Blogger Spotlight: Meet Rebecca Dillon
Rebecca from Soap Deli News inspires us to step out of our comfort zone!
Where are you from? Where do you live now?
Born, raised and currently reside in Roanoke, VA.
What do you like to do when you aren’t DIYing?
I love entertaining and enjoy having a group of friends over for cocktails and conversation at least 2-3 times a month. Although we usually pair this with some type of craft project. I also really love the local music scene and, if I can get my mind to slow down enough, I enjoy reading.
How did you start DIYing?
My mom did all sorts of projects with me when I was a kid from the time I could basically hold a crayon. We did a lot of drawing, painting, paper and salt dough crafts and baking. Dioramas were pretty big as school projects back in the day too as well as those exploding volcanoes where you mix baking soda, red food dye and vinegar. When I was 7 or 8 I hosted a magic show in my backyard where me and my friends all did magic tricks and charged our parents a nickel to attend. I started the show as a mermaid. I had basically crafted a mermaid tail from newspaper, tape and aluminum foil and when everyone arrived I magically turned into a person again, jumping out of my tail wearing my bikini.
How do you find inspiration for what to DIY?
Other artisans and bloggers are a huge inspiration although I like to create my own spin off from inspired ideas and make them very much my own. Sometimes I just have great ideas when I’m half asleep at night. I’ve learned to get and write those ideas down because otherwise I’ve forgotten them by morning. As I do a lot of bath, body and soap recipes everyday objects and especially food are great inspiration for new projects as are new ingredients that have just come out on the market.
Do you craft alone or with other people?
Both! My more serious projects and DIY’s that require step-by-step photos I tend to work on solo. Spin offs of projects I’ve made previously or just projects that I know will be super easy I enjoy making with my friends!
What is your DIY motto?
Nothing you make is ever a failure. Because even if it bombs you’ve learned something amazing from it.
What’s your favorite project that you’ve done?
Probably one of my more recent project for making Agate Slice Soaps. They look like agate slice coasters and have a pretty gold “paint” around the outer edge. I was super psyched that I was able to make them look like the real deal without having to make an actual soap geode first as they are super messy and lead to inconsistent sizing. The DIY I came up with turned out to be much easier and the resulting soaps make great gifts or event favors.
Tell us something that might surprise us about you?
I used to have agoraphobia. It started years ago when I was working yet another holiday at the mall and started having panic attacks. I refused to believe it was “all in my head” and even went so far as to get tested for asthma. By that point I was having panic attacks one after another after another whenever I left my house and eventually even in my home unless I was in my bedroom or office so I decided to try the stay at home mom thing for a while. I was told that if I wasn’t so stubborn I would have been home bound. I worked really hard to get over it and by 8 months of working part time at home I couldn’t take it anymore. I went down to our local farmer’s market the following Tuesday, filled out an application and started selling my soaps there on Wednesday. It took years to stop having panic attacks all together without medication, but I did get there.
What is your worst DIY fail?
Years ago when I tried to make cold process beer soap for the first time ever. I waited a week for the beer to go flat and poured the lye slowly into the beer a bit at a time. I stirred. Waited. And it seemed to be doing ok so I sort of dumped the rest of the lye right into the beer and stirred. Well, it volcanoed something crazy all over the stove and onto the floor. I was throwing tea towels onto it to contain it. It was a complete mess and the towels I used half melted. Luckily the stove I had then was a flat top so the cleanup wasn’t monstrous. It took me about 4 or 5 years to attempt it again. But the 2nd time around it worked beautifully.
If you are giving advice to a new DIYer what would it be?
Be patient with yourself. Just like my DIY motto, nothing is a failure because you’re learning. And the more you learn the better you become. So don’t be afraid to take risks or even think outside the box. I’ve had a lot of great projects come out of doing things the “wrong” way. Also, grab a friend! Trying something new with a buddy not only makes it more fun, but you are both there to encourage one another.
Rebecca is so inspiring! We are thankful that she shared her awesome story with us.