Friday, October 2, 2015

Domesticraft Insta-Styled Stock Image Library has launched! Woot!

Okay, so it's not completely done.  Kind of not even remotely done.  But for tonight, for right now . . . it's PERFECT!

I'll catch you up on some more details in the upcoming week, I've got so much fun stuff to share!  For now though, you can ooooo and awwwww over my adorable site (yep, I'm staying with Blogspot for now) and you can check out . . .

Insta-Styled Stock Image Library

Just click on the tab in the navigation bar and then say to yourself, "'Ummmm, should I?"  Bam!  Subscribe!  You are now a cute card carrying member of D.I.S.S.L.! 

Now go have a party on your Blog or Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest or your Shop!  I'll be adding lots of tips and ideas on how to use your new images too!

Here is a sampling of the photos that I've stocked the library with.  Check the shop page and the terms of service and FAQ's for lots more details.

Wooty woot woot and woot! I am so excited, guys! (Did I say that already?) I hope you love it and I'll wake up a rich woman!  Hahaha!

Boy, I feel rich already.  This feels like such an awesome win for me, like I finally pushed backed that last barrier of what the heck ever was holding me back.

So, before I go watch a movie with the hubs, while simultaneously hanging out on the socials and catching up on my Instagram photo challenges, I just wanted to give you a big, giant, humongous shout-out!


Totally not big enough, I'll make you a graphic tomorrow!  

So look around and like I said I've still quite a bit more to do and more exciting products to add.  But for now, I am so thrilled!  I've got lots more to share with you guys!  Big Love!  Let me know what you think! :)



Monday, September 28, 2015

Project S.T.I.R. Storytelling Through International Recipes with Sarah Shotts

Mom's Vintage "Food Processor"
I pulled this statement right off of Sarah's website.  It pretty much sums up what Project STIR is about.

"The heart of Project STIR is the story of how food can bring us together.

Everyone has a family recipe story. (Even if your story is that you don’t have one.)"

Project image

Isn't she just the loveliest?  I really adore this project!  It has refreshed my recollection of so many good food, kitchen and family related memories, including the smells, warm thoughts and the loving feelings that go hand in hand with those memories.  And the gadgets!  Oh, how I LOVE the vintage gadgets and all the super cool and totally in vogue vintage kitchen stuff from my growing up years.  *Swoon*

I have a story to tell about this cool looking grinder you see hear in the photos.  But first I want to chat about Sarah and neat Project STIR Kickstarter Campaign!

Check out her lovely video.  It makes me tear up every time I watch it, it is just so sweet.

Sarah continues . . .  

"We each have our own memories tied to food… The healing properties of Mamaw’s chicken and rice. Standing on the kitchen stool to help make cranberry relish for Thanksgiving. Licking the beaters at Nonnie’s house after making cake.  
Revisiting a cherished family recipe can be as powerful as stepping into a time machine.
Your recipe may be a curry or a gumbo or a tortilla depending on where you are in the world, but there is a universal language of love in the family kitchen. It’s that warm, lovely feeling that’s sparked Project STIR."

Sarah launched on September 24, just this past Thursday and she has already hit 10% of her target goal.  Wooooooooot!  I'm so excited!

Now, you know I don't ask you guys much. Except to leave me lovely comments full of ooooos and ahhhhhs.  And you do that wonderfully and you know I love you all!  

"But,I am going to ask you something today."

Can you please see what you can do to help Sarah and her full of love Project STIR out?  If you are not in a position financially, and even if you are, could you spread it around the internet?  Share it far and wide?  Tell your own family about it.  I know a lot of you are going to fall in love with this endeavor!

Go over to Sarah's website and check it out in further detail.  In fact, scope out her blog while you are there.  This lady is all about adventure.  

"Everyday, living life, adventures." 

I'm telling you, she is quite inspiring!

Thanks guys. Any help you can offer would be a blessing.  

