Craft Night | Video

Last week I hosted a small craft night with a few ladies. We drank champaign and made stickers, buttons, and ornaments. I love those nights, casual hanging out with a sort of goal, no need to have the television on, it was nice. I hope you enjoy my little film about it.

Do You Wanna Collab? | The Struggle of a Shy YouTuber

October 26th 2013 This is a topic I've been dealing with for the last three years; 'collabs' or collaborations between YouTubers.  I've always loved collab videos, the idea that you can get together with another creative person and make something together, regardless if you live in the same city or not. One of my early collabs was fantasy storytelling with someone on the other side of the country. [Don't Forget the Forest] I just love it when others share my passion and we get to do what we love together. (Like cosplaying with a group, or co-writing a fan fiction.) In fact I have an entire series on my channel where I just bring on a friend and we have an unscripted chat...because it's fun.

My current YouTube channel was started shortly after I got my job at Maker Studios. That's when I learned about 'cross-promotion.' The idea of cross-promotion or cross-pollination is promoting each other by collaborating. Makes sense, of course you're going to plug each others' channels, it's the nice thing to do; introducing your audience to them and theirs to yours. For me that was always the icing on the cake, but never the main reason for doing a collab. I just wanted to work with other creative people like I remember doing in film school. However, the longer I worked in the industry of online video, the more and more I saw that sometimes the promotion came before the creative. In business you make those choices. YouTuber X has the same interests as YouTuber Y, they have a similar subscriber number, they should collab.

Shouldn't the idea come first? I was learning that that was not always the case.

So here's my story, I have a teeny tiny channel but I'm working alongside some big names in the YouTube world, the temptation is always there. Just ask them to collab, you'll regret it if you don't! I'm a very shy person, so honestly asking a new friend out to lunch is hard enough...but asking a popular YouTuber to collab with me...even though we've worked alongside each other for months...It's just too much.  Hey, wanna collab? I respect you as a creator but I'm really asking so that your viewers will check out my channel. I knew that no mater what I really said that's what they would hear. So sleazy. So yes, I may have missed a lot of opportunities due to my paranoid shyness and self doubt, but at least I didn't feel like a complete jerk.

But what about my YouTube-y friends who are ready and willing to collab even though we've never hung out in setting that did not revolve slightly around the industry and YouTube? What of them? Is collaborating with that crowd desperate or completely normal? Is it the obvious next step or a path to fakeness. I'm not sure I have it figured out.

It's hard making friends with other YouTubers (especially ones with higher audience numbers than you) without feeling a little like a jerk when you ask to collaborate. (Even if you really do want to create something awesome together.) Awesome like tag video?!? That's just lazy cross-promotion and nothing more. Is it though? What if we just like making videos and want to do it together because that's what friends (even new friends) do? Am I just making excuses?

In the next few months I plan on doing a few collabs with people I've hung out with less times than fingers on one hand. I'd be lying if I said cross-promotion was not slightly on my mind. However, I only want to do collabs with people I like, people I enjoy hanging out with the few times we have, people who's videos are videos I love watching and want to be apart of. Am I a heartless business drone, or just an honest lover of online video and want to share my passion for creation?

Tomorrow I'm uploading a video featuring me and three other YouTubers, the context is not YouTube or industry related at all but of course I'm putting their names in the video title. I'm curious of what people will think of that, what those three women will think of that. I like hanging out with them and this is the first time I decided to vlog at the same time since the subject material was relevant to videos on my channel.

I was inspired to write this post after watching FranJustFran's video that touched on collaborations, I'll be honest with you, I saw the title of her video in my subscription feed and was afraid to watch it at first. I thought the video would make me feel guilty. It actually just made me feel different from Fran. She feels most comfortable talking to her camera alone in her bedroom whereas I feel creatively charged when I work with others. (The opposite of my social life I might add, being mostly an introvert.) Neither is better or worse than the other. Just different.

Tiny Desk Concert - Behind the Scenes | The Long Holidays

This past weekend I helped out The Long Holidays film their Tiny Desk Concert for the NPR Music contest. They played 4 songs and the one we submitted was The Only Street in LA Where it's Fall. Watch the full video here! Don't forget to check out their YouTube channel and subscribe if you like what you hear! Huge thanks to Bob and Andrea for all your help!

It's Hip to be Square

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Outfit Details
Sweater // thrifted
Leggings // Target
Boots // hand me down
Necklace // handmade by Jim's little sister Julianne
Ring // The Getty Museum (Photography section)
Glasses // Zenni Optical

So this is how I dress to work every day, basically. I'm not the coolest kid and I clearly dress for comfort. I don't really know why it is but I only ever like to get dressed up during the weekends or if there's a particularly fun thing happening after work that day. I guess I emit this because during our department gift exchange I got a blanket. A comfortable, I'm defiantly curing up on the couch watching Netflix, blanket. I guess it's just funny how different weekday Jenny and weekend Jenny are. I wonder what my life would be like if I was self employed. Anyways, I hope you enjoy my quadrilateral primary colors outfit pared with the squarest of my glasses. Perhaps I'll get a little fancier for my next OOTD, we'll see.

