Sparking creativity, DIY style!

Are you a crafty person?  Creative?  Sometimes I feel that way, especially when sewing or with textiles, but there are lots of things I feel too scared or clumsy to try. Mallory Paige 

Enter Mallory Paige!

She is the creator of Spark which helps push us past these DIY insecurities (and we'll learn more about that later).  She's also a dear friend and all around fantastic gal.  And she's my first interviewee!  :) But she should be telling you her story :)

How did you catch the DIY bug? I spent a long time dreaming about DIY – reading books and visiting craft stores – without ever actually making anything. I was frozen by the thought that I wasn’t “creative” or “artistic.”

Once I successfully completed one project, though, I felt this amazing shift. I realized that I could make things (absolutely anyone can!) and with each project I felt better and better. I became happier and more self confident because I was in the Creative Esteem Cycle.

And once I experienced all the benefits of creating, I was addicted and knew that I would never stop.The Creative Esteem Cycle Mallory Paige's Creative Esteem Cycle

What is the first DIY project you remember feeling really proud of?

I took a knitting class with my mom and sister and made a felted bag. It was the type of project I never thought I would be able to make and I was so proud of it. And when I took it out and about, I got tons of compliments from people. It was my first clue that there’s really something special about handmade that speaks to people.

I love the way you mix and match patterns and prints in your sewing projects (like your Quick and Easy Flannel Blanket and your Dia de los Muertos Applique), but sometimes I feel nervous about trying to do the same. Can you tell us about your road to boldly DIYing?

Once I had a few successful projects under my belt, I felt confident enough to start experimenting more. I don’t have a very specific method for picking fabrics to mix together, but just go with my gut. I lay a bunch out together and just pick the ones that make me happy. I find it best not to get bogged down in the “right” way and instead just do what makes you joyful – because that’s what really matters. The blooper reel: Have you ever had a project that didn't turn out the way you wanted it to? I once made magnets out of bottle caps for friends for Christmas. My friend Becca and I didn't mix the resin correctly, and they were just a drippy mess that never hardened. I gave them away anyway. Because I was so excited about how they should have turned out and kept the faith that they just needed to “dry” a little bit longer... :)

Yes, too many to count! One that sticks out in my memory is the first time I tried to make strawberry jam. I was so excited to try preserving and thought that everything was going great. A few weeks later, though, when I opened my first jar of jam it was hard as a rock! I had cooked it way past the jam stage right into a candy. Not only was it inedible, but no amount of heating or soaking would get it out of the jars, so I had to throw out the entire thing - a definite handmade fail:)

What's one project that you have been super proud of or always get compliments on?

The Bejeweled Epoxy Pendant is quite popular and I just love the way it looks. And if you like that, you’ll love the first Spark kit ;) Bejeweled Epoxy Pendant with Mallory Paige

So tell us about your new undertaking, Spark!

I’m super excited about Spark! My entire motivation with Spark is to get people creating and feeling the benefits of it like I have. As I talked to people about the things I make, I realized that there are some major barriers to DIY. Mainly, it’s a total hassle to find detailed instructions, hunt down supplies, and find a community when you need help or have questions. I realized that if I could make DIY easy, everyone could enjoy all the happiness and confidence that comes with making something by hand. And that’s what Spark does.

It’s a subscription service that delivers a DIY kit straight to the member’s doorstep each month. The kit has easy-to-follow instructions and all of the high-quality supplies needed to complete a DIY project. Plus members get access to the online Spark community where they can connect, ask questions, and share pictures. Monthly DIY surprises from Spark!

What kinds of projects can us members expect? I'm super excited to have joined- I can't wait to branch out beyond fiber arts! What kinds of supplies or equipment do members need to already have?

I wanted to make Spark accessible to anyone, so members don’t have to worry about having a bunch of equipment on hand. Every now and then you might need to have your own basic supplies like a pen, bowl, or spatula, but for the most part everything needed to complete the project will be delivered in the box. One of my favorite parts of DIY is exploring the different projects out there, so Spark projects run the gamut from making jewelry to lip balm and from felting to stamp making. There are so many fun ways to get creative and I want to help people explore all the possibilities.

How can someone join? Or give membership as a gift?

If you’re interested in joining, go here and decide what type of membership works best for you. All payments are processed securely through paypal and you can use a paypal account or credit card. For a gift subscription, follow the same instructions as above. Once in the paypal checkout, notify me in the “Add special instructions to merchant” comments box in PayPal that this is a gift. You can also write a message for the recipient there and we will be sure to include that too. And enter the gift recipient’s mailing address for “Ship to” in PayPal.

Thank you so much, Mallory! Is there anything else we should know?

Thanks, Kori! The only other thing I want to say is that Spark is for people whether they think they’re creative or not. For those who already have a craft they enjoy, Spark will help them branch out and get inspired. And for those who think they aren’t creative (just like I did a year ago!), I guarantee that you can complete these projects. This is the perfect way to try DIY and get into the Creative Esteem Cycle.


Hooray! So what do you think ? Hopefully you are as excited about meeting Mallory as I was!  I've already signed up for Spark and can't wait for the first kit.  Maybe the most exciting decision:  who to gift it to. :) Will you join us? xoxo

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November 09, 2012


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