The Bust Craftacular Spectacular

Although I admittedly haven’t been a consistent reader, I first discovered Bust at an indie magazine shop in Ithaca, NY as a college student. I was a wannabe magazine writer who dreamed of becoming the next Jane Pratt and developing a women’s magazine that would be empowering and address issues related to career, work-life balance, health and lifestyle.

The plans to be a publishing powerhouse went by the wayside somewhere along the line, but I always had a healthy appreciation for Bust and when I heard about their Craftacular, I made a mental note to go “one of these days.”

Last month, my boyfriend, who has a wicked cool t-shirt start-up, mentioned something about working a craft sale on December 6. Now, he’s not specific with details of the non-cotton kind, so I just assumed it was some kind of street fair. And then I saw the date of the Bust Craftacular. It was the same date. And then I saw his company post an announcement on Facebook indicating they’d be there.


Holy Knitting Needles, Batman! My bf was going to be at the coolest craft sale in Gotham City!

Of course, I went. Even if it meant getting up at 6am and being on a train of cute (but loud) kids excited about their first pre-holiday Manhattan trip to skate at Rockefeller Center and peek at the Macy’s windows. Even if it meant standing in line for nearly an hour in 34 degree weather. Even if it meant rushing back home in time for an evening work commitment.

It. Was. Fantastic.

I got into Penn Station just before 9am and walked the mile and a half to the Metropolitan Center. I was in a line of about 30-50 people but within 10-15 minutes, the line had quickly grown to about 150 mostly female hipsters. Someone whose company name I can’t remember served samples of Mexican Brownies (made with cinnamon–yum!) and Joe: The Art Of Coffee rolled a cart on wheels serving coffee to everyone who braved one of the first cold days of the season to admire and invest in some of the creative amazingness inside.

By the way, I totally felt like a hypocrite as I enjoyed my brownie bite as I read the book I brought along for standing-in-line entertainment: Bob Greene’s Best Life Guide to Managing Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes. But some studies indicate that cinnamon can help control blood sugar, so I’m hoping it was a wash.

Anyhew, it felt like forever, but they finally opened the doors and we slowly filed into the building, paid our $2 entry fee and grabbed a swag bag filled with some pretty cool goodies:

  • Two issues of Bust Magazine, including the one with Alia Shawcat and Ellen Page from Whip It (yes, I saw the movie twice–and how awesome is it that Maeby is still acting?)
  • An adorable bobby pin with stainless steel mesh flower
  • Skull & crossbones belt buckle
  • A tank top
  • Sweet ‘n Juicy Bootylicious apple scented air freshener
  • Two books: How to Live and (my personal fave) The Evil Banana.
  • A light up yoyo from ModCloth.
  • Cute dangly earrings  from Modern Minx that I’ll be wearing to a work holiday party tomorrow.
  • A keychain from Torrid.
  • “I’m Not a Bitch” magnetic bumper sticker. (I wondered if this was a good-humored dig towards one of their magazine competitors.)
  • Blue Blood waterproof mascara from Medusa’s Make-Up.
  • And it was all in a large recycled shopper bag from Blue Q. My favorite part of the bag was that it had a little pocket inside–the perfect place to stash business cards for all the awesome vendors I met.

The craft fair was actually a little overwhelming at first. I was so excited I forgot to take pics, which is a shame because MadeWithAwesome had a table right at the end of the first aisle. It looked spectacular with a large shelving unit containing neatly folded tees, a vibrant banner with their logo, two mannequins sporting two of their shirts and the rest of the shirts neatly laid out on the table.

I did two full rounds up and down every aisle before I spent a penny because there were so many beautiful, unique and fun wares for sale. Below are some of my faves.

The first thing I knew I wanted (for myself) was one of the prints by Seattle Show Posters. I struggled between getting Caged Free

and Night Sky:

I finally decided on Night Sky, which glows in the dark.

I also contemplated purchasing this…

…because I’m a fellow redhead who tends to get carried away at times.

I also loved this cool watercolor by My Zoetrope

The counselor/college educator in me also loved her 2010 calendar which featured artwork inspired by her post-grad struggle to maintain friendships.

Charmingwall has artwork by a variety of artists. I have Wendy Crabb’s “Thrill Ride” but I also love Matthew Doubek, Eric Otto, Andrea L. Peterson and Dan May.

I tried to convince my boyfriend that this cuckoo clock necklace would make the perfect Christmas gift:

Cuckoo Clock Charm Necklace

Beacon Bookmarks had beautiful wooden bookmarks. I may have picked up one or two…

Peace Wooden Bookmark - Cherry

Oktak had great handmade bags and coin purses with beautiful coordinating fabrics.

eco-friendly grocery bag - mod orange flowers
The organizer in me just had to spend $13 to keep my headphones organized and untwisted:
I hate pulling out my iPod at the gym and spend the first 5 minutes of my workout untangling cords!
So anyway… end result: super cool and creative things. Evan and I have committed to purchasing artwork from indie/local artists to decorate our place(s). It supports creativity and the local economy. He’s hoping to bring MadeWithAwesome back to the Craftacular next year and I may go either as a volunteer or as a shopper with my closest friends and sister for a girls’ weekend in NYC.
NOTE: most of the pics are from the individual artists websites and Etsy shops. WP is being cranky about attaching links to the photos, so please be patient if they’re not working yet, but please, please, please consider supporting some of these incredible artists!

3 responses to “The Bust Craftacular Spectacular

  1. i still think it’s crazy that we were debating the same posters…

    when you get bored of sputnik i’ll trade you with caged bird… we can continue to switch back and forth to mix it up…

  2. What a great afternoon, and the things in that goodie bag – to die for. Sounds like you had a blast. I love the headphone organizer! Hmmm, maybe a little stocking stuffer for myself?

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