Tinkerlab is Everywhere! Sort of…

I’ve renewed my love affair with Google Plus. Are you over there? If you are, please seek me out! With that, I thought this might be a good time to let y’all know where you can find Tinkerlab around the social atmosphere. This will be a quick post.

A few words about our social media stamp: 

* Shoot me a hello and tell me that you follow this blog. I will love to hear from you!

* But keep in mind: I’m a busy parent and might not respond to you right away. Please don’t take this personally. My mom rarely gets a call back the same day she leaves me a message (I’m so sorry, mom).

* We go where you are. Is there something that we’re missing? Let us know and we’ll check it out.

Where to find Tinkerlab

Rachelle Doorley on G+

Rachelle on G+

Follow me on Google Plus, where I share tinkering ideas, craft projects, creativity inspiration, and science stuff. Oh, and occasional comic or photo of coffee. I adore G+, and would love to see you there.

Creative Kids Challenge Tinkerlab

I also moderate the Creative Kids Community on G+, and this week we’re hosting a Creative Kids Challenge.  Check out the link for more details!

Tinkerlab on G+

Tinkerlab on G+

Join Tinkerlab on G+, and you’ll get a good dose of creativity, art and science projects, and all things tinker-y. If you love Tinkerlab, this won’t disappoint you.

Tinkerlab on Facebook

Tinkerlab on Facebook

If you love Facebook, the Tinkerlab Facebook Page is the place where we share creative inspiration, giveaways, hands-on projects for kids.

Tinkerlab on Instagram

Tinkerlab on Instagram

Follow us on Instagram, where we share photos of easy art projects and inspiring bits of creativity. Also home to the Creative Table Project (follow us at #creativetable).

Tinkerlab on Pinterest

Tinkerlab on Pinterest

Follow us on Pinterest, where you’ll find some of our favorite artsy and kid boards: Kid Spaces, Art Recipes, Kids Art, Kids Science Projects, Sketchbook Ideas, and Art Studios

A question for you:

Where do you like to spend your social media energy? Which platform speaks to you?

Back From Blissdom

How was your weekend?

I’m back from a jam-packed weekend at the Blissdom Blog Conference in Nashville where I was lucky enough to room with one of my blogging heroes, Jean Van’t Hul of The Artful Parent. In case you were wondering if Jean is as awesome in real life as she is on her blog, the short answer is YES. Rather than share those embarrassing photos I threatened to post, this one captures us quite gracefully, I think.

jean van't hul and rachelle doorley

I learned a lot from another blogging hero, Tsh Oxenreider of SimpleMom.net, who talked about writing. Did you know it’s a no-no to use emoticons and exclamation points in a blog post? I rarely use them in my posts as it is, but if you don’t mind, I need to get them out of my system!! 🙂

Thanks. Okay, moving on…

Tsh also talked about working hard, and just how hard she has to work to accomplish her goals. She actually said, “you must work crazy hard.” But she also said you have to work “smart hard.”

Yes. I needed that. I’m the kind of person who will keep going and going until there’s nothing left in me. So I’m searching for ways to find my voice, get the work done, and then move on to bed, a yoga class, or away from my computer.

tsh oxenreider blissdom 2012

If you’re nerding out on this stuff, I also learned a lot about blog law from Sarah Hawkins and how to authentically brand yourself from Tami Heim. Both of these women are worth following!

And finally, Blissdom was like one great big 2+ day cocktail party with lots of hand shaking, blog recognition, and card exchanging. Exhausting! Oh, sh*t, there’s another exclamation point. Last one, I swear. While all of us shared blogging in common, the topics of our blogs were so diverse (homeschooling, fitness, homesteading, baby wearing, DIY decor, frugal living, fashion).

One of my favorite cards came from Allorahandmade. She attached a handmade rosette bobby pin to each card. Right on. And a lesson to the rest of us in branding and making ourselves memorable.

blissdom 2012 business cards

I’m energized by all the new ideas, but mostly I’m thinking about restructuring my work life to make more room for relationships and my own spiritual well-being. I’m tossing the term life balance out the window, and replacing it with a new model for finding peace. Peace is attainable, and it’s more realistic.

I can’t expect to do it all, but I can forgive myself if things don’t happen the way I want. We may not always eat a home-cooked meal. My house might not be as clean as I want. I’m just me, and there are only so many hours in the day.

Wishing you a peaceful day!

rats, there’s one more.

What words do you live by? Are you searching for life balance or making peace with where you’re at?

I’m heading to Blissdom!

packing for blissdom

I’ve been busy packing for a big trip to my very first social media conference! (Special thanks to my husband’s parents for taking my children to the park so I could make that happen!). I haven’t been to a conference since my pre-kids years, and look forward to soaking up some adult energy and making some new friends while developing my thoughts on how Tinkerlab might grow.

Hmmm, to say I look forward to this is sort of an understatement.

I’m sooooooooooooooo excited! Woo-hoo!

There are some great sessions that I’m dying to attend, like DO LESS as a Life Strategy (can I tell you how much I need this? And to be certain of just how much, I’m sure I’ll be taking copious notes while uploading photos to Instagram. Sigh).

But maybe the part I’m the most full of anticipation over is that I’ll be rooming with Jean Van’t Hul of The Artful Parent. We’ve become online friends through our blogs (see my interview with her here), but have never met before. Crazy, right? In the last year I became good friends with Jen from Paint Cut Paste, and I have to tell you how strange it is to first come face to face with someone from your online community. Have you ever experienced this? It’s like seeing a movie star, right? But then I know that weirdness will soon fade into familiarity, and we’ll hang out deep into the night like Jen and I do now 🙂 I promised Jean that I wouldn’t share any embarrassing photos of her next week, but maybe I’ll post a photo of us in our fancy clothes. What do you think?

business cards for blissdom

So my bags are almost packed and my business cards ordered. Thank you, Tiny Prints, for shipping them in one day!

But in the middle of all this excitement, it dawned on me that I’ll be away from my little friends for such a long time. I watched them chat and play last night at dinner and all of that cuteness overload made me want to pinch them and eat them right up. I know it’s just a few nights, but it’s hard to envision how it will be on the other side. I’ve only been away from my youngest for one night, and that was sort of a big deal, which seems to makethis a super big deal. We talked a little bit about how I’ll be on an airplane, but I’ll come back. She enjoyed this story, and I hope she can find a way to cope with the situation when she learns it’s more than just a story.

design table for the kids for blissdom

I set up an invitation for my kids to make and design things after I go. I’m sure this will be totalled within minutes, but it makes me happy to see it like this, ready for their ideas to take a physical form.

Although I’ll be away, I’ll still be here. Be sure to check back tomorrow for a fun roundup of creativity education ideas and resources that inspired me this week.

Have you taken any life-changing trips? How have you dealt with leaving your little ones behind?