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Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Talk to Me Tuesday with Laurie Turk

With so many resources on the Internet offering tips and creative ideas, it is difficult to know where to begin. However, Laurie Turk, the woman behind the Tip Junkie, offers you a solution. The Tip Junkie inspires its readers by promoting blogger’s new and creative ideas. On Laurie’s site you will find amazing ideas, ranging from crafts and home d├ęcor suggestions to party and gift ideas. The Tip Junkie also promotes Mom-prenuer products, giveaways, and swaps. Through Laurie’s efforts, women are able to get a daily dose of creative energy and inspiration.

Laurie’s passion for promoting women bloggers and Mom-preneurers is evident in everything she does. Today, we take a moment to get to know the woman responsible for bringing together some of the best ideas in the blogosphere.

Q. From what I have read, the Tip Junkie blog will be celebrating its 2 year anniversary next month. Congratulations! What are you plans to celebrate this milestone?

A. I am really excited about the anniversary. I’m planning a Tip Junkie Birthday Bash with lots of prizes from Mom-preneurs, just like I did last year. I’m also currently having the Tip Junkie site redesigned, so that it will load faster with uber-fabulous new features. I would love to launch the redesign during the Birthday Bash. However, I’m not sure if it will be done on time.

Q. You are a woman on the go. You manage both the Tip Junkie and Executive Homemaker sites, as well as contribute to Creative Bliss. How do you manage? In other words, how do you juggle the demands of family, friends, blogging, and one of your true loves, throwing a great party?

A. Good question. To be honest, keeping up with my on-line admin responsibilities takes most of my time. I have several systems in place to maximize my efficiency, and I try to keep everything clean and neat. In real life, I do the laundry all in one day, I trade carpooling with the kids to their activities so I’m not a constant chauffer (or have my man do it - hehe), I don’t really talk on the phone (I’m more of a texter), and I don’t cook. I should really say that I’m a terrible cook, so I usually end up microwaving dinner. We also eat on paper plates, which means less clean up and more time for moowah! It’s those kinds of simple time saving techniques that give me extra time during the day.

Q. The Tip Junkie is one of four blogs that participates in the influential network, Chic Chick Media. How was this co-op initially formed and what do you collectively hope to accomplish in the future? The idea of women promoting women is truly fantastic.

A. Thanks! Chic Chick Media came about after I received a few e-mails from blogging friends announcing that they were going to start selling sponsored ads. I was planning on doing this myself, but about 6 months to a year down the road. I realized that if we didn’t work together, then we would be competing with one another. My love language is quality time, so I would much rather do something with a friend than by myself. I suggested to Cindy from Skip To My Lou and Kim from Today’s Creative Blog that we combine our readership and stats. We also invited the fabulous SITS girls to join us.

Chic Chick Media was later created from Cindy’s amazing brainstorm and my man’s web skills. However, we kept coming across the same problem over and over again; we wanted to promote women on a next-to-nothing marketing budget and give them a way to promote themselves to the masses. That’s how the Visit Our Peeps widget was born. Going forward, we have BIG plans for the women participating in the Chic Chick Media network. The widget is just the beginning. We’re developing cool and more efficient features every month.

Q. Spending time with your kids creating art is such a great way to connect as a family. Tell us about a project you recently worked on with your kids.

A. My boys really love art. I have been amazed at the power their art teacher has over them. {{Yep, I’m a bit jealous.}} My oldest son has won several 1st place awards all thanks to his art teachers who have not only inspired him to do his best, but also submitted his artwork to county fairs and to other local contests. I even decorated their cowboy bathroom around Davis’ armadillo picture he drew in Kindergarten.

Over the years, I have framed several of my kid's works of art, but ultimately wanted a wall to display their current pieces too. Our local craft store was having a ½ off sale on frames, so the boys and I framed a couple of their favorite pieces. Next, I bought two iron finials, grabbed some wire, and made a clothes line (so to speak) for their new art work. I also painted some clothes pins and attached robot stickers to the front of each of their drawings. I told the boys that if they completed their art work at school and did their best, then I would hang their artwork on their special art wall. Since then, the boys have brought home such beautiful pictures! I never would have guessed that it would further motivate them to create such masterpieces.

Q. What’s your creative outlet? How are you are able to make time for yourself and incorporate being creative in your own life?

A. To be honest, since my back surgery, it’s been tough. However, I have really enjoyed “project days” when my friends and I get together and each work on a project that we were trying to finish. I also work well under a deadline; an imminent birthday or upcoming event usually gets me motivated several weeks in advance to get those creative juices flowing.

