Guest Write

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Spotlight On: Aunt Peaches


  
I'm super excited about today's Spotlight interview. Aunt Peaches has been one of my favorite bloggers for a long time. I originally stumbled upon her blog through Design Sponge and got sucked in by her fabulous craft projects often featuring unconventional materials and glitter. Lots of glitter. Peaches lives in Chicago with her adorable cat Lola. If you aren't familiar with Aunt Peaches go check out her blog, then come back here to read the interview.

 You've been blogging for quite a while now and I've been a reader for at least a year and half. Like many others I found you through your coffee flower tutorial. What are your favorite things about blogs and blogging?

Feedback. Feedback. Feedback. I always did creative things but many projects ended up getting scrapped halfway through --no one was expecting anything of me, so I never tried very hard. The blog has been a great reason to finish things, get them up, get them photographed and send them off into the world! Plus, the comments section has made my day on more occasions than I can count. Those same comments have been the springboard for some great ideas, and some great friendships, for which I am very grateful. To think how hot glue and glitter can bring people together :)


Plastic Bag Jelly Fish Light


 You've made a lot of crazy and wonderful creations on your blog. Everything from plastic bag jellyfish light fixtures to pretty hats for cows. What craft projects are your favorite to create and what tools or supplies do you like to work with the most?

I like working with supplies that most people would throw out; egg cartons, plastic bags, corrugated plastic, coffee filters...stuff that is readily available with little or no cost. I now keep a kitchen cupboard devoted to empty food packaging (hoarding alert). Weird thing is, while I save so many things/supplies, I don't actually like to save the end results. I don't like to look at things I have made more than a month or two. This means most of my stuff ends up as gifts, or hanging in other friend's homes, or in the basement. This also means I start every project knowing I can not get too attached to the piece in process, nor will I spend a lot of money on supplies. No wonder I work with garbage so often!


Where do you think your love of art and crafting comes from?

 I'm lucky to have had parents who were very, very forward thinking when it came to the arts. I don't know of any parents, then or now, who put as much emphasis on creativity as academics. Although neither one of them did much with the visual arts, they both came from families full of creative people. I think they believed that the happiness that comes from making something with your hands lasts a lot longer than money or professional achievement (boy were they right on that one). There was also a lot of emphasis on independent thinking and 'marching to the beat of your own drum' and all that. Typical hippies.

Franken Flowers


Were you creative as a child as well? 

Yes. My earliest memory is finger painting in the bathtub. Most of my birthday presents were art supplies. At one point, I think I was about eleven, my artist Uncle came for a summer and convinced me that my puff painted T-shirts were so good that we should hang them off the back of his truck and park by a touristy restaurant and wait for people to buy them. In retrospect I should have been mortified, but you know what? We sold two!

Thatched Wall Paper Wall


Do you ever get "artists block" what do you do to get yourself out of creative ruts?

Yes, I get in ruts where I find it difficult to think creatively. I spend most of January and February praying for March so I can get my brain back on track again and do something interesting. But, at the same time, even when I find it difficult to think of something interesting, I can always force my hands to make something. Anything. Might just be a big blob of crochet yarn or doodling on paper, doesn't matter, keeping my hands busy soothes my mind. Catharsis I suppose. Usually if I can just keep myself making something, anything at all, it is only a matter of time before something interesting comes out of it. Very few of my projects are the result of a per-existing picture in my mind --it's more about the process. I think that approach is something a lot of folks should try more often. You will never find yourself in a creative rut if you redefine what it means to be in rut. Just get going, get busy and see where it leads. Who cares if it's pretty, you are creating! Don't ever undervalue that.


It seems the inspiration for a lot of your projects is your family and stories from your childhood. The stories your share are hilarious and heartfelt. What does your family think of your blog and how have they reacted to some of the stories you've shared?
They know about the blog and some read it periodically. They never comment and I rarely hear about specific stories or feedback, so I can't speak for them altogether, but on the whole, I think they approve. There really isn't anything to disapprove though --the stories are clean. I have a rule; I'll write most anything in the past that relates to something worth posting  about, but if I mention someones name I do not make reference to their character. The only exceptions are if the person is dead or has read/approved the post before I publish it. I happen to know a lot of interesting dead people, so they make for good stories, but the living have shot me down a couple times and it has definitely put a damper on my writing.  Actually, that's not true --I still write quite a bit, almost daily, I just don't publish it on the blog. Not that it's worth publishing, it's just another way for me to keep my hands busy (see above).

Peachy Necklace from Aunt Dooney's Prom


What's next for you and your blog in the upcoming year?
I'm asking myself that same question. The blog is at a teeter-totter moment; til now, the blog has been sort of a whimsical chronicle of stuff I am doing/seeing/making. This is good, but I am breaking the cardinal rule of success; I do not cater to the audience. I just post what I'm doing/making/thinking and hope they like what they see. I think the blog is at an interesting point now because it's big enough that I have a few people interested in advertising, but it's small enough that I recognize most the names of people who comment, and because of that, I can be confident in the sort of posts my readers will like. I don't want to risk losing that. So...I guess we will just have to wait and see!

 
And finally, just for fun, if you were shipwrecked on an island what 3 items would you choose to have along with you?

A boat: Because I am practical.
Diet Coke: Because I am unpleasant to be around without it.
Julio Iglesias: Because he can make anywhere feel like a vacation. Dude can sing!  
Thanks so much Peaches!
Check out some of my past spotlight interviews:

5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing Aunt Peaches ~ her stuff is way cool!

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  2. Thanks for sharing this interview! Those bouquets are really pretty.

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  3. Awesome interview! I heart Aunt Peaches!

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  4. so cool!

    www.jessicajersey.blogspot.com

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