What The Guilty Crafter Can Teach You About Crafting Without Guilt

An Interview with Angela Daniels, The Guilty Crafter and Lead Fiskateer

Angela Daniels has got to have one of the funnest jobs in the world! A mom of two, Angela left the corporate world and turned her DIY craftines into a job with Fiskars — the scissor company — as a Lead Fiskateer. Cool, right? Well, actually, the title that follows her emails is: Aspiring Domestic Goddess & Lead Brand Ambassador for Fiskars (gasp!), but whatever her title is, she’s rad!! I met Angela at Maker Faire this past summer, and was drawn in by her cheery “turn your t-shirts into flowers” tutorial. Angela is funny and adorable, and I hope you’ll enjoy hearing all about her work while getting inspired to follow your bliss and turn your recyclables into something fabulous.

{Read through for details on how you can enter to win a fabulous craft package.}

First of all, you’re a Fiskateer! Whaaaa?! What exactly does a Fiskateer do (and how did you land such a cool job)?

It is THE coolest job. Basically, I was hired to blog for Fiskars after being a member of their community at www.Fiskateers.com, and then applied to become a “Lead Fiskateer.” I co-lead a community of over 8,000 enthusiastic crafters. I had already demonstrated that I love Fiskars tools and that I have an almost endless supply of energy for blogging and traveling and meeting other crafters. Our whole Fiskateer community is founded on one simple philosophy- share your passion for crafting. That is something that comes naturally to me.

I love how you refer to yourself as a domestic goddess wannabe! Can you tell us more about your background and how you found yourself on this journey?

I was raised by a feminist and I married a man whose mother and grandmother are also excellent role models of feminism. They are smart, funny and find most of their self-satisfaction through the work they’ve done outside the home. I always thought I would follow suit. I had a corporate job for several years but 10 years ago, I had the opportunity to stay home with my 2 kids and, I wish I could say I have never looked back. I DO! I loved my full-time job quite a bit. I got lots of enjoyment out of being good at what I did and working long hours (I was a corporate trainer). It took me a full 8 years at least to settle down and realize I have a pretty good gig at home. Why not have fun with it? Instead of balking at traditional 50’s stereotypes of stay-at-home moms, why not throw on a vintage apron, some pearls while I burn Kraft Macaroni and Cheese? The more I have decided to try and let go of the idea of perfection and not take it so seriously, the more fun I’ve had with it. I can even make homemade macaroni and cheese now. Of course every mom reading this will completely understand when I tell you that my kids much prefer Kraft no matter how truly delicious mine is. Kids. Sigh.

When I met you, you were making these super-cool, simple upcycled fabric flowers at the Make Faire. You have a knack for mixing style with recycling…how do you do it?

Thank you so much. I love showing very short, simple and inexpensive projects to people as a gateway to encouraging them to explore more complicated, larger projects (much in the same way I work with simple, short ingredient list recipes as a fledgling cook). I find my recycling ideas through guilt. Really. My kids attended a Montessori school when they were little and a big emphasis was put on recycling. The idea stuck and I always feel a little guilty about throwing out good basic materials. I’ll keep them (much to my husband’s chagrin) and eventually the materials will inspire some kind of craft or another. One of my favorite materials is the netting you get when you buy fruits or vegetables in bulk. It usually comes in bright colors (orange around oranges, yellow around lemons, etc.) and adds such a fun texture to papercrafting. Being a Fiskateer means Fiskars sends me a lot of tools to try- good creative tools are always a wonderful way to inspire upcycled craft projects.

In all your pictures and videos, you sport some fabulous 1950’s-ish wigs and accessories, and you seem to be brimming with creative ideas. Where do you get your ideas from and how do you feed your creativity?

My energy and creativity can be traced directly back to my dislike for basic housework. The higher the piles of laundry, the more compelled I feel to dive into a craft project and ignore the pile. I suppose a childhood filled with artistic and crafty relatives didn’t hurt either. It was a rare day as a kid that we didn’t have to clear off a pile of art supplies off the dining room table every night for dinner. My dining room table is following in that same family tradition.

Can you tell us more about your new webseries “The Guilty Crafter.” How do guilt and crafting go together?

