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Entries in goals (8)


A Catalyst

Sometimes when you fall out of routine and slowly loosen up on your responsibilities, it is just easier to stay in that new state. No routine, no obligations, sounds pretty carefree, right? Not necessarily. I fell out of routine with this blog during the summer and the hardest part was doing what I'm doing now...simply writing. When I created that new world for myself, a world in which I didn't need to blog everyday or check in with comments or tweet to followers, I slowly was amassing this mountain of a roadblock between the problem (more about that in a minute) and the solution (dealing with the problem by posting). At first it felt good to not have that responsibility but quickly that morphed into feeling crummy about myself (I'm lazy, I have nothing good to say, What else are you really doing that is so important?) Not blogging wasn't really the answer and I didn't feel great about it but it was still the easier path, the road of least resistance. How many of you are familiar with this road? I'm not proud to admit it but this lack of action has been my way of dealing with some issues in the past. What I can be proud of, is that today I'm changing that by showing up here.

So what is this mountain-sized problem that I was faced with this summer, that I am still facing now? Inspiration, motivation and passion! I fell out of love with my blog this summer and it became something I was forcing myself to do. I started my blog at a very impressionable time in my life and I have changed so much since then. My goals as a creative soul, as a human being, as a maturing adult are growing and adjusting and that means this blog is going to grow with me and become something different. I think during this summer I was a little scared to change it and also confused about how I was exactly going to change it. Why alter something unless you have a crazy, new, amazing idea right? Wrong. I post here to help myself grow, to help identify my inspirations, to act as a visual storyboard for the creativity brewing within. If this is a dormant space, I too feel a bit dormant.

For weeks I have been meaning to blog, to get back into that old routine. I just needed a catalyst. I knew that once I started sharing again, my problem would slowly start to work itself out naturally. This week I started a blogging e-course to help reinvigorate my creative soul. Holly Becker, the writer behind one of my favorite sites Decor8 also teaches a blogging bootcamp called Blogging Your Way and I have always been intrigued when I heard it mentioned across the blogosphere. A few weeks ago a reminder for her latest course showed up in my inbox and I jumped on the opportunity. It was the sign I needed. Let's get back into this! It was my catalyst and I'm hoping that the work I put in here will be a discovery into my new inspirations, motivations and passions. Lauren Elise Crafted may change a bit in this process but after writing this post, that change is no longer worrisome to me. My blog should reflect me. Moving forward, the road isn't exactly clear but I must say I'm excited for the journey. If you choose to tag along, I hope we can share and encourage each other.

The images are a few shots I took this morning of my desk. I recently reorganized my room and am in the process of hanging artwork and surrounding myself with my most treasured items. The goal is to keep the things I love nearby so that I can draw inspiration from them when I'm feeling unmotivated.

P.S. Thank you for bearing with me. I know this was a long post but it feels good to be open and honest.


Teaching Myself Crochet

Happy Monday everyone! Did you all have a nice weekend? Here was my Sunday summed up: sleeping in, crochet, getting hailed on while taking a walk, more crochet, a glass of wine, and the Lakers game. It was pretty perfect after a few late nights. It has been a goal of mine for awhile now to teach myself crochet. I am so inspired by the beautiful handiwork I see online and I figured it was about time that I learned this skill. It hasn't been easy going at it alone but after watching a few YouTube videos, dissecting some diagrams on websites, and reading tutorials I think I have finally gotten comfortable with the chain stitch and single crochet stitch. Next I would like to add a few more stitches to my repertoire and possibly try and follow a pattern.

Oh my, I'm so proud of my little creation. It's quite cute! I definitely labored to get to this point though. Yesterday I finally had a major breakthrough and it all started to make sense. And then I busted out single stitches like crazy.

