Saturday, 28 November 2015

Craft Fair Season

It is November, actually almost the end of November this being the 28th. November means colder weather and with a month before Christmas it is time to go to craft fairs.  I'm rather selective with my choice of fairs.  I've always saved my money to attend the University of Victoria one and have made that one the only one I've attended. Last year I ventured out to two other ones and did so again this year.  Last weekend I went to the first craft fair of the season at North Douglas Church.  Craft fairs are a wonderful venue to meet local artists and shop local.  At this craft fair I picked up some lemongrass soap from Carriage 44, a gift for my partner from Jody's Naturals and a wooden carved birthday card for a friend.

Today, November 28th, I went to the Craft Cartel which is the craft fair I've been waiting for.
I stood in line from 9:30 until opening at 10:00 to obtain a swag bag.  Thinking I was going early to be at least close to the front of the line, I was lucky I choose to be there when I did as the line up had already formed and I was about the 26th person.  I had two 50% off tickets and I gave one to a lady in line.  She was very happy to pay only $2.00 instead of $4.00, and I was happy to share one of the 4 tickets I received.  The other two went to co-workers. 

I bought another beautiful infinity scarf from ToyandMing made by the lovely Joanne.  Joanne chooses cotton plaids or beautiful Japanese fabrics.  I have been wearing the blue plaid infinity scarf  I purchased so much that I choose a navy flowered/brown diamond double sided Japanese fabric infinity scarf  for today's purchase.  Joanne also makes clothes that are functional with comfort in mind.

Decor by Nature was where I made my first purchase.  I saw this vintage map which is perfect for our home. 

This will be hung in our hallway complimenting John's framed photographs of Fort Rodd lighthouse, a sailboat in Cadboro Bay and our kayaking group off Willows Beach.

My final purchase was two teas from Infuse Herbals . Infuse Herbals are handcrafted local teas made with non-GMO organic, locally farmed and wild foraged flowers and herbs.  All tea blends have been created by a master herbalist, tested and screened for any impurities to provide the highest quality cup of tea possible. I had a wonderful chat with Sarah about her teas, smelling each one on display.  It was hard to choose between the rooibos chai, the gingerbread and the candy cane.  All of them smelt so good!  I bought the rooibos chai tea which is my favourite tea for the winter months and Fire Cracker a black tea with ginger, pink peppercorns, chicory and cayenne to make my next batch of kombucha.  Each bag will make 20 cups.


I made another purchase but I can't mention it here due to it being a Christmas gift.

Some of the items in the swag bag will be shared with friends, a ring, some earrings, a birthday card for John's sister Brenda and a card for Valentine's Day.

There were 50 vendors and some of them were:

In the swag bag there was some delicious Beckett's House of Fudge (they are on Facebook)  which John enjoyed since it wasn't dairy free. The two flavours in the swag bag were Brown Sugar and Mint.  I purchased a Memories of Mexico vegan fudge that I am savoring in little bits. This is hard not to eat all in one sitting!!!  It stores well in the fridge or it can be frozen.

I gave John the caramel sponge toffee popcorn from the swag bag made locally by tout de Sweet. All the sweets are gluten-free, nut-free, corn-syrup-free and organic.  The caramels and popcorn are not dairy free.  The lollipops and marshmallows are dairy free.   I tried some of the marshmallows at the craft fair.  Hard to choose a favourite flavour, the chai tea had me wanting to try this in a chai tea latte, I love toasted coconut so I'd probably choose that as a favourite, the vanilla for roasting and making s'mores and the chocolate or chocolate mint for hot chocolate or also making s'mores.  Taking the marshmallows with me next time I am going to be around a camp fire. 

A few of the items from the swag bag shown here:  vanilla & almond lip balm from Wild Hill, two magnets from Floating Gold Iceberg and the owl magnet which is an acrylic or oil painting from Janet McDonald.  Other items, not shown, were 2 pairs of the same earrings from Wind Coast Artisan Jewlery, a ring from Wise Lion, a pottery fortune cookie on a string from Blackbird Studio, a card from Miekelily, a hairclip in the shape of a leaf from Rock and Roots Apparel and a card made by Gwen Spinks. The bag of sponge toffee caramel popcorn from tout de Sweet and the two pieces of fudge from Beckett's House of Fudge rounded out the swag bag. 

I think next year I have to plan to save up my money.  I wanted a pair of leg warmers and  I saw an adorable mug with partners in crime on it.  I missed finding the sand blasted mason jars.  Possibly that was a good thing as I could have spent far more than I did. 

Next craft fair is the University of Victoria's UVIC Holiday Artisans Market on December 1st.

Remember, going to craft fairs are a wonderful way to shop local and support local artisans.  It is good for our local economy and a great place to meet new people who are passionate about what  they are doing.