I have spent so many years doing videos sponsored by various crafting companies and, as much as I have enjoyed that, I know my videos sometimes came across as a little to “corporate.” If you have met me in person and crafted with me, I am much less serious when it comes to my love of crafting. I realized that a lot of times, I was feeling guilty if I spent too much of my time crafting but I also felt guilty if I wasn’t crafting things for my kids. I also feel guilty if I buy supplies and never follow through with using them OR if I follow through but my projects didn’t look they belonged in a magazine. After spending time with Kent Nichols (producer and co-writer of AskANinja.com), he found my conflicting feelings humorous and suggested that we collaborate on a video series that shows crafting from a real crafter’s point of view. My projects are quick, easy and cheap and guilt goes, I really can’t win so I decided to embrace those feelings and see if other crafters out there feel the same way.

Here’s an example…

I read that you take the statement, “I’m not creative at all,” as a personal challenge. What would you want someone who feels lacking in creativity to know or think about?

I come from a long line of women who simply do not cook. Almost at all. We’re not foodies and I think all of us, if we lived alone, would survive on olives, cheese and wine. I spent the first few years of my marriage telling people, “I can’t cook at ALL” and couldn’t ever understand why people would insist that cooking is EASY. Until I opened my mind to really giving it a try a year ago. To my surprise, cooking (which can be a creative outlet) can be fun. Sometimes I mess everything up (okay, a lot of times) but quite often, I make something almost tasty and my family loves that. I had to kind of go through that process to understand why people balk at crafting. It’s the same thing. You have to be willing to let go of perfection, enjoy the process and allow yourself those moments when you can think- hey, that’s not too bad! Good for me! And you have to laugh at the burnt dishes and the ones with missing ingredients and be okay with scrapping the whole thing and opting for fast food some nights.

Where can we find more of you?

You can find me at all these places under both “AngelaDaniels” and “GuiltyCrafter.” I continue to share random ideas on achieving my goal of domestic goddess status on my personal blog at www.angeladaniels.squarespace.com. I am clearly obsessed by all the inspiration there is to find and share on the internet!

Exciting Opportunity!!: If anyone is interested in becoming a Fiskateer, email Angela directly at angela@fiskateers.com.

More of Angela Daniels online:

WebsitesFiskateer WebsiteAngela’s personal blog
Twitter: GuiltyCrafterAngelaDaniels, Fiskateers
Facebook: Angela’s Facebook page, The Guilty Crafter

Giveaway!

Angela has generously offered to give away one fabulous prize package that includes her number one favorite tool- the Fiskars Hand Drill, a pair of Fiskars scissors, Angela’s favorite self-stick stamp set, and a few surprises. Oh, how I wish I could win this fun prize!

To enter: Just leave a comment and share something that you feel guilty about (if you’re guilt-free, pat yourself on the back and leave a nice comment instead). The winner will be chosen by random number generator. The giveaway is only open to US addresses. Deadline to enter: Monday, November 28 at 9 pm PST.   Thank you to everyone for your funny, heartfelt, and entertaining comments! Lucy has been selected as the winner and the giveaway is closed

Comments

  1. says

    Oh, PLEASE pick me! I’m trying to overcome the fact that I was raised by a 100% Italian-Catholic mother who turned Guilt (and the dispersal thereof) into a second religion. Right now I feel guilty that my kids spent a gorgeous mild November afternoon inside because we wanted to watch football, that I haven’t set up an interesting art project for my older kids in over a week, that after a week and a half home with sick kids I was ready to steal Virginia Woolf’s room for a month (or even an hour), and that I really don’t want to read the newest Thomas magazine out loud line by line (again) so my 3yo can “read” it back to me.

    I really do think a new Fiskars hand drill would help cure me…

  2. Jeni says

    I homeschool my 9yo and 3yo and I’m always feeling guilty that I spend too much time teaching one or the other. Or that we’re spending too much time on crafts and not enough on academics, or vice versa. Or that we’re just spending too much time outside and not enough time on “recordable” learning. Sometimes I just feel guilty because we’re not spending enough time at home, in a calm atmosphere or guilty that we’re spending too much time at home and not enough with family, friends, or extracurricular activities.

