It’s reader survey time again! I always value your feedback in our reader surveys, but this year I feel like I need it more than ever. Oh So Beautiful Paper is now more than 10 years old, the blog/internet/social media landscape is changing so quickly, so many blogs are disappearing, and I’m trying to figure out where OSBP fits into everything. That’s where you come in!
When I started blogging in 2008, my goal was to connect people: customers with designers/stationers, specifically, but also paper-loving people around the world. But what now? Beyond inspiration, what can I do for you? How can I help you – whether you’re a potential customer or someone in the stationery industry. So if you have a couple minutes to take the survey HERE, it would be such a huge help.
In the survey you’ll find a bunch of multiple choice and open ended questions about what resonates with you, the type of content you’d like to see on Oh So Beautiful Paper, what we can do to improve, and a few other topics. The survey is 100% anonymous, so please feel free to be completely honest. I want your thoughtful opinions and constructive criticism!
And as a special thank you to being the world’s most amazing readers, I have a special gift (that may or may not involve some stationery from my personal collection) for a few readers. So once you’ve filled out the survey, just leave a comment (any comment!) below and I’ll pick a couple of you to receive a little package from me!
Have you guys been into Target recently? I usually go on Fridays, and the new Opal House and Project 62 collections are SO CUTE. We’re talking beautiful caning and rattan, tons of realistic faux plants (including a VERY tall cactus), a mostly neutral color palette, baskets, and so much more. I shared some favorites on Instagram Stories, but I thought I’d do a quick round up for those of you that might have missed it! All the products are linked below, but if you’re reading in a feed reader or via email subscriptions you might need to click through for the links. My favorites are the Windsor bench, this fringed basket, this cane plant stand, and this earthenware vase. Do you have a particular favorite? Let me know in the comments!
And while I’m on the subject of Target, have you seen the new Made by Design collection? It’s mostly storage and some cleaning tools right now, but the design is so beautifully minimalist and I’m loving so many of the pieces in the collection, especially this laundry hamper and these white metal baskets.
The Blueprint Modelis a 12-week business coaching program designed specifically for creative entrepreneurs, with 10+ hours of coaching and advice from other creative entrepreneurs, more than 25 ready-to-use templates, a 60-page workbook, and tons of other extras. Over those twelve weeks, Shanna covers everything you need to start, grow, and eventually scale a thriving creative business – from figuring out how YOU personally define success (which was totally eye opening) to pricing and spending plans, including how to pay yourself a salary and set up a cash flow that will help cover slow months. I really can’t say enough good things about this program. Fellow alums include fine artist Britt Bass, flower farmer Erin Benzakein Floret Flower, creative director Megan Gonzalez of Mae Mae Co., and lots more.
One of the things that I love most about The Blueprint Model is Shanna’s beautiful way of giving creative entrepreneurs permission to build a business around the lifestyle we want. What motivates you? Why are you in your business as a stationer, calligrapher, artist, etc.? Defining what success looks like for YOU individually and figuring out the balance that you need to be happy is powerful stuff. I thought I knew before the program, but I ended up surprising myself – and gave myself the ability to make adjustments as needed as a result. The program has been life changing for me in so many ways!
For the first few years of my business I was pretty much just winging it. I never took the time to define what “success” looked like to me or come up with a sustainable business plan. I mean, I set some early financial goals (like replacing my former salary or earning a certain amount each year), but that didn’t reflect what I truly wanted from my future. When I enrolled in The Blueprint Model, I took Shanna’s Core Motivators assessment and everything started to come together. I was able to better define my big picture and the things that motivate me, then factor those motivators into my pricing so that I didn’t feel like I was constantly spinning my wheels and working 24/7.
Registration for the Blueprint Model is only open ONCE per year, and that’s right now! So if you’re feeling stressed and overworked – or if you’re just starting out and want to get your business off the ground in a sustainable way – this is such a valuable program for you. Plus, you get lifetime access to the course materials, so you can continue to revisit the program as your business grows and develops. Registration closes at 11:59 pm today, January 17, so don’t wait!
