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Blogger Favourites: Miss JoJangles

I’m over the moon to be interviewing JoJo from Miss JoJangles this month! She’s a seriously cute crafty blogger who’s the sassiest knitter I know. This interview is one of my all time faves, you won’t be disappointed!

Jess: It’s so much fun to come across fellow crafty bloggers! Have you always enjoyed making things, or is it a skill you’ve developed as you got older?

JoJo: I have forever been one of those people who can’t sit still. I was the classic fidget-bum little girl you didn’t want to sit next to at nursery and it’s a trait that I have yet to grow out of – and I for one, am glad of that. I have to always be making something, it gives me such satisfaction like nothing else does. I can’t comprehend people who don’t constantly make things! As I grow older and make more and more I find that my projects have matured as well – I’m no longer trying to make Pokemon out of A4 printer paper and sellotape. However, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of nostalgia, recently I’ve made my own play dough too! Some girls never change.

Jess: You always impress me with how many different crafts you’ve managed to tackle! What is your favourite way to make things?

JoJo: When people ask me my favourite craft, my knee jerk reaction is to shout ‘knitting’ at an inappropriate volume. However, in all honesty, it’s been a while since I’ve knitted. I’ve currently got a very dull jumper on the go and I’m constantly getting distracted. Right now, I’ve started to learn the basics of using a sewing machine and I have fallen in love with how instant the projects I make on it can be. I am forever getting excited that, when I sew with a machine, my finished articles look like ‘real things’ as opposed to something I created with my hands. I’m on an embroidery kick at the moment too. Forever a needle junkie.

Jess: What is your favourite thing about blogging? Do you have a favourite post?

JoJo: My favourite thing about blogging is the people I have met through it. Like everyone who’s a bit “different”, I have struggled to meet like-minded people throughout my life. The blogging community is such a friendly one to be a part of and I have met friends through blogging who I can talk to hours with because we have so much in common. It’s also helped me with my own confidence and taught me to embrace my quirks.

Although I blog mostly about crafts, my favourite posts have been the ones where I have been honest with my friends and readers, about turning 20 and about my University experiences.

Jess: Since graduating from uni, this year has been a bit up and down for me – I haven’t been able to make up my mind about what I want to do, and I’ve been moving around and doing temp work. Reading your blog has helped me realise that lots of other lovely people like you are still figuring it out, too! What is your daily life like at the moment, and do you know where you’d like to be in five years time?

JoJo: Oh goodness, I’ve been there. My advice is hang in there. Most people don’t have the foggiest clue what they’re doing with their lives, they just don’t have guts to put up both hands and admit to it. I’ve spent the last two years after my A-Level trying to figure out everything, testing out a string of different courses and options available to me. This year, I have taken time out of education to work as a shop girl. While all my friends have moved away to different cities and do different things, I’ve stayed in the little town where I grew up. I don’t regret it at all. It’s been so beneficial. It takes a certain type of strength to kick against what all your peers are doing. I have learnt so much and grown up a great deal. It’s meant I’ve worked hard on my blog and pushed myself to try new things and meet new people. It’s also through trying things that you learn what you do and don’t want to do, also. There’s nothing to be ashamed of, you don’t need to explain your journey to anyone because it’s yours.

At the moment, I like to wake up early and greet my family in the morning before they go out for the day. Then I get ready for work, it can be a bit painful if it’s a weekend and everyone else is still in bed! I love my walk to work. I put my headphones in, take a cheeky SnapChat ‘off to work selfie’ my friends have grown to love/despise and head on my way. Working in town means I now know a lot of people so I get to wave at the window cleaners, shop owners and the Big Issue guy. After work, I like to walk through the market and treat myself to some fresh fruit or flowers. Some evenings I’ll go to my favourite local craft café for a class and learn a new skill, meet up with friends or I’ll go for a run. I like to make the most of my days off by having as much fun as I can, going on adventures or working on my blog.