    I don’t know that a Fiskars surprise would cure me, but it would definitely give me a better excuse to spend time crafting with the kids.

  3. says

    I am definitely guilt-ridden about all the housework that I’ve not gotten done. But crafting is a very fun creative outlet for me. I can so identify with being a guilty crafter!

  4. Tawnie says

    Forgive me Crafters, for I have sinned….I spend tremendous amounts of time on Pinterest, happily pining away while my three old and dog must entertain themselves (under fairly watchful eyes of course) during my new “Mommy Time”. My pining addiction has now led to a crafting addiction, for which I have no useful tools. Womp, womp. And though I feel guilty for spending copious amounts of time on Pinterest, I feel even more guilty for now subjecting my husband to two constantly crafty women—my three year old has taken an interest in all thing crafty as well!

  5. jengd says

    Definitely the gal you’d like to have live next door- maybe she’d share some great stuff and inspiration! … Though maybe not- it would be hard to compete. ;) I feel guilty about how many blogs I follow- it takes too much time to get through all of the posts but there’s SO much great stuff out there!!!

  6. Bia says

    I feel guilty about not doing more crafts, both by myself and with my daughter. I feel like I’m letting the creativity well dry up…

  7. MW says

    Great post! My guilt is about how I have to structure my time. To be sure I devote enough time and attention to my work, my household and my son, I have to set times for nearly everything. I feel guilty when I sometimes have to stop a craft project with my son because “time is up” and I have to move on to something else.

  8. Lindsay says

    I am totally guilty of getting stuff to do a craft project and then I end up not doing it because I don’t have the time! I would love to have more time to do things and more space! Not enough room in my house! I would love to win!!

  9. Luka says

    I love your blog, I just landed here a few days ago, but I can’t seem to get enough. I have a 16mo old girl, so we’re just starting on the art projects and we would be happy to win. As a little girl I used to love painting and crafting clothes for my dolls and now i have a strange urge to do the same for my lo’s doll. Haha!

  10. says

    I feel guilty that I have more than a month’s worth of preschool learning activities to blog about, and yet I’m still sitting here scouting out new activities rather than writing. It’s like Chemistry in junior year all over again- I always did the experiments and explained them to my lab partner, but never wrote up the reports!

  11. Gennie says

    Ooh – lovely prize! Currently battling mommy vs. working guilt. Just went back FT and I miss hanging out with my little guy (though if I were home FT, I’d be looking for escape time, surely). There’s never any winning (unless I get this great package, right?) Thanks ladies!

  12. Lucy says

    I was raised Catholic, so guilt is second nature (don’t tell my mom I said that). I feel guilty for spending so much time on the computer. I make up good excuses (I’m educating myself, I’m keeping in touch with people — some of them obviously lonely or they wouldn’t be e-mailing me, I’m keeping up with the news and technology and a bit of gossip, then taking a much needed “little break” to play solitaire). At the end of the day, the laundry’s not done, the dishes aren’t washed, the toilet still needs to be scrubbed, I haven’t shaved my legs in 3 weeks, I’m lucky if I get out of my jammies and get showered by 11 a.m…. In a word, I’m pathetic. Whatcha gonna do? Luckily, one of the things I learned while jumping all over cyberspace is to embrace my faults. Bye bye Catholic guilt; hello embraceable faults.

  13. rosesmama says

    I might feel a bit guilty about all the dishes I don’t do in a timely manner. But not much. I would love to win on my birthday, though!

  14. says

    Great interview! I feel guilty about my messy home, my long list of procrastination projects and spending too much time on the computer :-( Right now I should be sleeping!!
    I would love to win!

  15. Mallory says

    In working with people with disabilities I often feel guilt about not always knowing what materials or tools to work with. I sometimes find myself having high expectations and then realize I needed a different process for that particular student to succeed. It is a constant struggle, but I always find help through blogs like these! I would love to win the package of tools to see if there has been something I am missing that will work with my students.

  16. says

    oh gosh, trying to strike a balance among momming, working, crafting, and blogging always leaves some sort of guilt energy stuck somewhere within… as much as i try to go gently and practice maitri (unconditional lovingkindness toward self in the buddhist tradition,) i’m often struggling with allocating time and energy in these ways. what a great interview and wonderful giveaway!

