Winter Storm = Application Extension!

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Remember when you were a student, and a storm day meant one more day to complete your project, or sweat over your upcoming presentation?

Because it’s crazy out there, and we know some of you have lost power today, we are extending our application deadline until tomorrow, Monday February 16th at midnight.

Get those applications in, enjoy the holiday & stay warm!

Halifax Crafters Society

Meet the Sponsors: Lunenburg Loves Halifax Crafters

With Lunenburg being just an hour and a bit away from the city, it is well-known as a day trip destination. This harbour town has many charms, including these wonderful independent businesses who have made it their business to support the 2014 Halifax Crafters Holiday Market. We’re so grateful to these and all of our wonderful sponsors who help make the show great!

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Crafters can’t stay open year round, so thank goodness for Dots & Loops. This handmade shop features many of our vendors products, plus many more gorgeous items from across Canada & beyond. Can’t make it to Lunenburg? Lucky you, they are adding to their online offerings for the holiday season, so you can purchase handmade gifts from the comfort of your own couch.

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Stephen of HelloDaylight is the brains behind many award winning design projects, including a delicious award winning rum that happens to be of Lunenburg fame. When he’s not designing for clients, Stephen is also a Crafter, making and printing his own line of silkscreened prints, t-shirts and more.

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A place for learning, making and gathering around craft, The Lunenburg Makery fosters community creativity and collaboration, hosting workshops in everything from natural dying to sewing classes to needle felting. Recently they launched Shop Talk, an assembly of creative entrepreneurs who get together to talk shop and learn from their collective experiences, providing a great support system for new and veteran crafters alike.

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With a passion for providing small batch, fair-trade organic coffees that are roasted and blended with care, Laughing Whale Coffee is both delicious and responsible. Located in downtown Lunenburg, visitors and locals can smell the fragrant roasting coffee while taking a nighttime stroll. Laughing Whale will be providing coffee at the show, be sure to stop by and fuel up during your holiday shopping!

Meet the Crafters // Fresh Catch Edition: Watermills Farm

 
Large-scale specialty tea stores have cropped up everywhere, providing liquid comfort for the dedicated loose tea fan. There’s something especially quaint, however, about picturing Michelle Engel, the crafter at Watermills Farm, planting and then scouring her and her partner’s farm lands in Lunenburg for herbs, combining them with fruit and then dehydrating them until they’re ready to steep.

“I wanted to grow organic food,” says Michelle. “Vegetable farming can be very intense in a lot of ways, so I started looking to my herb garden as a break from the grind of the vegetable patch.” Michelle found she enjoyed growing herbs and decided that herbal tea could be the right fit, offering, as she says “a small-scale farm niche where one woman could reasonably expect to work on her own.”
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“I’ve had great support from Pleasant Hill Farm, where I’ve been working this past season,” says Michelle. “We will see how it goes!”

Why did you choose the elements you did?  

I grow herbs because I love herbal tea and I love gardening. I’m also really into making things and crafting in general. 

What is your process?

I’m a farmer and a crafter. I grow herbs in my garden and tend them until they are ready to harvest. I harvest these plants along with wild plants growing on the land then set them to dry in hanging bunches in my barn, on screens or in a dehydrator.

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The dried herbs are stored until late fall when all the herbs and fruit have been harvested. Then I process and blend them to make a variety of tisanes, which I package and label with the help of my partner.

The reusable tea bags I will be bringing to the show are my own design. I cut and sew the bags myself from organic cotton fabric and thread.

How long have you been creating in this way?

This is my second year, so I’m really just starting out.

What is your background/How did you get started? 
 I’ve been pursuing an interest in organic vegetable farming for a few years, looking for land and dreaming about running a small-scale farm business. When my partner and I found our land last year, I set to work building gardens and planting the perennial and annual herbs that make up our line of tea.
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What do you believe makes your work unique? 
It’s rooted in a unique place, that’s for sure. My teas couldn’t come from anywhere but the farm where they are grown. I don’t know of many others who are growing, processing and packaging herbal tea.

When you’re not creating for the Crafters market, where can I find your work?

If I have any tea left over, I’ll be bringing it to the Lunenburg Farmers’ Market.

What makes Halifax Crafters different from other shows?

As a shopper, I love this show because of the variety and quality of the work. I’m so proud to be a part of it this year and I feel very grateful to the volunteers that have made it so amazing.

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What inspires you to create?

I get inspired by seed catalogues and hot drinks. Also, when I want something that’s a little different from what’s available, I feel driven to try and make it happen.

Where do you do your work?

