Monday, August 20, 2012

Craft Wars: Fire Up Your Glue Guns!

I assume that if you're reading this blog you're A) a crafter and B) you don't live under a rock.

You must have heard of Craft Wars, the new TLC show hosted by Tori Spelling. My daughter, Em, and I have been watching it faithfully since it premiered last month. My initial thought was that it sucked, but then I got sucked into it! Now I sit there between 8:00 & 9:00 p.m. every Tuesday night, rooting for my favorite crafter, criticizing the other for doing something stupid (don't we all?) and scratching my head at the unique ridiculous items they're given to work with!

I follow the Craft Wars Facebook page, which is disappointing because whoever runs it sucks at social marketing. However, I like reading the followers' comments. Many of them feel the same way I do, which is that Craft Wars needs to stop with the random supplies and give the contestants real craft supplies to work with.

Is it fair that they're given one hour to create a pop craft with  a pile of non-crafty supplies, then they're sent home when the end result is sloppy or unfinished?

Take this for example.

For this challenge, the contestants were instructed to make a lamp out of eyeglasses in one hour. One of the contestants created what would probably have been a beautiful lamp using the lenses of the eyeglasses. She popped them out of the frames, painted them in shades of blue to create an ombre affect, then hung them from a ring to create a shade. She was sent home because it wasn't finished, yet in my opinion it would have been gorgeous if she'd had more than an hour to make it. I mean, seriously, who can make a lamp with any kind of supplies in an hour? I've seen more projects that look like crap win over something that has real potential because it's not quite finished or there's hot glue strings showing. I'd like to see the "expert judges" whip up something in an hour.

Another issue I have with the show is the practicality of the crafts that are chosen as winners. For example, they were require to make pop craft birdhouses out of junk drawer supplies. This birdhouse was deemed "sloppy and unimaginative" and the contestant was sent home. While I do think the design is a little funky, it looks perfectly functional.

The judges loved this birdhouse, which is a two-story design that features playing card roof shingles.

Imaginative? Yes. Functional? Hardly. Those playing card roof shingles are going to fall apart during the first rainstorm. The designer of this birdhouse didn't win the $10,000 master craft prize because the judges didn't like that she mixed tiki and Western elements in her second project. Yet they totally ignored the fact that this birdhouse is going to fall apart the first time it rains!

The Halloween show was...interesting. I don't know where the Craft Wars producers get their ideas but asking contestants to create a Halloween lawn display out of gardening supplies was a bit of a challenge. One of the items they were given was black trash bags. The judges didn't like the look of the trash bags on this project, but they commented more than once that it was one of the supplied items and she did work it into the project.

The other contestant really used her noggin and made this fabulous shipwrecked pirate ship using many of the supplies provided. She even made hanging bats out of the black trash bags. This image doesn't do this display justice. There are little details everywhere. She even made skeleton hands out of rakes! The contestant clearly knows her stuff when it comes to crafting.

Sadly (for me anyway), the pirate ship did not win the $10,000 Master Craft challenge. Why? Because the judges said it wasn't Halloween enough. One of the judges didn't like the red paint "blood" she dripped over parts of the display (blood isn't Halloween enough?). The trash bag hot mess was declared the winner, even though the judges said during the challenge that they didn't like it.

Personally, I would never consider being a contestant on Craft Wars. You never know what the judges are thinking. Not to mention, I don't want to stress over having to whip up a functional doodad (neatly!) in an hour using random household items. Eeek!

I'll end this post with a photo of my all-time favorite Craft Wars winner. I wish I had a quarter of this woman's imagination!

All images from Craft Wars. Click the link to see photos of all the craft projects. 

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