Tuesday, December 16, 2008
I love craft fairs because...
...I can get a custom hat made in my favorite color in an hour! I went to the Bust Craftacular this weekend and found a knitted hat style that I loved. But there wasn't a good color for me. So this lovely Alison lady offered to knit one up while I shopped! While I shopped! I came back an hour later and, voila! Brand spankin' new hat. Made just for me. With cute little rhinestones on the side.
I also love to talk to the people that make the things that I purchase. We are often so far removed from what we buy that it doesn't really seem as if someone actually handmade things. When I worked at a toy company the activity book pages were still being hand-collated overseas because it was cheaper to do it that way. Hey at least it gives people a job. We're called consumers for a reason. We consume so much and then toss it away without a second thought. But I bet if you had hand-collated that SpongeBob activity book and then hand-glued on the cover, you'd color up and down every single page. And then turn it over and color the back side.
I love to hear the stories behind my purchases. Like that my vintage wallpaper necklace was made from wallpaper swatch books bought at garage sales. And the hand lotion was brewed up in someone's basement in North Jersey. And the lavender sachets were made from leftover scraps from a friend's screenprinting project. We all know how much I loves scraps of things.
Just as I feel that garbage has feelings, too, so do the products and clothes that we surround ourselves with and the gifts that we give others. There's always a story and it's way more interesting to know the stories which will make us more attached to our goods. And make people think twice before discarding something. Buying fewer, more meaningful objects makes for less garbage. Now that's an interesting concept.
Craft fairs = a celebration of handmade things and their stories. Yay that!