Monday, April 1, 2013

I'd love for you to meet our Feature Sponsor! Val of Pretty Little Rough Patches (and a GIVEAWAY!)


What is your name and/or business and blog name and your age range, if you'd like to share?

I'm Val, and my blog is Pretty Little Rough Patches.  I turn 36 on May 7th.


 What do you do? ...and when did you start?

I began my blog in January 2007.  That year was the first in six that didn't find me wrestling with depression and anxiety issues, so starting the blog was a way for me to say, "I'm still here, and life is still good."  My very first blog entry, "Chickenpox," speaks to that and to the healing powers of love and creativity. I try to honor both the happy and heartbreaking things in life with words when I'm able.  Off-line, I work full-time helping kids and families, and I come home to my husband and our cat, "Stuffed."  


What/Who are you inspired by?

Oh my gosh, so many things and so many people. To name just a few:  Nature. Other peoples' acts of kindness. My grandfather and so many people of his generation and who did what they had to do and did it without whining. The book Alex: the Life of a Child by Frank Deford. The song "I Do" by Jude.  Laura Ingalls Wilder.  J.K. Rowling.  Anyone who turns grief or hardship into something that's beautiful or helpful to others. Simple and pretty cakes. Beautiful writing. Cozy homes. My friend Marylou is inspiring me a lot right now because she's a single mom of two young (and always-on-the-go) kids and will be earning her second Masters degree next month! I'm inspired by everybody out there who really lives life and tries to make it richer and sweeter for others along the way too.  



Where do you create? home studio? kitchen table? sofa?

I like to write in longhand at my kitchen/dining table and then type at the desk.  When I'm in the middle of a decorating project in the apartment, everything is everywhere and it looks like I just moved in.  :)

 What are some of your fave movies/shows/bands/music?

I love “Twin Peaks” and “The West Wing.” Music-wise, way too many to name, but I’ve had the song “Mountain Sound” by Of Monsters and Men on repeat-play a lot lately. I love The Cure like an old friend, and I have a bit of a crush on (Fleetwood Mac’s) Lindsey Buckingham.  :)  Little Miss Sunshine, The Big Lebowski, and Planes, Trains, and Automobiles always make me howl with laughter. Ordinary People is brilliant. Before Sunset, Peggy Sue Got Married, and Little Women (1994 version) are favorites. I could go on and on with music and movies.  :)

Do you collect anything?

I have an ever-growing flock of birds hanging in one window. I have saved almost all the personal mail I've ever received. I find it hard to pass up snowflake ornaments when I see them, especially crocheted ones. I have clipped inspirational pictures (homes, gardens, baked goods, outfits, ideas, etc.) from magazines and saved them in scrapbooks since I was 13. I love little colored glass bottles and use them as bud vases on windowsills. I've been saving favorite quotes since I was 12 or so. I have Daffodils, red hearts, and pink Roses all over my home, so I suppose I collect those too.  



Favorite art/craft supplies?

Notecards, stationery, and stickers. I have hundreds of framed photos of loved ones, so I *should* say picture frames--but no certain brand as I find so many at thrift shops. And I love looking at gift-wrapping supplies. One of those crazy "fill-your-cart-in-60-seconds" shopping sprees in a stationery store would be a dream-come-true for me.  :)




 Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I'm currently in the process of submitting a finished memoir to publishers, so ideally, I'll see that book in print in the next five years. I've been writing a collection of memoir-pieces about growing up in the 1980s too. I hope that in the next five years I accomplish my goals of learning to ice skate and swim--and then to surf! I hope my friend Marylou and I have taken our long-planned trip to Paris by then, and if I can get my act together, I'd love to be able to run my first full marathon in my late 30s or 40s. I want to learn to make the crocheted granny square afghans and pillows I love so much too.  :) I have a bunch of goals, but those are some of the big ones.  

Three favorite websites/blogs/shops...etc?  

Posy, Susan Branch, and Amazon always make me happy.  

 Anything else you'd like to add? 

