Doesn’t seem that long ago, does it? Since its debut, our annual Crafty Bastards Arts and Crafts Fair has morphed from a quaint little makers market into the coolest two-day, family-friendly extravaganza...with beer! You heard us right: This year, you’ll be able to chill out in the New Belgium Beer garden run by the same folks who make some of your favorite adult beverages, including Fat Tire. How’s that for weekend plans?
Last year, Union Market graciously hosted us, and we’re delighted that they’re having us back, so remember to take a break from your shopping to visit their vendors for all manner of culinary delights and delectable local produce. Make sure to visit D.C.’s best food trucks, including Takorean, DC Empanadas and Curbside Cupcakes! Also new this year is the Crafty Clubhouse Tent for the little ones, which’ll feature stroller parking (so you can get around the craft tables more easily), and back by popular demand is the box and chalk playground to keep your kids occupied. Over the weekend, the Pyramid Atlantic Demo Booth will be hosting our friends who will showing you how to maintain your bike and dye fabric with Kool-Aid, among other things.
And last but not least the main attraction: We’ve gathered more than 140 of the most talented artists and crafters who, over the weekend, will wow you with their wares. If you’re looking for unique, quirky, eco-friendly and special gifts and tchotchkes, everything from jewelry to home goods to clothing, it doesn’t get better than this talented bunch! So join your dedicated Washington City Paper friends for a weekend of shopping, entertainment, and beer drinking and help make it an anniversary we’ll remember!
Vendor Sneak Peek Wondering what our talented crafters have in store for you this year? Here’s a look at just some of the fabulous finds you can spend your pocket money on.
CLOTHING & ACCESSORIES
Amira Mednick learned macrame techniques from a local artist she met while traveling and doing volunteer work in South America. “The process reminded me of the friendship bracelets I made as a young girl,” she says. But her jewelry is far more refined than that of your high-school days. These delicate hand-knotted earrings, as well as her necklaces and other accessories, will add a splash of color to any outfit. --Both Days
Endless Hats’ Emily Weisgerber seeks to bridge the gap between craft fair and couture, luring guys away from what she calls “the baseball cap comfort zone.” The Los Angeles- and New York-trained artist sticks to classic styles that’ll leave your Nats cap gathering dust. Check out Emily’s women’s collection too: The hooded scarves and neck warmers are perfect for the coming cooler months. --Saturday only
Fed up of having to cycle with your lock stuffed into your back pocket of your jeans? iPhone and keys keep falling out of your pockets every time you ride over a bump? Fabric House can take care of that for you. Their range of U-lock holders, utility belts, and accessories help you get from A to B without worrying about losing something on the way. All products are vegan and made with recycled materials whenever possible. --Both days
Pair it with navy skinny pants and flats or dress it up with a sequined mini skirt and ankle boots, either way Maryink’s vibrant Tree of Life Tee will pull your outfit together. Nashville’s Mary Helt and Chris Sittel print each of their designs using a manual press, adorning dresses, pullovers and scarves too with their pretty folk- and vintage ad-inspired designs. --Both days
Since 2003, Jackie Flanagan has been supplying the women of D.C. with sophisticated and comfy clothes, first in her stores on U Street NW and in Mt. Pleasant, and now from her own home-based clothing line. This Peony Dress, with its slouchy-yet-elegant lines and cute striped detailing, will quickly become your go-to wardrobe item. Stop by and you’ll see why our readers voted her boutique the best in the city the last three years in a row! --Both days
Diamonds used to be a girl’s best friend, until we learned that they weren’t exactly ethically sound. These necklaces from Rachel Pfeffer Designs are a quirky, clever way to show off some sparkle without feeling bad about your choices. Pfeffer forges and hammers recycled sterling silver and brass into a glimmering collection that also includes cocktail rings, tie pins and earrings -- perfect gifts for your someone special. --Saturday only
“We first designed this as a foraging and berry-picking bag before it morphed over time,” says Karie Reinertson, part of the Asheville duo behind SHELTER. The timeless Rolston Bag is handmade using water-resistant waxed canvas with a poppy terra cotta contrasting panel. The backpack works as well for toting your laptop and City Paper as it does for wild edibles. --Both days
FOR THE HOME
Brainstorm’s American Atlas series of screenprinted posters were inspired by illustrations from old children’s books. These would be great to add some pop to a hallway or to gussy up a dull bathroom, and they’d make a great gift for the cartographically challenged. The artists broke up the states into regions recognized by the Census Bureau. “If you feel like your state doesn't belong in a specific region, it's not our fault!” says Brainstorm’s Jason Snyder. --Both days
Elle Brande crafts antlers and sticks from porcelain to bring new life to run-of-the-mill cutlery. Sarah Nikitopoulos focuses on ceramic cups and bowls, using them as a canvas to experiment with glazes. The artists, who work together in Mt. Ranier, Md., combine to make the perfect new place setting for your Thanksgiving table. --Both days
Now this is the kind of six-pack everyone can get behind. Featuring Herban Lifestyle’s yummy-smelling Porter, Lager and Pale Ale soaps, this gift set will take the edge off sharing a bathroom with a microbrew fan. The company, which prides itself on its commitment to sustainability, also has a range of solid shampoos, men’s grooming products, and perfumes, so everyone can go away happy. --Sunday only
Bestie moving away? Send the paper version of a hug. The “It's not that far really” card is a cute little reminder that there’s nowhere you can’t get to by plane, train, or automobile. Rar Rar Press has been printing edgy postcards since 2004 and this is one of its oldest designs. It’s a keeper, as are the rest of Rar Rar’s ironic (and sometimes naughty) letterpress offerings. --Both days
Thrill your superstitious friends with this unique housewarming or wedding gift. Amy Hamley (aka Redraven Studios) uses found objects, like a horseshoe from her husband’s family farm, to make the molds from which she casts delicate porcelain trinkets, jewelry, and home decor. Remember to hang this charm pointing upward so the luck doesn’t pour out! --Both days
FOR THE KIDS
This’ll be the tee your kids reach for first in the get-ready-for-school rush. Debbie Lee, the talent behind 60bugs, has been hand-embroidering and printing the coolest tees for boys and girls (and their attending adults, too) for eight years and never seems to run out of amazing ideas. She calls this cheeky design “an experiment.” The experiment is a success, doctor! --Both days
Abby Berkson’s adorable mugs are handmade on a potter’s wheel before she illustrates them, so you know you’re truly getting a one-of-a-kind item. “ I love to play with the way the illustrations fit,” she says, and this mug is a great example: “the top of the hot air balloon goes over the rim into the inside of the mug for a fun surprise!” Your tot will love watching it appear as she chugs her soy milk. --Both days
Last year, the author of these blurbs got one of Gioconda Pavan’s beautiful stamp sets for Christmas and let me tell you that the period of peace and quiet while they’re playing with it is worth every penny! Los Piratas is her newest set, designed in collaboration with her 8-year-old son, and includes 16 pirate-themed stamps to print your own high-seas adventure scenes. --Saturday only
Arlington native and talented mother of three Heidi Drake provides the ultimate in open-ended toddler fun with her colorful, moldable playdough. Each eco-friendly handmade blob is packed with hidden toys to thrill your kiddies; pick from dinosaurs, fairies, bugs and more. Or pick up a cool accessory-filled DIY “cupcake” kit, cook and decorate the dough yourselves. Beats playing with trains any day. --Both days