Calling All Creators: Here’s An Amazing Way To Celebrate Your Work


This post is sponsored by Blurb.

Do you know Blurb? I first wrote about them in 2008 — not long after they had launched. Blurb is an independent, creative book-making and self-publishing platform, and they’ve been innovators in the book-making space for a decade. And I’ve been a fan for just as long. Recently, they reached out to ask if I had ever created a portfolio with their super cool tools. I hadn’t. But I looked through the inspiration on their site — tons of unique book projects by Blurb’s community of photographers, designers, and creative makers — and suddenly I really, really wanted to be holding a portfolio in my hands asap.

I immediately reached out to Amy Christie — if you’ve been reading Design Mom for awhile, you know she’s my crafting guru — and threw out the idea of a book full of Design Mom Projects. Not a DIY book with instructions and how-tos, but instead a record of the amazing work we’ve created over the years. 

Amy was all in, the project is done now, and friends, I am so pleased with this book. We filled 148 pages! And it doesn’t even contain every single project. We could have added at least a dozen more. For me, looking at it is pure joy. There’s so much work I had forgotten about. So many favorites that had faded from my view. And then, just the sheer numbers. I mean what an accomplishment. I’m so proud of Amy and Design Mom and what we’ve created.

And I’m not sure how to express it, but it’s a game changer to see it all in book form — about holding the work in my hands. I suppose when work is digital, taking up no weight or space, sometimes it’s easy to forget just how much you’ve actually produced.

So I’m here today to encourage you to make a record of your work. You don’t even have to call it a portfolio if you don’t want to (because I know that can imply you want to use it to get more jobs). You can just make it for you. No one else even has to see it and it will still be worth it.

Whether you are a designer, a photographer, a painter, an illustrator, an architect, a crafter, a typographer – you are an artist. And having a record of your work, something tangible that you can hold in your hands, really feels like a big deal. 

It’s super easy to do. Come see how!

A Few Things

Hello, Friends. How are you? Dang. What a week. Are you feeling ragged? I sure am. I assume everyone is. We had personally emotional stuff going on (like sending Maude off to the dorms), happening against non-stop discussions about white supremacy, and arguments about what happened in Charlottesville. So much pain and confusion. So much reading and thinking and listening in an attempt to understand. So many memes. 

I’ve been processing things through my American lens, but also through my Mormon lens. The Mormon Church leaders made a sort of milque-toast statement in response to the events Charlottesville. And then followed it up the next day with a really strong statement. There are white supremacists among the Church membership who are mad about the strong statement. And there are Church members who are furious that white supremacists haven’t been kicked out already. Black women in the Mormon Church are sharing their experiences in Utah newspapers, and Church members who are in denial about racism in the Church, are having their world view shaken up. Groups within the Church are organizing against white supremacy and making public statements, also in Utah newspapers. Mitt Romney just made a public statement (as a political figure, not as a Mormon), and oh my gosh the comments are so painful to read — Trump supporters, Mormon or not, are furious with him.

How about you? Are you talking about these things online? Maybe offline with your kids? Do you feel like your churches or your schools are battling about what happened in Charlottesville?

Switching gears now. Anything you’re looking forward to? Ben Blair and I are headed to Colorado for a wedding this weekend (it’s the wedding of my super talented niece, Rachel Sabey), and then the whole family is road-tripping to Idaho to see the eclipse. Can I confess I’m ridiculously excited about the eclipse? I’ve been dying to see one since I read Annie Dillard’s eclipse essay when I was in college. Have you read it? It’s so good. Any plans for eclipse watching at your house?

Another happy thing: We’ve been doing our back to school dates and I love them so much. I take each child, one-on-one, and we pick out a new school outfit, get supplies, and get lunch or fro yo, or whatever they choose. We only started doing this a few years ago, but it’s been a good tradition to stick with.

Hey. I better go tackle the laundry so we can get packed up. But first, here are a few things I’ve wanted to share:

11 really good links. Just for you.

What if We Just Gave Them Money?

Did you get a chance to listen to or read the NPR story about fixing poverty? It was eye opening for me, and I keep thinking about it.

The title is: How To Fix Poverty: Why Not Just Give People Money? Here’s a paragraph from the article that will give you the basic idea of what it’s about:

Today practically all aid is given as “in-kind” donations — whether that’s food, an asset like a cow, job training or schoolbooks. And this means that, in effect, it’s the providers of aid — governments, donor organizations, even private individuals donating to a charity — who decide what poor people need most. But what if you just gave poor people cash with no strings attached? Let them decide how best to use it?

According to the piece at NPR, this kind of direct giving can be hugely beneficial.

Many more thoughts on this. Straight ahead.

Our Favorite Source for Out of the Ordinary Pop Culture Tees

Out of the Ordinary Pop Culture Tees! Here's the BEST Source.

This post is sponsored by — this school year, be #savagenotaverage.

School is starting soon, and I know many of us are helping our kids find something awesome to wear this year — something that will help them feel confident or clever or punk rock or silly or whatever it is our particular kids want to feel. To me, a new school year means a fresh start and a clean slate. And as parents, Ben Blair and I really emphasize that idea to our kids as we prep and shop for school.

Out of the Ordinary Pop Culture Tees! Here's the BEST Source.Out of the Ordinary Pop Culture Tees! Here's the BEST Source.

We talk about how we can always reinvent ourselves, and how simple changes — in clothing, activities or attitude — can help you feel like a whole new person. Which means if you don’t like the reputation you have, or don’t feel your true personality is shining through, then you get to switch things up anytime you like. You can take chances, express yourself, surprise people, and be bold doing it.

So many cool tees! And really cool wall hangings too.

Living With Kids: Victoria Hudgins

You guys!! This house is such a show stopper. Nothing gets my interior design heart going pitter-patter more than people who aren’t afraid to make bold choices and really make their home personal and show off their style. If you feel the same way you’ll be swooning over Victoria’s house in Reno, Nevada. I mean, there is a pink fireplace (which I have already copied in my own home!). Not only that, Victoria and her husband did this whole renovation with kids underfoot. They even let them help!

Come say hello to Victoria.

So many gorgeous moments up ahead. Keep reading!



Design Mom is all about the intersection of design and motherhood. I'm Gabrielle Blair (some people call me Gabby), a designer and mother of six. I think you're going to love reading Design Mom.

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