About

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Hello friends!  My name is Dana (day-nuh not dan-uh), welcome to Wonder Forest. I've been blogging here since the summer of June, 2011. This blog is an expression of creativity, inspiration, and beauty. If you are new here,  you can check out my recap of 2013 here learn how to create something here, view some of my makeup tutorials and beauty loves here, see what I've been wearing here, view a gigantic list of all of my posts here, or if you are in need of some blogging tips and tricks, check out my brand new site here.

Now a little about me... I am a twenty-something year old idea-machine and live in one of the largest summer tourist spots in Ontario, Canada, right by the beaches of the Georgian Bay.  It is amazing here in the summer, but in the winter we are pretty much Eskimos. I have a design shop called Envye that I run full-time which is a place where you can pick up some premade Blogger or Wordpress templates and more e-goodies.

I am basically your unconventional neighborhood techy nerd girl who designs and builds things by day, and goes to bed thinking about what else I can create at night. I'm a serial creator and always have been!

Besides being a total nerd, I have always had a love for girly things like fashion and beauty. Makeup is my daily wearable expression of art, and some might even call my bursting messy closet an "artistic expression" too ;). I grew up reading Seventeen and duplicating makeup looks with the plethora of Elizabeth Arden cosmetics my grandmother would constantly give to me. (She was a die hard Arden fan, and actually worked for Elizabeth back in the day.) I've always said that if I hadn't found my path in graphic design, I would have become a makeup artist, hands down.


My favourites (at the moment)

TV shows: Homeland, Always Sunny, Bates Motel, Workaholics, New Girl, True Blood, Wilfred, Pretty Little Liars
Colours: Mint and turquoise
Clothing brands: Wildfox, Free People, 7 For All Mankind, True Religion
Makeup brands: Lorac, Kat Von D, Everyday Minerals, Mac, Rimmel
Food: Yorkshire puddings, cereal, bananas. Give me these and I could survive.
Movies: WAY too tough... I can never seem to pick one. Almost Famous is one of my all time top picks though.


The Job

I have been an entrepreneur since birth. I started my very first legitimate company when I was just sixteen years old.  As I grew into my twenties, it became apparent that the typical working world just wasn't for me. I eventually quit all of those time-wasting retail and service jobs to pursue a passion in web/graphic design and never looked back. I taught myself the ins and outs of the industry and decided to put my skills to work and build a corporation instead of attending college. The next 6.5 years were spent dedicating every ounce of energy into the success of my business, and most of all following my own rules. I was overwhelmed by that success and the fact that I had conquered what I had set out to do. I truly believe that anybody can accomplish what they want to if they simply try. This is what I love to encourage on my blog. You can read my entire "Building a Business" story right here.

I have done many things in life and have always been pretty business savvy. Like I said, I am a serial creator! I've done everything from clothing lines to online designer retail stores to band promotion services, and used to be pretty active in the music scene. My true love is digital design.

I work from home and own a graphic and web design company.  I have been in this industry for over 10 years now and have worked with everyone from small business owners to major recording artists... to people just like you!  I've also created the BlogGo iPhone/iPad app for blogging on the go, and a blogging e-book Blog Wonderful.

Basically, if you had to give me a title, I guess you could just call me a creator!


The Romance

I am engaged to an amazing guy named Dustin who is a U.S. citizen patiently awaiting his immigration paperwork that finally received his Canadian permanent residency!

We knew each other in the online world many, many years ago and would chat daily on AIM while we both worked away at our jobs.  I didn't think a thing of it at the time.  We were both seeing other people and didn't think of each other in a "romantic" way (even though he would consistently flirt with me!).  I even remember telling him I would never date him!  (By the way, you can read his side of the story here).

After a little while, some of those weird, funny feeling heart-shaped butterflies started forming in our tummies. How crazy! I had never even met the guy! We ended things with our current partners because both of our relationships were going nowhere.  

Then, one random spontaneous weekend, he told me he wanted to come to my house.  It was a crazy thought, but something in my heart told me that I HAD to meet this guy. I've never felt the need to meet someone so badly before.  Normally, I would have just said no, but those funny butterflies had me getting ready for his weekend arrival. 

