More Than DIY: How One Woman Took “Do It Yourself” to a New Level

-Whitney Barton

Spring term is just around the corner, and what better way to prepare for the new season than to take “spring cleaning” to the next level with a few home décor projects?  At least that’s what DIY guru Dianne Kelley would say.  Now a featured artist/designer for Anthropologie’s local spring fashion show, she has been “doing it herself” since birth.  I sat down with Dianne to take a peek into her world as a crafter and see what tips she has for those looking to do it themselves.

Whitney: Have you always been into crafts and DIY projects?

Dianne: Yes, for as long as I can remember.  When I was young, I was sewing Barbie clothes by hand, crocheting, painting, you name it – I always prefer to make it myself versus buying it.

WB: How often do you have a project that you’re working on?

DK: I am pretty much in the midst of a project (or two) all the time.  It’s my way of relaxing, believe it or not.  I can forget about whatever is stressing me out and just throw myself into the project.

WB: Where do you draw your design inspirations?

DK: I’m inspired by so many things: color, fashion, trends, magazines – but I am constantly finding ideas – to jump start my own version on Pinterest.  I see great ideas on there and change them to suit my style and vision.

WB: What are some ways pursuing this passion has impacted your life?

DK: My passion for crafting and DIY-ing has given me an outlet to express myself and to relax.  I am a Type-A person, and sometimes find it hard to relax, but when I am creating something, all my cares and worries go on the back burner and I am able to completely engross myself with it.

WB: You started a blog and a small online shop to share and showcase your work. How and when did you decide to do this?

DK: I created my jewelry shop online, back in 2009.  I originally just began making jewelry for myself, but when I was out in public, I was constantly being asked, “Where did you buy your necklace?”  So I thought launching a site was the answer. I started the blog as a way to show my family and friends my creations and now I have regular readers and my blog gets thousands of hits each month.

WB: What is it about DIY projects that you love most?

DK: My favorite thing about DIY projects is the satisfaction I get from a job well done.  I love to know the items in my home are made by me and are one of a kind.

WB: What advice would you give someone interesting in taking on some DIY projects or pursuing a similar hobby?

DK: My advice to newbie DIY-er would be to try, try again.  Your first attempt may not be what you hoped for, but with each mistake, you learn how to perfect your craft.

WB: Do you think you’ll always be a “Do-It-Yourself-er?”

DK: Yes, I will always be a DIY-er.  For me, it’s not a hobby, it’s part of who I am.

To be inspired by more of her DIY creations, check out Dianne’s jewelry line at www.LolitaSophia.com, and her blog at www.BinkyDoodleDoo.blogspot.com.

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