I was a contestant on TLC's

Craft Wars, August 2012

 

(Check out our projects in Somerset Memories)

 

Crafting Tutorials I've done:

Sweet Sensations Centerpiece

ATC Holder

Voyeuristic Tendencies?  Check out my online galleries at:

My obsessive personality compiled these lists to share:


 

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    I cook poorly, I craft obsessively and I love the look of a retro cocktail. When I am feeling guilty about taking time away from my family with my obsessions, I make videos about my guilt as "The Guilty Crafter" or I blog here. Thanks for stopping by!

    Tuesday
    Nov132012

    Are you a craft room voyeur? Check out my room in an upcoming issue of Creative Spaces!

    To my mind, the only reason to take a walk is for the off-chance a neighbor will leave their drapes open and I can get a peek inside. I stalk homes on Zillow so I can browse through the decorating decisions of thousands of real people selling their homes. Basically, I am a shameless voyeur. So what better karma than to have a really great magazine contact me about sharing a peek into MY most personal space- my craft room. After a few panicked calls to friends for decorating help, a few last minute dashes to thrift stores, my room is ready for it's close-up.

    The best thing about the photoshoot (besides the obvious- having a deadline that forced me to straighten up the usual chaos) was the photographer who was sent to photograph my room. Whitby of Whitby Photography a) had a fun name and b) was not a crafter. It was like she had landed on my very colorful, very crafty little planet and she was amazed. By the time she left for the day, she was talking about craft projects she wanted to try. Poor thing. Crafting is contagious and I am the Typhoid Mary of crafting. She should have worn a hazmat suit but I always have fun infecting a newbie crafter.

    This issue will be available for purchase in just a few short weeks.  I can't wait to see which corners of my space made the cut!  You can read more about it on the Creating Keepsakes blog and on the Paper Crafts Connections blog.  As we get closer to the publication date, remind me to post the horrifying before photos.

    Monday
    Oct222012

    Old School Lockers

    If you are one of "my" people, as in my frequent exclamation when I meet fellow thrifters/crafters,"I've found my people!", you'll understand the thrill it was to find school lockers on Craig's List for $20. Yes, twenty-dot-zero-zero. Zing! Mr. Angela Daniels surprised me but not grumbling at all when I asked him to pick them up and my kiddos surprised me by how excited they were to have these. Now they have a place for shoes, jackets and book bags. Score. I'm just waiting on the retro/vintage padlocks I found on EBay to complete the look. In the meantime, I'm sorely tempted to paint a frame of matte black around the doors. Should I? Or should I ignore the siren call of over-crafting something I should leave be?

    Thursday
    Oct182012

    Halloween Decor - Skeleton Chandelier

    This is such a quick, inexpensive way to jazz up your dining room for Halloween. I simply draped a feather boa around my light fixture and then tied skeletons from a pack I found at Dollar Tree. Done. Perfect for my crafting attention span and budget!

    Wednesday
    Oct102012

    Thrift Store Shopping for Kids 

    Total cost of complete outfit: $21.

    The other day, my friend Marion expressed an interest in introducing her girls thrift store shopping. I am looking forward to taking her to my favorite places and sharing some of my thrifting tips. I can't express enough how thrifting is a creative adventure as well as being part of much needed way of being part of recycling clothing. I read some fantastical statistic on how much clothing/fabric ends up in landfills long enough ago to forget the number but not too long that I don't still think twice before I buy too many "disposable" $3 shirts at Walmart. I also try to limit how many clothes my kiddos have by choosing versatile pieces- this cuts down on laundry and helps my budget. A total win-win.

    Anyway, with that in mind, I thought I'd post a complete thrift outfit I picked up for my little girl this week. By thrifting standards, the whole outfit is pretty spendy but because it includes versatile boots and a jacket she can wear for 2 seasons (plus I'm pretty confident I can dye the jacket after she's worn it awhile to give it a whole new life), I think it was money well spent. As I've mentioned in previous posts, my little girl is very enthusiastic about having a wardrobe that is different than all her friends who shop in the same few shops in our relatively small city and I get the fun of putting together outfits for her while saving money.

    Thursday
    Oct042012

    Boo-(ze) Bags for Halloween

    Like any good costume-wearing, candy-loving person, I love Halloween. Love. It's not surprising that I chose the subject of Halloween Boo Bags as my first Guilty Crafter video last year. So this year, when I was getting the neighborhood Boo Bags together with my kids, one of my friends remarked that I should put something into the kids' Boo bags for him. That's when the idea of "BOO-(ze) Bags" popped into my head (to be honest, I could swear I saw it as a Google search item while I was looking for Boo Bag Poems but I can't find it in that context now).

