Gallery: Holiday Shopping at NYC's BUST Craftacular
Vendors from all over the United States mingled with local talent in a reasonably priced and centrally located event that knocked the handmade socks off this humble reporter, and provided riot-preventative holiday gifts for everyone on each lucky shopper's list.
For those unfamiliar with the glories of BUST, it's basically the sassiest ladies' mag on the planet - a rara avis covering music, craft, sex, books, and stars with equal aplomb.
Right: BUST editor-in-chief - and international craft star - Debbie Stoller at the 2011 BUST Craftacular in New York's Soho district.
Its editor-in-chief, Debbie Stoller, has gone on to international craft superstardom as the author of the Stitch n' Bitch series of knitting and crochet guides.
But Debbie is by no means the only crafty bee-yotch on the BUST payroll. The BUST staff were out in force this weekend, leading workshops and getting the word out about the recent publication of the BUST DIY Guide to Life, edited by Debbie and her BUST co-founder, Laurie Henzel.
Above: New Yorkers getting their holiday shop on.
But more on that in a moment - first, I'd like to introduce you to some of my favorite vendors from the Craftacular!
Two Arms Inc. is a small Brooklyn-based silkscreen outfit that had a table that wowed me completely with their prints inspired by vintage typography, cocktails and NYC scenery. Check out their holiday cards, or their Brooklyn-inspired silkscreens - both would be great to grab as last-minute gifts for your retro-philic friends.
Left: silkscreen pros Karen Goheen and Michael Tabie rep for Greenpoint, Brooklyn's Two Arms Inc.
I totally fell in love with the creatures on the Dos de Matas table - fun, fly earrings for times when you need a little pick me up. They're handmade in Brooklyn and would make the perfect last-minute gift for your BFF - check out the Dos de Matas Etsy for choices from performing seals to cartoony exploding bombs to fishbowls with tiny leather goldfish!
Right: adorbs seal earrings from the De Matas sisters, creators of Dos de Matas.
Above: holidays got you feeling low? Hug a grumpy dog with glasses by BUST fave Jenny Herbert.
Jenny Herbert's pillows are another mood-enhancer. But it's her Nasty With a Heart of Gold zine that could be the stocking stuffer you're looking for.
Another artist who's ace with a silkscreen, New Jersey-based Bryan Sculthorpe won me over with the contents of his print-dispensing vending machine (especially the pineapple with sunglasses!).
Left: Bryan Sculthorpe of Yardsale Press with his print-o-matic coin-op vending machine.
Food can be the perfect gift, and the Craftacular Food Hall was not to
Left: Brooklyn's Liddabit Sweets in the food hall.
These super-cool young ladies (below) spent the weekend repping for the Lower East Side Girls Club, a fantastic organization that provides training and employment assistance for young women in Manhattan's inner city.
I am happy to report that you can still buy their trademark cookies for delivery this holiday season - visit their events page for details on how to order.
Left: Matt Robicelli from Robicelli's, displaying one of his ultra-premium cupcakes.
A high point from the weekend had to be the many free or
materials-cost-only workshops taught by BUST staff, all inspired by the BUST DIY Guide to Life.
I sat in on a fab tutorial on vintage hair taught by BUST Contributing Editor Molly Simms, learning how pantyhose, fake hair and a lot of pins can create a sixties girl group look worthy of the Shangri-Las.
Right: BUST Managing Editor Emily Rems gets a Winehouse-worthy 'do
from colleague Molly Simms, in one of the many free workshops during the
So - keep an eye out for craft fairs in your town - 'tis the season for crafty buys! But in the meantime, check out the Craftacular crafters - they're the real deal.