Election Pennants at Crafty Wonderland

2941998971 6fe494df12 Election Pennants at Crafty Wonderland

A message from an adorable little girl at Crafty Wonderland: "Vote!"

A couple of weekends ago, I ran the DIY table at Crafty Wonderland here in Portland. If you’re not familiar with Crafty Wonderland, it’s a monthly crafts fair that’s held at the Doug Fir Lounge and is organized by gals from PDX Super Crafty. One of the fun things they do each month is host a free craft activity that anyone can try out, and it’s loads of fun.

It’s sort of funny, because–and I think I’ve said this before here–I don’t think of myself as a particularly “Crafty” person. First and foremost, I consider myself a person who sews. And the crafty stuff that I’m attracted to are generally the things that are more technical or more designy; and I see sewing as definitely both of those things. Screen printing, which I really have grown to love, is very technical and design oriented. I’d love to learn letterpress printing (and I’d take a class if they weren’t 1) so damn expensive and 2) always full), which I see as technical and definitely very much a design process. It’s probably because I am a tremendous geek (just ask Rachel and Diane who have both been victims of my eagerly volunteering as tech support for their various web and computer woes) and I have somewhat of a background in art–since I took a number of art history courses in college and was particularly interested in mid-century advertising/propaganda and popular art. (Like I said, I’m a tremendous geek.) Anyway, that was a long-winded way of saying that when Cathy asked me to consider doing my election pennants as the craft at October’s Crafty Wonderland, I had a bit of anxiety over being “crafty” enough.

I cut out about 90 triangular pennants in advance, and instead of hanging them from a string, like I did for mine, I hot glued each one onto a skewer so they’d be like a little DIY flag.

2987045835 31abfd23f8 Election Pennants at Crafty Wonderland

This was one of my prototypes. I hadn't used glitter glue in about 15 years.

I also created several stencils with slogans like “Vote” and “Hope” as well as some stars of various sizes. We set everyone up with fabric paints and glitter glue and let them go to town.

2941995495 2f21a13cbf Election Pennants at Crafty Wonderland

Supplies ready to go...

There were basically no supplies left over at the end of the day. I was shocked at how enthusiastically everyone embraced this dorky little project I came up with. (Sidebar: A young gal, probably 20 or so used the “Hope” stencil to make a “No Hope” flag to commemorate a recent breakup. Not really what I had intended, but oh well…)

2941996025 cbb8ef1d3b Election Pennants at Crafty Wonderland

The "Hope" stencil was definitely the most popular one of the day--it had pretty much disintegrated by 3:00 p.m. A number of people remarked that they felt like it was a message was timely, given the horrible news about the economy the previous Friday.

We literally had folks ranging from infants to nearly 100 years old!

2942860504 b8055e045d Election Pennants at Crafty Wonderland

My pal Bryan and his 96 year-old grandmother working on their flags together.

I so appreciate how enthusiastic people were about sitting down and doing something fun like this. Everyone was chatting with one another, sharing paints, discussing glittering techniques (that is, until one young man literally used all the glitter) and just having a good time. I think that this type of thing is so healthy for folks of all ages to try out every once in awhile–there’s something good for the soul about getting messy and goofing off with complete strangers. (I probably helped in the cause by resisting the urge to lecture everyone about the history of political flag-making while they worked on their project. It was tough, but I kept myself in check.)

2942861012 a8f41e5d77 Election Pennants at Crafty Wonderland

This couple made two of my favorite pennants.

When Josh came to pick me up, he said it was quite the delightful sight as people walked down East Burnside on a windy, yet sunny, Portland afternoon with their little flags waving in the wind. I wish I’d seen that.

~Sarah

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