Courage.

In August, I went to Yellow Conference, in Las Angeles, CA- where I was introduced to the spunky, ball of energy Caitlin Crosby (the bomb shell below). Aside from her charm and superior execution of sarcasm, she founded a company called The Giving Keys, where she sells keys embossed with different words and phrases. Theses keys eventually help homeless people get into their own apartments, and off the streets.

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You pick a key that in inscribed with a word you want to internalize, and you wear it until you feel like you have fully possessed the word. At that point, you pass your piece of jewelry on to someone else who you feel needs that word for themselves.

Well, I am a lover of words and believe in the power of them. (I mean HELLO, I write a blog for pete’s sake.) So I gave myself a few days to think about what word I most needed in my life.
Throughout Yellow, I was pushed to write down my “big crazy dreams”. And in that moment, I could hardly even put pen to paper. If I was honest with myself, I felt that my dreams were so much bigger than anything I could truly accomplish. These “big scary dreams” were desires of my heart that crept into my thoughts over and over, only to have me snuff them out, knowing that I couldn’t pull them off. That was for other people. The people that had a “K” after their Instagram followers, had famous fathers, or washed their hair more than once a week.

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As Yellow went on, I recognized that all of the women speaking were these real, beautifully raw, normal people. And the only difference between me and them was that they believed in their dreams enough to actually make them happen. And BOY were these women makin’ it happen.

So I picked the word “Courage”. I selected it so that I could wear it around my neck to remind myself that it’s the only word I need to make my “big crazy dreams” into “been there, and did that”.

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Everyone has a different story, different goals, and a different outlook. But we need to know that our dreams were placed on our hearts for a reason.

So no matter how awkward you might feel, I encourage you to write down your “big crazy dreams”. Don’t water them down. Don’t be scared of your pen. Just write.

And then pick a word that will help you get there. And wear that word (physically or mentally) until you own it.

XO, K.
P.S. I was ridiculously flattered by your responses to my last blog. Thank you for taking time out of your busy, busy day to read this little publication of mine, and even more so- for contributing. Keep being awesome.

 

 

**thank you capturing my key, Hannah Hagaman!

** Yellow Conference snaps by yours truly.

 

 

 

WCW// Maggie from Type and Title

You guys didn’t think I had stopped crushing on driven women did you?! Because this WCW is going out to you, Maggie.

So let’s back up a bit, because how we got to this point is at least half the fun. Maggie and I found each other through social media. She had a friend who suggested she follow my work, and once I saw this girl’s skill cranking out into the world, I was hooked. We went back and forth for about a year, checking in on the latest creative efforts of the other. Then when I posted that I was going to be in California this last month, she reached out. Happens that she lives in the same city I was about to be shacking up in. So we planned brunch. Fast forward through a mimosa and a breakfast pot pie (YES. And it was heavenly.), we are practically leaning over the table passionately talking about business, blogging and the delicate art of authentic living. We took the party outdoors so I could snag some head shots. I mean- look at her.

Guys. This girl is awesome. So thankful to be friends with this branding genius, business owner and master in all things with a gel pen.

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Thank you for interviewing with me! Tell everyone a little about yourself.

Hello! I’m Maggie, and I’m a graphic designer and letterer living in San Diego. I love handmade and DIY, neutral and light colors, old things, paper goods, calligraphy, vintage clothing and my two sweet dogs. I run a design studio and Etsy shop called type & title.

What inspired you to start your own business?

I think I’ve always kind of wanted to work for myself but never really had the courage or opportunity to give it a shot before now. Around this time last year, my husband (then fiancé) and I found out we would be moving to California for his Navy job, and I seriously started thinking about going freelance. Military means we’ll move around quite a bit in the coming years, so being self-employed, with a flexible schedule, actually makes sense for me. It’s not lost on me how lucky and blessed I am that having the freedom to explore my career dreams is actually practical!

I know how that feels having a husband in oil! Flexibility is paramount. Okay. Putting your work out there is hard. Starting your own business is harder. What advice would you give to other creative entrepreneurs? 

Just keep going. Working for yourself is like one big, never-ending exercise in trial and error. Some things are going to work, but a great deal of things just won’t, which will hurt in a totally unavoidable way. Just keep pushing forward — learn from your failures and make a more informed decision next time!

What do you do to refuel and reenergize your creative vision? 

Taking a walk is my number one trick. It always seems to help me think about a project in a new or different way. Also, reading. Lately, I’m way inspired by Frankie Magazine, I can’t get enough of it. Every article seems to give me the urge to get up and make something.

