We made a trip to the Got Craft Sale on Commercial Drive yesterday. Approaching the venue (Royal Canadian Legion), I was bummed out to see a line up. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal, but on this day the length of the line was made daunting because I was traveling with three males (two kids and one husband), all of whom I had assured that this would be a short stop. Thankfully, the line moved at a comfortable pace and we were in the middle of craft sale mayhem before we would have been able to finish the coffee we didn’t get (the line up for coffee anywhere along the Drive on this sunny Sunday afternoon was even longer that the craft fair queue). But I digress. The point of this post is to alert you to some of the great, inexpensive, locally made gift ideas gathered at the Got Craft show.
The first booth I stopped at was District Thirty. The table was uncluttered had a clam sort of aura that attracted me immediately. The clean lines cut in to District Thirty sterling sliver pendants are exactly the kind of Jewellery that I love. Everything was handmade, hand carved and hand finished. Price tags ($48-$58) might not qualify as ‘cheap’ but considering the craftsmanship and modern look of the pieces, money well spent. Have a look at the District Thirty Etsy shop or pop in to Dream, Local designer boutique at 311 W Cordova.
Sam Bradd is seriously talented. This is a guy who, among other things, draws, binds books, and prints posters, tea towels and carry bags. I was most impressed with his ‘Eat Local’ tea towels ($15). The “Hope” posters were nice too. Anything in his Eat Local ‘line’ would be a great Christmas gift.
Before I could squeeze my way through the crowd to see what was on display at her table, I was struck by the upbeat energy of jewellery designer Nicole Tirona. She was bobbing up and down – proudly chattering to the crowd about her inspired jewellery. On the table: earrings and pendants with a funky vintage feel handmade by the evervecent designer. Have a look at her work here. Again, $40 – $60 range.
I am a sucker for paper and I couldn’t resist picking up a few cards from Jeannette Ordas of The Beautiful Project. Not only does this woman have an enviable sense of style, she has a sense of humour that is sure to tickle even the tightest person on your Christmas list. The beautiful project is available on line and in person at Paper-Ya.
On a second sweep around the room I came across Little Red Caboose. Brightly coloured matryoshka dolls, mom and kid scarves, and felt crowns were well crafted with natural fabrics and fibres. Truly beautiful stuff.
The most exciting find of the afternoon was Kohana Jewellery. Kathy Milot had the greatest postage stamp and map pendants. The map pendants were a big hit with us. Made by placing small bits of maps from an outdated French atlas under a glass bead – the idea was so simple. Pendants were between $10 and $12 and earrings were $16.Her reasonable prices made it all the more easy to hand over the cash. We were taken by a pair of earings, a New York pendant for a friend and a Venice pendant for my six year old son and I to share. If you have a soft spot for a city or place and don’t see a pendant, don’t fret, the artist will do a custom job for you. An excellent gift idea.
Ever wonder why a tea cozy always has to look like it was designed by Holly Hobby and made in China? I have too. I drink tea. I would love a tea cozy. But every tea cozy I have ever seen has been sinfully ugly. That is until now. The Owl and Pussycat tea cozy is a testamant to the fact that taste and simplicity can be manifest in something as mundane as a tea cozy. But Owl and Pussycat doesn’t stop at little hats for your tea pot. They also have incredibly awesome-looking bibs ($15). Thank gawd someone out there is tuned in to the fact that it is the grown-up feeding the kid who is forced to stare at the parade of cartoon characters marching across the pastel background of the traditional bib. The kid can’t see the bib. The kid doesn’t wash the bib. The kid doesn’t scrape mushy bits from the bib. Making the fabric of a bib more aesthetically pleasing to we who must deal with the goopy stuff is a welcome advancement in the world of bib design – and all you have to fork over is $15. Deal!
Twice in one day? It was too good to believe. But it was true: Stitchella also had a hip tea cozy. Other items at this fresh looking carft booth included lavender-filled cotton eye pillows, pencil cases (quite easily used as a makeup bag, digital camera case, or a small tote instead of lugging along your regular purse), great little coffee cup sleaves (I bought one) and ipod nano cases (who buys nanos?). All items (tea cozy and eye pillow aside) appeared to have been made of wool and were adorned with a single crow, sparrow or bicycle print.
On the stage at the back of the room I was thrilled to come across the Billy Would booth. Great, familiar stuff.
And that was it. Down the stairs we went, unfurling our stashed stroller and back into the wilds, our pockets filled with cool gifts made right here.