Best Of 2006

Best Urban Craft Fair: Crafting Out Loud

Area native Alison Odowski landed back in the Tampa area after more than a decade spent living in places like Miami, upstate New York and Portland, Ore., took one look at the local urban craft scene, and decided she had to do something — fast. Though, she tracked down a group of likeminded locals — folks who produce everything from handmade journals to iPod coozies with a flavor that’s often witty, ironic or deliciously unexpected (anything but country) — and the idea of a craft fair for the Gen X/Y set was born. Following a successful June debut, the event — dubbed Crafting Out Loud — has become a twice-monthly affair held at beloved hangouts Sacred Grounds and New World Brewery. Goods regularly on tap include vintage plates decorated with wry comments and drawings by Odowski; journals, purses, toothbrush bracelets and record bowls, among other things, by Girlfriend Sweatshop; baby clothes and bibs by Melimade; and vintage-inspired jewelry by Yen’s Little Things.