C R E A T I V E
Who or what do you draw your inspiration from?
Most of my inspiration comes from observation. Enjoying beautiful things and details, seeing unique combos or visuals that strike an idea. I especially love vintage influences! I'm also majorly inspired by people LIVING life and being unique with no fear :) Brave and invincible people energize me like crazy!
What were your reasons for starting a blog?
1) I like to talk and share stories & observations but I felt like I was alienating my family so I started my blog as a way to "get them out"... for myself and for others who might enjoy them (willingly).
2) I like documenting things & sharing photos... I find blogging is the easiest way I can do that :)
3) I've kept with blogging because it's such an amazing community. In Winnipeg and in my circle of friends, I feel really weird and different. But in the blogging community, I've met so many people similar to me or people that might benefit from my past experiences and me from theres. I feel like I'm in a great club of amazing people :) Blogging has had the single biggest impact in my life and gave me the career I've always known was waiting for me (I just didn't know what it was till I found it).
How did you develop your personal style?
I keep my eyes open and embrace(d) every thing that gives my heart a flutter, then I let it overflow and repeat into all areas of my life. My personal style changes lots but the reasons I like things are pretty consistent... interesting, well-thought, happy colors, clean, charming, realistic and the perfect combination of elements :) My favorite era is the 60's and now.
What's your favorite thing you've ever made?
An album about my Grandpa (I made it when he passed away). It reminds me about him and all his great quirks :)
P E R S O N A L
Do you call yourself LA like la or L-A?
Nobody really calls me LA outloud (except Emma Chapman), it's just to save writing my long name. But it's LA, the two letters :) And my nieces call me Lala, which I love!
You have such a cute sense of humor & you seem to have a good relationship with your 'inner child' ...any tips on how to stay child like and true to that side of you in the face of adversity?
Thanks :) I've always had a childlike innocence and I love and protect that about myself. I think life is really fun & pretty and if you keep your eyes open, even through the hard times, there's something good happening along the way. Thinking positive and not saying mean things to yourself makes a big impact on how you see and treat the world ...and not being afraid to look silly makes it easier to have fun like a child. I once did an impromptu gymnastics performance with the long ribbon in the middle of a shopping mall to entertain Olivia and Kennedy. My sister afterwards said, I can't believe you did that... weren't you nervous people were looking? I didn't think twice about it, it was just me and my nieces in that moment :)
Your glasses are always interesting, where do you get them?
Thanks! I currently have two pairs that I interchange, like jewelry. My family buys our glasses at Oakley Optical in Winnipeg (we all wear glasses and they treat us so good). My plastic frames are Paul Frank (they're really comfortable and they were a great price) and my black inspector glasses are made by Francois Pinton. Before these two pairs, I had the coolest glasses ever... they were my favorite colors, orange and yellow. Originally they were purple but my boyfriend and I thought it would be cool to paint them, so we did (don't try this unless you're patient and amazing at spraypainting... Keith is). I love wearing glasses :)
"I am very shy and that doesn't help me run my business. Have you had to overcome shyness and if so, how did you do it?"
I'm shy sometimes too (for me, it's usually in big groups or with popular people). I find having my business online makes it easier to feel comfortable because I can choose when I'm public and conversations are usually done via type. When I'm in a video or especially live feed (like LA-TV), I get so nervous I have a hard time getting in full breathes. I don't let it stop me though because it's lots of fun and I like entertaining people. Just something I work through and try to hide so it's not distracting.
I think it's very possible to be confident even if you're shy. Work on developing a positive self esteem and have a discussion with yourself about your character, great qualities and that you have something great to offer. Don't use others as a measuring stick for yourself, everyone is different and you can only be you (and that's great)! Be kind to yourself & others and do things that make you proud of who you are and what you have to offer. Both your business and personal life will benefit and in time, you will see your confidence increase and your shyness feel like less of a hinderance.
Are you a people person or one that enjoys her own company most of the time?
I'm kinda both... I'm very happy being by myself (with Lola) and I recharge that way. And I love one on one or groups of 3 or 4... but I'm usually shy and quiet in big groups.
How did you meet Keith?
Read this :) I was "BrightEyes" he was "lownclean" (car reference) and we met in a Winnipeg chat room. We quoted Seinfeld and I liked his dimples & eyebrows... and we got together 20 minutes later for pizza. We've been falling in love ever since :)
You are lovely and curvacious, has this ever bothered you in the past? How would you go about helping a young girl come to terms with her blossoming figure?
Thank you so much!
I try to enjoy my body instead of resent it because that's not a positive or productive feeling (i do get those feelings sometimes though, like when my face feels fat in photos or when my chest feels extra big). Everyone is beautiful and so are you :)
Here are some tips I have...
1) Figuring out how to dress for your body type makes a really big difference in how you'll feel about yourself and using real life examples of beauty will help you feel normal. This dress series might help you.
2) Good health and nutrition is really important so that you live a long life; try to take care of yourself in a non-obsessive way, be active and use portion control.
3) When you start dating & being intimate, be with someone that you trust completely and that he sees your beauty inside and out. You want to feel relaxed and special with him, not like you're trying to hide or change things for another person. Keith is amazing at making me feel beautiful, even when I'm naked... he makes me feel really good about myself, not nervous or shy.
