crafty wonderland: we made it out alive!

crafty wonderland crowd

The ultimate test of a relationship: Can you make it through a giant-ass craft fair together and still come out friends?

Crafty Wonderland is kind of a big deal. It’s an annual gathering of (now) more than 250 vendors hand-selling their wares. No cross-stitch-on-plastic-canvas tissue boxes to be found, though; instead there are paintings, handmade treats, beauty products, clothes, stationery, jewelry, toys—it’s pretty amazing. And if you missed it but are still in Portland, their pop-up shop, featuring stuff from around 170 artists, will remain open for a bit, in SW.

We agreed it would be a fantastic way to pick up our X-mas gifts from local artists/artisans—not only are you supporting good, honest, hard-working folk instead of a collection of CEOs of multinational corporations who weasel out of paying taxes…but you’re also sending home a little bit of Portland.

crafty wonderland lineSince it was Sunday, I figured we should get there early to beat the post-brunch crowd. So 10:00 it would be!

Hey, we got here 10 minutes early and that line is insane—did people camp here overnight? Is this all so they could be the first 150 people and score a sweet swag bag?

crafty wonderland tix

Like we did? OK, standing in this line wouldn’t be too bad. Except that by around 10:15, after 10 minutes of “Why aren’t we moving? Why isn’t everyone as outraged as I am that we’re still just sitting here? Friggin’ West Coast!” I realized that we’d gotten there an hour and 10 minutes early. It didn’t open until 11:00. A Kindle-less Tom just sort of glared at me. This could be rough.

But right out the gate, we found APAK, the Portland husband-wife team of Aaron and Ayumi Piland. I’ve always loved their paintings and sculptures, and they had some pretty sweet pieces there. (Some went home with us!)

crafty wonderland apak 1

crafty wonderland apak 2

More APAK—lots of prints and adorable little note cards.

crafty wonderland rebeam

These re-Beam planters from AD Busch are made from wood found at construction sites and recycling centers. We’re so bad at keeping succulents alive. Oh, Tom’s a wiz at other plants—at work, they call him the Orchid Whisperer—but he just can’t give these guys the tough love they need. Anyway, the planters are neat, if not ridiculously simple.

crafty wonderland molly muriel

I picked up a few Molly Muriel soaps. We just busted into the first one, so I don’t have much of a review for you, but they smelled good. Not overpowering.

crafty wonderland sparrow sundry

I wanted to take all of these home with me, but instead walked away with nothing. These are little boxes of cute from Sparrow and Sundry. You can only buy yourself but so many gifts when you’re trying to buy for others.

crafty wonderland olson 2

I really wish my photos of the Amy Olson Jewelry would have come out better. I was in a hurry, and the light wasn’t great, but you can see it’s just a little out of the ordinary, with extra little notes here and there. Take a look at the pieces on her site. Most jewelry bores me (maybe because I’m allergic to most metals I’ve built up a psychological barrier), but this stuff was super interesting.

crafty wonderland haute sauce

And Tom had to stop at the Haute Sauce table. He’s got the Serrano Ginger Lemongrass (thumbs up, by the way), and I believe the Habenero Carrot Curry is also vegan. The other two had honey in them, if I’m not mistaken.

crafty wonderland gift bag

Exhausted, we got home and dumped out our swag bags. Even the kittens wanted in. Lots of note cards, buttons, barrettes, an ornament, and discount codes for a bunch of the vendors. Some pretty cute stuff in there—and such a good idea, since some of these vendors I didn’t even notice at the show, and now I can look ‘em up online and keep them in mind for the future.

nicholas falafel

And finally, at around 2:00 pm, we got to eat breakfast, falafel, zataar, and tabouli from Portland favorite, Nicholas. Everything was gonna be all right.

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