Has anyone else tried to teach themselves crochet? It's hard! Originally I bought this crochet kit which included a little booklet with instructions and diagrams. It was helpful to an extent but when you are truly new to something, the wording and terms just don't make sense. I got frustrated a lot because I felt like the instructions would skip certain steps. Now that I have figured it out, I look back on those instructions and totally 'get it' but before it was like trying to decipher a foreign language. If you're learning like me, I'd definitely recommend videos. It helps to see and hear the steps. I really liked Hectanooga1's crochet videos. She has a ton of tutorials but also just basic stitch how-tos.

Are you currently struggling to learn a new craft technique? It can be a frustrating process but with YouTube and so many helpful and informative blogs, it makes learning a new art much easier. Don't you agree?

Good luck with whatever you're working on!


Styling Vignettes: Wishes & Hopes for Year Three

Happy Tuesday friends! For day two of Birthday Week I wanted to share a little project that I put together for myself yesterday. It's a personal project, one I created in order to document my hopes and dreams for the coming year of my business and blogging, year three. I thought it would be nice to style some pictures and share the project with you all here. Maybe it will inspire some of you to think about your own personal goals for your business or your blog or even just your personal creative endeavors. Sometimes writing out your ideas makes them real and gives us some accountability to actually carry them out. Do you know what I mean? Sometimes I dream a lot of things up in my head but they don't always come to anything. They only live in my dreams. My main goal for this next year is to actually act on those dreams, make them real, and see where it all takes me. No more 'what ifs' or 'I wonder how that would have panned out.' A scary thought but I think it's usually worth it when you put yourself out there.

I wanted to create something more beautiful than just bullet points on a scrap piece of paper so I wrote out my ideas on cardstock and then packaged them up in a box. I added some packaging flourishes which makes it feel like a present. I plan to open the box on March 9, 2013 and then see how successful I was with my goals. It is my birthday present to me for next year!

Last night on Instagram I was chatting with a few friends about how mini things are so much cuter than regular sized things. For this shoot I used mini clothespins (which we all agreed were the best!), mini scissors, and even this tiny box. 

Another project completed with my amazing, versatile stamp kit!

I feel like my life is this constant balancing act between dreaming about my future and also reveling in my current projects. I am such a dreamer, always thinking about what I can do next and new, big ideas. But I also believe it is so important to reflect on your accomplishments and to enjoy the present because it slips by so quickly. Are you the same way? How do you balance both? This project for me was perfect. I thought about my goals for awhile, wrote them down, but then I packaged them up, not to forget about them but to set them aside while I draw inspiration from what I am currently doing.

So my box of wishes and hopes now sits in a drawer ready to be opened in a year's time. I look forward to the day when I can open that box and have those goals be accomplished but in the meantime I am focusing on today's goals. One day at a time... 


Year in Review, Second Year

To kick off birthday week today I thought I would recap my last year of blogging and business, year two. Going through the old posts has been a fun journey and it is nice to reflect and relive those milestones. And I was lucky to have some awesome milestones last year too. My little business and blog are growing and I'm so excited about the direction it is taking me. I don't always know what lies ahead but that has been my journey. Sometimes you have to wait and see where the road leads you. So far it has taken me in all kinds of great directions.

{ Contributing }

Like year one, year two was filled with fun collaborations and guest blogging opportunities. The community that has grown around my blog is one I am so thankful for. I've made some great contacts and friends here. The above feature is one I styled and photographed for Valley & Co.'s spring Ezine last year. That picnic looks so inviting right about now.

{ Important Purchases }

I got a cool, old typewriter! This was one of my favorite purchases last year. Sadly I have yet to get typewriter ribbon for it but I look forward to typing up cards and notes on it soon.

{ Big Etsy Projects }

I was lucky to work with some great clients through Etsy this year. I made a lot of personalized items which is the most meaningful because you get to deal directly with the client. I made these cowboy-themed s'mores kits for a little boy's first birthday party. It was such a fun treat seeing all the pictures too. Pictures courtesy of Nicole Leone Photography

{ Wedding Designs }

I did a lot of work for weddings this year but two important assignments were for a good friend, a wedding I was actually a bridesmaid in. I designed these postcard save-the-dates complete with glassine bag and twine packaging and hand-bound bridesmaid booklets. It was a nice change to work on a personal project.

