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I’m closing out this week of blogging on a high note—with a Q & A profile of my friend Bella Q., author of a wildly popular blog that’s much too deep and creative to call a fashion blog.

Bella has built a real community of committed friends by sharing her space, promoting others and being interesting to know. She often includes fantastic photo collages like this one from Easter. (It makes her look like a goddess, don’t you think?) There are flashes of brilliance and artistry in every post, not just with her visuals, but also in luminous poetry and prose that’ll give you a daily literary snack, and when she has time, an entire buffet.

Like a moth to a porch light, I was drawn to Bella’s independent streak and her interest in shopping secondhand and remaining relevant after a certain age. These mutual preoccupations formed the beginnings of a friendship that’s now in full bloom—one where we both feel comfortable letting our hair down with each other. We’ve both weathered the learning cycle of online selling and have the scars to prove it. That only adds to our common ground.

And so, if you haven’t already added Citizen Rosebud to your follow list, do it now. Also visit Bella’s Etsy store, where she curates an exquisite/eclectic collection of vintage and revived fashion accessories and clothes, some of which she models at Citizen Rosebud.

Meet Bella Q., author of Citizen Rosebud

What do you think about aging? Is there anything that has surprised you about the age you are now?

Well, there are pros and cons to aging. If I had my wits of 48 and my ass of 28, it would be an unbeatable combo.

Do you talk to people seated next to you on airplanes? What’s the most surprising/notable thing you learned in these conversations that sticks with you?

Yes. I talk to almost anything that moves, but doesn’t move away. The most memorable airplane seat combo was during my singular trip to the UK. I sat next to a sweet British man, about my age. Turned out we both shared the same birthday. I also impressed him when I shared my itinerary. I was slated to visit Bath and London, but wanted to see if I could check out a small town called Rochdale. For me it had significance as it was where the first consumer cooperative was founded in the 19th century. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_cooperative_movement) He had grown up near there and said if you want to see the real England––not the tourist version, you would do yourself a favor by visiting Rochdale. He also said it impressed him that I was interested in that town. We then discussed the nuances of football/soccer fandom in the UK.

What cause do you care enough about that you would (or already do) donate your time to?

I would love to commit more time to a charitable cause than I do. Because at the moment I do zilch.

What’s your favorite beauty tip?

Beauty tip? Ah, I’ve got one: tell yourself you are beautiful beyond belief and then believe it. Works wonders on the eye areas.

What famous personality from the past has a personal style that you’re most drawn to wear yourself?

It’s so cliché, but I adore Audrey Hepburn’s style. Still looks fresh and classy. I’m not sure I wear things how she would have, but her personality inspired me to wear things a certain way—personally flattering with a focus on classic garments that always work.

Introvert or extrovert?

I’m a charming cocktail of both. I took whatever personality test one takes in college and I was an odd mix of both. I seem like an extrovert to many, but inside I’m very introverted and introspective—in an outgoing way, of course.

What’s the last good book you read and why did you like it?

I am now, thanks to the internet, sadly illiterate. Haven’t read a decent book in YEARS. I’m so ashamed of it—need to read less online I suppose.

If you have just five minutes to do something to care for yourself, what will you do?

Ok, this is going to sound a bit silly, but it’s cutting hearts out of scissors. I haven’t been my creative self unplugged since I went freelance five years ago. My creative juices get harnessed to work projects but they don’t get to “just play.” I am a terrible draw-er, but I love to cut paper into funny shapes, people, whatever strikes my fancy. So I’ve decided to spend a few minutes, when I ‘m in between things—like waiting for the printer to print things—to just grab my scissors and cut out hearts from scrap paper. It’s sort of meditative and it reminds me to not think of everything as a project or work. Play and acts of creation are important ends to means in and of themselves.

What’s the most challenging and the most rewarding part of maintaining a regular fashion blog?

This question is a tough one—not in coming up with the answer, but in saying it nicely. I love, love, love writing and blogging. But making money from it is tough. TOUGH. If I were to break down the money I make vs. time spent it would be pennies per hour. Now that I’ve got the pressure to earn a living, it’s so hard to stay focused. I have to earn my keep—and I can’t write all the things I want to write about (like other +40 bloggers and maintaining the +40 Blog Roll) I have to have the good sense to prioritize my time between making living vs. writing about things that interest me. Still trying to balance it. It’s difficult to admit that my blog or my blogging career doesn’t have the earmarks of a financial success–yet.

The rewarding part is not hard to name. It’s the amazing community and people I’ve “met” via blogging. Hands down, the best thing to come from blogging is the opportunity to connect with so many amazing people who share similar passions regarding personal style, fashion and secondhand shopping. Many, like you, I consider dear friends, even though we’ve not yet met. And I can’t believe my good fortune to have surrounded myself with so many quality and interesting people.

What are you doing as play, meditation and acts of creation? I’d love to hear what gets your creative juices flowing!

Life is short. Wear the good stuff.