Heidi Gustad, Founder & Editor of Hands Occupied
Hands Occupied is a DIY & lifestyle blog primarily focused on craft project tutorials, DIY inspiration, style guides, DIY tips and the occasional sponsored post or giveaway. Many of the people who read Hands Occupied are crafters in their 20s and 30s who are in the midst of planning weddings, starting families, or developing their careers. Overall, Hands Occupied fosters a community of people of any age who want to infuse their busy lives with a little DIY.
Want to work with me? Learn more about that and my experience here.
FAQ with Heidi
Why Hands Occupied?
This is probably the most common question I get. I’m not very good at sitting still, and as a result, I tend to stress eat or bite my nails, two nasty habits. Crafting is my favorite way to spend time, but it also keeps my hands busy. Plus, when I was trying to decide what to call myself on the crafty internet, I didn’t want to pick a name that was too craft-specific.
What’s your favorite craft to do?
This question always makes me squirm. The reason I knew from the blogging beginning I didn’t want to brand myself as one particular kind of crafter was because my craft interests vary widely, and I think learning new crafts and techniques is really fun! When forced to pick one “favorite,” I tend to sigh and say knitting. It’s my go-to when I want to marathon a whole TV series or am really stressed. I love knitting and have been knitting for nearly 20 years (despite being in my 20s), but this is not a knitting or crocheting-specific blog. Maybe my answer to the favorite craft question is knitting because I’ve been doing it so long.
Where do your ideas come from?
I consume a lot of media: TV, books, blogs, movies. I’m a librarian by profession – I enjoy research. Sometimes I have the slightest spark of an idea and start googling tangentially related subjects and themes. (YES! A librarian who’s OK with the Goog. Shocking!) I’m inspired sometimes by memories of things I loved as a kid, and sometimes I’m inspired by practicality. Why buy something crazy expensive that you could DIY for cheap? What if something you need doesn’t exist? Invent it, or at least try to. Why not?
I was raised by a very practical mom & dad who did a lot of things by hand. I was a statewide inventor’s fair champ in elementary school, and my understanding from my parents is that I was always doing and making weird stuff. I think my idea generation is so ingrained at this point, it’s almost automatic.
Would you ever give up being a Librarian?
I have no idea. I get a great deal out of my traditional career, so it would take a pretty compelling reason for me to become a full time crafter. As it is, I’m a Teen Librarian part time, so I feel like my life is really balanced and where it needs to be right now.