Spring Crafty Wonderland

The bi-annual Crafty Wonderland craft sale has already come and gone here in Portland, but it seems like a shame to visit a craft show without sharing it with all of you.  Also, thanks to this new thing called the internet, all of these creative retailers are available 24/7, year-round.

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This was my daughter’s first visit to Crafty Wonderland, so she walked around with her jaw hanging open a bit.  She’s knee-deep in wedding plans, so the promise of a Wedding Wonderland Section drew her in.  I’ll admit, we were a bit disappointed because we didn’t really see anything that was specifically a wedding item, but rather things that could be used in some capacity surrounding a wedding, like gifts.  But she enjoyed it anyway, finding a couple of things she couldn’t leave without, like this raw honey from Mickelberry Gardens.

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One of the first things I couldn’t walk away from was this mini felting kit from Yarnarchy.  I’ve wanted to try felting for years now, and this tiny kit seemed like a pretty manageable place to start.

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I also found this cute wood sewing machine ornament.  I wish I could tell you the name of the vendor, but I don’t have the slightest idea.  My advice to those of you participating in craft sales:  make sure your business info is included with any item you sell. 

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I tend to grab cards from vendors if I think I might want to order something from them later.  Travelust had pretty map necklaces that can be customized with any map.  I’m thinking a Boring, Oregon necklace would be fun.

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Bread and Badger sells sandblasted coffee cups, one of which has Bigfoot on it and might end up in my son’s Christmas stocking.

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Illustrated Playing Cards sells, you guessed it, illustrated playing cards.  Each card has a different drawing on it, with the entire deck themed around a city.  I think these would make a great local gift for an out-of-towner.

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This is the second time I’ve made a purchase from Hedgehog Toffee.  It’s the perfect texture, light and crisp.  That generous sample they hand me always pulls me in.  I’d show you a picture of it, but it barely made it to our house.

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I try to not completely empty my wallet at this thing, but since the show was the day before my birthday, I decided I’d find myself a necklace.  My daughter and I checked out every one there, before going back to Oliotto and buying this one. 

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I’ve worn it three times and have received several compliments every time.  And I haven’t even worn it with the reverse, stainless steel side out yet.

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I enjoy this sale every time I go and love finding new artists and revisiting those I’ve seen before.  My daughter and I have already made plans to attend the winter sale.  Hopefully, one day you’ll find me on the other side of one of those vendor tables!

Christmas Crunch

We’re all busy this time of year.  Shopping, making, cooking, planning, on top of all the ordinary things we have to do can get a little overwhelming.  I try to make sure I step back once in a while and catch my breath, so I took Saturday off.

My husband and I went to Crafty Wonderland in Portland.  I also went last spring, and found things to buy and things I wish I had bought.  There were a lot of talented people at this show, but I managed to leave empty-handed anyway.  I really loved this vendor’s display though, in an adorable, old travel trailer.

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I paid for my time off on Sunday, and will continue to throughout the week.  The last minute shoppers are hitting Etsy, and are finding me often.  I’m thrilled!  However, I won’t be able to participate in Sew, Mama, Sew’s Giveaway Day today.  I really wanted to, but I think it’s just the wrong time of year for me.  I’ll definitely be in for the spring day though.

If you need a little break, I’d encourage you to visit some of the blogs sponsoring giveaways this week.  It’s a great way to discover some new reading material, and you could be the one to win.  Good luck!

My Birthday 2011

Today is my birthday.  I won’t go into which one this is for me, let’s just say that in high school I danced to most of the songs from Glee.  Anyway, I thought I’d share my little wish list with you again, even though I’m still waiting for my titanium spork from last year. 10.  I’ve had my eye on these framed photos of letters for at least a year.  I’m thinking about trying to photograph my own, but if not I’ll be visiting Uncommon Goods for their version.  The hardest part is figuring out what I want to spell.

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9.  I love to read, even though I don’t have as much time to do it as I’d like.  My favorites are sci-fi, fantasy, mystery and even a little horror.  I’ve wanted to read the Game of Thrones series since they started advertising the new HBO series based on it.  Maybe I’ll just give up sleep.