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I have to ask everyone I know this: what are some of your favorite books? My favorite book from childhood is Tuck Everlasting. I read it as a teenager and cried for days — I feel like it was the first time I truly understood the beauty and importance of living a full life, experiencing as much as you can, and appreciating the moments when you’re in them. I also love everything by Joan Didion, especially her essays on California. Nine Stories by Salinger.

Beautifully said. I love hearing about a book that changed someone’s life. Speaking of life changing- who is someone (or people) who have influenced or inspired you in your work or personal life?

My younger sister is devoting her life to empowering and growing communities around the world, and she constantly inspires me to remember the effects my work and my actions have on other people. I have her initial, E, tattooed on my forearm, as a constant reminder that I’m not all by myself (and not to get too caught up inside my own head). I’m also totally obsessed with Brene Brown’s work — her TED talk on the power of vulnerability actually changed my life and the way I interact with others.

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Has having a blog helped connect you to others who share your vision, and if so, how has that affected you?

Definitely. I think connecting with like-minded folks is the best reason for anyone and everyone to keep a blog. I just finished reading this book by Seth Godin called We Are All Weird and it’s about how the age of mass marketing is over, how the internet has allowed individuals to find their own “tribes” — basically, a group of other people who are the same kind of weird that you are —  and connect via your specific shared interests. I don’t expect or even want everyone to love my blog. I just make what I like, and trust that others in my tribe will connect with my work, and potentially hire or collaborate with me so I can keep making things I love. It’s so liberating to know that network exists and that we have this platform to find, share and connect with each other.

You’re a multitalented artist- skilled at lettering, product design, logo creation, illustration and more. What is your favorite and why? How did you first learn how to use this medium?

If I look back on my life thus far, the one thing that connects through everything I’ve done is the written word. I read constantly as a child, I used to write and wanted to be an author or journalist but decided in high school that I liked designing better than reporting. Even then, I worked in publication design jobs from my freshman year of college all the way up until last year when I went freelance and decided I wanted to focus on lettering and illustration. Now, when I take freelance jobs, they still tend to be for bloggers or writers, and I maintain a blog myself. I can’t escape! But in a good way — I hope I’m always able to work with letters and words. I’m fascinated by the many ways we use them to communicate.

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I love that. What are some words that have inspired you

 “And I urge you to please notice when you are happy, and exclaim or murmur or think at some point, ‘If this isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.’” – Kurt Vonnegut

Sometimes I think that heaven will be like a perfect Sunday. What does your perfect day look like? 

Coffee on the porch with a book or magazine, a long walk with my husband and our pups (maybe a hike!), a craft project, and a long stretch of time away from my phone, the internet or television. Sundays are the best day to unplug and reconnect with our more immediate world.

And for the most important part of the interview. We’re all dying to know: Who was your favorite Spice Girl and why? 

Baby! I always wanted to color my blonde hair at the ends like she did, but wasn’t quite bold enough. I went to the reunion concert in Chicago in 2008 with some friends. We all dressed up as our favorites, and I finally fulfilled my childhood dream and dyed the ends pink (in pigtails, of course).

Thank you so much for taking the time to pass on your wisdom and encouragement. I know It’s got me all pumped up.

Maggie, being the amazing person she is created a desktop wallpaper for you guys. So make your screen pretty with her calligraphy and check out her other work HERE.  You can also follow her @typeandtitle on Instagram to get a daily dose of her skills.

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Now go do amazing things friends. XO, K.

 

introducing WCW// shop owner + kendallhannaphotography

I have been extremely excited about some recent projects I’ve been working on- including partnering up with other creatives to produce some things I’m pretty smitten over.

Recently, I have had the absolute pleasure of working with Hannah from Cottonwood Road on some styled photo shoots. It has been so fun to team up with another woman who has a similar creative dream and have the freedom to make our visions for business and art a working reality. So, she was a natural candidate for a new bi-weekly segment that I am starting called “Woman Crush Wednesday”, where I will be interviewing women from all walks of life that have a skill, advice or passion that inspires me. And I believe their words are worth passing on. I am hoping to help women (and men!) find advice and inspiration from other women and promote the vital need for us to be a gender that encourages each other (and not to be jealous or backstabbing of other women’s accomplishments). These women will be everything from entrepreneurs to public speakers to the makers of the most delicious pies who are ready to share their sugary secrets. May you find the strength to follow your dreams from these warriors.

Hannah Hagaman | Shop Owner | Photographer | Creative Partner

Photography by yours truly. 


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K: What was the inspiration for the name of your blog?

H: The house my hubby and I live in was once Preston’s grandparents home.  They built the house on a beautiful piece of land when there weren’t many other homes yet in the area. The street was originally named Cottonwood Road. I’m not sure why I fell in love with it when I heard the name but I knew I had to use it. It reminds me of old times, beautiful trees, dirt roads, and new beginnings.

