Brooklyn Craft Camp & Ticket Giveaway

by Grace Bonney

Brett Bara has been sharing fun sewing projects with us at D*S for two years now, and she never ceases to amaze me with her enthusiasm and energy for crafting. So I was excited to hear that she’s throwing a gigantic Brooklyn Craft Camp next month! This massive one-day crafting event is taking place in our D*S home turf — Greenpoint, Brooklyn — on Saturday, March 16, 2013. Brett has planned a jam-packed day of DIY fun, including classes with some of NYC’s best craft authors, designers and bloggers (including Jay McCarroll from Project Runway!). You’ll get to meet new crafty friends, learn new skills, eat delicious food, drink cocktails and basically enjoy a DIY party all day long. To celebrate the camp, Brett offered to give away one free ticket to a D*S reader! All you have to do is share your biggest crafting disaster (here’s mine from yesterday) in the comment section below by the end of this week (Friday, February 15th at 10pm EST). Brett will choose her favorite, and the winner will get a full day of crafting (four classes, meals, etc.) for free! To kick things off, Brett is sharing her biggest crafting disaster. xo, grace

When I think of crafting disasters, I immediately flash back to 1985. It was a few weeks after Valentine’s Day, and mysteriously, ants started appearing in my little pink bedroom. Just a few at first, then more and more every day. There were no ants anywhere else in the house, so it was clear SOMETHING was going on in my room. Finally my brave mom investigated, and to our horror she found the source of the problem under my bed. It was the Valentine’s box I had made for my school party, meticulously crafted with dozens of candy hearts glued on the outside. Candy hearts that were apparently very, very delicious to ants. I loved that project so much that I wanted to save it forever, but unfortunately the ants liked it even more. Lesson learned: When crafting with candy, never store the finished project under your bed! — Brett

Leave your comment and check out details about Brooklyn Craft Camp (and pictures of the crafts you’ll learn/make) after the jump . . .

Brooklyn Craft Camp will include four 90-minute craft classes (with all the materials and tools you’ll need to complete your projects), a keynote chat by Jay McCarroll (winner of Project Runway, Season 1), a donut breakfast, a locally made lunch, a cocktail hour, a photobooth, DJs and the sparkling company of cool, crafty people! Choose from classes on knitting, crochet, terrariums, embroidery, jewelry, crepe paper flowers, papercutting and printmaking, and enjoy the DIY nail-art bar and quickie craft station.

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  • My crafting disaster began with the idea to hand make our wedding invitations (we had a small group of 12). We were inviting just parents & siblings, so accounting for folks that still lived at home, etc., we only had to make 6 invitations. My husband has access to a laser cutter so we took the opportunity to design a stamp that we would use to emboss all of the details. Our idea was to have a heart with Jose Luis Posada’s skeleton wedding couple embossed over the heart stamp, with the details below (we love skeletons and anatomy, what can we say?). We took to the laser cutter and spent an entire evening into the wee hours getting the burn just right, as the rubber we were using was repurposed from something else and was quite dense.

    Excited, I woke up the next morning ready to do my stamping, only to discover that we had mistakenly printed the stamp the RIGHT way so we could read it, but BACKWARDS when stamped. With no more rubber and no more patience to deal with the laser cutter, we improvised as we so often do with craft projects! I went out and bought clear vellum, printed the stamp on the vellum, planning to flip it and place it over the card stock that had the heart stamped on it. We were then going to adhere it to the card stock with a clear adhesive to make a smooth card. When I took to embossing the plastic sheet, it bubbled & bulged, and at this point I was convinced we were never going to make use of this crazy stamp. Improvising yet again, I hand folded photo corners from leftover stock and took my best & brightest embossing attempts (took about 20 tries to get the 6 flatter ones I needed) and attached it to the heart background with the photo corners. What began as a quick & simple stamping project turned into a snowball of accounting for little mistakes along the way! Everyone was so impressed at how elaborate the invitations were with the two layers, a 3D effect, and paper photo corners, so we kept our craft disaster to ourselves :)

  • A friend of mine was finishing her degree in Art Education. Her final project was a fired ceramic piece. I gave good input, but don’t have her skills. I went to the studio with her one day, monitoring her piece, and making an abstract flower wall hung plaque for me. I glazed it and when it was done, I didn’t like it. I took it home and decided to cover it in one color. It looks so nice. However, I used Rub-n-Buff and it does not dry over the glaze. Fortunately. I had put two holes near the top for hanging. I used silver ribbon to hang it. I made a wall grouping with other pieces,and no one is the wiser. I live in fear that someone will touch it and get smeared with the RnB. P.S. She got an A, and lots of accolades, and I have a paint disaster waiting to happen!

