What kind of camera do you have?
In 2010, I bought a digital SLR and went with the Canon Rebel XSi. I am a fan. I also have a Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens and I like it, but for some reason, my photos are always a bit out of focus when I use it. I take a ton of photos with my iPhone 4s and upload many of those to Instagram. My username there is elisejoy.
The best trick I have to making a crappy camera take decent photos is to play around with the ISO. This will adjust the amount of light let into the camera and may improve your indoor photos. Also, avoid using the flash at all costs.
What kind of sewing machine to do you have?
A Singer Esteem II that was a bridal shower gift.
What kind of computer and photo editing software do you have?
I work on a MacBook Pro and use Photoshop Elements 9 for all graphics you see on this blog. I also use iPhoto (the photo editing software that comes free with Mac products) to do some editing. Most photos you see on the blog are (for better or worse) straight out of the camera. I hate playing around with photos, so usually, I don't.
What kind of printer do you use?
An HP PhotoSmart 2575 printer which I really love. I print many of my photos at home on Office Depot semi-gloss photo paper. I am currently looking for a new online photo developer because my old favorite, scrapbookpictures.com closed. I have used moo.com and overnightprints.com for printing business cards and postcards.
There is a big calendar on your wall in some photos, where is that from?
I bought it at Crate & Barrel and the brand is Stendig. I use it to map out my blog posts for the month.
What are your favorite scrapbooking supplies?
I am pretty much an exclusive Project Lifer this days. You can read more about that here. But other than that, I use a 15-Inch Cut Rotatrim Professional Cutter, a Crop-A-Dile (punches through everything all at once and can set eyelets), a corner rounder and tape runners.
I like white textured cardstock or kraft. The patterned papers I use most frequently are Studio Calico and American Crafts. For pens, I use American Crafts Slick Writers or Zig millennium pens in black. For stamps, I believe in keeping it simple and even sell my own. I use Staz-on ink pads almost exclusively. I hate waiting for ink to dry.
Will you link to my interesting blog post? Share a link to this cool thing I made? Add a sponsored link to a post? Do a link exchange?
Will you donate to my silent auction, blog auction, fundraiser, giveaway, great cause, etc.?
Due to a large amount of requests, I have decided to address this in the FAQs. While my initial plan was just to donate whenever asked, it's no longer realistic for me or my small business. So at the moment, I am not giving away product for donations or fundraisers unless there are special circumstances. Thank you so much for your interest. I will make an adjustment here when this policy changes.
How did you design your blog?
My blog is hosted through Typepad and has been since the beginning. I really love the platform and don't think I'll ever switch. If you are interested in learning some simple blog design and HTML coding to fancy up your blog, I recommend this e-course that I co-taught with Elsie Larson.
Can I link to your blog and use your photos?
Yes, you can link. Yes, you can use my photos but you must provide a link back to where you found them. Common sense. Credit where credit is due. Thank you!
Can I pin your stuff on Pinterest?
Can I advertise on your blog?
At the moment no, I am not accepting blog sponsors. May 2013 is my last month for sidebar advertising. I will be taking the summer off from daily posting to enjoy my maternity leave and be with my new baby.
Will you do a giveaway of my product on your blog?
At the moment, no. I do not do giveaways of anything but my own shop goods.
Can I send you my product to possibly mention on your blog?
Maybe. Please email and we can see if it's a good fit.
Can I write a guest post for your blog?
How do you get people to read your blog?
I have been keeping a blog since December 2005. At first, it was just for my friends and I managed to get my parents reading. At the time, I was active on a scrapbooking message board, and some people found the blog from there.
If you are working to grow your blog, I encourage you to take pride in your work and be willing to share. Focus on creating unique content and posting often. (Here is how I develop blog content.) Ultimately though – stay true to who you are. People like honesty.
SMALL BUSINESS RELATED
What is your job?
I am self-employed. A big part of my job is maintaining this blog and dreaming up original and inspiring content. I also started a rubber stamp & book shop and I teach & contribute to online workshops & e-courses. In 2012, I worked with Becky Higgins to create the Seafoam Edition of Project Life (with the amazing help of my friend and graphic designer, Meredith Tilton). I am always and forever working on building up my "brand." I am so happy to have this flexible work schedule. This video talks a bit more about how I got from point A (college) to point B (self-employed).
Where do you print you products?
I use overnightprints.com for my business cards and additional promotion.
Will you tell me all about your product sources?
No. I know that sounds harsh, but recently the questions about where I get my materials have gone through the roof and I feel like I have to protect my sources. I will say I have a resellers license and purchase a lot of my stuff wholesale. I will also say, if you do enough reading through the archives, my sources will all be given away. ;)
When is your next workshop?
I always blog about online workshops weeks in advance of when they will run. You can also keep an eye on this page of my website. If you are interested in downloading PDFs of old workshops, they can be purchased there too. I am open to teaching crafting workshops in real life. If you are a shop owner or have a workshop space and would like to set up a live class, please email me at elise.blaha AT gmail.com.
How do you stay motivated working from home?
I wrote a pretty in-depth post on this here. :)
How do you find ideas to blog about?
Everything I do is a "can I blog about this?" moment. Seriously. Everything. I have blogged for so long that it's second nature to write posts in my head as things are happening. I am never not thinking about blogging, which sounds overwhelming, but I think it's sort of background noise at this point. :)
What is letterpress? Can you print a single card/print/something for me?
Here is a full description of the letterpress process. I have recently moved to Southern California and do not have access to a letterpress printer and am not making anything using this method.
What is gocco printing?
How do you make your mini books?
How do you make those photo grids you are always sharing?
Those grids are created "by hand" in PSE. There is a video in this post that details my process. The mosaic maker by bighugelabs.com is also pretty rad. Sometimes I just take a screenshot of my camera roll on my iPhone.
What are simple ways to stay on top of nurturing your creative side?
Believe that it's worth it. I think "creative time" gets seen as a luxury and is usually the first thing to cut when you need more time in your day. I understand that but really believe it's necessary. Everyone has creative muscles, but some people work them harder. The more you work them, the stronger they get and the "easier" it all becomes. Don't write off doodling or surfing Pinterest or listening to music or wandering a craft store as a waste of time. It's all fueling your creativity. At least, that's what I think.
Where do you live?
My husband, Paul and I just bought a 1961 single-story house in San Diego, California. You can read our home buying story here. We are so excited to living in one place for the next four years!
What does Paul think of your job?
He thinks I am totally crazy for sharing so much of my life online and then getting upset when I get disheartening emails. But he also knows this is what I love to do and has come to appreciate the craft museum I have built in our house. He's a very supportive husband and quite often the voice of reason around here. I am so grateful for him.
How old are you?
28. My birthday is in February.
Are you guys going to have kids soon?
Yes! Our first baby - a girl! - is due in mid-June. We are over the moon with excitement. :)
Are you glad you did your own flowers for your wedding?
What are your favorite blogs?
What inspires you?
Everything. But you can see it all at a glance if you follow me on Pinterest.
Would you like me to send you unsolicted advice?
Thank you so much for reading.