Daisy Cottage Designs is a blog alive with colour and personality, much like its owner Lauren. From cutesy chick-hats to dainty bookmarks and fun things for kids (we love her free owl toy pattern) – Daisy Cottage Designs has something for everyone.
The simple layout makes the blog easy-to-read and navigate and both the photography and artwork ensure your attention is held to every post.
We were lucky enough to speak to Lauren about her work, here's what she had to say:
IC: Hi Lauren, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?
LB: I’m the girl behind the Daisy Cottage Designs blog and Etsy shop. I was born and raised in a small town in Central Florida. I stayed in town to go to college and earned a degree in elementary education. Between my junior and senior years, I married my high school sweetheart. After graduating, I taught third grade until my husband and I had our first baby.
Now, I’m a stay at home mom to two little girls, Riley and Caroline. When I’m not reading books or helping them clean up their messes, I enjoy crocheting, blogging, and doing a few other crafty projects.
My husband is the youth/assistant pastor at our local church. I enjoy being as involved in his ministry as possible. We work with a wonderful group of young people - some of them even love crocheting as much as I do. I’d be thrilled if you’d connect with me on Facebook and Instagram!
IC: How long have you been blogging now?
LB: The first post on the Daisy Cottage Designs blog went live on January 5, 2011. I would be embarrassed for you to see the photos and content of that post, but that’s when it all started.
IC: What inspired you to start sharing your creative life online?
LB: My online life was inspired by a desire to sell the items I was crocheting on Etsy. I started doing a lot of research on running a successful shop, and found that many who were doing well ran a blog that went along with their shop. I decided to give that a try a month after opening up my Etsy shop.
IC: What's the story behind the name of your blog?
LB: A few years ago, a friend and I were planning on starting a creative adventure together. We were trying to come up with ideas for logos and shop names so we were searching the internet for beautiful images. One of the pictures we came across was a little cottage with a daisy. I suggested Daisy Cottage Designs because I loved the image so much. We ended up using a different name and logo, so when I started my own personal shop and blog, I was free to use that. Interestingly enough, I’ve never used that image at all; but the name has certainly stuck.
IC: Your website is really pretty, did you design the artwork yourself and what inspired the aesthetic?
LB: Through the years, I have done some of my own design work. My current design was created by Rekita Nicole. It’s only been live a couple of weeks, but I’m loving it. I gave Rekita several colour palettes that I thought went well with my blog, let her know that flowers needed to be involved in the design, and let her do the work for me. If your blog is in need of a facelift, I highly recommend working with her.
IC: You're clearly quite inventive, do you have any creative outlets outside of crochet?
LB: I’ve always been a dabbler in crafts of all kinds. I’ve tried my hand at painting, candle making, and others. None of those things seemed to be a good fit for me. I would end up making more messes than beautiful projects. When I started crocheting, I was immediately hooked (pun intended). I knew from that first week that I’d found the hobby that was just right for me. I find crocheting enjoyable and relaxing. Typically, I can’t wait to be able to sit down on the couch with my hooks and a ball of yarn.
IC: Have you made any friends through blogging?
LB: I have. I had a personal blog before I had my crochet blog and I’ve made a lot of friends that way. Now, I also have crochet blogging friends. I love having them to bounce ideas off, collaborate with, and learn from. Amy from the Stitchin’ Mommy and Lorene from Cre8tion Crochet come to mind.
IC: How's crochet changed your life?
LB: Crocheting has changed my life in several small ways. For instance, parts of my house now look like a yarn shop (a huge thank you to my sweet husband for being so understanding). I also find myself looking around me for inspiration. One of my favorite parts about crocheting is working with color; I’m constantly on the look out for that next great color combination.
IC: What has been your favourite crochet to date and what are you working on currently?
LB: Oh, wow. This is such a tough question. The most popular patterns on my blog are the Owl Hat (above) and the
Market Tote. I love both of these projects. My favorite item to make is the Star Ripple Blanket (below). The pattern by Celeste Young is available for free on Ravelry. I currently have a few new patterns up my sleeve, but I’m not ready to share what those are just yet. I’m finishing up a granny square blanket then a couple bunny hats will be on my hook - these are for custom Etsy orders.
IC: What inspires you most?
LB: I think the answer would have to be kids - maybe because of my background in teaching. I love crocheting items that will put a smile on a small child’s face. The biggest compliment is when my little girls are begging to keep whatever I’m making at the moment. That lets me know it’s a big hit
IC: What advice would you give someone that’s looking to start their own craft blog?
of all, do it! Then, the best piece of advice I have is take beautiful
pictures. I see so many crochet pattern posts that I would love to
feature in my weekly roundups, but the photos aren’t up to par. Let’s
face it, we’re not all professional photographers - I’m certainly not.
But, we can all use our cameras (or our phones!) in good lighting
without a messy background. I have a Canon DSLR which I love (and the 50
mm 1.8 lens is a very handy lens); but when I need some quick pictures
without having to worry about settings, I take quick photos with my
iPhone 5 and nobody even notices. Regardless of what camera or phone
you’re using, the best way to make sure you get good photos is to have natural light at your back and a clean background (I cannot stress this enough). Then, there are many free ways to brighten up those photos to make them pop (PicMonkey will work on the computer and Photoshop Express is a great mobile app).
IC: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
what’s natural. So many people talk about only writing in your “niche,”
but that’s not going to work for everyone. If I want to write about my
little girls and share some adorable photos of them, I do it. If I want
to make a wreath for my front door that has nothing to do with
crocheting, I’ll share that on my blog, too. Just do what works for you,
and don’t worry about what the “pros” say. You will never stick with
blogging if you don’t love it. And believe me, limiting yourself to a
couple types of posts because that’s what “they” say you should do isn’t
going to make you love it.
Find our more about Lauren on her website or connect with her on Facebook or Instagram.
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