By Andrea Currie, Guest Blogger
I have to start by saying thank you to my friends at CHA for naming me the “Official CHA Craft Wars Ambassador.” In return of the generous title I have compiled a list of the most popular Craft Wars questions that I received while I fluttered around the Chicago trade show.
Wait who are you and when did you start crafting?
Although I’ve been hooked on glitter and hot glue my entire life, I didn’t seriously start pursuing my creative dreams until about 4 years ago when I joined the Craft & Hobby Association as a designer member. My goal at the time was simply to find like minded glitter obsessed crafters – and boy did I!
Eventually my dedication to the craft industry and hard work got me noticed by industry professionals but most importantly helped me groom invaluable relationships with talented designers and established companies. The most rewarding relationship created was with my Craft Wars assistant Lisa Fulmer!
Moving forward I hope to help companies enter into the craft market, license my library or designs and represent companies already established within the craft and hobby industry. Ohh and I want to write my very first craft book too!
How did you get onto Craft Wars?
I wish it was some fantasy story where a producer begged me to be on the show, but I had but one choice – audition tape! Once I found out I was on Craft Wars I was elated because I knew that win or lose the exposure would be a phenomenal thing for my blossoming creative career.
From that moment forward I vowed to keep my nerves in check by concentrating on having fun and following my creative instincts. A tactic that paid off in the end!
What did you make on Craft Wars?
In the pop craft challenge we were tasked with creating keepsake boxes using keys and locks. These odd materials inspired me to create a whimsical gnome home keepsake box which I constructed out of from foam core and covered in lot’s of felt!
The bling of the keys and locks were just the right touch to get me through to the master craft challenge where the remaining contestant and I were challenged to create something for a wedding in 5 hours using invitations, baby blankets, jeans and candle sticks! In the end I created a life sized modern whimsical wedding wishing tree which acted as a fun alternative to a cookie cutter guest book.
Did I mention we had to do this in 5 hours!?! Looking back (given the time) I would have done a few things differently but that didn’t stop the judges from naming me the Craft Wars winner!
What were the judges and Tori Spelling Like?
Even though we didn’t get any off camera time with the judges or Tori Spelling, I can assure you that they are just as fun as the crafters competing on the show. At first I was incredibly intimidated by all of their industry expertise but to my surprise they were very easy to talk to – which in turn softened the blow of their criticism. Judge Stephen Brown gives you a good idea of his approachable style in his CHA blog post here.
One of the most memorable moments was at the end of our episode when a teary-eyed Tori gave Lisa and I big hugs. I think she was touched by how emotional we were about our win.
What do you think Craft Wars means for the Craft Industry?
I’ve been taking an informal survey throughout the season and found that in my circle Craft Wars is being embraced by the younger generation of creative people who seem to be inspired and entertained by the faster paced unconventional approach to crafting. Hopefully, this concept, along with initiatives like Cre8time, will help strengthen the industry and ensure we have enough diversity to keep the future generations excited about crafting.
Other than winning what was the best part about participating on the show?
Crafting with my crafty sister Lisa is at the top of my list – followed quickly by the opportunity to show off my skills on a national TV show.
Also it was quite nice to be able to craft my brains out and not have to clean up afterwards!
What are you going to do with the prize money?
I’m giving half of the money to Lisa and using my half to kick-start my next line of fun designs. Shoot me an email to be put on the first access list! Or just drop me a line to say hi!
Don’t forget to watch Craft Wars every Tuesday night at 8pm (7pm Central).
Lisa’s blog: http://lisalizalou.blogspot.com/
Become an official CHA Blog Guest Blogger!
The CHA Blog is currently seeking guest bloggers and blog posts. Any CHA member can submit a post! Basically, a blog post consists of either a video or photo of an event or experience and a short blurb. We want you to tell your story: what current trends do we need to know about? What is the one thing you look forward to the most at CHA shows? What crafty community service project are you involved with? If you’re interested, please submit your post idea, blog post, name and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org.
All guest blog posts are the sole responsibility of the authors. They do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA), its staff members, sponsors or exhibitors. The inclusion of a link or reference does not imply the endorsement of the linked site by the Craft & Hobby Association (CHA).