7/08/2011

How Craft Shows Helped Me Find My Way Around the City

Back in 2007, one of the very first craft shows I did was the Handmade Detroit Holiday Market at the Magic Stick. I still didn't know the city very well, the only slice I was familiar with was the strip of Woodward between the DIA and the Majestic Complex. (I was only 18, give me a break!) My mom was helping me out at the show, and after the show we wanted to get something to eat. My mom grew up in Hamtramck, and we would visit every so often to go to the Polish Market and Kopytko's Meat Market. And of course, we'd eat dinner at Under the Eagle, an awesome Polish restaurant. But we wanted to try something new. 

Luckily, I had some awesome booth neighbors. My neighbors were Emily and Andy, and they make household items decorated with maps of Detroit for their business, City Bird.  They are both lifetime residents of the city, so I knew they would be the perfect people to ask. Andy asked us what kind of food we liked, and we said "everything!" He went above and beyond our request and drew us a map with all these awesome places to eat. It was like a sheet of gold for two people who love food but were unfamiliar with the city. 

I kept a copy of the map in my wallet for a long time, it's pretty neat to look at it almost five years later. Some of the places have since closed, and now I can add a lot more places that I found out about later on. The crazy roads also make a lot more sense! So go to a craft show. The Rustbelt Market is open every weekend. Emily and Andy have since opened up their own storefront in Midtown. Try a new place to eat. Talk to the vendors and learn something new!

7/01/2011

Handmade Fridays: Origami

A few months ago, I wrote about how listening to different types of classical music can help you to really focus on your work. Now I'll share my coping mechanism for when my work is driving me nuts. Like when developing a pattern is giving me trouble, or trying to figure out the best construction technique for a garment, or when I have a million photos to edit and resize. 

Origami! This art of paper folding is repetitive enough to un-irritate me, but you also end up with something cute in the end. I keep a stack of origami paper at my desk, and when I get frustrated with my work, I'll go pick out one of the pretty paper designs and fold a bird or two. The only thing I ever fold is paper cranes, I haven't really found any other design that I like as much. They will eventually be hung from the ceiling of my sewing room once the walls are re-done. You can find some really neat origami papers online, or you can use any sort of thin scrap paper.
Maybe I've got a bit of the spring cleaning bug, but I've been on an organizing spree. I tackled the monster task of cataloging all of my piano sheet music and teaching materials, which is awesome because I don't waste any more time digging through stacks of music to find the materials I need for piano lessons. My fabric stash is next...

Also! I'll be a vendor at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago this summer, more info on that as the date draws near.

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