Jun 27, 2012

Why Craft Wars is a Great Thing for Crafts

Last night a few Craft Wars Season One contestants hosted a #CraftWarsVets Twitter party using that hashtag and #CraftWars.  I had my lap top right on my lap and was tweeting like a mad woman!  Twitter was blowing up, our MiFi could barely handle the activity, people were excited about crafts!  My computer was so hot, I was sweating!  In fact, #CraftWars trended at #2 on Twitter, behind #KatyPerry.  How's that for amazing?  

What was not so amazing, was the surprising backlash from crafters.  I really thought they would get behind this show.  Beyond selective market shows on PBS and re-runs, there are no craft shows on TV.  In fact, if you talked with folks in the TV biz over the past few years, crafting was a dirty word.  They didn't want to entertain any pitches related to crafts.  So having a show on TV with the word 'craft' in it, is a really big deal.

I was surprised to see the level of negative feedback, even from craft industry pros. I get that a competition show may not be everyone's cup of tea.  I get that people for some reason don't like Tori Spelling, but having met her I can say she was a gracious, charming and excellent hostess.  I get that this may not be the light people want to shine on crafts and creativity.  But the old format of host/guest/linear step by step project doesn't work anymore.  It needs refreshing, updating, reworking.

If this show is a hit, guess what?  More shows will emerge and other formats will be explored.  We could, if all goes well, be reinventing craft TV in all sorts of exciting and interesting ways.  I would like to believe that most of us can get behind that.  I plan on getting behind that with my own pitches to the networks, so stay tuned.

Even if you don't like TV, here's the thing, it's about selling the soap and that's really is a good thing.  Or in this case, it's about selling the craft supplies and the idea of DIY. It's about getting the Average Joe and Jane excited about crafting.  It's about getting them motivated to buy craft products and make craft projects. It's about getting people to buy books about crafting.  It's about getting them to buy handcrafted goods. It's about showing them why crafts matter and why handmade rocks!

It's about...re-energizing an industry that sorely needs it.

And that is something I would like to believe that we can all get behind.

I am going to keep banging the drum all summer for this show, and not just because I'm on it, but because I really and truly believe this could be the harbinger of bigger and better things to come for crafters, DIY, creativity and crafting.  And those who worry that it devalues what they do, remember that getting people making things means helping them gain a deeper appreciation for making.  Then they start to understand why handcrafted things have so much resonance and value.

If we want the spirit of DIY to fly, if we want more craft shows on TV, if we want to see this industry and movement energized and excited, we all HAVE to get behind this show.  Love it or hate it, we need to support it so shows you can love will get made.  Because if this show fails, it's going to be a while before crafting gets back on network TV.

This is my new mantra, my call to action, my invitation and my plan for crafty world takeover:

"Make Handmade. Give Handmade. Buy Handmade.  Live Handmade."

Wash, rinse, repeat.  Viva la CRAFTS!

Love
Madge

44 comments:

Hydrangea Hippo - Jennifer Priest said...

Bravo! I was noton twitter last night cuz I was busy getting my booth ready for CRAFTED, but there are alot of negative peeps in crafting. But there are more positive ones.

I tried for the show and while I am sad I did not make it, I am happy for the people I know who did and I am excited for what this means for our industry. I am already planning my app whenever casting for season 2 happens :)

The sad part is alot of the negative nellies are jealous, bottomline. And they are not seeing the big picture. Thank you for taking a moment to explain the big picture. If people put half as much effort into their craft as they do into complaining, they too may be successful.

Margot Potter said...

You should definitely try again, you're an amazing crafter and would be fabulous on the show! Yes, I think that's part of it, but hopefully we can all rise to this occasion if we remember what it could mean for our industry and all of us!

Lisa Fulmer said...

Viva la crafts!!!

Melissa Marro said...

woo hoo! Well said Margot!! The same thing was said when home staging shows first started appearing on TV. People in the industry were very unhappy because they charged too much or too little. Still it brought the term into mainstream and as a whole made our lives and jobs much easier.

This can be nothing but positive for the craft industry and I'm happy to see so many of my crafting friends getting involved!

Carol Kunnerup said...

I am not a fan of Tori Spelling BUT!! I thought she was a very fine host. May have changed my mind about her. I loved, loved, loved the show and very much look forward to it starting a tidal wave of crafting shows!

Christian Tamez said...

I loved the show last night! A lot of bickering from the judges but I was entertained from start to finish! I didn't mind Tori at all, and working at a Joanns, I'm familiar with her line of jewelry products and feel she was a perfect host! I can't wait for more, and definitely saw your snippet, Margot! It's war!! I love it!!

Anonymous said...

I forgot to watch this show.I miss crafting shows.I watched Carol Duvall religiously and then it was gone.To this day I don 't understand whyPlease tell me when it comes on -the information again please.

