Living Life Your Way... Interview with Hollie Dunne

I've been working hard the last few months at overcoming my fears and following my dreams. So I'm running a series of interview with inspiring people to see what part fear has played in their life and how they've overcome it to live life their way...

This week's interview is with Hollie Dunne who blogs over at Mermaids Closet

*Hi Hollie , tell us a little about yourself.
Hey Polly and friends! A little about myself...
I'm 26, married to an Irish boy I love more than cupcakes. We live in South Florida, and are saving up for a summer move to Cali ;) We're needing the trees and temperate weather. I'm Canadian, and a Northern girl through and through. I need nature to be happy, and without it, I'm only half alive. Big into crafts, drawing, music, slow food, health, family, friends, animals, blogging, writing, singing, photography :D I'm happy to hang out all alone, but adore girly days of pink and sparkles and giggles. I secretly want my Barbie and My Little Pony collection back. Actually it's not a secret at all. The other side of me is quite dark. I adore sad mermaids, pond nymphs, fairies, wolves. You know, that whole thing. Mystery. Etsy, promoting, blogging, crafting and artsy community events are what I spend most time doing. Other time I spend with friends, connecting, or cooking yummy food. Or cuddling ;)

*Asides from blogging, what else do you do?

Thankfully my hubby is the breadwinner so I have the days to myself. I like to do Barnes and Noble, the library, crafting, attending and vending craft shows and other artsy events. I love family and time spent with friends. I love to laugh and be silly, and that part of me is still 12 years old. And I don't intend to grow up in that area ;) I love to help others, and I find it helps me feel happy. I'm a bible student and help interested ones to learn more about it. I travel when I can, up north to see my Parents in Minnesota. Love cooking, like I said. That's my other passion. Art you can eat. I have cut out sugar, starch and gluten from my diet, so it's always fun to be creative with alternatives. I can't live without goat cheese, avocados or raw almonds :D

*Is the life you lead now the life you've always dreamt of?

Hmm, well I'm not so sure I ever dreamt of a life at any point. What I dreamed of growing up was being in love with my husband. That's covered ;) We laugh alot, talk, get along as best friends-and finding him was the last thing I ever imagined happening. I always knew I wanted to be a wife. Though I love my alone time, he makes me whole. Everything else is vanity. A place of dwelling, material things, "dreams". I'm happy just to be, and to help others. I focus on nature, taking care of people-and those things are real. I try to ignore everything else and only indulge once in a while in the things that can trick us into thinking money can make us happy. I worry about the environment daily, and also the cruelty of the world, but I have faith that helps me put things into perspective.
Hollie and her husband
*When you have faced difficulties, what has been your inspiration to keep going?
Like most everyone else I have had dark days and periods of life. But I'm thankful actually. I don't believe in regret. I have been able to connect with and help others who struggle on so many occasions, and I couldn't be more thankful I knew how to encourage them. I feel that all the hard times are just memories now, and though they hurt sometimes to think about, they have mostly healed. Remember that a bad experience DOES smooth over in time. Might not go away and you'll have a scar, but the pain subsides.

My inspiration to keep going was knowing that all the pain we experience now is only temporary. Things will get better in time. Focusing on a positive future inspired me. Also my own natural inclination to be happy. I have always had a hearty laugh, and a motivation to smile. An innocence that can make me trust the wrong people, but at the same time believe that there will always be good in the world too. So I focused on doing things that helped me laugh and smile. I dressed cute, forced myself to spend time with friends that kept me "up". Rented cute movies and listened to positive music. I forced myself alot, in many ways. Slowly my fake smiles turned into real ones. This is what any Dr. will tell you if you have depression. Only you can make yourself better by doing everything, every day that feels impossible.

*Fear affects us all some point in our lifes. What part has fear played in your life, and how have you overcome it?

That's very true. Once we realize that fear is not a real thing that can hurt us, we can put things into perspective. I suggest doing things in stages. Say you're afraid to share your artwork with the world. You have a fear of people judging it, cutting it up. Maybe asking you personal questions about the content. Maybe you'll be able to sense that they don't like it. You would feel ashamed and embarrassed.

