Fairly Crafty

“I vow to drink more wine so I can do something crafty with the corks.” — Some e cards

Where can you get a fabric bag to hold your plastic bags, glass earrings, English toffee, American Girl doll clothes, a bedazzled cheese spreader, a leopard print eyeglass case, a subscription to the Venice Gondolier, and chip dip mix? At the Venice Craft Fair, that’s where.

The sky was brilliant blue,  but the temps were a little chilly for the beach,  so a walk through the craft show seemed like a good way to enjoy the sunshine. Mike came along, even though I repeatedly told him that I was all too happy to go solo.

We sampled and bought some English toffee right off the bat. Then we passed a few more booths selling olive oil, quilted beer caddies, garish signs proclaiming “It’s five o’clock somewhere,” and stained glass sun catchers. Mike said, “I thought this was a craft fair.”

“It is a craft fair,” I assured him.

“I thought there’d be art, like paintings.”

“That’s an art fair; this is a craft fair,” I said.

We kept on, shuffling along among other couples out for an afternoon of togetherness. Snippets of conversations wafted over us. “Since he just got the pins out of his sternum….” a woman explained to her friend. “I could use a beer,” a guy said to his buddy as they trailed behind their wives.

I wasn’t even tempted to stop at most booths, like the ones peddling  baked potato bags. Several years back, at another Florida fair, my uber-kind cousin Maureen took pity on an elderly  crafter and bought a potato bag in a Boston Red Sox print, even though we were baffled about how to use one.  At today’s fair, bag inventory was high. I wondered how many bags  and other weird handmade items these eager seamstresses sold in a day. Did they make any money at all? Or were they stuck attending fairs every weekend until they sold every last dish detergent apron and Kleenex box cover?

Some booths drew me in and I lingered over pretty silver bracelets, twisty earrings, a glass serving tray, and  delicate ribbon scarves in luscious colors. But I resisted. Nothing fell into the must-have category for me this time.

Still, I like perusing the booths, hoping to find something special. I guess I’ve always been a sucker for crafts. Ages ago, some girlfriends and I formed a craft club,  meeting once a month to eat brownies, create some cutesy item to display in our homes, and gossip. The club still meets once a month, and the only thing we’ve made for decades is restaurant reservations. Still, we reminisce about our hits— the folded fabric star in the embroidery hoop, the picture frames — and the misses — the baked plastic sun catchers, the dip and drape Santas. What we couldn’t do with some Elmer’s glue and some calico scraps!

I’ll probably head for the Venice Fair next year, if the sun is shining. Mike asked me to remind him that no matter what he says, he really, really doesn’t  want to come along. Works for me.



3 thoughts on “Fairly Crafty

  1. Ellen – Great piece – and not just because i got a shout-out. Having grown up in the home of an uber-crafter, crafting up a storm for the school’s annual Christmas bazaar, I know how to make planters out of tuna cans and clothes pins, candles out of melted crayon stubs, and piggy banks out of Clorox bottles, etc. But do I? Hell, no! (Needless to say, my mother wanted to produce her wares in such volume that the big girls were drafted into assisting with her cottage industry. If you have some cloth squares and jingle bells around, I can whip up a clown doll for you.)

    Trish still has a button box that your Aunt Liz made (lacquered Crisco can with buttons glued on – actually quite cute). And all of Lizzie’s girls have a thing for sock monkeys. My collection includes Xmas ornaments, socks, PJ’s…

    Liked by 1 person

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