#MakingIt Week 1 Fast Starter & Master Crafter Challenges – WCB Style

Hello friends! If you follow my crafty twitter handle @WCBCraftStudio, you know that last Tuesday I lived my best digital life during the premiere episode of NBC’s new hit show Making It, live-tweeting and commenting on the most memorable moments. From Amy and Nick’s pun-offs, the projects, the creativity, and the whole feel-good vibe of the show, I hereby submit my application for Full-Time #MakingIt Stan and Ambassador.

I can’t even begin to say how inspired I am by the show. So much so, that thanks to an idea from my dear fellow craft-obsessed friend Sandy, I’ve decided to take on the challenges from each episode and make them as if I were there myself. Is it a coincidence that I post blogs on Tuesdays, and the show airs on that day too? I think not! Now, I don’t want to go too crazy committing to this because 1. It can become a pocket hole if I go all in and 2. Ain’t nobody got time for this, literally. Ergo, I’m going to set some ground rules for myself:

  • I will only take on projects that I can realistically make. If there’s something like woodwork or crochet/embroidery involved, I will skip that challenge.
  • I will only use materials I already own to complete the challenges. I have way too many craft supplies that due to my workload I won’t be able to put to use any time soon, so what better way to get creative and spend less? This will probably restrict me in future challenges, but that’s for the best. I’m not allowed to spend ANY money on materials. We love a fiscally responsible crafty queen!
  • If there’s a challenge that is similar to a craft I’ve made in the past, I will simply refer back to those projects, and won’t make anything new for it.

Ok, I think that covers most bases. With that said, let’s get to last week’s challenges!

  • Fast Craft Week 1: for this challenge, the idea was to get to know a little bit about the crafters, their personalities and preferred mediums by asking them to make a 3D animal that represented them. I’m a big fan of unicorns and dolphins. Since Amber chose a unicorn for herself (because of course she did, since we’re soul sisters and all), I’ll go for the dolphin. I had the idea that because it’s a dolphin and I love water and I wanted to work with card stock, I could try to decorate the dolphin like those tiles in the pool with the white grout showing in between? Check out the journey!
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Here’s the step by step progression of the dolphin going from 2D flatness to 3D glory!

And here is the final result!

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Here’s my 3D paper mache dolphin! His name is Paolo, and he loves to be a statement dolphin! Doesn’t he look like he belongs in a pool fountain or something?! Obsessed! (But totally couldn’t have made it on the show because he definitely required more than 3 hours of crafting!) 

  • Master Craft Week 1: last week’s first big challenge involved the makers getting creative by pulling together an unconventional photo album and a quilt made out of any material except fabric – both crafts were meant to reflect their personal family heirloom/history. For the unconventional photo album, I’m going to tap into my repertoire and bring back the big number 80 I made out of photos for my grandma’s 80th birthday. I crafted that baby from scratch and I think it’s a nice show of family heirloom and my craftsmanship!
80 Picture Album

For this unconventional album craft I drew and cut two eights and two zeroes out of black poster boards for front and back panels. Then, I cut white poster boards into thick strips and taped perpendicularly for 3D view. Thanks to Shutterfly for an offer of 101 free prints and VOILA! 80 years worth of memories for all to see ❤

For the quilt, I honestly would’ve probably chosen paper as my medium just like Amber did, so instead of going down a rabbit hole of endless paper-cutting, I will just link to her awesome post where she reveals some filming secrets and the super cool historical background that made way for her paper quilt!

My friends, I cannot express – truly – how happy this show makes me and how much I’m looking forward to the next episode. I even have some conspiracy theories brewing about what the next challenges will be based on the patches they use as weekly prizes and I just can’t wait to see it all unfold. How do we only have five episodes left?! My heart weeps.

Did any of you recreate any of the challenges from the first episode? Drop some links in the comments below!

 

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Top Amazon “Prime Day” Deals For Crafters!

Hi crafty friends! I know I usually post on Tuesdays, but since Prime Day begins today at 3:00pm EST, I figured saving some cash was worth breaking the rules!

 

Here are some items for a few crafting disciplines you may want to look into and take advantage of the Prime Day discounts –

As crafters and maybe small business owners, there are many devices that may fit your needs, so take a look at the offers for those tools here.

I’m posting this now and will keep editing throughout the day as I see new deals pop up. Also keep in mind, Target, eBay and other companies are also showcasing a good amount of discounts to compete with Prime Day, which means there are even more chances to score some awesome deals for all of us. YAY!

Friends & Family: Francis – Little Jack of All Trades Who Packs a Punch!

