2011 Maker Faire Bay Area Recap

Last week, my family and I along with friends, attended the Maker Faire Bay Area in San Mateo, CA. I wish I could remember to whip out my camera more at special events like the Maker Faire. (Ok, so there are no events like the Maker Faire, but you get my meaning.) I was so impressed with the shots my friend Selena took there, most of incredible things I never even saw! There’s really that much to see. I spent way more time gabbing than exploring, which is easy to do when you meet CRAFT’s Editor-in-Chief Diane Gilleland for the first time, reunite with Maker Fair/CRAFTzine fabulistas, Rachel Hobson and Lish Dorset, or meet bloggers Suzi-Homemaker, (who brought me the cooolest gift!! Thanks again Suzi!), Cheddar Al, new w/crew on the scene of the fantastic blog The Cheddar Guppies, and the sweet Holly of 504 Main. (With my mouth full of the most delicious fairground-falafel-sandwich-wrap, Holly and I bumped into each other at the Bazaar Bizarre and had such a nice visit. I think we’ll be buds for a very long time.) In the CRAFT section, I sat on a panel with several others to discuss “Crafting Your Online Presence” moderated by Diane Gilleland, far left. (Diane is also the brilliance behind Craftypod and the book Kanzashi in Bloom.) The panel included (left to right) Moxie of Made by Moxie, me, Jenny Hart of Sublime Stitching, Garth Johnson of Extreme Craft, Drew Emborsky, The Crochet Dude, and Alice Merlino, Futuregirl. Such a great mix!

Diane is putting together information shared from the panels and is posting them on CRAFTzine.com HERE.Right after the panel I went into demo mode for vintage book cover planners, expanding files and more. Local press photographer, Nina Zhito, who I’ve written about in the past HERE, came and took shots of my demo, how cool is that?! (Note to self: I’ve really got to smile more!) Mr. Wonderful stood in the back and took a few photos, too,(burgandy shirt & ball cap.) He really is wonderful!I gave away books, folders, stretch-bands and sets of three really cool heavy duty punches (courtesy of EK Tools) to two women in the audience. I met Drew Emborsky, the Crochet Dude (on the speaker panel mentioned above) in his booth with his incredible collection of crochet products on hand. I instantly adored Drew and was so excited to find out that he, too, will be teaching at The Creative Connection in September!At the show, Drew was using the Simplicity Deluxe Rotary Cutter/Embosser to create perfect strips of fabric for crocheting into all kinds of things. Fascinating machine!! I also met the lovely Michele Muska of Simplicity.com (…so stand by for some fantastic giveaway product coming our way soon!)

Around 4:00 I received a cell phone call from my friend Kylie who’d come to the Maker Faire with my family and me. She was at the Crochet Dude booth- her name had been drawn to win all the Crochet Dude product AND the Simplicty Rotary Cutter/Embosser! Sweet! It couldn’t have happened to a nicer gal. Kylie is currently sewing all of the  bridesmaids’ dresses for her wedding to Mike next month! Kylie and Mike have worked with my kids for years in the youth program at our church.

Bazaar Bizarre was fun as always. I always beeline it to my favorite jewelry designer, Yueh-Wen Chang (Wen) of Sora Designs. She was so sweet to make an extension piece on the spot for a necklace I picked up from her a while back. I LOVE her designs:I found another designer that I will be following, Jennifer Guthrie of Pine Blossoms who’s beautiful pieces are recycled from cast off clothing. Darling stuffed ponies, sweet flower pins and show-stopping bags.Back inside the CRAFT pavillion, I met the lovely Karima Cammell of Castle in the Air. I’d perused their website before, it has to be one of the best Flash sites out there- I could scroll around the home page for an hour before shopping. Selena took me to their shop in Berkeley, CA a few months back. It’s a wonderland!! They have the biggest selection of Dresdon Foil pieces anywhere. And glitter…don’t get me started! I purchased several rolls of colorful crepe paper and some vintage Victorian seals.I cut through the dark building with all the awesome light shows. This wall was covered with push lights, like the ones you can put in your closet. Very cool, but at four AA batteries each, it may be a bit costly to reproduce!This metal sphere sculpture was incredible and as tall as my house.I had to scurry when the electric volt show started, certain my wimpy/fine hair would stand on end from the static. This shot was right when the Faire opened. Within an hour, you could barely see the stage or squeeze through the room. And, finally, I was excited to meet Stephen Fraser of Spoonflower, the company who made it possible for all of us to design, print and sell our own fabric designs. Yards and yards of it! If you haven’t visited Spoonflower lately, you have to check out their Fabrics of the Week, SO inspiring!

