Shopping at independent businesses is a pretty straightforward way to encourage the indie spirit, but Indie Maven is about indie spirits of all types, and going indie is about more than just where you shop.
The indie spirit is about being free-thinking and creative, it’s about trying new things, it’s about trial and error. These are just the things that make the blog, Kiss My Smash so indie and so fabulous. Kiss My Smash is the brainchild of the lovely Smash – my childhood friend who moonlights as a crafting extraordinaire. Kiss My Smash follows Smash’s adventures through the worlds of baking, crafting, sewing, gardening, cooking, and self-beautification.
Whether you are a crafter, baker, or candlestick maker; whether you do gardening, home beer brewing, or DIY computer projects – at some point, you have probably read a blog tutorial, looked for assistance from a YouTube video, or desperately Googled to diagnose your half-ruined project (I know I’m not the only one to Google mid-recipe when you realize you don’t have enough of something, or you have regular flour, not cake flour). I love tutorials. And reviews. I’m nearly addicted to the ability to learn how to do just about everything online. As an aficionado of the online tutorial and DIY blog, I can say with confidence that they are NOT all created equal. One of my biggest pet peeves, believe it or not, is a project that is too-well done. You know you’ve seen it – how to build your own tree house in 3 easy steps, a DIY manicure with 12 colors and not a drop off the nailbed, a perfectly frosted 8 layer cake with little rosettes. Now if these people out in the cyber world are actually that talented, kudos to them, but I suspect they are not. It seems to me these projects are usually doing one or all of the following:
1. Using someone else’s picture
2. Omitting the 23 sub-steps that go between the 3 easy steps advertised in the title
3. Using a picture of the 74th attempt at this project, after everything has been cleaned up and neatly photographed in some well-lit white abyss.
Now I like to fancy myself a DIY type of person – I can change a tire, sew a dress, I make fantastic chicken and dumplings, and I’m really getting into watercolor. Despite being relatively adept at many DIY-type projects, however, I am almost never adept at first go. In fact, my first attempts at projects are usually followed by disaster, messes, and copious cursing. As a result, I resent these tutorials which make these projects seem effortless. So oddly enough, one of the things that I adore about Kiss My Smash (that’s right, adore), is that she fails; beautifully. It may actually be my favorite part about the blog. That’s not to suggest that Smash is incompetent, because she definitely is not, and many of her projects come off brilliantly – the thing that makes her so, well, smashing, is that she has the guts to try out things with which she has absolutely no experience. And, as you may expect, these endeavors don’t always go as planned, but she photographs them and posts them with gusto.
I would rather watch someone who is daring screw up something new every day of the week (don’t worry, her mishaps are nowhere near that frequent) than watch someone play it safe and do it right every time, but never try anything new. I prefer the honesty, and sometimes, honesty is messy. Smash makes me want to be braver, bolder – because, really, what’s the worst that can happen? I love to learn new things, but sometimes, I just want to know that I’m not the only one screwing up .
Kiss My Smash is a blog beating its own drum, and today, it is my pleasure to tune you into the beat.
Where did the idea for Kiss My Smash come from?
Kiss My Smash was inspired a few years back. I had been reading so many blogs and was feeling so inspired. But I was becoming frustrated with how every blogger made every project seem so easy and that anyone could produce the same results. The final straw for me was when I created a piñata for a cousin’s Mario -themed birthday party. I made the piñata in the shape of the ‘?’ boxes that appear throughout the game. I thought it turned out horribly. I, of course had found the instructions online somewhere. I threw my hands in the air and said ‘THIS IS ENOUGH!” I then set to work on writing Kiss My Smash. I really want to show my readers
that things really aren’t that easy.
What are you most proud of about KMS?
This was a tough question for me. I don’t believe I am most proud of an individual project or the layout of the blog or anything specific. I am mostly proud of the dedication and hard work I’ve put into the blog. I have not yet had a single advertiser and I have nothing forcing me to continue. Yet I post something new almost every Monday-Friday.
I guess there are two things I’m proud of. I wrote a post entitled ‘Sometimes I need to Remember.’ It had nothing to do with crafts or cooking. It was a message to myself. I had a terrible week and needed to put something in writing to change my attitude. A reader sent me an email that week explaining that he had that post made into a poster and it now hangs in his office. I cried and cried. I couldn’t believe that my words and thoughts touched someone enough to have a poster made. That was pretty incredible.
You can’t walk through the internet without tripping over a dozen blogs and it can be hard to find one worth the HTML it’s printed on. What makes KMS special?
I think something that makes Kiss My Smash special is how openly I admit my faults. I know that I can be humorous and quirky – and there are plenty of blogs like that. But what I think makes Kiss My Smash different is that sometimes things turn out like crap. Excuse my ineloquence, but everything does not always turn out as planned. I think it’s important to show the failures just as much as the successes. Life isn’t perfect, and it’s just as important to embrace and celebrate the failures.
That is the best part about being indie? The most difficult?
The best part of being an indie blog is that I can do and say whatever I please. If I HAVE to take a Tuesday off because the night before I was too tired or busy to complete a blog post, so be it. I have no one to answer to. I love being able to be my own boss.
What is difficult, however, is finding the time to complete everything as I still have to work. With advertisers I’d be able to devote more time and energy to the blog. But at this point, I’ve figured out how to make it work, and I hope I can continue making it work for as long as possible.
What do you know now that you wish you had known when you started?
I’ve learned how important consistency is. If I do happen to take a day off, my readership dwindles. The more active a blogger I am, the more readers I reach. I thought I would be able to come and go as I please, but I have really seen how consistency is the key. Isn’t that the case with everything in life?
Tell us something about KMS that people may not know.
People may not know how much time actually goes into the blog. In addition to working a 40 hour work week, I probably put in an additional 20 hours a week into the blog. Even the short posts take a lot of time to develop and get ready.
What is a blog that really inspires you and why?
One of my all time favorite blogs is You Are My Fave. The blogger, Melanie Blodgett, shows such amazing creativity yet it’s done in such a simple way. In addition to YAMF, some of my other favorite blogs are Say Yes to Hoboken, P.S. I Made This, and Young House Love.
What is coming soon for KMS?
Coming soon I will dedicate one to two weeks on the re-do of our sunroom. GB (my boyfriend and partner in the blog) and I have some really incredibly creative ideas that I am so proud of. I have been waiting to share all of the hard work until the room is completed. In addition, as soon as spring rolls around, I’m going to be tackling gardening!
What are your hopes for the future of KMS?
My hope for the future of KMS is that I reach bigger audiences and can eventually focus solely on the blog. If that never happens, I’ll still be okay. I’ve learned so much about myself through this experience and have grown exponentially. If I stay on the path I’m heading down, I’ll be alright.
Thanks to Smash for hanging out at Indie Maven today!
Check out some photos from KMS below, then check out Kiss My Smash, say hello, then let me know what you love about KMS! Don’t forget to “like” Kiss My Smash and Indie Maven on Facebook!
Thanks for stopping by – see you next week!
(Header font: Under Your Skin by Miss Tiina’s Fonts)