Auntie Em said...

Sorry but in no way could I find anything to like about this show. And I love crafts and DIY shows. (Who says the old format doesn't work???) CD where are you??? I was so disappointed in the way the judges acted. And Jo from M's tried to keep it sane a few times but it was a losing battle. It was so far from real crafting and made a farce out of what real crafters and artists do. These people have access to the widest array of fantastic materials and supplies along with amazing crafters who know what they are doing, they just need to make better use of their resources and turn crafting into a positive, not some corny reality TV joke. If I wasn't a crafter before watching that show, I would run away from any craft store after!

Esmeralda Pro 31 Designs said...

Pro 31 Designs- Esmeralda
Well said we have to stick together and look at the big picture. I only was able to see the trailers and wish they picked a crafter for a hostess but is what it is. However let's move that aside and let's think ahead maybe once the show ventures more in the craft world they will discover which are our favorite crafters that we can connect with while watching the show. However in the mean time I support it 100% and looking at the big picture! So much more can come if we spread this show like crazy!! Tonight looking forward to seeing the show as I was out last night.

Jennifer Moore said...

I TOTALLY agree with you!! 100%!! :) And think about how this will help those struggling local scrapbook/craft stores!

Margot Potter said...

Yes, see the BIG picture!

And no, the format doesn't work anymore because it doesn't get ratings. So we have to come up with new formats and ways of celebrating crafts, crafters, art and creativity. I am not saying reality competition is the vest format, but if this show does well, it opens the door to all sorts of new shows.

Cheers
Madge

Margot Potter said...

Best...not vest!

Marlene said...

I've been waiting for a craft show for so long now, I tuned in to see if it lived up to all the hype. It has it's pros and cons but it can definately be a HUGE stepping stone to getting more craft shows on the air.

claudine hellmuth said...

i agree with you Margot! like it or not it is important to support this program if we want more Crafting Television to happen! We need to show the networks that Crafting is something that will be watched and will get ratings. go Craft Wars!!!

Rene Roberts said...

I am a crafter of all kinds and I watch and enjoy the show last night, I just would like to see the judges have some scoring or something different than just subjective comments on who they pick and why. I did feel the little red schoolhouse was very well constructed, and good use of materials, but the yellow school bus was much more creative on the inside and that is where that contestant choose to spend their time. It was a close call. Hope this stays on TV, so many shows pop-up and are cancelled. I too am a long time lover of Carol Duvall. I also agree with everything 'well said' about shows on crafting in this blog.
thanks, Rene'

Nancy Wyatt said...

I am with you Margot!! Viva La Crafts and there are is always going to be someone looking for the negative. I didn't event think twice about Tori being the hostess! I was more into what the fab three contestants were doing! I think that some folks get tunnel vision when the word "crafts" is spoken. There are so many sides to crafting and someone, many folks out there will identify with what the show presents. Thanks for this great post!! Go Craft Wars!!

LaurieD said...

I have no problem with the format. The host works her butt off in general and her jewelry collection is very cool.
Anyone who has kids, has made gifts for Christmas/Birthday/Weddings or hosted a party has dealt with "OMG I only have an hour to finish this-ooh this will work!!!" And every crafter worth her salt has a pile of stuff that she will "use in a project" some day.

LaurieD said...

I have no problem with the format. Anyone who has made a present or lived with a kid who has a school project deadline has dealt with the "OMG I only have an hour to finsh this !". Every crafter worth her salt has a pile of stuff that she'll "put into a project" someday.

JafaBrit's Art said...

There is room for all sorts of ways to approach crafts/art and while this kind of format tv show isn't my cup of tea, I don't get the haters. As an artist and crafter I really loathe others dictating how we should and shouldn't create and in what way, and how. However it gets done, however it feeds our soul, and if it is fun, if it inspires, that is the BIG picture. Margot I am really proud of you, the courage to put yourself out there is something to really ADMIRE. ROCK ON!!!!!!!!!!!

paperbeads princess said...

I don't see how they expect the contestants to finish a well made finished project when they only gave them an hour! The judges were criticizing one contestant for not sewing instead of gluing the tennis racket to the bottom of her duffel bag. Crafting requires precision and planning. I loved the show though gets my creative juices flowing. Are you going to be on next week's show Margot? I saw Beckie Farrant on the preview will youing be competing against her? How do you audition by the way? Thanks and good luck!

Kimberly said...

