Tuesday, January 22, 2013

say goodbye to blogspot!

Today is a momentous day, you guys! It's my last day using Blogger as my platform. It's been great to me for the past year and half, and I recommend it to anyone that wants to get started blogging because I love the ease of use and how easy it is to customize your template. However, it's time for this little digital home of mine to grow up a bit!

As of tomorrow, when you visit clumsycraftyhappy.com, you will see a completely new place! For one, the new site will be running on Wordpress, which probably doesn't mean a whole lot to those of you reading, but believe me, it will make things better on my end of things. Also, this will officially be the first blog/website I have ever designed by myself. I gave myself the task six months ago to design a new blog for myself, and through that self-imposed project I have been able to teach myself different design techniques as well as develop an aesthetic that previously did not exist. I think you'll find that the new site still feels very much like the current blog, but in a more modern, more professional way.

I couldn't be more excited to show it to you all tomorrow, and I can't wait to hear what you think! Thanks to everyone who has followed my blogging journey thus far, and I hope you continue to visit CCH at its new home!

Monday, January 21, 2013

my first alt | last minute biz card holder

First off, I have no idea what I was thinking telling myself I was going to post during our trip to Las Vegas. Yeah, because Vegas is such a relaxing, tons-of-down-time vacation spot. Riggghhht. Apparently I'm more delusional than I thought. Not only was I running around all week taking money from casinos (but seriously, I actually won money. It's kind of a miracle considering I'm the unluckiest person that ever lived and now I have this completely unwarranted perception of myself as a BlackJack prodigy), but I was also a busy bee trying to finalize my NEW BLOG DESIGN with my developer from across the country.

That's right - it's finally here! I haven't been lying to you all when I've been dropping hints for oh... say... THE PAST SIX MONTHS. It's definitely been a long time coming, but it was a learning process for me and it has been a ton of fun seeing the design evolve. I think the final product will still be a colorful, fun place to visit but just kicked up a notch. Stay tuned here tomorrow because hopefully I'll be confirming the date the new site will go live.

Now on to an equally fun and exciting event coming up this week - it's Alt Summit! As some of you may know, I'll be attending a blogging conference - nay, *THE* blogging conference - in Salt Lake City from Wednesday through Saturday where I'll hopefully gather great tips to making this blog even better and meet fabulous creative women (and men?) that will inspire me. This is something I started saving for a year ago and decided to do all on my own, so it feels amazing that it's finally just days away.

Speaking of it being days away... my new business cards came in just in the nick of time! You may recall my round up the other week of some last minute DIY biz cards. Luckily I was able to get mine printed in time, and they definitely give you a sneak peek at the new look of clumsy crafty happy. I think my favorite part is the square shape!

(Shout out to 3 Rings Printing here in Jax that gave me a great deal, and Madalyn of House of M for the recommendation.)

Well, now that I have my cards, I was thinking to myself, how do I keep them all straight and nice in my bag when I'm at Alt? I can't just throw them in a pocket because they'll get all bent and scuffed up. So... I decided to get creative.

When I was unpacking the last of Jason's and my things from Vegas, I noticed Jason's plastic Q-tip holder was the perfect square shape for my cards. It was small, opened and closed easily, and I even liked the fact that it was clear because you could see the cards through it. But, let's be honest, it was kind of... blah. So I thought I'd give it just a little bit of personality. I had some stickers on hand from some of the many fun care packages sent by Alt Summit and various sponsors over the past months, so a few of those, some gold washi tape and... voila!

I mean, it's not mind blowing by any means, but it's simple, functional and, my personal favorite part, it was completely free to make! I think whipping this baby out to hand out my cards could also prove to be a nice little conversation piece when meeting people. It's a great representation of what this blog is all about - not perfectly styled DIYs or craft projects that are made to look like a million bucks. Just simple projects for the sake of the happiness that comes with making something.( Which is why I adore that Kallabora.com sticker!)

Anyway, hope to have a confirmation on the launch date of the new site soon, so touch base tomorrow for that. Meanwhile, I'll be stressing out about how to fit a million outfit options into one little carryon. Thanks for reading, as always!

Monday, January 14, 2013

luck be a lady

print by Halfcut Co on Society6 // buy it here!

As far as Monday mornings go, this is a rare one. Instead of wading through my emails and getting ready for the week, I'm packing my suitcase full of the shiniest, most obnoxious things I own and dreaming of winning big. That's right, we're headed to Vegas!

We're flying out there for a little social media consulting gig with a client, but of course we couldn't resist the opportunity to make a trip out of it. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have noticed Jason's been teaching me the BlackJack ropes. So far my pretend luck has been fantastic. (I'm pretty sure that's an omen though that my real luck won't be so forthcoming. We shall see.)

Anyway, while I try to muster up my luckiest vibes, I thought you guys could use a nice reminder that in all other cases aside from Vegas, WE are in control of how our cards play out. So get out there and make your own luck!

