DIY A-OK: The rise of "buy local" over the holidays is not a wave that's broken yet; in fact, all signs and trends point to consumers continuing to seek the unusual and pretty items created in one's own neck of the wood. We'll also continue to see the success of small fairs focusing on artisan foods and crafts and clothing; meeting the person who has made your peanut brittle or pom-pom-adorned hat is about as "buy local" as "buy local" gets. With all that in mind, we're betting the Craftcation Conference will go large. It's a DIY, learn-to-run-your-indie-business gathering from Thursday, March 22 through Sunday, March 25, and everyone from clothing creators to home chefs'll get the spotlight and helpful instruction. It's happening in Ventura.
DIY DETAILS: The Patchwork Indie people -- you know their lively and colorful fairs -- are reminding DIYers to book their hotel by Feb. 15. You've got some time, but don't dawdle (although dawdling doesn't seem to be a trait in the ambitious, look-forward indie artisan). Check out the list of workshops -- they run to bath products and such, and also how to run a small business -- and get planning. Isn't 2012 the year you're really going to do something big? This should be a jump-starter.