I am not going to lie to you – we had something entirely different planned for this week. An Italian Food Crawl, hot off the end of a cleanse for me and something I was looking forward to. But the tour operator cancelled only two days before the date, so Long and I were scrambling a bit to find something to write about. I went to the Universe site which usually has some gems and discovered there was a craft fair being held at the International Centre. Not really our usual thing, but Etsy appeared to be one of the sponsors and I have bought some cool stuff from their web site, and the entrance fee was $5. Plus I figured there had to be some people offering up jams or fudge and things of that nature to assuage my coming-off-the-cleanse celebratory needs.
I find the name “Craftadian” to be more than slightly awkward, and when I went to download a banner for this article I discovered that they hardly seem confident about it either, considering the former name is displayed in almost the same size font:
Long came to pick me up with our friend Caroly in tow and we made the pilgrimage up to the airport. The venue was not particularly well signed so we had to do a lap around the enormous building. As we arrived there was number of people teaming from another hall on the lot dressed to the nines in their Sunday finest. We were curious, and when I got home I looked it up and I think it must have been the Kerygama Grand Feast, honouring one Bo Sanchez who appears to be some kind of Filipino lay minister/financial guru. Well, that might have been WAY more interesting, but we will never know.
We found out way in the the exhibit hall, slapped down our $5.00 and headed in.
I have long attending the One Of A Kind show, and have laid down enormous amounts of cash for things I may or may not have needed, and I view shows of this kind with a gimlet eye. We braced ourselves for it to be largely unimpressed; the concrete walled, fluorescent lit hall was hardly inviting and one of the first booth we saw was hung with some truly appalling Christmas wreaths, but fears were assuaged when we came across a booth selling felted goods, including some excellent hats, and this thing which I could not identify, which turned out to be a felted wool cat house. So now I love it. And need a cat.
We amused ourselves by trying on some of their excellent hats. Some were pure crazy, others were quirky and charming. Long ended up buying one for herself.
The artisan was a woman named Angela Volk and she teaches fleeting classes so be ready for a blog on THAT in the future.
So one purchase down in the first 10 minutes. Not bad.
Our little trio wandered the aisles, pausing to smell and investigate the things that caught our eye. One of the booths was selling vials of liquid with glitter and tchotchkes floating in them.
I spoke to the vendor of Shorty’s Crafts. She makes the jars with a blend of water, glue and some stabilizing materials. The idea is they you take the jar and shake it – kind of like a snow globe – and watch the items as they swirl around. It is supposed to be very calming and Caroly bought a little one on a chain for her kid.
There were three full aisle of little booths. Some were filled with cool things – Caroly bought some leggings with electric drill heads at the bottoms – some were people that had great ideas that were just not quite executed properly, and a good chunk was just hand made crap that I didn’t really understand the point of. Crocheted baby booties, bad pairings and itchy polyester knits, the likes of which you might see at a church sale in a small town. Well meaning, but unmarketable.
I paused to try on some rings and a beautiful purple shawl/scarf but was resisting the temptation to buy anything, which was pretty easy until I ran in to a booth selling body lotion. My eye was caught by a bottle that proclaimed to smell like a thunderstorm. Interesting, but a little masculine. Then I saw this little gem and I could not resist:
Yes, it smells exactly like chocolate. I put a little on my hand, and have been furtively sneaking sniffs ever since.
The trouble with shows like these is that while I should put my mind to buying Christmas gift for others, I rarely do and end up buying a bunch of stuff for myself that I rarely need or deserve. All in all I got out of this one relatively unscathed. I bought the lotion, a pop up card for my friend whose birthday is coming up, a crazy gift for my sister (she reads this sometimes so I will not divulge the nature of the gift here, save to say it is utterly ridiculous and came from a place called Floofy Cat) and a tea which I drank while I was there. I got to spend some time with good friends (I am extremely fond of Caroly and every time I see her I think I should make a pact with myself to do it more often) and try on some epic hats. Not bad for $5.00. And less filling than an Italia food crawl.