Posts tagged Fan Girl Fridays
Fan Girl Friday: The House that Lars Built
Now, bloggers are a funny breed because we work on projects and then we force people to look at them by shouting it from the social media rooftops. By putting ourselves and our work out there we are subjecting ourselves to judgment, for better or for worse.

Brittany, The House that Lars Built

After the article which featured Brittany as one of a select number of bloggers in the New York Times, Brittany is the lady in the spotlight. Can I say that I loved her first? Actually she's well loved all over and has been for quite a while through her on point aesthetic and beautiful creations.

She sums up her work on The House That Lars Built like this:

CREATE: I'm first of a creator. I create crafts, style them, design products and interiors, write, illustrate.  

PUBLISH: This blog is a great platform for featuring your work as well. Let's talk about how to make that happen!

AMPLIFY: Want your word to spread? Let's talk about how to take it to the next level with my social media platforms.

And she does all those things, really well, and also these things:

The incredible Kentucky Derby hat that won on the Today Show. These larger than life, bigger than your imagination flowers.

The fun fruit balloons and the Language of Flowers series.

I click over to her blog for the beauty she regularly posts and creates. She's so versatile - seemingly talented in every arena. And she's totally humble in person, too.

I don't need to shout out the list of high-end magazines that have featured her or list the uber designers with whom she's worked, but I can say that I am always intrigued to see her next post. She keeps challenging herself to try something new and styles to perfection.

I don't know how she gets it all done...but I do know that she's moving into her own studio space, and I know Brittany will have more beautiful projects to share.

Here's a snippet of her from the interview in the NYT responding to blogger burn out:

Perhaps one day I might get burned out to the point where I don't want to do this anymore. But again, I think that's a part of life. There are natural transition points in which we tackle something new while letting go of the old. I don't think it's something to feel guilty about. I do think it's something we should be aware of. I don't think we should unnecessarily overwork ourselves. I do think we can work smarter not harder. Every occupation and job goes through this period self-evaluation and hopefully it ends with what's best for you and your family.

Perfect! Thanks for all of your tireless work and attention to detail and design, Brittany.

I'm a total fan girl.

Blogger pals, are you burnt out? Do you think this job leads itself more naturally to burn out?

xoxo, MJ


Fan Girl Friday: Pencil Shavings Studio

"Aren't we weird human beings?" read my text message, "Us and our 'celebrity' crushes on people who are just regular humans like us."

Paige, Approaching Joy Creative

I don't think there's a definition of a fan girl floating around on Merriam Webster's pages, but if there were, I think it might include a high level of admiration for someone you have not met.

I have met Rachel Shingleton. We met in January at Alt Summit in Salt Lake City. Rachel's totally down to earth and easy to talk to, and there is potential that she didn't know I was a big fan girl, but she probably did. Upon meeting her, I told her I couldn't wait to collaborate on something. Sometimes, I kind of get really excited.

As you can see in the image below, I've been a fan for a few years. When I first saw her logo - the name, the colors, the stripe - I thought it was so brilliantly done. I still think so, except now, Rachel has taken her style and color blog to a whole new level.

She's received a lot of honors, including the Better Homes & Gardens Top 5 Decorating blogs (and look at the kicking graphic she made for her award). In her shop, she's grown and expanded to retailers like The Limited and Nordstrom's. 

Rachel says that she's never met a color she didn't like. And she does such an amazing job of making those colors work together in energetic, blissful ways.

Her home tour with Gabrielle of Design Mom is a must see. The vibrancy of each room just hums. Mixing in bold tones with fresh white all throughout the home, Rachel is a whiz with pattern and texture. She partnered with The Land of Nod to reimagine her office and playroom. It's such a spectacular finished space that beckons creativity to come on out. 

I've followed her personal story as well which she tackles head on with her blog. And I'm delighted for Rachel and her family as they welcome their long-awaited second child!

From hair-styling and fashion, to home decor, to cute gifts and great ideas, Rachel always have something fresh to offer.

Rachel, thanks for your myriad of awesome work.

I'm a fan girl.

xoxo, MJ

Fan Girl Friday: Enjoying the Small Things
Van Gogh used paints to portray what inspired him... Me?  I like photos and words.  I invest in this blog not only because I love the art of weaving words and images together to tell a story, but because, in doing so, I find myself looking more deeply for the beauty in life and consequently finding it in more places.
I've accidentally taken (most) of this week off of blogging. I didn't really mean to. Back to school and a new schedule meant I had some spaces of time for me. I was not cramped to blog this what's up with the vacancy of posts?


It seems that I flat out wasted time this week (what?!). I luxuriated in going to bed early, baking cookies, even cleaning some neglected areas of my home. I won't let it happen again. :)


Kelle Hampton was one of my first inspirations as a blogger. Somehow I found her sight, clicked over to her about page, and identified. She had also been a fifth grade teacher; she was a blossoming photographer. She loved her kids.


