Art for Life, buy handmade

The League of NH Craftsmen’s 77th Annual Craft Fair is coming up this weekend. It’s the oldest running craft fair in the state. One of my life goals is to get juried into the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, and sell my (future) gorgeous wares there. Until then, I keep learning, practicing and creating. Most years I go browse… for ideas and inspiration.

Mom always makes a point to buy unique wedding gifts and the like there. My wallet never seems to allow for such splurges. Yes, I see the irony of trying to sell my own creations at a fair and reasonable price, and still balk at having to pay it myself. I’m a DIY kinda guy, and my time is just so much cheaper than everyone elses, right? (Yet, I’m also put off by the people online selling their wares for TOO cheap. As if their time and education is worth practically nothing. They aren’t helping themselves or the rest of us.)

Another of my lifes goals is to fill the house (well not fill as much as replace our mass-produced throw-away culture created things) with handmade works of art. Items from friends, family, local artists and artisans. Got a good start on Pottery and bowls, blankets and quilts, kitchenware, housewares, furniture, and so on. To that end, my wife and I are making the (nearly) annual pilgrimage to NH arts and crafts mecca with some money we set aside for that purpose. Sharing the love, while keeping our dollars in the state, and bringing something great home. Whether for ourselves, or to gift… time will tell.

Furthermore, I’m also renewing my “Buy Handmade” Pledge and will not be spending a dime in stores for any Christmas shopping this year. I’ll (mostly) be making some great projects in the shop or kitchen, (Yes I have a notebook full of ideas – if the new ones in my head don’t keep pushing them to the back burner, and lots of supplies ready for their transformation.) If time or budget deem it possible or prudent, i won’t begrudge a shop or two of the local Mom & Pop variety (though there I will pay cash, and not make them pay those crazy credit card fees.) But not before checking out the myriad of artists – not just fine artists, but also those making functional art pieces for house and home – across the state, and online, such as my fellows on Etsy.

My wife still LOVES this print I got for her last year: Exactly the sort of thing I wish I thought of first.

I’ve added a Buy Handmade page to the top of my site. More as a site to inspire and remind people to get out of the big box stores, and patronize your local artists and artisans. With a few links to a few friends and family in state and across the country. I don’t mean to preach to the choir or beat you over the head with all the “buy local and buy handmade, support the arts” sort of stuff. Rather, I just want to share the love with the artists, makers and creators I know and love. People I’d seek out to fill my home & life whether I won the lottery or not. (I know several knitters of all stripes who really should be showing their wares. Hint, Hint, Hint.)

I’ve included the link there as well, but the inspired words of lumberjock extraordinaire Mark Decou, really bear repeating. These thoughts and sentiments shouldn’t be lost to the virtual hinterlands of the interwebs.

See you at the Fair!!!!

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