Going to try my best to still get some posts up this week, but if I don't, just assume I'm off counting my stacks and stacks of cash. (This is really going to bite me in the butt, isn't it?)

Happy Monday!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

my first alt | 4 DIY ideas for last minute business cards

As some of you may remember, back in August I purchased a coveted ticket to Altitude Design Summit (Alt), which is a design and blogging conference in Salt Lake City at the end of this month. (FYI you guys, when I say "blogging conference," it's just because it sounds WAY more professional than "sleep-away camp for adults that share a mutual infatuation with glitter, handwritten typography and paper crafts." But just know, that's what's really going on. And it's awesome.)

But seriously, from the second I purchased my ticket, I have been SO EXCITED - as in Jessie-Spano-addicted-to-caffeine-pills excited - because this will be the first time I've been anywhere with a substantial number of fellow bloggers, much less a beautiful city I've never been to for five whole days. Eeep!

I'm hoping to take you guys along for the ride leading up to the event, and give you some great recaps of my time there as well, in case there are some of you contemplating attending in the future.

For the purpose of today's post though, I thought I 'd start with a practical topic: business cards! Back when I bought a ticket, I thought to myself... I have five months to make new business cards for Alt. That's PLENTY of time. And then, holy crap, January showed up without me noticing and now I'm scrambling to get some printed up! Now you might be asking, why do you NEED business cards? Well, from what I understand, there are a butt-ton of people at Alt (yep, a butt-ton.) Talented people left and right, all of them blogging about food or fashion or design or crafting - how's anyone supposed to keep track of who they met or what they talked about? That's where good, old-fashioned business cards come in.

I do actually have a set of cards I got FO' FREE from a UPrinting.com giveaway I won on papernstitch, but I had them printed 6 months ago, and believe it or not, this place has changed quite a bit since then. I'd like for my cards to reflect the aesthetic of the new site design I hope to have up by Alt - cross your fingers for me!

Luckily, I have a few card vendors in town that are well-priced with a quick turnaround time, but it got me thinking, what if you waited until the very last minute to figure out your cards (as in a day before) or if you were maxed out on your budget?

Well, then this post is for you! I scoured the internet to find a few different options of how to use supplies you have on hand or easy things to pick up at the craft store so you could have something cute and stylish to hand out - even if it is last minute and on a shoestring budget!

Take a look below, and let me know which looks you're a fan of. I'll be sure and share my new cards when they come in. And for any Alters (especially first timers like me) that may have stumbled here, please leave your info in the comments so we can meet up!

Now on to the good stuff. Here's how to make biz cards...

... using Printable Labels [via oh, hello friend]

Danni over at oh, hello friend made her cards for Alt last year using labels she printed out. Depending on what card stock you use, what textures, and what color labels you print on, the possibilities for different looks are endless! I also love the way Danni wrapped the labels around the cards, and she took it to a whole new level with those cute animal paperclips and her stamp!

... using Washi Tape [via Bucket of Squash]

Rashi over at Bucket of Squash used a simple name stamp plus chip board and washi tape to give her cards a crafty and unique, yet clean and modern look. Of course, this assumes you have a custom stamp on hand, which you may not, but you could also purchase a customizable stamp tool for a fraction of the price of printed cards. (Shout out to Rashi, who I actually met recently - well, virtually! I love her eye for design, and she'll be attending Alt as well, so I'll be keeping an eye out for her gorgeous cards!)

... using a Free Printable Template [via How About Orange]

Need a funky card but not too handy in the design department? Fear not because Jessica at How About Orange is about to hook you up! I saw these a while back, and thought how convenient it would be for someone that wasn't particularly design-inclined but that still wanted something cute and memorable. She even gives you step-by-step instructions on how to customize them with your name/info and how to print them out and cut them. Also, if argyle isn't your thing, there are also three other designs with illustrations for you to choose from. Happy printing!

... using Watercolors [via You Are My Fave

(okay, so it's actually a birth announcement, but let's just pretend this baby is REALLY ahead of the curve and already ordered business cards. A future Alt attendee in the making!)

Are you an artist or gifted illustrator? How about putting those talents to good use on your cards. You could print out your info on sheets and then add paint or a small illustration making each one special, as well as representative of your skills. I think this birth announcement (slash potential business card idea) from You Are My Fave is just gorgeous!

So that's it! Get to it! Also, if you do have a little bit of extra time and extra money, but you still want to add a DIY flare to your cards, check out this great round-up by my friend Brittni over at papernstitch.

// Which cards are your favorite? Would you ever go the DIY-route for making your business cards? //

Monday, January 7, 2013

my 2013 happy list + a theory on joy

[image source + type by caroline winegeart]

Thanks for bearing with me during my seasonal hiatus. It was great to just take a step back for a while, and now I'm finally ready to kick this year off right!

