h1It's not just enough to have a good idea anymore, the execution has to be flawless and layouts have to be well designed!
Liz Stanley, Say Yes to Hoboken
When you want to make beautiful things – or just look at them – head over to Liz Stanley's blog, Say Yes to Hoboken. Born and raised in New York (with a stint in Hoboken, of course), Liz now lives in San Francisco and shares her DIY crafts and projects with her own readers – and on other sites such as Babble and Momtastic.
She's also the envy of other moms. As Maggie Mason of Mighty Girl once wrote about her: "In addition to being a total party animal, Liz is one of those people who can complete a cross stitch sampler, repaint the living room, and start a successful small business before she meets you for brunch." Liz is also one of our favorite parenting blogs in the SAY 100 parenting channel.
We've long been fans of Liz's work and her blogging seminars, so we caught up with her recently about her favorite DIY projects, what else she's working on – and what she'd really want to be in another life.
You do a lot of amazing and beautiful DIY projects. Are you surprised by how popular the DIY and crafting movement has become on the Web? Why or why not? Not at all surprised! Because of national economic issues the last few years, I think more and more people are tightening their belts and looking to reduce, reuse and recycle things they already have without having to sacrifice their style or lifestyle. Plus, the Internet is a great place for sharing ideas and easy ways to beautify your home and life are at the top of so many women's lists!
You've got a list of your reader favorites for crafting and DIY on your site – what are some of your favorite projects you've done and why? My favorite projects are usually ones that are really:
Meaningful (like Henry's First Words Photo Book),
Useful (like The Sock Bun Trick),
Personally Challenging (like this Vintage Dress Re-Fashion),
Or Just Plain Pretty (like this Rainbow Table Runner)
What are some things you haven't made yet but really want to? I have so many projects in the wings right now, spring is always a really inspiring time for me. Some ideas in the works are a rainbow play circus tent, fold over neon leather clutch, and to do more knitting projects (I just started knitting in December! I just finished my second striped Christmas stocking and it's become such an addicting past time!)
You also have a great eye for style. How would you define your style? What's your aesthetic? I grew up in a very preppy suburb right outside of Manhattan. I think I was always very aware of trends and fashion but the influence around me always pulled me towards the more sweet, buttoned up alternatives to current trends. Now that I'm in my 30s I feel like I'm moving away from that and have been really pulled lately towards the menswear-Jenna Lyons cool-rock star chic (is that an aesthetic? I think I just made it up). I'm still working on pulling that off but it's where I've been drawn lately.
Your site is so optimistic! It's wonderful. Where do you go (or what do you do) for inspiration and to keep your energy high? I think negativity can be toxic and contagious (believe me, I've worked in a public high school!), so I really try to steer away from it on my blog and try to keep things positive. I try to imagine that I'm talking to my readers like I would my best girlfriends, a little self deprecating, a little gossipy and sarcastic at time, but really supportive, encouraging, fun, and honest. I'm really inspired by my role of being a mother, the city of San Francisco I live in, and yoga (just recently!) to keep me centered and positive. But honestly, I've always been someone with a lot of energy. I have a hard time sitting still!
You use Pinterest, Instagram – any other favorite tools or apps on the Web that you like for blogging and crafting? I really love Delicious for bookmarking. It's like Pinterest but your finds aren't published on a feed the way they are on Pinterest or Intstagram so they're a tad more private. I bookmark ideas for posts, products, photos, medical information. Anything and everything. It's a great organizational tool.
You teach a Blogging 101 class – what are some of the most common questions you get? Yes! It's a really fun class with function (I also teach an Advertising one). It's geared towards bloggers who are looking to move towards a professional route. A lot of questions I get are about getting noticed and gaining readership. My advice is always to make connections with other bloggers, it's a really supportive community of cross promotion! And working hard to create excellent content. It's not just enough to have a good idea anymore, the execution has to be flawless and layouts have to be well designed!
What are some of your other favorite crafting blogs? My sister in law, Jordan of Oh Happy Day does amazing work, I also love A Beautiful Mess, You Are My Fav, Dana Made It, Bloesem Kids Crafts and Made by Joel.
You were raised a New Yorker but now live in San Francisco. What are some of your favorite haunts in SF? San Francisco is one of those rare, fairy-tale gorgeous cities! The Golden Gate Bridge never gets old (my husband's great grandfather actually owned the painting company that gave it that rich red color!), Victorian mansions are straight out of my dreams, and the steep hills are always a thrill. Oh, and have I mentioned the food?!? Playing tour guide is my favorite thing here because it involves eating your way through the city.
How would you finish this sentence: In another life I would… Live on a farm in the Swiss Alps (you know, like Heidi).
Follow Liz on Twitter @yestohoboken.