I went to the Crafty SuperMarket to explore indie design and craft. It was a wonderful adventure and I met many of the artists. I don't have any photos of the incredible booths but I can show a few tiny treasures that followed me home.
I had seen Says You products on the web and really did not understand the attraction. This is one product line that has to be seen in person. A simple creative idea done well! The "K" badge holder is for my sister. The other initials are for me. I enjoyed meeting the husband and wife duo at this booth and look forward to seeing them again at the holiday show.
This darling little pin caught my eye but the the handmade paper bags sold me on Off the Beaten Path. They also had great eyeglass cases silkscreened with eyeglass icons. More simple ideas well executed.
There were many other booths that were amazing. MorningLori makes incredible creatures from her imagination that make me want to know the artist. Just a touch of the macabre makes these critters truly unique. There were some fabulous jewelry artists using repurposed found items. One booth had antique flour sack handbags that were meticulously crafted. As a bag maker I really do not need another bag but these were tempting. Very tempting. I-am-kicking-myself-for-not-buying-one tempting.
Indie artists are endangered species. The best of their original ideas are stolen and recreated for commercial distribution. After Crafty SuperMarket, I headed to Joseph-Beth for the new issue of Stitch and I wandered about the gift items. I saw Ugly Dolls, now mass produced, that had been shown at independent art fairs a few years ago. Pottery and paper crafts are also cloned for mass distribution.
However, Indie art never really dies. In the late sixties I was selling self-designed crocheted bags. In the early seventies, my dormmates and I were handstitching carrot veggie pins and crocheting watchbands from silk thread. We made jewelry and windchimes from found items. Now, my college roommate sews messenger bags from imported woven rugs and I crochet flower pins and stitch handcrafted bags and Christmas ornaments.
It makes one wonder if the first cave painters were the first Indie artists.
Here are a few of my latest designs. I named this style " Carrie" for my sister and grandmother. I seem to have gotten over my "bump" in the road.
Your grandmother wants to take your picture and you're trying to eat your breakfast..
...and watch a little Curious George.
I've been feeling a little out of sorts, myself. I want to sew and be creative but I need to be doing so many other things - like my taxes, the dishes, the garden, the groceries, and sleep.
There is only one cure for me when I get this way - Read! Reading has been my source of refuge for as long as I can remember being able to decipher those little black marks into meaningful expressions.
During a difficult childhood, I remember hiding in a closet with a flashlight and Heidi, Jo and Beth, Trixie and Honey, or Nancy, George and Bess.
When Alex was born prematurely I read Helen Harrison's book about preemies.
When the doctors confirmed that Alex was born with eyes so tiny that he would never see, I ordered every book I could find on blindness.
When we realized that Alex was living somewhere on the autism spectrum, well, you get the drift.
I have lots of books. Hundreds, no, thousands of books and I cannot imagine a home without bookshelves. It is a good thing my husband is the same way because he has his own to-be-read piles next to the bed and he doesn't think the book thing is crazy. I have a soft spot for female detective/forensic fiction. I also get hung up on odd topics for non-fiction like the Bataan Death March (my grandfather was there), women in the old west, Old Testament history, and geneology. I also have craft books. Knitting, sewing, beading, papercrafting. Even a few moments with books make me feel a bit recharged.
So I prescribed a cure for my malaise. (Isn't that a much better word than blahness?) I had just found a second hand copy of an early Kathy Reichs book and it was just the thing for a little escapism. Nothing "takes you away" like nun bones, Beaufort islands and Quebec blizzards. Refreshed, I pulled out these books for a bit of inspiration.
It worked! I finished 6 new bags today! Tomorrow I update my etsy shop and visit Grace Dobush and the rest of the indie artists at The Crafty SuperMarket. I had applied to be part of this show but did not get a spot so I am going to soak in a bit of "indie culture" while attending the show. I have been looking forward to it and encourage anyone in the Cincnnati area to make a trip to the Clifton Cultural Arts Center.
Of course the is one more thing that has recharged my batteries...
...hanging out with my sister and daughter on a Saturday night and being the designated driver.
First, the sunshine! Spring sprang around here and has headed straight into summer. It makes challenging shadows on photographs, but makes me very happy. The dogs, however, miss the gazebo and are struggling to find scraps of shade. They are still doing the spring shed and are downward dogging in the heat. We had frost on the windshield on Monday and are tempted to turn on the A/C on Friday. Ahhh, Cincinnati!
I am loving this new purse pattern I am developing. I'm a bit addicted to quilting the fabric before turning the cloth into handbags. This clutch/wristlet bag will be called Carrie for my sister. I hope she loves it as much as I do. All the above bags have homes: pink for Emily and Sali J. and brown and aqua for me. I have a lot of little quilts for lots of new bags.
I have some great book finds! For years I have looked for Elsie Dinsmore books. My grandmother gave me a first edition of "Elsie Dinsmore" when I was a child. I fell in love with this lovely misunderstood little girl who just wanted her father to love her. Last month I found two newer 1930's editions of other books in the Elsie saga. I found them on Etsy, of course, from Peanut and Tommy, Too.
I found several Trixie Belden books in the binding that I remember from my childhood at local antique stores. While not technically antique, finding these favorite stories there makes me feel old. Really old.
Did I mention I feel old?
"Freestyle Handmade Bags and Skirts" was a happy find at our local independent bookseller. The finished products in the photo are less polished than I prefer, but the book is chock-full of great ideas. The embellishments on the messenger bag are genius. I'm going through my vintage notions and findings for a special project.
The Cincinnati Chapter of The Modern Quilt Guild has the first meeting this weekend. I'm looking forward to meeting the women who have created the gorgeous quilts on the website. They are meeting at Stitches, a fabric store in Glendale that I have never heard of before. New fabric finds and new friends, what could be better?
Actually, I do know what's better. It's reconnecting with old friends! I had a long call with my college roommate and opened a letter announcing impending grandparent status from the mother of one of Andrew's oldest friends. They moved to the Piedmont area to be near their son and his wife and the new baby is a great bonus. My roommate checked out my Etsy site and was my first customer. I can't think of a better home for my bag and I love the idea of being back in touch with her. A definite favorite thing!
My sister, Kathleen, is coming to visit next week and I can't wait for here to get here. I have been cleaning all week and tonight we are picking up the new bed for the guest room. I would like to think she is coming to see me but I know that she is really coming to eat Graeter' s ice cream and Skyline Chili three ways. And of course the real reason for the visit is ...