This season is filled with holiday boutiques and crafter’s fairs in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area. We go to a few of these events every year and enjoy the community experience of gathering and sharing our wares.
It can be quite interesting to see the variety of personalities expressed at each of these fairs. Some are new to crafting, others are old hands with years of experience. Many items are expressions of art that can be worn, eaten or utilized in the household.
Then, there are the fairs that have kitschy items that are “Made in China” – unnecessary things that are made primarily from plastic and usually not particularly useful. Often, these are “throw away” or short use items.
The contrast between these two types of fairs triggers an awareness of how our society has changed over the years. The true crafter is creating something beautiful or practical as gifts that can be enjoyed throughout the year. They are often made from recycled and/or “natural” items that are responsibly sourced. The throw away culture that has grown with the consumerism emphasis is a sad sight to see.
Imagine my surprise when my friend in Denmark told me that the Danish had adopted two American holidays: Halloween and Black Friday! The shock and sadness I felt that Black Friday is seen as an American holiday left me without words.
When a boutique or craft fair actually offers quality craftsmanship it is a great feeling! At a quality craft fair there is support for local artisans who are pouring their hearts and creative energy into making wonderful products. For some, this is how they earn the money that makes the difference between having too little or having just enough in this overly expensive area we live in.
This year we attended a wonderful fair at The Grange in Sebastopol for the first time. It was like coming home to feel the ambiance created by the organizers and see the beautifully made crafts being offered there. We’ll definitely be going back next year!
One of my favorites is held each year at Rodger’s Ranch at 315 Cortsen Rd in Pleasant Hill. I love that it is in a house that has been preserved by the historical society as a heritage site. The rustic feel of this 1800’s farmhouse brings the holidays into a more joyful light as we greet people who come to support the local crafters. Join us for this year’s Holiday Boutique on Saturday, December 7, 10:00am – 4:00pm, for this fun event!