West Portal Arts and Crafts Fair, 2013

It was a bright blue day in West Portal, and the vendors at the street fair seemed to be getting a response. I got there only an hour or so before it closed, but I was glad I made it.


It was as colorful and interesting as usual, and it’s always a pleasure to browse.

dramatic colorful necklaces

There were the usual unusual things: jewelry designed and made by the people at the stalls, artworks I wished had wall-space for, garments, several stalls with hats and caps, rugs, candles, decorative mirrors with marquetry or metal frames, bags, and ceramics.

glass photo holders and art

pendants in bright glass


cloth bags

ceramicsI took my camera, but forgot to charge the battery, which gave up one block down. I have fewer pictures than in other years (like in 2011, HERE or 2010, HERE). If anyone wants to send me some to fk94131 at yahoo dot com, I’ll happily publish them here.

handmade wooden things

At one stall, beautifully finished hand-made wood utensils caught my eye. They looked very tactile. I couldn’t resist; I bought a lovely little coffee scoop of madrone wood, even though I favor instant coffee… and when I got it home, I was delighted by the brand-name: Moonlight Shenanigans.

coffee scoop of madrone wood - made by Moonlight Shenanigans


The fine day and the promise of the street fair seemed to have brought out not just the crowds, which was great, but an unusual number of panhandlers. None of them seemed to be West Portal regulars, to whom I admit I do sometimes give.  Today I just felt disconcerted and didn’t.

two trees to be cut down

And then, to top it off…  removal notices on the two trees on the sidewalk next to the former Squat and Gobble. They survived the fire and the demolition; but now they’ll be demolished anyway, to provide access for cranes. Necessary, but sad. They’re among the few tall trees still left in West Portal. There was a huge and beautiful tree next to the station entrance that was lost in one of the renovations. Gradually, all the tall trees will be gone and the village will have lost something of its character.

tree removal notice

Urban Bazaar’s Indie Craft Fair, 9th Ave, 5-6 May 2012

It’s the Fair Season!  Here’s another interesting one close by here, at 9th Avenue, particularly for people who like knitting and sewing and artwork…

Urban Bazaar (1371 9th Ave) is hosting a free local artist craft fair, the Vagabond Indie Craft Fair, on May 5th & 6th from 12-7pm. Vagabond will be a fun, interactive experience for hip, socially-conscious shoppers to find unique and beautifully handcrafted gifts, all while supporting talented indie artisans.

The wares that will be up for grabs include a wide range of jewelry, hair accessories, original and print artwork, knitted hats and scarves, and home decor items. There will be a bake sale to benefit Rancho Cotate High School’s art mural program, free button making all weekend, sewing demos & sewing machines for you to use from Nicole Blum, author of Improv Sewing, and more!

We hope to see you there! You can check out our website at http://www.vagabondsf.wordpress.com for links to the participating artists and updates.

West Portal’s Arts & Crafts Fair: April 13-15, 2012

The West Portal Arts fair is this weekend. It’s a lovely place to pick up unique gifts, or buy jewelry or art or craft pieces directly from the people who make them. I love the atmosphere, and the variety.

(CLICK HERE for my report on last year’s fair.

And HERE’s my report from 2010, with a slideshow of pictures.)

I think there are some people who come back year after year. I also heard there’s a rug weaver who takes commissions…

Wishing them good weather this year too!

ETA: I dropped in on the fair this evening, just before it closed. The rug weaver was there, Xenon Hippolito, Master Weaver. The rugs are Zapotec, and they’re beautiful. Some are in neutrals, like beiges and browns; others are in saturated reds and oranges.

Everyone I spoke to said today had been good, and that augurs well for the weekend. Hope the weather holds!

West Portal Arts Festival, 8-10 April 2011

It’s that time of the year again! West Portal’s having its Arts and Crafts Fair this weekend, starting tomorrow actually. It was a lovely fair last year, and this year promises to be good, too. Sixty-five professional artists. Paintings, photography, sculpture, jewelry and a great deal of other stuff. Browse through last year’s fair report for a sense of what to expect. [ETA:  Here’s a quick report from the first day of this fair.] Here’s the poster.