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8.  Remember when you could actually rest the phone between your ear and shoulder while you were talking on it?  Well, I do.  I miss being able to multi-task while I talk.  Now the phone either slips or I hang up with my cheek.  Retro Bluetooth Handset from ThinkGeek to the rescue.

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7.  We were in Seattle a couple of years ago and I saw a typewriter key bracelet in the window of a jewelry store.  I’ve wanted one ever since.  Luckily for me, they can be found on Etsy, like this one from HauteKeys.

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6.  Let me start by saying I cannot pull these off.  I don’t have the right shape.  However, we saw a woman wearing these ruffled pants in a capri length at Crafty Wonderland who looked fantastic in them.  The fact that these, from SweetassDesigns on Etsy, are red and black makes them even better.

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5.  I mentioned last year that my best ideas come to me in the shower.  My second-best ideas come right before I fall asleep, creating a need for the I Can’t Sleep Journal from Uncommon Goods.  It would work perfectly with the light-up pen I keep in my nightstand.

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4.  Since I have a couple of different books listed here, I’m going to need something to hold them up.  Enter James the Bookend from the MoMA store.  And his twin, to hold up the other side.

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3.  I work from home, so I don’t actually need to carry my lunch anywhere most of the time.  However, I love these Bright Tiffins from Twine so much, I’m going to find an excuse.  I might use them to carry it out to the back deck.

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2.  A local boutique had some cowboy rain boots last year that I was completely in love with.  I never went and bought them, and I regret that.  I live in Oregon.  If I could ever justify a shoe purchase, it’s rain boots.  Even though the ones I really wanted are no longer available, I think I could bring myself to substitute these from Amazon.

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1.  This is the one thing on this list I can guarantee I will have on my birthday.  I saw it last week when I was working on my cookie post.  I already told my husband and daughter all about it.  The supplies are in the pantry and they are going to make it for me.  This thing is a brownie, cookie dough and cake bit of heaven.  Thank you Cookies and Cups for providing the nirvana that will hold my candles this year.  I’ll be in touch again after I come out of the sugar coma.

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Crafty Wonderland

Apparently, there’s this local craft sale that goes on near the holidays and in the spring.  I don’t know how long it’s been going on, but what really baffles me is that I didn’t know about it.  Well, it’s definitely on my radar now.

The sale in question is called Crafty Wonderland, and it takes place at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland.  I wanted to check out the spring version last Saturday, so I invited my mom, two sisters and two of my nieces along.  We arrived just as it was opening, behind a line of at least a couple hundred people, and in front of that many more.  Note to self:  next time, arrive fashionably late.

I realized after we started looking around that I forgot my cell phone, which is also the camera I intended to use to share a little of my experience with you.  Luckily, my iPhone-carrying sister volunteered to snap some shots, which cleverly excludes her from any of the following photos.  I’m a little suspicious about that part.

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The organizers of this sale did a great job choosing vendors, many of which can be found online or on Etsy.  In fact, here’s a list from their website.  The merchandise all appeared to be excellent quality, and there was a lot of variety in the types and styles of items available.  Between us, we went home with our arms full.

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It was also clear that the vendors had thought out their booths well.  Some were really beautiful.

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We found moss to be a theme throughout many of the displays.  Could that be because we’re in Oregon?

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Mustaches and owls still abound, but we also discovered octopus (octopi?) and repurposed children’s books are having their moment.  In fact, repurposing in general was a recurring theme we were all happy to see.

I really liked the fact that this didn’t mirror the typical church-bazaar style craft fair.  I’m not knocking those at all, I enjoy visiting them around the holidays, although they do get harder to find as the years go by.  But this sale was populated with vendors who clearly do this for a living.  This sale might be once or twice a year, but they are creating and selling their art and crafts year-round.  It just lends a different feel to the experience.

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If you’re in the Portland area, I highly recommend attending.  You’ll see me visiting the holiday sale.  I’ll be the one walking really slowing and bumping into everyone in front of me because I can’t take my eyes off the pretty.