Ashley Stopera, in addition to being the College’s graphic designer, runs a Do It Yourself Blog, Design-Waffle.com. The Blog accounts her most recent DIY projects, with photos and step by step walkthroughs. Starting in early 2013, Ashley has posted about projects related to her home, wedding, and graphic design.
What made you decide to start a blog?
I decided it was time to blog when so many people were asking me the same questions. It seemed easier to just write about the process and publicly share it rather than repeat myself. To date, no one has asked any more questions so I guess they’re reading! I also had quite a few people urging me to start blogging and I finally gave in.
What is your beginner’s advice to someone who’s thinking of starting their own blog?
I started blogging in January, so I definitely still consider myself a beginner. I’ve learned a lot in just a few short months. I recommend planning out your posts prior to setting up your blog. You need to identify the purpose for writing and what information you think is most useful
for your readers. Regardless of the subject, all readers want to see a lot of photos, and they won’t stick around to read a novel. I suggest keeping the text as concise as possible.
How did you first get interested in DIY?
I’ve been making all sorts of things since before I can remember. Like most people, it started with popsicle sticks and cotton balls in elementary school art classes. Then the next thing I know, I’m in my 20’s and I’ve graduated to reupholstering office chairs, making chandeliers, sewing Kindle cases and all the other crazy things I get myself into. Every project starts with a Google search of what I’m looking for (with the initial intent to purchase the item) and when I can’t find it (because I’m incredibly indecisive and picky) I figure out how to make it. Then I share my process through blogging.
What has been the hardest DIY project you’ve tackled so far?
So far, the most challenging project I have worked on was sewing all new cushions for my Mom’s sunroom furniture… 13 in total. I’d sewn only one cushion in the past and I was really in over my head with this project. Apparently one cushion made me an expert in my mind so I agreed to the project without thinking. The deadline was very tight, due to a magazine photo shoot, which had me really squirming, but who needs sleep, right? My Mom and I were very pleased with the results. Afterwards I was saying things like “I don’t think I want to do that again” or “why did I think this was a good idea?” I’m a good problem solver so when something doesn’t work out the way I’d planned, I always find a solution. I even fess up in my blog so my readers get a few what not to do tips.
What has been the most rewarding project you’ve worked on?
I have a project in mind that I know, when finished, will be the most rewarding project
I will ever have worked on. I’m currently in talks with helping fundraise and design a
public playground in memory of my nephew and other community members. I’d like to honor his life with a place he would have loved and to have a place where our family and the entire community
can enjoy. When I have an update on the progress, I’ll be sure to share with everyone at SMCM.