Every year The Husband and I like to go to the "Rock and Roll" craft show, What A Load of Craft in Iowa City, to support our local(Midwestern) artists and crafters, and add some extra handmade elements to our holidays.
Last year I was blessed enough to be a vendor. This year I did not even attempt to get in. I just knew that with the craziness of the new house and the new baby, I would not be able to pull it off if I did get accepted. I was totally right. I'm barely getting gifts pulled together, let alone stock to sell.
So, last Saturday we packed up the kids and told the oldest we were off on an "adventure" in the snow.
We also visited the local comic book store and a few other businesses with locally produced goods, which I am excited to share with you!
This year we spent most of our What A Load of Craft funds on the kids and a couple of Christmas presents.
Each kid received a hand painted wooden animal from Threadbare. The Kid chose hers, the squirrel. I chose Babycakes', the pretty little bunny.
And The Kid picked out a fun plush monster by Monstrosity. She loved all the eyeballs, and likes to count them over and over.
A skein of gorgeous yarn, hand dyed by my friend Katey of Fangrrl Fiber Arts, will be headed to my Mama on Christmas Day. Katey has super unique and funky colorways, but she also has some more subtley gorgeous ones as well. Mom's not one for neon, but this rich plummy brown should suit her nicely.
And this flippin' cool upcycled comic wallet by Iron Swallow is waiting under the tree for The Husband to unwrap it. There were so many awesome wallets to choose from that it felt like I took an eternity to reach a decision. I almost went with He-Man, but in the end, Teen Titans won out.
I always buy a tote too, to show my support. I am particularly fond of this year's lumberjack Santa.
After WALOC, we stopped by White Rabbit. It is one of my favorite places ever, and a must do when we go to Iowa City.
I bought this lovely upcycled turban from Midcoast designs. Pretty sure I owned that sweatshirt in junior high...
And these kitschy switchplate covers. I'm not sure who made the, but if I find out, I'll update. They are decorated with vintage illustrations(from books, I think). The Heidi girl is up in The Kid's room. The cardboard box girls are headed to my studio.
The Kid also picked out a sweet little crocheted kitty for her friend, Grace. It was made by Hooked On Anime.
Next, we stopped by Raygun to pick up a gift for my youngest brother.
It says, "IOWA-75% vowels, 100% awesome". It is, 98.6789567% accurate.
You know you're a mom when you're wrapping your own Christmas presents. Here's mine.
I really love these blank books from Raygun. They are the perfect size for all my embroidery, sewing, illustration and painting ideas. And grocery lists.
This bag had instant appeal for me.
I took it home and the next day, as I was wrapping it, I looked up to The Husband and exclaimed, "OHMYGOSH. I just got it! HEART land! Because we live in "The Heartland!"
He stared at me with a dumbfounded look, the likes of which I had never seen on his face before.
Oh hey, and it has this cool pouch!
And most awesome of all-
I will never again have to rifle through my bag looking for a pen!
And of course The Kid procured more comics.
The kids were pretty darn tired and cranky by the time we finally made it home, but boy did we have fun. It would have been easier to find a babysitter, and go do what we wanted by ourselves, but it was important to us to introduce our kids to the world of craft shows and the concept of handmade things. I mean, no doubt they are constantly around the things WE make, but I want them to know that other people make things too.
And that they can grow up and make whatever they want(within reason) and not just the things they see us making.
I'm already looking forward to taking them to WALOC next year. This year's crop of vendors was so fantastic, I don't know if I stand a chance of getting accepted, but you best believe I will be trying!
Vendor or not, maybe next year I'll see you there?