Magic Cat Doodles and Nerdy Monsters

This year I have started drawing little magic cat doodles on every order I mail out from my shop, Nerdy Monsters. So far there've been three and I'm documenting them all on my Nerdy Monsters Instagram account. What is a magic cat, you ask? Well for the most part they appear to be normal cats, just with magical abilities. Not much else is known...yet, but I do believe they come from the same land as the nerdy monsters themselves. More research is being done. In the mean time, follow the Instagram or order from the shop to find more. As time goes on, the doodles might get more elaborate and their story might get revealed.

Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block | Book Review NO SPOILERS!

The first book I read this year was Pretty Dead by Francesca Lia Block. It's my first ever book review video! How'd I do? Any tips? Have you read this book?

2015 Goals

1. Get Married!!!
Most excited for this huge life change and the awesome party we are going to throw. It's my favorite goal this year and the one I know I'm gonna meet. Um duh.

2. Visit the California Science Center
I need to make sure I do it this year!

3. Visit the MOCA.
Same as above!

4. Read 25 books.
I think this might be the year for me. I've never successfully completed this goal in the past but I'm really going to give it my best this year. (Even if that means watching less TV shows)

5. Make new Etsy business cards.
My Etsy shop did great this year and it's clear the people want my feminist buttons more than my plushies. Plushies are not going away but I want my business cards to reflect more of a variety of my products.

6. Treat my blog more like a business and my YouTube channel less.
This blog and my YouTube channel are tow of my 'jobbies' and I enjoy taking them slightly more seriously than a regular hobby. Over this past year though I have come to accept that my YouTube channel is more on the hobby side and my blog is more on the job side, not in terms of success but in terms of how comfortable I feel about monetization and brand deals and taking that next real business step. True I have ads on my videos but since I'm such a small channel anything more than that would not feel right. Blogs are a different story I feel, and when/if I get the opportunity to monetize more and turn one into something that more closely resembles a job, I'm going to lean towards this blog for that.

7. Assess what's important to me in life and remove the clutter.
I'll admit it to you right now, I am dangerously close to being called a hoarder. It's not a love of things per say, but a love of memories and to me things symbolize memories. It's a problem that I know I need to work on and this year I plan to take a large step and get rid of a significant amount of my possessions. I need to clean house. It's not going to be easy, there'll be tears, I'll hate it, but in the end it will be good for me. Life only moves forwards not back, it's time I start moving with it.

8. Organize my digital files.
So many hard drives, so many folders, so many screen caps and saved images and raw video footage. I need to really really get it all cleaned up and each digital file needs a purpose and a spot so I can find things for once!

9. Take a road trip.
I love driving with my Jimmy. (Well he drives and I navigate.) He's been itching to take a road trip lately and I think we might be able to swing it this year. Even if it's just for a weekend.

10. Honeymoon!!!
It might not be right after the wedding but it will happen! I'm so excited! We don't have anywhere planned yet, we're focusing on planning this wedding first, but we have a few ideas. Yay!!

What I Wore in 2014

My fashion blogging really took off in 2014. I experimented with: editing and no editing, lighting, shutter remote, having someone else take the photos, indoors, outdoors, and a lot of other factors. I enjoyed the journey and expressing my personal style, even if I did not meet my goal of a new outfit photo a month. Here's to 2015 being a year of more fashion photos and being me in what I wear.
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Paperback Swap Haul!

I did a Paperback Swap haul and showed off how the books typically are packaged.
Join me on Paperback Swap by clicking here! Also, watch my video explaining Paperback Swap here! Thanks for watching!

2014 Goals: Results

At the start of 2014 I made a list of goals, let see how I did!

1. JAPAN TRIP 2014!!  

It happened! Re-live it with me here: Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 | Day 9 | Day 10 | Day 11
Oh yeah, and when I was there I got engaged!!!

2. Visit the MOCA.

We did not get around to it again this year, but it's on next years list and we'll make it happen!

3. Premiere (at least) one new product per month on Nerdy Monsters.
Check 'em out! All listings have been renewed for the New Year so get 'em before they're gone!

4. Make new business cards. 
What do you think?

5. Double my followers on my blog and my YouTube channel.
Blog: 91 to 200
YouTube: 1k to 2k
I honestly stopped counting the blog followers about half way through the year. I'll count them when I update my ads page this month but it was not something on my mind. My YouTube subs are around 1.6k I think. I got a little sick of obsessing over follower numbers this year.

6. Doodle more.
I finished my super secret doodle project, I'll be sharing it with you soon!

7. Do the music thing.
I'm just not a musical person. I have far too many hobbies as it is. I'll leave the music making up to Jim and I'll stick to videos, writing, costumes, plushies, jewelry, hairbows, etc. ;P

8. Stop stressing about YouTube.
I think I did this. I love making videos regularly but I also realize that if I ever stop loving it I'll stop doing it. The strange thing is, though this year I stopped striving to be the next iJustine I also started to take my channel a bit more a way. I signed my channel to MakerGen, a faction of my company for smaller channels, and I did not really feel as much like a sell out as I thought I would. (In fact, this is the first time I've publicly shared the fact that I signed. *shrug* It's not really a big deal.)

9. Visit the California Science Center.
I feel like I've been here before as a kid but I could just be thinking of the Discovery Science Center which I know I've been to. Jim and I did not make it to this place last year but we are determined to do it this year!

10. More fun photo shoots & do (at least) one outfit post a month.
So I technically did not do one outfit post per month. (Do you know how much effort it is to set up lights and a tripod in the morning before work??) However I'm considering this half done since I really did make an effort. Next year I'll do even more!