Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Who are the biggest influences on your personal style?
A: My friends, both in town and online, have had the greatest influence on my style. I have always needed a little encouragement to take risks in the wardrobe department but wearing vintage on a regular basis feels so natural now. I read fashion blogs and flip through magazines (sometimes) but the things that stick are things I see on my friends that I love.
Q: If you could choose someone else's style, who would you choose?
Q: How do you stay inspired to be crafty?
A: I spend time looking through Pinterest, Flickr, and various blogs that speak to what I'm interested in. I find myself thinking of new ideas on road trips, in the shower, and while I'm working on the floor of my studio. Whenever I see this girl for more than five minutes, I leave ready to take on the world!
Q: How do you recommend bringing vintage style into your home without it looking too museum-y?
A: I suggest only buying pieces that you love. Arrangement can make all the difference between living in your own thrift store or having a curiously curated home. Play with contrast and scale.
Mix old with new, bold with neutral, hard with soft. Edit your collections so that they don't take over. You can read everything I've ever learned about creating spaces I love in my e-course, Style Your Space.
Q: How do you get your curls to look so perfectly perfect?
A: This is a question I get nervous about because I've relied heavily on inexpensive product since high school. I've been a long term Pantene-aholic with stashes of my trusty Suave mousse but I've recently discovered Awapuhi Wild Ginger Hydrocream Whip by Paul Mitchell. I use it in place of my mousse and it's been doing the job nicely. It also smells divine!
My hair routine goes like this. Shampoo and conditioner every two to three days. After I condition I rinse about half of it out (so that it still feels soft) and then I flip my head upside down and use a wide-toothed comb and brush through my hair. This creates individual sections. I rinse my hair upside down after it's been combed through in cold water to close my follicles and add shine.
Then I wrap my hair in a towel so that the curls are pressed to my head rather than wrung out to dry. After about three minutes I gently take my towel off and let my curls fall. I get a baseball sized amount of mousse or whip in one hand and use the other hand to get small amounts of product and scrunch them into my curls. I start at the bottoms and work my way up without getting much near my head.
I then define the curls on the top and sides of my hair by twirling my fingers around sections to smooth them out or wrapping my hair around my finger like you would a curling iron and then letting it drop. This takes about a minute.
I pin my bangs down with bobby pins to dry and sometimes they look great with a natural wave. When they don't, I straighten them a bit. I also add volume to the base of my curls by grabbing them about three inches away from my scalp and pinning them back down near the shaft of that same section. This allows that part to dry without the weight of your hair pulling it flat. I always let my hair air dry but do take a large curling iron to it near the front on occasion.
On day two I usually wear it pulled back in a low pony tail or high bun and day three is either a high bun or lots of help with a curling iron. I utilize vintage scarves at that point to disguise fly aways.
Q: What strategy (other than great content) do you use most to bring traffic to your blog?
A: Some of the best ways to bring traffic is to be genuine, offer something with a unique twist, link up to posts or blogs that inspire you, put a great DIY out there (they get found out somehow!), and post regularly. People like to feel like they're a part of your life so don't be afraid to share something you're excited about or to get vulnerable every now and then.
Q: What does a typical day look like?
A: This is always changing but you can read this post for a general idea.
Q: How do you get so much accomplished with a home, children, husband, to care for? Any time management tips?
A: Well, our situation over the last few years has had my husband in grad school while starting his Army career and I've been the main provider financially. Our schedules have been organized so that I am able to spend more time throughout the week on online work - editing photos for blog posts, contacting sponsors, writing and marketing E-Courses, producing product to sell online at Red Velvet, and tackling e-mails - and Brett's been able to spend more time on housework and taking care of the kids.
We both spend a lot of time contributing what we're best at right now to make this work but we know things will be changing in the coming months as his first orders with the Army come in. Family is most important to us and we've had to make a lot of sacrifices along the way but we're really thankful for our current situation.
As far as time management goes, I try to organize my day according to when the kids need me and don't need me. If I have them, we play at home or run errands together. If I don't have them (mid-morning, nap time, after they're in bed) I'm usually working. Brett and I make a point to spend time together as often as we can to reconnect every evening over dinner or a Netflix movie. We like to have lazy weekends, too!
Q: Do you find yourself making crafts that are faster and easier since becoming a mom?
A: Mostly I find myself only making really beautiful or really practical crafts/projects. I'm currently making a time consuming fall wreath because I really want something pretty and welcoming at our front door. It won't be wasted time because I know I'll be really happy with the end result and it'll last a few years.
It took me months to finally find a vintage time card holder to make a chore chart for the kids but the rest of it took about an hour. It, too, was worth the wait!
Q: How do you find inspiration to get dressed up every day?
A: Having the Vintage Here, Vintage There weekly features has been great accountability for me and has gotten me more and more into the habit of dressing up. It's become more fun and more comfortable to wear dresses as opposed to yoga pants or jeans from three years ago. It makes me feel better about myself so it's become worth the extra effort!
Q: What is your favorite tool/technique for organizing blogging?
A: I'm not really good at this. I usually have more photos and post ideas in my head than I have time for so I'm rarely hurting for ideas. I do try to keep a general schedule of feature posts but this season I'm going to try out a calendar system and see how that works. I'm not naturally organized so it needs to feel easy or fun for me to keep it.
Q: When did you first start your blog and why?
A: Elsie made me! Well, sort of. It was part of the requirement for being on her first scrapbook design team back in early 2007 so I started it to share about my projects and to keep track of our little bitty boy, Sebastian. It's changed names and web hosts since then and grown into something more than I ever imagined it would and I am so thankful for all of the goodness it has brough into my life!
Q: When did you first start sewing? Any tips?
A: My mom taught me to sew. She and my Meemaw both sewed their own clothes and a lot of my dresses and Halloween costumes when I was a kid were handmade. I learned as I went when I got older and have recently picked up new techniques from friends with seamstress experience and online tutorials.
Home Ec, an E-Course that I co-wrote, is a great resource for learning the basics of sewing and building your skills as you make step-by-step projects.
Q: WHEN do you craft? Kids awake or asleep?
A: In our old house my studio was in a central area and I could watch or entertain little Ruby while I worked. It was easy to pick things up in small encriments of time. Now I have a studio in the back of the house so I have to be more purposeful about getting in there. I almost always work when Ruby is napping and after they're in bed but I take a few nights off a week to spend doing things just for myself or just with Brett.
Q: What should I look for when I'm hunting for vintage?
A: If it's home decor I like to look for accessories in my favorite colors and bigger pieces like furniture in neutrals that way I can rearrange things often and it'll still work together well. Check furniture for structural soundness. Smell upholstered pieces and clothing for smoke or mold.
You can usually wash the bad smells out of washables with baking soda and white vinegar. Always look for brands or markings and then check eBay or Etsy for something similar to see what it's possible value could be or if you're going to pay too much.
Q: Are you teaching your children to sign?
A: We've taught both basic signs starting at ten months to help ease the frustration of non-verbal communication. They've both responded well to it but then dropped signs as they became comfortable with the words. Sebastian still remembers most of them and loved being able to communicate with Ruby in that way when she was younger.
Q: Is that a teething necklace?
A: Yes, it's made of Amber which releases oils into the skin that help with the inflamation in gums during teething. We've had it on Ruby since she was four months old and she's had a relatively easy time with things. I bought mine through Amberizon.