Ok....i set my PVR and i just couldn't wait...i watched it live and stayed up way to late for a work night...Did i like it of course i did...who couldn't like it, it's about crafts...I did however have my opinion during the show...the lady who did not finish her bag should have been sent home.. she didn't finish it, and yes her bag was beautiful, something you would find in a store but no creativity...at least the other girl had a great way to use the tennis racquet and completed her project...are they judging on looks or the best crafter who can think outside the box...Even the red school house..totally looks fabulous but no creativity...i've seen pencils, and rulers used the same way in paper products, clip art all over blogland. Yes i agree the other girl needed to edit her bus as she added way too much, but look at the activities the children can do...differance of opinion but would love to know how they come to their decisions...If it's just to see who can make something look like a store bought item and not who can use the materials in a unusual way that we have not seen before, it may lose it's appeal for me...oh and btw...i would kill my hubby if i had to work with him on a crafting project...how do they do it:0)
Overall i'm glad we have something to watch craft related and wish it was in Canada so i could get on the show..just to see if i could do it...i hope they don't give the contestants the item they are to make everytime, would love to see what they could come up with using a bunch of stuff with no idea what to do with it but their own imagination...tfs

Julie McGuffee said...

The bottom line is that the show is great branding for all kinds of "crafts". Times have changed and this is the format that viewers like and it has a good track record of being successful. Kudos to Cathy and Steve for all their hard work in getting it on the network. None of us can please everyone, all the time with everything, but we all do our best. The most important thing now is to support and grow the craft industry. Crafting rocks! Let's rock and roll with it!

Julie McGuffee said...

The bottom line is that whether we like it or not, the show promotes "crafts"! The format has proven to be very successful on other networks - check out Food Network shows - and it will draw a younger audience, which will be great for the arts & crafts industry. Kudos to Cathy and Steve for all their hard work on getting the show on TLC. Crafting rocks and we need to rock and roll with it!

Ann Butler said...

Bottom Line it is FANTASTIC to have a Crafting show on TV again....this can open doors for many opportunities and it could be the beginning of great things for the craft industry!

sharon g said...

Do you know if there is a way to watch the show? I looked at Youtube, but there were just excerpts of it...I'd like to see the whole show. I don't have cable, so watching it on tv isn't an option. sharon dot gullikson at gmail dot com

donna said...

YEA to craft shows~!! We need this~!

donna said...

I hope this is just the beginning and we get more crafty shows on, its a good thing!!!

Karen said...

You go girl....could not agree with you more. Keep pounding the drum. I liked the show for the most part a few dislikes but world isn't perfect.

Jennifer Reynard said...

I totally missed the premiere show. Will it be shown again or is it available on youtube or something? I am so glad that there is finally a craft show! We totally need something like this!

http://angeladaniels.squarespace.com/ said...

I think you worded this beautifully. Let me add this- yes, it's a competition show. Yes, it's not really realistic to have someone create something huge/perfect/useable/whatever in an hour. I know. I'm am a contestant on the show too. It's not what I do daily in my crafting life. But what IS cool is to watch the creative PROCESS. That's what I have always loved about Project Runway and Top Chef. You get to see creative people be creative. And even better, you get to see their creativity s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d.

Just like on Project Runway or Top Chef ,it doesn't matter to me who "wins" or "loses" (heck, I can barely even sew or cook but I watch both like crazy). I like the inspiration that comes from seeing people get excited about what they're doing and work outside of their comfort zone. That's cool. That's what I watch for.

Kathi G. said...

I liked the show overall. It was really fun. I wasn't sure about Tori Spelling as host but I think she did a great job (and her kids are so cute). The only thing I would suggest about Tori is to tone down the make-up a little. It was a bit too much and a bit too dark, after all, it's a craft show and not the red carpet ;)

The only other thing I didn't like was one of the judges. I really didn't care for Erica. I'm not sure exactly why but she was irritating to me.

I will definitely be watching every episode I can this summer. Keep it going, please. I miss crafting shows and this one is great!

Ana Aarujo said...

Here, here Margot you said it! I totally agree with you on the getting crafting (not a dirty word in my book)back on TV. Today's TV programing is all about reality shows.
Each of the judges bring something different to the table and Tori is sweet and will hit her stride as the show goes on.
I'm a big fan of Cupcake Wars so, I was ready for this format.
Each week I will be writing a review:Ana's Armchair Judge Review (http://anacraftyone.whencreativityknocks.com/?p=2564)
Where I will be judging from home and putting my crafting two cents in.
Let's all make this fun and about the joy of crafting and learn some thing new each week!
And I can't wait to see you on the show!

Cynthia Russell said...

I haven't gotten to see the show yet, but have it recorded and will watch it shortly. Can't say I'm a fan of the competition type of show, but if it's "crafty", I'll watch it. My biggest shout out, though, goes to Carol Duvall. I learned so much from her guests, and it introduced me to so many different crafts, many of which I've tried and loved. Carol let her guests shine, and I'm sorry for anyone who didn't get to enjoy her shows. Carol, you were the best and I miss you so much.

Liddy B and Me! said...

