crafty bastards 2009

Sunday, October 4, 2009

You gotta just love the name of the six year-old indie arts and crafts fair, Crafty Bastards, that took place yesterday in Washington D.C.  Intrigued, headed south to meet up with my mom and attend the show. We just had to see what the kids are up to these days in the craft world.  According to the Washington Post Weekend section, 30ish is almost too old to be part of the indie movement. Humph! So 40ish must be absolutely too ancient to participate. No matter! We went and loved it. We had a fabulous time meeting some of the exhibitors, buying gifts, and getting inspired.

Before arriving, I knew I had to get over to booth #5 and meet fellow Delawarean Jenny Nelson of Home Sweet.  I've admired her block printed fabrics from afar (on etsy) and had to see them in person. Her booth was instantly recognizable by her signature prints that read well from a distance.

So many products were ever so clever. The upcycled suitcases given the graphic pop culture treatment by the folks at Final Approach just made me smile.  Being 40ish, I'm not exactly the target market for the cases, but I was sorely tempted to get the Bill Clinton one.

Who knew what could be made with old sweaters from the thrift store and a serger?  We spent some time with Tamara Embrey, of The Devil Made Me Do It , admiring her ruffly dresses, skirts, and hats and talking sergers.  She has the Babylock Evolve and I just bought a Viking Huskylock 936. We're serger nerds and proud of it!  

As I walked around, I started getting interested in display ideas. A booth is, after all, is a temporary retail store. A well put-together one makes the products that much more tempting. Some of the displays evoked that Anthropologie store feeling, which was appropriate since the show was sponsored in part by Urban Outfitters, the parent company of the chain. 

Katie Wagner of Moonlight Bindery had a appealing arrangement of vintage briefcases filled with her hand-bound journals.

Elisa Shere's  modern jewelry that utilizes recycled precious metal and salvaged parts from vintage jewelry was appealingly displayed. She draped her necklaces over antique serving platters and an old-fashioned makeup case, then contrasted them against pops of apple green (my favorite), all atop a contemporary botanical print table covering.

My award for freshest booth design goes to Something's Hiding In Here.  The uncluttered booth had it's white side panels down, blocking out the visual noise of adjoining booths. The back wall, fully covered with a calming forest scene, was genius and set off the case of wooden jewelry perfectly.  Loved the moss too!

I've come to a conclusion after the show: there is absolutely no need to buy mass-produced gifts.  The most stylish and fun items out there are handmade.

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