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Meet the Author
Hey there, can you introduce yourself?
Hello! I'm Rachel Mae Smith and I'm a a lifestyle writer, photographer and author of the blog The Crafted Life and book Hello Color: 25 Bright Ideas for DIY Decor. My work involves helping readers create colorful objects that reflect their personal style and I believe that the decoration of your home should inspire joy in your everyday life.
Tell us a bit about the book?
Hello Color is a DIY guide for how to bring more color into your home and your life. A majority of the projects can be done within 30 minutes, perfect for the beginner crafter, or just for those of us who are short on time but still want to make something fun.
The book is divided by room, so there's something for every space in the home PLUS there's even free art prints in the back that you can tear out and hang up immediately.
What was the inspiration behind it?
I originally started crafting again as an adult when working a job that required 80 hour work weeks. It was my form of therapy and release from the stress and it completely changed my life. Hello Color is not only a collection of projects that you can do if your schedule is the same, but it's also a resource if you're looking to add color to your space but aren't sure how to go about doing it.
I wanted to create a book with accessible projects that could be customized based on personal preference. I didn't want it to be something you buy and put on the shelf and hope to one day do the projects inside, but rather something that if you found yourself with 15 extra minutes in a day that you could whip something cute and colorful together and feel proud of the results.
Which is your favourite project?
It's really so hard to choose! Right now it's be between the temporary tattoo hangers, rainbow scalloped sugar and flour containers, and the paper cut-out art (all of which are still in my home!).
What is your craft space like?
Last year I moved to Brooklyn, NY so my space is a bit small. I share a one bedroom apartment with my fiancé and work from home. In our living room, I made a mounted wall desk that I work at on a daily basis (and of course it's colorful). When I need to craft and do photoshoots, I typically rearrange the furniture so I can work by the windows. I've had to come up with some creative craft storage solutions, but that's the fun of it!
(The DIY of my desk can be found here: https://thecraftedlife.com/diy-mounted-wall-desk-for-two/)
Have you always been creative?
I've always enjoyed creative projects ever since I was a kid, but there was definitely a time in my life I wasn't tapping into my creativity. I don't necessarily believe that people are either creative or not, but that if you practice and exercise that part of yourself, just like you would if you were an athlete, that anyone is capable of creating art.
When did you first start crafting?
As a kid I was LIVING for those woven pot holders. My poor parents had drawers filled on them and I don't even know if they were heat protectant. In 4th grade I also had a business selling friendship bracelets.
Who are your crafty heroes?
Favorite authors- Leo Tolstoy, Simone de Beauvoir, Jerzy Kosinski.
Crafty Heros- Martha Stewart, Brittany Jepsen, Kelly Mindell, Nicole Stevenson & Delilah Snell (of Dear Handmade Life), and honestly so many more. It's such an amazing time to be alive and experiencing all the crafting that's happening. I'm in awe of others on a regular basis.
Where do you find inspiration?
I try not to seek out inspiration because then it feels so stressful, like "omg I need to be inspired now"! Instead I try to put myself in situations where I have my most creative revelations, whether that be on a walk, watching a documentary or visiting a museum, traveling, or just visiting a bookstore. Unplugging from social media is key!
What's next for you?
I'm currently planning a very colorful wedding which is exciting and a new DIY challenge. I'll be sharing that journey over on my blog The Crafted Life if you want to follow along!
Get bold and bright with these 25 easy and fun home decor projects that will liven up your life and make your home space vibrant. Whether she’s writing for her blog, snapping pictures for Instagram, or just living her life, Rachel Mae Smith is all about the simple joys of handmaking and bringing brightness to everything. And now beginning crafters, aspirational DIYers, and dorm dwellers can, too! Rachel shares her colorful signature style in each simple and fun step-by-step project like Dip-Dyed Napkins, Pom-Pom Votive Candle Holders, and Geometric Patterned Pillows. Helpful sidebars on decorating, like Staging a Beautiful Bookcase and building Bar Carts for Beginners, give you ideas for perking up pre-fab accessories so that any space can look colorful. Plus how-tos on working with specific materials, ideas for entertaining, and—of course—a guide to shooting pictures. And as a special bonus, tear-out posters in the back make it easy for you to decorate your walls in a snap!