Her site, Enjoying the Small Things, was and is covered with large, gorgeous images, mostly of her children but also her world through the well-lit, sharp lens of her eye. I've never met Kelle or her children, but I found myself captivated by her images and touched by her words.


She helped me recognize the beauty of honesty on the internet. She as a mom shared her raw feelings and photos of her daughters' birth stories, one more complex than the other. Me as a new mom felt liberated to know that it was okay to feel the whole gamut of emotion as a mother and woman. We are not shut off to feel only joy and rapture; we feel it all. And sharing those challenges and sadnesses and triumphs only brings us closer to one another.


At this moment, I heard the sounds of our birth song begin to fill the room...When You Love Someone.

And I began to cry.

My husband, my friends, my dad, my nurses...all of them smiling...cameras flashing...

One more push.

Oh, this is so hard...

I pushed. I pushed and watched as the tiniest little body came out of me, arms flailing, lungs wailing...and then, they put her in my arms.

...and I knew.

I knew the minute I saw her that she had Down Syndrome and nobody else did. I held her and cried. Cried and panned the room to meet eyes with anyone that would tell me she didn't have it. I held her and looked at her like she wasn't my baby and tried to take it in. And all I can remember of these moments is her face. I will never forget my daughter in my arms, opening her eyes over and over...she locked eyes with mine and stared...bore holes into my soul. 

Love me. Love me. I'm not what you expected, but oh, please love me.

That was the most defining moment of my life. That was the beginning of my story. 

I've followed Kelle's beautiful journey. I've wept happily, wept sadly with someone I've never met, and I related. A piece of her life is captured in her book, Bloom.

I don't often bare my soul here, but I do feel it's a space where I can. And thanks to brave people like Kelle, I know the power that raw and honest has to reach people in a place they didn't know existed.

Thanks, Kelle.

I'm a fan girl.

xoxo, MJ 

Fan Girl Friday: Mer Mag

"Aren't we weird human beings?" read my text message, "Us and our 'celebrity' crushes on people who are just regular humans like us." It was the second time, in a single day, that my friends and I were gushing over people who inspire us."

Paige, Approaching Joy Creative

I began to catch on to the idea of blogs as a new mom. I scoured the internet looking for ways to soothe my baby and stimulate early learning and fell down a wormhole into the mom blogs of the time. Many were overwhelming to me in terms of content and design.

And then:




Mer Mag is a site I found myself going back to again and again when I wanted to see how beautiful and creative motherhood could be. Merrillee is a styling guru, an amazing illustrator, and a fun mom. Her site is clean and gorgeous.

Her projects use everyday materials and elevate them to the world of awesome design. She creates a whole imaginary wonderland in cardboard, paper, and tape.

Her ideas are inspiring. No matter your age.

Her book looks incredible (you can preorder now).

Thank you, Merrillee, for reminding me of the joys of creating with and for your children. And for inspiring, through your use of material and shape, incredible projects we all can enjoy.

I'm a Fan Girl.

Who's inspiring you now?

Elise on Approaching Joy

xoxo, MJ


Cricut Design Space Star and Fan Girl Fridays

Two fun, fun, fun announcements to share with you today, friends! First off, I'm one of the lucky bloggers chosen to compete in the Cricut Design Space Star competition!!! Secondly, Fridays just got a whole lot cooler with a fresh new collaboration with my best buds: Ellen of Minnow & Co., Emily Jeffords, and Paige of Approaching Joy Creative. Welcome to Fan Girl Fridays.

The lovely people of Cricut reached out to me a few weeks ago and wanted to know if I'd like to join in the Cricut Design Space Star challenge. I'd receive a Cricut Explore machine and have a team of fellow bloggers to work alongside. A free design tool and collaboration??? I was all over that.

So, I'll be asking for your help with some clicks and votes for me and Lucky #13 team. Our first category is fashion and gear, and I'm kind of over the moon excited to show off some new projects that you can create, too! Check in next week to see what came from our theme involving... G O L D.

In the Also Awesome category, I'll be posting every Friday now! Catch projects and posts Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday (gulp!). It's been a while since I've gone four days, but there are no other people in the world I'd rather spend my blog time with than Ellen, Emily, and Paige.

Beginning as a texting convo, we were all sharing our favorite bloggers and makers and artists - the sites that got us into blogging and the projects that moved us to begin. There are some really amazing artists out there, friends, and we are going to be doing a whole lot of appreciating around here. The four of us will be posting Fan Girl on Fridays (with links to one another) to show our love for the people that inspire, that have inspired us for so long. It's time they know they have a Fan Girl or two on their hands! Join in and share your favorites.

This was a tough week in the news, but a beautiful week personally. My hubs has made our anniversary (12 years) into a wonderfully thoughtful week of celebration, and I have some REALLY exciting developments for Pars Caeli that I cannot wait to share with you!!

Until next week, have a bright weekend, friends. And know that I appreciate you.

xoxo, MJ