I work in my garden, in the woods, in my barn, at the harvest table in front of the wood stove and also, at my computer.

Meet the Crafters // Fresh Catch Edition: Minimalistos

Minimalistos, the craft baby of Vlad and Jelsi, is a creative project started a few years ago with the goal of finding innovative ways to repurpose discarded materials. “We started working with glass after discovering that the glass from window panes is completely unrecyclable and ends up in landfills,” said the pair. “We’ve now collected hundreds of windows from all across Nova Scotia to fuel our work.”

Minimalistos’ pieces are inspired by a midcentury minimalist aesthetic, and as such, Vlad and Jelsi thought glass would be the perfect medium to highlight the simple geometric lines of their work. “Our process is entirely done by hand starting with dismantling window frames through to polishing our seams,” they said.
Vlad and Jelsi’s debut into the market scene will begin with this weekend’s Halifax Crafters’ winter market; lucky us!

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When you’re not creating for the Crafters market, where can I find your work?

We’ve been fortunate to have our worked stocked across Canada and you can now find us in four provinces! In Nova Scotia we are in Dots & Loops, Makenew, Common Values and soon to be in The Flower Shop.

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What is your process? Do you listen to any music while you work?

For us a new project always begins over a cup of coffee. We take our sketches and create 3D computer models then flatten the renders to templates. Over our second coffee, we plan how our day is going to look. While we work, we listen to a ridiculous amount of podcasts – Serial, This American Life, Radiolab, Ideas, White Coat Black Art and the list goes on. Time flies when you are listening to a story unfold! A third coffee gets us through emails, Instagram and bookkeeping.

Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 presetWhat makes Halifax Crafters different from other shows?

We are excited as this will be our very first appearance at a market! We look forward to meeting other makers and more of Halifax’s creative community.

One More Sleep!

The decorations are made, the tote bags printed, the buttons picked up, and now there’s just one more sleep until the magic happens! We hope you’ll come celebrate 10 awesome years of Halifax Crafters with us by shopping handmade this holiday season. The show opens Friday Dec 5th at 5PM – you don’t want to miss it!

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Sgraffito Ceramic Snowflake Ornaments by Anna Bald

Meet the Sponsors: Patch

10173745_217188995158728_1564280850067933140_nPatch opened just over three months ago, but owner Chris Pasquet has already gotten to know some of her regular customers. Patch’s popularity has been on a steady incline.

The shop sits on Robie street in the North End of Halifax. Patch is a great stopping place whether you want to buy fabric, learn to sew, or simply browse the patterns.

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“I had no idea how seasonal the business would be,” says Pasquet.

Pasquet anticipated January and February would be the busy months, when Halifax is coldest and people are looking for unique indoor activities. To her surprise, people have been coming in with the intent of crafting handmade gifts for loved ones. Pasquet thinks personally made presents are a great idea.

“Receiving something that you know someone has put that much effort into, to me, is really special.”

Pasquet says the sewing workshops have been especially successful. “People are really excited about them,” she says. “They’re all project based, as well as skill based.”

Many students in the beginner workshops have never touched a sewing machine before. That’s good news for me – I’ve always wanted to be able to make my own clothes!

“You come in and you work on something with the instructor,” explains Pasquet. “All of the classes come with some free rental time in the workshop, so you can come back and practice.”

The workshop is also available for rental by the hour.

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Pasquet sources fabrics internationally – mostly from the U.S. and U.K. She seeks and picks out the fabrics personally.

“I only sell natural fibres,” she says. “But honestly, I just go with what I really like.”

Patch’s knit fabrics have been popular since they are hard to find elsewhere in Halifax.

“I’m really proud of the ones that we’ve sourced.”

Robert Kaufman’s chambray anchor fabric sold out within a week – typical East Coast taste!

“I think what the Crafters are doing is nicely complementary to what we’re doing here at Patch,” says Pasquet. “It’s about handmade, it’s about supporting local… it’s about beautiful things.”

Meet the Crafters: Better Beard Company

Clayten Willington, owner of the Better Beard Company, is a living example of how difficulty can be turned into opportunity. “My background is actually in IT,” says Clayten. “I used to work for ALC and then I opened up my own restaurant which was doing well. We had 2 locations in Moncton.”

On January 10th of 2013, Clayten’s life veered off in an unexpected direction after his son was born with a rare disease. “We shut everything down, sold our house and moved to Halifax because he had to live at the IWK. I got [my next business] started out of necessity.”

Clayten’s son was born deaf and blind, so getting his attention seemed near impossible, until he discovered the power of the beard. “One day, I picked his hand up and brushed it through my beard and he rolled over. After that, every day I would run his little hand through my beard and he would know it was me.”

