Author Spotlight: Shazni



Shazni's nieces and nephews wearing the t-shirts their aunt has won over the years

Hello there! In this interview I would like the instructables community to get to know the user Shazni better.

Shazni joined the site in 2009 and has been avidly posting ever since. She frequently places in our contests, as demonstrated by how many t-shirts her family has. Her most recent win was in the Papercraft contest with her "A Beautiful Quilled Butterfly" instructable.

How did you find Instructables and what made you start posting projects?

I found instructables when I came across Creativeman's Can Art. I made it for my daughter, but not with such perfect results as his, which made me want to make a hot-wire Styrofoam cutter! Which I finally made :-). That, by the way, became my first cash resource for my craft projects :-)

I was totally clueless on how to post a project, but I thought let's just give it a shot and posted my daughter's bulletin board. As you can see it's sadly lacking in instructions. From then on I just started taking pictures of everything I did and entered the weekly challenges which was less competitive than the contests ;-P

Shazni's first posted project

So you joined instructables in 2009, what has kept you coming back over the years?

The amazing projects and the oh so mouth watering prizes! Most girls drool over shoes and bags, I drool over tools, machinery and craft supplies! I love and appreciate the grinder my husband got me as a gift more than the jewelry he has got me. I know, I'm considered weird ;D

Have you enjoyed watching Instructables grow and change as a website?

The technology projects are really amazing however I find them intimidating as I'm currently a techno non existent! But I still come as there is always something there that I, and everyone else, can try :-)

How did it feel to get featured for the first time?

I felt an inner glow and a sense of satisfaction that something I did really stood out and was good enough to be on the homepage! It encouraged me to try to improve my future instructables.

Shazni's first Featured project: Rainbow Clock

You’ve placed in quite a few of our contests over the years. Do you do anything different for instructables you plan to put into contests?

I try to get most of my instructables featured. For contests, I do the same and perhaps add any and every helpful piece of information I get from fellow members :-)

Shazni's winning entry in the Zipper Contest

I photograph every single thing I make, if I can, just in case there is a contest that would suite it to a 'T'

What instructable of yours are you most proud of?

The Ladder Chair! It's the most useful and functional furniture I have ever made. I sometimes still find it surprising that I made it !

What an amazing piece!

Have you ever had a project just go completely wrong or not turn out at all, if so what did you do?

Oh yes, currently there are 2 projects like that which are in hiding! When I get really annoyed with a project that doesn't come out right I put it away and don't see it for sometime. Later, much much later, when I get back into the mood of trying it out I'll give it another go. Certain projects have taken more than a year or two because of that!

All of your projects have a grace and elegance to them, is that something you strive for or does it just naturally happen?

Wow really??? I never thought of it. I think I shall take a picture of this question and frame it!

I really like earthy, ethnic and rustic, so I somehow find it incorporated in most of my projects

Earthy, Rustic, and still so elegant

How did you learn so many different creation techniques?

I think every maker tries to learn skills and techniques when the need arises.I love to learn anything new and instructables actually gives me that extra push with the variety of contests! The Metal contest pushed me into trying out metal wall art, which I love, and the sewing contests made me try out sewing!

One of Shazni's metal wall art pieces

Is there a technique/medium you aspire to learn? Why?

Soldering jewelry, Anodizing and Arduino!

I like to learn arduino because I find it very fascinating and I am totally clueless about it! I would love it if I had someone totally clued in close by so I may learn hands on with them. I'm kind of nervous about burning down the house.

Soldering jewelry and anodizing; I love metal wall art and as aluminum is the cheapest metal I can experiment with, I'd like to learn how to color it.

So far the wall art I have done is kind of amateurish, with the metal being painted and wires being soldered in a crude manner. I've just acquired a micro torch, I'm waiting for a safe environment try it out (which means kids out of the way but another adult present just in case I do something stupid!).

If this is what Shazni calls crude I can't wait to see what she'll do with the torch!

It seems as if you’ve been a DIYer/maker for a while. What do you remember as your first project and how old were you when you made it?

Hmmm....I had a wonderful childhood and most of the time was spent outdoors! My first memory of making something useful was an outdoor shower with a tin can and a pipe hose. I was 6 when I made it :)

Do you have any advice for any aspiring or current makers?

Try and make things that you need, or you can gift someone, using things you already have. Craft supplies are not cheap and when it doesn't come out right or you don't place in a contest you might feel really bad and guilty for spending so much! Especially if the thing is of no use.

Also, sometimes you give a project all you've got and think it deserves a prize, but somehow it never makes it! I know how you feel. I've been there! Heck, I didn't feel like making anything for a while. Then the supportive comments from fellow members perked me up. And if I make something useful, I bounce back faster than my 2 day gloom!

Well I had a great time interviewing Shazni and an even better time reading her answers. If you have a questions that didn't get answered above feel free to ask it here!