Thursday, May 03, 2012

Small Craft Business Showcase

For several months now I've wondered just what direction I wanted this blog to move in. I've finally pretty much decided. The essays expressing concern for environmental degradation, the mostly vegetarian recipes, the "make-do" philosophy? Well, they'll still find their way into my posts every so often. I enjoy doing them. And they reflect a side of me that doesn't get much expression anywhere else...

But I think I'd like also to begin to share a passion near and dear to my heart: small business crafters. You know I own a small craft business, myself. But I'm also a "patroness" of the independent creators of fun, funky, fresh, and fabulous handmade wonders so often found on etsy and at craft shows around my mid-Atlantic area and on my (somewhat limited) travels.

So. Tonight I'll share a crafter I first became aware of when my niece gave me a delightful pin at Christmas: Half Baked Ideas Jewelry by Stephen Dalton.
The pin she gave me is the one on the left. The pink and gold "cheetah" print is totally my idea of fun and fab. My niece told me that she'd been at a craft show and found this gentleman's booth, and thought his story meshed with my own life in a really rather neat way.

My niece indicated that Mr. Dalton has a disability, and for those of you who don't know, I work in the disability field. And that's how I came in contact with Mr. Dalton's work again this week: I was attending an Independent Living Conference in Richmond, Virginia, and among all the various vendors of durable medical equipment, health agencies and services, and supplies available to offer us really good information and helpful assistance in working with our consumers, Mr. Dalton was there, showcasing his wonderful art.

I zeroed in on his booth right away (I've done a ton of craft shows in my life, and I know a great booth and fun spot when I see it!). This week, I added two other pieces to my collection of Half-Baked Ideas Jewelry. The Siamese Cat, and the purple heart earrings. Those readers of my knitting blog know that I have two Siamese/Tonkinese cats, that purple is my favorite color, and that hearts have special meaning to me, as well - I'm a heart attack and by-pass survivor, yes, I'm a person with a disability, myself.

If you have an opportunity to visit Half-Baked Ideas over on etsy, enjoy the visit. These are really fun pieces of jewelry, with great attention to detail. They are lightweight (a big issue with me). They are pretty, funky, fun!

And remember, whenever you support an independent crafter? You're purchasing something that is made by ONE very creative person, not a factory, and you're making it possible for someone to live according to their values and making a big difference in that person's life.

Not to mention? Getting some really neat stuff in the bargain!

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