Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Making a Difference!

The Craft Mart ladies were thrilled to spend part of Christmas Eve handing over a big check to COTS!

Yes, you all read that number correctly! We raised $1297 at the first Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart! We had almost 800 people attend the event and people were so excited about the awesome raffle items that they bought TONS of raffle tickets. Thanks so much to our generous sponsors for donating such wonderful items to our raffle and swag bags. We are so thankful!

John Records at COTS told us that our donation will buy nearly 1000 meals this winter for people in need. Amazing! But you can also help COTS in many other ways. They are always in need of towels, blankets and sheets (especially twin size), toiletries, warm coats and more. Please contact them to see if you can help.

Happy New Year Petaluma!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

All About Eve - An Evening of Last Minute Shopping

The Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart presents two hours of film, fine wine, delectables and finds!!

Join the co-organizers of the Craft Mart as they sell their wares at La Dolce Vita, watch All About Eve and sip some of the finest wines around, this Thursday, December 17th from 7-9pm

La Dolce Vita
Theatre Square
151 Petaluma Boulevard South
Petaluma, CA

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Tomorrow is the big day!

One more day until the first Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart. We are anticipating a hugely successful show for our vendors and are hoping to raise lots and lots of money for COTS. Don't forget the first 50 people in the door get an amazing swag stuffed with goodies! The swag bags contain donations from:
Vinyl Frontier
Moonpath Designs
Craft Zine
Petaluma Chamber of Commerce
Petaluma Farmer's Market
Kendra Renee Jewelry
Jessica Venezia Hair Design at Jon Gariepy
The Beaded Nomad
Blue Bicicletta
Mrs. Grossman's Sticker Company
Meyer Imports
Early Work Toy Station
Vinny's A-1 Shoe Repair
Rock n Roll Crafts
Blue Ribbon Salvage
and of course our Petaluma Shopping Passport sponsored by the Petaluma Downtown Association!

See you all tomorrow!
The Craft Mart girls

Friday, November 27, 2009

Raffle Prize Bonanza!

We have had tons of folks wanting more sneak peeks of the raffle prizes. Well, I have to tell you that we got SO many raffle donations that we decided to combine them into 4 raffle gift baskets. There will be raffle giveaways at 1pm , 2pm, 3pm and then a super MEGA raffle prize at 4pm! Raffle donations are still arriving as we speak but here's a preview of what we have so far:

Raffle Giveaway #1 is full of treats from Craft Zine, Stencil 1 and Chronicle Books, Lombardi's BBQ, Jack & Jill's and Velasco's.

Raffle Giveaway #2 is a mix of items from Paper White, Chronicle Books, StitchCraft, Vinyl Frontier, Lombardi's BBQ, Jack & Jill's and Della Fattoria.

Raffle Giveaway #3 contains prizes from Craft Zine, Water Street Bistro, Queen Puff Puff, Jessica Venezia Salon, Anise Michelle Hair Design, Paper White, Chronicle Books, Ooh La Loft, Lombardi's BBQ and The Beaded Nomad.

And the Super MEGA Giveaway #4 is full of gifts from Craft Zine, Chronicle Books, Paper White, StitchCraft, Early Works Toy Station, Scor-It, Ooh La Loft, Jessica Venezia Salon, Lombardi's BBQ, Bella Amour Spa and more!

How can you get in on this action? Your $1 donation at the door gets you one raffle ticket. But you can certainly buy additional raffle tickets! Tickets will be sold at the show for $1 for one, $5 for siz or $20 for twenty five tickets. What a deal! And of course, all the of the proceeds from the raffle tickets goes directly to COTS.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Media Blitz!

