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30-something mother, wife, lawyer, writer, design junkie, craftaholic, cook

likes: clever tools, snazzy colors, working for justice, kid wrangling, Meyer lemons

dislikes: inefficiency, civil discovery, most shades of purple, Tori Amos

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Saturday
Oct242009

A favor

Favor Box © 2009 Cottage Industrialist // Cameron BlazerSo here's the deal. I have made you a favor box for your Halloween treats. In return you owe me nothing. BUT. If you like my little box and the other things like it that I share on this wee blog, I have a favor to ask of you in return. We'll get to that in a minute.

So. Teeny take-out boxes. They are cute, non? Well. I am going to level with you. They are kind of a pain to cut out and make. But if you have a free evening, say, while you watch the best two hours on television,* you could whip out a bunch of these. They are the perfect size for just a couple pieces of candy. Or a tiny toy. Or a monocle. Because...monocles? Awesome.

© 2009 Cottage Industrialist // Cameron BlazerAnyhoo, if you set out to make these, don't say I didn't warn you about the drudgery factor. Still, I think the end result is cute enough to warrant the effort if you're having a small party or want to limit the nutso candy consumption of your small-but-mighty child at Halloween time. Or maybe that's just me.

If, in spite of my entreaties to the contrary, you want to make these little guys, download the free, printable PDF here. All the instructions are in the printable file.

 ***

Now. The favor. If you're not really the you-scratch-my-back-i'll-scratch-your-back type, just skip this and go about your freebie business. Seriously, I don't mind. But. If you read this site with any regularity and are of a mind to help a sister out, I would love your advice. See, I have changed jobs recently, and though the work is generally the same, I have had to up my game in every way for this new playing field. It means that I don't have as much time to doodle and fidget and take pretty pictures. But I want—no, I need—to keep this blog going strong. And, truthfully, it's not that I am at a loss for content--I have OODLES of printables just waiting to be packaged up and shared, recipes that have been road tested and kid-approved, and nifty projects that are ready for prime time.

If, at this point, you are thinking, "So, then, what's the big problemo, señora?" you are probably one of those reasonable people who adjusts sans drama to the changing of the seasons and does not have a crisis of confidence in the face of complimentary valet parking. You are one of the lucky ones.

The point is that I sweat this stuff. I fret over photos and pixels and color schemes. And even more? I fret over the words. A lot of times I think people don't really read my blog but just pop in the way I pop into Whole Foods for the free cheese. But the words really matter to me. I don't just want to post braggy pictures of whatever goofball thing I've just made. I like to share the story behind the pictures and projects. But sometimes that impulse keeps me from posting because I don't have time to explain why I just came up with a printable baby announcement (i.e., no, I am not having another baby, mom). And, on the flip side, sometimes I have things I'd like to talk about that aren't connected to a cool project and that don't fit into the 140 characters I regularly exploit on twitter.

I really am getting to the favor part of this blather. Just stick with me for another minute. The favor is really simple—I'd just like to get your feedback. If I post more frequently without projects or freebies, will you tune out? If I post random freebies without the cute story behind them, will you still tune in? Do you think I should invite guest bloggers? Would you like to be one, or do you have one to suggest? Any suggestions, words of encouragement, rotten tomatoes, or golden eggs are welcome in the comments. Cheers, and happy Halloween!

*Wednesday nights: So You Think You Can Dance and Glee. Obviously.

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Reader Comments (31)

I've been following you since the holidays last year and appreciate your printables, projects, and words. You probably have followers who would look forward to your projects with and without stories, and everyone who blogs with you will understand both the quiet and verbose times. I count on the same thing, too! -- michele

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMichele C

Congrats on the move — I hope it's one you're glad you made :) And thanks for the cute PDF!

I think you need to remember why you do this blog. It wasn't just to make more work for yourself, right? You need to enjoy it and still get what you need and want out of it. Of course, it's important to keep us engaged, but I think you can do that whether you give us ALL the details of each project. I think if you keep things simpler, people will still be interested, and then if you drop in more details for posts when you have more time, GREAT! Ultimately, this blog should be an exercise of enjoyment and fulfilment — and NOT something to feel bad about. You're great, and people can tell that from here, and that's what'll keep them coming back... that's my two (or three or four ;) cents!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermchen

I follow your blog b/c I think you're a cool chick, and I'm always interested in seeing/hearing what you have brewing. Your wit, charm & intelligence come through, and I find those traits engaging. When you add a good bit of creative, crafty cleverosity to the mix, it certainly boosts the interest factor! That said, if you presented a project without a story or a story without a project, I would read your blog just the same!! I don't have expectations for *myself* regarding what *your* blog should contain...maybe others do. You have to do what you're most comfortable and happy with...this is your space to express yourself.

