Indie, Quirky, Friendly Patchwork

The holidays are on the way. Sign #1? A Patchwork craft fair.

Much has been made of the recent Americana movement in music and fashion, the return to our rootsier selves, or at least a self that likes beards and banjos and single malt whiskey and making one's own quilts and socks.

Our tone isn't teasing because look at the facts. Beards? Handsome. Banjos? Awesome. Single malt whiskey? Tasty. And being able to make your own quality stuff, or buy from those craftspeople and artisans who do, is quite the noble calling.

And, like the banjo-driven tunes of late, independent craft fairs have been on the rise. Patchwork is one of the biggies. It shows up in various spots around Southern California, in both LA and OC, and it is about to kick off an Oakland outpost. Why is this? Simple: It's well organized by friendly people, it attracts talented creators, it offers a wide variety of clothing and jewelry and bags and other one-of-a-kind products, and it always shows up around the holidays, to help take the edge off of our gift-giving anxieties.

You know that edge, right? Like, "am I trying hard enough to show Mom what she means to me?" Something handmade often goes a long way in that department.

Patchwork'll land in Long Beach on Sunday, Nov. 11. Dozens of tables and chatty stuff-makers, some of theme with beards and possibly banjos, will be seated behind them. And on those tables? Glassware and gewgaws for pets and scarves and purses and a lot of a lot. (A lot of a lot=anything, pretty much, that can be made.)

And nicest of all? Entry to Patchwork is free. More bucks to spend on Mom, which should be practically everyone's policy in life.

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