August 26, 2010

Lisa: Craft Lake City 2010

Sarah, Jeff, Nora, and I ventured out to Craft Lake City a few Saturdays ago. It was easily the best craft fair of the summer. Possibly the best craft fair of the state. NO, OF THE YEAR! Okay, to be honest I'm not really sure what the competition is or what I'm talking about, but what I'm trying to say is that Craft Lake City is awesome and we had a great time.

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As you can see, I held back and only bought two things this year. The booths were just as great, but...blah, blah, times are tight, etc. ANYWAY. The adorable crayon roll is from Urban Patchwork. Here's her Etsy shop (no crayon rolls) and blog. It was tiny bit pricey, but I couldn't resist; it's so beautifully made and handy, too. So much sweeter than collecting the crayons at the bottom of my purse into a ziplock bag. (Isn't having a kid glamorous?)

The pink flower earrings are from jellabee; here's her blog and Etsy shop (and another one here for her cute kids' stuff). I wish I could find some evidence of this type of jewelry in one of those spots--she had tons in her booth, and I've already had people ask where I bought my earrings. (ETA: On further investigation, it looks like you can just buy the flower cabochons and then glue them onto posts or bobby pins or whatever all by yourself. Easy peasy.)

The last photo of me and Nora is at the fun kids' activity booth, where we made a bird feeder out of an old milk jug. Despite her serious expression, Nora loved gluing on the pompoms and paper shapes. The result is hanging in our backyard--just because the birds seem to find it repellent doesn't mean we won't treasure it (at least for a few weeks).

I also picked up cards from Easily Amused (super cute softies!), babyGgear (that orange sock monster is still calling to me), and Vintage Fern (charming and cheap appliqued dish towels would make great hostess gifts!).

I noticed It's the Little Things had a booth again. This time, some flower headbands that I don't see in their shop caught my eye. I thought I was being so good, keeping my purchases to a minimum and taking cards of things to consider later, but very few of the artists have much stock in their Etsy shops--and the selection is always narrower than it was at the fair. Next year I'll save my pennies in advance and just go ahead and buy the things I like.

I coveted the stuffed sewing machine in the Nifty Kidstuff booth (again) after looking at it periodically online all year, but it's still just too pricey for me to consider buying for Nora. Maybe it's more of a grandparent thing to spend $60+ on a child's stuffed toy. Similarly, on our way out, Sarah spied these gorgeous tote bags with awesome interior pockets made from adorable Japanese prints from Elsa Bags (sorry, that particular bag isn't in her shop). Again, I wish I was the type of person who had $80 to drop on a cloth tote bag, because these really are beautiful.

I also loved the hand-embroidered skirts from Cory Bushman of Songs of the Sea. They're thrifted pieces that are cleaned up and then stitched with quotes from Tolstoy (among others) and whimsical graphic designs. Each one is completely unique and just incredible. I should have taken the time at her booth to search through and see if there were any at all that would have fit me, because her Etsy shop is empty and her blog hasn't been updated in a year.

Also: these are the Japanese-fabric-covered-button barrettes I bought last year but couldn't source. Apparently the mysterious "am" stood for Anne Michelle.

If I had one suggestion for the organizers of Craft Lake City, it would be to better publicize the artists. In the fair's program, artists are listed alphabetically by name, but most booths have a shop/brand name that they publicize. If you know one but not the other, there's a disconnect. I also asked three employees where I could find the Beehive Bazaar booth (I knew they were listed as a sponsor and must be there somewhere), but nobody knew where to find them and there didn't seem to be any way to look it up. Including a map, shop names, and even artists' websites in the program would be super helpful.

To the artists: please, PLEASE brand yourself in a memorable way, have cards that are easy to grab, and then have something waiting for the people who take the time to track you down online! I can't be the only person who went to Craft Lake City, saw something awesome that I didn't get, and wanted to fix that a week later.

Posted by lisa at August 26, 2010 03:15 PM
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