Handmade Holiday

Does this totebag from Richmond Threadlab look familiar? If so, it may be because you caught our Instagram feed a couple of weekends ago when we hit up our local Handmade Holiday Craft Show (just like we did last year). The fair is a bi-annual craft-stravaganza put on by the Richmond Craft Mafia (we went to their Spring version earlier this year too). It’s always filled with tons of cool artists, crafters, and other handmade magicians from the Virginia-ish region. And thanks to most of them having Etsy shops, you guys can sort of virtually shop along with us. So here’s some the cool stuff that we came across, starting with some of the new guys that we haven’t spotted at previous events.

Spade Moderne had tons of graphic pillows and tea towels that we loved, but what caught Sherry’s eye most was this mistletoe brooch (though you could totally cheat and make it an ornament too). Knowing Sherry she’d stick it in a shadowbox and call it holiday art.

Also calling our name from the printed-fabric arena were these screenprinted tea towels from Tiny Peepers. And to live up to their name, there was also this hipster-tastic onesie that kinda made me wish Clara still wore onesies…

Check out this sweet 2013 calendar from Flytrap Studios. Can you believe we already have to start thinking about 2013 calendars? Where did the year go?

These fabric rattles from Tributary Handmade were also pretty darn cute. But I think the true brilliance is that fact that they sell silent versions as well. Plus, the one on top (with the pears and apples) is the same fabric that we used for Clara’s 17 week photo way back when. Memories.

Tributary Handmade also had these cools dolls that for some reason kept reminding me of the Beatles. I think they’d go great in a little boy’s room – especially the mustached and suspendered man in the middle. I’m talking to you Weston Bower.

Nearby we also spotted a bunch of pillows, bags, and things made out of old grain and feed sacks from Jessica Reed Artifacts. Of course the Christmas spirit of the room meant that we were most drawn to the stocking.

Found Studio had these fun mixed media paintings with mason jars as the subjects. They’re like the Warhol soup cans of the Pinterest era.

They also had a bunch of smaller paintings available. We especially liked this long one with the pennant banner (and that small green bicycle).

A lot of booths are starting to become very familiar now that this is our third consecutive visit to one of these local craft fairs. But the cool thing is that most of them are always doing new stuff, so it still feels new. Like Funnel Cloud Studio now has a New Jersey version of the state prints that we admired previously…

And clay-master Tasha McKelvey had these cool clay gnome ornaments this year. It kind of makes me think a gnome-themed Christmas tree would be funny. Or a tradition of “find-the-gnome” each year when you decorate the tree.

It’s always good to see Phil Barbato (and his wife Meghan) at these things. We’ve purchased his artwork in the past, but it was his Baby Octopi that got our attention this year. I love that this one has a gold tooth (at least, that’s how I’m choosing to interpret it).

Matt Butler had us cracking up over his bacon print at past events (it says “either you love bacon or you’re wrong”), but this year it was this print that had me chuckling. Truth in comedy, right?

Matt also has a few bike-themed items, which you know I can appreciate. He does these custom printed Toms shoes, and I think it’s really cool that they connect to create one image.

Suzanne of Silver Tree Art had lots of fun and colorful stuff as usual. Sherry spent a good five minutes browsing through some of her “wisdom cards” that are like cheerful little spirit-boosters.

And Sherry was also struck by these cool layered necklaces by Lucky Accessories.

Of course we couldn’t afford to purchase everything that we admired that day (heck, we couldn’t even cram it all into this post). But we didn’t go home empty handed. I bought part of a Christmas gift for a coffee lover in my family thanks to a local shop called Lamplighter Roasting Company. And yes, their bag design is just about enough to make me want to get over my aversion to java-flavored anything.


Sherry also snagged a couple of those wisdom cards that she was so enamored with. They now sit on her desk as pretty daily reminders.


And we also raided Funnel Cloud Studio a bit. No, I didn’t let Sherry bring that Jersey print home, but I did give into her addiction to all things shiny and animal related with these gold and silver prints. Gold armadillo for the win. And you know we love our rhinos (see our blog header for evidence).


Meanwhile I convinced her that we had to have Funnel Cloud’s awesome new poster: Things That Are Awesome.

We don’t have a spot picked out for it – we’re thinking guest room – but I’ve already clocked about thirty minutes just discovering all of the intricate little drawings (and secretly evaluating whether I agree with their awesomeness or not). We even had guests over for the holidays and all of them were drawn to it – just standing there staring. So we think it’ll make an awesome addition to that room.