As much as I love this little town, I’m hoping that very soon I’ll be elsewhere too. I’m hoping to go to University in September. In five years time, I don’t know where I will be but the hope is London and the daydream is to work in the marketing department at Etsy, Pinterest or Instagram and I won’t stop tweeting them until it happens.

Jess: Is there anything you wish you’d have known when you started crafting or blogging? What would your advice be to people who feel they don’t have the time or the talent to make things?

JoJo: My advice to people is just to get stuck in. You don’t know how to blog until you actually blog, same with knitting. You could read a thousand books on how to cast on, but you’ll never have a scarf unless you actually grab your needles and wool. After months of planning and reading big blogger’s advice posts, my blog began as an almost Tumblr scrapbook of music, art and photographs I was loving. Sometimes I miss those days! But it wasn’t until I got going with my blog that I found my feet and learnt way more than I ever did when I was simply researching.

In order to make more time for crafting and blogging, I have cut out certain things out of my life to make space for more productive pass times. I don’t watch TV anymore and I have to tell you, I really don’t miss it. As for people who don’t think they can’t craft, I shake my head. Everyone can craft, that’s the joy of it. Even if what you create looks like it’ll fall apart if you tug at the lose thread towards the bottom left, you made it and that’s awesome. Anyone can go out and buy something but a handmade creation has so much more personality. No one wants to be ordinary, after all.

Thanks for the interview JoJo, I had so much fun finding out more about you! Don’t forget to check out JoJo’s blog and all her wonderful crafty creations.

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Blogger Favourites: Waiste

I am over the moon that Sara from Waiste agreed to be interviewed for this month’s Blogger Favourites post! She writes the fashion blog Waiste and also runs her own business by the same name. Waiste sells the most gorgeous boho vintage clothes, jewellery and homeware. I received a couple of necklaces from them for christmas (which I blogged about here and here!) and I love them. I’ve lusted over Sara’s dreamy wardrobe for a while now, and the way she puts outfits together is genius, so it was a lot of fun to quiz her about her blog, her style and her business! Here’s what she had to say 🙂

J: I think it’s always interesting to learn about other people’s beginnings. What prompted you to begin your blog? When did you start exploring your own personal style?

S: I’ve always wanted to look a little bit different from everyone else, and I’ve always loved fashion ever since I could dress up in my Nana’s clothes, There was no one reason which made me want to start a blog in the beginning, but I feel like in recent years when blogging, I have found my own style properly, I love to create pretty imagery, and know what works well for me, rather just dressing like a crazy person, which was what my teenage years were spent doing. I love vintage and finding hidden gems, which then led on to starting my own brand too.

 

J: Your style is to die for! Where do you get your inspiration from? Do you have any favourite brands or bloggers?

S: Tumblr and Pinterest are great online inspiration boards for me, I can spend hours on them, and I love a lot of American and Australian brands/online stores such as Planet blue, Spell, Novella Royale etc. The Free People blog I read religiously too.

 

J: What is your favorite thing to come out of your blog? Do you have a favourite campaign or outfit post?

S: There’s so many, I’m just so grateful to have the opportunities that my blog has given me. My favourite thing will be revealed VERY soon (I haven’t done it yet but let’s just say it’s one of my dreams come true and I’m working with one of my favourite brands Free people)

 

J: I love your brand. Waiste is the answer to all my vintage boho dreams, and your jewellery is gorgeous! It’s so much fun watching your brand grow and develop. Do you have any advice to give to young people like yourself who want to set up their own small business or fashion brand? Is there anything you wish you’d known?

S: Don’t give up, but don’t expect success to happen overnight. It’s taken years of building my brand to start feeling like it’s become a proper business, and make sure you get a lot of experience within the fashion industry first, I’ve got 4 and half years of working at ASOS behind me so I know exactly how an e-commerce business is run. Experience is invaluable, but you’ll learn as you go along too of course what’s right for your business.

