Stop by Cindy Hopper's blog, Skip to My Lou, and you may not know where to go first. She's developed so many fantastic ideas in so many areas—crochet, sewing, parties, and crafts, many of them suitable for kids—that you may start to wonder whether she's Superwoman. We chatted with Cindy about her work, and our conclusion? Yep, she's Superwoman.
Whether you are an experienced crafter or creatively challenged, Skip to My Lou has something for you. Cindy's tutorials are simple and clear, and she provides plenty of free printables to help you along. With three children ranging in age from 6 to 18, Cindy develops ideas that nearly anyone can use. One of the most unique features of the site is the focus on less well-covered holidays, like May Day or St. Patrick's Day. And her projects for Teacher Appreciation are unique, clever and prolific.
We talked with Cindy about her blog, the recent opening of her baking supply shop and how she balances all her projects!
When did you start blogging, and why?
I started blogging in 2007. I have a degree in Art Education, but until recently have always been a stay at home mom. I was feeling the need for a creative outlet. Blogging seemed like the perfect venue to get ideas out of my head and bring them to life.
Tell us a little about your blog and your favorite topics to post on.
I love posting sewing projects, crafts, party ideas and printables. From posting instructions on making a crayon roll to hosting a shrimp boil, my hope is to help others experience the satisfaction of creating and the joy of celebrating.
You did a major blog redesign in 2008. What prompted it, and what challenges did you face in the process?
I started on Word Press and wanted to move to a platform that gave me flexibility for growth. Because of the loss of my husband's job I needed to contribute financially to my family and wanted to try to sell ads and my own patterns. I really liked wordpress, so I moved to wordpress.org. Thankfully I knew the platform, but it did take awhile for my blog stats to rebound.
I also re-designed because I wanted the blog to reflect my personality and to also be easy to navigate.
Where do you go on the internet for inspiration?
I love sites with beautiful photography like Ashley Ann Photography and Funky Time . I am mostly inspired by noticing things in my daily life. I am always thinking, "how can that be made easier?"
Your kids vary widely in ages. How do you balance creating tutorials and posts that appeal to parents of kids of all ages?
I have found that keeping the creative projects flowing for my 6 year old gives my older boys an "excuse" to play. We might be making homemade play dough or scratch art paper and they are sure to come in and give it a go because it is there. And of course, teen boys love trying out recipes. I also encourage the kids to help each other in our projects. While a project might be too difficult for my youngest, it is not if the older ones help. It is a sneaky way to keep everyone creating.
You recently opened a retail store, Sweet Baking Supply. How do you balance working for your store with blogging?
This has been a bit more difficult but also a huge benefit. I am able to go to work and be inspired by new and fun products each day. My store has helped to create content for my blog like miniature meringue pies and crafty projects like baking cup flowers.
What's one great piece of parenting advice that someone has shared with you?
"This too shall pass." I try to remember that when things are frustrating, reminding myself we will move from this stage—be patient. But mostly I use this advice to remind myself to enjoy my kids because the time we have with them is short. It does seem like yesterday my 18 year old was a baby!
Read more about Cindy and try out some great projects over at Skip To My Lou. You'll get fantastic ideas and be inspired in the process.
(Images: Cindy Hopper)
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."