Now, jump down to my little story that ties me to Sarah and Project Stir with proverbial apron strings! ;)

This is a vintage crank grinder, slicer, shredder, thingy that belonged to my Mom.  She died 5 years ago on the 5th of this past August.  I miss her dearly and it really felt so good to write about this lovely memory.  I hope you enjoy it too!

I remember one summer, I was probably about 35 and was over to her house for a visit.  She lived in the same town that I was born in, Bend, Oregon and it was pretty dinky.  We were searching all over town for a couple of little replacement suction cups to go on the bottom of this old fashioned food processor.

My memories now of the experience is how long it took to complete this task, as this was before Home Depot, Lowes, etc..  They didn't come till way later than average, since this was a pretty tiny town.  
And of course, no internet, which would have accomplished the undertaking in no time flat. But, instead in turned into a lovely adventure, going from the hardware store to the five and dime. 
Finally, after hours of fruitless searching, an old guy at the last hardware store we went to, said he could have some custom made.  He told us it would take a few days and that he would call when they were ready.  We were thrilled!  

I smile now, because I can picture myself doing this seemingly mundane task in a nano-second nowadays.  And if I couldn't, I would be like . . . seriously, are you kidding me?  It's a suction cup, for crying out loud!

But, back then it was a slower time. Don't get me wrong, I love technology and how we can get what we need and what we need done, so quickly!  Yet still, I wonder what we are missing and if the cost of that loss is too high sometimes.

That's why I love Project Stir so much. I would like to say we went home and bonded while cooking something yummy in the kitchen, but my Mom was a full time, plus, working gal  That made Kraft Mac & Cheese and the like standard fare . . . except for special occasions.  

I'm fortunate enough to have some of those recipes and I treasure them.  A lot.

Now, back to the story.  We ended up going out to lunch at a Chinese buffet and we talked and laughed and patted ourselves on the back for a job well done!  
I don't have any real cooking stories to share about me and my Mom, unless you count making popcorn.  I have the burn scars to prove it! Totally before the air popper!  So, even though this wasn't about cooking with my mom, it is  or microwave ovens.  Those kind of popcorn burns are sissy burns.  I'm talking 3rd degree, juicy blister burns!  I can  show you the scars!  Honor burns.  Stupid but proud. ;)

This story is such a wonderful food related memory for me.  Which lead to many other memories and happy, and now sweet reminiscent tears are slowly rolling down my cheeks.  And I'm smiling.  
Thank you, Sarah, I really, really love this project!

Thanks for stopping by again, guys and thanks for your help and look out for that GIVEAWAY tomorrow as I am running a little behind schedule today!  Sorry!  Let me know if there is anything you need help with too!  Big love!


P.S.  Sarah has announced an Instagram Challenge and it looks amazing!  Just my style!  So you can bet I'm going to join up!  I am so jazzed about the one!  Check out her site for further info if you need it at Sarah's Instagram challenge!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

5 Tips on Building a Raving Fan Base . . . Consistency!

Serve yourself up a big spoonful of consistency!

Good Morning, Ladies!  I am so glad you popped by for some coffee, cinnamon buns and chat!  Three of some of my favorite things!  Let's get right to it, shall we?

Two things to start with.  1:  Part 4 of this series will go up tomorrow and it will be on " Reaching Out & Helping Others", which is what today's WAS going to be, but I changed my mind at the last minute.  I think today's topic of "Consistency" will flow better into tomorrow's blog post as well. :)

I am also writing about consistency today, because April of Blacksburg Belle asked me to address "Your most successful marketing strategy to date"  And while, at first glance, it might not seem to have anything to do with a marketing strategy, but it is at the very core of my marketing strategy.

Let me share a little about April's Boot Camp that is starting on Tuesday.  Grab yourself a cup of coffee . . . I see you've got yours already April! ;).  Now snatch a couple of cinny buns and a napkin, 'cause they are gooey! 


