This rainy afternoon we headed over to Point Breeze for the 3rd Annual Handmade Arcade hosted by Construction Junction.  A PG article about the event caught my eye and we decided it would be worth a look for some holiday shopping.   It bode well when we ran into some "queer chics we think are cool" on their way out the door and they showed us their bounty.

Disclaimer: I hate craft shows.  I hate visiting table after table of cutesy crap.  I hate that there are two candle vendors for every craft table.  And I really hate cutesy crap with a Xtian theme.  Or country goose crap.  Churning out 1900 identical toilet paper holders shaped like Jesus is not crafting.  Its stupid.

BUT this was a really fun event.  The crowd was huuggeee which made for lots of inconvenience, but it all seemed worthwhile as we wound our way through the tables.  We picked up a set of coasters made from old 45's with a disco theme as a gift.  We also found a very cool off-beat shirt for the brother-in-law.   We were unsuccessful, however, in our pursuit of something funky-but-not-too-out-there for the sister-in-law.  And we picked up another very cool gift for someone who reads this blog so I cannot elaborate -- its very gay in all senses of the word!

I was in awe at some of the really nifty junk that had been recycled into cool stuff.  I could have picked up at least 10 new bags for myself and fell in love with every notebook I saw.  But the budget held me down to earth.  

Here's a question I have.  The article in the PG ran the following quote from an event organizer and I must be on slow-mo because I just don't get it:

"Its genesis was in alternative culture, and wanting to produce something just for the act of producing it, and to bring an artistic sensibility to that act of producing it," said another Arcade organizer, Elizabeth Prince, 31.

If we produce for the sake of production, then aren't we contributing to a consumption culture?  Or is the assumption that things are produced NOT for consumption necessarily?  But how could you afford to do it? 

The crowd was pretty decent.  We only saw a few familiar faces which is a sign that we've stumbled into something truly new.  Lots of youngish, hippish people but also plenty of your more mainstream middle age folks who were laden with packages.  Everyone seemed to be in a good mood. Unlike the traditional craft shows where the suburban housewives will mow your ass down to get the last butterscotch flavored tea light candle set.  Mow your ass down.

My only complaints with this crowd are the fact that people should never bring strollers into large crowds.  Its never good.  Park the stroller and haul your kid around lest you run over my feet one too many times and I involuntarily kick your child's carriage.  I don't want to do that.  Its also hard to view the goods when I have to make sure my packages don't hit your kid in the face. And let's be honest -- its not fair for you to take up so much prime tablefront space with your gigunda diaper bag and stroller while the rest of us child-free adults crane our necks.  I get that you are exposing your kid to the crafting world and that's great.  But give us a break ...

Also, women should not bring giant purses, knapsacks, backpacks, tote bags, messenger bags, etc.  I cannot count how many times I was thwucked on the head by rogue bags when the owner made a sudden move to the left.  After awhile, I just started pushing back.  That's right -- I hit the freaking bags with all my might.  Except the ones with all the pins for fear of puncture wounds and telltale streaks of blood.  That's when I needed a stroller!  And a diaper bag.

Finally, the minglers.  Its a craft show, not homecome week at the local church.  Give your friend a high-five and promise to visit their MySpace page.  Don't catch up. I want to spend my money and suppor the alternative crafting economy.  I don't want to listen to you recite the last 16 vegan recipes you prepared.  Kudos for the vegan thing, but go find a corner and pull up a crate.  Don't stand in the middle of the aisle saying "Excuse me" to every other person who thwucks you with their oversized purse.  Its annoying and only makes me want to consumer an oversized latte with extra whole milk. Move for the cows, dude.  Move for the cows.

Caught a few homos on the scene.  Overall, a cool event.  We grabbed a lot of cards for some post-Arcade shopping.  Hope to see some of these crafters at future events (like PrideFest perhaps????)