The Craft Mart ladies have been working overtime to get as much media coverage as possible before the event. We have blanketed downtown Petaluma with flyers and posters and the local newspapers and bloggers have been writing about us nonstop! Check out some of the recent coverage:

The Argus Courier listed us as a can't miss Thanksgiving weekend event.
We have a big advertisement in the November Petaluma Post! (page 9!)
Cherry Valley/Mary Collins Elementary wrote about us in this month's Cheetah Tracks.
Frank Simpson blogged about us for the Petaluma Spectator and for the Petaluma 360.
John Crowley of Aqus Cafe wrote about the event in his November newsletter.
Shannon Storms blogged about us for If Sew.
Bazaar Bizarre wrote about Craft Mart several times. Thanks guys!
And today there is a full color ad in the Press Democrat and Argus Courier!

And we are on everyone's event calendars!
Petaluma Downtown Association
Craft Zine
Make Zine
Petaluma 360
SF Gate
The Press Democrat
MSN City Guide for Petaluma
The Marin Independent Journal
Sonoma On The Cheap
NBC Bay Area
Neighborhood Now - Petaluma
MetroActive Bay Area

Whew! Hopefully, we will have a huge crowd! See you Sunday and enjoy the holiday celebrations today!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Help us help COTS

You may not know that the Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart is a charitable event. We are trying to raise funds for COTS - also know as the Committee on the Shelterless. Every dollar donated at the door and all raffle ticket proceeds are going directly to COTS. So what does COTS do?

COTS offers help and hope to homeless persons in Sonoma County by providing safe shelter and housing, helping people develop steady incomes and helping them get back under a roof of their own. They help homeless families become stable and break the cycle of homelessness by teaching homeless parents to make their children's needs a high priority and to provide a safe, loving and secure home for their children.

You can help us by donating more than $1 at the door and by purchasing tons of raffle tickets!

Some quick facts from their website:

Each year we shelter and feed approximately 260 children. Our Center For Homeless Children and Their Families provides safe care, tutoring and assessment for children while their parents acheive goals related to housing, income and sobriety. At the core of our family programs is our Residential Parenting Education which underscores our emphasis on putting children’s welfare first. This is done through Kids First, counseling and case management.
COTS serves families through our emergency shelter program at the Center for Homeless Children and Their Families and our Shared and Transitional Housing. We teach budgeting, life skills and parenting classes as well as provide case management and counseling to prepare families for a home of their own.
COTS serves approximately 800 single adults each year through the Mary Isaak Center. Rent Right™ and Work Right™ teach people budgeting, work and life skills. These, together with our internship programs, case management and counseling, prepare people for a home of their own.

Homeless children served each year
Beds offered each night
Homeless people served each year
Volunteer hours annually
Meals served each year
Lbs of food boxes distributed a year
Emergency Shelters
  • Mary Isaak Center (100 beds/adults only)
  • Center for Homeless Children and Their Families (35 beds/children and adults)
Transitional Housing
  • Mary Isaak Center (30 units/adults only)
  • Shared Housing (9 houses for families)
  • Education Houses (2 houses for families)
Permanent Housing
  • Integrity House (6 beds/adults only)
  • Vida Nueva (75 beds for families)
Emergency Food Distribution Center
  • The Petaluma Kitchen – hot lunch daily
  • Food Box Program – weekly food boxes
Skill Building Programs
  Rent Right (getting into housing)
Work Right (securing income)
Kids First (strengthening the family)
Specialized Support Services
  Children’s Programs
The Family Connection - family support teams
Case management, counseling, medical care

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Friday, November 20, 2009

Raffle Preview - Glamourpuss from Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books sent us a copy of the hilarious and fascinating book Glamourpuss - The Enchanting World of Kitty Wigs.  -- According to cuteoverload.com, we have officially reached "totally new levels of redonkulessness." The Kitty Wig craze—sprung from the feverish imagination of Julie Jackson and her purring partner in crime—has swept the globe. Glamourpuss presents 60 stylish portraits showcasing furry models in the most fetching custom-made cat wigs ever created. The chic felines in this delightfully odd book answer the age-old question: what on earth do cats do all day? Make no bones about it—these utterly fashionable minxes are the hottest pet trend since cats in hats!

