Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Blogging Made Me Do It! Featuring Diane from In My Own Style

There's absolutely no way you can walk away from today's post without learning something new! In fact, I don't think it's possible to visit today's guest's blog without learning something new and valuable every single time you visit. 

Diane, from In My Own Style, is the queen of DIY tutorials. I just deemed her that title, but I'm sure you'll agree! I am constantly amazed at the creativity that oozes out of her pores and her ability to walk you through a project, step by step, is simply over the top.

I'm thrilled that she's sharing her time with us today. Ready to see what blogging has made Diane do?...

Blogging… I have been at it now for 2 ½ years so far. I wanted to start a blog about 5 years ago, but when I opened an account with Blogger I was just lost. I had no computer tech skills at all and the learning curve was just too steep for me at the time.  Fast forward to August 2009 and my desire to be a blogger was just too intense, so I focused and for the next 3 months I learned as much as I could about blogging.  My first post went out in early November 2009.   

I am bringing this up because Dana had asked me to take part in her “Blogging Made Me Do It” series.  If I wasn’t a blogger I would be computer clueless right now. Blogging made me learn…  Now I can honestly say that I am pretty computer savvy – not quite a ninja, but I am amazed at all I have learned about the technical side of the internet.  I can read “HTML” now and can edit a photo in Photoshop, make a blog header, button and post graphics.  Blogging made me do it… it made me focus and use my brain in a way I never thought I could.    

I write a DIY Decorating and Crafts blog with a lot of tutorials and photos.  I try to post 3 times a week, but sometimes it just isn’t possible to get a project made, photographed, and then write about all the steps on how to do it.  I had to come up with a way to make the process go smoother.  I needed a space to work in that would allow me to create and make things, a place to photograph them, as well as a place to write about them. I am lucky that I had an office already in my home, but that was designed for the way I used to work before I ever knew what a blog was.  Blogging made me sit back and really think how I could turn that home office into a studioffice to make all the steps required to put out a DIY tutorial blog post go smoother.  Hence I created the “Creative Wall”.  It is a wall that I have hung all the things I need to make the projects that I post, plus a place to take a clear photo of them, along with a desk to sit and write about it. If I wasn’t a DIY blogger, I would have never created this wall.

Creative Wall post:  

Blogging has also made me do a few projects that didn’t come out quite as planned, but I posted about them anyway – you have heard of them- the “craft fails”. Where bloggers show what didn’t work to keep it real. 

I had made over a chandelier in my dining room and it came out wonderfully. Having completed that successfully gave me the confidence to do another brass chandelier that was hanging in my foyer, but using a different method.  It came out OK, I wasn’t super happy with how it looked, but I posted it anyway.  It got mixed reviews, and I totally understood why.  The funny thing - an editor at Apartment Therapy liked it and it was featured on Apartment Therapy.  If I hadn’t posted it, I would have never had a huge increase in blog traffic and new readers coming to my site from Apt Therapy.  Blogging made me do it… it made me take a leap past the fear of thinking everything has to be perfect that I post about.  Putting what I didn’t think was great out there for all to see was scary, but I learned that we all like different things.  It is the idea that may spark someone’s imagination or inspire them – not the actual project itself.    Since then the chandelier has had a few tweaks.  

1st Chandelier Makeover: 



2nd Chandelier Makeover: 



Tweak on the 2nd Chandelier: 

And on a more recent note – just last week I was doing a post as part of a Walmart/Plaid promotion where a group of craft bloggers were given a $25 gift card to buy something at Walmart to then add our own style to with Plaid paints and Mod Podge. I bought a rug and started painting it, until it turned into a big mess late one night a few days before the post was scheduled to be published.  If I wasn’t a blogger I would have just went to bed at 11:00 PM. But since I had to have a project completed in two days and knew Walmart was open 24/7, I got out of my painting clothes and into something presentable and I drove 30 minutes to Walmart to get something new to paint on.  It was a nice trip - no traffic at all at that time of night.  I got home around midnight and started on the piece the next day.  It is a saddle stool - it came out great and I made my deadline just in time. 

Painted Monogram Stool:  

 Wow! Right? Make sure you take the time to click on the links below Diane's pictures. Each link takes you to one of her detailed tutorials. There are loads more pictures to enjoy and learn from. My favorite is her brilliant picture taking spot on her creative wall. Jump back up and check out the secret roller shade in the top right corner that she pulls down to give herself the perfect backdrop for post pics. She's a smart one, I tell ya!


Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

that craft wall is AMAZING!!!!!! and love the lights, too!

pam {simple details} said...

She is definitely an inspiration for me to step up my blog tutorials and photos! I remember her posting the idea for taking photos - brilliant!

InMyOwnStyle said...

Thanks Dana for asking me to be part of your series and featuring me. You made my day writing such a nice introduction about me and my blog. XO

My best- Diane

MelissaJane said...

Diane is my favorite design blogger, for all the reasons you mentioned - her creativity, her problem-solving mindset, her clear posting style, and yes, I never leave her blog without learning something.

In fact, I want to say that reading Diane's blog has really changed me from someone who thought of herself as not talented or creative or skilled enough to tackle much by way of home projects, to someone whose first thought now is "how can I do that myself?" Again, more than any other DIY blog, she's somehow been the one who inspired me that yes, you CAN figure it out, and you don't have to do it according to someone else's rules or directions, and if it works, it's right. Thank you, Diane!

Laura at Ms. Smartie Pants said...

I love Diane! She started blogging just before I did, she was always one of my favs, her tutorials are right on, she is a real teacher!

Sheryll & Critters. said...

I am not a blogger, but I sure hurry to read everything she posts. So many wonderful ideas and even I can understand her instructions.... she sure is the best as far as I am concerned. Most importantly, she figures out how to do 'it' inexpensively, which I count on a lot.

Thank you Diane.

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