Reader Survey Results + Q&A

Reader Survey Results + Q&A with The Crafted LifeFirst and foremost, you guys are AMAZING! Thank you so much for taking the time to fill out my reader survey last week. Your input is invaluable and I will certainly take it all to heart. Now on to the results!

projects_boxI am so happy that 10 minute crafts are a hit! I will be incorporating many more of these (perhaps even a mini series) in the future, so stay tuned. Now, you might see a cocktail recipe sneak its way in here from time to time, but for the most part, I totally agree with this list!

other_postThe people have spoken on this one, Crafter’s Toolbox it is! I can’t wait to share some of my favorite tools with you. I loved reading the ‘other’ responses on this question too, you’ve all given me so many new ideas to try!

Let’s dish about sponsored post for a moment here, shall we? Each and everyone of you who filled out the survey had nothing but encouraging and sweet things to say on this topic. I can’t thank you enough for that. I just wanted to let you know that I will only be partnering with brands who I trust and like. If a product sucks, I’m not going to tell you it’s the greatest thing around. I’d like for this blog to be a place of transparency, and I hope that’s okay. Speaking of which, time for the Q&A!

Q&A with The Crafted LifeThe last part of the survey, I gave you a chance to ask me anything. Boy did you guys deliver!

Q: How do you stay motivated to post regularly even when you’re having bad times?

This is a wonderful question and honestly something I’ve struggled with from time to time.  My previous blog (52 Weeks Project) was all about routine. Rain or shine, the goal was to complete and share one new craft project a week. Even though I wasn’t happy with everything I made, I still posted. I think doing that for a two years really helped me establish a routine. Aside from that, I have to say the support I’ve received from you, the readers, really pushes me.

Q: Do you have some advice for blogs just starting out? I’m not sure where I want to focus my content on!

Yay, I’m so excited you’ve decided to start a blog! The main advice I can give is to find the topic(s) you love and can see yourself writing about day after day, and year after year. Start by making a list then sit down and really evaluate what sets your idea apart from every other blog out there. Each person has unique interests, view points, and passions, so I know you’ll find something great!

Q: What’s your one mega seemingly insignificant pet peeve?

Well, I’m sure this one is not shared with many people, but it drives me crazy to see people sitting on fire hydrants. Urine soaked fire hydrants. I never noticed this before moving to San Francisco, but there you go (well aware it’s weird). Also when people chew or make sounds with their fingernails. Bleh!Where I used to craft

Yup that’s right folks, I used to craft on the floor next to the window of our tiny (less than 500 sq. ft.) San Francisco apartment. And yes, there were times when the people who lived across the way thought I was photographing them. Oh well, it happens right?

Each week, I moved all of our furniture to one side of the room so that I had enough space to make and photograph everything. When it was all done, I had to put everything back in place. Now I hope you see why I started sharing cocktail recipes ;)

Q: I hear San Francisco is the most expensive place to live in the US. If you don’t mind me asking, can you make a living with Crafted LIfe? Or do you have to supplement it with other work?

The short answer here is, I can’t. Well at least not in San Francisco at this time.

In March of this year I decided to make this blog my primary focus/job. Given that our rent was $2,500 a month (yikes!), I had to supplement my income with a few freelance photography gigs here and there. My boyfriend Gabe is also self employed (founder of imgfave), so our income is never consistent. We were having to scrape by just to make ends meet which was adding unnecessary stress to our work. As much as I love San Francisco and everyone I met there, the pressure just wasn’t worth it. We moved two weeks ago, and are now back in the Pacific Northwest.

For now, The Crafted Life is my primary source of income. I’m still stressed about paying the bills on a month to month basis, but it may just be the most liberating and exciting risk I’ve ever taken. I’ve also been working on a top secret project that I will be sharing with you soon!

Q: How much time each day (or week) do you give to your blog?

At this time, I am working 6.5 days a week, 10-11+ hours a day. On average, one tutorial takes me an entire work day day to complete.  Aside from that, there’s a lot of behind the scenes work that happens in order to make everything run smoothly.

Q: What do you see as the next big thing in crafting?

Such an interesting question! It’s so hard to choose because I think a lot of wonderful things are being done right now, but if I had to pick one, I would say 3-D printing. The possibilities are astounding and I can’t wait to see it become more mainstream.

Whew, thanks for holding in there!

I know there are several questions I didn’t get to answer here, but I have longer, more in depth posts coming soon that will hopefully wrap everything up. And if you missed the survey, feel free to leave your thoughts/questions in the comments below! You can also email me at hello@thecraftedlife.com. I’m always happy to chat!

  • Love hearing your answers! I hope that living in a new space allows you to work with more freedom without the stress of financial difficulty, because that can always be such a hinderance to the creative life! You are doing a marvelous job in running this blog, Rachel. I love seeing your creativity shine through each day :)

    • Oh yay, I’m so glad you liked the Q&A Jenni! And I’m impressed you made it all the way through! Thank you so much for your kind and genuine words. You’ve made my day :)

  • SO very interesting, and inspiring. I have to do one of these.
    Your seemingly insignificant pet peeve is something I have never thought twice about, but it makes complete sense. I’ve never sat on one before, but now I’ll be an advocate for not doing that!

