Hooray! Today marks the first birthday of my creative and lifestyle blog Messy La. I have had such a whirlwind of a year and couldn’t be more grateful for the followers I have gained throughout this time. To know that I am writing about things I love and my progress in my indie business and people of the world are following it is just a crazy feeling. It makes me beyond happy that there are like minded people out there that are interested in my creations and my life!
I thought it would be nice to share with you the inspirations behind my blog and there is one person in particular that has been my crafty idol this past year! One night I was trailing through the web looking for pictures of closets that were neatly organised to gain some inspiration for my shabby ikea wardrobe. I stumbled across a flickr image of an insanely organised craft cupboard and fell completely in love. I then followed the links and landed on Pink Suede Shoe’s blog and was completely in awe by her skills in crafting and baking. It was an alien thing to me and it was a world that I so desperately wanted to learn more about. I followed her blog for weeks and finally plucked up the courage to leave a comment..and to my amazement she e-mailed me back, thanking me for the comment! I will openly admit I was a little star struck at first..and later on when she gifted me some hot chocolate and pompom makers I was even more star struck and was, without a doubt,pink sueded shoes no.1 fan.
In honour of my first year of blogging, I contacted E and asked her if I could do a mini interview for the blog..and she said Yes!! (you can imagine my excitement).
Q: Hi, E! I am an avid follower of Pink Suede Shoe and feel that your blog has been the most inspiration nest for me! Anyone glimpsing at your lovely blog can tell that you are the ultimate domestic goddess. Your baking, sewing and paper skills are outstanding! Out of all the crafts you are involved in, which would you say was your favourite?
A: You are too sweet, thank you. I think I go in cycles. It’s almost like I have crafters ADHD. I will be really into something for a little while, a few days/weeks/months and then I put it away and move on to something else. One thing I always go back to is cooking. My family needs to eat and it gives me a chance to be creative and accomplish something I have to do anyway at the same time. And after that it would be sewing. My sewing machine has been on the dining room table for probably four years now. I have enough sewing projects in my head right now that I could sew everyday for a year and not get through them all.
Q: When I first discovered your blog, I was in awe at your creativity. Your blog inspired me to start crafting and blogging. Did you ever think you would be such a craft role model to like-minded people of the world?
A: I never thought I’d have more than a few of my cousins and my sisters reading my blog. But it has evolved over time and having friends in the online world who love the things I love and get excited about new craft supplies or beautiful old things from thrift stores has been a wonderful outlet for me. And I’ve e-met people from every continent in the past 2 years which is a huge blessing and a huge shock to me. When I started blogging it was to keep me motivated to do something other than clean up baby messes and play solitaire in every spare moment.
Q: As an experienced crafty lady, do you have any tips/tricks you have picked up along the way that you could share with anyone that is staring their creative journey? (Eg. how to stay inspired, acquire new skills etc)
A: One thing I have done for the past year and a half or so is to keep a blog idea journal. The whole reason I started my blog was to keep me motivated to use my free time creatively (you know, instead of wasting it on facebook or playing solitaire) I make things and blog about them to keep me from slipping into mindless drivel. If I didn’t feel motivated by the desire to blog about what I make I probably wouldn’t make anything at all. I would instead by the Grandmaster of the Century in the Solitaire World Series (not a real event…. I don’t think). Blogging keeps me motivated to spend my time creatively and to make something I am proud of. So my blog idea book is a great way for me to keep all my ideas in one place. I write down ideas for seasonal posts, tutorials, patterns i want to write, things I want to make, sketches of storyboards for future posts and themes I want to try all in a divided notebook. Hmm, I should share my blogjournal soon, it’s one of my biggest motivators. I think if you can spend a few minutes everyday thinking of new ideas and WRITING THEM DOWN you will always stay inspired. Ideas breed ideas. If I have a few hours to myself and start writing and brainstorming I can think of 3 or 4 months of blog posts in one afternoon. Not that I use all those ideas, some are just crap, which is normal. It’s all part of the process.
