the end of 2012 was a whirlwind of holiday prep and holiday craft shows. i was fortunate enough to be able to take some time off of my day job and head south to vend at the IAMarket in Fayetteville, NC, The Big Crafty in Asheville, NC, and be a returning vendor at Handmade Arcade in Pittsburgh, PA. i also got to see some friends and family; all in all, it was a great trip!
on my way down, i stopped to see my friend Oates in Durham- we went to lunch at my favorite burger joint to date, Bull City Burger! we even had the same great server as our last visit- thanks so much for a delicious lunch, Shadoe! after lunch, i trekked down to Lumberton to stay with my friend Anne-Claire; she was my roommate during my college study abroad trip to Italy and I hadn’t seen her in six years. we had a blast catching up and hanging out at the local pub Candy Sue’s.
after our fun night hanging with the locals, i busted a move up to Fayetteville for a IAMarket at the Marquis Market.
the small show was packed with big talent! that’s one thing i love about traveling to shows in different states- meeting new artists and seeing different work.
muddy heart pottery was my neighbor- i love her unique porcelain creations. her style is a great mix of the feminine and funny.
i spent some time chatting with Lana of clever fig studios; i adore her illustrative style of painting! much of her work is done in watercolor and i came home with her cardinal print- you can pick one up too.
i was really struck by the work of Meagan of aptly named Meagan’s Mark. her style is reminiscent of silkscreen prints, but every one of her products is drawn by hand, therefore totally one of a kind. much of her shop is comprised of decorated Moleskines and greeting cards, but she also sells some intricate embroidered pieces. i am pumped to have come home with one of her floral notebooks.
this was the market where i debuted my cat print and cat buttons- they were a hit! thanks so much to Morineki and Sharetta for having me, to Tiffany Hill of Banglewood Crafts for the interview opportunity (you can watch it here), and to Duane for being my number one tshirt fan! hopefully i’ll be back to Fayetteville in 2013!
after packing up at the Marquis Market, i hightailed it to Asheville to vend at The Big Crafty at the Asheville Art Museum. i had no idea how large this event would be- it took over the whole space and spanned two floors!
fortunately, i finished setting up pretty early and got to walk around and check out the other vendors.
the smiling rock box shop was a visually impressive booth- full walls of handmade boxes containing vintage trinkets. i’m a sucker for a cool skeleton key, so i came home with this little box:
hawks and doves had an enormous display of rustic-inspired products crafted from upcycled seed bags and the like. how cute are those country Christmas stockings?
how cute are these little stamps by perla anne? they’re the perfect gift for a kid or crafter.
i love the simple, modern package design on these shave kits by buda botanicals.
one of my neighbors was the talented ceramicist Annie Singletary – her pattern work on each piece is so different from other ceramicists i’ve seen. i came home with some of her gorgeous patterned tumblers:
Robin Plemmons’ work is “balls to the wall, y’all”- brazen and fun. check out her etsy store for even more sassy sayings.
Moni Hill was another neighbor of mine- her playful paintings are a staple in Asheville.
Katie Coleman, an artist from Atlanta, had a table full of original kitty themed work. i picked up this little statue and greeting card for my aunt.
i also came home with this awesome handmade tote bag to carry all my Asheville goodies in- including this silkscreen printed scarf and card by holdfast printworks.
after a really successful day at the museum, i spent a couple of more days sightseeing in Asheville. i stayed at this awesome hostel called Sweet Peas; i’ve really had some great luck with hostels in 2012! it was right downtown and within walking distance of a bunch of great restaurants and bars.
So yeah, great restaurants- Asheville is packed with places who specialize in delicious local food. I had a hearty breakfast on that Sunday at The Green Sage- it was packed with people, so i figured it would be a good sign- it was. After the show, I headed to the famous Tupelo Honey Cafe thanks to a recommendation from Virginia of apricot basket. the food was incredible!
the next day, i started at Mayfel’s to have a burger for breakfast- also delicious. afterwards, i spent the day roaming the town and checking out the local shops and artist studios. some of my favorite shops that i checked out were Woolworth Walk and Kress Emporium- both are gallery shops modeled after an antique mall. each artist rents a booth or wall space and curates their own space. there was an awesome mix of artists. some of my favorites were Sarah Faulkner and illustrator Cori Dantini:
after an afternoon downtown, i trekked down to the River Arts District. it’s an art district just outside of downtown full of artist studios and galleries. i made the loop and checked out what was open. Asheville is home to many ceramicists and i got to see all kinds of unique works. my favorite studio of the day was the #12 Curve studio, home to Maria Andrade Troya, Kyle Carpenter, Akira Satake, and Karen Newgard:
on my walk, i ran into Celia aka The Button Florist- her studio is in the area and she showed me around. thanks so much for the tour! she also recommended a brewery down the road called Wedge Brewery. i went to check it out and had a brew. while i was there, i started talking to a guy who had a cute dog- it turns out, it was William Dissen, the owner and head chef of The Market Place restaurant in downtown Asheville. he told me all about Asheville, his restaurant, and New Belgium brewery coming to town. it was awesome to meet him- so naturally, i had to check out his restaurant that night for dinner.
it was amazing. the service was awesome, the ambiance was nice, and the food was terrific. i splurged on this amazing roasted pepper gnocchi dish:
the next day, i headed to check out the famous Biltmore Estate just outside of town. it’s the largest Vanderbilt mansion in the U.S. the place was enormous and impeccably decorated for the holiday. it was also swarming with retirees, making it difficult to traverse. despite the steep ticket price, there’s nothing else like it and i had to visit while i was there. unfortunately, you cannot take photos inside, so i settled for some outdoor views.
in addition to the house, there’s acres and acres of land, a winery, an inn, and an interesting museum about the residents’ lives. in all, i’m glad i went and would definitely want to return later in life with kids. however, i felt the high ticket price was a deterrent for people in my age bracket with limited disposable income.
after touring the Biltmore, i headed to West Virginia to spend some time with my family before heading to Pittsburgh to Handmade Arcade. this year’s Arcade was amazing and crazy busy- i barely had a moment to breathe, let alone walk about and take photographs. i did come home with some great gifts and handmade items though, including work by Huffalo, Pretty Debonair, Everyday Balloons, Strawberryluna, L2 Design Collective , and Hero Design Studio. thank you Pittsburgh for a wonderful time!