17 December 2012

The Craftacular

Happy Monday! Now that the holidays are here, I'm pretty sure you're crazy busy. That's why I want to say thank you that you're able to stop by my blog today. 

This week, I'll continue the Christmas market theme. It's one of my traditions where I am able to shop for unique presents and support hardworking crafty artisans at the same time.

At the beginning of the month, I hied off to SOHO for the Bust Magazine Craftacular.

It's held annually and is organized by the wonderful folks at Bust Magazine. Here are a few photos from the spectacular craftacular:

Wooden hand-painted figurines

Pretty prints for a plain wall

Sock monkey hats

Cross stitch kits

Hats, headbands and fascinators

Soft and stripey toys

Jewelry made from watch parts

The fun crowd of sellers and shoppers

Support handmade
May you all have a lovely day!

14 December 2012

An Etsy Pop-up Shop

Hey, hey, happy Friday! It's all about Christmas markets on my blog this week. I think they're a fun experience. Plus I'm able to cross off items on my list and leave excited to get my own craft on.

I'm pretty sure you've heard about Etsy, the on-line marketplace for all things handmade and vintage. Well, for a very brief period, they had a pop-up shop in New York City. 

It's described this way on their website: Imagine a magical place where you can shop directly from the collections of guest curators, meet the artists and collectors of the marketplace in person, learn to make something with your own two hands, and enlist the help of a whole squad of Etsy experts for your gift list. It's Etsy in real life!

Pretty awesome, right?

The shop window was interactive featuring a new artist each day. This is Petra Collins completing an installation.

 A mission banner by the door and sparkly paper 
decorations overhead.

Everyday, there was a learning session. Here is Design Sponge's Grace Bonney teaching the group how to make fresh wreaths. The class was free and participants got to take home their creations.

There were also artisans at work...it felt like stepping into their studios and watching them create their products.

You could talk to them and they demonstrated their process, be it letterpress or jewelry making.

Guest curators like Martha Stewart, Tavi Gevinson and Jesse Thorn handpicked items from Etsy sellers. These were displayed on a wall, and I must agree with their choices. Here's a sample:

Handful of heart gloves, Whale tissue box, Feather organic voile scarf,
Linen pajama shorts,  Hand painted coffee cups, Superhero shoes

Made of wood: Wooden veneered sunglasses, Beer Caddy,
Architectural birdhouse, Bicycle, Elevate Bike Rack,
Desk Caddy

For the kiddies: Bear and fox overalls, Linen Teepee,
Drum set and dragonfly onesie, Gnome baby doll,
Teddy bear, Superhero and animal hooded towel

For the dudes: Alcohol free aftershave, Air terrarium kit,
Skateboard stool, Wood iPad smart cover,
Cotton sleeping bag

Things with faces: Nose ring holders, Ceramic magnets,
Pillow girl and boy, Girl face keychain

For the chef: Wooden pinch bowls, Wooden spoons,
Salt and Pepper Bowls, Linen dinner napkins,
Oven mitt, Herbal tea set

Now, if only Etsy can do this regularly or have their own storefront, that would be TADA!

For a list of on-going holiday markets in New York City, check out this guide. Meanwhile, have a fabulous weekend and happy shopping!

13 December 2012

The Renegade Craft Fair

When the season of gift-giving arrives, it's no surprise that fairs and markets find their way to the calendar.  Here's one craft market that I thoroughly enjoyed:  

The Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market! 

It was held at the East River State Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn in late November.

Free chalk... 

 ...so anyone can doodle on a board overlooking the
Manhattan skyline.

I think the painted signs on old wood at the 
info booth is blah to TADA! 

Just some of the creative merchandise:



 Totes, hand towels and aprons for a green home

Animal prints on floral China 

Whimsical paintings on reclaimed wood 

Lots of jewelry 

 DIY kits

 Prints, cards and calendars

A display of pretty linens 

 Chopping boards in the shape of your favorite state

Tables where visitors were encouraged to make their
own gift tags and gift wrap using rubber stamps. 

Snacks for sale -- these are vegan!

I was able to buy a few things that I'll share with you in a future post. I hope that like me, you've been inspired with all the cool crafts from this fair

12 December 2012

Another Market in Union Square

I'm a big fan of markets -- food, flea or craft. Now, I'm adding "Christmas Market" to the list. The feeling is always festive and you're guaranteed one-of-a-kind products that are wonderful for gifting.

Today, I'm taking you to Union Square, also in New York City.

Union Square is on East 14th Street and Broadway. It's a park, a gathering place, a space to play chess, and an area for protest rallies or pillow fights {whichever you're into}.

There's a Farmer's Market there every Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.  And when Thanksgiving arrives at the Big Apple's doorstep, another market emerges:

The Union Square Holiday Market! 

I'm loving the peppermint red and white tents decorated 
with garlands and lights.  

There's a section selling food and drink.

There's art in various forms.

There are home goods, too.

I think I need some of these enamelware.

A few more things that caught my eye:

Cute and cozy for winter weather.

Wood-carved pencils

Lockets with dramatic photos on the cover

Soothing soaps and candles

Body balms

Mosaic lanterns

Sweet and soft tree trimmings

Pouches with an opinion

Drinking glasses made of old bottles
{blah to TADA!}

I especially liked that there was a Lil' Brooklyn - - a lane of Brooklyn-made crafts and food gifts. Go Brooklyn! You're now being noticed as the venue for the hip and handmade.

The Union Square Holiday Market
November 16th – December 24th, 2012
Monday – Friday:  11:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Saturday: 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM
Sunday: 11:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Monday, December 24th closes at 4:00 PM
Situated above the Union Square 
14th Street subway station, 4/5/6, N/R/Q, and L lines