My Story

Oh, hello!

My name is Jess and you’ve stumbled upon my blog, A Smith of All Trades. I started this blog in 2012 as a creative outlet, and I’ve been at it ever since. I write about everything from home improvement projects to DIYs to garden tips to all sorts of other random stuff.

Want to know more about me?

  1. One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2012 was to start my craft blog. Check! It’s probably one of the only resolutions I’ve followed through with — why do people make those anyway?
  2. My little family is made up of my hubby (Brian), our daughter (Hadley), and our dog (Remmy). My family is my life. I adore them.
  3. Speaking of family… I’m the middle child. I have an older sister (Allie), a younger sister (Emily), and a not-so-little-anymore brother (Elliott).
  4. My life goal is to climb a water tower. I couldn’t tell you why, especially since I am a little afraid of heights, but I really want to climb one. Some day it’s gonna happen!
  5. I am a lifelong Terp! I graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and I also work at the university at the Robert H. Smith School of Business. I am a graphic designer and communications manager in the Office of Marketing Communications — it’s a sweet gig with great people. I love it.
  6. I love Bruce Springsteen. He is basically the best musician ever. I even listened to The Boss in my mamma’s womb — that is dedication.
  7. I love to DIY but I HATE to read directions.
  8. I’m afraid of everything. Well, not quite everything, but I’m afraid of a lot of things: planes, snakes, spiders, heights, cicadas, slugs, basements, zip lines, traveling by myself… the list goes on.
  9. I love graphic design and interior design. Any excuse to do a project involving either—I’m in.
  10. I’m currently a grad student at the University of Baltimore. If they’d offered a master’s degree in canning, that would have been ideal. But since that’s not real, I am studying publications design instead. It’s great.

14 thoughts on “My Story”

  1. Jess,nice site.I have a project I would like your advice on how to make it . For my nieces’ shower,I need to use a wine bottle to make what her future husband would look like after he cut the grass and done lawn work.I’ll take any kind of help.Thank you, Lois Dipko dipkos2@verizon .net

    1. My biggest recommendation is to use glass paint for whatever you decide. I did a project with wine bottles and used regular paint I had left over from painting rooms in our house, and it just doesn’t adhere that well. You could paint the bottle to look like a man (sort of like like wooden peg person: and then glue/mod podge on fabric or paper or maybe even textured moss to the bottom to make it look like grass. If you don’t want to deal with the neck of the bottle, you could definitely remove it — there are tons of glass cutting tutorials online. I haven’t tried it yet, although I want to, so I don’t want to offer and specific tips on that. With the bottle neck gone and the bottle painted like a man, I think adding the texture to the bottle could be really cute! Does that help?

  2. Hi Jessica. I came across your blog a few weeks ago and have been reading along. I’m loving it! Keep up the good mood.
    Recently, a close friend of mine created a website and I would like to share it with you, as I think you would like it too. It’s called The Birthday Times (, and gives you the newspaper of the day of your birthday. It shows real events and facts of the day you were born. I already knew a few projects like this, but I think this one stands out a little bit from the rest.
    So, here’s my tip! 🙂

  3. Hi Jess,

    I love your wedding quilt. How did you go about making your wedding quilt…it’s so beautiful. Which fabric and pens did you use? Did you have to do anything to the fabric first?

    Thank you so much.

    Chloe x

    1. Hi Chloe,

      This is a very unhelpful response to your question — I didn’t actually make my wedding quilt. My grandmother did. She used quilting fabric and I don’t think she did anything to fabric beforehand. As for the pens we used, I haven’t a clue! Sorry I couldn’t be more helpful!

      Thanks for stopping by,


  4. Hi Jess…

    I was sent over by Paint Minerals. Do you sell the mix? Are you in a shop in Columbia? I’m in Maryland and would like to purchase, I have never tried this mix before.



  5. Hi there what a great site you have! I was interested in purchasing the American of martinsville side table from you if it’s available! Please email me at when you get a chance! I look forward to hearing from you soon!

  6. Hello!
    I came to you blog because Paint Minerals lists you as a vendor. Do you have a brick & mortar location? I’m down the road past Bowie and that would be very convenient!

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