Well, that’s my Maker Faire wrap-up. The only unfortunate thing all day was that I never got over to the donuts-in-a-cone stand, but that’s probably a good thing in the end. There’s always next year. A special THANK YOU to all who sat through my demo and all the super nice people I met at the Faire, it was such a pleasure.

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10 Responses to 2011 Maker Faire Bay Area Recap

  1. #1 - Kami says:

    Sounds like a lot of fun. I’ve just recently discovered Spoonflower, and am so in love with them. It’s just the motivation I need to practice and learn to do more in Illustrator. 🙂

  2. #2 - Holly says:

    I feel like I missed so much. The Crochet Dude (we missed the panel), the fab rotary cutter (congrats to Kylie – that is awesome!), spoonflower (I have been dying to try that). Next year I may just leave the family at home and play on my own.

    So glad you wrote this recap so I could see more of the Maker Faire!

  3. #3 - Jennifer Erickson says:

    Cathe, I loved your demo, and was so glad that I didn’t miss it. The Craft Demo Stage was the only area that wasn’t clearly marked on the Maker Faire map, and your demo was the only “must see” for me on the schedule. I think we must have hit up two different information booths, and seemed like craft-crazed loons to the volunteers we stopped in their tracks before we came sliding into the right spot beneath the big balloon at about ten past 1. Whew! Totally worth it!


    • #4 - Jennifer Erickson says:

      P.S. I really enjoyed reading about your experiences at the Maker Faire. It was my first year, and had no idea what was in store. My family and I covered a lot of ground, but there was much that we missed as well. Next year, we’ll definitely need to do the whole weekend. Double congrats to Kylie on her wedding and her win!

  4. #5 - Berta says:

    Looks like fun! I saw signs around the area before the fair. Next year I
    will have to put it in my plans! Thanks for posting about it 🙂

  5. #6 - Molly D says:

    Great post! I was very sad to not have made it to the Maker Faire, but sometimes it’s just really really hard to get out of San Francisco, ya know? HOWEVER, I adored your post a bit back with the expanding hardware book, and immediately purchased a later edition of the same book (from the 70’s). The cover has a different design but it’s the same binder style. I used your amazon link to purchase the file and it should be here this afternoon! I’m going to use it to store all my embroidery patterns and I couldn’t be more excited!!! I’ll have to email you or post a link or something when it’s done 🙂

  6. #7 - Mela Kamin says:

    What a fun, inspiring trip – so much talent! I found Spoonflower through Daily Grommet a while back and have planned on using them for a merchandise project for the events I sing/speak at. And, I’m in LOVE with that turquoise, orange, flower necklace from Sora Designs – wow!

  7. #8 - Jason says:

    Looks like a fabulous faire! I would have enjoyed this… maybe next time!

  8. #9 - Saucy Chick Sherry says:

    Cathe you do get to meet and participate in the most interesting creative worlds of talented people. I will be reading your post for days as I check out all the amazing links you have included. Thank you so much for this wonderful recap for those of us who didn’t get there in person. Wonderful week to you me dear…

  9. #10 - Amy Locurto says:

    Looks like a blast! Look at you speaking to all those people:-) Way to go!