K: So I know that you sell handmade goods on an etsy shop. Mind telling me a little about it, and what led you to start it?

H: In June of 2012, American Flag shorts were all the rage, so I decided to make myself a pair. My sister actually loved them and insisted that I make her some and suggested that I sell them. At that, I just jumped in! I made and sold over a dozen pair in only two weeks. It was hard work and I learned a lot that summer but it created in me a new desire for making things with my hands and selling to folks who loved my work.

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K: What advice would you give to people trying to sell their own handmade products?

H: To those trying to sell handmade things: QUALITY. That’s the one word I will leave you with. Do things the right way, with integrity and make a fantastic product. Make it well, don’t skimp on materials or time making it. Make sure you price it according to the work you’ve put in too. If what you make has great quality, it will be worth every penny.

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K: So, you’re not the only Hagaman that loves making things with their hands. Tell me a bit about your hubby, Preston’s, hobby/business in woodworking and how he started in that. 

H: My sweet hubby has a new found love for building things. Right now it is just a hobby, though he has a few things featured on my etsy shop.  He’s made me some wonderful things for our home! What started this love was my asking him to build me a wooden canvas made of pallet boards for me to paint Texas flags on. From that time forward, he is always thinking of new things to build, for himself, for me or for our home.  He’s made me a kitchen island, benches to create a breakfast nook, a bath caddy and a huge outdoor party table complete with ice buckets for drinks. He’s extremely talented.

K: Okay, you know my love affair with reading, so I must ask: what are your favorite books?

H: My favorite books. That’s a tough one. I used to be an avid reader and now I rarely have a book in my hand. Someone get me hooked again, give me a great book to read! No judging allowed, but my favorite book series will always be the Harry Potter series. Adventure, fantasy, drama and magic. Another one of my favorite books is Redeeming Love. Everyone needs to read this book. The perfect love story.

K: I will always shamelessly love Harry Potter. Outside of your growing business, what are your hobbies?

H: I really enjoy photography. Though this is slowly becoming my job, it will always be a hobby as well and I rarely am seen without my camera. I love being behind a camera, capturing the world around me and the people I encounter. It truly brings me a sense of joy like nothing else. It allows me to see God’s creation in new light!

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K: What was the last project you worked on, or currently have your hands dirty with?

H: Thanks to you, my sweet friend, I now have the new A Beautiful Mess book and I am looking forward to diving in and experimenting with photography in new ways.  I am also looking forward to collaborating with Kensfolk to give young women new style ideas and hopefully a sense of confidence that goes beyond what they wear.  As for my etsy shop, well, it’s almost fall here in Texas and I am hoping to get two new lines of gorgeous linen scarves out there soon!

K: I actually own one of the scarves you made for last fall/winter and always get compliments on it. As for you, how would you describe your personal style?

H: My personal style is an eclectic mess.  I honestly wear what fits my body type well and the way I’m feeling that day. If I’m feeling carefree I’ll grab my floral skirt and silk top for a boho look. If I’m feeling up for casual dressy, I’ll immediately grab my dark skinnies and a blazer. My go to clothing item might be my little black romper for days when I just don’t have a clue what to wear. I have a lot of vintage and many garage sale treasures and I rarely go out and buy clothes from a store. Because of this I have a wide variety of styles and staples to choose from and get to experiment with style every day.

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hannahshoot-0445K: What have been your favorite pieces of advice or inspirational quotes you’ve loved?

H: “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life” – Pablo Picasso

“Embrace the current season of your life” – Gabrielle Blair

“All I need today is a little bit of coffee and a whole lot of Jesus” – UNKNOWN (this is one for every single day)

I also really love words. I love finding new words, I’ve never heard before and finding their meaning.  There are some really beautiful words out there.

My favorites today are: “meraki (v.) to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work” and “redamancy (n.) the act of loving the one who loves you; a love returned in full.”

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K: What is your dream job?

H: I would love to be a full time photographer.

K: What do you find to be the most challenging part of being an artist? Blogger?

For me, the answer to this question is a lack of confidence. There are many times when I simply don’t have confidence in myself or in my work and this tends to lead to less work rather than trying harder.  Sometimes all it takes is one person’s kind words about my work and other times I have to suck it up, fake confidence, and continue practicing and putting myself out there by myself.  The only way that I will ever improve and do things with excellence is by doing what I love a little bit every day.  Thankfully I have an awesome hubby who supports me and encourages me daily!

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K: What/where do you go to find inspiration for your work?

