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Create Crafts Challenge 2020 Winners Announced

Public television’s leading crafts hosts select America’s newest DIY sensations to appear on CreateTV.com

BOSTON, May 12, 2020—American Public Television (APT), the original home to public television’s lifestyle experts and sponsor of the Create Crafts Challenge 2020, announced today that two new online video hosts have joined its ranks. Selected from a nationwide pool of entries by judges who are among public television’s best known makers, Martin Amado from Sunrise, Florida, claims the Grand Prize, receiving $4,000 and production equipment valued at approximately $1,000 to finance and produce a web series of 10 three-minute videos to appear on CreateTV.com. Second Prize Winner, Dinah Wulf of Anaheim, California, was awarded $1,000 and production equipment valued at approximately $1,000 to finance and produce a three-part web series for CreateTV.com. Distributed and produced by APT, WNET New York and WGBH Boston, Create® is a national channel carried by 239 local public television stations and features lifestyle content: food, travel, home and garden, arts & crafts, fitness, and living.

Some of America’s iconic television crafts experts judged the Create Crafts Challenge, including Julie Fei-Fan Balzer (Make It Artsy), Eric Gorges (A Craftsman’s Legacy), Scott Phillips (The American Woodshop), Peggy Sagers (Fit2Stitch), and Lena Skvagerson (Knit and Crochet Now!), joined by APT president and CEO Cynthia Fenneman. Despite the limitations created by COVID-19, nearly 100 entrants submitted an original video of three minutes or less featuring their best crafts project, idea or tip. The judges’ panel scored the submissions based on each entrant’s demonstrated knowledge, skills and familiarity with their chosen craft, ability to present ideas succinctly, overall telegenic appeal, uniqueness and production values.

Create Crafts Challenge Grand Prize Winner
Martin Amado’s passion is applying his DIY craft skills to transform spaces into beautiful and calming rooms that express a homeowner’s style. As a result, he changes lives one room at a time with simple touches that make a house a home. His “1 (walls), 2 (furniture), 3 (decorative accessories)” approach teaches homeowners how to think like a designer: save money by re-using goods that you already own or can purchase inexpensively; and, make a difference with simple changes.

Born in Miami, Florida, Martin first learned about transformational DIY projects when he worked side-by-side with his dad who was a residential contractor in South Florida. By the time he was a pre-teen, Martin was taking the lessons he learned on the construction site and bringing his creativity into his bedroom, where he would paint, rearrange his furnishings and add self-made accessories. He says it made him feel “different, more relaxed and more at home” in his space. Since then, he has been hooked!

With a degree in broadcast journalism from Florida International University, Martin also pursued an acting career as a lead in commercials. A part-time retail job as a visual merchandiser where he created home goods store displays led to private decorating clients and seemed to tie into a growing national interest in television lifestyle programming. He decided to merge his two interests: television and his DIY sense. Aware of the lifestyle genres featured on local commercial cable TV and South Florida PBS, Martin saw an opportunity to grow.

Martin’s first break came in 2004 when he interviewed for a reporter position at WSVN 7 News, the South Florida FOX-affiliated television station. He pitched a home makeover segment. “Room for Improvement,” hosted by Amado, became a regular feature on the channel, running for 12 years. During that time, he was hired by other networks to do similar feature segments and programs, all focused on teaching viewers how to make small changes that could make a big difference in the look of their homes and their lifestyles. From Spanish-language content on Telemundo, to English-language features on Miami-based network affiliates, Amado taught viewers how to become their own designers, learning how to repurpose and craft items found in their homes or inexpensively purchased to remake their space for less.

In addition to his television work, Martin’s interior design business, The Wow Factor! Inc., is based on his “three easy steps” to help clients transform their spaces. This work was the inspiration behind his book, One-Day Room Makeovers, published in 2018. It shares the ideas he will bring to his CreateTV.com web series, a key part of his Grand Prize win. Amado’s Create Crafts Challenge entry shows how to make a “rustic candleholder” that can be used in many ways. He feels it is reflective of his overall approach to personalizing space, saying “anyone can do it, and, in the end, nobody else will have what you have, because it is uniquely crafted by you!”