I had never been so nervous!  It would take him 4 hours to arrive and when that time finally came, excitement took over.  I will remember this forever: Getting that call from him telling me he was at my building and slowly walking out of my door into the condo lobby.  There he was, just standing there, his bags in hand and guitar close by.  I lit up and immediately ran over to hug him! He told me later that he had thought about pulling a cruel joke on me... rolling his eyes and turning around to walk away when he saw me, hahaha.  I'm glad he opted for big smiles and a hug instead ;)

We spent that whole weekend together, and let me just say, there were FIREWORKS! :)  We were smitten with each other.  I felt like I had made the best decision of my life. Only there was one problem... he lived in the USA!  When he left I was so sad.  He did make a point of coming back every couple of weekends though. It was amazing... but at the same time it was torture because I never knew when I would see him next... and it hurt. I've never felt my heart hurt like that before. The desire to want to be with someone so bad and wanting them all for yourself.

As fate would have it, some situations took place that I'm sure all happened for the very reason of us being together.  He basically had no reason to stay in the States anymore and after only a few months, he left his life and headed to Canada. He was going to live with me. It was scary, and real, but so perfect.  I had never lived with anyone before... no roommates ever, just little old me... so it was going to be an adjustment, but a good one!  We fell in love and continue to write our story every day.

On Christmas of 2009 he proposed to me. It was probably the best Christmas gift I could have ever received!  We are still engaged and have yet to plan our wedding but we will get there eventually! (Check out our cheesy self-shot engagement photos here.)


The Family

We live together with our FIVE pets who we both love like they are our children. His crazy/psychotic sometimes-evil-yet-mostly-cute black cat named Matilda, my amazingly lovable cuddly maltese pup named Bear, the most ridiculously cute soft-spoken yet insanely goofy maine coon kitty named Nugget, Benny the homeless-no-more chatterbox who just would not stop showing up at our doorstep, and finally the little baby Oliver I found in our forest most recently.We are HUGE animal lovers in this house!


Art

Art has been a part of my life since I was born. I'm pretty sure I came out of the womb with a sketchbook in my arms. I grew up addicted to crafting and traditional arts, like painting, drawing, etc. and was known as an ‘artist’ by everyone who knew me. My public school walls are still covered with murals I did as a child. In my younger years around the age of 12 or so, I took cartooning classes because I always had a dream of working for Disney. I was also very active in craft sales and was always one of the youngest vendors (funny to think about now!). I went to a special school for the arts throughout high school also. Art has just been my way of life! I'd be lost without it.


a painting, and two digital tablet drawings.

I hope you enjoyed learning a bit about me. Why not tell me about yourself? If you would like to contact me, go here.
By Dana Fox Updated at: 1:40 PM

58 comments:

  1. I actually loved readin this..altho I knew a lot I was never really sure how you two met. I love the LOVE story :) Dustin's a very lucky guy! Love you both

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  2. Hope you get the immigration stuff all straitened out. I know how you feel...I moved to the States from Canada 5 years ago to be with my American citizen hubby....who I to met online lol.
    We were just up there in Ontario {near Barrie} a few weeks ago visiting my parents. I love it up there! Want to move back lol. :) Enjoy your summer! Alicia

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  3. This was very cool to read! I love meeting creative people and you my dear sound like a creative GENIUS!

    I have a Maltese too- Mollie. I love her to pieces! They're the best :)

    Thanks for you comment on my blog by the way! :)

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  4. You seem to be such a lovely person! I started following your blog about a week ago and I'm very excited to read about your life!

    You are such an amazing person with so much to offer the world.

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  5. cute cute cute kitties and puppy!!

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  6. I will have to keep you in mind when the time comes for me to redesign my blog. Unfortunately, I do not have the money right now, but someday, someday...

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  7. The hubby and I are thinking about moving back to Canada. I'm from Toronto..might send you an email about how long it took your fiancé to get his documents!

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  8. Hey Dana! Question: What types of photoshop actions do you use on your photos?

    I love the effect, and since I recently was given a Canon Rebel for my birthday, I'm looking to explore photography a bit more. Any tips?

    Thanks!

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  10. New visitor to your blog!...just wanted to say that I'm so inspired by your creative lifestyle. And i love your aesthetic as well! cheers from a fellow canadian! :)

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  11. I just found your blog via Pinterest and have fallen in love! I love all your arts and crafts and beautiful designs, pictures and all your DIYs. Definitely a new daily read!

