So, (or should I say SEW) last night was the premier episode of Craft Wars on TLC, our episode! My husband and I started this journey months ago. Six or seven months ago actually because I had JUST found out I was expecting when I saw an announcement on Craftzine asking for crafty people who could think on their feet.
I didn't really think about it, but I was having "one of THOSE kind of days" where my students were really forcing me to act fast to keep up, do I fired off an email with a few links to a wide range of projects on this blog. I had that momentary thought that I am about to be big and pregnant and have no business signing up for any long term reality TV possibilities. ButI have this friend who is ALWAYS saying I should be on Project Runway. I am always explaining to her that I am no where NEAR that level (obviously if you saw my duffle bag on the show!) Mostly I thought, well.... this should shut her up!
A short time later, I had forgotten all about the email submission that I sent in, when my phone showed I had an incoming call from LA. I was hanging out with my mom and I think I even said "I don't know anyone in LA!"....... And then I remembered the show and I had this adrenaline rush and disappeared to do a phone interview while my hands shook and my mom alternated between keeping my daughter busy and wondering what the heck was going on. I hadn't even mentioned it yet, to her or my husband. Imagine that conversation; " So I kind of entered us in a reality TV show and I sort of just did a phone interview and they sound really interested in us!"
Fortunately, I am married to an amazing man who doesn't bat an eyelash when I ask for a trapeze for Mother's Day or when our daughter asks for a life-sized Little Einsteins rocket ship for Christmas. I know that I could NOT have had this little adventure without him. Early on in the phone interview when they were asking about BIG projects, I joked that maybe they should get my husband for the show instead of me. I was giddy when the interviewer informed me that it was a team thing and I would choose an assistant to go with me.
I was worried that at some point the stress would get the better of us and we would be arguing on national television, but it never went that direction. It was SO stressful that we both kind of knew we couldn't get through it without the other. I was so appreciative to have PJ there with me. I think we worked really well together!
So, that gets us to last night and the premier of the show. We don't get cable at our house, so we were going to have to watch it SOMEWHERE. As more and more friends offered their homes it became apparent that we had a BIG cheering section who thought it would be fun to watch it WITH us. We also have a friend with connections to a restaurant that has a big lower level with a really big TV and a full bar! Suddenly we weren't just planning to watch the show, we were hosting a Craft Wars premier party! I got into "party planning mode", which was WAY more comfortable for me than "thinking about being on TV mode!"
I wanted to stick with the school theme to add a few festive touches to the buffet area at our venue. I found this old bulletin board at a thrift store, but it had ugly paint all over the front. Eventually, I will cover it with fabric to use in our house. For the party I found a piece of black poster board provided a quick fix and NO waiting for paint or glue to dry.
Then I just used a paint pen to add lines and lettering to make a vintage feeling sign. My sister came up with the brilliant idea to make a bingo game for our guests to enjoy during the show. We brainstormed a bunch of things that may happen on the show (someone gets hurt, someone cries, someone gets bleeped for cursing... That's ME) and things that may happen during the premier party (someone cries, someone hides their face in shame, someone goes into labor... Hopefully NOT ME)! It was amazing! Even before the show started people were laughing and speculating over what happens on the show!
The prize for the bingo game was the flower arrangement which had some gift cards for Michael's and for the restaurant that was hosting our party. The idea for a pencil covered flower base is ALL over Pinterest so I get zero points for creativity. It fit the theme SO well, who cares if it's been done already!
I did learn that it would have been MUCH easier on a round vase! I should have just found a tin can, but I had an extra square shaped vase so I used that. The corners (much like the spray glue on the show) became an issue.
I found it easier to fill the center of the vase and work my way out to the corners. Unfortunately, the rubber bands in the centers ended up being loose and I had to add a second rubber band at the top to keep it together. It still wanted to fall apart when it was carried, so a hand had to stay under it. It looked good, a round can would have solved everything.
I coveted the center rubber band with a ribbon and used the extra rubber band to hold the gift cards so it wasn't all bad. There is a picture of the finished flower arrangement/prize package.
Next, I pulled out some school themed toys and accents to decorate the buffet table. We were ordering all our food as appetizers from the restaurant, so no cute themed food to worry about like I often do for parties.
I brought a globe from my studio, some apples, and scattered around dominoes lime confetti. The one food item I did bring were letter and number shaped animal crackers. They were sort of a decoration you could eat. We even had a few guests spelling things with the cookies, so I think they were a hit.
The Fischer Price school house was a lucky Goodwill find a while back. I was just thinking of it as decoration, but I set out the people figuring guests might want to play with them. They did!
I had some books and my much loved black and white composition notebook (also known as the roofing for our playhouse) to scatter around as decorations. At the last minute, I added a few pens and made the notebook into a guest book. The pencils were the remains of the pack that I bought for the flower arrangement. They became a fun party favor to hand out to guests.
I found a free school themed printable and just adjusted the size and added some lettering specific to our event. I cut them in strips, added glue, and wrapped it around the top of the pencil.
I had more strips than pencils, so I added them to some drinking straws too. I learned during PJs mustache bash that straws are a great way to dress up a party at a venue that won't go for standard decorations.
And there is one of the Craft Wars themed pencils being waved during the show. If you've seen it, you know the outcome. If you haven't I dont think it will spoil much to admit that it came down to a really close judgement call very early on. I had no idea what went on for the other teams, but I knew that my duffle bag did NOT represent my ideas or my best work and that still hurts. It also really sucked that anyone had to leave after such a short amount of time and such a small glimpse at a pretty specifics skill set. I remain grateful for even being given the opportunity to try in the first place. Everything else was a wild adventure!