Sunday, June 29, 2008
Craftaluma was was quite a hit
I arrived a bit late to Craftaluma and before I had even unpacked my bag there were people swarming. Once the monsters were out, they drew adoring fans and admirers. This was my first craft event as a vendor, and I was really excited to get direct feedback. The organizer from Petaluma Craft Mafia came over and welcomed me, shook my hand and told me how happy she was that I came. I felt a bit like a celebrity. That meant a lot to me because I came from pretty far, 56 miles to come to the event from home, and I drove a lot the day prior to visit family further inland, so all in all I put 300 miles on my car round trip. I had one of the best tables in front, highly visible, smack in the middle as you come in.
Some of my favorite comments were:
"Do you have a following? A lot of collectors?"
"These are way cuter than Ugly Dolls!" --this last comment came from a girl who worked at a toy store.
(The Gecko Zipper Pouches were popular!)
I was really touched when a family came up and bough three of my favorites monsters. They had lost everything in a house fire. It was full circle moment since I lost everything myself on March 17th 2003 on St. Patrick's Day in a devastating studio fire in Venice Beach, CA. I had quit making art for many years, and this was my first big art festival in a long time. It was healing for me, making something special for a special family. They had a little boy, and I am having a boy in a couple of months. He held on so tightly to his Green Spinach Robot.
There was this vendor, a supercool chick named Jennifer Kirsch from San Jose that commuted even further than me and was cranking out these awesome designs. I got a bib from her and although its not the one pictured, its super great! Juror2: exceptionally curious t-shirts. I like her "sticks." She is so talented, and she is a certified chef. Judging by her calendar, she is a busy girl, doing a lot of Farmer's Markets and other venues. She also has another shop called Steam Punk Garage.
Another crafty chick Ericka Kern that has a company named My Imaginary Boyfriend. What an amazing name! I wonder if she has a boyfriend now? Here is her blog. Her stuff is polished, sells well at larger craft events such as Crafty Bastards/DC, Renegade/Brooklyn, Felt Club/LA, and Crafttacular/NY. I love her bio from her website:
"Erika's crafting career started in a dumpster scrounging gems for her amazingly creative grandfather. How creative, you ask? Well, when she was only 4 he made her a working miniature Farris Wheel made solely from trash and a few screws, nuts, and bolts. His creativity combined with her mother's amazing skills as a stitcher and stained glass artist means Erika has crafting in her genes...You name the craft, Erika's probably tried it but her true craft love is embroidery. She's been stitching since she was 8 and a few years ago discovered the fun of working with wool felt. In 2005 she began "my imaginary boyfriend" combining her love of classic crafts, laughter, and whimsy into her home decor and personal accessories...Her work has been featured in Cutting Edge and Adorn Magazines, in The New York Daily News, TimeOut New York, The Brooklyn Press, and The Chicago Sun-Times, and in the blogs Design*Sponge, Boing Boing, Craftzine, It's (k)not wood, Rare Bird Finds, and Gold School. "
There was a guy who rides fixed gear bicycles that bought a couple of fixedgeargal pins for some lady friends of his that ride fixies. Two other ladies that biked to the event got some buttons too. One showed me her recent elbow bandage from her accident on her fixie. Bike culture is so prevalent in the Bay Area. There are those who ride, and those who don't, and they are missing out. Anything on two wheels is exactly my speed. Because I am so huge from my pregnancy, (now at 31 weeks) I am not going anywhere further than 5 miles. My gut gets in the way of my knees, and I get out of breath and have a hard time recovering due to reduced lung capacity and blood volume changes.
After I got home with a lighter bag of monsters, I chugged a bottle of Pelligrino and breathed a sigh of relief. Good show. I have so many ideas now, and I feel validated as a newly minted crafty lady!