Sunday, May 22, 2011

On the Road - BKCC's Shop the Archway

May 21, 2011 was a rapturous day. I was prepped and ready to go for Brooklyn Craft Central's Shop the Archway market in DUMBO 'neath the glorious Manhattan Bridge.

It was my birthday (and Mr. T's by the way), plus a little thing called "Judgement Day" was supposed to happen, say - around 6:00ish. After hearing that cataclysmic earthquakes were predicted, I felt great relief in knowing that I was underneath one of the world's strongest structures and if all were to end, I would go out surrounded by handmade crafts and delicious food.

Manhattan Bridge
pre-show arch
Thom and I drove out early and met Grace Napoleon at the Archway. Grace's Folk Couture booth was set up next to mine. This was my first time seeing her amazing new clothing display in use. When she did Craft Boston back in March, she commissioned her friend Steve Thompson of Junk Lab Design to create a fanciful, fully functional combination clothing display and dressing room constructed out of pipes. Steve created a jungle gym of curiosities that surprisingly sets up and breaks down in a breeze. I was quite impressed. I also loved seeing Grace's new chairs-out-of-clothes. She found the cutest little chairs and worked her "Grace magic" on them by sewing on fabulous patterned fabrics, vintage buttons, bold images, and fun trim. They definitely caught many eyes at the show.

Folk Couture by Grace Napoleon and display by Junk Lab Design

three cheers for two chairs
ready to go
In honor of Judgement Day, Grace proudly displayed her rapturous Blondie dress and I put a special ring out, front and center.

Thom caught up in a rapture...and Grace's new chair
don't leave earth without one
I enjoyed walking around before the crowd arrived to meet new people and say hello to familiar faces. It was great to see Julie from Bugsella and Rocks and Salt, who were just at Twist several weeks ago. I dropped off one of my thimbilism necklaces at the raffle table. All proceeds from the tickets went to a great pet adoption organization called Ready for Rescue. They had a mobile adoption truck set up by the archway filled with furry friends.

just some of the fabulous prizes
My breaks screeched to a halt when I came to SepiaLepus' table. Bunnies, bears, and other wildlife with whimsy abounded in Carrie's work. She offered a great variety of original whimsical illustrations, prints, cards, and magnets. My favorite of all were her OOAK wooden brooches with animals. It was hard for me to decide which brooch to take home, but in the end, I think I made a great choice. I asked Carrie if she had ever illustrated a children's book and she said she had one in the works that was being shopped around to publishers. I am hoping to see more of her soon on the shelves of my local bookstore.

Carrie of SepiaLepus Illustrations
I loved every brooch. I ended up getting the apple shaped brooch with the bear and squirrel (at 9:00).
Next to Carrie was Liz of Liz Rodriguez Ceramics. She presented  hand crafted mugs, chopstick/bowl sets, and plates, which swam in lovely shades of blue with floral designs and bird accents. Her flower vessels really caught my eye because of their unique bulbous design and scalloped openings. Her use of color, texture, and pattern really made her pieces stand out and gave a perfect burst of brightness in the archway.
Liz of Liz Rodriguez Ceramics
beauty in blue
With a name like McFlashpants, I had to check out the booth and the person behind it. I got a warm and wacky welcome from Jen who creates jewelry and accessories out of spoons, forks, knives, and other tableware. Jen does things with silverware that I have never seen done before. She fashions rings, belts, hair picks, necklaces, bracelets, and you-name-it out of every, and I mean every part of the utensil. My favorite pieces were her Inro Box Pendants, made from the hollow ends of knives. With a 90 plus acre farm, a 4 year old, a husband, and goats on the way; I am amazed she musters the creative energy to do what she does. Phew!
Jen of McFlashPants
so forkin' amazing

I got sweet birthday wishes from two fabulous NY friends. Dana of Danamade swung by to spread joy to me and her other vendor friends at the show. I loved her handmade ring and smile to match! It's always pure joy to see Karen Seiger of Markets of New York. There was so much going on that she and her husband James divided to conquer and cover all of the fabulous weekend markets. Check out her great slideshow of the archway below and definitely visit her blog if you are a fan of NYC markets. 
Want the ring dontcha? Well DanaMade it!

Thom worked up a major appetite by going for a walk over the Brooklyn Bridge and looping back around the Manhattan Bridge. When he returned, we enjoyed Pollo Tingo tostadas from our neighbors Hermelinda and shared a big ol' bottle of fresh lemon brew from Kombucha Brooklyn. I met so many nice customers who showed enthusiasm for upcycling and sold a variety of pieces, including my favorite springtime necklace called "Blossom Bliss." 

Blossom Bliss
At the end of the day, somehow we managed to load up the car just seconds before it started to downpour (just good old fashioned rain - no fire, brimstone, or toads). Grace, Thom, and I headed to Chez Oskar in Greenpoint for a post-show, non-apocalyptic, birthday dinner. From fresh strawberry mimosas to a mouth-watering cod dinner, everything was delicious and just right after a busy day. The grand finale was a trio of desserts delivered with a champagne glass that sprayed a plume of sparks. Thankfully, that was the only explosive thing to happen on this memorable day. 
graced with Grace on my b-day
a toast to my love
May 21st did end with a bang!
I was surrounded by the people and things that I love on my birthday. Now that's what I call rapture!


  1. fantabulous! you truly caught the spirit of the day and credited so many fab people!!! thanks for all the love and well, back atcha!

  2. What an awesome day! Thanks so much for including me. It was a pleasure meeting you and I will see you again soon :)