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December Arts + Crafts Markets: San Francisco Bay

[We've covered Boston and Providence markets, now it's time to see what's happenin' out west. Anh-Minh reports live today from San Francisco for a full report. Take it away, a-m!]

By: Anh-Minh Le, decor8 contributor

Now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, it?s time to get down to the business of holiday shopping. Luckily for those of you in the SF Bay Area who insist on waiting until after the turkey is eaten before you even think about presents, there are a plethora of great shopping events coming up.

The following is a list of some local happenings where you can find unique, handmade gifts that are sure to please your friends and family.

Post-Postcard 10 at the Lab
11/30 (6-9pm); 12/01 (1-8pm); 12/02-03 (11am-6pm)
For affordable, small-format art, the 10th annual Post-Postcard Show is not to be missed. The promo material says it best: ?Art lovers can explore original works and discover hidden gems at affordable prices while supporting emerging artists and a great alternative art space.? Everything is priced between $1 and $30.

Hayes Valley Block Party
12/01 (6-9pm)
Not really a sales event, but rather a very cool holiday thing to do. For the Block Party, vendors usually stay open later, many offer snacks and drinks, and you?ll even find a DJ or two at some businesses. I hear that Santa and Mrs. Claus may be hanging around as well.

Mill Valley Community Center Holiday Craft Fair
12/02 (10am-5pm)
Shop for gifts and decorations ? including jewelry, cards, knitwear and candles ? handmade by over 50 local artists.

Artist-Xchange Holiday Party
12/08 (8-10pm)
Live music, refreshments, hors d?oeuvres and ? of course ? lovely artwork will be your reward for stopping by this Mission District gallery for their holiday party. Even those on the tightest budget can find something beautiful here.

(Psst…Mention the ?Shop Local First? promo between December 4-9 and you?ll receive 15% off at the Artist-Xchange! To see which other Mission businesses are participating in the SLF event, click here.)

CCA Holiday Fair
12/09 (11am-3pm)
You?ve got just a few hours to shop goods made by the talented students, alumni, faculty and staff at CCA. (For those without a car, the Oakland campus is accessible by BART.)

Feria Urbana
12/14 (6-11pm); 12/16, 12/17 (12-5pm)
That?s right. You get three chances to shop at one of my favorite resources. Not only can you pick up beautiful handmade goods from local artists and designers, but you can even grab a cocktail or bite to eat at Canvas (the restaurant/art gallery that plays host to this regular event). In the past, I?ve purchased handbags, calendars, jewelry, clothing and small-scale art at Feria Urbana.

The Crucible?s Gifty Holiday Art Sale + Open House
12/16-17 (10am-4pm)
Cross more people off your holiday list with a trip to the Crucible. There will be jewelry, sculptures, glass, ceramics, clothing and more. You can also catch a demo, enjoy refreshments, and take advantage of a kid?s activity area.

This list is by no means complete, so if you know of any other events ? around San Francisco or other parts of the world ? please feel free to add them in the comments section of this post.

Happy shopping!

[Update: This just in from Victoria from SFGirlbyBay. More fun sales! See Victoria's bits below. Thanks, Lady V!]

Here’s a couple of smaller gift shows going on – these are some really talented friends of mine. I know there’s more coming up, so if I hear of anything else I’ll let you know!

Holiday Smackdown
12/01, 7-10 pm
154 Andover Street in Bernal Heights
Catch Jill Blissen, Lisa Coris Designs, Dog + Pony Show, Jen Garrido, and more!

Velo Rouge Cafe Sale
12/05, 4-8 pm
798 Arguello Blvd near the entrance to GG park
Call for show details.

(image from feria urbana)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, events + markets, guest bloggers, shopping, travel on November 30, 2006
decor8 great.ly shop

December Arts + Crafts Markets: Boston + Providence

[updated on 11/30 to add rag + bone and the wears + wares events, both on dec. 2nd. see below for details.]

Before I get started, this post isn’t just for the locals — all can benefit. How? By being nosey, of course! Click around on all the links below and browse each website because tucked away in many of them, you’ll find links to vendors that often have online stores. Cha-ching!

Looking to shop ’til ya drop this month, but cringe at the thought of taking on another (deadly) shopping mall experience? Try these friendly marketplaces packed with fresh finds from affordable art to home accessories + so much more! Here’s your handy guide, complete with dates, times, links, admission fees, and complete addresses so you can map out your course and set sail!

TIP: Print this out and keep it on you during the month!

Boston Public Library Holiday Sale
Dec. 1, 10-5
Johnson Lobby, 700 Boylston Street, Boston.
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Crafts at the Castle
Hynes Convention Center, 900 Boylston Street (first floor), Boston.
Dec. 1, 10-8 pm
Dec. 2, 10-6 pm
Dec. 3, 10-5
Rain or shine. $15.00 for adults. $12.00 for seniors. Children under 12 are free.

Rag + Bone Factory Sale
Rag + Bone Bindery, 1088 Main Street, Pawtucket, RI (near Providence)
Dec. 2, 10-4 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Wears + Wares pre-Holiday Market
Downtown Crossing, on Summer Street (past Filene’s) in the lobby of 101 Arch, Boston.
Dec. 2, 11-5 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Cultural Survival Bazaar
Two locations. December 2-3, 10-6 pm at the David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies, 1730 Cambridge Street, Cambridge.
Dec. 9-10, 11-7 pm at the Hynes Convention Center 900 Boylston St, Boston.
Rain or shine. Free admission.

