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Welcome to The Artisan Life!

Hi, I’m Natasha, a hardcore DIY geek who would rather buy $35 worth of supplies and do it myself than pay $5 for a factory made version of the same item. If this sounds like you, too, you’ve come to the right place! I’m such a crazy DIY-er that I made everything for our wedding except my dress, his suit, and the chairs.

jmp-169

Yep, the veil, jewelry, and flower arch seen above were all me. We even self-catered and made the lawn games.

So what is “The Artisan Life?”

In 2015, my dad passed very suddenly and unexpectedly. I never thought I’d loose a parent while I was still in my 20s, and the experience has affected me greatly by showing me how we never truly know how much time any of us has left. It served as a reminder to “live out loud,” pursue each day with passion, and reinforced my commitment to a healthy, active lifestyle. I strongly believe in the healing power of creativity and activity.

In a few words, ‘the artisan life’ is daring to be yourself, which is, as Ralph Waldo Emerson wrote, the greatest accomplishment.

to be yourself is the greatest accomplishment

For me, being true to myself means sharing what I create in the form of crafting tutorials, recipes, and handmade items in my Etsy store. I also absolutely love giving things away for free, which is why I post free “Motivational Monday” printables almost every week and show how to make many of my best-selling items.

For a while during and after college, I allowed myself to be mislead by people who told me being “me” was weird, that making things was weird, that reading instead of watching TV was weird. I didn’t create much and tried to be “normal,” and it made me miserable. At 24 I somehow felt old and like I’d already missed out in life. Even though I’d graduated summa cum laude from the honor’s college at my school, I found myself working an unfulfilling minimum wage job until one day my boss and his friend sexually assaulted me. (No, don’t panic – it wasn’t anything ‘major,’ but it was certainly highly inappropriate.) It was a real wake up call. Instead of showing up for my next shift, I handed over a letter explaining I couldn’t work there anymore with a self-addressed stamped envelope for my final paycheck. The next week, I found a new, better paying job in a field I love (public history), signed up for dance and aerial hoop classes, and, in retrospect, got back on my path to creativity. I met a man who supported and encouraged my creativity, followed him to Hawaii, and got married beside the Pacific Ocean.

indian ocean sunset

When I put it that way, everything seems to amazingly simple, but it really isn’t. When I moved to Hawaii, we decided I would try working from home, both on my blog and Etsy store, until my husband was moved elsewhere by the Navy. At that point in time, I will either keep at it, if things are going well, or get a ‘real’ job using my Masters in Teaching. If you’ve ever tried to ‘make it’ with a blog or handmade store, you know just how long of a road it is! Luckily for me, he got a second tour in Hawaii and I have two more years. =)

If parts of my story sound familiar to you , I invite you to join me here at The Artisan Life. Whether you’re working on rediscovering your creativity or developing it for the first time, trying to stay true to yourself in a world full of distractions, or just want something both tasty and healthy to put on the table, I hope you enjoy your stay on the blog and come back soon. Comments from people ‘on the same mission’ are worth far more to me than any paycheck I’ve earned!

I also invite you to join my weekly email list. On Monday mornings, island time, I send out an email with a photo and snippet from the prior week’s posts, which helps you keep up to date on the latest freebies, tutorials, and recipes. Best of all, just by singing up you gain access to high resolution 8×10 “Motivational Monday” printables that I create nearly every week! To sign up, just use the box on the top right of the page.

success is the sum of small efforts printable

If you’re not sure where to start on the blog, here are a few of my most popular posts:

DIY Paper Flower Pomanders

How to Resize your Rings at Home

Baked Sweet Plantains (Platanos Maduros)

Thank you for joining me here on The Artisan Life. I’d love to hear your story, too, so please join the discussion!

***Blog disclosure statement***

I may sometimes accept paid tasks to write about specific products or services. I always decline offers to write about items/websites/etc that I do not actually like, so any opinions about these are entirely my own.

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