{ DIY Wedding Class }

I taught my very first DIY craft class last May. It was held at The Wedding Pantry which was a lovely venue and it had a nice little turn out. The wedding crafts were fun and hopefully helpful for everyone. I definitely want to try some more craft classes in the future. Maybe some online ones even so more people could be involved. What do you think?

{ Confetti Lab }

I was also involved in the event Confetti Lab which was held at The Wedding Pantry. I styled a table display to help gives guests inspiration and had a few of my handmade embroidery and crafts for sale too. The event was put together beautifully by the talented Lauren of A Fabulous Fete. It definitely encouraged me to throw some parties myself. It was also a great experience for me in terms of booth display which would come in handy later on in the year.

{ Whisker Graphics }

I started regularly collaborating with Whisker Graphics. Each month I come up with an original DIY using their fabulous products to share on their blog and mine. I use their colorful twines and packaging anyway so it is easy work (I must admit...it's like playtime). Check out all of my projects here. I try to come up with original ideas and new and unique ways of using WG products. 

{ Local Love }

The lovely Danni of Oh, Hello Friend and Ruby of Cakies hosted a spectacular cake party and I was lucky enough to be invited. The cakes were yummy, the setting was inviting, and we all just had the best time. This event reminded me of how important it is to throw local get-togethers. Connecting online is convenient but sometimes you need to chat with fellow bloggers and creatives in person. I have something in the works along these lines. Stay tuned!

{ Weddings }

I attended a beautiful Vermont wedding for my cousin and I was in a wedding. That's me in my pretty blue bridesmaid dress!

{ First Craft Fair }

I was lucky to participate in my first craft fair, a local show called Sew Funky. It was such a great experience. I didn't sell as much as I would have liked but what I learned was invaluable. I had the most fun setting up and styling it. And I've made some fabulous contacts with other vendors from that show. I hope 2012 will be full of more craft fairs for me.

{ Houzz }

I started working with a great home inspiration site called Houzz. Each month I curate an online gallery, called an ideabook, of products for your life and home. It is such an amazing resource if you are in the midst of a home remodel. The above picture is just a few products from my first ideabook but take a look at all of my ideabooks and galleries for more ideas. 

{ Lovely Package Workshop }

Before the holidays Danni put together a workshop and asked me to be involved and teach a packaging DIY. The talented Tristan of Besotted Brand and Beth of Salvage Life were also involved and it was a successful day full of the most beautiful packaging and new friends. Pretty packaging makes me happy!

{ Pinterest }

I pinned a lot...like crazy actually. I started using Pinterest at the beginning of 2011 and have been in love ever since. It inspires me like no other and each day I find myself popping over there to gets ideas and find resources. I occasionally share Pinterest Picks with my current obsessions but you can follow all of my pins and boards here. Picture by studio juju.

{ Crafty Wedding }

I was so fortunate to be involved with this crafty wedding in September. I just recently got to share the pictures here after it originally was posted on Ruffled. I handmade a lot of crafty elements, including the table numbers and yarn pom flowers you see in the picture above. But I also set up and styled on the day of the wedding. It was a lot of work (and thank goodness my Mom was there to help) but it was such an amazing experience. The bride and groom are the best so they helped make the work so enjoyable. Pictures by Stone Crandall Photography.

{ Goals Accomplished }

Other smaller but still significant goals that I accomplished were: (1) Getting my studio cleaned and in working order. Being organized has been a blessing for my sanity. (2) Making my first apple pie from scratch. It was delicious! So proud of myself. (3) I finally made it to the Rose Bowl Flea Market. This is a vintage lovers paradise. (4) I finally got my business up on Facebook!