    Allie Ruth Morris

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  12. I found your blog via bloglovin and I Love it and those tutorial really help alot!!

    Waiting your next DIY!!

    xoxo

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  13. So nice to "meet" you! When Dustin shared your blog with me the first thing I did was accuse him of lying and claiming some lovely blogtress as his own lol

    Happy to be here =D

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  14. This is a fantabulous about-me page! :)

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  15. Yay for Georgian Bay! I'm from Owen Sound :)

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  16. Um, okay, so these photos are GORGEOUS! Heh heh. Natural and stylish and fabulous! And I love your story with Dustin, aaaaall kinds of awesome: wishing you two oodles of happiness!

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  17. Love your About Me page! I'm currently working my way through your blogging ebook, it's so helpful :)

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  18. hey Dana, just wanna say both u and dustin look really cute together!! happy u guys found each other :) can't wait 2 see more blog entries. xx

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  19. You and your fella look so cute together and I love your little furbabies! :) You are totally an inspiration to me. I feel like some of the things you said you went about things....seems a lot like myself. I will hopefully be successful one day. :)

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  20. I found your blog through Zoella's layout credit at the bottom, but reading this made me feel a bit inspired and I just wanted to say that I totally love your style of design and this post! Great post. Usually About Me posts are short or concise, but this was like reading a story book, lol. Enjoyable.

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  21. I have been reading your blog for a while and just wanted to say that yours in THE BEST I've seen thus far. I love your variety of posts and as a newbie blogger, it's extremely inspirational! Thanks for sharing!
    -Allison

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    Replies
    1. aw thank you so much for the sweet words :)

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  22. you and dustin are just beautiful together :') i'm so glad to have found your blog! definitely bookmarking. xxo

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  23. So cute!!! Love to read how you met it is so romantic!!!! Also love your work!

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  24. I loved reading all about you and especially how you met your love...so romantic! I love your blog...thanks for being inspiring!

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  25. I loved reading your story and how you met your love...so romantic! I love your blog...thank you for being inspiring!

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  26. I adore your blog girl, so glad to stumble upon it! Bear is darling and very similar to my dear Maggie, see her here: http://velvetandvino.wordpress.com/?s=maggie&submit=Search

    You and I have much in commom....fashion, home design, love for animals and creativity! Look forward to following you. Hugs!

    http://velvetandvino.wordpress.com/

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  27. love that tom petty painting. <3<3<3

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  28. you are such an inspiration. starting your own business, living your own dream, you are awesome!! already addicted to your blog :)

    xo,
    kristyn

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  29. Your blogs inspires me Dana! Cheers :)

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  30. Aww, just read through your whole bio and it's so cute! Love hearing personal success stories of people who did things their own way.. Plus: You're also Canadian which is a bonus! xx

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  31. Dana, you seriously intrigue & inspire me!!! Your blog and business is everything and more that I want mine to become one day. You are awesome!

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  32. Hey do you think you could design me a blog? Like you helped zoella
    Xxx

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  33. Hello! I just found your blog through Pinterest and actually can't believe that I remember you from over 10 years ago when you were designing and selling t-shirts with your friend, I think you had a blog back then too?!. I'm so pleased you carried on with what you love doing, it really is fantastic, few people do what they actually love in life, you're a true inspiration. I wish you all the best and continued success in the future.
    Heidi x

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  34. You are such an inspiration!!!!
    I love learning more about the bloggers I follow!

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  35. New blogger here! Found you through Six Sisters' Stuff. You're definitely an inspiration. Love your photos!

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  36. I agree with the duckface/kisses statement! finally someone said it!/

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  38. This is probably the most inspiring thing I've read all year.

    I'm only 18, but i think of myself as old (i can't help it) and always find myself thinking, "Geez, i wish i had learned this or that when i was younger" when i get a new idea.
    I'm not as creative as you or have had a definite thing I've wanted to do i just seem to like everything.
    I am SO HAPPY my sister told me about your blog, because a few weeks back i started learning coding on my own and it is SO MUCH FUN!
    And to find somebody who knows this stuff and is so, i don't know, friendly just makes me want to learn even more.