The only way to overcome this is to gain confidence in your work. Start in little ways to believe in your work. REALLY believe in it. One way to start is to hang up pieces in your room. The ones you actually love and are proud of. Hang them up all over your house and don't ask anyone what they think. Then start showing your pieces to friends or family you trust. Give them the pieces they like. They will tell you they love it, and believe them! Then you could put up your work on flickr. Then maybe at craft shows. Then maybe online. Steps. It's the same with any fear.

That was my fear. Sharing my work with the world. I have always felt "weird" in my tastes. I often wondered if my drawings would be too dark to share. Too sad. Or that my fashion would be too narrow in style. Would my dark stuff even flow with the girly stuff? I was afraid nothing would sell I would look stupid for hoping it would. However, in time the right ppl came along and raved about my work, and I discovered that even if everyone you know doesn't quite "get" what you make, someone in the world WILL, and it's up to you to share it so they can find you! But you NEED that confidence first, before sharing. Because usually you will not experience success right away. You need that confidence to motivate you to not give up, and to help you remember that in the end, your work is still awesome.
'Marina' by Hollie Dunne

Pinwheel Ragdoll - Statement Necklace

*What advice would you offer on following your heart and living your dreams?

First, it's best to remember that our hearts aren't always right. Some people desire things that ulitmately will end up in sadness and frustration. Fame, for instance is not real. It would be a waste of life to spend all your energies trying to "make it". Everyone who does ends up on drugs, alcohol or other forms of dependancy that lead to isolation and depression. None of us were made to be healthy in the limelight. The best way to listen to your heart is by throwing yourself into something that has nothing to do with recognition. Go camping. Plant a garden. Go for a hike. Visit your grandparents and make them a cup of tea. Figure out what ACTUALLY matters in the world and THEN follow your dreams. Hopefully some perspective will lead your path in the right direction. Only then will you be truly happy.

I have always wanted to share my work with the world. I wanted to share what the world looked like behind my eys. I wanted to share what my hands can make. I love to give. What is art and creation without haring? And so I spend time creating, and selling. This makes me happy. However, it is only a PART of my life. Money and ego can cloud anyone's judgement, and thus I have no interest in building a huge career. I know I would end up exhausted and lose the sparkle in my simple life. And so I pace myself, and do what I enjoy o balanced with helping others and focusing on the other things that actaully matter in my life. Whatever you dream of doing, work for! It won't be easy. But just remember that time with your family and loved ones should come first, and your dreams should never jeopardize those priceless bonds.
good times at a Crafty Pot Luck Party

*What do you think are the three most important things you need to lead a happy and radiant life?
Number one, a hope for the future based on scripture or whatever else you believe in. This gives us a foundation and ultimate goal. Without this, we are constantly searching for steady ground. This feeling of being lost can make one sick, I think. It infects everything good and innocent in life to feel lost. Find what you're looking for, and then you can truly grow, with both feet planted and rooted on the ground.

Number two. Surround yourself with things that make you laugh and feel content. Even if you have experienced great loss, or have not found that one to make you feel whole yet, this is possible. This also requires constant sifting. Add in positive friends and experiences, and sift out the negative ones. Be in control of your life, and never think that you aren't.

Number three. Find ways to give to those around you. Volunteer, visit lonely older friends. Write letters to your far away friends. Get to know your neighbors. Bake a pie for someone who's sad. Pick flowers for someone who is lonely. You will see that the less time you spend thinking and worrying about yourself, the more healthy and happy you will be. I also suggest taking up writing, or some kind of craft. Have an outlet where no one can pick you apart. Let it all out and you'll feel content
*Where can we connect with you?

You can read and follow my blog here: http://mermaidscloset.blogspot.com
You can shop my goodies here: http://blueberryshoes.etsy.com
You can follow my tweets here: http://twitter.com/blueberryshoes
You can view my artwork here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/46487706@N02/sets/72157624473801079/


  1. i love hollie, and i love this interview. hey, that's me in the middle of the crafty potluck photo!! haha :)

    YAY hollie! you're the best!

  2. i love hollie, and i love this interview. hey, that's me in the middle of the crafty potluck photo!! haha :)

    YAY hollie! you're the best!


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