on learning my craft…



(unrelated silly photo) Recently, I've been thinking an awful lot about goals, plans and where I'd like to be in five years. Newlywed life is better than ever and Jeremy and I are both in a place where we are ready to pursue our dreams 100%. I've spent years experimenting with different points of focus in my career, tweaking my vision and practicing things I love. I feel like I'm finally at a place where all the pieces are coming together. 


This post might seem a little vague, but here's my point… It takes time (sometimes many years) to develop a vision and learn your "craft". Wherever you are, don't rush the learning process. The more time you spend developing your skills and style, the better. Be encouraged and keep learning! XO, elsie 

  • Thanks for the advice, Elsie! It’s really encouraging to hear insights from someone who has spent many years learning her craft. xo

  • I like this, thankyou <3 I always feel like I'm in a huge rush... but you're right, it'll all come together in the end!

  • Thanks for the encouragement! :o) you’re so wonderful, thsnk you for sharing your journey and encoraging me !

  • This is EXACTLY what I needed to hear today. Right now. It’s spooky. I suppose it’s very common for us all to question where we’re going, how much we’re achieving, how well we’re doing. But it’s really great to hear this from the mouth of someone that so many people admire so much! Something just kind of sank in.


  • This is so incredibly timely Elsie! I read your blog every day and this poat just sang to me.

    I’m a makeup artist and I often get discouraged by people who are more successful than me. I forget to give myself some slack knowing that I only started doing this professionally less than a year ago and they’ve likely had some more time to perfect their craft.

    Thank you! I’ll keep on keepin on!

  • thx for the encouragement and reminder. so nice to see your journey, too. thx for always being willing to share with others!

  • Yes, this couldn’t come at a better time! I’m constantly giving myself new lists of goals big and small, trying to craft my day to be the most productive it can be. I feel busy, and yet I don’t get as much done as I think I should!!
    A good reminder that small steps day by day add up if you just keep at it.
    Thank you, Elsie!

  • This post came at a perfect time. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and heart, Elsie. ((Is it weird that I think of you as the figurative “big sister” of the blog world?)) 🙂 Best wishes for your happiness and success. x

  • That’s a really inspiring thought. You are so right about it. thank you so much for sharing! 🙂 Good luck with everything you do!

  • I understand what you’re saying and feel the same way. I want to own my own Cafe/Coffee shop but there is still so much I want to do before I even begin with the big details. Doesn’t mean I won’t plan it while I’m doing other things but I’d like a little experience with business (all the ups and downs) before I pursue my ultimate dream.

    -Amber P.

  • What an encouragement! The uphill battle of teaching myself a craft can often be frustrating, but it helps so much when I stop and think that THIS is what life is all about! Instead of waiting for that magical time when I will have everything together, I should enjoy my life now and the wonderful feeling of being able to learn and grow. Thanks, Elsie!

  • I have really enjoyed reading your posts about Red Velvet and the work it takes to have a successful business, online and locally. You and Emma remind me a lot of my sister and I, we’re working partners (my sister just opened an online shop), who would, like you two, move across the country to be working partners.

    My sister and I are currently planning out the next step for her shop and reading your posts have been super encouraging to the both of us. So please, don’t stop writing about your goals, the ups, the downs… it’s helping us!

    All the best!

  • That IS super encouraging Elsie! I’m 26 and I’ve been doing a wide variety of things within the overall goal that I am going towards, moved multiple times to grow and experience new opportunities, and a year and a half ago I found a paid job that I absolutely love, but I know in my heart it’s the end all for me. A week ago my husband and I decided we are moving to Nashville, which definitely threw a loop in my plan. However, it’s kinda feels like the initial incline of a roller coaster when your just about to reach the top and soon launch out into the most fun part of the ride – it’s a little scary but its by far the part that is the most exhilarating! I only entered the blog world this past March but you definitely have already been a source of inspiration in more than just pretty things but also in the whole entrepreneur world. Thanks for your encouraging thoughts! I couldn’t agree more!

