What’s your favourite kind of DIY Project?
The ones where I make something that would cost a bomb, for a fraction of the price. If the project uses quality materials, and a bit of skill, you can often make something you’re proud to display in your home, for a fraction of the price. For example my leather strap shelves project – these are unbelievably easy and cost effective to make, but can often cost quite a bit to buy at designer stores.
What kind of materials do you like working with?
If I’m going to spend the time making a DIY project, I want to make sure I’m starting with quality materials. It’s amazing what a difference this makes to the finished piece. I love to work with real wool, leather, wood, linen etc. On the other hand, I also value working with second hand pieces which can be given a new lease on life. This is a great way to reuse furniture and décor pieces which might have otherwise gone to landfill.
Is your house full of DIY projects that you’ve made?
That would be a yes! Whenever I need something new (furniture or décor wise), I definitely think first about how I could possibly make it. I don’t always end up going down that path, but we’ve ended up with quite a few pieces around the house that I’ve made. These include the drawers in our room (which I made-over with vinyl and leather pulls), the kids re-loved wooden dresser, woven wall hangings (in most rooms!), leather strap shelves and a DIY Toy Box on wheels.
How would you describe your style?
A bit of an eclectic mix! I love the harmony and peacefulness of Scandinavian style, which forms the base of my aesthetic. But throw in some natural boho touches, a bit of colour and some vintage accents, then my heart really starts to sing.
What DIY project have you made that you’re most proud of?
That is a tough one…I was going to say my DIY Upholstered Headboard, but I actually think it’s the Woven Wall Hangings I’ve made. I really enjoy the process of making them, it’s like a kind of active relaxation. And the outcome is always something unique, beautiful and special. I’ve sold nearly 500 downloadable tutorials for this project, so it’s fair to say I’ve inspired many many people to make their own woven wall hangings, which is something I’m super chuffed about!
Have you ever had a big DIY fail?
Aaaaah yes of course! It’s all part of the process right? I trial quite a few projects which never see the light of day. One that springs to mind is a DIY over-bed canopy I tried to make with tulle and a big embroidery hoop…let’s just say I decided to leave this piece of décor to the experts.
Where do you live?
I live in Auckland, New Zealand, with my hubby and two kids Harvey and Piper. We bought our house a few years ago, and the task of slowing doing it up sure has been great for my love of DIY projects!
What camera do you use?
For a long time I used an entry level Canon camera, and upgraded the lenses. The 50mm lens changed my life! It’s an amazingly cost effective option that will transform your photography overnight. I then invested in a Sigma 35mm lens which is now my favourite lens. I pretty much use it for everything (from interiors, to images of the kids, to flat lays). I have now moved to the Full frame Canon Eos R Mirrorless camera, and I’m in heaven!
How do you edit your photos?
I use Lightroom for initial edits, then Photoshop for any touch ups. I often use pre-sets which I’ve purchased online, but still do a lot of editing on top of these to make sure the images fit my look and feel.
How do you find running Clever Poppy with young kids?
It sure is a juggle! I work from home, and both kids go to kindy/day care each day. This allows me time during the day to work on Clever Poppy, but gives me the flexibility to pick up the kids mid-afternoon each day. It’s also such a blessing being your own boss, when the kids are sick or you want to go to a school type event – I don’t need to ask for leave, I just go ahead and make it work.