     

    So if you've wanted to do Boo Bags but you don't have any kiddos around and you don't have any co-workers to Boo, I present to you my adult-oriented BOO-(ze) Bag idea:

    You'll need to print out 2 things to add to your Boo'ze bags: 1) A Boo'ze Bag Poem (I just Googled "Boo Bag Poem," printed my favorite and added "ze" to the end of the word "Boo" everytime it appeared with a read pen). 2) An "I've Been Boo- (zed)" sign for your friend to hang up so everyone knows they've already had a turn at being "Boo-zed." I liked this one:

    http://www.novemberfire.com/shirtspopup/shirtpoppages/nft399s.html 

     A great graphic to... I was going to say copy and print but I see that copyright there so... you do what you think is best. I may have printed this one out in defiance of copyright violations but I'll never tell. Anyway, the ghost is pretty fabulous but you can use it for inspiration and draw your own. Or buy the tshirt to wear while you're sneaking Boo-ze bags around to your friends.

     

     

     

    Wednesday
    Sep262012

    Craft Room Makeover

    You know how you sit for hours and days pinning organization ideas and amazing decorating-on-a-dime tips on Pinterest? Or is that just me? All this time, I was almost disheartened by the amazing ideas and tips I was pinning. It all seems like so much WORK and I couldn't get myself started. So my craft room has been sitting almost completely unused as my craft projects have spilled over into my formal dining room and on to my kitchen counters. I just didn't even want to go IN my craft room after awhile. As lucky as I am to have a dedicated crafting room, I was mostly taking advantage of the ability to close the door so no one could see it.

    However, a few weeks ago, a favorite magazine contacted me about featuring my craft room. Sight unseen. What?! I seized on the very awesome opportunity to have a looming deadline- the very BEST thing to happen to most creative people. Now I HAD to do some of those ideas I'd been thinking about and I really did have to do it "on a dime." So, if I've been a little quiet on other social media outlets, now you know why- I've painted so many things- I don't even need to bring a paint chip to pick out fabrics- my hands are covered in all kinds of pretty green-toned paint. I have nailed, sawed, hammered, and mostly cleaned and reorganized. I have also asked for free consulting from my friends who own www.oliveandlove.com and www.foofoolala.com respectively. And now? I'm ready for my close-up. I'll be sure to post all the information on where you can see my endeavors when the magazine is out on the newstands. In the meantime, I'm almost ready to film some new Guilty Crafter videos from my new and improved craft space for the first time so you should be able to catch a few sneak peeks in the upcoming weeks.

    Now I just need a call from Laundry Weekly or some publications that will motivate me to clean/decorate other spots in my house. Otherwise...

    Sunday
    Sep022012

    Things that may happen if you take your kids to Burning Man

    Last year, I went to Burning Man for the first time with a close friend of mine and I learned a few lessons which I shared in this blog post. At the time, I thought I might not want to bring my kids back with me (but not for the reasons you probably think). However, Time, being what it is, erased some of the rough edges of my experiences of Burning Man from last year in the same way that Time erases, say, the rough edges of the memory of childbirth and allows for kids to have siblings. So this year, after a fabulous, adults-only day and night with the first-time, begrudgingly attending yet *mostly* fun-having Mr. Angela Daniels  and friends, Mr. A.D. made the trek back out of Black Rock City to collect our little ones while I watched over our camp, put in time as a Greeter On Duty for Kidsville and did a little solo exploring. Once the kiddos arrived, we braved what truly were some gnarly dusty conditions and a few weird & wonderful things happened. So if you're thinking about taking your kids to Burning Man in the future, let me warn you about a few things that may happen:

    1. Your usually overly-cautious 11 year-old may tear off on his bike, screaming over his shoulder that he's always wanted to find out what is like to be IN a dust devil. Yes, IN. And what can you do but remind yourself that you brought the kiddo to Burning Man to learn to explore a little and to experience what it's like to push himself outside of his comfort-zone? Your job is to make sure your little Burner has appropriate goggles and dust mask in place in the event that he successfully makes it into the center of the dust devil and is safe to bike, triumphantly, back to you.

     

    2. Your 9 year-old may quickly reevaluate her position on what acceptable outfits are. There is no doubt that your kid will see nudity at Burning Man. Even if you are at the wonderfully staffed (by parent volunteers) Kidsville camp which allows no adult nudity, you can't avoid seeing the occasional, random naked Burner. Some are painted, some have elaborate accessories accompanying their mostly naked selves but they are undeniably nude. As my older kiddo pointed out, "Yes, but so many of the naked people I saw were European and they're much more comfortable about nudity so it's no big deal."  So, while your own ideas of morality may be traced back to the arrival of the Mayflower at Plymouth Rock (like mine surely can be), your kids are developing much more flexibility in accepting how other people choose to express themselves. Which is, of course, what you may have hoped for them to learn.

