Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Craft Fair

As you may know, I absolutely love anything handmade. If you made it yourself, it's special. That uneven stitching or messy glue is what makes the item that much more unique and interesting. I can't believe that it took me so long to find out about Toronto's City of Craft that happens twice a year in the Annex. Trinity St. Paul's Church hosts a medium-sized room of about 30 artisans, selling everything from tote bags sporting pixelated genitals to hand-sewn felt "boyfriend badges" (little cartoon faces of boys that you can wear on your chest with pride!).

Having been an avid visitor of the Toronto Outdoor Art Festival, the past few years of the event have left me feeling that it is catered to a crowd a little older than myself. I like to support the artists but I can't really afford a $300 painting or a $100 blown glass bead necklace. It just ain't happening. Plus, there are so many tables that by the middle of the day, it feels like work to see everything.

Even the One-of-a-Kind craft show has become a little crazy during the Christmastime panic. Admission is something like $15, and the vendors pay so much just to have a table that they are forced to raise the prices of their merchandise just to make any profit off their work.

The admission to the craft sale was only a dollar, which I was more than happy to pay. As soon as I got past the door, I was promptly drawn over to a shystery-looking man sporting a brown pinstripe suit and a devious smile. He had a small trunk on a table in front of him, overflowing with more than 50 small glass vials. He told me that each vial contained the soul of a person, collected from willing participants. Further, I could join their ranks if I would give forth a strand of hair plucked fresh from my scalp, and a finger print on a small scrap of paper. Since we all know that this is not the proper method of soul collection, I humoured the man and did as I was asked. If I so choose, he offered, I may find him in the Fall to collect a random soul of someone else's in his collection. I may just do that.

As you may or may not know, I am obsessed with cacti. You know, the plural of "cactus"! I received one for my birthday just a few days ago, and found the most peculiar table at the sale, where a woman was selling crocheted cacti in little terra cotta pots. Of course I had to buy one! While I love my real cactus, there's no way it could survive in my basement lair where no ray of sun can reach. So the real cactus will stay above ground level and the crocheted cactus will live in the perpetual darkness with me.

How cute! And you can't tell, but the portion covered by the pot is actually brown yarn! Heh...soil. I also noticed a woman was selling bags of really cool looking fabric remnants from her past projects. For $15, I got a package of probably 25 scraps perfect for small projects. And included was also a beautiful purple tie-dye-looking scarf, in complete wearable condition! So it's really already paid for itself. And when I can find some time to get the sewing machine back in order, the other pieces will surely become wonderful things as well.

Since I thrifted an old almanac, I have been cutting up maps and using them in different scrap projects. One of the craft tables was displaying prints of maps of the great lakes, with the words "You're Great" screened across them. Very tongue-in-cheek. While they were lovely, they were slightly too expensive considering what was left in my pocket after the cactus and fabric. I noticed that the artist was also selling maps as wrapping paper, sans the text, for only five bucks. I picked one up right away. When I brought it home, I realized that it was exactly the same as the print! If I really want to, I could probably draw the words with a brush pen overtop, but I kind of like the map as it is. Now, all I have to do is wait for a Michael's coupon so I can have it framed.

What a beauty! And I can find my house on it, too. I will certainly be attending the next City of Craft. After the amazing things I saw, I am definitely inspired to fire up the glue gun and make some more crafts this summer. 

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