 

J: You’re so busy! How do you manage your time between blogging, modelling and running a business?

S: I don’t sleep or have weekends. Haha. Seriously though. I even work Sundays.

Thanks for sharing with us Sara, it was so much fun chatting with you! Don’t forget to visit her blog and her shop 🙂

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Blogger Favourites: Oh Dear Drea

Jessthetics / An Interview with Oh Dear Drea

I was so happy when Drea agreed to be interviewed for the blog today. She writes a gorgeous lifestyle blog, Oh Dear Drea, which features travel diaries, photos from daily life in Florida, her beautiful daughter Marlowe, the (delicious looking!) vegan food she makes, and her house and garden. Her blog has always stood out to me as being an honest and welcoming space, and I can spend hours getting lost in her archives. Drea inspires me to eat better food, take more photos, and lead a more colourful life! Without further ado, here’s what the lady herself had to say :

Jess: I’m always curious about how my favourite blogs have started out. What inspired you to begin blogging, and how have you developed Oh Dear Drea into what it is today?

Drea: I actually started “blogging” or publicly writing anyway when I was 15 or 16 years old— the good ole’ livejournal days, about 13 years ago for me. Crazy, I know. I used livejournal up until I was 22 or so and then closed it up. When I became pregnant, I decided that it would be nice to start a new chapter of writing in my life—- 1. because the community I found had been so awesome and 2. because I have THE WORST memory ever. Ask me my daughters birth date—- it’ll take me while.

The blog just kind of evolved as I evolved. People found it, shared it and enjoyed it— I’ve enjoyed it too.

Jessthetics / An Interview with Oh Dear Drea

Jess: I’ve read about your transition to veganism and I am so jealous of your vegetable garden! Has your lifestyle always been inspired by nature?

Drea: I’ve always been an outdoor loving girls. Mud, salamanders, forts. I told my mom at 12 that I didn’t want to eat meat anymore. At 14 I gave up chicken. And that was that, an animal and outdoor lover from the beginning.

Jessthetics / Oh Dear Drea
Jess: What does a day in the life of Drea look like?

Drea: Wake up at 7:40 every morning thanks to Marlowe’s internal clock. Cuddle marlowe. Espresso. Computer time. Garden time. Lunch time. Project time. Marlowe time. Dinner time. Story time. Marlowe bed time. About 5 hours of computer work time until Alex get’s home from work. Bed at 2 am. Repeat.

Jessthetics / An Interview withOh Dear Drea
Jess: What is your favourite thing to come out of your blog so far? What’s next for Oh Dear Drea?

Drea: Absolutely the connections I’ve made. The internet is an amazing place filled with amazing people and this blog has brought so many of them to me. Also, it’s just been amazing to watch my blog naturally grow into what it is— a business of doing things I love. It’s a pretty rad life when you get to help support your family, be at home, and do fun stuff. Ah— what’s next is exciting! Really exciting. I have a few big projects that I’m announcing this year. I’m not ready to reveal them yet, but they will be delicious, adventurous, and colorful 😉

Thank you for being on my blog today, Drea! I can’t wait to hear about your new projects!

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Blogger Favourites: Now That’s Pretty

This is the second post in my “Blogger Favourites” Interview series and I’m so excited to be interviewing Ally from Now That’s Pretty this month! She is seriously one of my favourite craft bloggers. Her blog is filled with colour and whimsy and fun craft ideas and tutorials. I love that lots of her tutorials are focused on seasonal holidays – it’s a good excuse for a party any time of year.

An Interview with Now Thats PrettyWithout further ado, here’s the interview,

J: It’s so nice to come across other craft bloggers in their late teens / early twenties, sometimes it feels like there aren’t many of us! Craft blogging is time consuming though. You’ve got to take the photos, write the post and actually make the thing that you’re blogging about. I know you’re also a student and you have your own business. How do you manage your time?