Now we’ll pause to send a huge thanks to all of the awesome artists who make these cool local craft fairs possible. Your talent runneth over, and we love Sherry loves bouncing from booth to booth. Literally, I think she was bouncing for a good part of the fair. You know what they say: giddy wife, giddy life. Wait, that’s not the expression?

Anyone else hit up any craft fairs or get any handmade gifts to give this year? Got any favorites from the items that we shared above?


  1. Katie says

    I work in downtown DC and there was a holiday market up for the first 3 weeks of December (I first went there after seeing you guys at Living Social!). Since there were different vendors there depending on the day, I walked through a couple of times a week and almost never left empty handed! Just this morning I was thinking… I wish that holiday market was still open! Thanks for sharing some of your finds. Silver Tree Art is on vacation, but hopefully when she gets back I can snatch up some of those wisdom cards, too!

    • Meghan, RVA says

      Hi Michelle!

      I’m Meghan (Phil Barbato’s wife, and the Handmade Holiday co-chair.) There are DEFINITELY some great shows in the Boston area. I wish we lived close enough to get to them, because lots of our more-northernly-based crafty friends have such good things to say. Two great ones I know of are the Bizarre Bazaar and the SoWa Market. Our fellow plush-makers from a company called Zooguu (http://zooguu.com/) vend at both shows. Another great way to find shows is google your city + “indie craft fair” and see what pops up.

      Happy shopping!

  2. Andrea J says

    I gave some handmade gifts this year! My sis and I made a TON of jam this year (from fresh local produce–I worked at the local farmers market last summer!) and I got the itch to make chocolate truffles, which were DELICIOUS when they were finished (http://instagram.com/p/Ttm2nbvGY-/). I also folded boxes out of card stock to put them in (http://instagram.com/p/Tm-UqFvGQu/). My family loved it all!

    I’m liking those bicycle TOMS shoes. Thanks for the links to all the artists so we can peruse their wares ourselves!

    • Meghan, RVA says

      Hi K!

      I’m Meghan (Phil Barbato’s wife, and co-chair for the Handmade Holiday show.)

      As I mentioned in a reply to Michellle (sorry if you’ve seen it already!) a great way to find shows is google your city + “indie craft fair” and see what pops up.

      If there’s a local-ish vendor (or three!) you know of, you can also look for shows by stalking their website, Etsy shop announcements, Twitter, or Facebook feeds. A lot of artists will put their show schedule somewhere in there (though I’ll confess, we’re not so hot at doing that ourselves. )

      There must be TONS of great stuff near you, Minneapolis is such an amazing city!

      Good luck,

  3. Amanda says

    I was excited to go to Biz Baz this year, but was very disappointed. There were a few cool things, but mostly it was the domain of 60 year old women with gaudy jewelry and too much perfume. I’ll hit up craft mafia next time.

  4. Jessica G says

    Our whole Christmas was handmade this year. It was a tiny bit stressful and involved a lot of list-making for supplies, gift-making order, etc…but it ended up being super fun! Everyone seems to have loved their gifts and it was pretty quick since we had 16 or so people to buy for. :)

  5. says

    So cute! I love craft fairs. We live in a town that is second only to Stars Hollow in the amount of crazy festivals/goings on but we do have an awesome craft fair that I love (some of the others are more…interesting).

    I’m digging those state prints myself.

  6. Ashley says

    I bought the bacon print from Matt Butler last spring. I am in love with his jellyfish print Toms. I wasn’t able to get down to Richmond for the holiday show, so thanks for sharing pics. I just bought the things that are awesome poster and can’t wait to find a place for it in my home!

  7. meg says

    i have a gnome/mushroom/woodland creatures/fairy-themed tree! it’s beautiful. i’m totally digging that things that are awesome poster–great finds, guys. thanks for sharing!

  8. says

    I crocheted dish cloth sets for each family this year. Took a while, but it was so much fun to pick out the yarn for each person and it was nice to give them something handmade.

  9. says

    All of this is very cute! I didn’t make any homemade gifts this year, but Santa did put a piece of Maine made pottery from my favorite potter (Georgetown Pottery) in each stocking along with some handcrafted beer for my brother in law (Maine also). So that counts for something haha.

    Also, you know I couldn’t get that nugget of the latest Young House Love Wisdom go by without making this up – right?

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