published Friday, June 24th, 2011

Chatty Crafty fair downtown this weekend

This vintage fabric ring is the work of Camille Kohler, who is the sole proprietor of Cameoko, based in Atlanta. She will be one of the sellers at Chatty Crafty.
This vintage fabric ring is the work of Camille Kohler, who is the sole proprietor of Cameoko, based in Atlanta. She will be one of the sellers at Chatty Crafty.
Photo by Angela Lewis.

IF YOU GO

What: Chatty Crafty juried indie craft show.

When: 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Where: Chattanooga Green at Ross’s Landing.

Admission: Free.

Website: http://chattycrafty.com

Lynda Buckels, self-described “chief cook and bottle washer” of Chatty Crafty, felt like something was missing in Chattanooga.

A crafter who designs notebooks and jewelry from vintage children’s books, she sells her work at art shows and markets. But because there was no venue specifically for handmade indie crafts here, she created one.

“It was very Andy Hardy ‘come on kids, let’s have a show’ the first time around,” she said.

Buckels said she does the “traveling circus,” selling at craft fairs in various cities, and wanted to provide another stop for fellow travelers on the handmade/DIY tour.

Events like Chatty Crafty, she said, celebrate “the original, American entrepreneurial spirit. I take pride in it, and I take pride in making it for you. ... This ain’t your grandmama’s craft show. ... The heights the people are taking these crafts to is astounding to me.”

There will be clothing, jewelry, home goods and other handmade items. Many of the items are made from recycled materials.

For example: Forget Me Knot clothing, owned by Chattanooga resident Erin Burnap, uses vintage linens and tablecloths to make dresses. Reuse First is run by a Chicago-based couple who make notecards from materials they get from printing houses.

“We’re such a society of ‘throw it out, we’ll buy a new one,’ ” Buckels said. “We’ll go to Walmart, we’ll go to Target.”

The mascot of the event is Miss Chatty, a life-size cutout that came from an illustration on the cover of an old book Buckels bought to make one of her projects.

“I wanted the show to have a personal touch. She’s become our brand,” Buckels said.

Miss Chatty, she said, is the epitome of a Southern hostess, helping to add a personal touch to the event. “She’s got to feed you,” Buckels said, “and she’s there to provide Southern hospitality to our patrons and our vendors.”

The website and Facebook page address visitors from Miss Chatty, in the third person.

“Oh, how Miss Chatty loves a new way to repurpose,” an entry on the site’s blog reads.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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