  • You are beautiful. This post was perfect for me… such an encouragement! I read your blog everyday and dream of only being half as successful as you are in vintage, shop owning, fashion and art. I am where you were many years ago, now. Thank you for your kind words of hope. And I love the “unrelated” photo 😉

  • Thank you so much for this! This is exactly what I need to hear right now…this very minute! It’s like you’ve read my mind.

  • So good to hear, and something I have to remind myself of constantly. It’s fun to keep narrowing your focus until you really get down to what you love and want to do. Us dreamers always try to have too many balls in the air!

  • It’s tough not to rush it. It’s so hard, huh? I think you should do a blogging, goal setting, project based type workshop. Let em know when you do one and I’ll come!

  • How very encouraging. I’m just starting out learning my ‘craft,’ and it’s incredibly frustrating to have so many ideas and dreams and not really know how to make them come true. But, as with all things, hard work wins out. Good to know you’re at the happy place now. Best of luck in all you do! 😀

  • This is exactly what I needed to here right now! Have just had a ‘hurry up and decide what you want to do with your life’ lecture from my mum… oops! 😉

  • Thank you for the advice and encouragement! As someone who hasn’t even decided on a craft yet (lol!), it feels good to hear someone so successful say that I can take my time 🙂

  • I needed to hear this. I’ve only been out of college a year and a half. I opened a boutique right outta school. Sometimes, it’s going good; sometimes, it’s not going good. I always get so confused on what I’m passionate about and what I’m supposed to be doing. It’s also hard not to compare what you are doing to other people out there. What’s right for them, isn’t necessarily right for me. I guess it’s all just one big learning curve. Thanks for your encouragement.

  • that is such a cute picture of you! glad you are enjoying newlywed life. 🙂 treasure every little detail of it!

  • Turning 30 this year has made me realize how right you are. I’m totally embracing the things I left behind years ago in pursuit of my career and while I LOVE what I do, I also love all the other things I’m also good at and can’t wait to find myself.

    ♥ sécia

  • i love this picture. i always tell myself that i’ll be so happy when I know what i want to do, but for now i’m trying to enjoy dabbling in everything.
    ps. my sister and i have decided to both sign up for your new course. we are thrilled.

  • So true! I’ve been sewing since I was a kid and I’m still learning new things.
    I’m excited to see what you do next!

    ♥ Gina Michele

  • Elsie,
    I found your blog about 6 months ago. It has really inspired me to rethink my life and goals a bit. I’ve been in some tough times regarding where I want my life to go and I took it off track for a bit. Now I am back, considering business school and starting a blog and online shop to connect with other like-minded people in the world further than the realm of the town I grew up in.

    I’d really like to thank you for your encouragement. Sometimes people need a boost and its hard to find that, but you have provided quite a bit inspiration to me in these past 6 months and I just want to say THANK YOU for inviting me to search out my dreams rather than settling for some accepted path for my life. Little by little I feel I can figure it out. And that means the world to me to hear bits of encouragement and advice from good people who have been there.


  • I don’t think you realize how much you inspire young women like me to follow my dreams. It seems like things are taking forever in going the way that I want them to go and it’s so hard sometimes to keep on going when everyone else is telling you something else: to go for a path with more money or more “success”. But, what they don’t realize is that I want to be happy with my choices and follow my dream.

    You are complete inspiration Elsie Larson, thank you.

  • This is just what I need right about now! I’m about to jump into college as an Art major and several people think it’s not such a great idea. Thanks for letting us all know that sometimes it may take a little while to get ‘there.’ It takes awhile to get to that point where all the pieces and your craft come together. I’m about to begin my journey and I’m appreciative of your kind words! <3

  • Thanks a lot, Elsie. These words were just what I needed to hear tonight.
    I’ve been struggling a lot lately with my life. Long story, it’s just that I didn’t find the place where I belong in work life yet, but I really hope I’ll do someday.

    Here’s to a happy rest of the week.

  • So inspiring! thanks for always giving such positive words to those of us truly seeking out what we want in life. 🙂 -Lo

  • Thanks for the great advice! I’m always searching for what exactly it is that I want to do, trying new things and figuring out what I love and what’s not for me.

    I was an accessory designer at a clothing company, but got married and moved to Hawaii and since then have been at a loss as to how to satisfy my creative desires. I have tried several different things (including wedding invitations) but am still experimenting. Sometimes I get discouraged, but I need to remember to enjoy the journey! I will get there someday.