MassArt’s Annual Holiday Sale*
MassArt, Tower Building (lobby), 621 Huntington Ave. (corner of Huntington Ave. and Evans Way), Boston.
Dec. 4-9, 10-7 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

School of the Museum of Fine Arts December Sale*
SMFA, 230 The Fenway, Boston.
Dec. 6, 12?8 pm
Dec. 7, 12?8 pm
Dec. 8-11, 12?6 pm

RISD Alumni Holiday Art Sale*
Rhode Island Convention Center, One Sabin Street, Providence.
Dec. 9, 10-5 pm
Rain or shine. Admission is $5; children under 14 or current RISD students (with ID) get in free.

Union Square Winter Craft Market
Union Square, Somerville where Washington Street, Prospect Street and Somerville Avenue meet. Additional vendors will showcase their goods inside Toast Lounge, located directly off the central plaza.
Dec. 9, 11-5 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Fort Point Holiday Sale
Artists’ Building at 249 A Street, Boston.
Dec. 9, 11-7 pm
Dec. 10, 11-5 pm
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Sowa Holiday Market*
Cathedral High School Gym, 74 Union Park Street (South End), Boston.
Dec. 9, 10-8 pm
Dec. 10, 10-6 pm
Rain or shine. $5 admission. Free for children under 12.

Bazaar Bizarre*
Cyclorama (Boston Center for the Arts) at 539 Tremont Street (South End), Boston.
Dec. 16, 10-7 pm.
Rain or shine. $1.00 Admission.

Month Long Markets

Harvard Square Holiday Craft Fair
First Parish Church, on the corner of Mass Ave. and Church St. in Harvard Square, Cambridge. This fun fair runs for 12 days, Dec. 2-3, 9-10, 15-17, and 19-23.
Sats: 10-7, Suns: 12-6, Weekdays: 11-7.
Rain or shine. Free Admission.

Craftland Show (month long!)
70 Eddy Street (near city hall), Providence.
Friday Dec. 1st until the 23rd, open five days a week, Wednesday – Sunday 11-6, and Thursdays from 11-8 pm.
Note: The storefront retail area is the back of the Peerless Building behind City Hall at the corner of Fulton Street.
Rain or shine. Free admission.

Whew! (wiping forehead) What a list! If I’ve missed a venue for Boston or Providence, please comment below with the scoop.

*Events that rock it like your momma, grandma, and little sister Sally!

[Stay tuned, tomorrow decor8 west coast contributor Anh-Minh Le features the best markets in the Bay Area! If you feel like writing about markets in your neck of the woods, contact me at decor8blog AT yahoo DOT com for specifics. But for now, decor8 is only covering Boston, Providence and San Francisco.]

(images from risd)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, events + markets, shopping, travel on November 29, 2006

coffee + cre8tive {nov 29 ’06}


Shadow boxes are making a bit of a comeback, at least at Anthropologie, where I spotted them gracing the walls yesterday in all their 3-D splendor. With roots in Victorian times (just like silhouette art), they can be a nice way to display cherished memories in your beautiful boudoir – giving guests a bit of a peek into who you are. I’m not big on the ornate, so I wouldn’t want to style my own box after these above because they look a little too dated for my taste (the exception being my favorite shown above, top right corner, with the 3 birds inside – that’s quite cute.)

What drew me to these boxes yesterday is my own crazy hoarding issues, which is totally OCD, I know. I have a few shadow boxes that I’ve never touched, but have felt somewhat guilty over saving. They’ve been tucked away in tissue paper for a few years now. Maybe it would be a fun December project to stop saving them and put them to good use, huh? They are in modern uncomplicated wood frames, just like the birdy box shown above, with a white interior and a creamy burlap background. A little magnet keeps them closed. I have two. I just have to come up with a clever showpiece. That’s where I’m stuck.

What would you put inside a shadow box?

I’m leaning away from the traditional (ticket stubs, photos, lace, velvet ribbon) and considering a simple tree branch with a handmade paper bird resting on it. A branch created with pretty wrapping paper or a brightly colored blue road map, something like the Real Simple sections that Happy Mundane wrote about a few months back. (I loved that post, Jon!) Or maybe steer away totally from the map idea and go with something more personal, like a 3-D diary of sorts but that may clutter the box too much and I’d like to keep it simple. Maybe I could take 12 of my favorite little badges or pocket mirrors in bright colors and in a perfectly neat grid, pin or super glue them inside.

TIP: Go learn about the history of the shadow box. A fun read indeed!

Have any clever shadow box ideas? Have you ever used one in your decor?

(images from anthropologie)

Posted in Arts + Crafts, diy, shopping, tips on November 29, 2006

Visit Fred Flare in Brooklyn!

Mia from Fred Flare would like decor8 readers to know about some fun shopping events in Brooklyn, starting this Friday. Here’s some info straight from Mia to you:

fredflare.com will once again be opening up shop for the Holidays!

WHAT: fredflare.com’s Weekend Winter Wonderland shopping events

WHEN: every Saturday and Sunday from November 25 – December 24, 11-5
(*we are also open Black Friday, November 24th 11-5 AND on Xmas Eve, December 24th, 11-5)

WHERE: 175 North 10th Street, in Williamsburg, between Bedford Avenue and Driggs Avenue only 3 blocks north of the Bedford stop on the L train.

WHY: because this is the only time of the year to get this up close and personal with Fred! That’s right, this means you will now have the chance to peruse our genius gift ideas and actually try on our adorable clothes and accessories in person! Finally, a chance to not only look at, but touch and feel, the beauty of fredflare.com’s inventive inventory!

- Mia

Thanks Mia for keeping decor8 readers in the know. So if you’re in Brooklyn between 11/24 and 12/24, don’t forget to hang with the flares on the weekends!

(image from mia at fred flare)

Posted in events + markets, shopping, travel on November 22, 2006

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