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!
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:
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!”
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:
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:
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:
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:
These Driftwood Sailboats:
And these Easy Painted Tribal Driftwood Pieces:
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!
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!
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:
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:
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:
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:
Other helpful tips that she has on her blog include:
- How to Write The Perfect Thank You Note (awesome for teaching your teenagers how to send thank you’s!!)
- What NOT to buy from the Dollar Store (tips that make a lot of sense … though I’m not sure I would have thought of them!)
- Teenage Cell Phone Contracts for SmartPhones (we’re not quite in this stage (thank goodness), but what a great way to lay out the expectations from the start with your kiddos!)
- 5 things to Stop Wasting Your Money On Right Now (good points … hmmm),
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.
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:
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.