THE WEEKS leading up to the holidays are always crammed with shopping events, but this is truly the mother lode. Local institution Crafty Wonderland is unleashing its annual Super Colossal Holiday Sale, a two-day smorgasbord of locally made products, from art to tea towels, and everything in between. Meanwhile, there's a new sale in town: Popular New York-based design website Design*Sponge is hosting the Portland Bazaar, a selectively curated weekend of shopping from local vendors.
The more the merrier, right? Surprisingly, the Design*Sponge website lit up when the Portland Bazaar was announced, with several commenters who took offense at the timing, interpreting it as a direct threat to Crafty Wonderland. "Have your event in the town you live in," sniped one commenter. "You should just pipe down and go to the crappy wonderland" volleyed another, in an exchange that bore some resemblance to the old Pace Picante commercial where one cowboy announces that "This stuff's made in New York City!" and another responds, "Get a rope."
In fact, the idea for the Portland Bazaar came about after Design*Sponge Founder Grace Bonney spent part of the summer here, and it is being hosted in tandem with locals Greg Hennes of Antler & Co., and Matt Pierce of Wood & Faulk. Likewise, it is Portland's small businesses that are being showcased, including a few you don't typically see on the craft fair circuit, like design group the Official Manufacturing Company, or brick and mortars like Alder & Co. and Una.
Neither Design*Sponge nor Crafty Wonderland are looking for a fight. "I feel Portland's creative community is large enough to handle more than a few art-based events on the same weekend," posted Bonney after the first complaints surfaced. "We've been doing this for five years, and we have a pretty big following," says Crafty Wonderland Co-Founder Cathy Pitters. Although a planned shuttle between the events was kiboshed by Crafty (Pitters: "We work really hard for our vendors to get a lot of people there; telling them to leave didn't really make sense."), the events are less than a mile apart, making for an easy, fun day of hitting them both.
So put down the rope. Crafty Wonderland, Oregon Convention Center, 777 NE MLK, Hall C, Sat Dec 10-Sun Dec 11, 11 am-6 pm, free; The Portland Bazaar, Sandbox Studio, 420 NE 9th, Sat Dec 10-Sun Dec 11, 9 am-6 pm, free
Four Calling Birds is a series of holiday events being hosted by the Ace Hotel, and this week's features Pendleton blankets (new and gently used) for sale, plus hot toddies from House Spirits and photo-booth holiday cards. Ace Hotel, 1022 SW Stark, Thurs Dec 8, 5 pm
Every Thursday in December has been deemed a Holidate with Downtown, featuring discounts and refreshments with a range of downtown shops including Fat Fancy, Mario's, Tender Loving Empire, and the Mercantile. As a bonus, cars entering downtown SmartParks between 4 and 6 pm park free. Downtown, Thurs Dec 8, all day
It's ladies night at Gypsy Chic and Zahara Boutique, with trunk shows featuring local health and beauty products from Pacifica and Soap Dreams, Lux Jewelry, and 20 to 30 percent off clothing and shoes. Gypsy Chic and Zahara Boutique, 3966 N Mississippi, Thurs Dec 8, 5-8 pm
The Knick Knack Patti Whack Art and Craft Fair takes place during the Fremont Festival of Lights, featuring vintage and repurposed goodies from Patti Smith West and Serge Sisters, like gloves, scarves, and slips. Patti Smith West, 3746 NE 42nd, Fri Dec 9, 5 pm, Sat Dec 10, all day
The Hawthorne Holiday Stroll is a festive excuse to shop, eat, and take in some light entertainment as you make some serious progress on your holiday gift list. Look for deals and special events at Southeast favorites like Mink and Local35. SE Hawthorne (main tent at SE 36th), Sat Dec 10, noon-7 pm
ElizaBeth Rohloff is hosting her third annual Pheasant Fête and open house, with sales of Portland-made jewelry, jams, the book Whiskeys from Around the World, and Rohloff's own hats, bags, and separates. There will be snacks, including the titular smoked pheasant. ElizaBeth Rohloff, 1323 SE 15th, Sat Dec 10, 7-11 pm
The Portland Japanese Garden's Holiday Gift Show and Sale is a great excuse to stroll the gardens and peruse Asian-themed artisan goods from the region, including glass, scarves, stationary, and much more. Portland Japanese Garden, 611 SW Kingston, Sat Dec 10-Sat Dec 24, free with garden admission
The Vegas-based Patty's Closet celebrates the grand opening of a brand-new Portland store, its first outside Nevada, with 20 percent off all day and goody bags for the first 50 purchasers. Patty's Closet, 820 NW 23rd, Sat Dec 10, 10 am
Eye Pop Art gets a pop-up within a pop-up with Eye Pop Up at the Trillium Artisans holiday pop-up shop. Look for art, décor, jewelry, and more made from recycled vinyl records. Trillium Artisans Holiday Pop-Up Shop, 318 SW Taylor, Tues Dec 13, 11 am-7 pm