I don't remember how I first found Twig and Thistle, but it was sometime last November and I have to say I haven't looked back since! Kathleen is a designer by both day and night and between crafting sweet things for her Seattle home, baking treats for the most adorable dog on the planet, running her etsy shop, and blogging... well I just don't know how this girl is still standing. But she is a force to be reckoned with, already gaining attention from blog big-wigs and features on design*sponge, all while staying sweet as ever. I think you'll enjoy getting to know her a little better.
1. What is your day-job? How does that relate to blogging?
I'm a graphic designer by trade and work at a design agency in downtown Seattle. I do all kinds of print design but I tend to specialize in packaging. I'm fascinated by how people interact with packaging and how it can impact the entire product experience.
Blogging started on a whim for me and it was only natural for me to blog about design in some aspect. Right now the blog is a mix of design inspiration and all things crafty. Most of the work I do at the agency is for large corporate clients, so when it comes to the blog I tend to work in a smaller scale and do all the "pretty" delicate things that I don't get to do at work.
2. What is a typical day like for you?
A typical day starts at 6am. I try to respond to a few emails and get caught up on Twitter before heading into work at 8am. By 6 I'm back home for a quick dinner with my husband and then it's back to the computer until about 10:30. During this time I'm responding to emails and post submissions and scheduling the post for the following morning. If I have time I try to design and/or create crafts for either my Etsy shop or DIY projects for the blog. Time doesn't usually allow for this everyday so most of my weekends are spent putting these together and photographing them.
Managing and fulfilling orders for my Esty shop is also part of my evening routine. My husband helps out in this department along with any and all IT support for the blog. He also edits every post for me since spelling and punctuation are not my strong suits.
3. What do you love most about blogging?
I love the community! I am constantly in awe of how genuinely sweet and kind everyone is. Whether it's readers or other bloggers, the generosity is amazing to me. I honestly expected it to be quite the opposite but I've definitely found that the craft blogging community in particular is overwhelmingly helpful. I recently got the opportunity to attend the Altitude Design Summit featuring many influential design and craft bloggers. Not only was I completely star struck but I was surprised to find the group as a whole, incredibly warm and friendly.
4. You post a lot of wedding inspiration. If you and your hubby could get married all over again, what (if anything) would you change?
Good question! I am constantly inspired by weddings and I always wish that I could do it over again just so I could incorporate some of those new ideas. One thing that I really wish I had done was wear some pretty yellow shoes to match my color palette. At the time I talked myself out of it since I figured only a few people would have ever seen them and it seemed frivolous. Looking back, I think it would have been a nice touch and it would have made for some adorable pictures. I've seen this trend more and more lately and I really enjoy it.
5. Where are some of your favorite places to go in Seattle?
My husband and I live in West Seattle and we recently discovered Lincoln Park. We love taking our dog for walks along the waterfront there. The views are just outstanding (even on a rainy day) and it's a great place for the pup and us to get some exercise.
We both come from big families where food was a major part of our upbringing so we love to go out to eat. Our favorite place to get breakfast recently is Spring Hill in West Seattle and my newest obsession is How to Cook a Wolf on Queen Anne. Hands down some of the best food in Seattle and I tell everyone to try both when they visit. Yumm!
6. Where do you find inspiration?
Luckily my job requires me to search for inspiration on a daily basis. If I happen to come across something that I like that doesn't necessarily pertain to my project I'll make a note of it and check it out later. I also read about 6 blogs on a daily basis that I find incredibly inspiring. Often times those blogs will spark an idea or direct me to another link that will inspire me. Since I can't read all the blogs in my reader everyday, Twitter has helped me stay on top of what's going on quickly as well.
Of course I still love the old fashioned magazines too. It's sad that many of my faves like Domino and Blue Print are no longer around but I still have my Martha Stewart Weddings that I covet like nobody's business. Real Simple and Better Homes & Garden's are inspiration staples as well.
7. What happens to all your crafty projects after you're finished blogging about them?
Hahahaha! I's actually quite sad. I have a bookcase that I've started collecting them on top of. I've been afraid to toss them in case I ever needed to re-photograph or something but they've started to collect dust and it looks more like a sad grave than anything else. I really should try to think of a better use or way to display them. 8. What blog/design related accomplishments are you most proud of?
I think my biggest accomplishment so far has been that I actually started the blog, stuck with it by writing 5 days a week and my page views are now up to about 200k a month. I really started blogging quite naively and had no idea what I was getting into. Though it has taken over all my free time it's been surprisingly rewarding and fulfilling. It is so much work to maintain but I really do love it.
On the more personal level, being approached by Target and having them sell my Owl Stitch Kit's was a major highlight as well. I never thought that would have been a possibility and it was such a thrill and an honor.
9. Any advice for those interested in design or starting an etsy store?
Two of the best pieces of advice that I received when I was just starting out was to be consistent and do what you love. Consistency is what makes people trust you and come back again and again. Whether you blog once a week or 3 times a day, try to make a schedule so that your readers will know what to expect when they come back.
Doing what you love is not only important for you but for your followers as well. If you're passionate about something it will come across through your writing or your work. If you're not into it, that will also come across and inevitably someone that is excited about it will do a better job.
10. Five of your favorite things
1. I love 3 dimensional letter forms. Having studied type extensively in school I became enamored with letter shapes and have all kinds of these around my home.
2. Felt Food! Totally obsessed with this stuff! Now if only I was a kid again and had an excuse to play with it. *sigh...
3. I love vintage and ceramic keys. Much like my love for type and felt I like to collect these little works of art.
5. Cinnamon Gummy Bears! If candy had sustenance I would probably forego all the boring stuff and only eat these little bundles of yumminess!