This post is a part of the Double Your Followers blog tour to spread the word about April Bowles-Olin’s upcoming CreativeLive course. Does hearing the word ‘marketing’ make your armpits start to drip with anxiety? Are you terrified of sounding salesy or like you have the personality of a dead blowfish? If so, come join me and 2,500+ entrepreneurs who’re taking April’s latest CreativeLive course, Double Your Followers with Creative Marketing. You can RSVP and watch for FREE. Yep, free. High fives, wildflowers, food samples. Who doesn’t love free?

Okay, so if that doesn't have you running to get signed up let me mention the AWESOME and FREE WORKBOOK you get to download and print out when you RSVP! It's called "Your Dream Life and Business Workbook" and it's gorgeous and actually fun.  Yes, a pretty and fun business workbook . . . dreams do come true!

"Wait, it gets even better!" 

I know I am starting to sound like a commercial now, but when you really believe in a "product" and it works great, you naturally want to tell people!  I know I've told umpteen peeps about April/Blacksburg Belle and and they have both continued to meet and exceed my expectations . . . over and over again. (Remember my post about Over Delivering yesterday?)  They totally do this, a lot!

There is also a Private Facebook Group!  It's going to have so much flippin' amazing  value, well you are just not going to believe it till you join.  That's all I'm sayin' on that! So, trust me on this!  

Okay, here's my little piece on April's question.  Again, it was to tell about "Your most successful marketing strategy to date" and 

"I'm saying it's CONSISTENCY"

Consistency to me means dependibility.  It means showing up and giving it all you've got.  It means when you mess up, you own up to it.

It means going the distance, even when it's the very last thing you want to do.  It means keeping your promises.  It means being reliable.  It means being there for someone because they need you, even when it's not convenient.

It means doing your best job on EVERYTHING and being your best PERSON to everybody.  

And it means giving yourself the same pats on the back, the same high fives, the same Atta-girl that you give to everyone else!

And it means to forgive people.  Just let it go.  Figure out why it upsets you and do something about it.  Don't let it fester.  

This goes for yourself as well, maybe even more so.  We really are all pretty much the same.  Give yourself a break and start fresh, everyday, every minute.

And that's it, guys.  To me, in my business and in my life, it's consistency that really counts so very much.  I'm boiling all my wordiness down to this one tweetable!  Hahaha, I don't even tweet, that just sounded cool! ;)


Everything kind of fits into that little statement to me.  And do it consistently.  And if you screw up, heck yeah, you will . . . start fresh and be kind and work hard.

That's it guys, I'm outa time!  I am fashionably late as it is!  Yikes!  

Ask me anything about the boot camp or April or the cool peeps that you could be hanging out with!  Let me know in the comments what I can help you with!  Big Love, my friends.  Enjoy the rest of your brunch and thanks so much for stopping by!

Make sure you come back tomorrow for part 4 of this series, I think you're really going to like it!!  And I'm thinking I should have a give away, 'cause I'm so excited about my new site coming on October 1st and it's just been too long anyway!


Friday, September 25, 2015

5 Tips on Building A Raving Fan Base, OVER DELIVER!

Over Deliver . . . give them diamonds and pearls!
ME:   "To build a solid, raving fan base, you've got to over deliver.  And love doing it!

YOU:  "What?  Over deliver?  Like give away stuff.  For FREE?? And LOVE it?  Serious?  Is that what you're really saying?"

ME:   "Yep, that's what I'm laying down here."

To me, over delivering is just good business sense and I build it into my business every step of the way.  

"It is just plain good customer service to me."

I worked for years in the food service industry from fast food, to waiting tables to managing full service restaurants.

I never worked in a hoity-toity schmancy-pants kind of restaurant, but the service I gave was 100% "Fancy Nancy"

Why?  Because I'm just such a sweetie?  Of course not. :) 

It was because my bottom line depended on it.  The tips I would receive would be paying my bills, putting food on the table and keeping me in craft supplies!