Julie Jackson is the creator of Kitty Wigs and kittywigs.com, the online shop for discerning cat owners around the world. She shares an office with her Siamese cat, Boone, in Dallas, Texas.

Check out Glamourpuss in the lastest issues of People and The National Enquirer! That's right! We are on the cutting edge!

Raffle Preview - Stencil 101 and Stencil 101 Decor from Chronicle Books

Chronicle Books sent us a copy of each of Ed Roth's books for our raffle: the original Stencil 101 and the new Stencil 101 Decor (psst... this one isn't even in stores yet!!)

Stencil 101 -- Customization is king. With this awesome, entirely original stencil collection anyone can learn to make their mark. Our handy portfolio format includes 25 reusable stencils along with tips and tricks for stenciling on all sorts of surfaces—from walls and furniture to T-shirts, cards, and even cake! Stencil maverick Ed Roth has chosen his favorite designs, ranging from urban-cool boom boxes and power lines to naturally fanciful sparrows and branches. Simple instructions take readers step-by-step through the process while photographs provide ample inspiration. Best of all, these stencils can be used over and over again. Simply clean, dry, and store them in the pocket glued at back!

Stencil 101 Decor -- This portfolio of reusable stencils, project instructions, and photographs lets DIY designers embellish walls, furniture, and more with cool custom patterns. Whether it's glam chain motifs on a wall or bold geometrics on a bathroom backsplash, these durable and recyclable stencils make a big impact. Each design is meant to be tiled—simply line up each corner's registration marks to get a paint-your-own wallpaper effect. It's a quick, unique, affordable way to achieve the latest look in interior décor.

Graphic designer Ed Roth founded the business Stencil1 in Brooklyn in 2005. His iconic reusable stencils have been praised by many, including Martha Stewart, ReadyMade, and the New York Times.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Raffle Preview - French General: Handmade Soirées from Chronicle Books

Today is the first of our sponsor profiles and raffle sneak peeks! We were so thrilled when Chronicle Books signed up to be a sponsor of the Craft Mart and were shocked when we received a box full of new craft books; some of which aren't even in stores yet.

One of the most admired and respected publishing companies in the U.S., Chronicle Books was founded in 1967 and over the years has developed a reputation for award-winning, innovative books. The San Francisco company continues to challenge conventional publishing wisdom, setting trends in both subject and format, maintaining a list that includes fine art titles in design, art, architecture, and photography. We love them for their amazing craft books!

French General: Handmade Soirées -- With Handmade Soirées, every hostess can add French charm to her next meal with family and friends. Entertaining becomes effortlessly chic with these 24 table and decorating projects from tastemaker Kaari Meng.

Organza chair covers dress up a summer fête; fabric wine totes and roll-out place mats make picnics practical; and all of these projects make guests feel cherished. Plus, Kaari shares the secrets of hosting, including how to set an elegant table, collect and care for vintage dishes and textiles, arrange flowers, and much more. The patterns, how-to illustrations, and step-by-step instructions ensure that beginning and seasoned crafters alike will find it très simple to achieve polished results. With an exquisitely scalloped cloth spine and 80 dream-worthy photographs, Handmade Soirées is as pretty as the projects it proffers.

Kaari is a world-renowned purveyor of French living and owner of French General. She sells vintage and new textiles and products in the U.S., Europe, and Japan. Kaari and her husband, photographer Jon Zabala, live in Southern California.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Sneak Peek of Our Amazing Swag Bags!

You may have heard whispers about the free swag bags that will be given out at the Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart and now here's a preview.

The Craft Mart gals spent a fun evening last week hand stenciling each canvas tote bag and you can see that each one is different. Love the snowflakes! We also made very cool Petaluma Shopping Passports that are coupon booklets wih discounts from 21 downtown merchants. Does a free gelato from Powell's sound nice? Each bag is stuffed to the hilt with magazines, promos and freebies from area businesses and there are only 50. So how can you getone? Be one of the first 50 people in the door at the Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart on Sunday, November 29th!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

We've been named a "Holiday Show You Can't Miss!"

