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Summer Spotlight {Holy Craft}

July 24, 2015
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Hooray!  It’s Friday AND I’m super excited about introducing you to a blogger that I recently discovered.  I actually ‘discovered’ Rachel from Holy Craft when I met her in the lobby of our hotel during SNAP back in April on the first morning of the conference.  The run didn’t go so great for me, but I am SO glad I went because I was able to meet Rachel!  Her blog is not entirely DIY or Crafts, but it is FULL of useful and motivating posts!  Once you read some of her posts, you’ll feel like you know Rachel, too!  She is our featured blogger in today’s Summer Spotlight, and I hope you enjoy it!

Summer Spotlight hosted by Dwelling in Happiness, Kenarry: Ideas for the Home, Crafts by Courtney, 3 Little Greenwoods, Making It In the Mountains, and View from the Fridge

The Summer Spotlight is a collaborative effort to showcase great ideas from a different talented blogger each Friday throughout the summer months. Follow my co-hosts and I online to see the great ideas we share year-round:

Amanda of Dwelling in Happiness

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Carrie of Kenarry: Ideas for the Home

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Courtney of Crafts By Courtney

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Ashley of 3 Little Greenwoods

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Kristi of Making It In the Mountains

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Katie of View from the Fridge

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Hello everyone!  Katie from View From The Fridge back this Friday with another fabulous blogger that I’d love to introduce you to!  Her name is Rachel, and her blog is called Holy Craft (isn’t that a great name?!?).  She has been blogging since 2010, and shares all kinds of things on Holy Craft.  She has plenty craftiness and DIY … especially of the thrifty, garage-sale-repurposing kind on the blog, but she also shares a lot of personal stuff, some tips for making life easier (lessons she’s learned along the way), and general motivation for moms and women everywhere.  When I asked Rachel to describe her blog, this is what she told me:

“I’m sort of all over the place! I have so many things that interest me that I have a hard time staying in one niche.  When I describe my blog I usually say I’m a home and family blog with a creative thrifty side.  The best content comes from writing about things that you love or that you are passionate about.  As you can see, I like a lot of stuff!”

Rachel-HolyCraft

I actually met Rachel at SNAP this past April when we met for a ‘run’ one morning (and when I say ‘run’ it was a sad attempt at me trying to keep up and about keeling over … Rachel, on the other hand, seemed barely winded).  As we ran (at my snail’s pace), I learned that Rachel was training for a half marathon and was running for Team World Vision.  Upon more conversation, I learned she had just returned from Zambia where she was able to observe first hand how World Vision was improving lives in SubSaharan Africa by making clean water and sanitation more readily available (more on that to come).  Well … she just became a super interesting blogger and I wanted to learn more about her, her blog, and her life.  It was a good thing we had an entire morning of thrift store touring in Salt Lake City after the run (because I could barely muster one word answers to her questions during our ‘run’).

SO … why am I telling you all this?  It’s because Rachel’s blog isn’t just the typical DIY / Craft blog.  It’s so much more;  more personal … more interesting … more inspiring and practical … and it leaves you feeling motivated.  And that’s why I wanted to share it with you today.   So here we go …

Thrifting, Garage Sale-ing, Upcycling, and Repurposing:

Let’s start with her love of garage sales and thrift stores.  It’s obvious when you read her blog that she thrives on giving new life to old things.  And I could see her passion for ‘picking’ when we were in Salt Lake City at some crazy thrift stores … take a look:

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Can you see Rachel amongst the ‘treasures’??!??

She has a couple of weekly series (Garage Sale Finds and Transformation Tuesday) where she shares her latest thrifty finds and projects.  She even has an awesome post about Garage Sale Tips for First Timers!

Here’s a simple furniture transformation that Rachel shared recently:

spray paint on plastic hamper

No fancy tricks here … using only spray paint, she took this hamper from 70’s not-so-cool, to glam and unique!  Her tip?  “Look for good lines in a piece.”

