How I Became a Blogger: Part One

Since you guys were thoughtful enough to fill out my reader survey a few weeks back, I really want to make sure to answer all your questions. And since a majority of those asked we’re related to my background and path to blogging, I thought I would just go ahead and spill the beans! Brace yourselves, this baby is text heavy.

How I Became a Blogger: Part OneLet’s start with a bit of background:

2009: I’d like to think that my adult life was shaped by the grand excursion I took with my dear friend in the summer of this year. I had been living and teaching in Dresden, Germany when I came back to Ohio a month before going back to school (college). At the time, I’d done a fair amount of traveling throughout Europe, but had never taken the time to explore my own country. We decided to pack up my car and head west on a three week road trip, couch surfing and relying on the kindness of strangers the entire way. To this day, it’s still one of the greatest things I’ve ever done.

Of all the incredible places we stayed and amazing things we saw along the way, Portland was my favorite. And I was determined to get back there one day.

2010: I graduated (in three years) with a BA in Art History, Minor in Writing and TEFL certificate. Eager to get out of the midwest and explore some place new, I took off to Oregon.

I began teaching art in an elementary school and tutoring reading/math on the side. After a while, I began to assume more responsibilities with the tutoring gig and eventually took over managing the program, which helped low-income students in failing schools receive free tutoring (funded by No Child Left Behind). I learned to hire and train a staff, budget at a company level and everything else in-between. My day to day involved overseeing 30 employees working in 20 different schools with over 200+ students.  Needless to say, I was busy.

2011: I fell into a rut where I was constantly stressed about work and wasn’t making any time for myself or the things that I loved. I knew something had to change and decided to give myself a challenge. I knew a bit about blogging, and thought that if I made my work public, it would force to me to stick to it. And so I signed up for a tumblr account and started 52 Weeks Project in August.

 How I Became a Blogger: Part One
Yup, there it is. My first blog layout. You have to start somewhere, right? Which by the way, if you’ve been reading the entire time, bless your heart!

When I started blogging, I was completely clueless. I didn’t signup for any social media platforms, I hardly knew how to use a digital camera and couldn’t create a basic text overlay in photoshop to save my life. Looking back, I didn’t even put any thought into my domain name aside from the fact that it was available and affordable. What I did know, however, was that I loved making, learning and teaching. So I started small and only posted one new craft project a week…

Stay tuned, because the rest of this journey is coming in part two next week!

*UPDATE: Read part two now!


  • Thanks for sharing. I love to read about other peoples’ craftsy journeys.

  • Melissa

    Love reading your story and can’t wait for more! You’re so awesome. ;)

    • Oh yay, so happy you liked reading thus far Melissa! You’re pretty awesome yourself :)

  • Amy

    Can’t wait to hear the whole story because goodness, I love where you are now!!

  • Joy | Frock Files

    Rachel, I can’t believe we were living in Portland at the same time! Shame. We’ll have to cross paths again sometime soon, right? xo

    • No, really?! Man, I am really kicking myself for not engaging on social media now! If you’re ever back in Portland, let me know! We’re moving back within the next few weeks :)

  • so fun to read this! what part of the midwest are you from?

    • Yay, so glad you liked part one Julia! I’m from Ohio, near Columbus :)

      • now that you say that I think we talked about it once :) I worked in KY for a few years..not too far!

        • Oh yes, of course! My dad is in Kentucky now. Not far at all :)

  • Oh gosh, I think my first blog was on Xanga. Your beginnings were still eons ahead of mine haha!!
    Just from this first part of your story, it makes so much sense where you are right now. Teaching is in your blood, and you’re good at it!

  • Erlend

    Rachel, fun to learn more about you! Looking forward to the next part :-)

  • Laurel (A Bubbly Life)

    Very interesting (and inspiring!) I cant wait to hear the rest! Also, I lived in Columbus, Ohio for a year!

  • Your first experience of blogging reminds me so much of when I started! Didn’t have a clue. It shows what you can do when you put your mind to it.
    Really loved reading a little into your background. Can’t wait for the rest of the journey :)

    • Absolutely! It’s a little intimidating at first, but there’s so much you can teach yourself :) Your blog is amazing now, so be proud Fran!

  • Erica

    The Crafted Life is definitely a nicer name. :)

  • Pingback: How I Became a Blogger: Part Two - The Crafted Life()

  • V Mateo

    I’m new here and completely fell in love with your blog! I’ve been meaning to create a blog myself (aside from Tumblr cus’ I’ve been having one for nearly 6 yrs) to post my love for fashion and aesthetically-inclined things. Anywho, your blog is so eye-candy and well organized that I can’t help being here every day. Kudos!

    • I am SO happy you found me! And so happy you like what’s going on over here. You should totally start a blog. I mean, what do you have to lose ;) ?