Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Craft Wars: Episode 3

Yes, yes, I'm late this time 'round, but hey, bonus!  Two Craft Wars posts this week!  Right now, of course, I'm talking about last week's episode, wherein the pop challenge required the contestants to build toy boxes out of toys.

This was the biggest and most involved one-hour challenge they've tried so far.  Remember, the first week they had gym bags made from gym equipment, then birdhouses made from junk drawer items.  And now full on toy boxes.

I was really happy to see that my favorite one didn't get the crafter sent home, despite the admonitions against her use of felt and spray glue.

Her lagoon monster was just too cute, and definitely the cleanest looking of the three, at least from the vantage point of my living room couch.  I loved the mouth opening & xylophone back, as well as the cardboard brick scales and paddle fins.  I loved the colors and the concept, and think for a single hour, it was executed damn well.

I also thought the robot toy box was very cute in the end, despite his mishap with the wind.

I love the face and antenna, the spring arms, and the fact that he's got two sections for toys.  But again, like the issue I had with the birdhouse challenge, I think using foam core for the structure was a copout move.  In fact, the crafter admitted that she used it because it was faster than wood.

Also, with the initial instruction that the box has to hold up for real, it baffled me that the fact that nothing was said about the fact that foam core for a real toy box wouldn't work; a couple of rowdy kids would beat that thing up in two seconds flat.  And with how the judges harped on the unlikeliness that felt would hold up on a toy box, how could they not question foam core?  On top of that, only the briefest mention was made of those wobbly cardboard legs, when we saw right on screen how unsteady that robot was.  Filled with toys and topheavy, that box would likely land on some kid.

In the end, though, I really wanted the guy to go home.  He builds castles for a living and still didn't properly put together 3 pieces of wood to make a box.  I get that a triangle is funkier than a rectangle, perhaps, and maybe he was going for originality of design, but honestly, a triangle box just really required beveled edges to avoid his fatal flaw - those awful spaces between the sides.  Had he made a rectangle, he could have avoided that problem.  Two other problems I had with his box... for a guy who's not used to covering things in felt (an advantage the monster box creator had, which explained her affinity for the stuff), why on earth would he do that?  The judges were right:  paint.  And yeah, I know he wanted to use felt as a quickie lid for the thing, and maybe he felt that aesthetics called for carrying it through to the walls, but that lid was pretty bad anyway.  Oh, my last big problem with his - if you've read my earlier posts regarding Craft Wars, you may know what it is.  I really can't stand it when the crafters don't use the challenge items in the design, and just slap it on because they're forced to use it.  That's what it looked like this guy did.  "Oh, crap, we need to use these toys!  OK, let's paint 'em so they blend in and stick 'em on randomly."  That's not ok to me.

And something tells me that when Tori Spelling tells you you need to stretch your felt neater... you need to stretch your felt neater.  Take heed, future contestant's.  Tori told the maker of the monster box to line the inside, she did, and she stayed.

But yeah... with all the issues I saw with glitter chick's box, I still was not rooting for this guy.  Oddly, even with all my issues with the show, I do tend to agree with the judges' decisions.  We just apparently reach them from different routes.

Speaking of which, I agreed with their final decision too, on the challenge to make pet mansions from pet items.

Don't get me wrong, I much preferred the California girl's pet condo in terms of design and the clean look.  I'd own hers over the winner's any day.  It's much more my style.

How awesome is that thing?!  Had this chick had one more hour, it'd have been totally gorgeous.  But I knew she was in trouble as soon as she used spray glue for the fabric wallpaper.  See, in the first challenge, Tori said to line the inside, chick lined the inside, and she stuck around.  But the judges admonished her to only use fabric glue with fabric.  This time, she didn't listen, and see what happened?  Also, I had to agree with the judges:  the upstairs needed embellishment and there again was that fatal flaw for me:  She didn't much incorporate the challenge items as elements.  Yes, she turned stuffed animals into beds and made some new stuffies to hang in the cat's apartment.  But that was really it.  Laying bones and bowls in the joint doesn't really "incorporate" the elements into the design, per se.  But man, it sure was a gorgeous design.  And I know Meg, Hunter, and Catimus would love it.

I knew glitter chick was going to win, though.  Although she also didn't listen and insisted on using her spray adhesive for all that crazy glitter, and although her mansion was very much not my style, not as clean, a little clashy in color (I really wish that entrance curtain wasn't red), and somewhat messy... chick incorporated the challenge pieces.

From balls as front yard decor to glittered (of course) milk bone embellishments to a mat made of woven leashes, she used her stuff.  I have to say, while the judges went nuts for the leash mat, I kinda really loved the table with a base made of newspapers and tennis balls.  That's what I personally like to see; the elements used in construction, not just stuck in 'cause they gotta.

So... though I really liked the condo better, I think the glitter castle was the right one for the win.


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