I'm just thrilled that it's SPRING! I'm looking forward to a bunch of things in the next couple months so will have a lot of happiness to share on my blog this season.  :) Easter evening, my husband and I are attending a Green Day concert. In mid-April, we're visiting our old college town for a couple days for our 2-year anniversary. I'll get to visit my family soon, something I don't get to do as often as I'd like.  My dad built us a (fireplace) mantel for our anniversary that I'll be dolling up this next month. My in-laws are celebrating their 50th anniversary soon.  My birthday and Mother's Day are fast-approaching. . . .This is just a sweet time of year that's full of love and gift-giving and creative projects. Hopefully, my little giveaway here makes it a sweet time for someone else too. Thank you, Jenny and everyone!  :)

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Ok guys...isn't Val an absolute doll?!! And in case you haven't already fallen in love with her...here's a taste of just how incredibly generous she is! This is a fab GIVEAWAY she has put together for One Lucky reader! She gathered all of these super sweet and thoughtful gifts just to show her appreciation for you guys taking the time to get to know her a little better. 

In Val's own words here's a list and description of all the wonderful things included in this giveaway:


I decided to go with a "Celebrate life and love" kind of theme for my giveaway, so I've just been collecting a bunch of things that represent the sweet life to me--and hopefully to your other readers.  :)  The winner gets a kind of "year of parties/celebrations/kindnesses in a box" this way.  :) The giveaway prizes for the winner are:

Celebrations keepsake book by Susan Branch (a vintage copy) If anyone knows how to celebrate all things big and small, it is darling Susan Branch!  I love her and love this little party/special get-together journal-ish book.
One Good Deed a Day:  A Journal by Chronicle Books ~  to encourage and record random acts of kindness :)
Little Women by Louissa May Alcott ~  This is one of my all-time favorite books, and this edition features the most charming embroidered-look cover artwork and an introduction by film director Jane Smiley.
A sweet pink "Keep Calm and Have a Cupcake" bookmark designed by Jenny and Aaron of Everyday is a Holiday  ♥
a roll of 100 birthday stickers
a package of sheet music gift tags made by etsy seller Bebe's BowForHerTags shop
a "Life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful" magnet
a roll of 36 "Baked Fresh" labels
16 vintage paper roses candy/nut cups or cupcake liners, new in package
12 plastic New Year top hat picks (great for cupcakes--or cheese cubes and other appetizers)
12 Chinese New Year cellophane treat bags
4 ounce jar of heart sprinkles (pink, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and white hearts)
2 sheets of Valentine/cupcake stickers
144 Mardi Gras flag picks
200 silk shamrocks (to sprinkle onto a tablecloth or buffet or include in a greeting card)
18 Easter beverage napkins
a roll of 100 Earth Day stickers
8 "fiesta" invitations with envelopes (for Cinco de Mayo or anytime)
a small booklet of Mother's Day stickers
24 paper floral place cards
a diploma/graduation chocolate mold (use to make diploma-shaped chocolates or flavored candies with candy melts)
a small booklet of Father's Day stickers
2.6 ounce bottle of red, white, and blue star sprinkles
a package of red, white, and blue America/4th of July stickers
24 paper Halloween witch-silhouette place cards
12 Halloween pirate-skull cellophane treat bags
2.2 ounce package of autumn leaf sprinkles
24 Hanukkah to/from gift tags
2.4 ounce pearly white snowflake sprinkles
a roll of 36 "The Christmas Bakery" labels
a small vintage red heart-shaped tin
2 sheets of red heart stickers
approximately 50 vintage illustrated postcards (various designs:  Thank you, thinking of you, get well soon, happy birthday, time for a coffee break, and many more)  ~  It costs only 33 cents to mail a post card in the United States--a great way to keep in touch with loved ones.  :)
a 4" square cream and black "Life is a special occasion" (a motto to live by, if ever there was one ♥) sign handmade by Lynn of the etsy shop sawdusted
A hand-embroidered "Be kind" ♥ felt stuffed heart ornament handsewn by Tara of CarlileCreations on etsy
And a darling miniature pink and black sign for you or your dollhouse that reads "Celebrate the Sweet Life" ♥ handmade by Katie of the etsy shop Katie's Clay Corner

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If you'd like a chance at winning all of these lovely things all you have to do is leave a comment below! And be a follower of both Everyday is a Holiday and Pretty Little Rough Patches! That simple! I'll be picking a winner at random this Sunday (April 7)!

