Monday, 13 December 2010

Crafty Little Buggers

As we were munching on some deligious and hugely portioned breakfast on our first morning in America and whilst perusing the paper, we came across an advertisment for an event called Urban Craft Uprising, an indie craft show hosting local artists and handylikepeople. As it happens, this event was on that very day in Seattle. It must have been fate, because this kind of occasion is just my cup of tea.

A view of the exhibition hall
 Urban Craft Uprising's mission is 'To build a fun, successful showcase for indie crafters and to nurture a supportive DIY crafting community'. And they certainly did. I adore just about anything exhibiting something local and artistic. There's just such an honest air of trade about it all, which has an incredible ability to make me spend money.

This time around, it was utterly painful. If you're on a budget and an event like this swings your way, you'd probably best avoid it. Money and space/weight in your backpack has to be taken into account at all times. I've never found it more difficult to show so much self restraint, and I can proudly say the only thing I bought was a present for someone else. (Admittedly in the hope that he'll hate it and I'll just have to have it instead.)

Here are a couple of my favourite stalls I came across and where you could find those last little quirky Christmas presents...

Attic Journals: Started in 2004, this ubercool project binds 'hard-bound vintage school books and library books that were destined for dumpsters', and turns them into journals. They tear out the original paper and replace it with blank pages, whilst reusing the beautifully old school front covers to create something pretty special. My favourites include 80's style cookery books and classic kids stories (sadly no photos as their website won't let me! Go check it out yourselves though.) I could have bought them all then and there, if I didn't have several blank notebooks lined up already. They're all priced at around $15, so I might just have to treat myself one day.

Slide Sideways: A stall that we were drawn to over and over again, no matter how many times we moved away. Recently started by a guy and a gal with a lot of talent in graphic design. Products include t-shirts, notebooks, teatowels, posters and prints, adorable stationary and much much more. I am genuinely honoured to meet the two minds behind this gorgeous little project. Always open to a collaborating with new artists, they believe in hard work and being nice to people. Sounds good to me.

Slide Sideways graphics
Tender Loving Empire: I'll use their own description as it sums it up pretty well...'a media and arts collective / record label / comics imprint / consignment store / gallery / custom screenprinter / concert production house / general purveyor of things artistic based in beautiful Portland, OR.' Busy bunch of fellows then. Currently on tour in various hotspots down the west coast of America if anyone out there gets a chance to take a peek. CD's of unknown artists labelled with similar bands in order to give them their lucky break, and quirky designs on t-shirts were amoungst my favourites here.

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