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But there were monkeys...
SSar's Beast
When someone says "craft fair in Mt Eden", the images that enter my mind are usually to do with lots of old ladies, soap, knitting, and fudge, as well as lots of products aimed at little kids. (These overlap with knitting and fudge.) However, I was excitingly surprised!!

First, I went there to pick up some products I'd asked Nut and Bee designer annettle to set aside for me, as she doesn't seem to have a regular location in Auckland for selling her products despite being based there. (Wellingtonians, if you don't feel like paying for postage, they are sold at Wellington Zoo; nonNZ's, be aware that they post overseas.) After staring woozily at everything I got three letter-sets, two badges, and a set of bookplates. Hee!

Then I wandered off to the next stall which amused me greatly. I put a link up, but it doesn't seem to work - ah well, um, try this one. The craftswoman collects decorated plates such as you might find in an opportunity shop and paints words over the top, usually insulting or obscene. Seemed to be a few blank faces as well, which slightly confused me. The fonts are the amusing part, I think. Eh, maybe you had to be there. And woozy.

Mum was also wandering around the craft fair with me. I caught up with her at the stall of an artist (Briar, in her last year of a Fine Arts degree, whom I'd guess is two to five years older than me) who had canvas prints and also fancy "fashion-pins" and lots of bead packs - a bit of everything, kinda. The canvas art was really beautiful sketches in ink of fairies, running to the naughty-children style, but she'd also glued on shells and tiny feathers and shed insect wings, and little crochet bits of 'clothing'. I am not exactly sure what era the fashion pins were mimicking, but they were based on a tiny crochet doily (am I using the word correctly) with strings of beads, lengths of chains, and tassels attached. The conversation, before I got there, went something like this:

Cathy: Do you make the crochet pieces yourself?
Briar: No, I wish! My grandmother sent me a whole box of them.
Cathy: Well, you could always get a book out of the library... or, there are instructions on the internet... notices that Briar does not light up at these suggestions or you could get someone to teach you. Like me, for example!
Briar: lights up Really?

So Mum made a friend who now has her number and an invitation to come around and learn to crochet. And I am left thinking, somewhat irreverently, Frock it, MUM is more skilled at flirting with girls than I am. Humph. I am fluey and woozy, dammit! I claim handicap

Quite a number of the people at the stalls, in fact, were under thirty and several of them had really geek-themed stuff. I picked up some business cards... Geek Freeks, who make soft[as in plushy]ware, the kind of thing you might see in Popopo on Ghuznee St, and Monkey Craft, similar, whose tagline is "Handmade goods that tickle a sewing and fabric nerd's fancy" and who make handbags and scarves and stuff with, for example, motifs of robots and Tetris and PacMan villains. Oh wait, that one has an LJ too: elyofborg.

There was the obligatory cat-themed craft stall (the charity all this was in aid of is "Lonely Miaow") where I got a finger puppet. Which was about all I could afford after I bought a necklace from a jewellery enterprise called Othila (Weird. Why do half the necklace models seem either nude or plastic? Um. It's useful to see where a pendant will rest relative to a neckline.) After looking at the website, I think it isn't entirely representative of the necklaces/bracelets on display - I don't have pierced ears, so I wasn't looking too closely at the earrings. But you get the idea.

Along the same theme, maybe a little more sophisticated, was Pallina Designs. Urgh, website design nearly as commercialised as Amazon. Sign of success? Dunno. But the merchandise is very pretty stuff. Was impressed by the novelty of the bookmarks - thin lengths of metal ornamented by a bead tassel of a sort. But, um, shiny.

(Yes, there was also soap, fudge and knitting. I bought fudge, denimit. The knitting wasn't especially conventional, either. As in, lots of the sort of scarves and stuff that I look enviously at because I can't make, but even the suspiciously respectable middle-aged ladies had purses with little skeleton motifs. (Tiny skull-shaped beads with the rest of a stick figure outlined in single contrasting-colour stitches.)

Which reminds me: I am trying to shift next Saturday's work to Sunday so that I can go a knitting day run by Spotlight out in Kaiwharawhara. Apparently there will be lots of demos and distractions and discounts on wool. Yay! starzend, think Nik would be interested? I can forward the email, but didn't find any information on their website.

The last places I looked at were a couple of stalls to do with printing. One was covered with what seemed to be hundreds of different pamphlets and 'zines, though I didn't get much of a close look. I could see Matty's funny? at home there. The neighbouring stall promoted a more regular magazine, of the type: we set the theme, and accept pretty much any good art/writing contributions that follow that theme. Okay: I wanted to buy one but I'd run out of money (again.)

So I had a great time. Disappointments: firstly, it only ran for three hours! Which meant that when leaving, I was about to text blairette and say, "Come! This is Auckland goodness!", but realised that in the twenty minutes remaining there was no way she could get there.

Secondly: I did get one gift for someone, and that gift was my initial reason for coming, but my friends whose birthdays approach soonest don't seem matched to what was available. True, there was geek stuff, but, for example, the geek-themed bags available were more along the lines of girls' purses or handbags than something guys would find more practical. I like things to be practical. And, okay, this isn't true for all gifts for guys but it's a safe rule to follow! Maybe I'd've found something better among the 'zines. Craft fairs are where I am most on the lookout for gifts for people. Lots of obvious reasons there.

I'll see if I can find some links for the zine people. Edit add if so. By the way, Frances? Yvette? Stop scaring me.

OH yes. I also went to Rainbow's End (it's a theme park) with Fezz, Pip, and Tim. Fezz and I tried to out-couple the other two, failing miserably of course. Oh well. At least Fezz got all the hugs he needed for the time being, if not the candy floss. And yes, you lot, he's well and he even has Internet. And he and Pip and Tim talked about the best places to get edomame and okonomiyaki (sp??) and it went right over my head. ^^; I went maniacal on the dodgems. Fezz had never been on a rollercoaster before! It was drizzly, but that just reduced the queues.

That's all, I think. Anything you people want from Auckland?

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A shrubbery!
What is auckland famous for?

Me! - that is, I have no idea. I used to bring people back manga from Borders, but now we have Borders. *shrug*. You have yet to answer my question about Nik.

true, sorry.

she thinks it sounds great but has masses of wool already. (yes, masses)

Sounds like you're having fun up there. When are you back?

Wednesday. The plane lands at 5pm, so I'll be home 6:30pm, latest.

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