As his beard grew longer, it felt so itchy that Clayten would scratch himself to the point of scabbing. But since shaving his beard was no longer an option, he felt he had to come up with a solution to make his beardedness tolerable. “After trying my wife’s shampoo and conditioner to no avail, I came across Beard Oil,” he says. “There was no Canadian market at the time, so I made my own. When I was making Beard Oil I was also looking for my next business venture and it just seemed to fit together, and Better Beard Company was born.”

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Why did you choose the elements you did?

The 2 carrier oils I use in beard oil is a blend of argan oil and jojoba oil. I chose to use argan oil because it is non comedogenic, which means it won’t clog your pores. In addition to its other amazing properties, it’s really high in vitamin E, and it’s light-weight. I chose jojoba oil because it’s actually a liquid wax and it is really close to the natural oils your skin produces, so it also won’t clog your pores as well. It is really stable; the shelf life of jojoba oil is indefinite, so it increases the shelf life of my products.

I blend with essentials oils because they are natural and are also great for you. I also wanted my products to stand apart, and argan oil is like liquid gold. With a high amount of argan oil, not only is it amazing for your hair and skin, but it will last longer than the other beard oils on the market because you’ll need less.

For the beard balm, I use the blended beard oils and melt bees wax and shea butter into them. This gives a mild hold. The shea butter is awesome for skin and hair, and the bees wax will lock the moisture in.

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For my shave gel, I chose to use aloe and witch hazel along with some essential oils because I wanted to create a product that is good for you, and won’t dry out your skin. Other shave gels and shave creams can dry your skin out because of the alcohol and other nasty chemicals in them. I wanted to create a barber shop quality product that is a joy to use, where people will look forward to shaving instead of hating it.

What is your process?

To create beard oil, I only blend 1 litre of a particular scent or kind at a time, and it takes 2 days for it to be ready for bottling. I use argan oil, jojoba oil and essential oils. The reason it takes 2 days is because I like to let the blend sit for 24hours so I know what I’m dealing with. Only then will I adjust the essential oils as I see fit.

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The beard balm is actually really easy to make. I just simply measure out the bees wax and shea butter, melt it in a double boiler and add the beard oil and pour it into 2oz tins.
How long have you been a crafter?

I launched the company in April of 2014, however, I was doing research and blending since October of 2013.

What do you believe makes your work unique?

My work is unique as it’s marketed at men. I’ve seen other products for men that are marketed at women to buy for men, but I’ve branded this to appeal to men.

If you were to describe your work’s personality in 3 words, what would they be?

Vintage, Edgy, Canadian

When you’re baking for the Crafters market, where can I find your work?

My Products can be found at Saint Lou’s Barber Shop, Ascension Barber Shop, Kept Shop, Skybox Barbery, Independant Merchantile, Jenny Jib, Parlour Barber Shop, Status Barber Shop, King Cuts, Handsome Devils Barber Shop.

What makes Halifax Crafters different from other shows?

This is all new to me, but so far I’m looking forward to this show because it stands out as a place where all of the people who attend are serious about handmade quality goods I just finished another craft show and it was a mix of craft and resellers so I look forward to meeting everyone who is into local, unique, quality goods.

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What inspires you to create?

Lots of things, really. I’m a creative person and I just love the process from idea to finished product. I love working with my hands.

How do you begin a new project?

I first come up with the branding, and then I come up with a name. It has to have a cool story, then I come up with the actual product based on the name and the branding, and how I associate the two.

Where do you do your work?

I work at my kitchen table.

What kind of music do you listen to while you work?

I listen to a little bit of everything from Johnny Horton to Prince, Michael Jackson, Ben Caplan, etc. It’s all over the place.

A place you love?

I love Calgary; I just back from there and it’s a beautiful city.

An artwork or artist you love?

You know, I love this painter from Calgary named Jason GoGo, also Alex from Fishbone Prints. I have alot of his work and he’s amazing, so I love him right now.

Favourite time of the year?

Christmas. I’m a Christmas freak. The only reason my tree didn’t go up Nov 1st is because my wife wants a real tree this year so we are going Nov 29th to cut one down with the family.

Three things you need in order to create?

A clean work space, good tunes, and fast internet.

A favourite quote?

With great beard comes great responsibility.

A film or book you love?

Lord of the Rings in both cases.

What’s your favourite way to procrastinate?

Answering questionnaires for blogs.

But seriously: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook.

What do you do when you’re not crafting?

Hanging out with my 4 kids and my smoking hot wife.