Meet featured blogger Jessica Kelly (Running With Scissors) and get craft tutorials from her blog.
A wife and mom, Jessica Kelly works on craft projects in the wee hours, after her children’s bedtime. Creativity is in her blood, and she’d much rather make something than buy it. On shopping trips, she bypasses the mall and heads straight to a thrift store or garage sale. Her ultimate crafter’s high is transforming “junk” into something spectacular. Here we chat with Jessica to learn more about her blog, Running with Scissors (projectsbyjess.blogspot.com), and how she got started with crafting.
CW: How did you get started with creative crafting—sewing, making home accents and more? Why did you launch a blog?
Jessica: Most of my hobbies developed from necessity. I began sewing seriously after my first baby was born. Two years later, my husband and I purchased our first home for our growing family and realized we didn’t have much furniture or any decor. So I learned to operate a drill and started building basic furniture and reupholstering thrift pieces. Saving money motivates me. For yeas, I kept project journals and organized them into scrapbooks. When I discovered blogging in 2007, it was a perfect way to document my projects and share them with my super-creative mom, who lives across the country from us.
CW: How has your blog changed since you started? What surprises, challenges or rewards has it brought you?
Jessica: My blog has grown, but my motivation is the same—it’s my creative outlet and hobby. Sometimes, photographing, editing and posting a project takes longer than creating it, and I wonder if blogging is practical. But being able to share creations with other people, getting response from readers and having a handy archive of crafts is rewarding. My blog has also inspired me to improve my skills and try projects beyond my comfort zone.
CW: What kind of relationship do you have with your followers? What posts or subjects have proven most popular?
Jessica: I’m blown away by the encouragement that comes from readers I’ve never met in person. There are times when my posts are irregular—like when I had a baby or our computer crashed. Life happens, and I’m so grateful my readers are understanding and supportive…and keep coming back for more.
For kids, a favorite project is my Dino Tail tutorial. These appeal to boys and girls, are cute and easy to construct. For women, a popular post is my yellow maxi dress made from a thrift store vintage sheet. My baby sleep sack tutorial also get lots of interest.
CW: How do you find time for a job, family, crafting and blogging?
Jessica: I try to keep my family my first priority. I’d hate to be a granny and wish I’d spray painted less and enjoyed my kids more. Most of the time, my preschooler is involved in helping me with my projects or doing his own crafts while I work beside him. I also get things done during the kids’ naps and in little pockets of time. Most projects take a few days or weeks—five minutes here and there. Last fall, I was making my husband a dress shirt. It sat in my sewing machine with the needle down mid-seam for days before I got back to it.
For more information about Jessica and her blog, visit her at Running with Scissors.