Tan, creator of Squirrelly Minds, took home the International Best Craft Blog Award at the 2018 Amara Interior Blog Awards as the judges couldn’t get enough of her fun and engaging craft content. Tan talks to the IBA Blog about where she hopes her blog will take her in the future and what her favourite craft projects were last year…
What inspired you to start your blog?
I first began blogging somewhere around 2000/2001. It grew into a network of sites including graphic design freebies, artwork, and my online journal. When it grew too big to handle, I shut it all down and focused on school. But shortly after graduating I felt the need to have a creative outlet again, and ‘blogs’ were becoming a big thing. It was something I was familiar with (but oh boy had that blog world ever changed!) and thought it would be a great way to share my projects. And so Squirrelly Minds, a place to share all the things that keep this active little mind busy, began.
How did you feel when you won the IBA18 Best Craft Blog Award?
At first, in complete and utter shock. When they called my name I sat there stunned, my friend smacking my arm saying “YOU WON! Get up there!!!!” Once it all sank in, I felt (and still feel) an immense sense of gratitude and wonder. To have been blogging for so long and be recognised on an international level is an incredible and humbling honour.
Where do you hope your blog will take you in the future?
It’s already given me so many incredible opportunities. Fun vacations, incredible freelance work, and lasting friendships are perks I hadn’t expected. For the future? The blog has helped me learn skills such as photography and graphic design that I will continue to refine, and will help shape my future business endeavours.
When did your love for arts & crafts begin and what inspired this?
I was always a crafty kid. In primary school I would draw elaborate stories of this little family I created, or play with my folded paper doll house inside my desk at school instead of listening to the teacher. I think I was inspired by both my parents. My dad enjoyed painting natural landscapes and still can create anything out of wood, while my mom’s hands were always busy with crochet or some other textile art.
What was your favourite craft project last year and why?
The brushstroke ornaments I did with my toddler. He did all the painting while I put the finishing touches on it. The colours and layering make it look like something you’d find at a hip craft fair, not something a two year old did. Then again, that could just be the proud mom in me talking.