Amado wants his web series to show how easy it is to decorate for less. He said, “I was a kid with a dream, and now I’m grateful I’m able to inspire others to create beautiful spaces through my work.” The judges collectively agreed that “Martin did a great job! He was a natural on camera and has great personality.” One of the judges said she could now do this craft project and was inspired. Cynthia Fenneman said that “Create looks forward to Martin’s web series and knows the lifestyle audience will be inspired by how his crafts enhance interior design.”

Create Crafts Challenge Second Prize Winner
When Dinah Wulf learned about the Create Crafts Challenge from a blogger’s email, she knew it was a perfect fit for the craftwork she had been doing for nine years. She called herself a former “classic corporate sales person.” When Dinah and her husband learned she was pregnant with their first daughter, they felt the time was right for her to shift her career to homemaker, giving her time to pursue what she calls crafting with “junk drawer stuff.”

Wulf first edited a blog about crafting. Soon, the blog focused on the hundreds of crafts she taught, which turned into brief stints in local and national magazines like Parenting and Real Simple. Just in time for Halloween, her projects were noticed by a local TV show, “Good Day LA,” and, suddenly, her passion had turned into a business. In 2017, Dinah started a YouTube channel. With that, her DIY Inspired blog and social media platforms blossomed. In addition, she has a shop on Etsy offering digital products that are printable and usable for everything from money holders to cards and more.

With a Master’s Degree in Communications from California State University, Fullerton, Dinah has appeared on Disney Family Sundays on Disney+ and the local CW affiliate, KTLA. She has partnered with Habitat for Humanity, creating a host of items, and has provided support for other local charities through public events. She is a fan of local public television station KLCS.

“My interest has always been in upcycling and repurposing what I find at flea markets and yard sales,” says Wulf, adding “I love turning something forgotten into being useful – there is a genuine sense of satisfaction.” One of her most challenging projects was a request to build a Mid-Century Modern-themed dog house for a charity giveaway. “The final piece was amazing! I was pleased to push myself to develop as a crafter. Woodworking tools required learning special skills,” she said. Wulf now admits she is “dreaming about learning welding,” and is adamant her work be about “learning what I need to do to add greater breadth to my crafts.”

Wulf discovered that creativity is a learned trait when she started crafting with her daughter. She plans to focus on working with kids for her three-part series on CreateTV.com. Items like her contest entry – an “Easy DIY Paper Pop-Out Gift Box” – “can be created by anyone using materials found around the house,” she said. She is eager to inspire viewers to use that same initiative through her series, “taking advantage of what they have and teaching their children to be inspired by what is around them,” she added. The judges loved her video and her clear instructions, stating they could “make this easily,” adding that they “can’t wait to see more from Dinah!”

Originally from Maryland, Dinah moved to California for school, and she and her husband have lived in Orange County with their daughters, now 4 and 9 years old. She looks forward to new experiences, and is grateful for a relatively “portable” career.

Full list of Create Crafts Challenge finalists
In addition to the Grand Prize and Second Prize winners, the Create Crafts Challenge will award prizes to another 16 top entrants. Their entries range from creating resin jewelry and felting to creating wooden toys and metalworking. The entries came from contestants across the country, from Hawaii to New York. A complete list of the winners is available at bit.ly/createcraftschallenge.

About Create:
For 15 years, Create® has been the premier lifestyle channel featuring public television’s most popular how-to series, focused on food, travel, home & garden, arts & crafts, fitness, and lifestyle. Create is produced and distributed by American Public Television (APT); WNET, New York; and WGBH, Boston in association with National Educational Telecommunications Association (NETA) and PBS. Create TV is carried by 239 local public television stations nationwide, reaching more than 86% of USTVHH, and is seen in 21 of the top 25 U.S. television markets. Create’s companion website CreateTV.com features extensive video, the Create TV schedule, program and host information.

For more information:
Jamie Haines
Jamie_haines@APTonline.org
617-962-5604; 617-338-4455, ext. 129

For photos:
Grand Prize Winner Martin Amado

Second Prize Winner Dinah Wulf

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