Our Featured Guest Star- Craftastical!

This week I am featuring Kara from Craftastical! I’ve been a fan of Kara’s blog for several years now. I’ve been one of those lurker fans. You know, kind of like a stalker. A very friendly stalker, mind you. I only stalk folks that I am fascinated with so that puts Kara in a category right there along with Sandra Bullock and Tom Selleck. My daughter likes to tell the story about me spending an entire vacation on Tybee Island, GA, looking for Sandra Bullock’s beach house. Not sure what I would have done if I had found it. Buy a pizza and try to deliver it? Ding, dong, Avon calling? But that is a whole other story…

Let’s get back to Kara. I’ve got her back here in my “Green Room”. Tom Selleck is off doing some gig, so she’s got it pretty much to herself. Hopefully he left her some canapes. I hate it when he eats all the snackies and runs off. Men.

And here she is. Welcome, Kara! I love your profile:

My name is Kara. My husband, David, and I have four children, and I mostly stay at home with them. In between diapers and my college school work, I craft. I adore crafting with the heat of a thousand glue guns, and I’ve got the supplies to prove it”.

Suzy: I have to say that I can totally relate. Well, maybe not the four children thing, but the rest. Totally. When and why did you start blogging, and where would you like your blogging to lead ?
Kara: Gosh, I started blogging ages ago, in 2005. I started it as a way to record stories about my kids and to share some of my scrapbook layouts. Back then, I was on quite a few scrapbooking design teams, and it was way to share some of that stuff and to mine material for journaling for my layouts.

As far as it leading someplace, I would love to make it a part-time business, but my real passion is trying new things and hopefully inspiring people to try new things. I love the interaction of blogging and the instant feedback. I feel all glamorous, like a spy, when I see someone has linked back to my blog, and I find them out and see they have used one of my ideas and made it their own. And that is worth all the time I might spend on a project.

 Check out Kara’s amazing artwork. 

Suzy: Your kitchen redo is amazing. You have a fabulous sense of style. Who or what inspires you?
Kara: Well, thank you! I love modern design, but I have to have a retro touch thrown in. I love old things that have a history and a story. Anything that is crisp and bright makes me smile. I find ideas and inspiration everywhere.

This is a project that I’m going to throw my own spin on in the future.  Check out her tutorial.
Kara: When I was first married, I watched a ton of Trading Spaces and HGTV and design shows, and I learned what things I liked and what I didn’t. So, when I finally got a house to decorate, I had a clear vision of what I wanted.

Suzy: Name a few of your favorite websites that you go to for inspiration.
Kara: There are so many great blogs with wonderful ideas. It’s a wonder I haven’t grown an umbilical cord attached to my computer, it’s such an amazing resource for ideas and inspiration. That’s design nutrition right there. Some of my favorites that I never get tired of are:

Tall Grass Prairie Studio
Young House Love
The Dreamstress
Wienerdog Tricks
Kitschy Coo
Apartment Therapy

Suzy: You seem to do a bit of everything, craft-wise. What are your favorite things to create?
Kara: Yes, I have craft ADD. Part of the reason I love crafting is the challenge of learning something new. I love creating something useful. I really like making things for my kids, because it makes them feel special.

Kara: As far as the most fun while I’m creating, I really don’t love the processes of cake decorating and quilting, but I enjoy the end results. I love sit and knit or crochet; it’s soothing. I think sewing is my favorite, because I usually enjoy the process and I love seeing my kids wearing what I sewed or wearing it myself.

Suzy: Is there another type of craft that you would like to learn in the future?
Kara: Oh, so many! Mostly the things I want to learn sound like they need a lot of expensive equipment. I would love to try stained glass. I’ve thrown pots before, but I only developed minimal skills, I would love to get really, really good at it. I’ve done a little darkroom work and thoroughly loved it, but I would love to dive deeper into it. Bookbinding. I would love to learn more about silversmithing.

Suzy: You have so many successful craft projects. Is there one that just never seemed to come together? I know I have several “errors in judgment” hanging around my closet. Do you have a crafty horror story?
Kara: I think I’ve repressed most of them! I think everyone who does creative work has projects that just don’t work. One recent one that comes to mind is a lamp. I had hot glued all these river rocks to it. It looked so awesome. I went to grout it, and the rocks would not stay on. We wrestled for about 20 minutes. The lamp won. I exacted revenge by peeling all the rocks off. I plan to try it again with some epoxy glue.

I have a box full of things that died or need to be fixed. Seams gone awry, scrapbook pages that didn’t gel, knitting projects that didn’t quite fit (I have a sweater I spent ages on that will never fit me), things that just ended up plain-out ugly, ideas that didn’t work. It’s a learning process. I consider it time well spent if I learned something from the process.

Suzy: I would like to show your crafting space – I think it is fascinating to see where great ideas come from.
Kara: Oh, my crafting space. It’s a work in progress. We moved into our house only a few months ago, at the beginning of May. When I moved in, my craft room was a little boy’s rodeo themed room. I’ve only barely begun to get it how I want it, so it’s a work in progress and not very functional at the moment. But, I’m thrilled to have a space all to myself!

This is my closet. Seems like no matter which box I put in that back corner, I always need something from it and have to unstack every single box.

This is my workspace, with my computer. This is the cleanest my table will probably be for months. I’m planning on having my husband build me a counter height workspace so I can see out into the back yard.

My favorite part of the room so far: my glass jars, which have all my ribbon and flowers. I collected most of them from thrift stores, although a few of them were new purchases too. You can see my blue ceiling in these photos too. I plan to put up crown molding sometime. I have big plans for this room.

For you scrapbookers out there, Kara’s blog offers lots of free downloads. Amazing ones. And lots of tutorials and even weekly linkies. Check them out.

Keep an eye on Kara’s blog, Craftastical! to see her final kitchen reveal, her plans for her craft room and all other sorts of crafty goodness. Kara, thanks so much for taking the time out of your day and stopping by. And feel free to fill up a baggie or two and take some of those canapes home to the kiddos. Tell them that your fan club sent them.