When you bring your biz, your product or service . . . you are bringing YOURSELF to the table.   You will want to start out by bringing your "A" gameYour diamonds and pearls.  

"Why would you ever bring less?"

I am going to use an example from about a month ago.  My friend Dana, of Dapoppins and also the co-founder of #bonafidebosslady and I went out to lunch after a lovely afternoon of craft supply organization.  My studio/home was a wreck, a true 

"big pile of craft!"

We went to a little Mediterranean restaurant in a little tiny strip mall that included a 7-11 and another shop that I don't even recall what it was.  

Apparently this restaurant, called Baba Fresh, has been in this location for 14 years and I had never tried it, despite many Mt.Dews from 7-11.  (I know, I know, very bad for me, working on it.)

So Baba Fresh is a cute, very low key, nothing schmancy kind of establishment.  We went in, the place was empty of customers and I remember thinking, 

"hmmm, where is everyone?" 

And then I thought, no matter, it's gotta kick McDonald's butt easily.  And, boy oh boy, did it ever!!

The food was awesome!  But you know what?  They would have got a stellar review from me, even if there food was just okay, even ho-hummish.  WHY?

Because they over delivered!  They made Dana and I feel special.  They attended to our every need with friendliness and true caring. 

We didn't order big, in fact we shared an appetizer and split a Gyro and each of us had a beverage.  Not exactly big spenders, right?  But they made us feel like we were!  

And by "they"  I mean the guy who waited on us, 'cause he was the only one there.  So, in essence, he "was" the restaurant.  He was Baba Fresh.  

"And that's how it is for all small businesses, we are the business!"

Now the meal is over, and we are about to pay our check and head back home, when the waiter saunters (Yes, he was so cool, that now in my imagination, he saunters!) over with two containers of hummus.  To gift us with! WHAT? Yes . . .  

"over delivering and making us fall in love with him, with his business, with Baba Fresh!"

I know Dana's face said "Sweet!"  and my probably said "Score!" :)

He said that they make it fresh right here at the restaurant and sell it to places like Whole Foods and that he would like for us to have them and try them out.  Listen ladies, these were not baby samples!  They were 16 oz. $4.99 a pop, full size puppies!!

What I'm trying to say is: (Just in case I've made you too hungry to think straight!)  

"Over delivering got him a big tip AND our repeat business AND word of mouth advertising all over the place!"

Now in this blog post too and I'm totally going to show it to them!

The same thing goes for your creative business!  Over delivering will get you the same results in your biz.  Whatever your business is.   It's really that simple.  That is my "tip" to you!

I would love to hear what YOU do to over deliver. . . in your business or in your every day life.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

5 Tips on Building a Raving Fan Base, Starting with YOU!

Gathering your ingredients for your Raving Fan Base!

Building a following for yourself, your brand and your biz, especially as a solopreneur, is all intertwined.  I eat, breathe and sleep my biz. What about you?  Same thing?  Of course we do other things, we have families, kids, activities and a lot of you even hold a part or full-time outside job to boot.

But even with all that, our creative "cravings" are still never far from our thoughts.  It's an integral part of our very being.

I'm at the stage of my biz now, where I feel like I'm on the brink of finally bringing it all together. So, I have been putting in even more of the hustle, hard work and hours upon hours of creative marketing that it takes to get a creative biz off the ground. I am so flippin' excited, I could throw up at a moment's notice.  But I won't. (That's some true authentic talk right there!)

Which is what got me thinking about the whole "following" thing in the first place. (The word "following" bugs me too, like some kind of cult thing where they serve Kool-aid.  Eww. I'm going to use the term "fan club" instead and raving fans and cheerleaders and pep squad.  That's more me.  But feel free to interchange these words with what feels more "you" to you!

'Cause, for real guys, that's what it comes down to.  YOU.  Nobody else is going to think about your biz like you do, love it like you do or get it . . . like you do.

