone--I would love the opportunity to sell my "party animal" barrettes to J-Crew as part of their "in good company" collection and "you're a gem" barrettes to Anthropologie. 

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TDB:  A celebrity is walking the red carpet and is wearing an Elizabeth Heard barrette, which red carpet award show is she at?

EH | Elizabeth Heard:  

While a red carpet is full of gems and I would be so flattered for my barrettes to be on any….they are really made for the everyday with the hope of adding some sass to your step and flair to your hair. 

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TDB:  What is something not many people know about you? Do you any silly quirks, funny favorite foods?

EH | Elizabeth Heard:  

I am a huge fan of old-school Travis Tritt, I was featured in Seventeen Magazine in college for my Halloween costume as a "loofa" (an idea that came to me in the shower and made possible thanks to JoAnn Fabrics), I wear pink tights in the winter, and had a pet alligator on my keychain until just recently. 



Win it Wednesday!

In case you haven't sensed the pattern by now, Wednesday's are for winning!  We love these collaborators so much and we are thrilled when we get to introduce them to you and you get the opportunity to take a deeper look at not only what they create, but the amazing people behind the products.  We truly believe in spending more time supporting one another and less time (or no time) competing against others.  

This week, you have gotten to know the loveliness that is Lindsay from Dwell in Hope.  She has graciously decided to giveaway an amazing weaving she did plus a $20 shop credit!  Jump over to our Instagram or Facebook to get full details and to enter!  This giveaway ends Friday, May 29 at midnight EST.  Good Luck, bitties!

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Meet & Greet Monday | Dwell in Hope

First and foremost, we want to take a moment to remember all those that have given the ultimate sacrifice for our country to support our freedom.  Let us all maintain the perspective that this day is not meant to symbolize the start of summer or to have picnics and family time, which are all wonderful, but not the true significance of this day.  Thank you to the soldiers and families that have given up their lives in order for us to live ours.  You will never be forgotten.

Now, without further adieu, we are proud to introduce this week's new featured creative, Lindsay of Dwell in Hope!  This is one impressive momma maker!  She is exploring all her creative talents and we are loving every bit of what she has to offer!  So grab your donut and a hot cup of joe and read more about this lovely lady and what inspires her to create!

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 TDB:  Please tell us a little about yourself.

DIH | Lindsay:  Hello! I’m Lindsay—a wife, mama, designer, and maker. I am the creative behind Dwell in Hope. I’ve been in the design world for the last decade and recently took the plunge into raising my 2 kids (4 and 1) full time and working from home. While I loved working in the non-profit world designing, I love designing for individual people even more. Small business branding, invitations, cards, stationary, personal projects—those are the things that get my brain racing and bring joy to my life. I am also a new weaver—after years of searching for a medium I loved outside of design, I’ve finally found it in weaving. It brings me such peace and time to process, plus it’s easy to stop and pick up again when a kiddo needs my full attention. :)

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TDB:  I saw you moved from Ohio to El Paso, Texas, what brought you across the country?

DIH | Lindsay:  I was born in El Paso, but haven’t lived here since I was 5 (I moved around a lot as a kid.) After spending the last 10 years in Columbus, Ohio (which I loved!), we decided to move to El Paso to be closer to my family and to help care for my grandmother who has Alzheimers. We live in a very full house  with 4 generations—it’s definitely not easy, but has been a huge blessing to my kids and to my family. While sometimes I feel like I live in a zoo, I wouldn’t change this chance to love and care for my family full time for anything.

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TDB:  Your shop name is Dwell in Hope, what does that mean to you?

DIH | Lindsay:  Our brains so easily hold on to negative places and after I had my daughter I was in a really dark place and feeling incredibly guilty about it since I “should” have been on top of the world. As I was fighting my way out of that dark place, I realized that I can only make it through life with hope—that hoping in something better; someone better; a life without hardship and pain can’t happen here on earth, that I needed to place my hope in the promise I have in heaven. “Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Truly he is my rock and salvation, he is my fortress, I will not be shaken.” (Psalm 62:5-6) This verse helped ground me and remember to stop placing hope in small, insignificant things, but that my hope in Jesus and eternal life far outweighs anything I can hope for here on earth. My shop name comes from that period in my life when I desperately needed to remember to fight for and dwell in a place of hope (and is a constant reminder as every day I have to choose to live in hope and not darkness).

TDB:  When you are stuck in a creative rut, where do you go for inspiration?

