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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:


 Watch The Guilty Crafter videos!







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!


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?


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!


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.


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: 

 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.





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 and 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...


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 ( and the Kids at Burning Man info ( 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).


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.


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


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?


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



Could have used a better stylist for TV debut?


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....


Son of a Biscuit- I Was Robbed! Craft Wars Recap: Trick or Trowel

Yes. That was me on Craft Wars last night. And yes, I was robbed. Okay, okay. Not really. My competitor Ashley made an absolutely ADORABLE Halloween candy monster. LOVED it. I really did. I just decided to take on the idea Tori presented with our challenge that crafters are always stereotyped as "too cutesy" and that we should try and make a lawn decoration that would "scare our neighbors away." Quite honestly, I usually DO do cutesy (or funny) so I was kind of excited that the project I made really did look kind of spooky. If you haven't seen my video reaction to watching the show, please scroll down to the blog post just under this one- no REALLY. WATCH IT. My kids think we are HILARIOUS and my daughter has a cameo telling off Mr. Glitterville. (Oh and, for the record, Pattye says we were 100% robbed. LOL).

So let me address some of my favorite moments of the show:

My "I Win the Silver" Party

After insisting that my kids compete in swim meets all summer even when they're freaked out when they don't win, how could I NOT have all my friends join me at a viewing party... even though I knew it meant standing there while they watched me NOT win. I always lecture my kids that in our family, winning is secondary to putting yourself out there and trying new things so I realized I should practice what I preach. I'm so glad my friends helped push me toward doing it. Check out the AMAZING trophy they made me. I am scared of it AND I love it. If you haven't been reading my blog recaps, you might not get the references but there is a cut up teddy bear inside, a fluffy bird representing Tori's chicken Coco (complete with pink bow) and the doll heads that terrify/fascinate me in crafting, lots of glitter. I died. They even gave me an extra "k" in case I want the trophy to read "Krafty Kangela."  It's the best thing EVER. (Thank you Marion and kids!). Anyway, we all boo'ed the judges and other competitors and cheered when I came on screen. All in good fun.







Although, I must admit, this whole time, I keep thinking about what Jerry Seinfeld has to say about people who come in second. So don't let me kid you, I wanted to WIN. Now I'm the winner of the losers ;):


Those judges are BLIND

Actually, no. I'm not going to lie, I was a little shocked at how REAL the critique part of the show was. Usually crafters are all warm and fuzzy ("awww. Love those googly eyes!") but these judges? They JUDGED. Oof. But this is a totally subjective show. And come ON. If it was always TOTALLY obvious who would win on these reality shows, who would watch? How boring. As an avid consumer of bad reality TV and the kind who is sometimes gleeful when someone gets voted off, karma was probably looking forward to my turn. And besides, a little birdie I know was actually WITH judge Jo Pearson yesterday in a bar filled with people whom I admire. They allegedly/maybe/possibly boo'ed Jo in person for her decision on this episode (hee hee) and she was funny and gracious about it. AND Mr. Glitterville- I tweeted him my recap video and he graciously retweeted it and was funny about it too. How can I not continue to love his glittery dimpled self? I'm just shocked that it was Miss P.S. I Made This who was in my corner. I would have never guessed!

I High-Five Tori Spelling!

This was the best surprise of the show for me. Ha ha! I don't even REMEMBER doing this. At. All. (And let's not discuss my many weird expressions and the double chin look I am sporting- if I had won the 10k, I'd be considering a chin-tuck right about now- watching yourself in HD is BRUTAL). Everyone keeps asking me what Tori Spelling was like and here's my best story about "meeting" her. When we first came on set, camera's rolling, there she was and, I have to admit, I kind of geeked out a little. Right away, she starts telling us about the Pop Challenge and I swear to you, she was looking RIGHT at ME the whole time. And smiling and giving me eye contact. In short, I had some kind of creative vibe that was speaking to my soon-to-be BFF Tori Spelling. She was kind of into me and I could feel it. Maybe she liked the DIY flowers on my shirt? Until she very, very politely waved for me to move over a tiny bit. I was standing right in front of the guy giving her cues. Hence the apparent focus on my side of the room. Oh. Sad horns. Dreams of being invited to Stella's and Hattie's next birthday, dashed on the spot.

That's it for favorite moments although I had a million. I wish you could have heard ANY of the incredibly funny and inappropriate comments Pattye made all day as she toiled away under the tyranny of my crafting dictatorship. But please feel free to ask, I could answer questions about the weirdness of being on a reality crafting show all day long.

If you still absolutely HATE the show and think it's putting crafting in a terrible light, I do hope you'll read my response to that idea here: Let's Talk Craft Wars, Shall We? If you like the show and hope to be a contestant on it some day, you can read my audition do's and don'ts here: How to Get on Craft Wars

Thank you EVERYONE for all the amazing emails, Tweets, Facebook messages and posts that you have posted in support of me this week. It never ceases to amaze me what a strong force of nature online crafters are and how comforting it is to find people who share your same crazy, passion for glitter and glue. If we continue to direct some of that energy and passion to TLC about this show, I think we can absolutely help shape future seasons and, more importantly, send the message to networks that crafting needs to find it's way back on to television.

P.S. I still don't think I know what a "trowel" is...

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