  17. says

    I’m a gulty procratinator, when it comes to anything. I don’t know if there is a cure for this especically for me as I have my hands into everything. But we do love you as our lead Fiskateer and appreciate all you do! Thanks, Angela!

  18. says

    Sometimes I feel guilty for crafting when I should be sleeping, or cooking, or watching the kids. And sometimes I feel guilty when I let the kids do some crafty fun instead of schoolwork.
    Thanks for the interview, Angela…I learned a lot about you and love the approach you took to cooking!

    Tifany #5942
    <3 Proud Fiskateer

  19. says

    Hmmmmm…. guilt. That’s an easy one.

    I feel guilty when ALL of my gifts are not homemade goodies (food, arts & crafts). There was a time that everything I competed in clothing design and everything (except my Wranglers and shoes) was homemade.

    Therefore, I feel guilty when I have to sleep. I mean REALLY, what a waste of creative energy… Sleep!

    Thanks for sharing a bit of Angela with us. I remember when she embarked on the “cooking” journey and told some of us early Fiskateers that she couldn’t even boil water.

    Way to go Angela…. you’ve arrived!

    • says

      Oops… I hate cut and paste… let me fix paragraph 2…..

      “There was a time that I competed in clothing design and EVERYTHING was handmade. Everything except my Wrangers and shoes, that is.”

      PS…. Did I say I was a bit of a perfectionist? I feel guilty about that too!

  20. says

    Definitely guilty for not catching up on all the “Fall Cleaning” that needs to be done…. and being distracted with other various tasks (like paying bills… or playing Bejewled) instead of playing with our daughter and pets. I’m just now starting to delve into the world of crafty home projects, and hoping that I can keep Cadence entertained enough during the days we’re snowed in and I can take one more moment of cold! Now that she’s 3, she wants to be involved in everything Mommy & Daddy does, so I’m my New Years resolution is to get down and crafty (and clean more often)!! We definitely can’t afford to go out and do much now that Mommy is out of work, so I’m resolving to do all I can for cheap/free around home :)

  21. says

    I’m a big fan of Angela’s and a proud Fiskateer- I really loved the interview. I feel guilty about the time I spend reading blogs and seeking inspiration instead of actually spending time in the craftroom doing all the things that inspired me!

  22. Lise Krick says

    ok, I have packed my bags, I’m going on a guilt trip!!! Scrapbooking is by far my guilty craft. the more I spend, the guiltier I get! Truth is, I just gotta have the newest, funnest products out there!!! I’m like a kid in a candy shoppe! thanks for sharing Angela and for the record…I prefer homeade mac/cheese!

  23. sandyh50 says

    Great interview with one of our Lead Fiskateers, Angela!!! You guys really need to become a Fiskateer, just email Angela, it is the best!! I feel guilty when I have a dirty house (my mother did not train me that way) and would rather be crafting!!!

    Sandy Fiskateer #4165

  24. TracyM #6773 says

    Great interview with Angela – she really is a fabulous Lead Fiskateer and a super creative crafter!!! I see that a few fellow Fiskateers have already posted a comment, but for anyone that isn’t already a member, please, come join our awesome crafting community :)
    I used to feel guilty when I created projects with glitter and spread my mess around the house, now I just enjoy the added sparkle in our world. My latest guilt is spreading my works-in-progress around on every flat surface I can find, but with my Mum & Dad coming to visit, I’m working on fixing it!!!
    Thank you for sharing this great interview and for the chance to win :)

  25. Heather N says

    I homeschool my 5 year old and I feel guilty about how sometimes I would like more “me” time. Between my daughter talking all day (non-stop) and my husband chatting with me when he gets home, I sometimes just want a little quiet. I know that I am totally blessed, though, to have such a wonderful family who wants to connect and share with me. Thanks for the giveaway!

  26. says

    How much space is there to write what I feel guilty about?!! The main guilt I find plaguing me these days is working and not spending time with my two beautiful girls.