As for learning new skills, the internet can teach you everything you ever wanted to know. Pinterest is a great way to find the best tutorials out there, though it can be addicting. Spending an hour looking at other people’s craftiness is not as productive as an hour spent dreaming up your own ideas. An hour with a notebook and a pen breeds feelings of accomplishment, creativity, and an “I can do it” kind of attitude. Spending an hour on pinterest can be inspiring, but can also lead to feeling like you will never be as good as someone else, everything’s already been thought of, this person did the same thing that I did, only cuter/better/cheaper/more amazing/blah blah blah.
Q: Your baking and cooking skills are delicoiusly displayed on your blog. In particular the scrumptious party foods you made for Creamie’s birthday! If you could choose one recipe to cook for your sweet little family everyday, which would it be and why?
A: I really do love to cook. Five or six years ago my family always teased me that I couldn’t cook at all, I just assembled meals. But I’ve been working on it since then. When I was deciding what kind of blog I was going to have it came down to a cooking blog or a crafty lifestyle blog. And crafty won out because food-tography is hard. If I could choose one thing to make for my family everyday it would be pie. I love to make pie. I could eat pie for every single meal and never get sick of it. In my dream world I’d own a pie diner with a crafty workshop attached. How great would that be, I’d never have to leave!
Q: It’s clear that you are a somewhat thrifty queen from seeing your magnificent finds. What are your top three strategies you use for a successful thrift trip to ensure you don’t come home with the whole shop? (Easily done!)
A: I do love to go thrifting. And it’s true it is really easy to get carried away and end up with things you aren’t really going to use or that you don’t need. A few tips are to keep a list of things you always look for. For me it is vintage Pyrex dishes, typewriters, vintage sewing patterns and sheets. And I have full permission from myself to buy these whenever I see ones I like, which for Pyrex and typewritesr is not often. Sewing patterns and sheets are a lot easier for me to find, and are usually really cheap so I don’t feel bad buying them everytime I go out.
When I look for clothes for me, which is a lot more often the past few months if i see it and I absolutely love it it comes home. They usually need a little altering on hemlines or sleeve lengths to make it a little more flattering on me, but I have found some great clothes in the last little while. It is sometimes annoying to look through racks and racks of clothes, but keep in mind that for every 100 pieces of clothing you pass by without a second glance, you’ll maybe find one piece worth looking at. And of the pieces worth looking at, only 1 in 5 is worth buying. So don’t expect to find the most amazing boots/skirt/purse every time you go. But if you look through 400-500 pieces of clothing a few times a week you’ll probably find something fabulous.
And that goes right into my last tip. Go often. People ask me all the time how I find such great things at thrift stores. The answer is to go often. I will hit up one or two every week, sometimes more and I am always finding great stuff. Sometimes the only thing i come home with is one sheet, or one belt or a few vintage patterns. Sometimes it’s a chair or a dresser or a bunch of clothes for me or Creamie. You can never predict what you’ll find. But if you only go once or twice a year chances are you will get frustrated with thirfting because you didn’t find that perfect vintage item in great shape and for a good price. Go often and think of it as a treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find.
Q: Last year, I was hooked to your 12 days of Christmas feature..are you planning anything similar this December?
A: Last year the day after Christmas I planned out another 12 days of Handmade projects while my Christmas ideas were still fresh in my mind. But since my hubby got a new job in August and our schedule has changed so drastically plans have changed. Creamie has been sick a lot this fall which seriously cuts into my crafting time, so I don’t know how many of those ideas will make it into blog posts. But I’ll keep that list of ideas in my blogbook and maybe next year I’ll have my life and my schedule figured out enough to get them all finished. We’ll have to see. I have already started working on a week of posts for Valentines Day though. It was my favorite holiday growing up and February is my birthday month as well. And that is as good a reason as any to have a party and make stuff!
Thank you for taking the time to take part in my MessyLa interview, E! Love the sound of Pink Suede Shoe? Visit her blog at www.pinksuedeshoe.com. All photos belong to E, from her lovely blog.