This post has been a looooong time coming. I discovered Jenny (or she discovered me...somehow we met) a while back and I was instantly a fan of hers. What sold me was the ABOUT PAGE. No really -- I almost ALWAYS read those about pages and Jenny's just drew me in. Maybe it was stories about soap making that got me?
In any case, once I was hooked, I was hooked! From THE most incredible bunkbed you have ever seen (no REALLY!) to the Inspired by Tiffany's Room, Jenny's designs are full of life and wit and are just plain FUN for her kids. You will leave inspired!
After I left inspired, I realized I wanted Jenny to be my next "redbud". (What is a redbud? Read HERE!) She was full of this energy and excitement and on top of that gave off an air of kindness and helpfulness and sweetness and every other "ness" that is nice. Jenny is just one of those GIRLS you know? One of those girls that would be a good friend -- one of those girls you want to know, you know? So today, we are going to check in with Jenny and get her take on this wild world we call blogging and learn a little more about this awesome lady! (I heart her! You will too!)
I asked Jenny to answer a few questions about her perspective on blogging....here is what she had to say....
Amy Renea: What is your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Jenny: That's easy! CONSISTENCY. I really struggle with posting regularly. I get all inspired and post away, then life happens and I take a break and when I think about posting again, I start thinking about the backlog of blog posts in my brain and all of the pictures that will need edited that are still on my camera and I get a bad attitude about it and just go read other people's blogs instead! I recently read someone's "Blog dont's" and it said "Don't start every post with an apology for not writing in such a long time." Dagger through the heart! I'm trying to keep a good attitude about it and just write when I can so I'm not carrying around blog guilt.
AR: Who are your favorite bloggers and why?
Jenny: Well, hmmm...There are so many. I do a lot of reading these days. Not books per se, but lots of blogs. It counts, right? haha.
I would say #1 straight out of the chute is Ana White (www.ana-white.com). She instilled a passion for building in me that changed a lot of things. I knew I had the potential to make awesome out of wood, but I just didn't know how to go about it. I have never shied away from power tools, but I really thought that building furniture was like a science and because I wasn't a trained carpenter's apprentice, I had no business even going there. Then she rode into town on a white horse and liberated me! Her plans made building so obvious and easy, it gave me the confidence to start. Not to mention her site has the most genius user-friendly set-up. I love being part of the builder community there, it feels great to know I am accomplishing huge things alongside others too. Building my own furniture has given me confidence, it has given my family cool stuff to sleep on, and it has also given me hope in a way. The sacrifice we have made as a family to have me stay home with our kids has been huge, it's always a financial struggle, and being able to build your own furniture that is nice (or even nicer) than we could ever afford to purchase has been a welcome blessing in the struggle we call our daily life. We may not be millionaires, but my kids have no clue because they sleep in a mansion!
And I'm crazy addicted to Ana's momplex posts! It is so cool to watch someone build their house post by post. I take personal credit for swaying the moms' kitchen design; U-shaped kitchens rock!
I also love to read Beth at Unskinny Boppy. Her sense of humor is great. I can't tell you how many Bethisms I've gotten off of her blog. She keeps me in stitches with her writing, all the while sharing all the cool places she gets to go. Not to mention her DIY posts that just give me more projects to add to my list (still wanting to paint my china cabinet...and stencil it, of course).
The same with The Pioneer Woman. I don't even like to cook that much, but I'm sucked in by her awesome photography and sense of humor.
I really enjoy Kevin and Layla at The Lettered Cottage. The things they do with their house- where do they find such cool stuff? I swear, the south must be where it's at. Between Beth and those two, I need to pack up and move somewhere humid. All the best salvage yards, antique shops, and country fairs are south of the Mason-Dixon line!
Amy, your blog rocks! First thing that struck me: your header. So unique, so perfectly navigable. I love how cleverly categorized it is; I want that. I felt like it was made for me when I first landed on your site. Your blog is so nature-rich, it soothes me. My brain slows down and my shoulders loosen, and I can smell the flowers. I wish you lived in my state, because I would hang out at your place and avoid housework 5 days a week.
And the redbud post; Oh man, that one got me- talk about God's timing. Your sweet, transparent writing was so what I needed to hear. I still struggle with watching Craft Wars, haha.
I could go on and on.
AR: Where do you see your blog in 6 months? 5 years?
Jenny: Way to put me on the spot.
I know having a goal and a vision are necessary for success, but honestly, I just want to share my heart and enjoy blogging. Sure, I would love to make money at it, but then it would be a job, and that requires work, sooo....Okay, here is my short-term goal. I would love for my blog to pay for it's own hosting so I can get a wordpress account. If that happened in the next 6 months, I would be so elated! There are so many things I want to do with the design that I can't with Blogger. Or maybe I can and I just don't know how. I want social network buttons in one place. I already made the cool graphic, but I don't know how to make it go places. So frustrating.
Another personal goal I have for blogging (and my life in general) is a schedule. It goes against the grain of my being, and I feel like I really sell myself short because I can't get with the program. If I could blog consistently, I will feel like I could conquer the world! I have so much to share and my mind is constantly turning, just can't get it from my brain to the blog for some reason (if somebody "licensed and certified" wants to chime in here, I'm open to suggestions).
In five years:
I honestly can't think that far ahead. My oldest daughter will be 10 years old in 5 years, she will be at that awkward age when your teeth are bigger than your face and half gone. I pray she doesn't look like I did when I was ten!
AR: How do you get motivated to blog?
Jenny: I don't know, my mind now works in blog posts. I have my camera with me all the time (life was that way before blogging too), but now I take pictures with blog posts in mind. That's usually where it starts, and then if I get to editing them, voila! blog post. Now when I do a project, I have to remember to take pictures of the process, because, "You never know...it might become a blog post." I wish I kept a Blogging Journal and wrote things down regularly, but it's usually ideas swimming around in my head. I will also mention that I am a horrible perfectionist. I can't blog until my project is "complete." Talk about a stumbling block! I redid my craft/classroom and photographed it like 3 months ago, but haven't blogged because I want to recover my ironing board and I don't want to post the pictures I have with a burnt ironing board cover. Ridiculous is what I am.
I will say that my blog started because of my husband. He rocks. He encouraged me to start a blog. I think he saw a need for me to share myself outside of my children. Kids can be draining, and having a little something just for my own personal sanity, creativity, and passion filled me in a way like other moms like Zumba and not eating carbs.
AR: What is your blogging process?
Jenny: This section of the questions should be titled "How Not to Blog." I'm a nightowl, and I will usually get a wild hair around 1 am and stay up way too late writing a post (it's 2 am right now). But it is silent, and there are no distractions except for the cat trying to lay on the keyboard. I wouldn't call it a process, more like delirium.