To appease your desire to share background info, can you schedule your posts out 2 weeks? That way you know what's coming, you can get your posts started, and you can pop in to add to your draft when you have 5-10 mins each day. When I was writing Scoutie Girl, I would have about 14 drafts at any given time plus a week's worth of completed posts ready to go. It was the only way I didn't get totally overwhelmed! Hope this helps!!!

October 24, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterdaisy janie

good morning from Switzerland.. my feedback.. you have a fantastic blog, thank you very much for all the work you are doing.. if I would be able to beam something to you, I would beam you now a packet of the best Swiss chocolate.. thank you again and have a great Sunday.. ciao ciao Christa

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterChrista

I love your blog and there is no way I would be cutting you from my reader anytime soon. I love your printables and I love your stories. I would rather you kept up your blog, in any way, shape or form that you can or want to, and as mchen said, as long as you enjoy it, rather than have no blog at all.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterkellie

You know I love your blog and your work, in any form you wish to present it. I agree with the previous comments-- this is a space YOU created so that YOU could have an outlet for YOUR ideas. I think that anyway you wish to present those ideas rests with you. Those of us who read you on a regular basis do so not for the free stuff (which is fantastic), but for YOU- the essence of whom strikes me as apparent through your voice on this blog (I don't know if that was proper English?!). Besides, you once offered me great advice about blogging-- do it for yourself. The readers will come if you stay true to that.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKate

I will read whatever you write, whether it's whatever you want to talk about, a story about a printable, just the printable, whatever! It's your space and will feel more genuine to us and more natural for you if you just post what you want to. I look forward to each post that comes into my inbox!

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterFuji Mama

I have to admit that I haven't been a reader long. I think I found you through Whip Up. I would be really interested to read if you blogged more. Its hard to find a blog that you really want to *read* these days. I admit I closed my own blog because I bored myself never mind any reader that passed by. Anyway. I have you in my feed reader and that will continue, whether you change the content or not.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterHazel

I don't think there's any reason to keep a blog going if you're just doing it to give to people things that they're not grateful for. I think it should be something that makes you happy and inspires you to keep creating above all.

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermjb

Well.. I discovered your blog just few days ago, I jave to admit it.. but since then I am checking it every day... and since it is not simple to find a blog that you really like (like I do with yours) when you do, you stick to it :-)
I will continue to read it even if there are not so many words around a post... I think you are a creative person and it shows in any case from what you are sharing with all of us... and I have to say that sometimes it is also nice to guess why and how you arrived to a certain creation... you could also start some give aways guessing the sory behind... it would be fun...
anyway.. I am here.. to stay! ... unfortunately, as you probably already guessed I am not so good with english (this is why I am not proposing myself to you)... I am italian and I think it is visible also from my english skills... ehehhe...
ciao!!!! Ilenia from simplyNabiki.com

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommentersimplyNabiki

I love everything you put up...printables, projects, stories...all of it! I think you should post whatever makes you happy. Maybe thing back to why you started the blog in the first place. I for one would love to read and learn more about the amazing person behind so many of my favorite projects. Bring on the words!

October 25, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Ooh wait!!! I changed my mind. I would love to see more recipes! I was just in my kitchen getting ready to whip up another batch of your pumpkin muffins, remembered where I got the recipe and had to run back in here. I love your muffins!

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

Hi, I´m a new reader from South America, I have your blog on my rss feed and always look forward to reading/seeing your posts, I wouldn´t mind less text, or more text, or... you know, this still is YOUR BLOG and I think you should get pleasure from having it, so maybe while you reacomodate you cannot post too often or write to often but you will still be on my feed and as soon as you post again here I´ll be, reading and thanking you for the things/thoughts you share.

October 26, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterPat

First, I'm sure you've figured it out but do the blog in a way that makes you happy and don't let worry take the fun out of it. Second, I'm not just here for the freebies although they are greatly appreciated. I love to hear the stories but if you can't write a full page post every time I won't tune out. I think being a blog reader is a little weird sometimes because I feel I really get to know the writer through the stories about life's little ups and downs. But you (the writer) don't reallly know I'm out here lurking/reading. Just so you know I'm a perfectly normal working mom with two small boys. Due to the recession, I will be losing my job shortly and know that I'll be upping my game across the board when I start over somewhere else. So we do have something in common :) Recipes are great as are any life/kid/mommy survival tips. Your printables are awesome. I am not blogger so guest blogging is not something I can help you with right now although guest bloggers in moderation can be a neat addition to a site. I understand your need to create/craft/share. Please keep it up!

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKimB

Hi! Just wanted to stop by to say thanks for all your cute ideas...and printables. I plan to post on my blog about your teeny envelopes as it gets a little closer to Vday this year! Such cute little valentines!

