This page includes info about Angela's upcoming appearance on HGTV's That's Clever.

January 19, 2010

My "That's Clever" episode aired on HGTV this morning. My parents happened to be in town for a visit, so we did a mini-watch party. Dad only rolled his eyes and looked embarrassed once, which is not bad for that show. Definitely could have been worse!

I wanted to share with you my templates and a few extra notes about materials I used, etc. If you have any other questions about the projects, feel free to post them in the comments and I'll do my best to remember the answers... or else make up new ones! :-)


  • Polymer Clay: I used Premo and UltraLight Sculpey clay for these projects. The green is a mixture of Premo's Green, Sea Green, and Black. The fence posts are a 50/50 mixture of Premo White and UltraLight Sculpey. The blue for the poker chips is a mixture of Premo Ultramarine and Cobalt Blue.
  • Texture Sheet: The texture sheet I used for the grass is by Shade-Tex, part of their Nature One Set.
  • Push Molds: I used 3 push molds for the flowers: Sculpey Flexible Push Molds Grow A Garden and Let It Bloom, and Sweetbrier Studios Summer Bouquet.
  • Peanuts: Do not bake regular styrofoam peanuts in the oven, as there are concerns that some types give off toxic fumes. You can use cornstarch packing peanuts, which are a biodegradable alternative that are made from cornstarch. (To tell the difference, drip water on your packing peanut — the cornstarch type will melt away.) Or you can replace the peanuts with scrap clay.


Additional Notes

  • This probably doesn't matter to anyone but me, but that's not my craft room. That's my dining room. They couldn't film in my craft room because it's upstairs (hard to get the equipment to) and small-ish. When they prompted me to say this was my studio, I said, "But it's not." "What if you just say it's your work space? You do all your work on that mat, don't you?" So that's what I ended up saying. Still felt like a lie, though.
  • Speaking of that mat... I normally work on a green self-healing mat covered with a sheet of wax paper. The wax paper was too shiny for the camera, and the green was too close to the greens in the desk set project, so we just used a sheet of craft paper I had close-by. Paper isn't an ideal work surface for polymer clay since it can leach out the clay's oils if you leave a project sitting on it.
  • I don't remember now if there wasn't time to demonstrate this on the video, or if I started doing it later. But I don't recommend making the top (silver) part of the mailbox out of straight silver clay. It makes it much too top-heavy to use comfortably as a pen. Instead, form the mailbox shape out of UltraLight Sculpey or an aluminum foil armature and cover it with a sheet of silver clay.

Overall, I was actually pretty pleased with how my segments turned out. The production crew shot a lot more than that (including a couple more silly parts), so it was interesting to see which things actually made the final cut.

Mostly, I'm glad it finally aired. I'm not sure I would have signed up for it if I'd known then it wouldn't air for 2.5 years. But it was a good experience for me. I enjoyed learning what goes into a production like that. It forced me to get comfortable crafting in front of a camera, something I never would have done otherwise. And it's helped open other doors for me. I'm definitely grateful for those things.

Update: You can now watch my That's Clever segments on YouTube.

January 17, 2010

Just a reminder... Set your VCRs, DVRs, flying robots, etc. to record HGTV's "That's Clever" this Tuesday, January 19th, at 7:30 a.m. E/P. I'll be demonstrating how to make two different projects, a Mailbox Scene Desk Set (my main segment) and Poker Chip Coasters (the little mini-project at the end).

A word of warning for you TiVo owners (and maybe this applies to other DVRs too). Ya can't always trust those handy-dandy TV listings. Our TiVo wasn't going to record this episode because our Season Pass is set to record only new "That's Clever" episodes... and for some reason, this episode is listed as a re-run without an original air date. So you may want to double-check that.

And now a nervous disclaimer... This was filmed 2.5 years ago based on projects I created years before that. There are several things I would definitely do differently today. But I'll be posting more about that soon. :-)

December 3, 2009

Those of you who have been following this blog for a long time might remember that back in May 2007, I filmed a segment for HGTV's That's Clever show. (Or, ya know, you might have forgotten, seeing as that was 2.5 years ago! A lot has happened. Whole babies have been conceived of & have practically started walking since then, just for example.)

After being fairly well convinced that HGTV would never get around to airing it, imagine my surprise to come across my episode listing on their site this week:

Ceramic Rocket Clock, Fused Glass Frame, Mailbox Desk Set, Poker Chip Coasters (Episode HCLVR-517)

Mary Burrows from Reno, Nevada creates a ceramic rocket clock, while Vicki Olson makes a superstar fused glass picture frame in Minneapolis. And, Angela Mabray of Yukon, Oklahoma creates a mailbox desk set and poker chip coasters.

January 19th is the big day, with an air time of 7:30 a.m. E/P.

I honestly have mixed feelings about this. I'm still a little excited about the whole being on TV thing, though I'm very nervous about how the episode turned out. (If you're familiar with the show, you know that sometimes the silliness can be a bit over the top.) But more than that, I've moved on as an artist. The stuff I submitted to the show was old work even then. Two plus years later, I've changed opinions on various materials and techniques. I suppose at the very least it'll be interesting to see just how much has changed.

So anyway, I just wanted to share the big news. I'll be sure to remind you a few days ahead of time so you can set your DVRs.