FrancisFor today’s Friends & Family feature, I’ve selected my younger cousin Francis, whose birthday is coming up on the 29th so let’s wish her a happy early birthday from the WCB crew!

When I think of the Shakespearean line “and though she be but little, she is fierce,” it is literally personified by my cousin Francis. Short in stature but with the personality and strength of the Empire State building, this little tycoon has never had it easy, yet she manages to always have a smile on her face, and tackle any challenge that comes her way head on.

Francis, my other cousin Cindy and I hung out constantly through our childhood, and they probably influenced me more than they know. With the years and with the circumstances in Venezuela, we were far from each other geographically, but never in spirit. We always stayed in touch through the early stages of the technology boom of the 2000s, and every chance we got to reunite, we milked every second.

I won’t go into detail about her early life, but I will say that she was the most independent seven-year old you could’ve ever met, having lost her dad at a young age and fending for herself without any fear. A few years ago, Francis’s boyfriend moved from Venezuela to Minnesota to pursue a college baseball career, and asked her to come with him. She would study English, and depending on her visa permit, she’d work part time. By work, I mean she literally managed to cross every possible industry off the bingo card, doing the oddest, most physically demanding and out of her comfort zone jobs you can imagine. Upon her arrival, she started off as a server at a Mexican food restaurant. Can you imagine working as a server without speaking the native language? I remember being terrified for her. But she did it. From there, the road has been a roller coaster, to say the least. She worked at a corn factory canning corn, from 6:00pm until 6:00am. She worked in a car factory assembling parts. She worked at another factory building window frames, burning her hands constantly. She worked at an attorney’s office as a part-time assistant. She was a nanny. Any opportunity that came her way, she took.

Through all of that, there was one thing she took on that kept her sane and gave her an outlet for her creativity: she started making and selling jewelry.

 

This was probably one of the few things that kept her sane. She really enjoyed letting herself run with ideas, learn a new method every day, and proudly selling her work. And I SO commend her for that.

Today she’s going to school and working as a bank teller. When you look at the definition of uphill battle and the “American Dream,” this is it. I believe her dream is to be a dentist and I know if she sticks it out, she will get it done.

So Fanchi, I am SO proud of you for all you’ve gone through, all you’ve accomplished, and all you have yet to do. The sky is not the limit for you, but rather the beginning. Feliz cumple cosita ❤

A Corporate Meeting With a Taste of The World Cup

As you may remember from this post in the beginning of the year, I have the opportunity to be the Hannah Montana of Corporate America and crafting, because I work on corporate matters during the day, and I get to bring in my crafting life to corporate at night.

My old SAP colleagues love to reach out with out of the box and exciting requests for me (and for them) and this one even brought me a new experience in a new medium!

The last team I worked for at SAP was the Global Content Team – a group of seriously smart and out of the box thinkers who find new and innovative ways to tell the SAP story in written, video, infographic, or any other form they can come up with. Because most teams at SAP are comprised of employees from all over the world, they tend to meet in person at least once a year to evaluate their performance and decide on their strategy for the months to come. This year’s offsite meeting took place in Budapest, Hungary, during the World Cup. Because of that, my colleagues reached out to me asking to create some fun props and maybe a concept for a team-building exercise that incorporated the sporting event in some way. That was really all they asked for, which gave me carte blanche to run with the idea, but was also an extremely broad canvas that I wasn’t sure where I would take.

My thought process was the following: they would have a Welcome Dinner on the first night, followed by a day of team-builders, ending in a Closing Dinner. So I could make three sets of props, or something of the sort, one for each of the days. They also mentioned they were going to get the team members soccer jerseys of their corresponding nationalities, which made the idea light bulb go off for me to round out the concepts:

  • Day 1, Welcome Dinner: to start things off, I pictured a sort of Venn diagram situation, where on one circle I had World Cup related props, on the other one I had props that represented the roles of the team members, and in the middle I put the country flags of all the team members, which was also the common ground that connected the World Cup props with the team member roles. Here’s what I mean:

Welcome Evening

  • Day 2, The Team Building Exercise: with having such a global team, the number one issue is probably having everyone on the same page, when they’re not even remotely on the same time-zone. This was the light bulb that went on when I found out they were using shirts: even though the team is spread all over the world, they are still one team, and they have the same goals… “One Team, One Goal.” SCORE! So I designed a banner, using a soccer ball as the O for “goal”, with spaces for their pictures (laminated, like the ones that are used in the Panini albums), and the exercise would be for each team member to get up and grab someone else’s picture and describe how their strength matched a soccer team position.

