Today we're spending time with long-time Creator's Studio member Lois Barber, small business owner of Luke's Toy Factory and recent winner in the Creator's Studio Cares Challenge (if you haven't read the story of the charity she supported, we highly recommend that you do 🛷 ♥️).
Why did you join Creator's Studio?
I’m not sure how I became aware of the Creator’s Studio but I looked back at my earliest post, and it was to suggest a product. I have no idea what that product was! My earliest submission was a broken whatnot shelf I picked up at a tag sale and refurbished for my daughter’s room. That was in the Trash to Treasure challenge. I was disappointed that I didn’t win, but it was nice to see what others had made. I was hooked!
What's your favorite part of the Creator's Studio community?
I enjoy the challenges immensely. Sometimes they take me out of my comfort zone and I find myself doing something I never intended to do. I really like test marketing new products and seeing the creativity of others. I felt honored to have my submission take second place in the Rust-Oleum Cares challenge and win some money for my chosen charity.
How would you describe yourself/occupation to a complete stranger?
I would like to think of myself as a Renaissance person with may interests; as someone with commons sense, who is patriotic and fair, and who is a bit creative with many interests, who is willing to learn. But in fact, I’m afraid I’m really a Jack of all Trades and a master of none.
What creative areas do you like to focus on?
I earn a living by writing, so that in itself is pretty creative. I must come up with ideas for 2 newspaper columns and take photographs. My columns are gardening, cooking, and craft columns. Sometimes I write about daytrips you can take from my area of Connecticut. I also teach Creative Writing in an assisted living facility in my town. I must cook new recipes every week for my cooking column, so I experiment on my family with new food. In my spare time, I enjoy restoring furniture.
What is your favorite Rust-Oleum product? How has it helped with your DIY projects?
Spray paint by far! It makes it so easy to change the color of just about anything that can be painted.
What interests you most about DIY projects?
I love to see the transformation of something that might have gone into a landfill being brought back to life as something useful and beautiful. Old furniture is built so much better than the new stuff, and with a bit of elbow grease and imagination, you can own a piece of history for less money than you would have paid at a furniture store.
What's the best DIY project you have completed and how did you accomplish it?
An antique Inn from the 1700s was being torn down. The hostess station was a small podium that the owners took but never had a use for. They were giving it away. I was looking for a small bar for my living room so I transformed it into a bar/liquor cabinet. We cut off the slanted part so the top piece (removable wood) would sit flat to hold drinks. The wooden podium was in poor condition and bottom was damaged so we replaced the bottom wood, and panted the entire base black so you couldn’t tell. We left the removable top it’s natural color. To make it fit in my military memorabilia, we named the bar “The Officer’s Club”.
What's the most difficult project you have tackled?
The most difficult part of any project is talking my husband into stopping the van so I can pick something up from the side of the road!
If you could create any type of project (with no limitations), what would you design and why?
Restore a mid-century modern house. Hopefully I will do that with my next place.
Tell us something about yourself that most people don't know about you.
I am a WW2 buff (my dad served with the 8th Air Force) and I was the only woman to serve on the board of directors of a military museum near my home.
What's the best advice that anyone has ever given you?
You’ll only regret the things you didn’t do.
What book(s) are on your nightstand right now? What shows are you streaming?
Sadly, because I write in all my spare time, I don’t have time to read. I’ve been watching “Medal of Honor” on Netflix and I hate to admit it- “Too Hot to Handle”. (I call that one “The Stupid Show”. When my husband comes in and asks what I’m watching I say “the stupid show" 🤣
What's your all-time favorite food?
If God told me I could eat anything in the world, I would ask form my grandmother’s homemade ravioli. She was raised in Naples, Italy and her food was better than anything I have ever eaten in any restaurant. It was unbelievably delicious.
Thanks for letting us get to know you better @Lois Barber - we look forward to seeing more of your projects in Creator's Studio!