The day had finally come to introduce my mother (visiting for the holidays from Kenya) and my bio-genetic engineer of a brother (visiting from DC) to their first renegade Baltimore crafts fair—Charm City Craft Mafia's Holiday Heap. Secretly hoping to give them a little culture shock, they surprisingly, and maybe a little unexpectedly, fell in love. Initially, getting them motivated and agreeing to going was a bit rocky—"we are going to see the Mafia make crafts inside of a church!! .... why?!?!"—needless to say, my Christian missionary mother was quite hesitant but my brother was eager for another awesomely crazy story from B-more for his Capital Hill buddies. I watched the trepidation evaporate from their faces as we approached the throng of artsy people lined up in the cold for some hot burritos and treats at the Curbside Cafe truck parked in front of St. John's Methodist church on St. Paul. Walking in was a bit overwhelming at first. It was just as crowded and packed as you would expect at the mall, and yet, navigating the labyrinth of tables was more like a treasure hunt than a stress-induced anxiety fest. There was the usual push, shove, feet stepping and bumping involved as expected of holiday shopping... but the difference was the kindness—the apologies and manners were abundant.
Some goodies we picked up and spotted:
* All business and no play with the tie wearing Mr. Orange print from Motobus ... snagged that for my bathroom wall and one of their eccentric alien-orange haired girl cards for my red-headed BFF in Colorado.
*Also walked away with Brainstorm's "Atmosphere", "Earth" and "Ocean" prints to mat and frame for my tree-hugging, granola boyfriend's recently finished green-ovated 3rd floor studio (only $30 bucks a piece!!!!)
* Jamie Zollar's black and white illustration of deep-sea animals was mighty fine .... totally want an entire accent wall.
* Hillery Sproatt's handmade embroidered mobiles looked ethereal displayed above her table-- and brought a little piece of her world to the fair.
* The Broken Plate's Juliet Ames wildly popular "I'm So Crafty, I Make People" Tee of a preggers Rosie the Riveter.... let's just say I HAD to take a picture for a very special and crafty lifestyle/ fashion editor that is going to have a double present soon!!
* Bmore Papercuts gets especially skillfull with white paper and exacto's.... check the piece to the left with hearts and bicycles... absolutely precious!!
* Small Talk had some uber cute fox themed cards and stationary that I stocked up on for upcoming birthdays and a non sappy V-Day card for the man friend.
* My mother got into the groove of things and tried on any and all jewelry that was "bird" themed... and finally settled on a ring and a pair of studs shaped like birds and made of recycled silver from Figs & Ginger.
* Aaannnd... even the little brother found something to his liking (secretly he had a blast) ... Pellinore Press insect themed singular woodcut card sets.
Phew ... just a little closer to being done with gift buying, had a pretty fun experience AND for once, didn't leave frazzled or frantic after my holiday shopping ... now, if there was a way to get magical elves to wrap it all for me ... hmmmmm... —Shabdiece Esfahani, intern