I have been crafting along with Kirstie Allsopp on her new home crafting show. It was created to inspire people to craft with things in their home during the pandemic. Throughout the show she uses materials such as toilet roll holders, maps and leaves to show simple ways to keep those crafty hands busy.
My expectations of this show were low. I mean no disrespect, I have just seen a lot of craft shows which get aimed at kids, creating projects which I have no desire to keep in my home. In episode one, I saw that she made monsters with toilet rolls and prepared myself for disappointment - but I needn't...mostly.
"The only person that doesn't have the things in their home for this project is Marie Kondo" Kirstie Allsopp
I loved the variety of projects and I was inspired to make at least one craft per episode. What I loved the most though was the attitude of Kirstie during filming. Especially during episode one, it was refreshing to see Kirstie so relaxed. I can't quite put my finger on what changed in her nature but I related to her more than any other thing I have seen her in. It was more ad-lib and care-free. Is that not what the spirit of craft is?
Kirstie's Tip - If you don't have paint, make your own with flour, water and salt.
I loved seeing the works from other crafters around the country. There was fantastic goldwork using the chipping technique, clever upcycling, a fun lion cushion, and many, many more. I enjoyed the introduction of guests. She didn't need them as such but it was nice to see the beautiful crafty faces in conversation with tricks from the trade. The guests seemed more natural than normal too. I especially loved Jamie Chalmers' cross stitch tip - I'll be using that one!
Kirstie's Tip - If you don't have PVA glue for projects like pinatas, try wallpaper paste or flour and water.
I was also a fan of the openness of the productions of the show. She showed the camera men and shared what the producers were shouting at her from outside the door or from the back of the garden. It was nice that the show didn't try to look and act like they were in a studio. During this pandemic I have enjoyed seeing homemade TV shows and insights into people's homes.
"The tin is thin so you can find yourself cutting off your bits. No one needs to add that to their list of problems." Kirstie Allsopp
The part I struggled to concentrate during was the throwbacks. Kirstie ran through craft projects from her normal shows. As a fan I'd already seen these reruns many times, so it felt a bit of wasted time (even in lockdown!). Like an advert break until you get back to the show you tuned in for. Having said this, I did appreciate that they edited these at a longer length so there were new snippets. This meant added tips and cheeky cupcake eating which I didn't remember seeing before.
In episode 7 when she spoke about an old clip which was filmed shortly after her mum had died, it was lovely to see this side of Kirstie. I haven't often seen her open up and share her personal life. I suppose this is because it can be difficult in commercial craft shows; it's not like she can/would want to say "This is how you decoupage, oh and by the way, I'm struggling today". It would be nice to continue to hear more about her personality though. Sometimes it can feel like Kirstie is only posh pronunciations of words like layers, being short tempered and repeating how bad she is at craft. I can relate to creative self-doubt but I do enjoy crafters that celebrate their creative wins more than their worries of what will happen. Even just seeing her excitement about maps was nice.
"Tomorrow we have pinatas and we're doing something with celery. Go on, you know you want to" Kirstie Allsopp
OK, so her explanation of the blanket stitch wasn't the best and her macrame feather could use the tips from Mayinspire macrame workshops...but I truly loved it. Thank you Kirstie; more of that style please, it was wonderful. I feel like Kirstie needs time to ramble, time to experiment and time to sneak in innuendos - that is when she is at her best.
"It's working. Call me Tracey Emin" Kirstie Allsopp
Did you watch the show and did you make anything? Tag Mayinspire on social media to show us, we'd love to see.
The hashtag for this show is #keepcraftingcarryon