Team Builder

  • Day 3, Farewell Dinner: for the last day, after a jam-packed agenda and I’m sure lots of serious talks, I figured this was the perfect time to encourage letting loose and having fun with some off-brand corporate sayings (and a few World Cup ones as well to keep the cohesiveness of the theme throughout). I was inspired from a few different sets of props online, and came up with this bunch:

Farewell Evening

I heard feedback that the team loved the props and really had their fun with it all, and that the One Team, One Goal exercise with the banner and position-matching was a breakthrough moment for the team, and it definitely accomplished the goal it set out to do, which made me incredibly happy! There was also an HR business partner on site, and they reached out to inquire about other ideas for possible work in the future – and so the double-life continues 😉

Here are the pictures of the final product come to life – isn’t it cool how similar it all looks in person versus the digital proofs? Also, check out the thickness of the props when they’re stacked? Hand-cutting those brought back a lot of memories

What do you guys think of the props and concept? I had a lot of fun doing this, and even though I never thought I’d do the sturdy props again, my hands were a lot less hurt this time around!

Extreme Makeover: New Apartment Edition

Ok, don’t get too excited because I only have two makeovers ready for publishing, but I guess it’s a good contrast to my usual lengthy posts.

With the move and fixer upper moments behind us, it’s time to improve the things that we’re actually keeping for our new apartment!

  • Bookshelf Makeover: I bought this shelf for my brother at Walmart a few years ago for his books, and it actually made it through one move with us already. It was badly beaten and falling apart, some of the nails had gone through the wrong side and broke the wood, etc. So I took out all the splinters, fixed the positioning of the back slat and nailed it down more precisely. I filled the spaces left by the missing wood chunks with wood glue, and then spray painted the whole thing a dark brown to match our new bathroom drawers. Then, I bought a Con-Tact brand non-adhesive shelf liner from Target with a pattern similar to the marble counter top of our bathroom as well. Even though originally the shelf was meant to be thrown out, this was a cheap makeover (all I spent were the $5 on the liner, everything else I already had) and it’s proving to be super useful storage for us!
  • A Quickie Makeover For a Lazy-Eye Sun: so my mom is really obsessed with suns, and she has all kinds of sunny paraphernalia around the house. But there’s this one sun I REALLY wanted to leave behind/gift/throw out or whatever to not see it again. I really wasn’t a fan of it at all, especially because the artist kind of gave it a bit of a lazy eye when he made it. Since my mom refused to part ways with it, I compromised with her by giving it a bath of rose gold, since by now you know I live, breathe and sleep on cans of rose gold spray paint. It took the depth of the design away since it’s all one flat color, but I actually quite like the little guy now!

That’s it for now! You know there’s plenty of little projects to do when you move in to a new place and especially with reorganizing all our things, but with the day to day of work, orders, and events, I’ve had to turn down the crafting for a bit. I hope you guys like these projects and get inspired to re-purpose or makeover some stuff as well!

DIY Fascinators Fit For The Royal Wedding

And we’ll never be royalllllllllllllllllllllls, it don’t run in our blood… but we sure can pretend for a day!

My friends and I decided to be royally extra this past weekend, and have a watch party for the Royal Wedding of His Royal Highness, Prince Harry and his new bride Ms. Meghan Markle aka Her Royal Highness, Meghan, Duchess of Sussex. The event was everything you could’ve expected, and so, so much more. No detail was spared and the love was felt throughout social media. Our watch party I mean!

My friend Alisha decorated the room with all kinds of red/white/blue garlands, and even a Mr. & Mrs. sign! She greeted us with York peppermint patties and muffins. THE WHOLE NINE!

Ever since the engagement, our group chat has been non-stop with every appearance and detail revealed about the royal affair, and we were READY for what was sure to be an unforgettable event. As we inched closer to the day, I found an invitation online for a “Fancy PJs and Fascinators” sleepover/watch party and I knew immediately we had to do the same. I shared with my friends and OF COURSE we were all 100% on board with getting ourselves some cute fascinator hats to wear so we could be part of the day, even with an entire ocean standing in the way.

Since I’m still in the process of moving and much of this has been a huge undertaking as a de-cluttering experience for me, I didn’t want to buy a hat. The good thing is, I have materials of all kinds and I was sure I could pull something together with what I already owned. So I pulled out some fabrics, ribbons, headbands, and my trusty styrofoam head, and got to work.

