Thursday, 9 May 2013

Handmade Harvest: May 2013 in Review

The most wonderful time of the year


Handmade Harvest is one of my favourite craft shows in all of the Ottawa Valley. I blogged about this year's Harvest before the show, and I wanted to write a quick wrap-up, too, because this year was a good one.

Handmade Harvest has a good number of standard crafters who appear at almost every show, and these artisans make up the backbone of the event; it's nice to know you're going to find the soap you like, the bags you love, and the jewellery your mom wants, all in one place every year. But this year it was the newbies who really stole the show.

Show stealers this year


Winged Beast Outfitters was there, a favourite of mine from the former monthly Urban Craft shows held at the GCTC in central Ottawa. Sterling's designs are cute yet edgy, and I finally went home with one of his awesome 'raptor riding a whale' dresses. Look for Sterling this summer as he makes his way around town with a cart strapped onto his bike, offering his clothing line at festivals and more. Winged Beast offers postcards and buttons, too, so there's something for every price range.

My new Winged Beast Outfitters dress!


Another new crafter, Pip Robins, brought fabulous leather and metal belt buckles, printed with awesomeness. These look and feel very pro, and are an easy gift idea because the belts can be bought separately at any length. I will be looking for her next show to grab myself a new buckle! Maybe she'll have a T-Rex one and make my day. Buckles were in the $30 range and were well worth it.



The Best In Show, in my opinion, was the absolutely brand-spanking-new Rekindled Lighting



Rekindled Lighting is a brand new artisan, crafting lamps out of old found objects. My two favourites were a lamp made from a vintage eggbeater perched on a pile of books, followed closely by one made from a two-reel film projector. This lovely crafter can also make a light fixture out of any item you have at home; maybe there's something you've got that doesn't have a function, but is great to look at? Give it new life by commissioning a custom lamp. The price point was a bit high for the usual Handmade Harvest crew--lamps were between $100-$200 for the most part, with some below and some of the larger ones above--but now that we know she's around, I think she'll be the talk of the town. Just imagine what a neat wedding gift one of these would be for a funky young couple this summer.




The show, as always for the spring, was held in the Almonte Agriculture Building, which is one of the prettiest venues for a craft show I've found. The show was a definite success this year, albeit a little heavy on the fabric-wrapped hair accessories and repurposed spoon trinkets/jewellery; but I still had a hard time choosing between a half-dozen potential purchases. As always, I waited in line for the swag bags that are given out to the first 50 keeners, and I wasn't disappointed: the bags this year were handmade by the organizers and held a plethora of tiny crafts, though perhaps more fridge magnets and keychains than I'd expected. 

The lineup for swag bags started before I got there, at 8:30am

Perhaps the best part of Handmade Harvest is that it's such a community-built event; because the owner of Doree's Habit is one of the organizers, there's a real connection to the town, and because Almonte is such a small town, after the show you can easily walk to several shops that offer an even wider array of artisanal treasures, many from the same artists--so your drive to the show becomes a walking tour of adorable local shops. 

Uniq Boutiq has neat art you can take home and personalize.

Mossfeathers offers mossy terrariums; hugely popular!
Lovable faerie houses from Faerie CeCe



Handmade Harvest runs again in the fall, and you can keep in touch with them over Facebook.

Thanks for the great show, ladies!

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