Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meet Sarah!

Sarah is a dear friend of mine, as well as a fellow blogger and crafter. She works full time as an epidemiologist but still finds time to be a fantastic wife, renovate her home, and make these insanely cute felted animals:

You can follow Sarah’s blog where she shares lots of DIYs and decorating advice—and lots of funny real life anecdotes in between! You will also get the chance to experience the insights and humor of her husband Zach who is hilarious and also a very talented DIYer. Visit Sarah’s Etsy shop MinnieMillery to see all of her sweet felted creatures, as well as some other handmade items and vintage treasures.

When did you start making things by hand?

I'm sure my mom has a box full of macaroni art and finger paintings from my preschool years, but I would say that I first got interested in art around age 8 or 9, when my mom enrolled me in an oil painting class. I remember I was the only child in the class, and had a painting book with nothing but animals in it. My first painting was of a raccoon. It wasn't until after college that I became more interested in sewing and needlecrafting. Maybe getting married brought out the domestic side of me, or maybe it was buying our first house and wanting to create things to make it a home. Whatever the reason, making things by hand definitely helps me unwind after spending all day in front of a computer at work.

Where did you first get the idea for your felted animals?

A couple years ago I had no idea what needle felting was. I came across a feature in Radiant magazine and loved the little birds by Lauren Bradshaw. At the time, I thought they were just stitched together from felt. Then I starting seeing more and more needle felted pieces on places like Etsy, and shared them with my husband Zach. Thoughtful husband that he is, he bought me a needle felting kit for Christmas one year. After practicing with basic shapes, I started making animals. I use the same basic shapes for most of my animals, however my favorite animals to make right now are bears.

What was the toughest update you’ve made to your house so far?

Removing the popcorn ceiling! Although this job doesn't require a lot of skill, it's very messy and physically demanding. We tackled this project after we had moved in, which added to the difficulty. With 8 rooms (plus closets) across two stories, we were eating popcorn for months.Fixing the broken toilet waste pipe in the foundation of our half bath comes in as a close second.

Which was the most satisfactory?

When the last trace of popcorn was gone from our ceilings, we had quite a celebration. We jumped up and down, sang songs, and gave high fives. But I think one of the best transformations was our half bathroom. We pretty much gutted the space, replacing all the old fixtures and lighting. We added a classic pedestal sink, white bead board, and painted the walls sage green. It's a small space, but one of our favorites!

Give us your best tip or piece of advice when it comes to tackling a big project in your home.

Don't be afraid to make mistakes! Zach has definitely helped encourage me in this area....he doesn't call me Safety Sarah for nothing.

I am so excited to announce that Sarah has sent me an amazing tutorial that I will be posting very soon, so be sure and stop by to check it out in the next couple of days--it's a good one!

Thank you Sarah!!!

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