I had the pleasure of meeting the talented Danyelle Matthews from Dandee Designs at Alt several months ago and I instantly liked her. She is down-to-earth, inventive, well-balanced and I give special hat tips off to her for raising five young children while remaining an outstanding creative lady. Yah, she is pretty amazing and I think you will like her too...
First thing I liked about her right off the bat is this lovely quote she shares on her website --
"Woman was born to create...in creating she becomes herself, accomplishes her destiny. Her whole life is only an initiation into creative power. To create is not merely to produce a work...it is to give out ones own individuality." -Jeanne De Vietinghoff
Inspiring huh? During the month of May my quest was to highlight 'mothers of beauty' and Danyelle is one of them so I asked her to answer a few questions... (click to read more!)
B*E : What is your favorite part of being a mother of 5?
Danyelle : My favorite part of having 5 children is watching my older children interact with their younger siblings. When Oliver (just barely 2) wakes from his nap, the children race to his crib to try to get him out first. They love helping him put on his shoes, find his favorite book and swing in the backyard. There are ten years between my oldest son and my youngest but the bond they share is as fierce as the bond they have with siblings much closer in age. I'm convinced this is because of those little acts of service- given and received.
B*E: You have such a zest for life that shines through your blog and the capacity to share everyday pleasures in such a beautiful way -- What turned you on to blogging? As well as what got you excited about crafting in a modern way -- how would you describe your type of crafting?
Danyelle: I began reading blogs shortly after having my third child, Owen. Owen went through this stage where he only slept while being held so I read blogs and he slept in my arms. I began blogging myself because I was inspired + entertained by what I was reading and wanted to contribute to such a wonderful community. As far as my crafting style, I guess you could call it "deliberate crafting." I rarely sit down and think to myself, "I feel like making something" without having a game plan. Projects are pondered on for awhile before I ever begin to create them and they're very closely related to what's going on in my life.
B*E: What is the funniest thing(s) your kids have done or said that you are still laughing about?
Danyelle: My children make me laugh everyday, there really are so many things to choose from! One of the most quoted things came from Owen when he was 3. We were all outside and Owen found himself a lawn chair, a cup of water and sat down and declared "This is the lifetime!" Whenever my husband or I are feeling especially content we follow Owen's example and repeat his sweet words, "This is the lifetime!" It will forever bring a smile to my face.
B*E: What is your daily schedule/routine like and how does blogging and crafting fit into that while being a mother?
Danyelle: Most of my blogging and creating happens in the later evening hours after the children are snug in their beds. I feel most creative when the house has gone to sleep and all that I hear is my music choice for the night. Routinely, days begin at 7:00 am. We get ready, out the door and have the older children to school around 8:30 am. From that point I like to go to the gym and run any errands before picking up my kindergartner. In the afternoons we have lunch, play outside for a bit and put the little ones down for naps. Early evenings are a blur of sports practices, music lessons, home work and dinner. With a little housework and laundry thrown in for good measure. :)
B*E: How do you find or at least seek after balance? What keeps you centered?
Danyelle: For me, staying balanced means keeping my passion/need to create and my responsibilities as a wife and mother in check. If I neglect one, I feel I'm neglecting myself and my potential. My faith and all it encompasses reminds me of that potential and keeps me the most centered. In addition to that, I've been carving out time to write in a personal journal. Not on a computer or an iPad, but an actual pen and notebook. Most days it's just simple thoughts or impressions, a line from a book or song that stuck with me, or a quote I happened upon. The few minutes I spend a day with that notebook have done wonders for my sense of clarity.
B*E: What qualities in your own mother or women around you do you admire most?
Danyelle: For as long as I can remember my mother has gone out of her way to make those around her feel special and loved. Everyday I think of her example of selfless service and strive to do the same.
Thanks for sharing a bit of your beautiful world with us Danyelle! Pop on over to Danyelle's blog: Dandee Designs to see some of her great deliberate crafts like the ones shown above...