There are so many fabulous bloggers out there, and we want to highlight them on Cityline.ca. We’ll be profiling different lifestyle bloggers from month to month — they might write about food, fashion, beauty, décor, parenting, entertaining, gardening, you get the idea! For March 2014, we’re putting the spotlight on the ever-crafty blog, Suburble. Run by Tara, the blog combines her love of crafting, decor, cooking, and having adventures with her kids in the suburbs of Vancouver. Here’s our Q&A with Tara:
I started Suburble in January of 2013. I had been a long-time follower of many fantastic and inspiring blogs, and I realized that I wanted to have a little spot of my own on the internet. I was already working on projects, digging through thrift store shelves, and cooking up little bits of chaos in the kitchen… why not write about it?
The name, Suburble, existed in my brain long before I ever got up the guts to write a blog post. It’s the combination of two words: suburban and burble. “Suburban” is because we live in the suburbs of Vancouver; I don’t have the minivan yet, but they’re looking better nearly ever day. “Burble” means to speak animatedly… and hoo boy, that’s me in a nutshell. I’m a talker — I love to chat and share stories. Suburble is my place to do just that.
On your blog, you write a range of different posts, from sharing crafty DIY projects, to yummy new recipes, to fun adventures with your kids. What do you like about writing a variety of types of posts, and what’s your favourite type of post to write?
I love that Suburble has remained a lifestyle blog and hasn’t really settled into a niche. I think this is because it’s more of an honest reflection of what our life is like. I love to craft, but at the same time, I love to paint, thrift, decorate, cook, and get my hands dirty. My girls are typically beside me when I’m working on a project, so it’s only natural that they grab a paintbrush or an apron and join in on the merriment.
I write about whatever our day brings us. If I’m in a spray-painting frenzy, it will show up on the blog. If I’m letting my sweet tooth control my decisions, then there will be lots of baked goods showing up in posts.
I love to write a post that features a project I’m particularly happy with. If I’m really thrilled with the outcome of a project or a recipe, then I am almost giddy when I write it. But at the same time, I would like to do more writing — just sharing a story or talking about life — in the upcoming year. I enjoy writing just for the sake of it.
Tell us about a post (or two!) that you’re particularly proud of and want to share with Cityline.ca readers.
I’m very proud of my No-Sew Ottoman Re-upholstering. It was a project that I took head on, without really considering how much work it was going to be. And halfway through, I was asking myself, “What are you doing, you crazy lady?!?”
Meanwhile, my children were only about six inches from my heels the entire time I wrestled with the hulking ottoman and those yards of fabric.
In the end — when I was a sweaty, dishevelled mess and my ottoman was transformed — I loved how it turned out. And in hindsight, it really wasn’t all that hard. I had just convinced myself that it was going to be a large task, so I doubted myself.
Another post that I’m proud of are my mason jar lanterns, not only because I love how they turned out, but also because my girls did most of the work. They’re still so proud of them, almost a year later. And what makes them one of my favourite projects — aside from the fact that they’re actually awesome little lanterns — is that they’re recognized as beautiful by people who didn’t know that kids made them! They have been pinned by people to wedding boards and backyard inspiration boards, and every time that happens, I feel like a proud mama hen clucking over my chicks. “My kids made those, you know!”
What do you hope readers get from visiting your blog?
I hope that readers are inspired after they visit Suburble, even if it’s not to create the exact project that I’m sharing. So often we come up with ideas (or we see something incredible on Pinterest) and think, “That’s beautiful, but I couldn’t ever do it.”
The truth is, you probably can. It’s about giving it an honest try, and not letting the first failure de-rail you. Trust me, I have had lots — HEAPS! — of failures. I have watched paint bleed under stencils or had bracelets that look like a camp craft gone wrong. Just recently, I spent over an hour trying to make a frozen hot chocolate that ended up looking like the dirty post-snowfall slush you see on the side of the road. It didn’t taste all that good, either.
I think that the most important thing about exercising your creative muscle is to maintain your sense of humour. Laugh about it and then try again. Or try something else. But the most important thing is that you don’t stop trying.
What are some other blogs you love reading?
There are SO many blogs that I love to read. This list could be ridiculously long. I was a blog-reader for years before I became a blogger.
Some of my favourite Canadian blogs are:
The Art of Doing Stuff
A Pretty Life In the Suburbs
Funky Junk Interiors
The Happy Housie
So Much Better With Age
Inspire Me Heather
Life Over Easy
Satori Design for Living
… and there are so many more incredible bloggers who live in Canada. I could list at least a dozen more!
My top advice for other bloggers is to love what you’re writing about, and resist comparing yourself to others. Teddy Roosevelt once said, “Comparison is the thief of joy”, and those words could not be more true. Blogging, whether you want it to be or not, is a personal exercise. There is a certain vulnerability in sharing your work — your time, your effort, your love — with others. And when there are so many amazing people who are also doing the same thing, it becomes very easy to be envious of others.
I learned pretty early on that blogging is much more fun when you’re creating for yourself. And if you love what you do, people will want to read about it. I am lucky enough to be a part of a wonderful community of talented bloggers who create gorgeous projects on a daily basis. By changing my mindset from what I’m NOT doing to what I am, I feel that much more confident about my work and its potential.
This isn’t to say that I don’t have moments where I see what a fellow blogger has created and I feel that twinge of jealousy, “Ooooh…. I want to do that.”
But that’s the point of blogs. Not to compete, but to inspire.
I think that the blogosphere — especially in the circles that I travel in of lifestyle, home, and DIY blogs — is a rich and vast resource of talent and beauty. I feel very honoured to be a part of it all.
We want to hear from you! Do you know a blogger we should feature on Cityline.ca? Maybe it’s you! Email us at email@example.com and include “Cityline Featured Blogger” in the subject line. And don’t forget to include a link to the blog! Look forward to hearing from you!
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