My name is Brittany Moser; I’m probably the most OCD, right-brained person you’ll ever meet. I’ve been writing and drawing since I was old enough to hold a marker, and I’ve been compulsively organizing my spaces for almost as long.
I’m the kind of person who loves to sprawl on my living room floor with a mess of art supplies, paper, scissors, and ideas, but who also needs all my colored pencils to be the same height, and facing the same direction, at the end of the day. In a way, this helps me keep my ideas organized and flowing.
I love solving problems and coming up with creative solutions for tricky situations. At work I put this into play every day, and at home designing and drawing is my creative outlet. I worked as a carpenter in a local theatre for a long time and I still love the challenge of working with my hands and designing something beautiful and new for everyone to enjoy.
My blog is called “Darkroom and Dearly.” It embodies my dual love of taking photographs and creating paper crafts, and I love the way the alliteration rolls off the tongue. I use Blogger as my platform because I love the customizability of the site to incorporate my ideas and designs.
Creating Darkroom and Dearly
I’ve always been a creative person, and I’ve kept personal blogs in the past as a hobby. I started getting into Etsy and design blogs a few years ago, and the inspiration I’ve gotten from them has been huge. I love that it is such a strong community, with ideas being created, shared, embellished, and tweaked for everyone to enjoy. I love going to craft fairs, art shows, and artist venues for the same reasons, and I knew I wanted to be a part of that online community so I could add my own designs and ideas to the mix. It’s been a wonderful creative outlet so far.
I started blogging simply for the fun of it, to be able to share with friends and family a little more about myself. I quickly discovered how much fun it was to share ideas, projects and photographs with the people in my life. Not only did they enjoy reading the posts, but I’ve found it keeps me always generating new and creative ideas, which has been so fun, and often challenging. Everyone needs something that keeps them happy and energized after work, and I’ve discovered that sharing my passions through blogging is mine.
Topics and posting schedules
My posts are fairly free-flowing; they revolve around whatever I feel like talking about, but usually they end up in a few general categories: recipes, photography sessions, DIY projects, paper crafting, boredom busters (puzzles, quizzes, or funny links), and wonderful ideas or inspiration that I’ve discovered from other blogs or homemade crafters. Lately I’ve also been exploring my new home in the Pacific Northwest, so I like posting about the fun places I’ve been that I’ve fallen in love with.
I don’t keep a rigid schedule with my posts. I’ve thought about making specific days of the week revolve around specific topics, to give people something to look forward to. However, I often find that my ideas pop up spontaneously, and if I have a great idea on a day that I’m “supposed” to be writing about something else, I get annoyed about the limitations I’ve placed on myself. I’d rather share the ideas as they strike me - it’s more fun that way.
A place for blogging
I do have a craft room with a desk that would be ideal for blogging, but for the most part, I curl up on my couch and do most of my posting there. It strikes me as kind of funny that I have this wonderful, creative space I could be using, and instead, I sit on the couch with a coffee table covered in paper, colored pencils, and a half-eaten PB&J sandwich.
Generally ideas for posts will come to me throughout the day, either from being crafty on my own, or from spending too much time on Etsy and my favorite blogs. I have an application on my computer called Sticky Notes that I jot ideas down on, and once I have a good idea for the post, then I start gathering or taking photos that would match well with it.
My craft room has a bulletin board that I tack ideas to, and I have way too many bookmarks in my browser simply waiting to be talked about. Pinterest is another site I’ve recently become addicted to; it’s a great place for gathering and sharing ideas.
Finding the time to blog
I post whenever I find the time. I try to post every weekday: sometimes that means waking up early and typing up a post that morning, and sometimes it means that I have a week’s worth of ideas and I spend a good part of the day writing up three, four or five future posts.
I used to write daily, but since I work forty hours a week, I found that blogging was becoming almost like a second job! I’ve since started posting on weekdays only, but it’s hard not to want to share ideas that crop up over the weekend. I still have to restrain myself and give myself some time off. :)
Sometimes my posts are quick and easy to write, but often getting the photos edited and in place where I want them takes the bulk of my time. I’m not the most savvy internet designer (unfortunately); I still prefer to draw things out by hand, so it’s a little tedious for me to do HTML coding sometimes. But ultimately I like sharing designs virtually, so I’m doing my best to teach myself the tricks of the trade. Hopefully in the future I will be faster at it, but for the moment my posts tend to take an hour or two to photograph, write, design, and post, depending on the subject.
Networking and getting the word out
I currently don’t utilize SEO tricks, but I understand its usefulness and it’s something I’m planning to devote more time to in the future. I still use basic techniques to share my blog: Facebook, Twitter, linking to other blogs has gotten me some fun pingbacks, word of mouth, and of course, chatting with other bloggers! :) I plan to be more active in craft fairs in the future with business cards to help spread the word, and I’m working on opening my own Etsy shop in the near future.
I would love to add more “green living” posts to my blog. I’d love to be a sustainable cook, a gardener, an zero-footprint commuter, a composter, and a more eco-conscious person. I do a great job already with cutting down on my own energy costs and impact, but I know I can always take it one step further. It’s a big change (and sometimes more expensive…), but when I see other bloggers talking about fresh market salads and urban-raised chickens, a big part of me wants to revamp my whole lifestyle. Unfortunately, I’m not the greatest cook or gardener, so these things don’t come naturally to me, but I’m working on it, bit by bit!
There aren’t any posts that I dislike; some appeal to me more than others, but I think everyone has the right to share their opinions, and that’s what makes reading other blogs so fascinating. It’s fun to see someone’s take on the same topic and be able to give it a completely different spin.
What the future holds
I write because I enjoy it, and that’s always been good enough for me, but it’s certainly fun when other people can enjoy it, too. I like feeling connected and part of the community, and I hope to be a larger part of that, someday. I’m still inspired by those crafters who have single handedly started their own blog and business and were able to quit their day job and focus on what they love doing. Certainly this way of life has its ups and downs, but the bravery and commitment that you have to dedicate to such a leap of faith is amazing, and I love reading those success stories.
I’m taking one day at a time and creating because I love it – if it needs to be something greater in the future, then it will be. I’m excited for the possibilities!
Your blog, of course! :) (editor's note: thanks for the shout-out! :) )
I have a long list of blogs I love checking up on, but another one of my favorites is HowAboutOrange.blogspot.com. Her posts aren’t usually very long, or flashy, or often, but when she does write, she has a quick wit that keeps me laughing, and clever design ideas that I always want to put into action.
Another favorite is one I just discovered, alisaburke.blogspot.com. Her beautiful watercolors bring me right back to the days of my own art classes, and they inspire me to bring out my own inner artist.
Bonnie’s blog goinghometoroost.com is an excellent source for new bloggers/ etsy shop owners, and it has certainly given me the courage to jump start my own blog/ crafting/ entrepreneur journey without worrying that “I’m not good enough to try that!"
I'm constantly adding more to my list, but blogs with a sense of humor, charm, and beautiful designs usually catch my attention the quickest!
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Thanks so much to Brittany to sharing her story with us!