I just hope I won't be sorry I told everybody about it... :-)

March 5, 2008

Daffodils Say It's SpringBack when I taped my segment for That's Clever, they told me I could email them in Spring 2008 to find out my air date. I immediately assumed that meant my segment would air in Spring 2008. I figured it was just a matter of finding out the specific day, planning the watch party, etc.

No such luck.

I was going to be good, by the way, and actually wait til the first day of spring to send the email. But external forces (i.e., family members) urged me to take action. Mind you, my daffodils did bloom last weekend AND Sunday marked our first tornado warning of the year. Those seem like pretty clear indicators of spring to me!

So I sent the email, and today the friendly gal at the production company wrote back. (She didn't mention that it's not technically spring.) She gave me an episode number (HCLVR-517), but she said that the 500 series hasn't been scheduled yet. Not only that, but the 400 series hasn't started airing. In fact, I now need to wait til Fall to email again and find out whether my show's been scheduled.

Guess that watch party's going to have to wait a bit longer...

Update 2/6/2009: After a long wait, it looks like HGTV has started airing That's Clever again. The 400 series shows are airing now, with the last of that season scheduled for March 27th. (With any luck, the 500 series will be aired sometime too!)

I received a nice email from the segment producer I worked with way back when. While she's no longer with the show (and therefore doesn't have any additional air date info), she did have a few suggestions:

  • If the website/contact info for your segment has changed, you can contact HGTV through their contact form. Tell them your show number, and they should be able to make the changes to their website for you.
  • If you miss your show, look for it in re-runs. She says HGTV typically starts replaying episodes at the end of the season (so after March 27th). Some episodes are online now, too.

Thanks to all you fellow That's-Cleverians for the comments — may all your shows air and may they all be wonderful!

May 29, 2007

Congratulations to Jackie Young! My husband randomly selected her comment, so she won her choice of my "That's Clever" projects. Jackie selected the Mailbox Desk Set, so I'll send that her way.

Thanks again to all those who entered.

May 23, 2007

My craft desk is always pretty crowded... but it's absolutely overflowing now that I've moved all my "That's Clever" stuff back in. I've got at least a dozen projects from the show -- in various stages of completion -- that I don't quite have room for.

So I thought I'd do a little giveaway here. The winner will receive their choice of either a Mailbox Desk Set or a Poker Chip Coaster Set. There are two ways to enter:

  • Leave a comment on this blog post, telling me what's on your craft desk.
  • Leave a relevant comment on any other post on this blog.

Leave your comments between now and Monday, May 28. Make sure to fill out the email address on the comment form, so I can contact you if you're the winner (don't worry, that field isn't published). I'll randomly select a commenter, then announce the winner on May 29th.

Good luck!

May 17, 2007

Yesterday was my shoot day for "That's Clever," -- and what a day it was! Here's a few of my thoughts on the experience:

The Crew

The crew of four (producer, director, camera guy and sound guy) arrived just after 3 p.m. Since they'd already done one shoot that morning & hadn't had a break yet, eating lunch was our first activity. And that worked out really well. It gave me a chance to get to know everyone on a casual basis before the actual filming started.

I was totally impressed with the whole crew. Everyone was very down-to-earth and friendly. And it was neat to watch other creative people in the midst of their process, as they came up with ideas for things to add to the video or photos. I love being around creative people!

I thought it was interesting that they use local folks for audio & video. It makes sense from an equipment standpoint, but it must be hard to have a new crew every couple of weeks.

And speaking of two weeks, I can't imagine how they do two segments per day, 14 days in a row. I mean, I was exhausted after just my portion (which ended around 11 p.m., btw) -- and that was just half of their day.

The Workspace

Continue reading "That's Clever Tape Day" »

May 15, 2007

Step-Outs for Mailbox Desk SetTomorrow's the big day -- That's Clever will be taping my segment! The field producer and director came today to look over my step-outs (incremental steps already completed on the project) and my workspace (spot where they'll be taping). Said the workspace needs lots more samples of my artwork, so I'm working on adding some things.

It's a little crazy here, so I'll post more once it's over... But I have put together a Flickr photo set with some pictures & notes from our adventures so far.

Wish me luck!

April 17, 2007

Mailbox Desk SetComing soon, on a TV near you — will be ME!

Okay, well, it won't be soon, actually. Like 6-8 months after the taping. But I'm gonna be on TV!

HGTV's That's Clever will be filming in Oklahoma City next month, and they accepted my application to be on the show. I'll be demonstrating two projects: my Mailbox Desk Set and my Poker Chip Coasters. For those of you that have seen the show, the desk set is the main project, and the coasters will be the little project they stick on at the end of the show.

For those of you who haven't seen it, That's Clever profiles 3 crafters in each 30-minute show. Each crafter demonstrates a project from start to finish, with a fair helping of goofiness thrown in. And while some viewers don't care for the antics (my mom originally swore she wouldn't watch it, even if I was on!), I suspect throwing in some silly stuff will make me a little less nervous & make the 6-8 hours (!) of filming a little more fun for everyone.

The filming will be sometime between May 15th and May 29th, which gives me just under a month to fix up the house, go on a diet, get a good haircut, buy a new outfit — AND learn about things like making project step-outs and crafting in front of a camera. I'd better get busy!

I'll be posting details about the taping — and once I get info on when the show will air, I'll post that too. I'm excited and a little nervous — but it sounds like a fun adventure, and I love adventures!

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CraftyGoat's Notes is all about sharing polymer clay tips & tricks that have worked for me. (And even a few that haven't!)

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