Wow! Bazaar Bizarre just sent out their latest newsletter with their picks for the best holiday craft shows this season and we are one of them!

Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart is a new craft mart that brings together the best in Indie crafts, featuring traditional and edgy styles created by bold designers and artisans from Sonoma County and the Bay Area. Shop the malls on Black Friday but then come shop local on Green Sunday!
Attendees will be able to peruse the craft market, which will showcase 30+ crafters selling everything from jewelry and bath products to clothing and purses, all with a unique twist. The first 50 attendees will receive a fabulous gift bag! Attendees will also have the opportunity to enter the raffle for more incredible prizes and gifts generously donated by Chronicle Books and local businesses
The event is also a fundraiser for COTS. (Committee on the Shelterless) COTS offers help and hope to the homeless person in Sonoma County by providing safe shelter and housing, helping people develop steady incomes and helping them get back under a roof of their own. All profits and proceeds from this event go to COTS.
When: Sunday, November 29th from noon-5pm
Where: At the historic Hotel Petaluma located at 205 Kentucky Street, Petaluma, CA
Admission: $1 donation
Free Parking * ATMs across the street at Bank of America
For further information or to become a sponsor or donate please contact: PetalumaDowntownCraftMart@gmail.com

Friday, November 13, 2009

Meet the organizers of the Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart!

Have you been wondering just who are the masterminds behind the Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart?

We are a hard working bunch of ladies who love to make stuff, love our wonderful town and want to contribute to our community's well being. Melissa, Carrie, Elaine, Nicole and Kristine have been planning and scheming and busting their humps to make this the greatest craft show the North Bay has ever seen!

We are so excited about all the amazing vendors that are participating! Have you checked out the vendor gallery yet? Wow! And did you know that the first 50 attendees will get a FREE swag bag? This isn't any old swag bag. Nope, it's a reusable canvas tote custom stenciled and stuffed full of prizes, coupons, discounts, magazines and treats. If you miss out on the swag bags (but we know you'll be waiting in line for the doors to open to get a bag) then there will be 4 raffle giveaways throughout the day. Awesome raffle donations have been arriving every day from local restaurants and stores and companies like Chronicle Books, Craft Zine and Stencil 1. Stay tuned next week for sneak peeks of all the prizes!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Check out our interview with Bazaar Bizarre!

The Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart is thrilled to partner with Bazaar Bizarre! BazBiz is one of the largest and oldest of the indie craft shows in the Bay Area and their holiday show is coming up December 12th and 13th in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park. The Craft Mart ladies were recently interviewed by BazBiz for their blog and we thought we would share the interview here:

Can you please tell us about the upcoming Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart and who might be interested in attending.
Kristine McFarland:  The Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart is the brainchild of five Petaluma crafty ladies who have done our share on the craft fair circuit in San Francisco, Sacramento and various places in the U.S.  We all realized that there isn’t one definitive fair in Sonoma County, and really wanted to create a unique event to highlight the wealth of talent we have up here, to create a buzz to showcase such talent and create a crafty culture that has been missing.

Nicole Vasbinder: We also want to create an event that is inclusive of the whole town. Something that will attract all ages and people from all different walks of life. That's why we have vendors that represent the indie side of the craft community as well as vendors that are a little more traditional. We are also super excited that it's right next door to TAPS brewpub as there will be a place for the dudes to hang out who otherwise might not come to a craft fair. Ha!

Carrie Caudle: This is a great event for families to attend.  There will be a number of adorable gifts for little ones, and kids can find reasonably-priced things to get for their parents, too.  I love having an alternative to the mall for family shopping!  And any place where hipsters and grandmas can mingle is all right by me.