    3. With over 5 square miles to explore, including over 300 pieces of art (many of them interactive) and over 600 registered Mutant Art Cars, naturally your children will want to spend all day in the kid-friendly Kidsville camp making friends and jumping on one of the many trampolines instead. You might find yourself saying, "But don't you want to bike over to that giant octopus that is shooting out fire first?" Luckily, Kidsville is a favorite destination of many of the most outrageous art cars so many times, the best of Black Rock City comes to Kidsville.

    4. If your kid says, "Can we hitch a ride on an art car?" and you say "yes," be ready to immediately sprint down the Playa (camera bag and backpacks smacking against your back) to catch up with him as he jumps up a ladder of a double decker art bus that is driving farther and farther away from you. You might age a little faster as you worry you might not make it but you will (and you'll realize you were much closer than your panic-stricken mind thought) and you'll have the ride of your life once you're safely on-board with your (formerly) overly-cautious child.

    5. In the middle of an unplanned Burning Man adventure (and really, those are the only kind of adventures you'll have), you might find yourself far away from your bikes and camp and worry that your little one is hungry. Just keep your eyes out for the fabulous PB&J cart. We happened upon it when we suddenly found ourselves far away from camp after an impromptu trip on an art car. It was an oasis in the desert. We heart that cart. I hope they do another Kickstarter campaign next year. I want to contribute some P B and/ or J.

    6. No matter how much you say you want your kids to be peace-loving and non-violent, you might just find yourself cheering for your little one in the Kidsville Thunderdome. It's like the awesome big Thunderdome on the Playa at Burning Man but scaled down. Most awesomely, the Thunderdome people may show up and actually referee the kid matches and, even though you try to be cool about it, you might be sheepishly proud of your little girl if she wins her match.

     

     

     

    7. Your kids will be getting more gifts than you. Black Rock City operates on a gifting economy. This means people just, well, give you things if the mood strikes them. If you have your kiddos with you, they are guaranteed to bring out the gifting nature of the people around them. While my goal was to be as respectful to all the kid-free Burners as possible, we had countless people approach us and give stickers and jewelry to our kiddos because they missed their own kids back at home.

    8. There are really too many things to mention that might happen if you bring your kids to Burning Man to list. Each family will have experiences unique to them. So, if you can brave potentially helacious dust conditions, a lot of heat and you can be open-minded and realize that Burning Man isn't what you thought it was, you might just enjoy a quality family vacation. A slightly weird but wonderful family vacation. We did.

     (make sure to read the Burning Man Survivial Guide (http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/) and the Kids at Burning Man info (http://www.burningman.com/preparation/event_survival/kids_at_bm.html) when making your decision. Burning Man is not a casual weekend event and is definitely not a fit for every family. Make sure you have read up on all that it entails).

    Wednesday
    Aug292012

    What Does a Kid Wear to Burning Man?

    What does a kid wear to Burning Man? Answer: Whatever they want to. It's all about the "radical self-expression," right? But a few little accessories make it all that more fun.

    Tuesday
    Aug212012

    Craft Wars Finale Giveway!

    Tonight is the season finale of Craft Wars and after a summer of watching, tweeting and blogging about the show, several of my fellow contestants and assistants are joining the craft wars producers, cathie and steve, to celebrate the last two episodes for the season, which both air on TONIGHT, 8/20/11.

    It's BOGO time too- there are TWO shows. Did I mention TWO? Make sure to watch both shows! Coco is so excited, she bought a little chicken-size party hat to wear while watching the shows tonight!

    episode #9: "blinded by the light" at 8pm (7pm ct)
    episode #10: "pilgrim plumbing" (hosted by our very own steve piacenza!!) at 11pm (10pm ct)

    To enter to win, leave a comment right here on my blog...then for lots more chances to enter, visit cathie's blog first and check out photos of the BIG bunch o' crafting supplies she has generously put together for you!! Next, visit all the rest of the craft wars vets below to enter by commenting on their craft wars giveaway posts too.

    cathie filian

    marylena corrado sevigney

    Saturday
    Aug182012

    I'm the Clay Aiken of Craft Wars

    I was joking all week that I'm the silver medalist of Craft Wars but thanks to everyone for all the really nice comments and support, I realized I might actually be the Clay Aiken of Craft Wars!  Here are some comparisons:

    Redhead? Check.

    Kind of goofy?

    Check.

    Awkward high-5 from a TV-ready blonde captured on film? 

        

    Check. 

    Could have used a better stylist for TV debut?

     Check.

    Was in the closet for TV debut? Check (although my closet was the Michaels Craft Closet).

    Lots of support on Twitter when it was announced they lost? Check.

    Yep. I think I really might be the Clay Aiken of Craft Wars, honey boo boo child. Yeah. I like that. But wait. That means....

    Oh noooooooooooooooo....

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