Last week’s episode of Craft Wars was a Christmas extravaganza! Aptly named “A Christmas Craft-tastrophe” this episode had contestants scrambled to create festive wreaths, with ugly sweaters, and Christmas trees with shipping materials. Somehow they still managed to create some wonderful crafts.
Why do you call yourself “the impatient crafter”?
I am an incredibly impatient person, it’s my biggest weakness. About eight years ago, I had an epiphany and realized that my impatient approach to creativity was actually my gift. That ability to find the path of least resistance is the key to my most innovative ideas. Plus, we’re all time challenged these days, so the brand seemed to have a lot of viability and resonance. Once I thought of it, I knew I was on to something big!
Do you think that helped you in the pop craft challenge? Have you ever been in a similar time constraint before?
Yes! I can edit my ideas quickly, that was a big help. KISS! I am a professional designer and author in the craft industry, so I work to incredibly fast deadlines on a regular basis. It definitely helped, but honestly one hour is just not enough time! Still I’m proud of what we accomplished. I would hang that wreath on my door.
How did your crafting background prepare you for this competition?
I think my theater background was a bigger boost, because I’ve worked on a lot of sets and I have a sense of what would look good on stage or camera. I knew bold and vibrant would read better. The crafty part came in the decorations, paper flowers, notched and glittered ornaments, and rolled rosettes. Knowing how to do things that have impact and are simple to execute was a big boost!
You chose Mr. Potter as your assistant, was he a crafter before he met you? Was it hard working under pressure with him?
I met my husband years back when I went into his bead store/gallery in Pittsburgh to buy crimp beads. We owned a bead store and gallery later together, so we’ve been in the creative biz since we met. He is a crafty guy and has a great eye for design, but he hates people knowing that. He’s more of a behind the scenes person, I had to drag him into this. He’s used to that though, I’ve dragged him into all sorts of wacky things over the years. I’m kind of like Lucy Ricardo. Thankfully he is not like Desi, he’s calm and collected. It was great working with him, because he stays cool when I get flustered. We make a great team.
I loved how you used lots of color and sparkle in both your crafts. How would you describe your design style? Was it hard to stay true to that through the challenges?
I like to say that my style is eclectifunky and retrofabulous. I don’t have a single guiding aesthetic, because like fashion and trend it’s ever shifting. I love all things vintage, so that’s always a part of my work. I am easily bored, so my body of work reflects that restless creativity. I think more like a high fashion designer, thematically. One season it’s glitter and pop art colors, the next it might be understated elegance. I will say, it may be funky sometimes, but it is rarely boring! I think that definitely came out in the show!
What tool was your lifesaver during the competition?
I have to say that without hot glue, this show would be impossible. I really don’t use it much in my normal life, because I’m craftastrophe proned. I even have a regular Today’s Craft Casualty update on my Facebook page! Somehow, I did not get burned during the show! Huzzah!
I loved how you made those easy fabric rosettes for your wreath. Any more awesome crafting tips you would like to share?
Craft with your heart, color outside of the lines, try new things and don’t be afraid! Look for vintage craft magazines every chance you get, the BEST tips are in those pages. You can’t believe how much cooler the crafts were back in the 1940s-60s. I bow down to the greatness of crafters past!
How can Craft Wars benefit for the crafting community and could this show transform crafting?
A few years ago the networks shifted gears and decided that crafting was dullsville. Even using the word ‘craft’ was taboo for production companies pitching shows. But the winds of change are always blowing and if this show does well, new shows will have a chance of being produced. It’s exciting stuff. I have been waiting to pitch my show ideas and so for me, personally, it’s a harbinger of possibility. No one show is going to appeal to everyone, but if this gets people crafting like Cake Boss got people making cakes, well hello and hallelujah! I’m a Pied Piper of Creativity, I love seeing people give themselves permission to be creative and more than that, to embrace the idea of “Live Handmade.” Viva los crafts!
Tune in tonight at 8/7c for a brand new episode of TLC’s Craft Wars!