A: It’s very tricky! I keep a lot of lists and stay aware of what relies on certain factors and then prioritise. I know my uni hours are set but in the afternoon my time management is pretty much up to me. I work on photographing projects straight after uni so I get good lighting and then will do the writing later when there isn’t as much urgency. Similarly work, reading and my business all have to slot in at different points. It is by no means easy and you can’t do everything every day but you can have work-heavy and blog-heavy days which will level out over the week.

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: What’s your favourite thing you’ve ever made, or what are you most proud of?

A: Oh my goodness that is a hard question! I really love my cat bowler hat simply because it is pretty snazzy but also because it is the first project which drew any sort of attention to my blog. I love the fact that I made it as a really small-fry blogger and then overnight thousands of people suddenly knew about it. WOW!

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: What inspired you to start blogging, and what inspired you to start making things?

A: I know I have always made things; my house is practically a museum of projects past. I decided to start blogging as a sort of portfolio. When you just make things, with no particular focus on any craft in particular, it can be quite hard to see where you fit into the whole ‘artist’ role and so having a craft blog seemed like the perfect solution. Another great thing about having a blog is you can use it as an excuse! Previously if I made a unicorn costume and someone asked “what is that for?” I would have nothing to say but now I can just blame it on the blog and sort of role my eyes as if to say “duties, huh!?”

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: You have a very distinctive style which I love. It’s fun, colourful, and sometimes silly but not childlike! How would you describe your aesthetic? Who inspires you creatively?

A: I couldn’t have asked for a better description! I’ve always loved it when very illustrative and costumey elements are played out in really life; it makes for such an interesting scene! A lot of my clothes are very colourful or look like a cartoon character would wear them and I’ve never really understood why themeing of rooms is restricted to children’s bedrooms. I think my main interest aesthetically is how you can essentially design your life or set dress your environment to get a certain reaction from people; I mean people do this as a job for films and television all the time and so why not just do it for your own life? I can’t really pick out specific people who inspire me but I love looking at shop windows. They present these scenes that are like a snippet of a life or a scene but amplified and controlled; I think it’s great to look at a huge dressed window made entirely out of fresh flowers or featuring big hot air balloon models and think “I like that, how can that be in my own look?”.

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: What’s your favourite aspect of blogging?

A: It’s really cheesy but I love the response you get. Sometimes just making things in a little workshop is isolating and you think “hmm, why am I actually doing this?” It’s really reassuring to have a stranger from across the world remind you that it really doesn’t matter why you’re doing it, all that matter is that it’s wonderful!

An Interview with Now Thats Pretty

J: I’ve been so impressed by your ukelele business. I’m not sure that I would have the ability to set up something like that. I know people ask this all the time when you’re in uni, but what are your plans for the future?

A: Thank you very much; I’m very proud of the Ukulele Workshop. It has grown so much this year! I think my main piece of advise with business is you just need to be outrageously cheeky. I made one ukulele and put it up for sale making it look like I had sold loads and was an absolute pro, I then got in touch with a supplier and told them I was seeking to find a NEW supplier and could they do me a better price, I then got in touch with retailers with a few different departmental email addresses so it looked like I was a much bigger company and so on and so on. There really is a lot to be said for the whole “fake it until you make it” hypothesis.

As far as my future, I would hope it’s quite exciting! This year I am hoping to grow the Ukulele Workshop as well as opening a new fashion store with my brother (I am both excited and terrified!). Eventually I am hoping to go into events planning or perhaps window dressing; I study Linguistic sciences at Uni but as useful as it is to be able to identify different types of Swahili I think my heart lies with glitter glue and sequins!

Thanks so much for agreeing to be interviewed Ally, I’ve loved hearing your thoughts and advice 🙂 Good luck with the Ukelele Workshop and your new fashion business, I can’t wait to read all about it!

Don’t forget my GIVEAWAY is open until the end of the month!

(All photo credit belongs to Ally)