Crafting is contagious. I have approximately 5 reams of card stock, 30 yards of fabric, 7,000 beads and piles of glitter to prove it. While DIYing is delightfully relaxing and fun, I’m guilty of leaving projects midway. To my left there is a sad, deconstructed lamp and to my right a wilting flower crown. The Indie Craft Bazaar is one of my favorite opportunities to meet the Pinterest winners of society and get my hands on intricate beauties. It’s a handmade heaven for artistic souls.
Held at Revolution Live in Fort Lauderdale, the festival takes place every several months and features the creations of South Florida artisans. Onlookers find a slew of vintage, recycled, and upcycled treasures ranging from vegan baked goods to cat bow ties. At my last bazaar, more than 65 impressive booths were accompanied by on the spot DIY crafts, free raffle prizes, gourmet vegan goodies, and mimosas – yes mimosas.
This Sunday Indie Craft Bazaar will host “Frankenstitch,” a Halloween-themed craftopia with fortune tellers, costumes, trick-or-treating, and more. Here are a few of my favorite Bazaar veterans to look out for:
Pug-loving Christine is a frequent exhibitor at the Indie Craft Bazaar. Her vivacious themed creations, that range from Frankenpug to Pirate Pug, take shape in paintings, rings, magnets, and sculptures. The free-spirited shop keeper, adorably clad with a pug crossbody, studied art in Chicago and now takes pleasure in painting her favorite animal to make other people smile. I must admit pug-love is contagious and I have my own “Birth of Venus Pug” hanging in my office.
One of the most timeless collections was Benchmade Studio’s hand-stamped treasures. Quaint with perennial charm, the stamped sensations create a collective feeling of comfort and compassion. The melange of cleverly altered items have a bit of a sweet shock packed with a tinge of brutal humor. Simple housewares, like silverware and milk jugs, are crafted with kitschy sayings like “Mr. Right & Mrs. Always Right.” While the earthy houseware is fit for a Suburban dream, the remix metal collection is an array of cheeky quotes made to be worn. The dainty accessories that read sweet sayings like “To your heart be true,” sit juxtaposed to more straightforward jabs like “Panty Dropper” and “Can’t Touch This.” Custom stamped jewelry and housewares are also available upon request.
Beau Ties is for the lovers of beauties and bows. The shop is filled with sweet accessories and thoughtful pieces that are perfect for gifting. I picked up a pair of camera earrings for myself, but had a hard time resisting canvas after canvas of Harry Potter artwork. The accessories range from a refreshing mix of hair bows (I’m obsessed), rings, and earrings that pack a punchline. The imagery really takes over the pieces with themes of anchors, cats, cameras, story books, and more. My personal favorite was the “build your own bow” option which allows shoppers to choose a pin — selections included Dr. Who, Harry Potter, Breaking Bad, and all of your other Netflix vices.
Edgy and fierce with an accompanied badass notoriety, BangBangJewels are crafted from unloaded bullet casings that make an explosive statement. As someone who is afraid to visit a gun range, let alone hold a gun, the bullet shell jewels are a surprising new addiction to me. At last year’s Indie Craft Bazaar I achieved the role of “thoughtful best friend” by gifting my police officer bestie with the perfect Win 9mm Luger earrings adorned with a Swarovski amethyst stones. I also snagged two shotgun shell rings that make an interesting statement when paired with my sundresses and flower crowns.
The nontraditional and personalized Ransom Designs call for truly one-of-a-kind art. The back-lit creations are unique and no two letters are the same. Jes and Kyle, the quirky married couple behind Random Designs, come from an architectural background and use the craft as a creative outlet. Upcycling, recycling, and saving the environment one letter at a time, the uplifting duo started this project as an art exhibit until a light bulb (no pun intended) went off and a business was born. The abandoned street signs are deconstructed and designed with customizable patterns, adding a gallery feel to any home. The creators of Random Designs also make “surprise” pieces that reveal a photo once turned on.
After revamping my wardrobe and Pinterest boards, the day was well spent. The Indie Craft Bazaar is a salute to individuality and the need to support local business.
If you go: Make sure to arrive early. First 100 guests get a special swag bag full of event goodies. The event is Oct. 26 from 1:30-6:10 p.m. Free raffle tickets will also be given to all who enter. Check out the Facebook page for more vendor details: https://www.facebook.com/indiecraftbazaar