Woke up this morning and said to my husband, “Let’s go to a craft show!” Somehow, he actually said, “OK…” What a good hubby! And a good thing he went, too, because he was very pleased with some of the vendors, their items, and their displays. Needless to say, so was I!
I found out about the Holiday Craft Market in Beverly, MA, through a Facebook status update from Kaya’s Closet. I figured, since I have liked many of the items by owner Johanna Parker, I may as well check out her work in the flesh. (That Beverly is only 30 minutes away certainly helped in the decision-making.)
The hubby and I arrived in the parking lot of Centerville Elementary right on time at 10! I have read on some blogs that it is better to arrive a little later but, honestly, I like starting my Saturdays early and having my afternoons free. As encouragement, the greeters at the door gave the first 100 attendants a swag bag with coupons and discount codes for later shopping.
Overall, I was pretty impressed, but then again, I am not a craft show expert…
The school’s gym was abuzz with shoppers and I was ready to take it all in! So many crafters, so many beautiful (and not so beautiful…) items to peruse. We had no idea that we would spend soooooo much money! Or that we would need to force ourselves to leave to prevent ourselves from spending any more! Here is what we bought.
How cool is it that Stephanie Mason makes art her using actual fish (see photo above). She gets her fish from local fisherman in her town of Gloucester. Some might find it strange but the hubby and I thought it quite ingenious. Besides, we love fish! In addition to coasters, Ms. Mason’s work features framable prints and greetings cards.
Of course, I needed to purchase little booties from Johanna Parker’s shop Kaya’s Kloset for some of the babies in my life (see photo above)! How cute are these!!!???
I realized something today: the hubby loves ceramic arts! I think he has purchased a ceramic piece at every event I have dragged him to; he is also drawn to blue-brown and rustic glazes. At this event, he saw Chrissy Ann Feiteira’s table and immediately fell in love with her work (see photo above). (It also helped that he thought the artisan herself was adorable – please don’t be embarrassed, Ms. Feiteira!) Regardless, Ms. Feiteira’s work is beautiful and different. I mean, how many ceramic artists have plates that say “Sexy B**ch”!? Very sassy yet down to earth and ethereal, her work really spoke to us.
Couldn’t leave the event without buying *some* jewelry! And I must say this first and I may sound harsh: there are always so many jewelry artisans at craft fairs/shows/markets. It’s overwhelming. I can’t really stop there: it almost seems that jewelry artisans are not aware of each other. Do some of them not realize that their work must be super special for someone to consider purchasing it? I walked by several different tables and, while I know that making anything by hand is labor and time intensives — I mean, I *know* this from my own experience — I am not going to purchase your jewelry if it resembles something I might see at another table. Two jewelry artisans really stood out but, because I had already spent so much money, could only purchase from one.
The photo above features our purchase from Buffy Cave. Much of her work stems from her love for vintage buttons. She purchases antique or vintage buttons, makes a mold and then use malleable silver to make her pendants and earrings. So unique and different! Or at least to me… 🙂 The dragonfly pendant, though not the most unique motif, was irresistible because it was paired with the green beaded necklace.
The artisan whose work we did not purchase, Amy Ambroult, was modern, funky, unique, young, edgy, and I definitely plan to support her work soon. Please see the photo above for some of work (used with permission by the artisan herself!) Like what you see? Then check out the website! –> http://amyambroult.com/
Finally, what better way to start getting into the spirit of the holidays than to support public schools? Our very first purchase was this set of four cards that were put together by the hands of Special Education students at the Beverly High School.
This was the Centerville Elementary School PTO’s third Holiday Craft Market and as a first-time attendant I would call it a success. Though not all the tables featured modern and hip items (some of them displayed what some people might consider stereotypical craft show fodder – I know, snob alert! sorry!) and the second room of vendors was disappointingly dark (poor lighting), the organizers clearly understand what the new generation of crafters and handmade supporters like myself want to purchase. Good for them and I wish them many years of success with this event. I look forward to next year!