Local 'Bastards' create crafty mayhem
Those in the market for shirts that proclaim self-breast love, well-stitched voodoo dolls or vintage-looking one-of-a-kind skirts were in luck at Saturday's Crafty Bastards arts and crafts fair, sponsored by the Washington City Paper. Over 70 vendors set up shop near the Marie Reed Learning Center on the main strip of Adams Morgan for a day of food, music and general money spending.
Even though all of the crafts were amazing and professionally made, most of the artists only stitched, painted and screen-printed them as a hobby. When asked if she also worked 9 to 5, Veronica of Walter and Veronica crafts from Buffalo, N.Y., said, "Yes, but I'm trying to make this my day job!"
A day job that consists of tearing up old sweaters and hoodies and sewing them into mittens? Not bad.
Rachael Ahrens of D.C.'s Swank Creations finds colorful, uncommon fabrics from the web, New York City and designers she knows are unique. She launched her website only 10 months ago, but she's been sewing throughout her entire life. Her skirts, purses and totes are adorned with ribbons and carefully sewn to fit the size needs of the customer.
Tiny Henry-Barrus's life rambles can be found on her blog at www.ilikeseamonsters.com, and she gets her t-shirt ideas from reading back entries in it. Her clothes, totes and jewelry are adorned with everything from bras and underwear to dinosaurs and robots and are kitschy and gift-worthy in the best kind of way.
This was the second year for Crafty Bastards, the brainchild of Sherry Simon, classified sales manager for the City Paper, and Amy Austin. They wanted to "highlight the independent art scene in D.C.," according to Sara Dick, one of the organizers.
"It seems to be kind of a trend, but people are more and more rejecting commercially-made items," Dick said.
The City Paper was mobbed with over 220 applications, Dick said, and they had to cut it down to a third of what they received. The buzz from last year's fair created a flurry of vendor interest, much to the luck of the organizers.
Also to the luck of the organizers: the amazingly sunny day.
Red Bull sponsored the event and provided a hip-hop quarter with a DJ and breakdance contest. Other entertainment was provided by a fire eater, puppet show and belly dancing troupe.