Thursday, July 19, 2012

Craft Wars Episode #4 - Alter or Falter

Hello Friends! So the other night was a little bit exciting eh?
My one hour of craft nightmare on national TV courtesy of TLC's Craft Wars has finally passed.

It was an amazing experience but even better was all the love and support I received from friends worldwide and locally over the show. The theater was sold out with over 120 people in attendance, the overflow they let sit in the lobby bar and put it on the bar TV's. We raised a good amount of money for the Mid Ohio Food Bank and had a great time heckling the entire time.

Now get ready for a doozy of a post. Next week I'll re-cap about things I learned from being on TV, and how surreal it is with the social media that we have today.

For now the Episode.......
We started with the usual pop craft. Our theme was to make a keepsake box using locks and keys. Very cute concept but honestly someone could play with it for days arranging the keys and colors and items from the craft closet. There was so much in there it was hard to keep track of and you only have that one hour to make it. The locks and keys were a huge mix they included things that I hoped I didn't have to deal with which were heavy heavy duty padlocks. It was really tough to work on something for a child when it weighs so much. Also waiting for glue to dry or potentially paint is a fiasco so I totally feel for the all the pop crafters using so much felt. Spray paint would of been my first choice if I had better colors to choose from in the wood shop. I went for the fabric paint purely on color choice and it was a brand I thought I knew and used extensively when I used to teach high school kids summer workshop at CCAD. It obviously failed us miserably with our lace stencil and hopes of a pretty hill. We moved on hurriedly and unfortunately felt was the quick fix *whomp whomp*
I was very adamant about having the inside of our box lined so that when

While working on our own craft furiously we had no idea what was going on with the other crafters so watching the show was the first time I got to see how they were working and what their pressures were. It was also surprising the things I don't remember saying and the things I do remember. Such a whirlwind.

The Judging on the Pop Craft was per usual a bit rough. Also going first did not help the feeling of anxiety. I was evidently torn apart for my lack of color but what could I do? The top was doused with rhinestones but you couldn't see it so well in the show. It might show up better on the still photos when they get posted.  In the end I still moved onto round 2, the Master Craft!

Now this half was really tricky.
We were asked to make a large scale craft to be included in someone's wedding. We had to use the materials given to us.
  • Old Jeans
  • Baby blankets
  • Candlesticks
  • Wedding invitations
Very random and not easy to work with. The baby blankets were like the ones they use to cover a newborn baby at the hospital. not very big and not a good material. I had high hopes of making a lacy looking snowflake out of the blankets that just kept looking like a really bad kid's craft, thank god they didn't show that.

The jeans were just that, old in every variety and state of wear you could think of. There were a lot of children sizes and acid wash (I'd like to think that was a throwback to 90210). To work with them well, it was denim so no big mystery. I do it all the time when I have worn out jeans and I don't want to waste the fabric. I was a little sad I didn't bring my own sewing machine on set because she would of been MUCH faster the the Singer machines we had on set. I kind of wanted to scream at the machines for being so slow (I probably should have).

The Wedding invites were the only paper product supplied to us and you would of thought they were super versatile but it was a bit hard to work around the graphics already printed on them. Also the colors of the invitations with the jeans and baby blankets kind of dictated what this wedding projects color scheme would be. TONS OF BLUE! with splashes of pink.

Finally the famed Candlesticks. Those were not even on my radar at all! I think about halfway in I started to play with them and thought it would be fun if I could get the light fixtures to work with them. Lo and behold they fit into the candlesticks perfectly! Then it was all about incorporating them into the overall look.

This entire time I was barely paying attention to what Andrea was doing b/c I was so engulfed in my own project. The helper's we had on set were also fantastic. I was blessed with two men who were not only cute but also both skilled at wood working. My frame went up with hardly any help from me. I drew out the plans, told them the measurements and I bored holes for stringing up the garland afterwards.

It was a very long day since everything is shot at once but watching the show it went quick as a bunny. During the final Judging it was nerve wrecking and I felt like I wanted to cry but only out of exhaustion. I very well would of just collapsed on the floor and laid face down if I didn't care about proper etiquette. Yes there were things I would of done if I had more time but we didn't and this is what I came up with, with my team and Bestie Claire. We worked damn hard and I'm still proud we got it all done. of course it was bland is colors we only had so much choice and well it's a photo booth for a wedding.  I would hope the guests would be the central point of the piece and not what was behind them. Photo booths are meant to enhance and add some levity for pictures.

Things I would of done if I could of hand more time. Clean up the garlands more, done some extra flower accessories on the ground around the bench. There was this large White flower cone I made which at the last second Claire told me looked weird so I hid it. I should of just kept it out to show I  had another piece for the photo  booth but woulda coulda shoulda's won't get me that 10K.

Was I disappointed? Not really. I was on flipping national TV for an hour. I got to go to LA to film this. I had fear reign of a ridiculous amount of craft supplies to make something I always wants to anyways (although I would done other materials and given myself a month to make it). How can someone complain about an amazing life experience such as that? It's just another thing off my large and lively bucket list.

Next up! Getting some celebrity to wear one of my designs on the red carpet for an event.  Ideally the Emmy's or Cannes Film Festival (just saying).

If you would like to see pictures from my DIY wedding last August here is the link from my Feature on Rock N' Roll Bride!


  1. Love this post, Esther! I think you were fantastic on the show and it's fun to hear a bit of the behind-the-scenes things you were dealing with. I hope they bring you back for one of those re-match kind of shows next season!

    1. Thanks Angela! If they asked me I would definitely go back =)

  2. Hi I saw the craft wars episode that you were in! I love your idea for the garland for your photo booth I am defiantly going to use it sometime! Plz come check out my blog!!

    1. Thanks Abby Cute blog! Looks like you are on the right track to a big future in Crafting!

  3. Great post Esther! You were such a pleasure to be on the show with! I loved your projects!

    1. Likewise! It is great that we've been able to get back in touch after the show too! Cheers!