Greetings from Crafting Connections!
Hello, it's Andrea and Danielle of Crafting Connections here. You may know that we run a site and shop dedicated to living a creative life while raising an equally creative family. Or, to put it simply, that we are obsessed with real-life creativity! You may not know our story, though, and the new path we've recently found ourselves walking.
We started a little over three years ago as a website and print magazine for little ones. As time went by, however, we found ourselves changed - by motherhood, by life, and by our creative partnership together. It was a change that we could not ignore and finally, nearly a year ago this summer, we found ourselves at a crossroad, feeling tired and restless. Though we adore print magazines, the schedule it required just didn't jive with our lives. And in an effort to be true to ourselves and our readers we decided to let go of what wasn't working, to let go of our magazine. Our focus shifted to inspiring creativity in the whole family. After all, our passion is for making creativity accessible for everyone, not just for our growing kiddos.
In the months since we pulled the magazine and shut down our shop, we've been doing a lot of hard work behind the scenes - the deep, think-y kind. Soul work, to be exact. Asking the hard questions and having faith that our path would become clear once we stopped forcing it and just went with what felt real and true and authentic.
And here's the thing...for the most part, it's worked! In fact, over the months three things really became clear to us. First, we like doing what we do - sharing our stories with folks like you (we were and are kindred spirits and fellow SouleMama readers far before our little piece of the internet was formed!) Second, we really love inspiring families - helping to break down those barriers to everyday creativity as an individual, with your little ones, as a family. And finally, we really miss publishing! We have a new idea - one that we floated here - for a series of Creative Guides. Our first one is in the works and should be released soon with an eye for the whole family, not just littles or adults. It's an exciting time, indeed!
In the past months we've also decided to embrace and share more of what we're making. After all, we know we're not alone in our love of creating - many of you share our obsession! Yours are the families who love to DIY what they can, who encourage creative and critical thinking in their little ones, who, as adults, work to continue developing your own sense of wonder, curiosity, and yes, creativity. So we're taking a calligraphy class together with anyone who'd like to join. We're sewing garments and quilts. We're knitting and spinning up a storm. We're sharing our creative struggles, our insights, and our triumphs. We're continuing to find our way, doing the best we can, and are so very grateful to be on this journey with so many other amazing creatives - readers, friends, peers (like you!)
At the beginning of 2015 we started a new side project we are calling #TheEverydayBeautiful. We are each sharing a photo a day on Instagram of something - anything - we find beautiful. It's already been such a fulfilling exercise. At first we had to really look to find the beautiful in our days, now it's happily become a habit for us both - one that is especially welcome on those days that feel anything but beautiful (we all have them from time to time!) We'd love it if you joined us, you can find us sharing photos as @CraftingConnections.
A big thank you to Amanda and her family for allowing us to support SouleMama - we are so grateful to be a part of this community. Because we are in this time of transition, however, we don't quite have anything to raffle off (though our shop did recently reopen if you have little ones and would like some of our original magazines.)
Instead, we wanted to give something to everyone. So we're happy to give you all a copy of our very first Creative Notebook, which you can download HERE. It's 14 pages all centered on the theme: Retreat, with a beautiful tutorial, a longer piece about self worth and getting away, and a lovely printable to hang. We hope you love it!
Our Creative Notebooks are usually exclusive to our Inspiration for Creative Families email subscribers, so if you like your copy, we'd love to have you join our weekly email list (it's free). Our emails come out every Sunday and, quite frankly, are one of the highlights of our week where we really get to connect and share.