I asked Rachel about her ‘Garage Sale routine’ … if she goes alone, and if she ever brings her kids.  Here’s what she had to say:

“I have garage sale rules. I have a handful of set garage sale weekends that I tackle with a few of my really good girlfriends at the big neighborhood sales in our area. I take out the back seat in my van to make more room for treasures, so I can hold three extra people in my car. The person who rides shotgun buys me coffee at Starbucks and if you aren’t ready when the van is ready, you will get left behind. I have had friends running to catch up to the van! My girlfriends also joke about having fear pee.  You know, having to go, but not being able to stop because what if they get left behind.  It’s real. There may have been tears.  
 
My kids come with me most Friday’s during the summer. I think it’s so important to teach them the value of a dollar.  And seriously, you dollar can’t go much further than at a garage sale! They have also gotten really good at negotiating and learning about making change.  My oldest son is 16, and this summer him and his friends have gotten really into garage sales.  They head out early in the morning and have been buying and reselling their finds. It’s become a really lucrative job for these three teenage boys. 
 
Every week, I probably have a new favorite find.  I’ve been going to garage sales for so long that it’s hard for me to narrow it down. My favorite thing about garage sales is that we can afford brands, toys and household things we wouldn’t normally be able to buy retail. I love that I’m able to live well on far less because garage sales help me do that.”
I love that … Garage Sale-ing has now become a family business in their family!

Now, let’s talk upcycling (or repurposing … or using what you’ve got …).  Rachel lives in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle area, to be exact), and she mentions that there aren’t many shells along their beaches, but there IS driftwood (and plenty of it!).  She has some awesome projects on her blog using driftwood, and I love her creativity!

Like these Driftwood Beach Signs:

driftwood sign final

These Driftwood Sailboats:

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And these Easy Painted Tribal Driftwood Pieces:

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DIY & Craftiness:

Rachel and her Engineer husband make a great DIY team.  I love her honesty when she shares her tutorials.  She doesn’t claim to be an expert.  She doesn’t have a tool shed full of power tools.  She just has vision, a good plan, and a husband that is able to help her fill in the gaps.  The two of them made this Planked Table Cover for their kitchen table, and it turned out beautifully!

custom tabletop

In the post, she shares some ‘before’ pictures of the kitchen table which has been well used.  Nail polish remover, paint, hot glue, play-doh, etc, left their table looking a little … ‘less than ideal’ (or downright ‘ghetto’ in Rachel’s words).  Rachel mentions in her blog that she is ‘cheap’ … or let’s phrase it another way … she’s thrifty.  She has made it a habit to use what she has and to live well off of less.  Why buy an entirely new table, when this one is mostly fine?  And … if you do buy a new table, what happens when you and your kids still want to use that table for art projects, a manicure station, etc?  The solution … make a removable table cover for the existing table!  The new table top totally gives the table a finished, professional, beautiful appearance, but when you’re ready to break out the hot glue gun … simply lift it off and craft away!

easy removable table top

We need this for our existing kitchen table that currently looks a bit like some graffiti artists (possibly named Owen, Charlie, and Ben) got a hold of it.

I also spotted this project from early on in her blog, and fell in love with it (you know I love a good knock off project):  Pottery Barn Knock Off Typewritter Art:

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She’s also crafty, and I love how her craft ideas are practical and not super complicated.  I love this DIY Pencil Vase that she made for Teacher Appreciation Week this past year:

pencil vase

Simple, quick, and so pretty!

Quick and Practical Tips:

Rachel’s blog is also a great place to pick up simple, useful tips … for life in general.  Ever wonder how to dress up a fruit platter (I do … is that odd?), I love this simple Pineapple cutting technique she shares:

fruit-platter-idea

Now … speaking of practical tips, did you know you can make your own FOAMING hand soap??  I did not (maybe that’s just me??).  I love the foaming soap for my kiddos.  It seems like the only way to get them to wash their hands … and actually get them clean!  I had no clue you could make your own refill once the store bought soap runs out?!?  Can you tell I get excited about small things sometimes?!?  Check out how easy it is in Rachel’s post HERE:

soap final

Other helpful tips that she has on her blog include:

Good Causes and Getting Personal:

And finally … I love that Rachel is real.  She’s down-to-earth.  She’s NOT the glass-is-always-half-full, life-is-so-easy-all-the-time, my-life-is-picture-perfect blogger.  And I love that.  And that’s the main reason why I wanted to introduce you to her blog.

