Siren Nation and Disney Coffee Sleeves

I was a vendor at my first craft show in about 20 years last Sunday.  It was called Siren Nation, and was held at McMenamin’s Kennedy School in Portland.  For those of you from the area, you know the look that the McMenamin brothers are famous for, and this was no exception.  They are masters at making quirky and weird seem like the natural order of things.  We were at a table just inside one of the doors, and spent the day chatting with customers and vendors, while beating the sales goal I had set for myself.  I had a few friends and family members come to visit (thank you all!) and my daughter stuck with me all day. 

Codi and Staci at Siren Nation

Remember how I promised a DIY Coffee Cup Sleeve Kit to anyone who visited me and told me they read my blog?  One of my first customers took me up on it!  I was so excited I failed to make a note of her name, but she was here visiting from Pennsylvania (I think?) and decided to come by.  It made my whole day!

Look for a recap of my booth setup and some tips for getting ready for a show in a hurry coming soon.  I’ll also be sharing my tutorial for the cute vendor aprons my daughter and I wore.

Vendor Apron by Crafty Staci

In other news, it’s time for a new Disney project at Undercover Tourist!  I wrapped up a whole series on coffee cup sleeves last year, and made no promise you’d never see new ones from me again.  Turns out, I hadn’t covered my Disneyland obsession yet, so I made these before our trip in September.

Mickey and Minnie Coffee Cup Sleeves - Crafty Staci

To get the pattern and instructions, just visit me at Undercover Tourist.  These would make a great stocking stuffer for the Disney fan in your life!

My last bit of business involves Wedding Wednesdays.  I have a few more things I’d like to show you, but I’ve decided to suspend that series until after the holidays.  There’s just too much going on.  Look for the last few installments in February.

Join me this Friday for some make-able holiday gifts for the family – both here and on Sew Mama Sew’s Handmade Holidays!

Crafty Wonderland and Shopping Handmade

I make a lot of gifts.  It’s not because it’s less expensive, since it’s usually not anyway, but because I enjoy giving someone I care about something I’ve spent time working on with my own hands.  Some of the most meaningful gifts I’ve been lucky enough to receive were also handmade.

I realize not everything can be homemade.  I had an Amazon box delivered to my house this week.  However, I also received a package from Etsy.  There’s a tier between making it yourself and buying from a big box, and that’s shopping from the little guy.  Or gal, as the case may be.

I spent much of Saturday with a friend at an event called Crafty Wonderland here in Portland.  If you want to see our neck of the woods at it’s most Portlandiest, it’s the place to be.  Their mascot is Sasquatch, if that tells you anything.  There were over 250 vendors, all selling handmade goods.  We walked slowly up and down every, single aisle, both sides, and I still feel like we missed things.  One of which was to take more photos!

One of the booths where I bought this headband to keep my ears warm…

Crafty Wonderland and Shopping Handmade 1

…was Neeka Knits.  She had so many cute options, I had a hard time choosing.  I took a quick photo of her, but it’s too blurry.  This is the artist in a pic from her shop, wearing one of the other headbands I was eyeing.

Crafty Wonderland and Shopping Handmade 2

I had the opportunity to meet someone in person that I had placed a custom order with in the fall.  Sophia from Buttonlandia made these buttons, which we gave away to the attendees at the grand opening of the new police department.  Everyone loved them and they were gone LONG before the evening was over. 

Crafty Wonderland and Shopping Handmade 3

I bought something called Magic Unicorn Salt from Beautiful Briny Sea.  Yes, I really did.  So did Erika, my shopping buddy.  Despite its name, rainbow packaging, and the fact that I bought it in Oregon, it’s not hallucinogenic or illegal.  But it is delicious.

Crafty Wonderland and Shopping Handmade 4

Erika bought some raw, local honey from Wolf Honey, the epitome of a warm, friendly craft vendor.

Crafty Wonderland Shopping and Handmade 4.5

There were several other booths with some great gift options.  Rubber Revolution sells items made from recycled truck inner tubes.  These wallets felt very durable.

Crafty Wonderland and Shopping Handmade 5

Domestic Bias had some very cute aprons and bags, both of which are reversible.

Crafty Wonderland and Shopping Handmade 6

I was admiring some needle felted items at the PenFelt booth, and found out the artist teaches needle felting classes not far from me.  That might have to happen this year.

Crafty Wonderland and Shopping Handmade 7 

Soaps, candy, letterpress, clothing, artwork, yarn work, reclaimed items, accessories, jewelry…I can’t even begin to list all of the amazing things we saw.  It was a lot of fun, but the moral of my story is this:  shop handmade, even a little.  Seek out handmade shows or vendors near you.  If you can’t find any, try online at places like Etsy, Artfire, Meylah or any of the numerous other venues.  It’s a warm, fuzzy feeling, buying something and having it handed over to you (or shipped) by the person who made it.  As a handmade vendor myself, I can tell you the feeling is mutual.