  • My first job in the garment center was for a belt manufacturer. Each week I would glide in with something I made. I was the only person there that sewed, and everyone would ooh and ahh over whatever I made. Unfortunatley I got rather big headed about this! Especially because the ownder said that it “looked soooo professionally done”.
    We were going to have a party because the owner was retiring…I decided to outdo myself..alas it was the first time I ever tried pleats and since I always overbought fabric I said to myself this time I have to be more accurate & bought exactly what was specified. Got it home and began to sew when I got to the skirt part it dawns on me I was going to be short fabric…I hurredly nipped back for more fabric…SOLD OUT! What to do!! Playing around w/the layout for ages I finally cut the back a little off grain. I cut it out and sew it….well it looked okay to me, it didn’t hang weirdly. Really I’m more concerned about what color belt, shoes and handbag I was going to wear. I put on the cutest little outfit I ever made the front looked smashing!! I take a few steps and the skirt creeps into my derriere cheeks….Now it’s too late to change and I didnt’ have anything to change into. That day will live in infamy for me. I would take few steps have to duck into a doorway and pull the dress from my backside…a perfectly awful day….I swear that day seemed like a week. Come to think of it I have never made a pleated garment again!

  • Sounds fun!
    I don’t have a huge disaster story, but several kind friends have spent time trying to teach me to knit, but it doesn’t stick! I do ok with supervision, but once I get home it leaves my brain…

  • I must’ve blocked out my real disasters, but this one i remember and it still stings years later: I made a sweater for my boyfriend out of gorgeous yarn i bought in Tasmania. it was a perfect fit, and i thought it looked good on him, but he never wore it and finally admitted he would never wear it. i don’t have the heart to frog it…maybe a son will wear it one day and be my valentine…this boyfriend eventually became my husband despite hating this perfect sweater, but I learned my lesson and he only gets knitted hats from me, once in a blue moon.

  • I’ve had a million crafting disasters – pretty much every time I pick up something new for the first time. I’ve set shrinky dinks ablaze. I’ve gotten VERY expensive organic yarn into a knot so bad that a lady literally “tsked” me. I’ve hot glued unused sticks of HOT GLUE to the floor.
    I am a librarian for teens and I host crafts all the time. I like to teach them to reuse and recycle and look at old materials with new eyes! I had the brilliant idea, four or five years ago, to have everyone participating bring in an old dark colored tshirt. I set up tuperware bins with cold water, and I picked out a bunch of small flat items (coins, washers, odd erasers, etc.). We also had sugar, to be able to sort of “drip” your designs. I filled spray bottles with a bleach/water solution and I thought we would do an awesome relief thing on these tshirts, placing down the objects, spraying the bleach solution and they could watch it turn colors. Then, quick as a wink, they would submerge the tshirts into cold water, which would stop the bleaching, and everyone would have an awesome new tshirt! YAHOO!
    Well, I underestimated the messiness of tweens/teens… bleach was everywhere (in the library! yowzas) Water was everywhere. tshirts were wet and everywhere. It took me a couple of hours to clean up, in my bare feet (because they had overturned a few of the tuperwares and soaked my shoes). Some of the teens loved their shirts, though, and wore them in to the library to show me…so I’d say it was worth it.

  • This isn’t my own story but that of my best friend’s aunt; a story I was told in my teens and has stuck* with me ever since! My friend’s aunt, let’s call her Jean, was laying a new kitchen floor with lino tiles. Jean decided to use super glue to do this job… A tube of super glue which she happened to leave lying on the floor before subsequently kneeling on and squirting glue into her eye. Panicked, she grabbed a towel to wipe the glue off, which is definitely not recommended. Needless to say, after a trip to A&E and time spent without eyelashes, her story has haunted me (and improved my safety awareness) ever since!

    *apologies for the punn… Couldn’t resist!

  • I’m an avid knitter. Once, I was knitting a cowichan sweater for a friend and was working on the sleeve, paying NO attention (I think I was probably watching Castle, because, honestly, what *else* would I be watching?!?). I knit this BEAUTIFUL sleeve with lovely colour work patterning…I soon realized, after about 3 hours, that I had forgotten to cast off and decrease for the underarm! I had to undo THREE HOURS of (not-s0) careful knitting and start again. I was heartbroken. But, these things happen!

  • Wow – it’s so good to see that everyone else has such epic crafting fails as well! I’m a big knitter and because I’m not that patient, I decided to splurge and buy a knitting machine to help me knit faster. I tried to master changing colors, but each time I would introduce a new color, inevitability my stitches would fall off and crash to the floor. This happened for about 3 months until I finally got the hang of it. I decided to make a tank top with wording on the front and after hours of counting and making sure the different colored stitches were just right, I bound off my work and looked at my creation. All of the wording was upside down.

  • A couple of years I decided to dress up as Wonder Woman for a big annual Halloween party that my friends host. I have always admired WW but had never seen a costume out there that was exactly what I wanted or felt confident enough to pull off a body conscious outfit but recalling that the best costumes I had growing up were the ones I would brainstorm and sew with my very talented grandmother (err or rather watch her mostly sew for me) I decided I would go for it and make my own! I didn’t own a sewing machine and thought sewing all of the pieces from fabric would be too much for me but I spent several weeks finding basic articles of clothing (red tube top; blue shorts; blue leggings; gold bra; red socks) and random supplies (gold lamé belt; iron on stars; star buttons; duct tape) that I could put together with some basic sewing to make my dream costume. By Halloween I had the whole outfit put together and felt proud that I had thought of lots of details down to my blue nail polish as I tend to be more last minute and rushed with things….

