Feature Friday: Happy Hour Projects
This blogger, Blitsy Creative Team member, and author stays busy!
Welcome back to Blitsy's Feature Friday! This week we're chatting with Adrianne, a Blitsy Creative Team member, blogger behind Happy Hour Projects, and author of DIY T-Shirt Crafts; this Michigan mom stays busy! Adrianne is an "instant-gratification crafter," so she's passionate about sharing projects you can make in just an hour. Read on to learn about her proudest moment and where she gets her inspiration.
How did you get started in crafting?
I've been crafting ever since I can remember! My mom sews, and I remember endless trips to the fabric store as a kid. I loved making friendship bracelets, paper beads from old magazines, and turning unusual items and miniatures into unique pieces of jewelry. I've made my own jewelry here and there for my whole life, but I really came back to crafting in my late 20's when I started scrapbooking. And then quilting. And then making baby gifts. And before I knew it, I was creating something every day.
What is your favorite project that you have done so far and why?
I'm an instant-gratification crafter, so I make a lot of quick projects. But every so often, I'll have an idea that I get really excited about. That was the case when I made my first glass tile mosaic, mixing and mounting and glazing a bunch of tiles individually and bringing them together for the final picture. I've played around with my technique and settled into my style, and while I love my quick crafts, my art is what's really special to me. The first mosaic I entered in an art competition, Tree at Dawn, is probably my favorite project ever, and it's got a home on our living room wall.
Where do you get inspiration for your projects?
Inspiration is everywhere, but I get most inspired just by spending time in my studio. It might be a new string of beads, or a particular patina color, or a paper pattern that inspires a new project. Sometimes I am trying out a new product, and just thinking about what it can do inspires a big idea. My favorite projects start that way.
I also make a lot of jewelry, and for that, I am definitely looking out for the trends. There are plenty of designs I share that are well-known or trendy styles that I just love to teach people how to make for themselves instead of spending a small fortune on.
We love inspiration over here. What is your Mantra that motivates each day?
There's a saying my crafty friends and I toss around on occasion that celebrates being unique and amazing: "Always be yourself. Unless You can be a unicorn. Then, always be a unicorn." It's silly and sassy and I have it right on my craft room wall to remind me that even on the most uninspired of days, I have the opportunity to still be awesome.
What is your biggest #craftfail?
Well, once upon a time, I made a flannel rag quilt with a Valentine theme. It was red and white and the sewists out there probably already know where I'm going with this: the red bled into the white. I opened the lid of the washer as I was finishing up those rag edges to see the water turning very, very pink... and then, my washing machine just died completely. I threw my soggy mess of a quilt in the bathtub and said some really epic curse words while I drove to the appliance store. In the end, a lot of the red washed out, but it took almost a dozen washes and it never did fully recover. It's one of the kids' favorite snuggle blankets now, but it's a huge reason why I prefer hour-or-less crafts...there's far less time invested if it goes terribly, terribly wrong.
What craft product you can not live without?
Well, on my last craft room clean up and de-stash, I managed to fill a tiny box full of eight items that I could part with. Just eight. All of which were duplicates. So I think, if pressed, it's safe to say I need it all. ;)
How has your blog changed since you started?
Well my photography is gradually getting better, but I've stayed true to my hour-or-less craft theme since I launched Happy Hour Projects in 2011. I did a bit more sewing back then, making baby things and nursery things, but now that my kids are 2 and 4 I get to craft for myself quite a bit more now, which means that I've retired the onesies and I get to make grown-up accessories. I think the biggest change is finding that people actually enjoyed it, and that I could turn blogging into a full-time job. I quit my day job a little over a year ago, and it's been the best career move I've ever made.
How do you fit crafting into your everyday life?
That's been the goal of Happy Hour Projects since the beginning - finding ways to fit creativity into every day by doing it in small doses. I am constantly making quick cards or last-minute jewelry to match a certain outfit - it's just what I do. But I think giving yourself permission to take that time is the biggest hurdle for people, which is why I encourage setting that hour aside just for yourself, to make something.
Are you self taught or did you learn from a class?
I have actually never taken classes! I have learned some skills, like sewing, from the women in my family, and I ask questions when I meet other creative people. I check out YouTube when I want to learn about specific techniques or how to use a brand new craft tool. But mostly I just do my own thing and learn by trial and error. I would love to take a crochet class one day, though!
Is there anything you learned the hard way while crafting?
I think the biggest lesson I learned the hard way is that plastic canvas projects take forever. That's one crafting medium I think I can live without!
What's been your greatest accomplishment through crafting?
My book! I'm lucky enough to have published my first craft book, DIY T-Shirt Crafts, this summer. It combines my two loves: crafting and writing, which is why I got into blogging in the first place. It's wonderful to get to share that love with so many people.
What do you love about crafting?
Well I love LOTS of types of crafting, but I think it's safe to say that I'm most at home when designing jewelry. It's quick, it's got beautiful components, things sparkle and shine, but best of all - when you're done, you get to wear it! Everyone gets to see what you've made on a daily basis! It's always wonderful to make something for your home, but it's just your family and the occasional guest who gets to see that. But every time you go to a party, meet up with a friend, or even run an errand, someone sees what you're wearing. It's a great way to showcase that love of crafting.
Thanks for chatting with us Adrianne! Make sure to visit her blog and catch her DIY jewelry posts right here on Blitsy!