    Thank you for being such an inspiration!

  • This is exactly the kind of encouragement I need to hear at this time where I am starting to break into my own business. Thank you!

  • This was much needed encouragement!! 🙂 You are so inspiring. Your talent, positivity, and sweet nature are rare.

  • I liked this post Elsie, and then was really moved by some people’s really sweet comments. I love the effect you have on people, that’s what really makes you stand out!

  • So happy that you and the hubs are in a good place. I have few complaints in life, except that I have no idea what I’m doing with it! I’m going to figure it out and make it happen, though!

  • So I’ve been feeling a little lost with my design career and my cooking passion and your posts make me feel inspired and a little less afraid, I think you’re a great role model, I love how you follow your dreams and also love your enthusiasm. Keep on dreaming and making great things. Greetings from México! (I’m a big fan of yours!)

  • Thank you so much for this post. I am at such a standstill in my life and I am not sure where I want to go. I have an education and I am in the medical field and I love everything about my job, however…I am not feeding my creative soul. I am a musician and a crafty person but I have never seen myself making a career out of it. But I am at a point where I feel like that is what will make me happy. I am just having a really hard time seeing the puzzle pieces and if they will even fit together. I guess you could say I am having a quarter life crisis..haha. I must tell you, you and your websites and blogs have had a hand in my questioning. I love what you do and how you do it and you are such an inspiration. I am stepping back and looking at my life and thinking..just do it..go for whatever I want to do (within moderation of course) dont worry what others think. Just do what makes me happy. So again, thank you for being such a fun person to follow! You have shown me that being yourself is something that perfectly fabulous and cool in every way! Stay awesome!!!

    P.S. I adored your wedding style!!!

    ~Helena from Georgia

  • you, my dear, are so incredibly inspiring. I’ve been following your blog for like 2 (or maybe more..) years now and every post reminds me of how I need to not give up on my dreams..I just need to be patient and put in hard work. thank you SO much for sharing everything you do on the blog (and hopefully some day I can make a road trip out to your store and thank you for all the inspiration in person)!

  • wow thank you for the advice! i really really appreciate it. i am exactly at that point of development. it’s nice to be conscious of it xx

  • This post was perfect! I think it’s so important to pursue your passions in life and to work hard at attaining them- love this inspiration!

  • Awesome little post! It’s a matter of having patience and being persistent..things never happen over night, there is a lot of work to be done!

  • Thanks for this encouraging post! I feel like I’ve been on such a journey trying to run my own creative business. My plans and goals have developed and changed significantly as I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. I still feel like I’m a long way from achieving my goals, but they are clearer than ever and I feel excited about the journey ahead. Thanks for always being so positive, encouraging and inspiring!

  • Exactly. I am finally in my niche and pursuing it whole-heartedly. Feed the Birdies Vintage is now open on Etsy, and doing well with the first little bit of merchandise. I even shipped a vintage Dymo to an office of casting companies in Beverly Hills. That made me squeal! LOL! 🙂 Maybe it will show up on Mad Men or Pan Am. Still love Red Velvet and hope I will be back in Springfield to shop soon. I need new teacher clothes. 🙂

  • Thanks for the good advice you’ve said. It really inspired me on my future plans. Don’t rush the learning process, that’s quite true. Don’t be in a hurry, enjoy it and I’m sure you will learn from it and you can charge it to your experience.

  • Thank you Elsie for the constant inspiration you provide to all your loyal readers and the encouragement to aspire to that thing they most desire. I can attest to being one who is still learning their ‘craft’, though with each hill climbed there is another mountain 😉

    I often visit just to dive back through your journey and am truly thrilled that you have got to this point. With a forever companion at your side like Jeremy, together I know you will make all your dreams come true.

    Love always, B


  • THank you for this, it’s a great encouragement – so pleased to hear youenjoying married life, looks like fun! I love your blog 🙂

  • Thanks for the good advice you’ve said. It really inspired me on my future plans. Don’t rush the learning process, that’s quite true. Don’t be in a hurry, enjoy it and I’m sure you will learn from it and you can charge it to your experience.

