Makers + Shakers: Meet Damask Love

Last year, over on Seattle Mama, I started a series interviewing local powerhouses who started with an idea and turned it into a crazy reality. It was so popular, I thought to myself, 'hey self, you should do the same thing, except this time, you should stalk some more of  your favorite bloggers from all over'.

So, for the next 8 Wednesdays, I bring you the Makers + Shakers Series: 8 Creatives You Should Follow.  If you know who they are, woo hoo, you are so hot and trendy.  If not, then look at that, you learned something new today.

Today we are meeting Amber Kemp-Gerstel, the fabulous face behind Damask Love Damask Love is a crafting blog committed to sharing inspiration and instruction with DIY gals worldwide, no matter their level of experience!  Like most of us, she is an avid DIY-er, but all too often finds herself intimidated by tutorials around the web. At Damask Love, she hopes to inspire even the newest crafters to dive into the doability of DIY!

Read on as I pick her fantastically creative brain and share a few of my favorite projects of hers...

Makers + Shakers Damask Love cherry tags

Please tell our readers a little bit about who Amber is. 
AKG -  I give hugs. I don't shake hands. That pretty much sums me up. I've been known to be a little loud and I love to meet new people - especially people who are as passionate about creativity as I am. By day I am a child psychologist, but as soon as the work day is done, you can find me crafting like a madwoman!

My days are better when I make something so I try to squeeze in a bit of crafting everyday - even if it's just a few minutes. Outside my life as a blogger, I am a wife, soon-to-be mother and I have a mild (read: serious) obsession with sitcom reruns, think Saved By the Bell & Golden Girls. (um...who doesn't!)

Makers + Shakers Damask Love pencil cup

I've been a huge fan of your site; doable DIY is right up my alley! What inspired you to start Damask Love?
AKG - Damask Love began as a place for me to post my handmade cards. I was so busy crafting in my little apartment, it seemed sad to just let my projects sit on a shelf without sharing I started a blog. In October 2012, Damask Love was reborn with a new design and a new mission: to share clear & easy to follow tutorials that would encourage crafters of every skill level to tap into their creative side.

Makers + Shakers Damask Love simplest treat box

With all of your fabulous projects, Better Homes and Gardens Blogger Award nomination, features in design publications, and oh yeah, becoming a new mom, how do you craft and balance your regular life? 
AKG - Honestly, it's a day to day battle. Back when things were a bit quieter, I did a better job of organizing my life and my blog. These days, I do my best to stay on top of it all, but I give myself a pass if I need a break. Over the years, I've worked to build a loyal and engaged audience of readers and because of that, I have an awesome readership of people who are completely understanding and supportive if I'm not able to post every single day.

My biggest tip for balancing life and blogging is to set aside an hour or two each week for planning content. I find that having a game plan gives me such piece of mind. Each week, I sit down with my editorial calendar and brainstorm ideas for upcoming posts and themes that I'd like to tackle on the blog.

Makers + Shakers Damask Love decoupage lunchbox

Speaking of fabulous projects, I know you have so many to choose from, but which of yours is your favorite and why?
AKG - Well, thanks! Every so often, I browse my own blog to see what I've created and from time to time I come upon a project that I absolutely love...but had completely forgotten about! My current favorite project is one that is the the current issue of Somerset Home Magazine. My Decoupage Lunchbox project was one that came to me at the eleventh hour and was totally different than anything I'd created before. It was fairly simple to create, but an absolute stunner when it was done. I was thrilled when the magazine approached me to publish the tutorial!

Her Simplest Treat Box inspired my Easter Egg Baskets....

Makers + Shakers Damask Love paper punch flowers

Readers see beautiful, styled photos but we rarely see what is going on behind the scenes or how things didn't turn out quite the way you planned. How do you handle having to kick into Plan B or Plan C?
AKG - To be completely honest, I don't have too many projects that completely tank. Here's why: I don't sit down to my craft table until I have a crystallized idea in my head of what I'm going to make. Of course, as I work, my idea can transform and I may need to try a few different techniques, but by and large, I'm able to make it work. Since time is such a precious commodity for me, I try to make every craft session count!

Makers + Shakers Damask Love woodgrain notebook

I am inspired by things around me...a pretty pattern may spark an entire party theme. What kind of things inspire your creativity?
AKG - I am hugely inspired by fonts. I love them and within the course of a week, I probably spend an hour or two looking at pretty fonts and creative typography. Because I really love simple crafts, I find that a beautiful font can go a long way toward making your cards and stationery really shine.

Makers + Shakers Damask Love pineapples tags

Do you have favorite blogs and/or websites you like to visit when you have a moment?
AKG - I actually do my very best to avoid too much blog reading. I like to know that my ideas are original. Even if another blogger has posted something similar to a project I've done, I can rest assured that I wasn't influenced by them. When I am in need of inspiration or a blog fix, I usually turn to Pinterest with in a huge wealth of blog knowledge and a great resource for discovering all the blog talent out there!

Makers + Shakers Damask Love faux leather coasters

I love to ask everyone I interview: if you are stranded on a desert island and can take one item and one meal, what would they be?
AKG - One item? My Snoogle. Being almost 6 months pregnant means that sleep is my very best friend and without my body pillow, I don't think I could get any sleep at all! As for that meal? I'd have to go with mangoes and bacon. Yeah. That's what I've been craving lately, and I think we can all agree that you can't live without bacon!

Follow Damask Love on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Thanks for joining us, Amber! Tune in next week for more craft goodness and the cleverest printables you will ever see.

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