I decided I would either do something in purple or gold because 1. duh, royal colors and 2. I probably had the biggest amount of materials in those colors. I started playing around with fabrics to see how they could bend, and which could sustain a form once pinned down, arriving at two very different options. The gold one was my least favorite, as it looked good on the styrofoam model, but not on me 😦 #bigheadandforeheadproblems. I thought it looked quite chic and it made me think of Victoria Beckham a little, but it was a no-go for my head.

I moved on and decided to focus on the purple one. I had a bunch of tulle circles (from honestly I don’t know when or for what I bought them) which I noticed were holding shapes, so I stuck to playing with them. Some folds, twists, and a few pins later, I arrived at my final product. To be honest, I think it kind of looks like a loofah but I also love it, so I called it a day and proudly wore it to the watch party. For the fancy PJs, I wore the set that my friend Michelle got as a gift for the bridesmaids to get ready in the day of the wedding. And without further ado, here are the final shots!

My friends all got theirs off of Amazon, and though I was tempted, I’m glad I stuck to my DIY option and I love the outcome. Did anyone else have a watch party/got or made fascinators? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to check out pictures from fellow royal subjects!

#MyBestFriendsWedding Final Chapter – The BIG Day!

Guys, can you believe it?! Just over a year ago, I began this series of posts following the journey of my best friend’s road to the altar, from the proposal & the surprises I gathered for her, the engagement party & proMOHsal, saying yes to the dress, the bridal shower, the stamp serendipity, the bachelorette, rehearsal, all leading to this: the big day.

Michelle’s vision was absolutely beautiful and cohesive, and it came to life to perfection (as perfect as possible considering something ALWAYS happens when it comes to parties or big events). Of course, that was to be expected, given that she’s a kick-ass event planner for her job, but corporate and social events are very different, and she managed to pull off a gorgeous wedding in the middle of back to back big work events and constant travel. So let me start off by saying: congratulations biff! You did it, you did it real good!

From the moment the planning began, she made me part of the process and I was so happy to be there every step of the way that she’d let me – everything except whatever had to do with the bridesmaids, because obviously she wanted me to be somewhat surprised with that part. Originally, there were more things that I would make/do, but as time went by, she wanted to focus on big pieces and the rest either got done a different way, or was scrapped altogether (for example, I really wanted to make hotel “do not disturb” signs for guests that came out of town, but it ended up not making sense to do it because of the logistics). All gorgeous pictures courtesy of Melissa Perez from   @SimplyCaptivating!

In the end, this is what I did make:

  • Custom Champagne Flutes for the Bridesmaids: even though we ended up not using them because we went from having all the time in the world to rushing out of the house, so the rosé just sat there, poured in our custom glasses as we made our way to the church in the party bus… they’re still cute ❤

     

  • Bride Jean Jacket: I made this literally the night before the wedding during our sleepover because Michelle forgot to give me the jacket after the rehearsal dinner, and it was a mission to get the vinyl to stick (and I cut it wrong, but we won’t talk about that because no one could tell, and you can’t either 😉 …)
  • Cake Topper: inspired by one Michelle found on Pinterest and made out of layered rose gold card stock (and I had to cut it several times, but we won’t talk about that either…), it looked so stunning at night, especially in the background of the picture where Michelle’s parents are giving their speeches!
  • The Seating Chart: since I can’t put into words the stress, amount of time, anxiety, logistical work, glue, and panic attacks this caused me, I’m just going to say this is probably my proudest accomplishment TO DATE. EVER. I’m pretty sure the two months of insomnia I had leading up to the wedding were over the seating chart alone. Also, because I messed up my table (on purpose, trying and erroring as usual) I literally finished the seating chart AT THE VENUE, during cocktail hour. But, it came out PERFECTLY ❤ Also, I may or may not have spent time taking pictures of people looking at the chart… First, the process:

 Some action shots from my phone

And the final result, with STUNNING shots by @SimplyCaptivating 

  • “I Do” Shoes: I love Pinterest. But also Michelle’s shoe soles were ribbed so I have no idea how long the vinyl stayed on… It was all for this shot!

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  • Signage: a Welcome sign adorned with flowers from @EverAfterFlorist, a wedding sign to let guests know they were at the right venue, and a social media sign that never made it out to the party… has there been any item without mishaps? HA!

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  • Table Menus: 15 tables. Two menus per table. 30 total. Incredibly tedious and long process to make them. Gorgeous outcome ❤

Seriously, I cannot believe that it has all come and gone so quickly since the day Brian texted me to let me know he was proposing. It’s been such an incredible experience to be by my friend’s side through this huge milestone moment, and I’m so happy to have been able to help and put a personal touch to so many aspects leading up to and during the big day. Thank you all for following the journey!