  27. Heather K. says

    Hi there!
    It is nice to know there are others that feel the mommy guilt. I homeschool my daughter and have a passion for crafting and art. Luckily my daughter does too, but there are times when I would much rather be crafting than teaching!! Homeschooling in itself is a full time feeling of GUILT because you always wonder if you are doing the right thing. I pray everyday that I am. The only time I feel as if I am doing something right is when I get to see my daughter delighting in making an amazing craft or piece of art!

  28. Suzi #5563 says

    I really want that drill, Angela, and I feel guilty about that. I know I would love it, but will it get used properly. And stamps, oh, how I love stamps! Do I need more? No, but I want more. And that makes me feel guilty. I really feel guilty that at Christmas time, I shop so much for myself. I have such a big “want” list, and it’s easier for me to just order the items than for Santa to have to shop for them. Last year, it was Spellbinders that filled my stocking. Oh, I felt so guilty! But this year I found that online sale for Fiskars products for 60% off!! But I bought so much, I still feel guilty!

  29. Peg says

    I am guilty of feeling very guilty. I have let all types of domestic goddess work come to a halt so I can feed my creative “empty hole”. My husband jokes that my scrap room ( I call it the paper playground) looks like it should have it’s own episode of one of those hoarding shows. Honestly, it just needs Martha or Rachel or some other guru to show up and do a hugs makeover. Since none of that is likely to happen, I can only hope to win the prize package you are giving and then I can feel even more guilty about my craft room. No problem.. it would feel GOOD to feel guilty over new Fiskars tools. I hosted the Kansas US of F party and loved showing and demo. ing the tools you sent to the party.

  30. Jennifer Suckow says

    I would love that drill!  How fun!  I feel guilty anytime I craft because I feel I should be doing housework instead.

  31. Emma Patton says

    I feel guilty about paring down my kids toys and craft supplies – we now have 2 7-drawer organizers in the kitchen (and another few!) in the basement. I’ve started to organize crafts by holiday, too! eek! I just need a bigger house- gone one of those in an upcoming giveaway? :)

  32. Krysti says

    I feel guilty about not crafting enough :( I really wish my son would allow me to have a little mommy time so i can USE all the FUN supplies i own!

  33. Kara says

    I feel guilty for the messy house, but love that I get to have fun getting covered in ink and glitter with my 2 1/2 year old.  Huge fan of Angela’s – she’s a riot.  :)

  34. Sylvia says

    Angela is so good about making crafting fun. She taught at a Fiskateer event that I was lucky to attend. I still make the flowers that she taught to make out of old t-shirts :)

  35. says

    I’m new to crafting, but really enjoy it. I have found that while taking time to make holiday crafts, and even gifts, I continually feel guilty that I’m not doing housework or spending more quality time with the family.

  36. Mindful momma says

    I am so inspired by having found this! I have such guilt about the long list of crafts I haven’t gotten to with my kids and its an endless battle trying to figure out how to be this urban-suburban- domestic goddess- feminist- full time mom- six figure income maker all while being sexy, zen, and everything to everyone all the time. Really though art & craft keep me grounded and open worlds of opportunity to share and create with my children.

  37. Bethany says

    Guilt?  I have NOOOOOOO idea what that is!  LOL  I don’t think you can be a mom without being loaded with guilt at times.  My crafting guilt is if I am crafting…I feel like I should be spending more time with my family.  If I am spending time with my family….I feel like I want to be crafting.  The key will be to get my family to craft with me.  LOL  My 7 year old does.  Now to get my husband and son on board as well!

  38. says

    I feel guilty buying fabric when I have way.  too.  much.  already.  This Christmas, I’m committed to  de-stashing for gifts – no new fabric!  And oh, how I dream of a Fiskars hand drill!!

  39. says

    Me too!  Had to laugh about clearing art projects off the dining room table for dinner- that’s so me.  I feel like I’m setting a bad example for my son, but now I see I’m just crafty, I love that!  Thank you!  I feel a  little less guilty already.  :)

  40. BRANDY HILL says

    My guilt seems to be a bit different. I feel guilty when the craft I’m working on doesn’t have a set purpose, specifically a gift for someone else or some such. Like it being that I’m doing it just because I love doing it. Anyone know how to handle that?

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