Last week I had the good fortune to win tickets from Capital Parent Newspaper to the Originals Ottawa Christmas Craft Show. I’ve never been to this craft show before and frankly cannot claim to have been to many craft shows in my life. I didn’t really know they existed. Most of my shopping is restricted to the essentials since we don’t have much in the way of disposable income (the kids keep eating it!). I plan to get to more shows in 2015 – in most cases as a vendor as I build my Thomas Woodcrafts products and business.
Laura and I went to the show and while we didn’t have the money to buy from all the vendors or even most of them. There were plenty we would have liked to buy from so I am going give my favourite ones a plug here so you can check out some of their products.
This is not a sponsored post and I am receiving no compensation for writing this from the show organizers or any of the vendors below.
Carolina Foresti –www.carolinasboxofgoodness.com
Carolina makes some excellent brownies and Dulce de Leche. I have never had this particular goodness before and would have mistakenly called is caramel sauce.
Here is the description from Carolina’s website: “Dulce de Leche — in Spanish, it’s literally translated to ‘Sweet of Milk’ and although it’s very similar to caramel, the authentic flavour is divinely different.
Dulce de Leche starts with a simple mixture of milk and sugar but is cooked for hours until it’s reduced to thick, creamy yumminess. True Dulce de Leche is complex and rich in its flavour.”
Carolina’s products are available at a variety of specialty food stores in Ottawa and eastern Ontario.
Village Treats – www.facebook.com/villagetreats
Village Treats is another local sweets maker in eastern Ontario. Village Treats is based in Lanark and they had a variety of chocolates and sweets available. The samples were excellent and I may have purchased a few that may or may not appear in certain stockings this year.
Heavenly Honey – www.heavenlyhoney.ca
I like honey. I’ve always admired the skills of beekeepers who can catch and milk each bee individually. The bee farmers at Heavenly Honey make some fine honey and quite a variety of straight up honey as well as creamed honeys and a particularly good cinnamon honey.
Heavenly Honey is also Ottawa-based and has products available in a number of local stores as well as through their website.
Coach House Shortbread Co. – www.shortbread.ca
Coach House must be the only shortbread maker in Canada since they managed to score the shortbread.ca domain name. They make a variety of shortbreads including a delicious Gorgonzola and Pistachio one that I tested.
Deb’s Dips – www.debidoesdips.com
We went to Deb’s booth twice and sampled a great many of her dips. We tried others at the show, but hers were the best. Some of our family members will be enjoying Deb’s dips this week.
The Bean Ladies – www.beanladies.com
Julie and Jamie spent lots of time educating us about their products, which included a wide variety of flavoured soy nuts and they even got Laura to try some of their bean soups and Laura is not generally a bean soup fan. Even though we didn’t purchase any of their products we are telling friends about them who will be more inclined to beans…especially those who need gluten-free products. Check them out!
Batons Leconte – www.batonsleconte.com
Robert was by far the best storyteller at the show. He specialized in turned products and most especially on walking sticks. He uses reclaimed wood from logging waste sites and industrial waste such as wooden pallets and crates. These walking sticks are a thing of beauty and no too are the same. He also makes magic wands and apparently that is a bit of a secret since those are not available on his website. He knew quite a bit about the craft of making wands so I am not sure if he actually turns the walking sticks or if he just waves a wand to get it done. If you know someone who uses walking sticks these ones are well weighted and beautiful pieces of work.
Sprague Woodturning – www.spraguewoodturning.ca
All I can say about these turned bowls is that they are gorgeous and creative. Check them out for yourself.
Northern Watters Knitwear – www.nwknitwear.com
My mum actually brought a pair of their thrummed mitts back from out east for Laura this fall. Laura loves them. They are very warm and very soft. They are knit mitts so wind does go through them. Laura found that a pair of thin gloves underneath provides the extra protection on windy days. These mitts are all handmade by an army of knitters working away at home in Prince Edward Island.
Past Into New – www.pastintonew.ca
To borrow a term from heritage building preservation – these products are an innovate adaptive reuse of decommissioned firefighting gear. They make uniforms and firehoses into bags, dog leashes and even christmas stockings.
Smell The Soap – www.smellthesoap.com
There were several soap makers at the fair and this one was Laura’s favourite. The soaps had such fresh natural scents. The scents are not overpowering and are all natural and according to the company the scents last throughout the life of the soap.
Do you have favourite vendors that you have seen at crafts shows this season? What shows do you like to visit?