Other women really motivate me to learn new techniques and try out new products too. In the fall, I’m planning to organize my own craft club or craft night out. Basically, it will work like a mini-class, so that when you show up, you’ll have your kit with everything you need to finish the project that night. Each person in the craft club will have their turn to host. This way I can learn something new each month, but not have to do all the work. {{evil laugh}}

Another creative outlet for me is painting. I find that when I’m stressed out, I paint. It may sound a bit weird, but it helps me to have complete control over something like the color of a wall. I am especially proud of my pink powder room. Since I have 3 boys, the color pallet in my home is a bit redundant. Therefore, I created an over-the-top girly bathroom. It has become my official time out spot when I get overwhelmed and a favorite bathroom in the house! I copied the towels to make the canvas artwork and my iron banister to make the scrolls near the ceiling.

Q. Do you have any favorite art projects that you recall from your childhood? Have you ever tried something similar with your own three boys?

A. When I was a kiddo, I liked to play bank, secretary, and boss my siblings around. {{cracking up!}} I wasn’t very creative. However, my Mom is an entirely different story. She can do anything from painting murals, to sewing wedding dresses, to decorating beautiful cakes, but was always busy making things for and serving other people. As an adult, I have made sure that I do things for my boys first. For example, my boys’ rooms are painted beautifully in their favorite theme.

We have had a great time planning out their rooms (they drew out the floor plan), ordering their accent pieces, and trying to plan it together.

Q. Do you have any specific tips that you typically offer to new bloggers? In your opinion, what is the ultimate goal for a blogger?

A. I think it depends. If you blog to gain traffic and a following, then my advice is always to be consistent and comment, comment, comment. Really get to know people on a “real” level and reach out to bloggers you look up to. The more genuine blogging friendships you make via e-mail, twitter, and blogging, the more success you’ll have. Networking with the right people is key.

If you are interested in reading more about creative women, check out Tip Junkie today. Laurie is featuring an interview between Francesca and Johanna Wright, a children’s author and illustrator. You may have heard of Johanna. Her debut book, The Secret Circus, is one of the prizes for the We Heart Art giveaway!
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Helene said...

Great interview!! She sounds amazing!!!!! She seems to have so much energy!!

Randi Troxell said...

i love this... and so creative too!

Whitney said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Whitney said...

What a fun interview! And I adore those bedrooms! Thanks for sharing!

Unknown said...

Wow! Thanks for the interview! Laurie is definitely doing something right!

Jo said...

This woman is totally inspiring. Expect for the part about being neat. But she had me at paper plates. I love paper plates.

The Blonde Duck said...

What a great interview! I was actually checking out her site this weekend, so I'm happy to meet the woman behind the site!

Amy said...

Wonderful interview. I hang out at her blog also. I love it.

AP Mommy said...

That's a wonderful interview - I've seen Tip Junkie's button all over the place and never really spent much time there. Now I think I will.

Kathy B! said...

She sounds amazing. I really admire women like her who have creativity and vision. Thanks for giving us this insight into her world.

Danyele Easterhaus said...

wow...and i love how normal she is! so fun and inspiring....now if i could get all the laundry done in one day and keep things clean. wow...things would def be much easier! have to give that one a shot.

Jennifer said...

Great interview! Thanks for introducing us to Laurie!

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. I'm blown away by all the nice comments. Thanks Ladies!

I'm SO going to bookmark this post and read it when I'm having a bad day! {{wink}}

How wonderful is the We Heart Art project in motivating us to get our kiddos invloved in also being creative. What an amazing project.

Kimberly said...

Wow! That was cool. I'm a little jealous though, cuz did you see those kid's room, SO CLEAN! I too, painted murals on my kids' bedroom walls, though you can't see them due to the many many many well, the crap they have stuffed in there!

Erin said...

Wow, that was a great interview. Thanks for sharing!

Megan said...

Ooh, how cool! Laurie is such a sweetie. And just wait until you see who is featured tomorrow! ;)

BonBon Rose Girls Kristin said...

Super interview! Very inspirational for us new bloggers!

Kristina P. said...

Francesa, I saw your comment on Peewee's blog, and I have officially rescinded my offer for you to be a guest speaker.

Favorite person on the Internet. Hmmph. I guess we will have to talk about you when I'm staying with her in NYC and eating Frrrozen Hot Chocolate at Seredipity.

Holly said...

Those kids' rooms put mine to shame. Sob!

Counselormama said...

Wow, she is truly inspiring!

Jen said...

I am really impressed with everything this woman has done. Great questions and some good advice on her part.

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