Taz Polaroid

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Welcome to the February spotlight feature!

I challenge you to read and learn about this months featured blog without feeling warm & fuzzy inside! Laura from Make Do & Mend is an adorable little lady from Nottingham who blogs about things to make, see, do and get up to in Nottingham. She also has a lovely boyfriend and together they have adventures, write songs, make dens and create cute stuff. Oh and she does a weekly ‘Film Friday’ review, runs this travelling diary project and…. is very talented indeed when armed with a pen and colours…

1. When did you start your blog & why?
I started the blog back in 2008. I was discovering so many inspiring design blogs out there, I thought it’d be good to start my own as an incentive for me to create and draw more in my spare time. I used the blog as a space for sharing anything pretty I found, from charity shop purchases to illustrations I liked. I then began interviewing some of my favourite illustrators to find out the tricks of their trade, and find out what inspires them from day to day. I think I’ve always rather fancied being an illustrator myself and saw this as a good way of gaining tips from some of the successful ones out there.

2. What inspired you in terms of content/theme/appearence?

I wanted my blog to have a nice clean layout, so that the images take precedence. I often browse through blogs in a bit of a hurry so I wanted to concentrate more on pictures than words. I love using my blog as a way of sharing my finds, and my own photographs with a wider audience.

My favourite blogs often give an insight into their creators’ lives. I love feeling like I would get on with that person in real life, so I often try and share bits from my weekend or any exciting trips I make, on the blog as well.

3. How would you describe your blog in three words?
Hmm this is hard! Perhaps “a creative adventure”? I love gettings ideas from other blogs and I hope my own inspires other people to try new things, from making a mixtape to building a bedroom den, or discovering new films and music.

4. What do you love  about your blog?
I love all the nice comments people have left me, they’ve often cheered me up when I’ve been feeling a bit lacklustre and encouraged me to carry on creating! I also love feeling connected to a wider group of people from different countries around the world.

5. What makes you the most happy and most sad?
I feel most happy when I’m in the midst of creating something new, whether it’s a drawing, a song or a new recipe! It made me really happy when me and my boyfriend built our magical den (above), I’d highly recommend devoting an evening to dressing up and reliving childhood moments such as this, as it was brilliant fun and cost nothing at all!

I also love finding treasures in charity shops. There is a great one near my workplace that I’ve found some real gems inside. My favourite find was probably my Taz polaroid camera (below). I’ve taken so many photos with it, which are all now arranged in a heart shape on my wall. I also found a brand new Fisheye camera in the same shop which I love to bits.

Most sad… probably when I’m feeling a bit low in confidence, I tend to over think things a bit and this can make me a bit stressed sometimes for no real reason. I’m trying to give this up though and just laugh at it if anything goes wrong!

6. Who is behind Make Do And Mend?
I live in a flat near Nottingham Castle with a cat called Rosie and 2 lovely housemates. I’m planning on moving in with my boyfriend soon though so we’re in the middle of hunting for the perfect flat… i know it’s out there somewhere! I work as a Graphic Designer, and in my spare time love taking photos (I take my camera pretty much everywhere!), writing letters on my old typewriter, and listening to old records – my favourites on vinyl are by Jonathan Richman, Devo & David Bowie – I love getting out the record player and dancing around my bedroom to them!

7. What is the best fact you know?
I love facts too, Wikipedia is a brilliant way of wasting a few hours! However I often forget facts straight after learning them. Here’s one I found out recently though (a bit random..) DID YOU KNOW! Walt Disney’s final words before he died were “Kurt Russell” – no one knows why, not even Russell himself!

8. Which others blogs do you feast on?
Other blogs that inspire me daily are Hula Seventy (I love her polaroids!), ThatKate (another talented lady photographer), What Katie Does, LabCoco (written by my Dutch friend Gerdien who is also a very talented crafter), Hello Flower (another crafty blog by the lovely Siobhan who is amazing at cake decorating and crochet!), The Art of Staying up All Night, Goodnight Little Spoon (Bianca is the letter-writing queen), and For Me, For You.

9. What are you currently coveting for this Spring?
Well, as i mentioned earlier I’m currently flat hunting so am trying not to spend too much on clothes and other things! However I have a few things planned for the Spring, including a trip to see Wicked the musical with my Grandma next weekend, I hope she enjoys it!

Me and my boyfriend are also planning a few trips to see friends around the country, maybe Cornwall and Oxford this Spring, then we have our second canal boating holiday planned for July (last year’s trip pictured, taken with my Fisheye cam). Last year’s trip was great, I’d really recommend going, it was a totally different way of life for a few days, and we really missed it when we got back on dry land!

10. What is your blogging soundtrack?
*Checks Last FM..* Well according to this my most listened-to artists are Blur, Elliott Smith, Jeffrey Lewis, Sufjan Stevens, Pavement, Of Montreal and St Vincent. I’m really hoping to see Sufjan Stevens live this year, his new album’s really different and his live show’s meant to be amazing!

11. What do you and your lovely beau have planned for Valentines Day?
Eep, we’ve not planned that far ahead yet! But if it’s anything like last year it will likely involve a low key evening spent writing song lyrics together.. (last year we wrote a little song about old computer games, you can hear it here! At first I was terrified of singing but after a while I relaxed and really enjoyed it!)

Thanks so much Laura for answering all my nosey questions and for creating such a beautiful little crafty creative corner of the internet for me to while away a few hours with a nice cup of tea. I hope you enjoy discovering her blog as much as I have!

If you want to check out previous Spotlight features you can find them here:

January: Spotlight on Clear Your Heart
December: Spotlight on Rock n Roll Bride
November: Spotlight on French For Cupcake
October: Spotlight on Fur Coat, No Knickers
August: Spotlight on Blair On A Budget
April: Spotlight on Earth vs The Wildheart

If you would like to be spotlight-ed this year; drop me an email! The link is to the right, in big letters saying Email Bee.

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