I am sure you are excited about arranging and promoting a fair of your own.  How has this process developed?   example, finding a venue, theme, selection of vendors. 

Nicole: It came together pretty organically. After I opened StitchCraft in January 2008 I started meeting all sorts of crafty people in Petaluma. I'm a natural networker and starting talking to people about putting on a craft show in downtown that would get foot traffic and would be centrally located. Elaine, Melissa, Carrie and Kristine all said that they would want to help plan and that's how we got together. In terms of locations, we looked at a bunch of vacant storefronts in downtown but couldn't convince a landlord to rent out for one day. But then we lucked out with the Hotel Petaluma and we rented their ballroom.

Elaine Barr: I find that this has been one of the most organic coming togethers that I've ever been a part of. I think all five of us genuinely love crafting and creating and really wanted to bring a venue for that to our town, Petaluma. We all have different and complementary strengths that have worked so well together, it kind of feels like everything is just falling in to place.

Melissa Abercrombie:  The five of us are all the "go-getter" type so working together has really been a breeze. Everyone is eager and proactive which makes it wonderful to be able to rely on the fact that everything will get done. We all have our stregnths and just planning this event has been so much fun.

What show have you done in the past that you have used as a foundation and inspiration for your own show ?
Kristine:  When I first moved from San Francisco to Petaluma I noticed there wasn’t a great venue for all the talent here, plus I really wanted to meet friends.  I created a craft show, which to put it mildly, wasn’t quite what I had hoped, but I was a solo woman, putting on a big event and clearly needed help.  All of these women were vendors at my fair and Melissa and I originally discussed ‘bringing it back’ as the idea was there and just needed to be expanded upon. 

Nicole: I have done so many craft shows over the past 6 years including Renegade Craft Fair, Bazaar Bizarre, Felt Club and Stitch Austin and wanted something like that for Petaluma. The DIY movement is exploding and ties in with the slow food movement that is so huge in Sonoma County. Petaluma is a natural for a show like this.

Elaine: I've helped plan two other Petaluma craft shows, so I knew there was a need for it in this area. And not just a need by the vendors, but by the shoppers. Petaluma has a great tradition for being supportive of artists and crafters. What I like especially about this show is the very diverse selection of vendors that we will be hosting. A little bit o' everything, I like to think.

Melissa: Since moving to Petaluma from San Francisco a little over 5 years ago, I've been very active in running a sustainable development campaign to support our local economy. Promoting the creativity of our area is a key component to that. Petaluma is a town distinguished by it's creative history and it's local-vore economy. Petalumans live within 5 miles of all the food, dairy, and beer (Lagunitas) they can dream of! It's a natural fit for our community to showcase it's creativity and particularly in such a beautiful and historic venue.

Carrie: I'm a little newer to the scene than my seasoned crafty companeras.  Although I've loved doing projects on my own forever, I just started my own crafty business a little over a year ago.  As I've entered the scene, I've loved the community spirit of crafters at both SF Indie Mart and the Petaluma Art and Garden Festival.  We've definitely captured that positive, collaborative energy for this show.

It is such a disappointment to see all the "retail" items being sold at craft fairs.   any thoughts about this ?

Melissa: Retail items have their place in mainstream culture but I fear the homogenization of what's available to the consumer. Personally, I like things freshened up from time to time and I feel craft fairs allow the opportunity for new ideas and products to reach consumers. Craft fairs are a forum for the maker and the buyer to come together in a shared appreciation of handmade items. When a craft fair ceases to fill that need then it's time to change the name.

Seems as if Petaluma is becoming a hub of independent thinking.  do you think it is the new home of the D.I.Y movement ?
Nicole:  I know! It's a pretty special place. We have so many talented people in Petaluma as well as special events like Whiskerino and Butter & Egg Days. And Sonoma County is home to companies like O'Reilly Media (Craft Zine, Make Zine and Maker Fair) and events like Handcar Regatta. Maybe it is the new Craft Mecca!

