Name: Camilla Fabbri
Location: Evanston, IL
Website: Family Chic
Kids: Grace 10, Jane 6
During the course of my day it's always refreshing to read a blog from a Mom who doesn't strictly write about her children. Camilla makes fun, crafty projects that are kid-friendly, thrifty and perfect for those who are a little too old for coloring books. There's no talk of dirty diapers on her blog, just family crafts and ideas that make life a little brighter and more fun!
We've seen things from Camilla on Ohdeedoh before. For instance, remember when she taught us all how to make S'mores in the car? Or these fun hostess gifts for children? Camilla is great at presenting unique ideas that are simple to understand and usually with a not to repurposing what you have or bringing the outdoors in when possible.
The things she writes about are fresh, new, and perfect craft quests to tackle during nap time or with the help from older children. I know you'll love it as much as I do, so don't forget to stop by Family Chic; but first check out our interview with Camilla:
How long have you been blogging and why did you start?
I started Family Chic in Feb of '09. My husband was the one who encouraged me to start blogging — he really believed that my ideas were something that people would respond to.
Tell us about Family Chic and how it came to be:
I've always had a creative streak - I like experimenting with unusual ideas in decorating, entertaining and gardening. In the past, my friends and family had encouraged me to write a book and share my ideas, but I never acted on it. Finally, my husband insisted that blogging was the best outlet for me and he set me up and got me rolling.
I found it awkward at first — I didn't know how to say what I wanted to say. I just wanted to share and inspire. I had a lot of ideas that I'd been storing up, plus a flood of new ones that came out once I realized people were actually interested in my concepts. I didn't know how to manage the output, but I have come to the conclusion that it's best to be short and sweet. I showcase one project per post, I keep the text light but informative and I am heavy on images. I really want my readers to be able to get in, get it, and get out — what parent has the time for anything else?
My next step is to put out a book, and I would love to put out a line of unusual vases & planters.
How do you find time to be a mom and run a successful blog at the same time?
My creative energy is stronger in the morning and afternoon and I like to shoot my photos by natural light — so, I do a lot of my work during the day while my girls are at school. In the summer, when my kids are around more, I try to fit in my blogging at night and on the weekends. I also involve my daughters in the process — they help me with my projects, photos and even critique my work.
Where do you go in the blogosphere for inspiration?
Of course I love all of the Apartment Therapy blogs - they are the best. I am also really into Aunt Peaches for crafting and entertaining, Daily Imprint for all things creative, AdvancedStyle for fun and inspiration and The Selby and The Sartorialist for great photos and people watching.
What have been some of your favorite projects you've featured on your blog?
I'm happy with the way "Yarn Love" turned out. It's a fun and easy project with a positive message and my readers really liked it a lot. I also enjoyed working on my grass table and grapefruit vase — I love surrealistic arrangements and plantings.
Your writing and ideas are fresh, creative and practical. Were your own parents like this or did you learn these things from necessity?
My parents were definitely instrumental in making me the way I am today. I grew up in a large family — I am the youngest of 6 children. We had to stretch a dollar and my mom was full of clever tricks to keep things interesting. I'll never forget the day when I came home from school to find she had converted our basement into a cafe! Complete with bistro tables and a bar stocked with fizzy drinks and brightly colored glasses. I thought that was the best thing I had ever seen. The idea that a person can make something pretty special out of practically nothing is exciting to me.
What do you wish you had more time for?
I wish I had more time to travel - I feel so energized when we can get out of town. I also wish I could figure out the balance between creating and marketing - spend more time creating and less time marketing myself.
Finally, what's one great piece of parenting advice someone has shared with you?
My mom used to say that parenting is an art. She believed that children should be mothered in a thoughtful and creative way, and that idea has stuck with me at every turn.
(Images: Camilla Fabbri)
Since our inception, we have loved hearing from all of our readers as well as reaching out to several in the blog community. You are mothers, fathers, wives, husbands all writing about your families, style and what makes you tick. To continue fostering this great blogging community, we'll now begin featuring close-ups of our favorite family and design blogs as part of our "Big Blog Family".