Craftland, Rhode Island

Craftland (by Brian Sawyer)Last Thursday, I headed down to Providence, RI, for Craftland, billed as “an annual holiday sale that celebrates all kinds of handmade objects and the people who make them.” It was a good time, and looking back, I can’t figure out how I managed to leave without buying anything. I especially regret not picking up any of these fine yarns or spinning kits (I think it’s time I learned to spin my own yarn, don’t you?):

Yarn and Spinning Kits (by Brian Sawyer)

Steelyard Gift Canning (by Brian Sawyer)I could have even gotten some great gifts and taken advantage of the Steelyard‘s fun holiday gimmick: they’ll can any purchase you make. Just put it under the tree and pass the gift recipient a can opener instead of the scissors.

Oh, well. I guess I was a little distracted by everything else I had to see and do at the show. It’s a good thing I’ve already wrapped up most of my holiday shopping.

Natalie Zee Drieu and Diana Eng (by Brian Sawyer)

Craft sponsored the event, so I got to catch up and talk craft (for both business and pleasure) with Natalie Zee Drieu, who introduced me to her friend Diana Eng (of Project Runway fame), who was great to get to know and hang out with. They both hosted presentations (Natalie on turning a vintage tie into a light switch cover and Diana on crumpling paper craft techniques), but they unfortunately started too late for me to stick around for (had to hike back up through Boston in time to see my son to sleep). Check out Natalie’s recap of the event for the Craft blog, as well as the many great photos that didn’t make it into her post (here are all of mine).

And Brian Jepson‘s been trying to get me down to his home turf for ages, a promise I’ve kept putting off indefinitely. It was good to finally reconnect and talk shop in what I must admit seems like a pretty neat town (Brian’s very involved in art, technology, and activism for the city, as well as being a great tour guide).

I also got to meet a number of other interesting crafters, including (briefly) Deb Dormody, who, in addition to cofounding and organizing this fair, is also the proprietor of the very cool If’n Books + Marks (you might recall her from the Bookbinding Jam Session video I posted recently). She was selling her beautiful handmade books, including some of these fine specimens:

If'n Books + Marks (by Brian Sawyer) If'n Books + Marks (by Brian Sawyer)

Craftland This Way (by Brian Sawyer)I hope to get a little more time with her at the Bazaar Bizarre this weekend, though I have a feeling we’ll both be kept pretty busy.

As Natalie pines, “If only there could be a craft store like this year round.” But alas, Craftland runs through December 23 only, so if you’re in the area, I do recommend you stop by while you can.