Monday, December 14, 2009

If You Make It Out of Ironic Materials, They Will Come. And Buy It. Maybe Buy Two, If You Will Cut a Deal.

Get out your glue guns, hipsters. It's the most Portlandish time of the year.

Gray and rainy and Craftywonderland!

For all my out of town readers, Craftywonderland is, well, it's a wonderland of craft. Or more precisely, a Convention Center hall of hand-crafted wonders you can purchase to support some local artiste's PBR habit.

One of the hottest items was the Portland Bingo set.
Actually so popular that it sold out at Craftywonderland, (though it will soon be available for purchase at Powells).

Still, I was inspired enough I figured I'd play my own game of Portland Bingo as I made my way among the crafty wares.

What to wear to the next kale sale down at the vegan co-op?
Organic cotton and hemp stretch denim!

(Warning, could lead to one of those embarrassing Honey, I smoked my stretch pants incidents.)

Speaking of functional objects out of favorite substances:
Duct tape wallets.

So Portland. So Portland 2004, actually. Been there, stored my PBR money in that, as the hipsters say.

But wait, here's something new:
Duct tape flasks.

For when you're a little too suave to swill down a can of PBR, yet still feel the need to keep your booze in a metal container.

Notice that both the duct tape wallets and the duct tape flasks come in the ever popular mustache style.

Because the FREE SQUARE on Portland Crafty Bingo must surely be the facial hair frenzy.
Keep Portland Beard cards.

Fabric Mustache flags

Mustache ring
(note macaroni ring included only as scale indicator, not for sale)
(for when you need to pour something out of your mustache duct tape flask to toast the bride and groom as they exchange their mustache rings)

Here's a nice enviro-friendly art form:

Sort of a hair-of-the-dog potential here, what with slipping a skateboard bangle on that arm you've just broken doing a Wallplant that came out looking like one of my dying houseplants.

Christmas is coming up, so no surprise that the crafters are ready for Old Saint Nick.
Or perhaps that's more Old Milwaukee, given its hipster cred.

Others hadn't forgotten that Jesus is the Reason for the Season.
Our friend Rachel B. picked up some hedgehog notecards for her stepmother, who apparently loves all things hedgehog. Alas, it's a pity Rachel didn't see this in time.
Because nothing says, Happy Birthday Prince of Peace like the hedgehog brass knuckles.

If only her stepmother were actually a man, she might have picked up this lovely set of gay man's fantasy potholders.
Potholders were in surprising profusion at Craftywonderland. Though as Cheez observed, they did not seem to hold the kind of pot the majority of the crowd seemed most familiar with.

Among my favorite items were the beautiful old suit jackets that had been remade into what I like to think of as Portland's sartorial take on the mullet.
Business up front

Hoodie in the back

There was a lot of working with recycled materials. Old Sony Walkmans made into bookends. Old books made into journals. Old beer caps made into
well, I actually have no idea what that is they were made into. But dude has figured out how to deduct his beer purchases as business supplies, that's pretty artful right there.

And for those of you who are ready to ditch your old-fangled duct tape wallet, may I recommend the latest in nostalgic materials recycled into a moneymaker, er I mean money holder:
The lawnchair webbing wallets. Note that the display stand included actual photos of lawn chairs
presumably because the twenty-somethings cramming the sale had no firsthand knowledge of such things.

It does make you think. What 70s decor item can't be recrafted as 2010 fashion, when you get right down to it. Those plastic covers my parents still have on their sofa? Peekaboo robe to go with the shag bikini cut out of the living floor treatment. Stick a fondue pot on your head and call it macaronimaniac, as the old song says.

They really had decked the convention hall with boughs of 70s nostalgia. This lovely velvet painting of an AMC Pacer, for example, was going for $100.
Which is probably more than the Kelly Blue Book value of the Pacer itself.

The ultimate Portland moment, though, was when I spied this vendor on the crafty kids aisle:
Yes, at nine years old, he's already sporting the airbrushed trucker's cap, churning out ironic artwork, and exuding aloofness at the presence of shoppers.

Best of all, just moments after I snapped this shot, he began unconsciously playing air guitar to the song blasting out of the nearest speaker. Which, in the true spirit of the holiday season, was Don't Fear the Reaper.

A lovely sentiment, though perhaps not as apt as the one of which I had to remind our pal Cynthia and her daughter Jackson, who were fleeing the Convention Center after being traumatized by the Craftywonderland crowd: Don't Fear the Hipster.


JMB said...

Nice piece, i always wondered where the peculiar stuff near the Powell stairwell originated.

kittee said...

aw this post made me laugh and cry. we were at the coast the weekend of this fair, i really wanted to go, hipsters be damned. so did you ever find out wtfwjd?