We’re getting ready to make some big changes in my daughters’ shared bedroom (no more toddler beds!), and I realized that I hadn’t shared photos of their existing room yet (oof). So today I’m finally giving you a peek into their colorful shared girls nursery, starting with photos from a couple years ago when Alice was still in a crib. Our home was built in the 1920s and fairly small at 1,200 square feet. We have only two bedrooms, so the girls share the larger bedroom towards the front of the house. It has two large windows and one very small closet, and it’s a tight squeeze – but we make it work!
The dresser between the two windows is what you see when you first walk into the room. It’s actually my husband’s dresser from when he was a kid – just painted a light teal. We lived in the house for just over a year before Alice was born, but this room didn’t really start to come together until Alice moved in, so we started with a crib on the left side of the room and a toddler bed on the right. Here’s the original mood board for Sophie’s nursery back in 2013!
I’m always curious about how folks organize the closets in kid’s rooms – so here’s a peek at our closet! The large baskets on the bottom row used to hold diapers and wipes (and something else that totally escapes my mind), but now hold some extra blankets and a donation bin for clothing they grow out of. The middle row of baskets holds our sheets and waterproof mattress pads, along with some smaller crib blankets and quilts. Then we have clothing that requires hanging, mostly dresses and a few nicer shirts or sweaters. The top baskets used to hold out of season shoes, Alice’s old crib bumper, and some extra nighttime diapers, but now that we’re out of diapers that basket is used for more out of season shoes (essentially one basket for each girl). The crib bumper is now in storage until I decide what to do with it, so that basket now holds knee pads, goggles, and other assorted equipment. We store out of season clothing in bins under Sophie’s bed (previously under the crib), we have a few costumes hanging on the back of their door, and everything else (t-shirts, pants, PJs, skirts, tights, socks, undies) is folded and stored in the dressers Marie Kondo style. At some point we’ll probably have to redo our system once the girls’ dresses get too long to fit in the current space, but for now it works!
My husband and I love to travel and have been all over the world, so we wanted to pass that love along to our girls from the very beginning. The shelves contain a mix of globes, some travel trinkets, family photos, and art prints.
The girls have a separate play area downstairs, so we don’t keep many toys in the room – mostly just books, stuffed animals, and dolls. We moved the markers and drawing supplies downstairs once Sophie started preschool, so there’s now another little book cart in this corner.
I wanted something above the crib that would provide color and visual interest – but would be lightweight enough that I didn’t have to worry about it falling down on the crib. Tissue paper fans to the rescue! I put them up using removable 3M velcro strips, and they’ve stayed up for 4+ years!
Our beloved pom pom basket is from Eliza Gran and helped inspire the color palette for the nursery! It sadly doesn’t look like her shop is open at the moment, but I’m going to put a couple alternatives into a slideshow at the bottom of the post with shopping links.
Eventually, especially once we were ready to potty train Alice, we moved Alice out of the crib and into Sophie’s toddler bed, then put a twin bed in the corner where the crib had been. Sadly I don’t seem to have a great photo of Sophie’s current twin bed, but it’s the very simple wood Tarva bed from IKEA painted a pale pink.