4) Don't let people make fun of your size. Sometimes bigger people (especially guys) are the butt of jokes in groups of friends... and even though he or she laughs along, it cuts really deep and feels horrible. If your friends do this, ask them politely not to because it's not funny to you or that it hurts your feelings.
5) To give yourself a boost, do a few self portrait sessions. Sit by a window for natural light, turn off your flash and snap at least 100 photos of yourself. Try different camera angles, expressions and even outfits (certain colors will enhance your features) :) Don't feel weird about how many pix you're taking, it's just for you and you can delete all the bad ones afterwards. With that many photos, you'll relax in front of the camera and discover your best angles and expressions. When I did this, I discovered I didn't like being shot from below, I liked my face fresh with just a bit of makeup (under eye concealer, mascara, blush, lipgloss), that I look best in photos when I smile with my eyes and that having good posture in photos takes off 10 pounds. I love doing self portrait photos the day I get my hair cut so it's styled really pro. I think feeling comfortable in front of the camera will give you a huge confidence boost and will help you see your beauty over time :) Plus, it's nice to feel great about your facebook picture.
One more thing...When I look back at photos of myself that I used to hate, I'm like... dang, my body looked goooood. In the moment, things can feel worse than they are and we obsess or dislike things instead of just embracing life. I wish I would have enjoyed those tiny boobs or medium legs. Infact, in one photo, I could have worn a bikini and instead, I swam in a t-shirt and board shorts because I was so self-conscious. This teaches me that in the future, I'll look back at now and wish I woulda enjoyed it... so why not just do it :) I'll be old someday so I'm enjoying what I have now :)
If you were told you had a year left to live, what would be on your bucket list to do?
i would cry a lot. i think I'd wanna go swimming in all the oceans, ride in a hot air balloon, write lots of letters to my family for after I'm gone, have a baby and leave him or her with Keith and have lots of quiet time and soul searching. this question made tears come to my eyes, that would all be so hard.
F U N
Where and what is your dream getaway?
I've never been to a place like cancun or hawaii... I'd love to go with Keith or my sister and just lay on the beach every day, go snorkling, eat yummy food and relax lots :) And to go for 10+ days so it's not over too quick ;)
You are such a bubbly person so how do you unwind everyday?
I don't feel bubbly, just happy (but I see why people think that) :) I unwind at bed time, just laying down feels so good :) When I really need a break, I like to test a bunch my pen collection to find the dead ones. I get wild.
What careers have you wanted, other than crafting and blogging?
These are all the jobs I've wanted in my life (in no order)...
School Teacher, Marine Biologist, Detective, Hooker (let me explain. I saw Pretty Women at a young age and didn't understand the sex part of it... I just liked the outfits and freedom. We used to play streetwalker in my friends basement as kids), interpreter for the deaf, teachers aid for special needs students (that's what my mom does), waitress, Diver (diving board), treasure diver, fabric designer, t-shirt designer for volcom, graphic designer, assistant, singer (i can't sing though), interior designer, counsellor for young girls, photographer for school photos (when I was a kid, I thought that job looked amazing), hair stylist, esthetician, school bus driver, inventor. I think that's it :)
What things do you collect and how do you display them?
I collect domestic & entertainment things from the 60's but I use them in my home on a regular basis or as functional decoration. Some of the things I collect... pyrex mixing bowls & plates, slideshow accessories, buttons, library cards, hardcover books, 2 tone floral towels, juice jugs with lemons or words on them, etc. I only things that make me jump for joy though, that's how I discern ;) Oh-- and I like old stationary & office stuff!
Do you have a childhood fantasy that you have yet to realise?
Yes, i have two :) I want to swim with dolphins in the ocean and I would like to live in a house with secret rooms! Ideally, I'd like to discover the rooms myself and be the only one who knows about it (circa Stephano Demira).
When the time comes, what would you name your babies (boy or girl)?
I've never picked official names, I change my mind too much... but I like classic, simple names like Jenny, Ruth, Henry, Peter, Nathan (i cherish this one, Nathan is the little boy I nannyed for 4 years), Claire ...and sometimes i like boys names for girls :) My favorite name is "Clover" but I'm thinking of making that my new last name.
B U S I N E S S
When and how did you decide on making your career from crafts?
It was the missing puzzle piece in my life and having it as a career was all I could think about. My Dad is an entrepreneur so I was raised with a business mind and that has really helped :) I developed Freckled Nest for two years before I went full time in 2008. I focused on handmade custom items for the first year and slowly transitioned towards custom design. Now I mostly focus on Freelance Design but my crafty side and eye still plays a large roll in my business and life. I picture Freckled Nest as my career for the rest of my life :)
H O W - T O and E Q U I P M E N T
Can you teach me how to make over my blog (or how to make a widget, nav bar, etc)?
I love sharing and teaching but since this is how I make my living, I want to protect my methods. That being said, I shared about how I got into design with a few tips here.
What kind of camera & computer do you use?
I have a Nikon D700 and a 17" Macbook Pro. For design & photo editing, I use Photoshop.
Feel free to ask me questions on my formspring page (a site where you can ask questions, no account needed). I'll answer the questions there and update this page with the most common and favorite :) Thanks!!