Ok, it's Jenny, and I've switched back to regular type...sorry if the BOLD was a strain on your eyes. ; ) As far as blogging goes, Feature Spotlights are really a highlight for me. I love the long form interview format because it provides the perfect forum to get up close and personal with someone as sweet, kindhearted, and inspired as Val.
For me, blogging is all about sharing...and I plan on sharing a whole lot more in the coming weeks and months...BIG plans. And I'm thrilled to share this fabulous friend of my blog, and blogs in general. When Val sent me the above pic...and then when I read the details of her giveaway I was floored! Beyond the sheer quantity, what hits me the most is how much thought and care went into the shopping and the gathering...all for an unknown recipient! But the winner won't be unknown for long...they're soon to be a commenter and a follower...and this little network of sharing will grow even more!

Thanks so so much again for reading! I'd be so thrilled if you were to visit Val's blog and share the love!
xo, Jenny


19 comments:

  1. I am a follower of your blog already and now a follower of Val! Both via mail and Bloglovin' What an amazing blogger! I can't wait to read more of her stuff.

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  2. Val has a kind heart, generous spirit and a joie de vivre that is both inspiring and uplifting. I wish her much success in all her endeavors.

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  3. Love this! Thanks for sharing! <3

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  4. Oh Wow! What a generous giveawy from Val! I love her blog too! She is so sweet! I follow you both via email
    keshakeke(at)gmail(dot)com

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  5. Loved this post Jen and thank you for the intro to Val's blog...another lovely and inspiring place to visit..
    xoxo

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  6. I love finding new blogs like Vals....I can't wait to read more of her blog. I too started blogging to get out of a rough place and re-ignite my creative fire. Thanks for putting the spot light on her Jenny. I have been a follower of yours and now am a new follower to Val!

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  7. AWESOME! I am following both blog!

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  8. Wow thanks for sharing Val with us!! She is so cute!! Love her style!! I follow you already and now Val too!! What a giver she is!! Lookin forward to checkin out her blog more!! Thanks so much for the chance to win this blessing!! XOXO Love Fran.

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  9. I'm following both of your blogs by bloglovin'. And thanks for introducing me to Val. And I really hope I win the giveaway.

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  10. So nice to meet you lovely Val!!

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  11. Hi Val, Great to meet you! Interesting blog. Hope everyone had a great Easter/Passover.

    Tina
    aurathentic@gmail.com

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  12. oh dear-i think i may have deleted my 1st comment :/ here goes again.... i will follow val's blog as soon as i finish leaving this comment, and i have been following your's for a few months now. (i hope it's okay that i do so via email) Val is a real GEM! thank you for sharing her with us. she has taken the word generous to the next galaxy!!! my goodness-what an assortment of treasures! toodle loo - am off to visit and follow VAL/Pretty Little Rough Patches. ^_^

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  13. Pretty Rough Patches is a downright charming blog & I am more than happy to follow Val along! Thanks for bringing her to our attention~*

    http://myprettylittleroughpatches.blogspot.com/

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  14. What a great article. Reading it helps you understand why she is such a generous person. I would be in heaven if I won this giveaway! I follow both of you by email.

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  15. :) I'm following both of you girls. <3

    Love,
    Sarah
    Bloominwild89@yahoo.com

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  16. Love you both and read our blog everyday. Can't be a follower of either until I get my computer back. Still would like to be considered for the giveaway and hopefully tomorrow I get my computer back and will follow both blogs. Thanks,

    Kimberly Budash
    kimberlybudash@yahoo.com

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  17. Okay, now a follower of both of your blogs via e-mail, just registered. Please enter me in the drawing, I have been readyh Everyday is a Holiday for a long, long time now and have just added Pretty Little Rough Patches to my list of reading, looks like a great blog. thanks for the chance to win some awesome stuff. Even if I don't win, I still win by reading both blogs. thanks,

    Kimberly Budash
    kimberlybudash@yahoo.com or
    kbudash@ameriserv.com

    Thanks!!

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  18. Such a generous giveaway!! Following you both via GFC and Bloglines. (mer.marty@yahoo.com)

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  19. I started following Everyday is a Holiday after I read one of your blogs after Hurricane Sandy. I am so happy to see all that you have rebuilt and love your spirit you put into everything you do. I am also following Pretty Little Rough Patches now too, via email: supersaver@1scom.net

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Thanks so much for reading! We absolutely love to hear from you guys...so please leave a comment if the mood strikes you, or if you have any questions for us about a recipe, project, art supply , paint color, etc. Don't panic if your comment doesn't appear right away...we moderate all comments to avoid getting tons of spam. Thanks again!!
xo Jenny & Aaron