Crafty Challenge: Meet the Crafters

About a month ago, Marcus flew back to Boston to watch our alma mater compete in a college hockey tournament. It just so happened that the weekend he was gone also coincided with the Super Bowl. Now, it’s not that I don’t like sports, but the freedom of being “excused” from viewing the most watched sporting event of the year was thrilling for me. So thrilling in fact, that I spent the day organizing my craft supplies and watching shows stored on my DVR.

Seeing all the great stuff that I had just waiting to be created with was a little disappointing. How many creations were just waiting to be created?? But I just couldn’t find the inspiration to make anything. I was feeling overwhelmed by all the beautiful inspiration from all the blogs I read and Etsy shops I browse from far more craftier women than myself. All of the ideas I had felt like they had been done again and again.

A few days later, I came across this post on Aunt Peaches (one of said craftier women) where she described a Crafting Challenge that she and several other bloggers had participated in. What a great idea!! I have some crafty friends! Here they are crafting together:

This is a really old pic, they’re probably gonna kill me for putting this on the internet.

So I proposed the challenge to them. We would establish a theme and each have about one week to complete our individual projects and we would all write about them here on my blog. Cool, right? We decided that the theme would be “the ocean” and we would only have two rules:

  1. Try to use what you have (don’t buy new materials)
  2. Your project should reflect your won personal style

We each put together a little mini-interview so you could get to know a little more about the crafters and their styles.

From where do you draw your inspiration?
Materials inspire me. Sometimes I’ll see a fabulous color or texture or pattern and instantly find a way to make it a piece of art. Other times it’s something as simple as a song lyric or a well crafted phrase from a friend’s mouth. Inspiration is all around!

What are you favorite things to create and your favorite materials to create with?
I love making jewelry, greeting/trading cards, and illustrations. My colored pencils, Micron pens, and MacBook Pro are always in use, but I also try to use different materials (steel wool, straws, spoons, etc) and play with texture to create something unexpected, a little pop of visual interest.

Shellby’s work: 1) Cut paper artist trading card, 2) Digital illustration, 3) Found object earrings.

Tell us a childhood crafting memory.
As a small child I spent a lot of time with my grandma and she always had a fun craft planned everything from jewelry making to sewing a teddy bear. My favorite was making Christmas ornaments out of pine cones and sea shells because we used a lot of glitter and I love sparkle!

What creative skill are you dying to perfect?
I hope to one day have the space/time/money for metal and wood working, but for now I really need to get on my web design skillz.

From where do you draw your inspiration?
I actually draw a lot of inspiration from nature, especially the sea. When I heard that we were using the ocean as our inspiration for the first project, I thought about all the things I’ve made in the past month,  and about 90% were somehow related to the sea. I also draw inspiration from anything vintage. And I love clothing… especially all things Anthropologie.

What are you favorite things to create and your favorite materials to create with?
My favorite things to create with right now are recycled materials. Anything that would otherwise be thrown away, like toilet paper rolls, wrappers, etc. I made really cute earrings out of burnt out lights from my mom’s car’s headlights. I’ve always liked working with paint, and clay. I really enjoy making jewelry. Blowing glass is fun, but I like to directly use my hands and feel the material and with glass you can’t do that.

Frankie’s work: 1) Acrylic painting, 2) Crocheted scarf, 3) Tissue paper brooch.

Tell us a childhood crafting memory.
I remember being a girl scout and doing crafts at big “crafting fair” things. One time we all painted clay pots. I was probably 11 or 12, and I made the most awesome pot that I still have and use in the garden. It has different colored vertical stripes with horizontal black and white stripes. I don’t know why I like it so much but I was proud of myself when I made it, and whenever I see it, I remember that feeling.

What creative skill are you dying to perfect?
I really, really want to learn to sew more than just the pillow/Halloween bumblebee costume I have made. I’d love to be able to make my own clothes. I also want to learn to silkscreen, metalwork, and make pottery on a potter’s wheel. I also recently learned to knit, and want to perfect knitting a hat.

From where do you draw your inspiration?
Most of my inspiration comes from the internet – blogs and Etsy. There are so many great ideas online to look at! I’m also inspired a lot by fashion. I look at combinations of colors and textures and think about how they can be translated to other mediums.

What are you favorite things to create and your favorite materials to create with?
One of my favorite projects since I was little is jewelry-making. I especially love to take apart old pieces and rework them into fresh and interesting assemblages. I also like to work with paper collage-style, and I love to crochet (though I rarely finish what I start).

My work” 1) Cut paper Valentine, 2) Assemblage necklace, 3) Bird and bee clip magnets

Tell us a childhood crafting memory.
I can’t really remember not crafting. Growing up, our formal dining room was a craft room instead. My mom recently reminded me that I was constantly collecting what I called “Pretty Scraps” and storing them away for future projects. Bits of ribbons, glittery greeting cards, and magazine clippings all went into a gold box labeled “Pretty Scraps.” When I was older (like 8 or 9), I loved to bring my crafts to school and sell them to my friends. I sold friendship bracelets, macrame chokers, and pony bead animals!

What creative skill are you dying to perfect?
I would really love to learn calligraphy as a tribute to my great grandfather who was a calligrapher and sign maker many years ago. When I was young, he would always fuss over my handwriting and how I held my pencil, I think he would be happy to know I was trying to learn his craft!

So are you interested to see what the crafters created? Stay tuned for the results later this week!


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7 Responses to Crafty Challenge: Meet the Crafters

  1. Lori says:

    Love the photos and interviews! This is a big buildup – I bet the challenge entries will be impressive!

  2. Amy says:

    cool!! i am excited to see what you three make =) miss you!

  3. Suz says:

    I can’t wait to see what the three of you come up with. What a fun idea!!

  4. Kristin says:

    This is a great series. She is so crafty! I would love to learn calligraphy too!

  5. joanne says:

    um, so okay, how do i sign up?! great idea, would love to show my “stuff” too!!! i did not know about your pretty scraps box!

  6. Morgan says:

    Hey!!! Just got your comment on my site. I saw yours, but sometimes when I’m at work the wordpress sites don’t load right so I couldn’t leave a comment.

    Anywho – I’m VERY excited to see your craft contest! I LOVE crafting.

  7. Pingback: Crafty Challenge: The Big Reveal! «


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