Saturday, November 24, 2012

Shop Creatively, Shop Local

On December 1, 2012, I will be exhibiting and selling my creations at the Parcells Holiday Arts and Crafts Bazaar in Grosse Pointe.  This will be my first time in this particular market.  I have heard wonderful things about it.  It is the largest show I've ever done -- featuring 200+ artists, and it is the largest and oldest art show in Grosse Pointe.

I'm trying to work up some new designs for this show.  I've created a new crocheted flower necklace using shades of chartreuse, cerulean and raisin:

Since I sold out of my Christmas tree earrings at the First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn's Holiday Galleria, I've been working on creating some new ones, as well as some holiday wreath earrings.  Pictured here are some of the wreaths, in progress:

Using a beautiful acrylic wool blend with sequins that self-stripes in shades from black to gray to white and back again, I made this "checkerboard"-effect crocheted infinity scarf. It can be worn long, or doubled around the neck.

In addition to selling my creations locally this holiday season, as well as in my Artfire studio on the internet (Black Friday and Cyber Monday free shipping special going on right now),  I am also focusing on buying local.  I've been trying to do that more throughout the year.  As American consumers, we are so focused on price and getting bargains, that we often forget to think about how our purchases affect the local economy and those who make the items that we buy.  Here in Michigan we are lucky.  Our State offers a plethora of locally grown, produced and manufactured products to give as gifts or to buy for personal use and consumption throughout the year.  An added bonus, at least for me, is the feeling of connection I have to the people and places from whom I make my purchases.  For example, it is a good feeling to be able to take a half-hour drive and see the cows that produce the milk I drink every day!

Some of the Michigan items that I love and purchase regularly include:

Meat and eggs from Creswick Farms
Cherry treats from Cherry Republic
Locally produced fruits, vegetables, baked goods, coffees, pastas and other items available at my local market, Trentwood Farms
Milk and other dairy products from Calder Dairy
Locally created arts and crafts from Downriver Council of the Arts' Holiday Boutique and the Artists Market at Leon & Lulu
Wine from Leelanau Cellars and Good Harbor Vineyards

I could go on and on.  I've made a commitment to try even harder this year to purchase Michigan-made items -- the quality and variety is amazing, and it is good for my family and my community.

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