Maker Fairebazaar Bizarre Review

I went to the Maker Faire in San Mateo on Sunday, carpooling with Amytha and Allison from the South Bay Craft Group. We got there a bit early, but didn’t have to wait too long to get in, as it wasn’t as crowded as we expected.

Our main interest in going was the “Bazaar Bizarre” craft area within the general event, and we wandered around the various booths shortly after arriving. There was a nice variety of handmade items from different crafters, including some I knew from their web sites. There was jewelry, clothing, notecards, button pins, and a bunch of other stuff. I ended up buying a lovely floral notecard set from Posy Press, but nothing else really jumped out at me.

After walking around about half of the booths, we got to where some notable crafters were set up. First, we stopped to talk to Greg Der Ananian, author of the book Bazaar Bizarre and organizer of this and other craft shows by the same name. He was pretty cool and told us about some of the awful but crafty things he made while in high school.

Next to Greg’s table was the Craftster table, and shortly after we got there, Leah Kramer, the woman behind the site, arrived. She had some copies of her not-yet-released book available, and it looked pretty good, with some neat, kitschy projects inside. We told her about our group since it started on a thread on Craftster, and Amytha also presented her with a John Travolta plushie she’d made.

Otherwise, the rest of the show was just all right. We were actually hoping to participate in one of the craft workshops scheduled, but they either got cancelled or were full or were much later in the day. It kind of sucked because there were only so many to begin with, and we couldn’t even figure out where or when some of them were. We happened to find some folks from Paper Source who had just given a demo, but it hadn’t been listed anywhere on the web site or schedule that we had. Hopefully they’ll do a better job with that next time!

We checked out some of the “maker” displays and demos before we left, but I can only take so much science and geeky stuff at a time. We headed out shortly after that, and then got lunch in downtown San Mateo before going on a crazy shopping spree between there and San Jose. It was fun to actually go shopping with someone else, since I don’t get to do that very often, especially when it comes to craft supplies and Japanese stationery. :D We’re planning to go again in May, though we’ll head up to San Francisco then.

The whole craft show got me thinking though, about how great it is to have events like this that actually appeal to people around my age. Most of the craft shows I’ve been to in the past while have been more for an older crowd, with very few exceptions. It would be great to have more of these around here, but they are few and far between. We talked about the possibility of organizing one ourselves, but I don’t even know what sort of work would be involved. It could be fun though, so maybe I’ll have to at least look into it a bit. :)