    • Yay! I can’t wait to read it Amy!

      And bless you for never sitting on fire hydrant! It’s one of those things that I know is irrational but still irks me anyway. I guess that’s why it’s a pet peeve :)

  • MJ

    I echo Jenni on this! I love that you posted our responses and then your thoughts, too. It’s such a fresh, honest approach. I’m excited to see more and more and I am not surprised to hear the amount of time to spend on your projects. It really comes through! xoxo, MJ

    • So very sweet! Thank you MJ! Your support and encouragement means a lot. I really appreciate you taking the time out of your day to leave such a kind note :)

  • Sarah

    Love seeing the results of your survey and getting to know more about you! Even though our home is bigger than 500 sq. feet, I also arrange and rearrange furniture every time I shoot. So amazed that you made it happen for so long!

    • Oh it’s such a pain, isn’t it?! By now I’ve gotten so good at moving couches that if this whole blog plan doesn’t pan out, I think I know what I’ll do :)

      So happy you liked the results + Q&A Sarah!

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  • This is so great! I’ve been wanting to do a reader survey too, though I think I probably need a bigger readership first in order to get enough data. I’ve been wanting to ask you, what camera and lens do you shoot with, and do you use photoshop or Lightroom? Your shots are always so clear and the colors so vibrant and balanced!

    • Oh you absolutely should do a reader survey! I bet you’d be surprised by how many people are willing to fill it out. And if you don’t get enough data (even though I think you will), you can always just keep the responses private :)

      For my camera, I have a Canon Rebel T3i and use a 50mm lens. As far as editing, Lightroom is my go to! I still have a ways to go in terms of photography, so I appreciate your kind words!

      • Well you’ve motivated me for sure! :) As far as photography goes, yours is always stunning! I studied photography but only had one digital class (tiny artsy school, what can I say), and my big struggle is color-balancing. My camera seems to have some funky color cast going on that I can rarely totally correct, it’s driving me nuts!

        • Ah that’s so frustrating! And I’m going through something similar now too since I have to shoot outside. Are you able to set the custom white balance on your camera? I can’t tell you how many times a grey card has saved my project :)

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  • Julie Linn Sims

    OMG! I am Laughing Out Loud about the fire hydrants!!! I just did a photo “shoot” of my granddaughter’s dressed up in homemade Super Hero stuff, i.e., towels, like when I was a kid, and they wanted to do a pose on a hydrant, doing a Charlie’s Angel type look!! I will share this with them! They are 8, 9, and 10. We try to do something bizarre all the time!

    • haha I know, I know! I can’t help but think that they’re uncomfortable and totally covered in dog pee. Your photo shoot sounds like it was adorable and totally worth it though :)

  • Hi Rachel! How inspiring and funny (from a current Bay Area resident). I can totally understand the high price of living in this city and the fire hydrants :) I really enjoyed reading how you became a blogger too! I started just a little over a year ago and am enjoying so many things you mentioned as well. Best of luck and looking forward to continuing to follow you!

  • Thank you for posting this Q&A! It is very inspiring. I also started my blog this January and I am doing a 52 week post. Sometimes I find it hard to even post once a week. I have a day job and I blog in spare time. My day does allow me to work from a few days a week and I am able to sneak in some blogging while I remote (I hope no one from work is reading this). I also do all my blogging out of my home. It’s nice to see that not all bloggers have a studio but that great content and work can come right out of our homes. Thank you, thank you for posting this and I am so happy to have found your blog. I am definitely following. :) — Sara

    • I am so happy you found me too Sara! And I’ll keep my fingers cross that nobody from your work is stumbling across these comments!

      And you absolutely don’t need a studio, though sometimes it really feels like it just to keep up with everyone else. It was really hard for me to post once a week, but after a few months I started looking forward to it. My only advice is to make sure you are doing projects that get you excited. After that, struggling with the light will be your only issue :)

  • Hi Rachel,

    I found your blog through your interview on the CYOP podcast, which iIfound through Lisa Congdon whose class I took on creativebug. I enjoyed the interview and I think your blog is great! Thank you for sharing the story behind your blog. I love crafting and I often wonder if I could make a career change but everyone I’ve heard so far like knitting pattern designers say they work literally all the time. Maybe I’m missing something but I need time to rest. I’m sure you do too, but maybe you’re more energetic than I am. I would love to hear your take on that, do you feel you’re building up to having more free time, or do you know crafters or artists who have free time and still make a living from their creative self employed endeavors?

    Best,
    Keren

    • Hi Keren,

      I am SO happy you found me! Welcome :)

      As for time, that is a tricky one. Having your own business, especially in the first few years, is a hustle. But the good news, at least if you’re really pursuing your passion, it that you’ll actually like doing the work. On average, I don’t work less than 65 hours a week. I do take a day off every now and then, but I’m still not at the point where I can take weekends off on a regular basis. I think you can schedule time off here and there, to maintain work/life balance. Sanity is important to the creative process ya know!

      Other creatives I know, have hired people to help with the work load. You might go from being busy hustling to get your name out to busy keeping up with offers coming in, so there’s never a dull moment.

      I think you just have to decide if the sacrifice is worth it. For me and others I know, it totally is :)

      xo
      Rachel