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Africa, World Vision, and helping improve the living conditions to the people of SubSaharan Africa seems to be such a huge passion of Rachel’s.  I wanted to know more of what the experience was like, what major take aways or life changing perspective she took away from her trips.  Here’s what she had to say:

“Remember how I said I write about things that I am passionate about?  Well, these questions alone could be a whole series of blog posts! World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities in nearly 100 countries. World Vision’s goal is to help the people they work with reach their full potential by tackling the root of the problem which is usually poverty and injustice. I had the opportunity to travel to Uganda last summer to meet our sponsored child {he gave me a live chicken as a thank you gift}, dedicate a well that our church raised the funds for and see first hand the work that World Vision was doing in this very rural community. My trip to Zambia was totally different. I was able to see several communities that World Vision was working in.  One of them was in the process of getting wells dug and having access to clean water and another had already received wells and sanitation training. The difference clean water makes is unbelievable! Water is life. The good news is, providing clean water is possible and World Vision is helping to make that happen all over sub-Saharan Africa, which is why I recently ran a half marathon for Team World Vision.  It was an awesome experience and our team helped to raise over $130,000! That’s clean water for more than 2,600 for life!
 
Not everyone has the opportunity to travel to the other side of the word to see life in a very different way.  The only thing that is different from me and the women I met in Africa is geography. By the grace of God I was born in a country that has an infrastructure. I left those trips knowing that I had been given a gift. That gift came in the stories that were shared with me…stories of life, stories of struggle and stories of hope. I promised those people that I would share their stories so that others could hear them. After my first trip, I was surprised that I didn’t leave feeling sorry for these people. The people of Africa are the most amazing people that I have ever met.  They are strong and resilient and they work hard and love God. I came home wanting to be their voice.
I mentioned above that Rachel’s blog has a lot of personal stuff in it.
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Rachel and her family in Maui last year

You can read about her Tummy Tuck, her Horrible Mother’s Day and her advice to have a good one, her trips to Zambia and Uganda (and ways in which you can help), her recent Half Marathon (and some of her runners ‘lessons learned’), and her decision to become a mother when she was 19.
As a blogger that hopes to be more of an open book, I love this about Holy Craft.  I wanted to know, from Rachel, if she has any regrets about being so transparent and open to the world.
“I think the biggest compliment that I get from other people that know me is that when they read my blog it sounds like me. They can hear my tone and my sarcastic-ness and for those people who get to know me through my blog they see it as an authentic reflection of myself. I put everything out there and I am open about all areas of my life. I strive to have meaningful interaction with my readers and I don’t want to just post the best of myself out there because there is always more than that.  
 
Thankfully, I’ve had very supportive readers when I have put personal information out there. When you open yourself up, you leave yourself vulnerable, but you also lay the groundwork to establish deep roots that go beyond superficial conversations. I hope that I have built trust with my readers through the years by being an open book and I know that I appreciate it when I hear that they have been touched by something I have written.”
 I hope you enjoyed getting to know Rachel and her blog, Holy Craft!  She offers plenty of creativity, but also so much more!

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If you enjoyed this feature about Rachel at Holy Craft, you may want to check out the other bloggers we’ve featured in the Summer Spotlight. You can also visit our Summer Spotlight Pinterest board to view all the great ideas we’ve shared in this series.

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1 Comment

  • Reply Rachel July 24, 2015 at 9:46 am

    Thank you so much Katie for such a wonderful feature! You are the sweetest and I’m so glad we got to huff and puff on that run at SNAP followed up by my favorite sport of picking! You are the sweetest!
    Rachel recently posted…Garage sale finds FridayMy Profile

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