When you and Kellie Pickler show up on a talk show, with the same hair

Pickler and Ben show with Kellie Pickler and Dana WillardOh my gosh, fun news!
I was on a talk show last week!
(and you can watch it below!)

The new show is called Pickler + Ben….with the cute Kellie Pickler (who I loved on American Idol) and Ben Aaron, who is a New Yorker/journalist, and a really funny guy.

It’s sort of country-meets-city variety kind of talk show, which shoots in Nashville (you can watch it on CMT), so I flew there a month ago to shoot my segment….the crazy, messy, youtube viral yarn lamps.

It was so much fun to do…and stressful traveling with those balls. Haah.
But what I wasn’t expecting was this funny moment, when Kellie and I ended up with the same hair.  I had to get my wardrobe approved ahead of time, so Kellie and I didn’t look like twins on-set.  So of course I asked about hair and asked if I could do my own side braid, to which the producer responded, “oh yea, Kellie never does braids. Perfect.”  Then we’re watching the opening segment of the show on the monitor and she comes out looking like this (me on the left, Kellie on the right):

We were totally dying.  But by that point it was too late to change my hair.  So we did a dumb “guess you got the braid memo” joke in the intro…which in the end, didn’t really matter since we were wearing the same trashbag wardrobe anyway!  Haha.  And there were only a few moments when we did look like the blonde twins.  Good times. Yarn Balls.

Pickler and Ben show with Kellie Pickler and Dana WillardSo Pickler + Ben asked me to come on the show and share the yarn lamp DIY project with Kellie and Ben….which is totally fun and great.

As with most live TV, I needed to create multiple versions of the projects, so we could “move on down the table” and go through the steps in a compressed time segment…which is easy if I’m showing someone how to make a fabric bag.  But I had to make eight different ball lamps, for the various stages in the project and some extras for beauty styling. And I didn’t have enough time to ship them.  And each lamp takes two days to dry, so I couldn’t make them when I arrived in the Nashville studios.

So.  For about a week, my kitchen looked like this:

And then came the fun of figuring out how to transport all of these….on an airplane:

Honestly, it’s really silly to think of the brainpower and suitcase scheming that went into traveling with my balls.  At first I thought I would just take them in two large shopping bags as my carry-on bags.  Yes. That seemed best.  Because I worried that they would be smashed in a suitcase.

But then I wondered, is there a limit to how much “gas” someone can take on a plane??
I mean, it’s just air in those balls, but who knows if there’s some rule about “air in a contained space?”  Can you travel with more than 4oz of contained air??  I didn’t want to take any chances and have all my balls confiscated.  And I needed the balls to stay inflated so we’d have the big pay-off moment in the show when we cut the ball free, and you’re left with the lamp.

So, I decided to distribute my potential ball losses (which I’m sure you’re dying to know all about. But perhaps you’ll find yourself in your own schweddy ball incident down the road and feel confident with your ball placement, having read this rambling mess).  So I placed half of the balls in two hard-case suitcases and checked them, and crossed my fingers that they wouldn’t get smashed.  Then I carried the other balls in a bag through security…and felt like a drug dealer, sweating it while I watched my bag slowly inch down the conveyor belt, pause in the scanning machine, and watched as the agent’s hand reached in to examine what these crazy things were.  And after she pushed it around a few times, the bag came out the other side!
All was well.
(assuming the balls didn’t lose pressure on the plane as well—which is why I brought my trusty air pump in the bag too.)

And eventually, my balls were safe and on the set!
It was really fun to walk out and see the yarn lamps under the lights.  And of course it was fantastic to see the set for the first time. It is GORGEOUS.
(The painting/green tape stuff behind the crew members was for a segment with Ty Pennington earlier in the show.)

Everything was set-up for a rehearsal of my segment, which the producer and I walked through together, step by step….to make sure we hadn’t forgotten any supplies, or missed a step.  You can see on the right, the live audience coming into the studio.  Their seats are off to the right behind the camera.

Then everything was shuffled off set, and they started at the top of the show.
With Goat Yoga. Haha.

And seriously guys.  THIS. SET.
Faith Hill is the executive producer on the show and designed + styled the look of the set.  I think I need Blush pink cabinets now.

And how cute is this porch area?  The shiplap on the set goes all the way up and across the ceiling.  Yessss.

Okay I’m sure you’re ready for me to stop talking (on the blog),
and start talking (on the show).
Here’s the clip!
Click the play button below. Or you can watch on the Pickler + Ben site here.

Thanks for having me on the show guys!
Hopefully we can do it again.

You can check out more about Pickler + Ben on their site, on Facebook, and on Instagram.










  1. 1) Cheri

    Great job, Dana! That was really fun to watch. You’re such a natural!

  2. 2) Penny

    I never heard of Pickler and Ben – how cool that you were on their show doing one of the many things you do best – creating! Not to mention the fun reading of your airline adventure. Rock on, Dana!

  3. 3) Jackie

    That is so cool! I didn’t know they had a show, I also don’t have cable, so there is that. So exciting though!

  4. 4) Sheila Perl

    You are such a natural,Dana! I enjoyed this post so much ????

  5. 5) Sara

    Loved the video! So fun!

  6. 6) Petra

    That was a great video – you’re a natural – hope they have you back!

  7. 7) Lisa // Cucicucicoo: Eco Sewing and Crafting

    Oh my gosh, that is so cool, Dana! You were fantastic and it looks like it was so much fun. It never would’ve occurred to me just how problematic it could be to fly all those balls over, but thank goodness it all worked out in the end! Congrats! 🙂 Lisa

  8. 8) Melanie

    This was so great Dana! I loved it, you were great on camera! I have been looking for ideas to decorate my daughters room and I think this is it!! Thanks!

  9. 9) Debbie Davies

    You were great! I always watch your sewing videos. You are a natural teacher of all things. I hope this helps with your career!

  10. 10) Linda

    Dana – Very cute project. I liked your hair better than Kelly’s. LOL You are so talented!

  11. 11) Sandy Makin

    That was a fun video to watch, Dana! You did great and kept your cool amid the antics! I like watching your own videos better, though! Keep up the great work!

    • 12) Dana

      Haha. Thanks Sandy! 🙂

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