October 27, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterCher

Today is the first time I've seen your blog, but I've bookmarked it and will visit again, I love the printables, and yes I did read all your text too :)

October 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterlisa

Freebies are always nice, but what is more interesting to me is the final outcome and the process to get there. I love seeing your ideas as they are inspirational. And the fact that you are a busy working mom is also very inspiring. I personally love a little 'how to' post, it gets my creative juices flowing. But nevermind us, keep up your creativity and do what works for you.

October 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristin

Hi - just happened upon your blog today for the 1st time, and my comments? i love it. See - I normally am not a comment type person, I lurk. And LOVE printables. I save them, bookmark them, tag them, have entire folders on my computer dedicated to them - its a little obsessive honestly. But your comments and story above? I loved it and had to comment for you. I'll definitely come back, not just for the fun freebies... but for your humor!

October 28, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJulie

I visit your site now and then, often times as blog links from other sites. You are very creative and inventive! I have noticed that many other sites do have guest bloggers. This frees them up for time with kids, other paying projects, etc. I think it might add a little something to the site if there is a surprise to look forward to and then you wouldn't have to fret so much. You could also have a design team and they do the project for you...you e-mail them the printable, they cut and paste and write up their commentary, you approve and then go live. Lots of sites do that also. I'm sure you'll figure it out, good luck on your new job. That is always a bit stressful.

October 30, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMonika Wright

I wouldn't worry so much about it. I found you ages ago - can't even think how - and since then I've really enjoyed your ideas. I think you should do what makes you happy, isn't that the purpose of having a blog? Personally, I will continue to "tune in" for whatever you decide to post. Selfishly, I love printables - with or without long explanations. But again, don't worry. It's your blog, we are just happy with whatever you post.

November 1, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Hello, long time reader first time poster. Cameron, I love your blog, the words, the content, the freebies, everything. I think it's important to for me to say that not only am I subscribed to your blog, I'm subscribed to YOU. Your personality, your style, your ideas, your life as you share it with us. Whatever you decide to do with your blog I'm sure we'll all love it, and if you decide to leave it for a bit, we'll miss you and be excited for your return!

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAmy H.

New jobs are exciting and stressful for at least the first 6 months. Don't sweat the small stuff, give yourself a break, we've all been there and we all love you and your blog w/ or w/out the stories and printables. Do what you can, don't sweat what you can't and in a few months you'll have a rhythm down that you be surprised you ever fretted about....(hm, maybe I'm one of the confident valet chicks you mentioned....) Either way, I love stopping by to see your cherriness and printables. FYI - I made ONE of the boxes. It was cute! I may make more over time...or give to the older kids to make.

Congratulations on your new job!

November 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterMolly

I regularly read your blog. I like the printables, but haven't printed one out yet. And I keep coming back.

November 17, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

You have a lovely blog--I enjoy the printables, can't believe you're a lawyer who also designs fabric, and appreciate that you want your posts to explain the stories behind the projects in well-written prose. Whatever you decide to do would be just fine--we will understand if you need to concentrate on your new venture for a little while and post less frequently or use a few guest bloggers to fill the gaps between your own posts if you want. Whatever works best for you!

November 29, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAlison

we'll take everything that comes.It's just nice to be in contact with like-minded people.

December 21, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEunice Robertson

i know this is an older post but bliber and blabbe a way i just found ya and like to hear ya LOL

January 11, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterdianalyn

Hi Cameron!

I found your blog through your printables and I love them, BUT I have ever since subscribed to your blog and read it all because of the interesting person writing it. You are an inspiration, do whatever feels right to you.

*hug*,

Renata

January 23, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterRenata

Just found you when looking online for crafty and unique calendars, and have to say, I've been reading through your archives every day at work while I eat lunch and I would enjoy whatever you put forth, story or no, prosey or to the point, etc. (although I also really appreciate the fun printables you make, so please do continue to do those--and I realize I'm about a year behind, but am commenting anyway).

September 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commentervespa rossa

I have you bookmarked and check it periodically, I have to admit the main reason I come is for those lovely printables but I also stop in for a little inspiration as well

October 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJessica

I just found your site a few weeks ago, and am obviously getting to this a little late, as you have obviously moved on past this moment of crisis. But I have to say, every time I stop by, I have a great time. I used to live in Charleston, and so I have some moments of nostalgia when you write about life there. I am often blown away that after working full time you still find the time to do this. I struggle to find the time to wash dishes most evenings, wash dishes then create anything more than a hand written note is FAR beyond me. So yes, I read, and I appreciate the effort you put into not just the art, but the setting of the art in each of the posts. I actually read each bit the whole way through- I read the entire intro the the recipes, even the ones I wont make. It transports me for a moment into some other place and space, and that is something I treasure.

November 12, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHeather Kilpatrick

I just found you and love the free printables on your site. I am in awe of your creativity! I also love the stories behind and the words. But I say, don't stress yourself over too much. A quick story with the printable or a long story without a printable or whatever you can do is fine with me!!! Just let yourself shine as you can and we will be here to bask in it!

September 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

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