Elaine: I'm a little biased in my answer, having moved to Petaluma when I was 5 and basically living here since. I've had a craft gallery downtown, my mom owned a dollhouse miniatures shop in the old mill, before the fire, and my aunt taught me to paint in her upstairs apartment..five houses up from the Petaluma Hotel. The green valleys, the swirling winds and the early fog, just make an artist's heart leap with joy. Petaluma is positioned in a way that nurtures creativity and I find it very exciting that so many liked minded hearts are finding their way here...

Melissa:  We definitely have something going on here and it's in our blood as a community. We are known for originality in so many areas... the incubator was created here (which led to Petaluma becoming know as "the egg basket of the world"), we were one of the first cities to apply an urban growth boundary, and SMART code design principals were first started here. The creative identity of the North Bay and our access to a wealth of creative talent and healthy resources really make us a growing destination to creative-types!

Carrie: Petaluma exemplifies what a community can do well.  We are a group of independent thinkers--full of that self-starter spirit and D.I.Y. ingenuity.  And what better place to have the hub of a movement?  Cruise on out to the beach...enjoy the abundance of the local wetlands preserve...and eat more tasty food than you can shake a stick at...mmm.

Tell us about COTS:

Elaine:  COTS has long been one of those organizations that is synonymous with helping, caring and giving. There are a lot of people in this town, like throughout the country, that have fallen on hard times and just need a helping hand. COTS is that helping hand. From helping low income kids with their homework to providing dishes and other homeware to displaced families, COTS is a cherished part of this community.
Carrie: COTS is there to support members of our community with essential opportunities and care.  From temporary housing, to job skills, to nourishment, to sliding-scale counseling services, COTS is a vital component of what makes Petaluma so special.  We are thrilled to support this organization through our event!

Thanks Bazaar Bizarre! They will be at the Petaluma Downtown Craft Mart previewing some of the fantastic vendors that will be at BazBiz!

Friday, November 6, 2009

Maude Rare Finds

Maude Rare Finds is a special little shop that creates amazing handmade items as well as selling antiques and items from independent designers from all over the world. You never know what you might find during a visit to Maude!
 Jess and Stacy carefully choose designers for their attention to detail in their style, design, and production. They believe in longevity and sustainability in the goods they choose for their shop as well as for their families. The designs created at Maude are completely hand made and one of a kind. They use beautiful found, recycled, and vintage fabrics and trim to create most pieces and use remnant pieces from local designers to create our small line. They have created a sense of heirloom quality in their garments and products. The intention is to carry an assortment of goods which celebrates beauty and functionality.

Check out their website here!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sew Buttons

Sew Buttons is a handmade collaboration between Stella Brown and Shyla Barry. These two creative students create all sorts of handmade gifts including glass jewelry, sewn accessories and more!

Check out their website here!


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Rick Gorman Woodworking

Rick Gorman Woodworking designs and sells hand carved functional wooden spoons.  All spoons are made by hand and are one of a kind pieces carved from local woods  And rest assured all the spoons are food safe. These are sure to be a new family hierloom!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Felt Baron

During the day, the Felt Baron is employed as an illustrator. However, during the night, the Felt Baron is a crafting machine working until the wee hours of the night cutting and sewing. Tami Lovett-Brumfield creates whimsical fruit and other fun food themed softies made from (mostly) felt, fleece, and other fabrics. From giant ice cream sandwich pillows to smiling apples and oranges or popsicle magnets, there is a little something for everyone.

Check out her website here!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Jenny Elwick Photography

Jenny Elwick is a photographer who was born and raised in Petaluma, got her schooling in Chicago, and is now back with a vengeance! She specializes in weddings and portraits for her business, but is also a fine art photographer. She loves to sell prints of old Petaluma pictures, new Petaluma pictures, the sunset, and pretty things in between.

Check out her website here!