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Which Craft?

Cooking and baking are creative outlets for me.  The last few weeks I’ve spent my spare moments preserving summer fruits in jams and filling freezer containers with roasted vegetables.  Now that the pantry and freezer are stocked with summer produce, to carry through the darker days of the fall and winter to come, my thoughts turns to other ways to be creative.

My new kitchen is on the petite side. Now that I think about it, it might be the smallest kitchen I’ve ever occupied.  I’ve pared down the small appliances to maximize on “prime real estate”, the counter top.  I scoured the web for tips on managing in a minimal kitchen environment.  One tip inspired me to dig out my craft tote for some stick-on magnetic strips.  Applying the strips to the back of the spice tins (from Olifant & Castelo) helps keep the spices off the countertop, yet still within reach… and it’s interesting fridge “art” too.

If you’re the crafty type, or have an appreciation for arts and crafts, you’ll find many opportunities to indulge your creativity in the coming months… and have fun too!

Brew Durham: A Homebrew Benefit for the Scrap Exchange – Oct. 15

Home craft brewers from Durham, and surrounding area, will gather at The Scrap Exchange’s new home in Golden Belt and serve more than 50 (at last count) different beers.  Food trucks Chirba Chirba Dumplings, KoKyu BBQ, and Klausie’s will be present, along with pretzels (can’t have beer without pretzels!) from Loaf, as well as a new food truck trike on the scene, Monuts Donuts.  If the beer and food aren’t enough to lure you into one of the two sessions (1pm – 4pm or 5pm – 8pm), how about some live musical entertainment included in the $30 price of admission?  Tickets are available now at Sam’s Quik Shop, Bull City Homebrew, and via the EventBrite page.  Oh, while you’re checking out the Scrap Exchange, check out their Fall class schedule and mark your calendar for Craftland Market (Nov. 18 thru Jan. 14).

Home Grown – Home Made at Fullsteam – Oct. 27

Fullsteam hosts a local love fest of finely crafted beer, wine, food, crafters, artists and musicians, in support of Durham Community Media.  Participants include Coon Rock Farm, Benjamin Vineyards, Reliable Cheese Co., The Cookery, Vimala’s Curryblossom Cafe, Kukia’s Cookies, Bedazzled Jewelry, and others from the local community.  Tickets are $20 in advance/$25 at the door.  The event begins at 5:30 and continues until 8:30 pm.

Western Wake Farmers’ Market Craft Fair – Nov. 5

On this date, not only can you complete your farmers’ market shopping, you can get a jump on gift shopping too.  The Western Wake Farmers’ Market holds its Fall Craft Fair (8am – 1pm).  Vendor applications are being accepted through Oct. 15th (still time to get your application in).  So far, the scheduled vendors include vintage jewelry creations from Vintage 2 Creations, yummy scented bath and body items from Tracey Gurley, embroidered items, note cards, glass crafts, birdhouses, and more jewelry.  This event is rain or shine.  Last year it rained, so I’m betting on a non-rain event this year.

The Handmade Market – Nov. 12

This is one of my favorite hand crafted fairs.  I’ve never walked away empty handed, and frequently find myself searching local Esty pages to purchase the most darling, eco-friendly note cards from Lilliprint, a vendor I met last fall.  This fair moved indoors, to Cobblestone Hall in City Market, so bad weather is never an issue.  I’d suggest arriving a little earlier than the 11 am opening and treating yourself to breakfast at Big Ed’s, or a coffee beverage at Benelux Cafe, both located in City Market too.  Check the Handmade Market’s website for updates on this fall’s participants, and start checking off your gift list.

Designers Downtown Market – Nov. 19

If I had a serious crafting “habit”, Ornamentea would be my “enabler”.  Ornamentea is one of the sponsors of this outdoor market set in downtown Raleigh, on West Street.  The Designers Downtown Market takes place five times a year, from spring through fall, and the last market (the holiday edition) for this year will be Nov. 19, 9 am to 3 pm (unless it rains, then it moves to the following day, Nov. 20).  Last year, I was very tempted to pick up one of these knit hats…

… but they only came in kid’s sizes.  😦  Just as well, I suppose.  I found a glass dish from Melsie Glass that was perfect for the bar in my sister’s kitchen.  This year, I have a new nephew to spoil, so that owl hat just might be coming home with me.

The Rock & Shop Market – Dec. 17

Details are still being finalized, but we do know the Rock & Shop Market is returning to Motorco, Fullsteam and the Trotter Building for a repeat “block party” shopping event.  The mid December timing for this event might make that last minute gift shopping a bit less tiresome, and surely will be a heck of a lot more fun!

So, there’s a short list of some creative shopping opportunities you might want to add to your calendar this fall, or perhaps some inspiration to unleash your inner crafter.  As the nights turn cooler, I’m sure I’ll find the inspiration to finish the afghan I started last winter.  Crochet – it keeps a bully warm.


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