    Well, mainly i just wanted to say you rock, and to keep doing what you're going because though you may not see it your posts touch every one of your readers in one way or another :)

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  39. What a lovely blog Dana. You are a very lucky lady to be so talented; we are a creative family too and love any hints and tips from other fellow crafters! Keep happy, and continue your good work. x

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  40. Your work is amazing Dana. This is what i want to go to college for, looking at your work and everything else has actually helped me decided that being a web designer and graphic artist is what I want to do for the rest of my life. Thank you for being an inspiration to me x :)

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  41. I'm new here and I really enjoyed reading this! I had a bad day & it has really cheered me up, your pets are soooo cute! I'm so glad I found you, followed you and can't wait to read your future posts :) x

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  42. Dear Wonder Forest,

    You are seriously so cute! I stumbled upon your blog from instagram, you had liked a picture I posted of my bike and upon viewing your profile and instagram I quickly made my way to your blog. I look forward to ordering things from you in the future as well as reading more about what you do on your blog. It is such an inspiration to see a woman entrepreneur who follow her passions. Thank you for the like, so glad I found your blog!

    <3 ~Nic

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  43. YAY! You like New Girl as well!!! :) I am in love with your blog and your 'About Me' page was actually fun and interesting to read.

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  44. Dear Wonder Forest,

    You story sounds very familiar to me, and largely similar to mine. Since the age of 8, I have been devoutly committed to building businesses. Currently running two online businesses, I hope to be as successful as you in the years to come since I am still young (early 20s!). I really love reading your blog posts and I find it amazing how easy I can connect with your posts!

    Do check out my shops whenever you can:
    • Strictly Shawlz - www.strictlyshawlz.com
    • Noruyo Creations - www.noruyo.com

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  45. Dear Wonder Forest,

    I amazes me how similar our stories are. I started business since the age of 8, selling handmade friendship bands to my friends in school. Thereafter, it just became clear to me that I can only be an entrepreneur. Now, I own two online businesses and really hope I can be as successful as you. I'm really surprised at how easy it is to connect with your posts. I am looking forward to reading more posts from you!

    Do drop by my websites whenever time permits you to:
    • Strictly Shawlz - www.strictlyshawlz.com
    • Noruyo Creations - www.noruyo.com

    Much Love,
    Huda Hamid (Ms)
    Singapore

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  46. i love your blog ❤
    rachel-mei.blogspot.com

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  47. OH MY GOSH. We live so close to one another! I live in a tourist town along the shore of the Georgian Bay as well. Zoella brought me here because I loved her blog layout. Wow, it's such a small world.

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  48. Hi, Dana! Just wanted to let you know that I bought your book! Thanks so much for the tips... they're really helpful especially for dummies like me. Hahahaha!

    Anyways... I'm so happy to have stumbled upon your blog. Love it... Keep it up!

    xo,
    Chinky
    peppagoo.blogspot.com

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  49. I'm so glad I found your blog! I've always wanted to blog, but I just always fail. I end up just giving up on it. You're making me want to blog again. We have so much in common.

    FIVE THUMBS UP!

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  50. I am so glad I found your blog! I've tried to blog so many times, I just always get lazy with it! We have so much in common. I too, have anxiety and my mind is always running with thoughts.

    GREAT BLOG!! WOOHOO!

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  51. Wow, you are amazing! A true inspiration! Im setting up my own blog and am confused as to which direction to take it in. I was thinking personal but would like to actually make money off it and lets face it, the every day personal blog doesn't make much money, if any. I discovered your blog years ago and used to follow it all the time and then over time stopped reading (not actually sure why, just stopped reading blogs for a while), have just come across it again and I am so grateful I have, you have accomplished so much since the time i was reading it. Keep up the good work. You rock!

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  52. Hi! I stumbled upon your beautiful blog recently and am in love with your designs. Your tips for bloggers are seriously helpful/easy to follow for newbies like me who are attempting to learn html and all the things that go along with building a blog. Thank you for sharing them with everyone. Keep up the awesomeness! :-)

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  53. Hi Dana. It is nice blog. I am learning how to write a blog. This blog is using blogger/wordpress? and what is the best platform for beginner? thanks

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