  • Thank you Elsie (and Caiti for her Ira Glass comment too). I also really needed those words today (it’s kind of creepy how fitting they were to my struggles today…actually brought me to tears). You have encouraged my heart when I truly needed it. thank you


    I feel like i’ve been going in circles for the past three years… I know that I am a creative person, but I haven’t yet found what really makes me tick… My boyfriend is a musician and all my friends are super crafty and arty, but I feel like I still have to find my place in this world.
    You’ve made me stop and breathe for a second.
    I would never give up the three tough years of being at University, trialing and testing each path, but I have never grown so much in all my life. In this searching I have found so many treasures.

    Thank-you for the peace that I needed.

  • ummm i actually just want to know how you did the colored scribble background on your picture… the post was great and heartfelt, too! im just obsessed with the scribbles.

  • Thank you for your post! After designing/making custom invitations for 9 years, I feel like I should be so much farther. Only in the last couple months though have a I been really thrilled about my designs. Guess I needed to get the rest of my life in order to make it work better.

  • As i head back to school to do my masters in english literature – this could not be more truthful – and inspiring. It does take time to learn, and grow in the field you love. Whether it’s hands on skills, or mental ones.

    Good luck, and i’m sure you’ll do well at acheiving your 100% goal

  • thank you for this.. i’m 18 and i don’t know what i want to do. all i’ve been trying to do is get better at drawing and photoshop, but i feel like i have to rush myself in order to get anywhere, this post made me see that i have plenty of time, and the more time i spend carefully bettering myself, the better i’ll be in 5 years time..

  • I feel like I’m starting on a whole new adventure with my new store, one that’s going to last me my lifetime! i’m on the tip of the iceberg, I guess, stylistically. This post is so true, these things take time. You have an insane ability to not only think about what you want in life but also rationally figure out how to actually get where you want to be!

    oh and also. PS. thank you so much for checking out my blog. 🙂 I love blogging because of all the connections you can make with other crafty ladies! But anyway, I know you have a really busy schedule and such, so thanks for taking the time out to comment back! <3 Linda

  • I took a huge risk yesterday and quit my incredibly boring but steady paying, benefits receiving, 401k saving job in order to chase my non paying dream. I’ve felt stuck in this dead end corporate job for 4 years and was just waiting for a sign of hope. Your words are so uplifting and an excellent reminder that there is no right or wrong road to our dreams. But we learn and grow stronger through the challenges that we face. Thank you! This is just want I needed to hear today!

  • This is so inspirational. My boy friend, whom I just moved in with, just got a very large raise at work and I can’t help but wonder whats next for me?! Life is too short to be unhappy with your job or even the city you live in. Thank you for this sweet post, you are completely right.


  • Thank you so much for this. I am currently in a place where I feel anxious about how much time I need to work a job that’s not creative before I’ll find a way to make my creative life pay the bills. But this post reminded me that I’m not wasting time as long as I’m still developing my style, my talents, and having fun with it.

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. As always, you are a real inspiration.

  • Thank you! I didn’t know how much I really really really needed that. I have yet to dabble in this business but thats because I haven’t found my niche. I’ve been struggling actually and it helped me breathe a little to know that there are so many other people out there feeling the same way. Thanks so much for your true words of encouragement.

  • I think the learning process through anything ( a cooking recipe, working with a new medium, life! ) is such an important stem/journey that gets over looked. failing and learning go right along with it. thanks for encouraging others and sharing your story. -ellery

  • It’s good to see this information in your post, i was looking the same but there was not any proper resource, than now i have the link which i was looking for my research.

  • feeling encouraged (and validated!) for all the time it took me to get where I am. thanks for this post, elsie. hit the spot 😉

  • I love this picture, and I love the editing! 🙂

    And your post is really encouraging too…feel like I am just realizing how I need to let myself pursue the artistic side of…ME!

  • I heart this post. Very inspiring and I couldn’t have read it at a better time. It’s good to be reminded to take things step by step. xo

  • Even if you are the only one who wants to save your troubled marriage you can do it alone once you know what you need to do. So, relax, take a deep breath and let’s get started with some things you can do to get started on saving a troubled marriage.

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