Oh yes...and I took about a million pictures of Scout!

So that was my year two! Quite a lot now that I look back on it all. Writing this post has sure got me pumped for year three though. I can't wait for what is in store for Lauren Elise Crafted. Thank you for being a part of it friends!


Twelve by 2012 Recap & Some New Goals

Some of you may remember that in October I participated in Oh, Hello Friend's project of goals called Twelve by 2012. It was a great project and I'm glad I did it. By making my goals public and posting them here I held myself more accountable for completing them. I couldn't totally embarrass myself and not complete any of them. I wouldn't be able to show my face here again. So I kept the goals in mind and got to work.

Side note: It's so good to set deadlines sometimes isn't it? When you don't, things can just drag on forever (for no real reason). Why do we let ourselves do this? Then you feel guilty because it's taken you so long to complete something that should have taken you 4 seconds. And then the guilt forces you to push it back even more. Does anyone else fall victim to this? I occasionally do it, not proud to admit. 

But back to my twelve goals, I did alright completing them. I definitely didn't finish all twelve but I'm proud of the ones that I did accomplish. Here's my finished checklist (complete with some fudging and cheating):

My List of Twelve before 2012: 

1} Make a business proposal/strategy for my new Lauren Elise Crafted ideas  still finishing up a bit but definitely started so I'm going to consider it completed for the sake of this list

2} Take someone special on a picnic

3} Make a Blurb book...finally!  completed on November 28th

4} Make ribollita soup from scratch

5} Visit with my friend Edward  completed on December 24th - actually I saw him and my two other good friends Pat (both are named Pat)

6} Take a weekend trip to Sacramento to see a friend

7} Throw a holiday party for crafty, local friends

8} Perfect my stuffed animal idea & get better at stitching

9} Go vintage shopping in LA with David (my brother)  ok, we didn't go vintage shopping in LA, just locally but the whole point is to spend time with David and I did that

10} Make apple pie from scratch  completed on November 24th

11} Crochet something even if it's small  I didn't crochet anything but I used my weave & loom kit and made a few small squares - not quite the same thing but kind of so we're going to count it

12} Go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market  completed on December 11th

So I completed 7 out of my 12, more than 50%! Hopefully I can complete a few more of these in the next few months because I still want to do them. Did anyone else participate in Twelve by 2012? How did you do on your list?

Since I enjoyed this project so much, I decided to continue it into the new year. I didn't want to post goals for the full year, it's just too far ahead in the future to map out and hold myself accountable so I decided to set a deadline three months from now, which is about the same amount of time I had for the last list. So I am now announcing my Thirteen in 3 list which I will be striving to complete in January, February, and March. Here is what I hope to accomplish:

So there is my list of 13. As you'll notice, the crochet thing is still on there (my aunt promised to show me some techniques) and I also included the party with local friends. These were just too important not to include in this second list. Hopefully I can accomplish them this second time around. I'll be updating the list periodically and letting you guys know how I'm doing (remember, hold me accountable). I'd love to get a better completion percentage than last time.

If you'd like to play along and create your own list of 13, go right ahead! If you do, let me know and comment below with a link to your post. I'd love to see what other people are planning in the new year. Here is a little badge if you want to include it on your blog. I'll have mine up in the right-hand column.



How ever many goals you have for 2012, good luck completing them!  

Update: If you're thinking of starting your own 13 in 3 or similar goal list but don't have a blog, here's what I recommend: make yourself accountable by sharing your list with others. When I set a goal in my mind but just leave it there and don't share it, I usually tend to forget about it or it gets pushed aside by other more pressing matters. I do so much better when others know what I am working towards. It actually becomes real when you tell someone. So share your hopes with your family, your spouse, your kids, your best friends, your coworkers...anyone. Make a list and post it on your refrigerator or in another highly visible part of your home. Not only will you see the list and be reminded of what you're working towards but so will your loved ones and hopefully they will provide encouragement along the way.