not too long ago, before Hannah and i decided to not have cable, i flipped through some channels and landed on one of my favorites, TLC. i’ve always been a fan of cupcake wars and cake wars and all those other “wars” shows that have nothing to do with fighting and guns. i’m not sure if any of you have seen craft wars, but it blew my mind. craft wars consists of a few people (and their assistants) battling it out to win and become the ultimate crafter. oh, and they win some money and their craft is usually put on display for some big event.
what it comes down to is i think i am worthy of going on this show…and winning. this is why:
i’ve alway liked to keep “unnecessary” objects because i never knew when someday i would think, “man, i really wish i didn’t throw away that bright blue cut up ribbon…i could really use it right now.” some people may consider this the beginning stage of becoming a hoarder, but i think that’s only true if the “things” sit, unused, untouched, and disorganized. now, i’m not the most organized person ever, but i have a method to my madness. but to get back on track, i love to create usable, practical objects with all of these random objects i hoard…i mean…collect…
for example, i found this old wooden crate in my garage before i moved back up to school. it’s a little beat up and has some dust in the corners, but i think it’s quite cool. i sent this exact picture to Hannah with the caption, “what can we do with this?” she responded with a long list of creative ways to use this crate such as a bookshelf, a foot stool, to put blankets in, and other interesting ideas that i don’t quite remember. regardless, she listed enough ideas for my to fill this wooden crate with random items i needed to bring up to school and throw it in my trunk hoping for safe travels.
after unpacking, rearranging furniture a couple times, and finally getting settled in to our new, relaxing, fresh apartment we fiddled around with the idea of what to do with this doggone crate. we settled on making it a foot rest. it sat by a futon and couch. many feet were rested, many butts were sat, and many times i used it to reach that shelf that’s just a little too high for my 5 foot 4 stature. okay, maybe i’m 5 foot 3…and a half…but whatever.
Hannah and i, of course, wanted to spruce up this solid wooden crate a little bit. i considered throwing some paint on it but then it saddened me to think of the loss of wood. in our society we rarely see plain, unpainted wood anymore. hell, usually we just see bricks and concrete…wood must have went out of style a while ago. this aggravates me because i love wood, but it also saves a massive amount of trees so my feelings are torn.
after agreeing to nix the painting idea, Hannah, remembered her life long acquired skill of sewing. she also had a flashback to ripping apart Kitty’s (her cat) old house. this house was made of an interesting pattern of soft fabric with padding on the inside. she was going to use this material to make a camera case for me, but when we placed the side of the old fabric house on the crate it fit perfectly. i’m a big believer that when things fit perfectly, that’s how they are meant to be, so that’s how the crate was left. after figuring out we wanted this padded fabric to lay on top of the crate we were proposed with another question. how in the world were we going to attach the two?
industrial velcro was suggested along with hot glue. we didn’t know how well the velcro would hold up and the hot glue was a good idea until we thought about spillage. we needed to be able to take the fabric off for necessary washes, so our next thought was tying the two together. Hannah ran to the other room and grabbed some twine and tied away. here’s the finished project:
not to toot my own horn or anything, but i think it came out great. it’s practical, it’s pretty, and it’s a project that was fun to create.
now, i know i said we usually make practical crafts, but sometimes it’s all about esthetics. for example, on craft wars, they had to create a big craft for some music awards that was going to sit in a display case at the award ceremony. which is cool, but it doesn’t really have a use besides looking awesome. taking this into consideration, my friend, B, and i decided to clean the apartment one day (really, it was me forcing her to help me). while cleaning, we were trying to find a place to hang up some cool, hemp potato sacks Hannah had gotten somewhere in Indiana or something. we opted for hanging them on a wall in our hallway in between our kitchen and our bathroom.
they looked cool just hanging there, but i wasn’t satisfied. i wanted to paint something spilling out of the bag. i had the idea of a flower but i didn’t want to paint our walls (we would have to paint over them before moving out). B, suggested we make a flower instead. being the crafter that i am, i took this as a challenge and completely forgot about cleaning. we started tearing apart the apartment looking for objects to use. thankfully, we have a random pile of sticks we’ve collected standing up in our third room. we used those as a stem. i had recently taken off the wooden legs of our couch so it sat lower to the ground so my little legs could touch the floor while i was sitting. we used one of those for the middle of a flower and then used “recyclables” for the petals. after three hot glue sticks, some nails, and some duct tape we ended up with this.
i’m pretty happy with the result but i’m even more happy about what we chose to do with the second potato sack we hung. i have been wanting a bookshelf to hang random books we have sitting around the apartment and with a couple twists and turns (and multiple nails) we created a functional bookshelf out of a potato sack from Indiana.
Needless to say, our apartment stayed dirty for a few extra hours as we proudly created a craft that we thought was genius. maybe some people look at our flower art as trash stuck on a wall, but we view it as a flower made out of recyclables sprouting from a recycled potato sack in a house that loves to reuse, recycle, and reduce (after we collect).
in the end, i believe that my friends and i would be great candidates for craft wars and maybe we would actually make some money doing what we love, which is what i hope everyone’s goal is. lately it seems like i meet more and more people hating what they do but loving the money they receive and, to me, that’s no way to live life.
creating has always been apart of my personality. ever since i was little drawing and painting and arts and crafts were my favorite things to do. it helps that i have a mom that only encouraged this behavior by pulling out coffee filters and water color paints, giving my small pots and a paint brush, and loving every picture that was somehow always worthy of being hung on the refrigerator until the next masterpiece made from color pencils arrived.