So that's where this whole authenticity thing comes in to play.

I wrote about it in this blog post sharing about my new biz, which I realize I have been "almost" ready to launch and have launched and relaunched for such a long time now, or so it may seem to some!  

But you know what?  I'm cool with that.

It's been since April of 2014 when I opened the brick and motor Domesticraft and then the move to completely online in October of 2014.  So it's been about a year of so much growth and learning and stumbling and discovery, tears of frustration and a whole lot more tears of joy!  In a word, I would say it has been AMAZING!

Okay, so you might be wondering what all that has to do with being authentic.  

It has EVERYTHING to do with it.  First you have to be authentic with yourself.  Get to know yourself.  Find out what you really like and what you totally hate.  Find out what your real passions are, not just what you thought they were.  And be real . . . really, really real with yourself.

You've probably seen the hashtag #bonafidebosslady that my friend Dana from and I came up with.  Bonafide means authentic and it reminds me to be me.

All this me, me, me is not meant in the selfish "it's all about me" way either.  It's more like quit trying to be like what other people think you should be like or as is more likely the case . . . quit trying to be like what YOU think other people think you should be.


Aspire to attain those qualities you admire in others.  Work your banoonies off to be the best YOU! EVER!  Take that step to start.  

And give yourself a break.  I don't know how many times I hear women say, "Well, I should have done this already or I shouldn't have done that and then they stop dead in their track and stagnate in negative feelings and the whole woe is me crap.  ACK!  Stop!

Build yourself up!  Hang out with people who build each other up and want to help and love to see you succeed!  Start with them. Help them too! 

That's when you'll find out that you know a WHOLE LOT more than you thought you did . . . about so many things. 

Look for these ladies.  They are everywhere! Make them your bonafide CORE team.  Your own pep squad! You go, girl!!  Woot!

And discover yourself, learn about you.  Take yourself on a creative journey to all the thoughts and ideas that have been brewing in your brain and heart for so long. Give yourself permission! Dare to dream them.  Put it on paper and start making it real.

But be sure you are making it real.  Not someone else's idea of what you should be doing or thinking or acting like or anything!  You are the boss of YOU

Yep, You!

Reach out and speak up and enjoy the process.  Oh boy, I want to emphasize that last sentence, 'cause it's SO BIG!!

None of us know when our time on this earth will be over.  Any time you wallow in worry, freakin' out, stressing and carrying on till your eyeballs pop or berating and belittling yourself OR anyone for that matter, you lose. Everybody loses.

This behavior is non-productive, soul sucking, gut wrenchingly, bad for your body, mind and heart and soul. So I say . . .

KNOCK. IT. OFF!  Do something to propel yourself forward, no matter how insignificant your think it is.  

Let me tell, you . . . a hot shower to wash away the grungy feelings and then a couple of hours of doing something that feeds my soul, my mind, my heart, my feelings, my love of all things cute and crafty, whatever it may be, I must DO IT!  

Consider it PTO.  Paid Time Off.  What this simple activity saves is more than your bottom line, it allows you to regroup,regenerate and re-energize so that you can get back to your happy place. 

Ahhhhhh . . .

So that is the FIRST INGREDIENT in getting yourself a HUGE, lovely fan base.   


Oh, and let yourself be vulnerable. I know this is a toughie, so here's a tip that might work for you.  


I find it impossible to feel vulnerable when I'm helping someone, because it is no longer about me, it's about them.  Try it, it's pretty cool! 

So obviously, this has now turned into a series.  I didn't realize I had so much to say, but I kinda, sorta, shoulda figured I would! I'm rather passionate about this subject matter! :)

I'll post part two on Friday, September 25th, around the same time.  I hope you enjoyed this post and if you've got any ideas or thoughts or questions, please ask me in the comments.  

Let's start a conversation about this and see if we can help each other out!  Thanks for stopping by guys! :)