It happens only once a year. The chosen have been busy for weeks creating their handmade gifts. The hustle and bustle of shoppers is abuzz with energy. I must admit, I look forward to this indie craft festival each year almost as much as Christmas Day itself.
We are so lucky to live in a community that embraces the handmade, the repurposed, the upcycled, the vintage and the offbeat. For the fourth year running, our local municipal auditorium was absolutely packed to the gills for The Atomic Holiday Bazaar. After learning my lesson last year, and with big thanks to dear Papa, I was able to go this year without the boys. The craftiness captured my complete attention, and Noni and I noticed a few new trends.
1: FEATHERS. It seemed feathers were everywhere, on hair clips, headbands and hats.2: HATS. Speaking of hats, they were everywhere too--the tinier the better. Pillbox hats are apparently back with a vengeance. There were tiny hats on large heads......and then there were just large heads. Handcrafted, totally unique creations like these are what makes the Atomic Holiday Bazaar so incredibly fabulous.3: OWLS. This is not a new trend, by any means, but these birds just keep getting hotter. Here are a few joined by other whimsical ornaments from Red Marionette.Owls were spotted on handbags, clutches, wallets, wall art, and pendants, like these upcycled spoons from Gorilla Dust.4: BEER BOTTLE CAPS. Noni and I noticed several things made from these, like magnets, pendants, and picture frames. This recyclable seemed to slip in where last year's vinyl left off.5: GIVING BACK. Enter ZimKids. What a cool idea. Each of these little dolls was created by a child in Zimbabwe. For $25, someone can take one of these handmades home, and receive a thank you from the child who created it. All of the money goes directly to helping feed the child's family. $25 can feed a family in Zimbabwe for an average of one month.
Look how sweet these are! A pop top for a belt buckle? Pretty ingenious for an eight-year-old.There were so many great vendors, perhaps it's a good thing my camera died early in the afternoon; I could actually pay attention to the creativity around me. I would like to give props to Sutara, Fat Orange Cat, and Dragonfly Crafts for especially inspiring my creative juices, as always. A new inspiration for me this year (and maybe just the kick in the pants I need to get little b's birthday bunting made) was the darling work of Shanlie.
I told myself that I would not buy any gifts at the Bazaar, in keeping with our secondhand Christmas. But Papa made me promise to treat myself to something (whatta man), so I chose these simple pendants honoring my boys, from local jewelry artist be. She stamped them right there while I waited.
I'm looking forward to next year's Bazaar already, and am freshly inspired to work on all of my own handmade gifts for the season. Off to my sewing machine!