DIH | Lindsay:  Nature, people, my kids and a quiet place. There is so much inspiration around, but often it gets drowned out by the everyday tasks and crazy amount of information thrown toward me every day. The best inspiration comes from the quiet moments, the times when I unplug and just live and breathe that moment.

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TDB:  What is your favorite quote and what does it mean to you?

DIH | Lindsay:  “They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” Carl W. Buechner

I love this quote as it is a reminder that the way we treat people is of such great importance. That showing love and compassion and empathy have more impact than any words we speak.  

We hope you have enjoyed getting to know Lindsay from Dwell in Hope a bit!  Please jump over to Instagram this week to get a deeper glimpse into her creative mind!  She has also worked out a really special giveaway for a lucky follower this week!  You won't want to miss it!  

xoxo!

L+L


Meet & Greet Monday | Almost Noelle

Happy Monday Bitties!  We hope you had an amazing weekend!  Now that you are back to the grind, we are here to make your Monday a bit brighter with a new feature.  After discovering her talent on Instagram, we now have quite the list going of work we want to snag from this lovely and talented artist.  Let's give a warm welcome to Lauryn from Almost Noelle!

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TDB:  Tell us about yourself.

AN | Lauryn:  Hello! My name is Lauryn. I am the artist behind Almost Noelle. I run the shop with my amazing husband. I get the easy part -drawing- while he takes care of the business side for me. I am a first time momma to the sweetest little boy that ever existed. We are proud Utah residents and live in a cozy city called South Weber. Before this year, I was a Kindergarten teacher at a private school, but I took off some time to be with my baby boy. It has been sad to be away from my kiddos, but in my eyes, more important to be a momma. I have been able to get a little teaching outlet at a dance studio nearby. I have danced since I was a little girl and absolutely love it. I'm your average girly girl. I love purple, pink, glitter, art, dance, and clothes. I write a fashion blog so I get to dress up regularly :) and you can pretty much count me OUT of any athletic sport that includes a ball...unless it's Quidditch...anything Harry Potter I'm in.

TDB:  How did you get started drawing?

AN | Lauryn:  I have been drawing since I can remember, so let's just say I got started drawing when I learned how to hold a pencil! I have always had a knack for art. I swear designs and ideas have been itching to get outside of me since I was a little girl. My parents were divorced when I was really young, so traveling from house to house gave a lot of "down time" or for me.... "drawing time". When I got into junior high I took my first official art class and fell in love. After that, I took art/drawing courses all through high school and in college. Although, I never needed a scheduled moment to draw. I doodled on grocery lists, homework, letters, and to this day sidewalk chalk is one of my favorite pastimes. 

A few years ago, my husband gave me a Bamboo Tablet by Wacom (a digital drawing tablet) for our anniversary. I was messing around drawing various pictures and ended up drawing a sketch from one of our engagement pictures. It was kind of fun how it turned out so I decided to draw a couple of sketches for friends with weddings around that time. The illustrations were a hit and Almost Noelle took off right before our eyes. We have been truly blessed!

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TDB:  If you could be commissioned by any celebrity to illustrate them, who would it be and why?

AN | Lauryn:  Well wouldn't that be a dream!? Really, it would be so sweet to be commissioned by any celebrity. I mean, c'mon. But while we're dreamin', my two favorite celebs are T-Swift herself and the amazing musician Lights. Whom both I've already drawn a picture of. What can I say, I'm a devoted fan. But if I could be commissioned by either I would choose Lights. I love drawing families, especially with little babies. Lights has the cutest or rather "raddest" family ever. She has a little girl named Rocket...could you be any cooler?

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TDB:  What is one piece of advice you would have given yourself five years ago if you could have, knowing what you know now?

AN | Lauryn:  This may seem a little cliché, but if I went back five years ago and told myself something, it could have changed the experiences I had that helped me get where I am now. Sappy? Sure. But definitely true. Five years ago I was engaged to my husband and in Goo-Goo-Ville/La-La-Land any way... so really, if I told myself something five years ago I think my younger self would have been much too distracted. ;)

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Thank you for spending some time getting to know Lauryn and her adorable brand, Almost Noelle!  We adore her and we hope you do too!  Make sure you jump on Instagram tomorrow as she takes over and guest posts all day on @the_daily_bits!  She also has a fabulous giveaway in the works for #winitwednesday!  Don't miss this full week of fun!  

xoxo!

L+L