Saturday, May 26, 2012

SOLO FEATURE: PAPER CROWNS

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Hi, everyone! I'm Natasha, and I blog over at Paper Crowns. I'm a Canadian, married to an American, whom I met while living in South Korea. We spent much of the past four years traveling and living abroad, and after returning back to North America and getting married last May, we now call Charlottesville, Virginia, home. I'm a lover of design in all forms and an admirer of anyone who lives to create. I've been blogging since early this year, and it's been such a great experience for me so far. The blogging community has been so welcoming, and I've so enjoyed having the chance to share snippets of my daily life, as well as my love of design in all its forms. In addition to blogging, I'm pursuing my dream of being a graphic designer. My husband, Kyle, is a writer and journalist. We love music, faraway places, long drives on rainy days, and each other.

2. What made you decide to start blogging?
I started reading home and lifestyle blogs while still in Korea, dreaming about what I could do with a living space that didn't consist of one room bound by concrete walls with weirdly textured wallpaper slapped up over them. For a couple years, I read blogs and busied myself with projects (planning my wedding being a big one!), but it wasn't until this past winter that it suddenly clicked that I could start my own blog. I love trying to approach every post like it can be its own little work of art. We, as bloggers, have an amazing opportunity to use images and words together to evoke feelings in our readers, and nothing makes me happier than when I feel like what's on the screen matches what was in my head.

I also love the community aspect of blogging. It's been such a treat getting to know the bloggers and readers I've connected with since beginning this blogging adventure. Even before I started blogging, I saw how strong the sense of community was in the blogging world. I thought it was so inspiring, and eventually I realized that I really wanted to be a part of it, rather than just a reader. Once I got started, I really started to appreciate just how blogging provides anyone with a passion with the opportunity to share their craft with others without having to jump through the traditional hoops of academic credentials and work experience. You can just put yourself out there and let the world decide if it's interested in what you have to offer. It's a little scary, but it's exciting, too!


3. What are your favorite things to blog about? Favorite posts? 
I love blogging about all the little moments that would otherwise pass unobserved and eventually forgotten: rainy walks through misty gardens, hunting for that one record or perfect piece of art, visiting that lively fair or market. The ability of a good blog to turn a stranger's everyday life into something worth exploring is something I've always marveled at; making my own experiences into posts that other people actually enjoy, and take something away from, has been such a great experience.

Some of my favorite posts include when I shared my rainy-day engagement photos, a post on beautiful concert poster art, a recent post in which I shared a few of my DIY projects from my wedding, and a little snapshot-of-life post, about a little adventure we had exploring in the rain.

4. You are a fellow graphic designer! What made you start doing design, how are you involved in design now?
I've always loved design. But it never occurred to me that it was something I might actually be able to do professionally until I was doing DIY stuff for my wedding. As the months went on and my wedding got closer and closer, I started to think I bit off more than I could chew. I felt so overwhelmed by everything I had to do for my wedding. The graphic design elements—invitations, programs, place cards, signs—became an oasis, something that I actually enjoyed amid a whole lot of things that were just daunting, time-consuming, and stressful.

Still, I didn't really get serious about starting my own design business until after I started blogging. One of the things that has made blogging so special and such an amazing experience for me is that it took something that I just had dreams of doing—being self-employed as a graphic designer—and made it actually possible as a reality. As I worked on my own blog and some little design side projects for others, I started to think, "Maybe I can make a business out of this." I haven't looked back since. I'm so grateful to the blogging experience for helping me to figure out exactly what I want to do with my life. Graphic design is what I want to do forever, if I'm lucky enough!

5. Favorite pastime?
I'd have to say music—listening to it, singing it, playing it. As much as I love the visual arts and powerful words, nothing hits me on a profound emotional level quite like music. When someone has composed beautiful words and set them to the right melody, it just grabs me like nothing else. I love teaching myself songs that I love on guitar. Hanging out and playing guitar and singing with friends is one of my absolute favorite things to do.

6. What is on your current wish-list? 
A few nights in this amazing Norwegian glass igloo hotel in the dead of winter. Can you imagine?

This adorable mint and gold watch from Anthropologie. I've had my eye on this for a few months. Pretty much my dream watch, and it's affordable, too!

This bedding from Anthropologie. Another Anthro choice, but I couldn't resist! It's probably the most perfect bedding I've ever seen.


7. Favorite blog reads?
Fieldguided. Anabela's posts are so breathtakingly beautiful, that they really are mini works of art. Her photography is stunning and unique and among my favorite I've ever come across, period. Her blog is just a breath of fresh air and I can't rave enough about it. She's also from Toronto, where I was born and raised, so that little connection instantly drew me in!

Another favorite is The Flowerchild Dwelling. Kelly Ann is super inspiring, both in her design work and in her aesthetic approach to blogging. Her blog posts feature simple, beautiful imagery that has a dreamlike quality.

8. If you had three wishes what would they be?
To have the absolute freedom to travel, just pick up and follow my heart anywhere, at any time. To master the guitar (and the banjo!). To live in an apartment that allows pets (you have no idea how much I want a bunny and a puppy).

9. What's your favorite meal?
I literally think I could eat sushi every single day. The best meal I've ever eaten was in a little sushi restaurant right near the fish market in Tokyo that provides seafood to a huge portion of the entire Japanese population. I went with my husband, Kyle, and my brother, Nick. We ordered hot sake and plate after plate of the freshest sushi I've ever tasted. I'm pretty sure nothing else will ever compare, but luckily I've been able to find a few great sushi restaurants every placed I've lived, to satisfy my endless cravings!


10. What inspires you the most?
Anything beautiful. That can be anything from music to design. Above all, I'm inspired by people's ability to make something beautiful out of absolutely nothing, whether it's lyrics, or music, or great design. Simple graphic design that actually says something; a haunting piece of music; beautiful fashion, or painting, or writing. I'm inspired by anything that someone starts from scratch and then builds up until it actually makes you feel something. All I ever want in blogging and in design is to achieve that.

Find Natasha Here:  Blog  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |  Bloglovin  |  Instagram -- @hipapercrowns

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Thank you, Natasha, for introducing yourself to my readers and for sharing pieces of your life! Natasha has quickly become one of my favorite bloggers. She is extremely talented and each of her posts are filled to the brim with beautiful inspiration. I'm so honored to feature her this month on my blog! If you are looking for a new summer blog read, I would highly recommend adding Paper Crowns to your list! 

Interested in sponsoring Maiedae for the month of June? Check out my sponsor info here!

PS ---> Time to announce the winner of the Shabby Apple $50 gift card giveaway!! #27 Angie Bailey!! Congratulations! Please email me at Savannah@maiedae.com



7 comments:

  1. I just adore Natasha. Her blog is so sweet and so is she. Great feature piece!! :D

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  2. These pictures are so adorable! I'm going to go follow her.

    Amanda Rose
    http://sewmuchtosay.blogspot.com

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  3. Music is one of my favorite pastimes too. How amazing doing her wedding revealed her love of design! Wonderful interview. :)
    Catherine Denton

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  4. oh Natasha, you are the sweetest. Thank you for the love, lady! xo.

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  5. Oh my gosh, she is an amazing lady! Gonna go follow Natasha now! :D

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  6. Loved getting to read this, thanks for doing the feature, Savannah. Natasha, loved getting to read this, my favorite quote "an admirer of anyone who lives to create" - such a good sentence. Definitely an admirer of your work, excited to continue following.

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  7. What a lovely interview and a beautiful woman. Loved this. Thank you!

    http://shannonhearts.blogspot.com

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