April 7, 2011

{This Weekend} Boulder Gets Crafty at Firefly Handmade’s Indie DIY Market. ~ René Cousineau

Photo: mararie

“It’s Like Etsy in Real Life!”

Firefly Handmade 2011 Spring Makerie Market

When: April 9th, 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. & April 10th 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Chautauqua Community House

Teaming up with the Makerie, a creative retreat, it will be a chance for those who appreciate fine craft to experience handmade goods from both local makers & makerie instructors. At the foot of the Flatirons! 

I have always wanted to learn how to knit, but I guess I just never wanted to know badly enough to learn. It’s a long-lost dream that has been many years forgotten by now, a dream that died off with my once passionate yearnings to someday speak French fluently and become a better swimmer. I got close to achieving both of those goals, but they sort of just faded off into the abyss as my need to eat cheesy poofs and watch hours of television became greater and greater.

So, the Firefly Handmade Makerie Market at Chautauqua this upcoming weekend could not be coming at a better time—now that I’ve sworn off television for the month of April (for the sake of this article) and haven’t touched a poof since March 13th (it’s true, I wrote it down). The Makerie Market promises to bring us lucky Boulder citizens “60+ indie crafters featuring handmade goods by local makers & makerie instructors.” Instructors? This promises to be a step in the right direction on my quest to finally learn how to knit!

(This way, when I start inevitably watching t.v. again, I’ll have something to do with my hands that doesn’t involve a big oily bag and fingers covered in neon-orange crumbs.)

A weekend of homemade art, clothes, food, stationary and all kinds of other fun stuff? If that doesn’t get you excited, then maybe the fact that they’re handing out goodie bags to the first 25 shoppers each day will get you off your rump bright n’ early to revel in the magnificence that is DIY culture.

Crafting is totally hot.

Now, I can’t pretend that this culture is something that I know a whole lot about. When I used to think of craft making, I would immediately picture a kindergarten classroom and lots of happy little kids using those tiny, rounded pairs of scissors to cut indistinguishable shapes out of construction paper so they can later glue cotton balls onto said shapes. Then, in college, my perception was changed by my freshman roommate—a consistently adorably-adorned young lady who enjoyed making her own paper and binding her own journals. What a babe.

So, over those chilly but cozy and magical months that I spent in that tiny apartment in Chicago with this extremely crafty girl, I came to deduce that crafting is not just for toddlers; it’s also for babes. This goes for men and women alike. Any man who’s cool enough to show up on Valentine’s Day with a homemade red velvet cake, or a pair of hand-knitted socks is just another example of what we ladies like to refer to as a “real man.” Women love cake, and they always need socks.

DIY is the new designer brand.

Think of those segments in gossip magazines usually titled: “Who Wore it Best?” There are side-by-side photos of two different celebrities wearing the same Gucci dress at two separate events. You’d think that when you’re dropping the big bucks like that, you wouldn’t have one of those embarrassing holiday party moments where you spot Linda, the receptionist, across the room wearing the same department store frock that you hand-picked special for this event because it looks soooo good on you. Only you. This is something that is, theoretically, only supposed to happen to us real people—but it happens to celebrities too.

Photo: A great entertainment news site called Backseat Cuddler

That being said, this would never have to happen again if Eva Longoria started showing up to events wearing apparel that had been handmade by her aunt or her best pal or even herself! Then she would never have to be compared to Kim Kardashian, Paris Hilton, Lindsey Lohan, Miley Cyrus or any of the girls from the Hills ever again (the people that pop up the most when you search for “who wore it best” on google.) Evidence shows that these girls need a hobby…

… Or they could check out Etsy instead of hitting those lavish designer boutiques. Etsy (for anyone who’s been asleep for the past six years) is DIY/vintage central. The site features thousands of unique sellers crafting their own goods, searching for vintage gems to re-sell (like my dear friend Miss Marika Emerson) or hawking supplies for those of us that need the tools to get started ourselves. It’s a big, beautiful online craft fair! So when my boss, Kim Boos at Tee & Cakes said of the Makerie Market, “It’s like Etsy in real life,” I naturally replied, sign me up!

Which she did. I’ll be there on Sunday working the Tee & Cakes booth, providing tasty homemade treats to Boulder’s craft enthusiasts. Being invited to this event has had the cupcake shop abuzz. We’re honored to be a part of it, and happy to know that the time, skill and love that goes into hand-crafted edibles has not gone unnoticed by the DIY community.

So now when I think of craft making, I see a lot of saucy guys and gals knitting socks for each other, wearing clothes that they made themselves, selling original art online and eating fancy cakes. But it’s all punctuated by an extreme passion that the people of this culture have to be hands-on, to have a direct role in the creation of their own stuff (for lack of a better word) and the stuff of others. Doesn’t that sound satisfying?

(Pictured above: My gorgeous former roommate, Ari… building an effing rocking chair! Who needs Ikea when you can make your own damn furniture?)

If you’re in Boulder this weekend, take a jaunt over to the Chautauqua Community House and check out this stellar event.

And don’t forget to come say hi to me and my girl Shanelle at the Tee & Cakes booth on Sunday!

René Cousineau was born and raised in Glenwood Springs, CO. She currently lives in Boulder and is a student of fiction writing and Russian literature. She spends her time reading, cleaning, hiking, dancing, and slinging cupcakes at a local bakery/coffee shop.

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