Spreading the News

There was a lovely article in the Troy Record this past Sunday about the success of the tight knit event! I was super bummed about not being there. (I was traveling for the holidays) But I’ve heard it was great! And the next event this summer only promises to be better, so check them out.

It was also brought to my attention that we had been featured last week on Creative Capital, the Times Union’s blog about all things creative in the capital region.

The press is great, but I’ve always been a fan of word of mouth- so tell your friends!

Saturday, December 6th :
Uncle Sam Atrium (upstairs from the Troy Indoor Farmer’s Market)
Broadway at 3rd & 4th Street, Troy NY
Event Time:10am-4pm

Sunday, December 7th:
YWCA
21 First Street, Troy NY
Event Time:11am-5pm

Saturday, December 13th:
Trinity Church
235 Lark Street, Albany NY
Event Time: 12pm-5pm

Sunday, December 14th:
Trinity Church
235 Lark Street, Albany NY
Event Time: 12pm-5pm

Knitty Digital

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I pledge allegiance to handmade crafts…

Pledge to give handmade this year!
Pledge to give handmade this year!

Over 40 people have already joined our pledge to give handmade crafts this year! If you haven’t checked it out already, take the pledge and see the many words of devotion to giving handmade. Here are some of my favorite quotes so far…

“The process of making and browsing is less stressful than hunting and malling. And I feel less guilty about price when I receive handmade.” -Melissa Wasilewski, Albany NY

“Because handmade looks, feels, and smells better and you know where your $$ is going”-Bhawin Suchak, Albany NY

“Duh!”- Jacinta Bunnell, Albany

Here are a few of my personal favorite reasons to buy handmade:

1. I love meeting new artists

2. It gets my creative juices flowing for more things that I would like to explore making.

3. You can find gifts that feel more personalized.

4. I like the idea of my money going to support someone else spending more of their time being creative

5. It’s more representative of various cultures

6. I almost always find something that I feel good about buying for myself too!

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Victorian Stroll

Less than one week until the give handmade crafstravaganza!!

With all the excitement and last minute things to do, I haven’t had a chance to update the blog so much. But I wanted to share very exciting news! Last week we confirmed that we will be partnering up with the YWCA in their newly renovated building in Troy NY for the Victorian Stroll. Their new building looks fantastic and they will also be hosting a magic show for kids from 2pm-4pm!

So, really- local handmade crafts? Magic Dan? a great organization that works for women? Why WOULDN’T you want to be at this event?!

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The Paper Sparrow

288 River St, Troy

288 River Street

In organizing GSCA’s Craftstravaganza this year, I’ve had the great privilege of meeting a lot of fantastic artists & entrepreneurs. It’s made the hours of emails & hectic days well worth it.

Kate is great!

Kate is great!

In all this networking, I had the great opportunity to get to know the owner of one of my favorite shops a little better-Kate at The Paper Sparrow in Troy, NY. She’s been super helpful and supportive in our organizing of the event this year & she’s been letting me pick her brain quite a bit. Kate also took the time to sit & chat with me about The Paper Sparrow and the business of handmade.

where the magic happens

Where the magic happens

Kate was inspired to open up her shop in what she calls, “a mix of desperation and wanting to spend all day crafting.” Spending her days working an unsatisfying job, Kate described to me sneaking opportunities to craft at her desk.

Now, she spends her days sewing her gorgeous bags  and scarves in the window of her very own shop! If you’re browsing shops down on River Street, you could probably catch her. (That’s the kinda gal I like-flaunt your crafting loud & proud!)

Kate's Bags

Kate's Bags

Beginning as a sculptor, Kate found her way to softer mediums and now describes fabric & textile arts as her current favorite forms of artistic expression. She experiments with various mediums and, like myself, considers herself a “dabbler”. When asked about mediums she would like to learn more about, she says metal smithing is next on her list.

Kate's Fabric Scarves

Kate's Fabric Scarves

Along with her own sewn goods, you can find the handmade goods of artists from all over. There’s gorgeous jewelry, dolls, tees, yarn and lots of other goodies to feast your eyes on!

We also chatted it up about the “politics” of buying handmade. Kate agrees with the importance of encouraging folks to support locally made and socially responsible products. Moreover, she pointed out that with our country’s current economy it will be more important than ever to support aspects of our “smaller and local infrastructure”.

crafty AND eco-friendly!

crafty AND eco-friendly!

Aside from her fantastic shop, Kate puts her money where her mouth is– she was a major recent contributor in the art auction to help raise money for SUNY Albany Social Work students to return to New Orleans to aide in the ongoing Katrina relief effort.

When asked which artist or handmade good she would like to receive for the holidays as a gift, Kate replied, “There’s just too many!”. Well I agree with Kate on that, but here’s a few of my favorites from her shop..

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Cat dolls

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necklace

I LOVE these ties. I keep trying to tell my boyfriend how much he'd increase his street cred by wearing one.

I LOVE these ties.

I keep telling my boyfriend that his street cred would be exponentially increased if he were to wear one.

Santa, are you reading this?

Santa, are you reading this?

This is a poor picture, of a beautiful bag. And um…I’ve been really good this year.


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eco-nomical

seamonster

Zombie's attack santa from "Tina Seamonster"

NPR’s weekend edition takes a look at making handmade gifts this year:

Weekend Edition Sunday, November 23, 2008 · With the arrival of Thanksgiving, the holiday shopping season is expected to get into high gear. But the poor economy is making it difficult to get into the spirit of gift giving. So we’re scouting creative ways to give your wallet a break. We’ll also discuss ways to save the environment while you save money.

Blogger Tina Henry-Barrus, otherwise known as “Tina Seamonster,” helps us get crafty.

Link to story>>

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AP story– Handmade for the Holidays

from the article

from the article

The AP just ran a story yesterday about people making and buying Handmade this year… It was picked up by a lot of papers.  It’s really encouraging to remember there are many of us thinking along these lines…

CHICAGO (AP) — Since high school, Arielle Napier has occasionally made items like a bed-sized quilt or belts as Christmas presents for friends.

This year, staring down a bleaker-than-ever economy, the 27-year-old is forgoing store-bought gifts entirely and giving friends and family everything from her own photography to handmade hats.

In doing so, Napier’s joining a small-but-growing chorus of consumers who are pledging to make 2008 a wholly handmade holiday. While the movement to buy and receive handmade gifts was already growing, it is getting an extra boost from the economic downturn that turned into a full-fledged meltdown this fall.

Full story is here: http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5g4aOK0HuId1Q6oWOGzIM5h9Rtf_QD94DK3Q00

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All over HANDMADE

The folks at alloveralbany.com, which is a really great local blog and resource, are picking up what supportHANDMADE! is putting down.

They published a post yesterday that features the growing number of area events to feature and celebrate independent crafters and makers, including our giveHANDMADE! CRAFTSTRAVAGANZA.

All over Albany also took note of the buy local bash at the Sanctuary for Independent Media in Troy and TightKnit in Troy for “black friday”.

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