We’ve made even more changes since these photos were taken: the monitors, diaper pail, and changing pad are long gone, some of the furniture has been relocated to other parts of our house, and as of last weekend Alice is no longer in a toddler bed! So now we’re ready for an even bigger change – bunk beds! The girls have been begging us for bunk beds FOREVER, and over the holiday break we decided to just go for it. We passed Alice’s toddler bed on to another family in the neighborhood, ordered a new mattress and bunk bed, and the plan is to put the new bed together this weekend. It’s been a tight squeeze with a bed on each side of the room, so I’m looking forward to freeing up some floor space when we move to bunk beds. I’ll have to take down the tissue paper fans and gallery wall to fit the new bunk bed, so it’s also an opportunity to update the room in a way that makes sense for them at this stage in their lives. I’m still working out the details, but here’s what I’ve got for inspiration so far:
We’re planning to get a bed canopy from Target (I can’t decide between this pink one or this tassel one) to suspend from the ceiling over the top bunk and drape down along the side of the bottom bunk. I love the idea of creating a cozy little space for the bottom bunk, so we may also add curtains to the bottom bunk? TBD. We currently have two dressers in the room, but I’m debating trying to replace them with one wider dresser? Also TBD. I’ll need to add a shelf next to the top bunk for books and water bottles. I’d like to fit a desk or work table in here for homework after school, but I think I’ll need to play around with the layout before I make that decision. I’m also looking forward to a fresh start when it comes to wall art and the opportunity to simplify the room décor a bit, so keep an eye out for a sale over on my Instagram sale page!
Okay, phew! That was a loooong post about our shared nursery and plans for a shared big girl bedroom. I think I covered everything, but let me know if you have any questions and I’ll do my best to answer them. Also – let me know if you guys would be interested in posts about our experience with a shared bedroom. I know I looked for resources on sleep training and potty training in a shared bedroom but didn’t find a lot out there, so if it’s helpful I’m happy to share our experiences.
Happy Monday everyone! Are we all starting to come out of our holiday fog? I spent a good part of the holiday break reflecting on 2018 and thinking about what I want from 2019 (and beyond), both personally and professionally (and I’m working on a post to share with you later this week). Did any of you do the same thing? This past year felt especially overwhelming, and I definitely felt like I needed the break to just slow down and think about things a bit. If you follow me on social media, it might look like I have everything together, but there is SO much going on behind the scenes that I don’t talk about in public – or at least I haven’t, yet. I’m sure the same is true for you, and it’s also true for everyone you look up to. We all have different circumstances that shape how we build our businesses in this particular season of life. The way I want to run my business now, as a mom of two young girls, is different than the way I was able to run my business before I had kids.
Anyway, if you’re a creative entrepreneur with the same feeling of overwhelm, I wanted to share a resource that has helped me figure out all the financial aspects of my business and eliminate some of the mental and business clutter that was holding me back. I talked about The Blueprint Model a bit last year, which is an amazing twelve week business coaching program for creative entrepreneurs. The Blueprint Model is only open ONCE a year, and the new session is coming up soon! But first, my friend Shanna (the mastermind behind The Blueprint Model) is hosting a FREE mini workshop called “Bringing Basics Back” – with two hours of online training – prior to reopening the doors to the longer coaching program.
When I started Oh So Beautiful Paper I had no idea what I was getting into. I never went to business school or design school, and the blog was just meant to be a creative hobby at the beginning! I never took the time to establish goals, define what success meant to me, or write out a business plan (oops). I had no idea how to price a sidebar ad, much less a sponsored post, and blogging was still so new that there wasn’t really enough data out there to use as a model. I relied on friends to help figure things out and honestly just made a lot of stuff up, but I was never really sure of what my prices should be and it was hard to feel confident in what I was charging. Once I found The Blueprint Model, it taught me to think about things differently and how to price things in a way that matched the kind of life that I want to lead.
I know there is a lot of education on the market today, and I’m honestly so glad that there are online resources that didn’t exist when I was first getting started. If you run a service-based business and are struggling to make ends meet, feel like you’re constantly spinning your wheels, and want to build something that will last the long haul – The Blueprint Model can help you SO much. Shanna taught me the fundamentals, like:
How to price for profit
How to be a steward of my finances (instead of wondering where it all went)
How to not emotionally price and stand up for the value of my work
How to create systems and routines to reduce chaos and use time wisely
So if you’ve got big plans for your business in 2019, I encourage you to start with Shanna’s Bringing Basics Back Mini Workshop, and she’s going to walk you through her Core Motivators assessment. The week-long (and totally free) workshop kicks off today, so don’t wait! Sign up right here.