The day after crowds mobbed area malls snapping up holiday discounts, a mellower group of shoppers filled the Petaluma Veterans Memorial Building searching for a more personal shopping experience.
"There's Black Friday, and this is kind of Crafty Saturday," said Carrie Caudle, one of the organizers of Holiday Crafterino, the fast-growing craft fair now in its fifth year.
The event drew hundreds of shoppers to 49 booths where area artisans and craftspeople sold handmade soaps, jewelry, pottery, clothing and stationery.
"Our idea for the show is to be where hipsters and grandmothers can shop side-by-side," said Caudle, an elementary school teacher who makes block-printed children's clothing and other gifts under the label Moonpath Designs.
Proceeds from admission and a raffle will be donated to COTS, the Committee on the Shelterless homeless service center in Petaluma, which is suffering from a drop-off in government funding.
"Everyone in Petaluma knows that COTS is an essential part of the foundation of Petaluma," Caudle said. "It's one of those organizations that meets the needs of the community in ways most of us can't even comprehend."
Sales were brisk at the booth of Healdsburg ceramic artist Robert Weiss, who specializes in pottery with glazes infused with crystals.
"We sold quite a few pieces, actually," said Ash Weiss, the artist's daughter.
Nicole Pacheco, owner of StitchCraft sewing studio in downtown Petaluma, sold products made out of old LPs. She molds the vinyl records into bowls and turns the album covers into sketchbooks graced by Joni Mitchell, Van Halen, and Liberace.
Last year, Paulette Carles fell in love with the artwork of Oakland-based artist Bess Petty, purchasing several of her original silkscreens of birds framed in embroidery hoops. She returned this year with her two children, Isabel, 11, and Gabriel, 9, to revisit Petty's booth, Bird vs. Bird Designs.
Isabel, wearing a headband adorned with felt flowers, is an avid crafter herself.
"She gets a lot of inspiration here," Carles said.
Of all the craft shows she attends, Petty said the Holiday Crafterino has the warmest vibe. People are friendly and really take the time to talk to her about her work, she said.
"It feels like a real community event," Petty said.
(You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or email@example.com. On Twitter @citybeater.)
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