I don't know about you guys, but every time a new year comes along, I wait around for this feeling to magically show up. The one that makes it really seem like a new year - the feeling of possibilities, motivation, and change. But the funny thing is, that feeling rarely shows up right on January 1st like we all wish it would. At least not for me. So for the first week in January, every January, I inevitably run around doing things I feel like I should, hoping I can somehow trick that feeling into finally arriving.  This year I organized my document files, reformatted my budget sheets for the upcoming year, cleaned out my closet etc., crossing my fingers that 2013 would finally start to sink in.

Sure enough, after one week of thinking I'd be stuck in 2012 land forever, that feeling finally arrived! I woke up one morning with this inexplicable spark. I had all these things I wanted to do and new things I wanted to try and I suddenly saw the growth I wanted for myself this year. My brain was going so fast I could hardly keep up. Not knowing what to do, I simply sat down and wrote a list. A LONG list. Everything that popped in my head that I wanted to accomplish in 2013, I wrote down. And when I was done, I looked over what I had done.

Now normally, to usher in a new year I sit down and write a short list of over-arching goals. They're usually pretty vague and broad (I know, basically what every goal-setting exercise will tell you NOT to do) but I use them as sort of guideposts throughout the year. Things like "Make time for myself" or "Make more of an effort to keep in touch with friends." That method has always worked for me, but this year I wanted to try something different. (Surprise, surprise, the girl that gets bored all too easily wants to try something different.)

Before I get to that, let me give you a little preface. Over the past year I've done a lot of thinking (and writing) about pursuing happiness, and what I think that means for different people. In my endless curiosity about happiness, I also recently watched a great documentary on Netflix simply called "Happy," which explores different cultures all over the world and what leads to their collective happiness (or unhappiness as the case may be.) At one point in the movie there is a pie chart showing the different contributors to happiness. Their findings suggest that 50% of a person's happiness is dependent upon their genetics. The idea being that everyone is born with this sort of 'range of happiness' and 'happiness potential,' if you will. 10% is dependent upon your circumstances (a much smaller percentage than most people would probably guess.) This has to do with your job, finances, living situation, etc. But then that leaves 40% unaccounted for, and the researchers in this movie suggest that the remaining 40% has to do with what they call intentional activity. This could include things like learning a new skill, volunteering, spending more time with family - just actions that a person can take to bring them good feelings and over time an increased sense of happiness.

[image via Happy, the movie]

I found this theory to be largely accurate in my own life when I started reading Gretchen Rubin's Happiness Project last year and implemented some of her suggestions in my own life. (Some people have hobbies like rock climbing or knitting. I research happiness. It's not weird, I promise.)

So what did I learn?

Being purposeful about creating your own joy can have a powerful effect on your level of happiness.

I truly do believe that happiness is largely dependent upon the choices we make and the things we intentionally do. Which is where the whole "trying something new" thing comes in. When I looked back at the list I had written for my goals in 2013, I realized that they looked less like a list of goals and more like a list of things I wanted to do to create joy for myself.

Now, I know the whole "list" concept - leap list, 30 before 30, 100 things, etc. - is no new thing. But I guess I never wanted to make a list like that before because it didn't feel intentional. It felt like I would have been doing it just to have a list. Now that I've come to grips on my own with why those lists are important, it feels a bit more authentic, and I think I'll get more out of it too. Will I complete everything on the list? Maybe not. But it's not really about that. I like to think of it more of a constant wealth of joy that I can revisit whenever I want.

So for now, I have no resolutions or goals for 2013, only one long happy list and one charge to myself: CREATE YOUR OWN JOY. The theory, of course, being that the more joy I can create, the happier I'll be, and the happier I am, the more good I will invite into my life. Again, we'll see if this theory holds true, but for now, that's what I'm rolling with!

You can check out my list below, and hopefully I'll put up a link to it in my sidebar soon so you can keep up with the progress. I'll let you guys know where things stand in a few months!

// Do you set goals or make lists when a new year begins? What would be on your happy list? //

  • learn to film and edit a short video
  • read a new book every month
  • do something that scares me
  • open an Etsy shop
  • teach someone something
  • hold a puppy
  • travel to a place I've never been
  • learn to make a new meal every month
  • create a tradition for an unimportant holiday
  • plan a 'girl date' with a friend once a month
  • send Jason on a scavenger hunt
  • practice calligraphy
  • try a new form of exercise
  • send a gift to a friend for no reason
  • take a photography class
  • volunteer together with Jason
  • take an Intro to Illustrator course 
  • do someone a favor
  • write a letter to someone in another country
  • plan a get-together for my family
  • watch all the special features on one of my favorite DVDs
  • make and wear a handmade costume
  • buy an impractical pair of shoes
  • create a date jar
  • have friends over to our house for dinner
  • watch a classic Disney movie (and sing all the songs)
  • watch a TED talk with Italian subtitles
  • learn to play a contemporary song on the piano
  • paint and hang a painting in our house
  • actually make a craft project I've pinned on Pinterest
  • set up a booth at a craft show