    The night of the party I got dressed up and felt great! Just before leaving I noticed that some of the stars on my backside were sticking up a bit so I thought hey I’ll just do a quick touch up with the iron… The instant I set the hot iron down on the polyester poof! I had burned a big hole right where my left butt cheek would be. Oops I guess I forgot to check the iron setting — they are really serious about those! I had never seen that happen before!

    My husband got nervous about what my reaction would be but I had a WWWWD moment and just put the shorts back on (once cooled) over my blue leggings and headed out to the party hoping it would blend. My the end of the night I had gotten lots of compliments and had totally forgotten that my booty was hanging out of my short shorts. Actually, even with the scorched bottoms, I enjoyed making everything so much that I wasn’t deterred and made awesome costumes for myself and my husband too again this year — just nothing involving ironing polyester!

  • When I was about 9, I went through a cake decorating phase. My mom had this huge collection of different hued food coloring. This was not your standard red, blue, yellow, green assortment. There was fuschia, turquoise, even cyan. The colors were all so attractive, I couldn’t help but experiment with mixing them. One day I got so carried away with mixing that I suddenly realized with horror that my beautiful rainbow cake looks more like mud than the My Little Pony landscape I was shooting for. Unwilling to accept defeat, I decided to own my mistake and make the cake black. That’s right, I added every single color from the collection of about 20. The frosting looked like rich humus and made the cake the most depressing I have ever laid eyes on. My dad and oldest brother, always my cheerleaders, generously each ate a piece of my dismal cake after dinner. They were kind and praised it’s sweetness and, ehem, uniqueness. As they smiled in appreciation, the rest of us discovered the true horror of my failure, the heavy mixture of dyes had turned their teeth a deep shade of red!

  • The craft camp looks amazing! And the chance to meet a project runway winner is awesome!
    I have been crafting since I was a child. I love it. Crafting is not only a creative outlet, but a stress reliever as well. I hope all who attend the camp have a great time!

  • While not quite a crafting disaster but it does deal with crafting. I have recently moved and had a small craft room at my old house. I now have doubled my space and can’t believe how much items I has stuffed into that old room. It is now 7 months since I moved and I am still trying to sort my stash so I can really start working. I think crafting is a disease but I love it!

  • I love reading all of these! Katy’s lobster reminded me of a finger puppet Valentine I almost sent out to one of my nieces last year in my annual love packages to all the kids in my life. I made different animals with paper hearts from a kit but luckily my husband noticed something about this giraffe that I didn’t and stopped me from mailing it out — but I still think the critter is cute so he got it instead! http://instagram.com/p/Vz3WAPB-o7/

  • While painting a piece of furniture (with oil based paint) our cat escaped and got paint all over her little feet! Not wanting to use turpentine on her, I used eucalyptus oil to wipe it off her – but then read online that my “natural” alternative was actually quite poisonous to cats! My boyfriend then had to hold her down while I shampooed her paws until there was no more eucalyptus smell left… to this day she is nervous around running water (and now we only use water based paint!)

  • Probably my worst crafting disaster happened when I was six years old. My mother, an avid crafter, was teaching me how to sew. It was December, and we were making Christmas potholders for my first grade teacher. She was guiding my hands but she must have let go and… the machine sewed through my finger! It was my one and only trip to the ER, sewing needle all the way through my finger, green thread still attached. To this day, I am still deathly afraid of sewing machines.

  • When I was about ten, my cousin Lia came to visit me from Brooklyn. She always had amazing new toys and things to do when I went to her house, and so I wanted something really fun for us to do when she came to ours. I had just learned from a friend that Elmer’s glue was made from milk and flour, which Lia hadn’t known, so we decided to make some of our own together. We had the materials we needed and added glitter to the mixture to make glitter glue – a huge bowl full of the stuff! Somehow we got it in our heads that we had to share this amazing concoction with the rest of the world or else it would go to waste. We made signs and set up a table in front of the house, attempting to sell glitter glue in little paper cups on the side of the road like a lemonade stand. GLITTER GLUE! ONLY $1! Which eventually dwindled down to 25 cents, 10 cents, to giving it away for free. We even tried to add incentives like petting our black & white lab mix or being pulled around the yard on a wagon with each cup of glitter glue purchased. We had more hand-made signs littering our front lawn than we had cups of glitter glue, but no one took the bait. Only one man stopped, thinking we were a drink stand and wanting something for his thirst on a hot summer day. He was REALLY confused, our parents laughing hysterically in the background (they had been soooo supportive, so we didn’t think this was a strange thing to do AT ALL). Poor guy probably thought it was some kind of cruel joke. He ended up giving us a dollar anyway – without taking the glue with him. We called after him as he drove away – “hey, mister! You forgot your glitter glue!” I wonder if he ever stopped at a lemonade stand again.

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