Addendum: August 4, 20011: I’m suddenly getting a flood of hits looking for these gals, who are in their second year of the Project Project Runway Challenge. Find them here. Be sure to check under the challenges tab for Project Project Runway.

I’ll say it upfront and out loud: I am not a Craft person. I have run up a few curtains in my day. The easy kind that hang from wooden rings and basically involve making four hems. But since the days when I bribed a seventh grade classmate to do my knitting project in Home Ec, I have avoided projects involving needles and trips to Jo-Ann Fabrics. Nope, I’ll garden, I’ll can, I’ll cook, but that’s as far as I’ll venture into Martha Stewart Land.

However, that does not mean that I don’t admire truly Crafty types. I know two stellar examples. These two ladies could make The Domestic Diva of Omnimedia drop her glue-gun in shame. Yes, Martha Stewart would hang her head and request re-incarceration if she were ever forced to go up against these two. Susi is the former owner of one of San Francisco’s largest, premium knitting stores. She now crafts and blogs at Craft Room. Kat is a formidable locavore (in Minneapolis, not some place easy like California!). Catch her food blog at A Good Appetite and her craft blog at Kat Knits. I give you this preamble to demonstrate that these are not your Grandmother’s Crafters.

Exhibit A:

Amelia May on quilt project

Susi decided to take up quilting. In all the free time she has as the stay-at-home-mom of a toddler. She designed and whipped up this quilt in progress in about five minutes.

Exhibit B:

Needlepoint Hamm's Beer logo

Kat can handle anything with a needle. But you never know what's going to show up from her handywork.

Now imagine that these two G-Force Crafters join forces. It’s a veritable Craft Vortex. Now imagine they decide to take on one of the most popular shows among Crafters. Wrap your head around the fact that they’re doing it with Barbies. That’s Project Runway: The Home Edition. For those of you who are Pop Culture impaired (and I would be among your number), Project Runway is one of those reality show throw-downs where a group of whiny contestants are plucked from obscurity and given their shot at the Big Time. In this case, it would be vaulting into the ranks of professional fashion designers. I’m told by those who have more tolerance for reality shows than I do that the hosts — courtly designer Tim Gunn and comely former model Heidi Klum — are what raise this show above the ranks of Big Brother and assorted Real Housewives. But still, a good portion of the show is taken up with solo interviews with the contestants who snark and snipe and undermine each other as they claw their way toward the prize.

Kat and Susi have eliminated that angle with one plastic molded swoop. Call Barbie a sexist stereotype, but she doesn’t talk. Which is a relief since we can focus, through Susi and Kat’s blogs, on how the ladies are mirroring the challenges and timelines as set forth on the series. We’re only up to the third episode, so there’s plenty of time to join the vicarious fun. Here’s how the ladies handled the first challenge which was to make a completely new outfit for their dolls incorporating pieces of the original outfits they came with.

Kat's Barbie in original clothes

Kat had a running start with a clearly anorexic Barbie knock-off who had quite a bit of fabric to work with.

Kat's Barbie in final outfit

With fabric paint and clever stitching she turned the skirt into a top and pulled together an evening outfit.

Susi's Barbie in original outfit

Susi started behind the 8 Ball with a decidedly underclad Barbie.

Susi's Barbie's final outfit

She reworked part of the board shorts into collar and cuffs for a smart yet casual look.

I dunno. I think I’m declaring Susi the winner on this one — based on the greater challenge she faced. (And I’m not just saying that because I want her to help me out on my own Gordon Ramsey cooking challenge. Another story.)

Anyway, I’m urging you all to stop by Susi and Kat’s respective blogs to see how the challenge is coming along. Just a teaser: Kat has come back strong with Challenge Two and upped the ante. The gals are very inclusive and have invited others to join in. Well, not me as I’m Craft impaired. But I do have some ideas. What if the Barbies succumbed to the pressures of the dangerous world of High Fashion? Then, they developed bad cocaine habits and ended up on the streets sniffing glue.

Lucy as bag dog

Wouldn't the outfits look something like this? Note creative use of non-recyclable plastic bag as a hat.

I told you I wasn’t Crafty.

Addendum: Craft Magazine’s blog picked up on this contest with a post here. And yes, that is The World’s Most Beautiful Baby dancing on the quilt above.