Well said, from the creator of that little red schoolhouse playhouse. I think that until you have lived it it is easy to sit back and judge the choices one makes in a short amount of time with a lot of chaos all around. The thing that I find ironic is that the negativity seems to be outside the show. Those of us who were "at war" last night have all been spreading the blog love and appreciating each other's talents for a while now"! It's hard to make us crafters actually get mean!

So Cuttable said...

I So Loved it! It's not perfect but I agree it's forward movement for crafting. Look at all the variety of TV food competition and instruction cooking shows. All it takes is one idea that gets enough support and it transforms an industry. I can see it now the next craft network star. I'm game let's show the world there's so much to do with pretty paper and glue and whatever else you love to create with.

Chrissy P. said...

I haven't had the chance to watch the show yet (I don't have cable), but am excited to see it.

Two thoughts on viewer opinion / success of the show:

1. Good or bad, people seem to be talking about it. People HATE Jersey Shore, but seem to be drawn to it like a train wreck. As long as people are still talking, it will bring new viewers, out of curiosity.

2. Nowadays T.V. Shows need to be HUGE hits from the start. They don't give shows a chance to naturally grow an audience anymore. If people don't watch, they cancel it.

So even if you aren't a fan, or you are the biggest fan, keep watching and talking. Scream about how you HATE the show, it'll bring viewers... Dote about how it's the most amazing thing you've ever seen on television, it'll bring viewers.

Anonymous said...

Crafting is not a war it is communial. Crafters love to share their projects with one another. This was a farce. Tori Spelling is fine..needs a wardrobe change, that being said she is doing some work in the craft industry with Darice. Allow more time for projects to be finished on the show, a teacher never grades and unfinished paper...so unfinished projects should not be shown either. A good model would be the Family Crafts, featurning Dad doing woodworking, Mom scrapbooking, kids doing all kinds of projects. This would show a variety and different skill levels and the demographic of families doing a project..

Margot Potter said...

I am not here to debate the merits of the format or the show or Tori Spelling or the judges, this post is merely to point out the importance of what it could mean to crafters, crafts and the ability to get access to more kinds of shows and products.

That's all folks.

Tiffany Windsor said...

Well said Margot! You have a great conversation going here and what's so cool is that whether we liked or didn't like the show - there is a passionate conversation going on. That is SO important! And as you stated, getting any of the cable networks to take a pitch on "crafting" for the past 10 years has been impossible. For those of us who have been around the craft industry forever, this is a huge step in supporting the big picture. I'm thrilled because I've seen a great increase in my viewer numbers this week that I'm sure have to do with all this buzz about "crafts". Thank you for passionately speaking your truth Margot!

Kathy, The Crafty Chica said...

There will always be haters for any show, but we just gotta focus on the good. I've heard all good things, people are very excited! I can hardly wait for next week's episode!

Labyrinth Gal said...

I didn't want to comment until I'd watched it. I will take a nap for the next episode so I can watch it in real time & follow the Twitter Fest. Let's see if we can get it to trend at #1!

You eloquently write about the BIG picture & I think you're right on. It's a win for crafters and the industry in general. Wardrobe, make-up, format, whatever. It's GREAT to see a new craft show! And I can't wait to see YOU on it! :-) H.

Ellen Jarvis said...

Margot, you're absolutely right. I look it as that the show is a beginning, and sure it needs tweaking. But if we all gave up crafting after our first attempt at macrame or decoupage that didn't lay right, or that knitted sweater where one arm was longer than the other, we wouldn't need DIY stores like Michael's, and we'd all be buying the same tacky foreign, machine made goods.

Give the show a chance to evolve and become its own "brand", rather than being compared to successful shows like "Design Star", "Cupcake Wars," etc.

DIY is here to stay, and hopefully the show will continue to thrive. I'm betting that given its trending on Twitter and large response (good, bad and neutral) from the HUGE group of us, it will be continued ... and will lead the way toward the development of more shows that meet more of our wants and needs.

I set my DVR up for a season record and plan to watch it regularly.

P.S., Margot, I'm new to your blog and am a new follower. I LOVE it. I especially love your direction/welcome above the comment space here about "if you must be a Johnny Crappleseed"... What a terrific personality you are! I plan to go back and find a way to have you in my in-bin every day. LOVE that humor, and point. {{HUGS}} for sharing!!

Fondly,
Ellen ♥ CardMonkey
http://cardmonkeyspaperjungle.com
E-mail: cardmonkey@comcast.net

Shelley Graham Turner said...

I watched it, it was good. I lost interest a couple times but stuck with it. I will continue to watch, I mean you really can't judge on just a few episodes, let alone ONE. Each episode will have its own characters and as the host/judges jell it will build a following...waiting patiently for Margot!

Elena Lai Etcheverry said...

You've convinced me to watch the show! Thanks for the great review!