Creating with the Stars

What We Learned {Creating with the Stars 2013)

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hey there! I'm monica 

I pride myself on making amazing style and design accessible for everyone, regardless of location, budget, or ability! My design philosophy is rooted in authenticity + attainability - If I can do it, you can too! My work has been featured in countless publications, but I take the most pride in homeowners that have been personally inspired by my DIY ideas and have tried something in their own homes!

learn more about ME + MY BIZ

Phew! We don’t know about you, but we are exhausted after that month-long Creating with the Stars. But on the other hand, we really miss it! We could not be happier with the way our first ever contest went and hope you all enjoyed it and were inspired by it too! We are chomping at the bit to get back into the swing of our own projects,but before we do that, we thought we’d take a look back at the things we learned form Creating with the Stars 2013- David Letterman-style!

10. You get what you pay for.
We learned this the hard way, for sure. We deicded to use a survey company that was very inexpensive to host each week’s voting and we had major problems every week with it. You guys noticed it, too, and we promise that next year the voting will be sooo much easier! Putting out a little bit more money will be worth it if we can avoid all the hassles we dealt with!
9. Running the contest and trying to do each round’s projects = Crazytown
Even though we like the projects we came up with during the season  trying to do them while hosting the contest, coordinating posts, emailing back and forth with stars and contestants, all while wrangling our kids and managing the rest of our lives and another HUGE project, we were on overload. Whoever thought of participating in each round (I’m pretty sure it was Monica,) is insane, and you WON’T be seeing that next season. 🙂
8. You people are competitive!
For real! We went into this season thinking it would be awesome and a whole lot of fun, not ever thinking people would be so into it! Even readers who weren’t contestants got fired up about the littlest thing!. Honestly, we had no idea we would be dealing with so many Sherlock Holmes! Now we know you guys are in it to win it, and will back up your favorites no matter what!
7. Planning and preparation were key for these procrastinators!
Posting seven days a week within a strict time frame is no joke. Usually, we decide the day before what we want to write about the next day, but not so with CWTS! We began seriously planning in October 2012- approaching sponsors and stars, writing emails, figuring out guidelines etc.  We were super glad we did this because the contest went pretty smoothly. Thank goodness!
We finished our round 1 project last year at 1 AM. Procrastinate, much?
6. The pressure is on when the world is watching,
We absolutely hate it when something doesn’t go quite as planned. We recognize there were a few glitches in  the contest and because so many people were coming here every day, those mistakes were just that much more noticeable. Ick, we really don’t like that. No more mistakes next year!
5. Go big or Go home! 
We always say we’re not afraid to try or go after anything and it worked in our favor with this contest! We landed some amazing sponsors by just asking if they wanted to partcipate! Plus, we went out on a major limb (that involved pretty lame dancing and fake mustaches) to get our incredible stars on board! (PS. this video gets a little long, so feel free to skip the middle!)
4.  It’s pretty darn fun to help new bloggers get a step up!
We were unbelievably grateful to Tam for giving us a platform to showcase our fun ideas when we won last year. It made people notice us, and we were so thrilled to do that for these 12 crazy-gifted girls. We hope that you’ll continue to support your favorites and follow along as they grow bigger than us!
3.  The Stars you all love really are that incredible!
These ladies took time out of their very busy schedules to help better the contestants projects and photos. All of the contestants comments on how wonderful the stars were to work with. Thanks ladies!

2. It turns out we’re not the only talented people in blogland. Ha!
But seriously, the talent that the contestants showed, and the amazing projects you all linked up blew us away. We love that this blogging niche is so encouraging and open to sharing of ideas, and man, our list must-do project list grew by about a mile after all of the fabulous ideas we saw throughout the contest!
1. Creating with the Stars is the Most Epic Blog Contest on the Web!
We already can’t wait for next year’s contest. It’s definitely not too early for you to start creating awesome things because submissions open in February 2014!

What did YOU think of the contest? Will you get your game on next year?

Want to catch up on all the projects from Creating with the Stars 2013? Click below!

The comments +

  1. Lorraine says:

    I can’t begin to imagine how big this undertaking was, you are lucky to have partners! I doubt one person could handle it all! It was lots of fun and really encouraged some serious projects WAY above wrapping a Mason jar with a strip of burlap and twine! I enjoyed it thoroughly!

  2. Erin says:

    i thought it was so exciting to come to work and see what the results were from these ideas!

  3. This contest certainly bumped me from casual hobby blogger to business-minded blogger. Thanks for the opportunity! It was a CRAZY amount of work but worth it! (My husband is happy to have his wife back. haha)

  4. Corrie says:

    It was intense to imagine all these people being so DIY for 4 whole weeks! Crazy! I’m glad I’m just a watcher. But, watching was amazingly fun! :o)

    One thing I never understood was what the weekly contest was. It would be helpful to have something on the top or side of your blog that shows what each week’s theme is.


  5. Nutbird says:

    What I liked was the sheer vibrancy of the submissions. These projects were not for the faint of heart. I was very certain about the ones I voted for. But I was so surprised at the winners. I thought the painted sofa with the black horses was one of the most unusual projects I had seen all year. No one else thought the same. Some projects were not developed enough and some were too busy and the scale of the pieces was wrong. The winning bedroom was a knockout. It was harmonious and not too busy. The design of the headboard was masterful. Next time, you could spread out the submissions to every two weeks and add something with paper or books. I have to remember to go outside and pick a slice of wood from Hurricane Sandy to print with. I enjoyed every minute of your contest. I still don’t know who is who, though. Thanks, Ann

  6. Kate Hardy says:

    I loved keeping up with the competition – you guys did an amazing job. I can’t imagine all of the planning and emails that were involved. I had everyone in my office hooked – can’t wait for next year. Well done and thank you to you both!

  7. Thanks again for everything ladies! You all did such a GREAT job! 🙂 I’d love to know how many hours went into the contest between all of us, probably too many to count! Hope you’re getting lots of rest now!!

  8. It was a fun contest, and I could not thank you guys enough for all the hard work that was put into it! I learned so much, and I definitely grew more as a person. As a contestant, I spent SO much time on projects. There was no time for rest. While I was working on one project, I had to think and plan for the next. The week after it was over, I felt a huge load off my shoulders, and my family was happy to have me back. But I wouldn’t change a thing!

  9. Judy says:

    Congrats on a job well done ladies! The contest was great fun and I was only a voter! Something I found so intriguing is the huge chasm between what appeals to one compared to what appeals to another. There were some projects I found ho-hum that won or scored very high and others that I loved that came in near the bottom. Hands down, my all time favorite was the wood tiled dresser. That is on my project list! Take a rest, put your feet up and congratulate yourselves for all of the fun you created for so many!

  10. As a new blogger as of September, Creating with the Stars was totally new to me, and I so enjoyed staying in the loop on the entire competition. What a wonderful way to help grow bloggers and launch their careers. Each week, I was floored by the level of talent, and not just from the participants, but from you two. You did such a great job coordinating all of the details (and I imagine there were many), and this wrap-up post further cements my admiration for East Coast Creative. I see such value in stepping back to reflect on what worked and what didn’t, so that we can always improve…and the fact that you not only did that, but let us in on the process…well, major props to you! Also, that video? AMAZING! No wonder you landed such incredible blog stars. (Though, the real stars of this competition were you two ladies.) Congrats on a hugely successful competition. Looking forward to next year.

    The Thinking Closet

  11. This contest was so much fun to watch and vote in! You chose your contestants well; they were all amazing. All the work you put into it was truly appreciated, and I am so glad to hear that you are going to do it again.

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