Wednesday, April 20

Meet a Let's Create LIVE! Design Challenger: Angela Daniels


Angela Daniels is the latest designer to be appearing at our Let's Create LIVE! event! We are so happy to have this bright and talented designer join our live show as part of our Let's Create LIVE Designer Challenge!

Angela really does do it all! She's a goddess of crafts and culinary challenges! On her blog, you can follow all her cooking and baking adventures as she aspires to domestic perfection! She shares all kinds of fun adventures in the kitchen with a twist of crafty inspiration!

As a Lead Fisk-a-teer for Fiskars®, Angela also has her own Fiskateer Crafting Ambassador blog where she shares with the Fiskars® community lots of fun projects, challenges, tips, and videos! Since Angela is a former 9-5 corporate trainer, it's only natural that she loves to educate and inspire others to achieve success in their creativity!

Here's just a sampling of some of the wonderful projects Angela has completed recently. Paper crafts, painting, jewelry, there anything this lady can't do?

Angela Daniel's projects

We wanted to get to know Angela more and find out where she gets her inspiration! Enjoy!

1. You aspire to be like the perfect 1950's housewife? What kind of success have you had with that and have you had any major FAILS along the way?
Last year, I happened to catch the trailer for "Julie and Julia" and, while it
seemed like exactly the kind of movie I generally don't go see (I'm more of a
Fight Club/Pulp Fiction/Cohen Brothers kind of girl), the concept of cooking
straight through a cookbook captured my imagination. Since I come from a long
legacy of artistic women who eschewed the idea of spending time in the
kitchen, I knew I had neither the talent or patience for someone of Julia
Child's caliber but I did happen to have the funny, tongue-in-cheek cookbook
by Amy Sedaris titled "Hospitality Under the Influence" which fit my
personality (and lack of cooking skills) so much better. Amy also has a
fondness for vintage style gowns as I do, so I thought donning a vintage prom
dress or two and following along with her simple recipes would be a good
spoof on all the food blogs out there that are meant for serious cooks who
might actually like the challenge of, say, hiking through the Himalayas for
obscure ingredients. I like the 1950's style of cooking when women were
starting to have access to convenience food - they could cook dinner with
canned ingredients and still have ample time for martinis with their
girlfriends (at least according to the research I've done via "Nick at
Night"). I also credit the gift of a pistachio colored KitchenAid as the big
catalyst for me to embrace my retro cooking side. I love my KitchenAid and
have named it "Miss Amy" in honor of the influence Amy Sedaris' had over
getting me cooking- first as a spoof and now a little more seriously.

Have I had major fails? Oh my. Failure and "opportunities for creative
adjustments" account for about 1/2 of what I attempt. I still keep up the
legacy of the women in my family who are easily distracted which is really not
the best quality in cooking. I like to run back and forth from baking to
crafting and that invariably means that I forget crucial steps or leave out
ingredients entirely. Yesterday, I tried a new banana muffin recipe and didn't
realize the ingredient list included a crumb topping. I added it in to the
batter and had to make another batch of cinnamon crumbs for the top. What I've learned from my journey toward becoming the 1950's domestic goddess is that, just like in crafting, it's okay to fail. The more experienced I've become in
cooking, the more I've been able to be a little improvisational during the
process (the banana muffins were delicious even after the topping fiasco, for
example). And sometimes I just have to laugh at myself and throw away a whole
batch of something I've ruined beyond edibility (is that a word)? 2 years ago,
this would have been unthinkable for me- I was too focused on the idea that I
couldn't cook at all (the same way I hear people insist that they're not
creative at all). All creativity is a state of mind and sometimes you just
have to relax and be open to failure.

Oh, and you may have noticed that I entirely ignore the household chores
aspect of the 1950's ideal. In my defense, I find it very challenging to fold
laundry while holding a martini. I do admire women who find a way, though.

2. You tackle lots of great recipes on your blog! Are there any favorite recipes that you revisit time and time again cause it's just that good?
The recipe I'm most proud of came from my first weeks working through Amy
Sedaris's book. It's The Rooster's Fillo-wrapped baked chicken. At the time
(and, okay, still), it seemed CRAZY to even think about buying (no thought of
homemade, mind you) fillo dough and working with it. It sounded way out of my league. But having a blog to record my successes has been such a great
motivator for me, I decided to take a leap of faith and buy a pastry brush to
butter layer after layer of fillo dough. Much to everyone's surprise in my
family, we LOVED it. We're big Greek food fans and to be able to make
something at home that was similar to what we'd like to eat in a restaurant
was kind of a revelation that maybe my foray into cooking wouldn't be as much
of a spoof as I thought it was going to be. I have since made the chicken
several times and, even more exciting for me, I made it (successfully!) for
company once. This is from a woman who up until now has almost exclusively
served appetizers from Trader Joes when people have come over.

3. Your orange Fiskars color dress was amazing at CHA (and let me add one of the major hits of the show)! What is the best part about being a Fisk-a-Teer?
Being a Fiskateer has been such a wonderful experience. I have been able to connect with over 7,000 creative people worldwide on a personal level that I don't think I would have found on my own. Fiskars has done a commendable job supporting our community and truly allowing me to pursue the one major line in my job description which is "share your passion for creativity with others." If the Fiskars executives get a little nervous about what crazy orange outfit I might show up wearing in their otherwise corporate booth (my orange vintage prom dress for example, see a picture here), they do a good job of not showing it. Being a Fiskateer has let me share my fun side, help others find their sometimes dormant creative sides through a job that encourages me to do all the other things I love- traveling and meeting new people and giving me a purpose to keep pushing myself artistically. When my term as Lead Fiskateer is over, there is no doubt that I will continue to be an enthusiastic Fiskateer and supporter of the community we have all built there.

4. Having been a corporate trainer in your previous life, you love challenging people to find their creativity! What do you say to people who insist they don't have a creative bone in their body?
I have learned to let people insist that they are not creative in the same way
I spent so many years insisting I couldn't cook. If people come to an event
(usually dragged by a friend) and are nervous about creating something, I
allow them that moment and then tell them they don't have to be creative at
all- they can just copy what I'm doing. I think they key is getting people to
relax and have fun and giving them a model to work from. Once a basic project
has been started, I have yet to find someone who hasn't been open to adding
just one more little embellishment to make their creation unique. That's the
first step. With positive feedback and encouragement, I know that everyone is
able to tap back into their kindergarten selves that loved doing art projects.

5. You scrap, sew, paint, cook and so much more! What crafting
technique/skill is on the radar for you to try next?

My one regret in crafting is that I always have so many projects in mind that
I feel I don't always take time to focus and truly master one medium or
another. I really don't see me changing though- a little bit of chaos and mess
seem to be the usual state of affairs for most artists and crafters I know.
That being said, I am currently working actively to bring all the creative
people in my town together for a more collaborative community. Through this
process of actively working to network with local crafters and artists, I have
been inspired to do much more green crafting and upcycling. My goal for this
year is to work toward mastering upcycled clothing. I have been shopping at
thrift stores my whole life and fixing things I find but to truly create a
whole new outfit out of pieces that would normally be relegated to the trash
is one of the most satisfying accomplishments I've had in crafting.

Here's an adorable video that we just love where Angela shows how to make feather tights for her daughter. What a lucky gal to have a mom so cool!

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1 comment:

Marianne - Fiskateer #6701 said...

Loved the interview! I am a Fiskateer who hopes to meet Angela in person some day. We are lucky to have her as one of our four great leads. Where Angela is concerned, you just never know what to expect next and that keeps things fun!

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