Monday, April 20, 2015

Sunsoaked Spring

I was finally able to make it outside at the right time and catch the beautiful "magic hour" lighting...and, as a bonus, managed to rope my sister into taking photos as well! One of the kittens decided to come an investigate halfway through, the cute little thing. I was not complaining!



Sweater: Walmart
Blouse: Garage
Shorts: Bluenotes (old)
Tights: Target
Flats: Aldo
Necklace: Etsy

Thursday, April 16, 2015

On Starting an Etsy Design Business!

Hi dear readers of Jess's beautiful blog! I'm excited to have the honor to publish a guest post on here, even though I'm not a photographer myself. I'm advertising in Jess's sidebar this month with my personal blog 'The Daphne Files', a place where I share my soul searching journey. I'm the Daphne behind the blog, an almost forty-one year old girl from the Netherlands, married to a lovely guy, mom to two teenagers, lover of nature, animals and cappuccinos, blogger and part time digital designer. And while all those words describe me, the last one is still sometimes hard to believe.

If you would have told me five years ago that I would one day have my own little business in digital design I would have laughed out loud (really hard). While being a stay-at-home-mom most of the time because of my son's autism, I was actually schooled to be a secretary. And before my son was born, this was my daily job. After having my son and daughter I worked as a cleaning lady, a secretary and a shop-assistant in a health food store in times that I was able to work a few hours when they were at school. Any work outside the house had to be orchestrated around my kids and in the back of my mind I knew that working from home would be a great solution. But for a long time it was only an idea.

I never saw myself as an entrepreneur. I didn't think I had the guts and the skills for it, let alone the creativity. But after almost 41 years on this planet I slowly begin to understand that life is a miracle that comes up with the most beautiful surprises when you least expect it. And a situation that starts out stressful can in fact blossom into a great opportunity. So let's go back to early 2013 when I started a health food blog.


I never had a blog before but on the hunt for great recipes I bumped into food blogs. And I was hooked! I decided to create my own blog and had fun with it for more than a year. But while I liked writing content for the blog I realized that I loved messing with the layout even more. I noticed that people were selling beautiful blog layouts on Etsy and were actually making some money with it, but I didn't think I could do that. After all, I was trained as a secretary, not a designer. And although I was slowly beginning to understand coding I wouldn't dare to refer to myself as a designer.

In February 2014 I decided to open a little Etsy shop with small digital images for scrapbooking and card making. I didn't have Photoshop or anything, just a free image editing program and I kind of did it all for fun. When I actually started making some money with these items the thought of selling blog layouts once again emerged. But I still didn't think I was good enough to do it. Sometimes life needs to kick you in the butt first before you understand that you actually are good enough.

So fast forward to Summer 2014. Due to economy measures of the Dutch government it's not so sure anymore that my son, who's depending on taxi transport to the special needs school he attends, will still have that transport after Summer vacation. Which would present us with quite a big problem. My husband works outside the house so he won't be able to drive our son himself, and I, well, don't laugh, but I don't have a driver's license. So I would be forced to use public transport to take him to and from school. That would mean that I would be on public transport for 3 to 4 hours a day. And that would no doubt drive me crazy. The best option to handle this situation would be to sell the house and move closer to the school. But that would involve huge costs. Anyway, I knew I had to find a way to make income from home, no matter where we would live. This would give me the opportunity to bring my son to school every day and work during the hours that I would be home.


This situation proved to be the kick in the butt I needed to put my fears and doubts aside and start a blog design shop on Etsy. I started in August and it just kept growing from there. It turned out that people don't care if you're trained to do a job or not, all they care about is that you show passion and care in your work and for them. And I can honestly say that I love my job! So now I design for the Google Blogger platform. People can purchase premade blog designs in my shop or they can order a completely custom made layout for their Blogger blog. And you know what? In the end we still got the transportation! It all ended well. What started out as a stressful situation flourished into something beyond imagination.

So if you have a creative dream or any kind of dream really, please know that anything is possible if you put your fears and doubts aside. Maybe you love photography like Jess, or style and fashion, painting, sewing, crafts or whatever, know that you can turn that passion into a job! While this was a big lesson I had to learn, I'm not done learning yet. And you can read all about my personal soul searching journey on The Daphne Files.

If you want to check out my designs, they can be found in my Etsy shop Dutch Lady Digi Design. And I would love to offer all of Jess's readers a 20% discount on all Premade Blogger Templates till April 30th. You can check out the premade designs here:

* Premade Blogger Templates Extra (full installation & beautiful gadgets included)
* Premade Blogger Templates (full installation included)
* Premade Blogger Templates DIY (install these yourself)

If you've found a design you like you can purchase it and use coupon code TWENTY at the checkout for the discount. Thanks so much for having me on here Jess!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Close-up Kitties

I thought cats were hard to take photos of with a macro lens. Then I tried to take photos of my horses, and realized cats were actually a breeze. At least they don't try to eat my camera! Haha.