H: Thanks to Pinterest, inspiration is pretty easy to come by. Reading and viewing fellow photographer’s/blogger’s work is also extremely helpful and gets my creative juices flowing. But sometimes, I just get so sick of looking at a computer screen and that’s when I go on adventures.  I like road trips and taking long walks in the woods. Even simple, gorgeous morning light and the smell of good coffee is enough to inspire me for the day.  Seeing God’s beautiful creation, especially at the golden hour entices me and excites me.

K: What’s your advice to new aspiring photographers?

H: I still see myself as a new aspiring photographer, so this advice is for myself as well.  Take photos every day. Try out every kind of photography (couples, seniors, landscapes, food, etc) before choosing what direction you’d like to take.  Try new things and see what works for you. Make yourself get up early and take photos at sunrise, then test your knowledge of your camera and try to shoot at night with a single lamp or even the moon as your light source.  Remember that it takes time, don’t get frustrated with yourself because you’re not Richard Avedon overnight. The more you shoot, the more you will learn and the better you will be.

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K: Favorite blogs?

H: Chalk White Arrow, Kensfolk (duh), Local Milk, The Wiegands, The Daylee Journal, The Day Book , Kelli Murray, Treasures and Travels

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K: Thank you! If you could conquer any talent you don’t already have, what would it be? (ex: being a surfer, able to cook really well, be a marathon runner, etc.)

H: Oh goodness, there are lots of talents I wish I had, but almost my whole family has some kind of musical talented, except me. I can carry a tune, but my sister has the pipes (aka she’s moving to New York to pursue a career on Broadway). I think I’d like to be able to play the guitar and sing. (cliché? Maybe.)

K: Learning how to play the guitar has been on my bucket list for over 10 years, so I relate.

What is your advice for newly married couples from your own experience?

H: Yea marriage!! Oh my, I have lots of advice. I’ll try to stick to just a few things.

1) Learn how to resolve conflict well. Figure out what your conflict language is and conquer that sucker. Timing is everything. Don’t argue if you’re hungry, angry, lonely (or lost, in my case), or tired (HALT).

2) Be in community.  Have other young married friends to live life with. Not just for the bbq on Saturday but really being in each other’s lives. Digging in, getting your hands dirty, asking the really tough questions and allowing accountability in your life.

3) Last one, GO ON DATES! Make one night a week date night and go have a sit down dinner and some kind of fun. Talk, laugh, cry, whatever but just make spending time one on one a priority. My hubby and I, once a month, challenge each other with our dates. We give the other person a word, color, phrase, numbers, anything and they have to come up with a date night surrounding the topic. See HERE on my blog for ideas!!

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K: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview with me! Is there anything else you would like to add or say about yourself?

H: I have a slight addiction to coffee and popcorn. I love me some Jesus and get excited His creation and His people. I have a passion for light. Not just the light from a gorgeous sunrise that touches the earth in the morning or the soft, dreamy light that comes only after a heavy rain but a light that is within people. The kind of light that brings smiles to faces and joy to the bones.

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How great is she?! A huge thank you to you, Hannah, so spending the time to interview with me and for picking me to photograph some head shots for your blog! You are truly beautifully stunning, inside and out.

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Check out Hannah’s photography blog HERE tomorrow for the unveiling of the bohemian bridal styled shoot that we collaborated on!

XOXO, K.

sequin walls and glowing treats.

I really enjoy finding fun party ideas. I rarely get to put them into action, but I like to pretend that I would. But for you crafty party animals, here are a few fun ideas.

A sequin wall. This is a very inexpensive project that is perfect for a wall decoration or a photobooth background. I think it’s so festive and great, and I’ve heard the people who have tried this out in their home don’t end up wanting to take it down once the festivities are over.

Glow and the dark cotton candy. Now this is awesome. You put cotton candy on a glow stick, and you have a treat that will bring the kid out of anyone.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I think this would be so much fun. You cover each circle on a Twister board with the coordinating paint color, invite people over and tell them to dress in all white, and then pray you don’t slip.

I love this idea for wrapping presents. I bought some vintage spools of yarn not too long ago, and I would love to use this project as an excuse to test them out.

Obviously I’m feeling festive.

xoxo, k.

loft lusting

Design Sponge is one of my ultimate go-to’s for everything from DIY to interiors. Here is a loft they recently featured that has got me all google-eyed.

How wonderful is that home? It makes me want a home with a brick wall and wood floors. (Why is there even CARPET anymore?! ahhh!!!) I love the way they took everyday objects and made them come together into a creative, welcome home. It makes me want to brew up some coffee, grab my laptop, and settle right in.

To check out the story behind this house, click here.

Happy monday.

xoxo, k.