I’m happy to feature an interview with one of my favorite friends I have met through blogging – Cathe Holden from Just Something I Made!

If you are a regular reader, you have seen many of Cathe’s creations on my blog. She has so many neat things now that I can’t keep up with her and feature them all!! Cathe is a super talented artist who’s blog has become one of the most popular craft blogs out there. We got to meet in person this February and she’s just as sweet and fun in person as on her blog.

If you love Cathe, I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know more about her with this interview. I look forward to seeing her on Martha and buy her books one day when she’s famous:-)

When did you start Just Something I Made and what inspired you?

I started blogging with Just Something I Made soon after I’d begun a blog for my design business just over 2 years ago. I’d enjoyed reading so many other creative blogs and was so inspired by the many artists of Etsy, that I wanted to share some crafty projects that I created to inspire others.

You’re such a talented artist, did drawing come natural to you or did you have to learn how to draw? Were you crafty as a kid? What did you want to be when you grew up?

My dad is very artistic, although he never pursued it as a career, and my mother is uber-creative and crafty, so I guess it was inevitable that I would be born with similar talents. I remember my grade school art being chosen often in competitions and my talents were used quite a bit in high school for various school publications. I used to dream of one day drawing greeting cards at Hallmark. Two years of commercial art at the Vocational-Techincal school my junior and senior year put me on the fast track to graphic design and I began my career at an ad agency at 17, just before graduating high school. Through the years I’ve embraced the fact that God has entrusted me with gifts to inspire others, and love how it can be done through blogging.

I’m amazed by all the original ideas you come up with and actually make… then you have time to blog about it! I have ideas that I will probably never get to:-) What is your secret and how much time do you spend crafting?

There’s no secret, really, it’s more of an illusion. I have the same amount of time in a day as everyone else, so somethings always gotta give when I’m crafting. That’s usually the laundry. I should mention that my husband is extremely domestic and helpful and very supportive of what I do. I’m sure that makes the most difference in how I am able to craft and share so much. I think I spend as much crafting and blogging as I do paid design work, if not more. It’s also important to note that my 3 children are 13-15 years old. I am absolutely certain that I could never have done any of this when they were little. As far as original ideas, those most often come to me in my two most important quiet times: as I lie in bed in the morning before getting up or during the many hours of driving back and forth to town to school and home.

Your blog is very popular, what are some things you had no idea about before now? Things you wish someone would have told you about blogging when you first started out?

I had no idea that my blog would ever, ever be this popular. I had no idea that blogging would bring so many friends into my life. Not to mention freebies, inspiration and kudos.

Possibly, it would have been good to know more about the different blog platforms outside of Blogger. I’ve done ok so far, but there may come a day when I’ll consider switching to WordPress or Typepad. For now, Blogger is extremely elementary and easy for me to understand as I’m the farthest thing from a techie.

What are some things you do to balance blogging, crafting, work and family life?

I’m so fortunate to have a home studio in the garage. It’s just far enough away for quiet, but close enough to be available for my family. There’s not really much balance, and there’s plenty of stress, naturally. It’s far from perfect. In my case, it comes down to having a supportive family.

Do you have any advice for those of us (ME!) with young children who try to juggle working from home, family and the need to be creative?

One of my favorite sayings is: You can have it all. Just not all at the same time. The kids will grow, and as they become more independent you will find more time for your interests. Capitalize on any available quiet time for crafting or work, such as when the kids are at school, and save the domestic work for when they’re home.

What is the MOST fun thing that has happened since starting Just Something I Made?

Well, it was pretty fabulous to be discovered by SC Johnson’s PR people and be contracted to blog for their two websites over the last year or so. That has been a very fun experience for sure! But it’s hard to beat all the wonderful heart-warming stories and letters sent to me by readers who have been inspired by something I posted. I receive, without a doubt, the kindest comments and emails you could ever imagine.

What are three of your most favorite projects or posts?

My kid’s lunch napkins:

A Family Portrait:

I’ve grown quite fond of this rubber stamp project:

What’s in store for you? Any big plans you can give us scoop on?

I’ve got lots of big ideas and potential plans for my future and the future of JSIM, but for now, it’s just day by day. Aside from blogging, I am hopeful to one day publish a children’s book that I wrote and illustrated years ago. My immediate goal is for blogging to somehow help me pay for the braces on the teeth of two of my kids.

Thanks so much for taking time out to be interviewed Cathe! Love you!! – Amy

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