Craft Bits — Vintage Toys, Competing Crafters, Miss Manners Advises

Posted by on Mar 02, 2012

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National Craft Month officially began this week, and in celebration, the newsies are going crazy with the latest in handmade and DIY. With Michaels launching a web-based crafting competition and Miss Manners knitting up a politeness how-to, we've got the web's latest craft news — in bite-size portions.

kid looking at vintage toy
Like a Kid with a Not-So-New Toy 

FAO Schwartz, that NYC dreamland of plastic fun and twinkly baubles, celebrates its 150th year with a showcase of vintage and antique toys. From that elevated sandbox the Etch-A-Sketch to the Cabbage Patch dolls, the toys (all carefully kept behind glass cases) offer moms and dads a walk down memory lane — and their kids a museum of what life was like without Apple. 
New York Daily News has more on FAO Schwartz's vintage toy showcase. 
screengrab of new web-based craft competition
A New Crafty Reality 
In celebration of National Craft Month, Michaels has launched a weekly webisode called “Craft Masters.” Three DIY divas must craft together a fabulous creation from mystery ingredients, “Iron Chef” style, while judges — two execs from Michaels and a new guest judge every week — choose their favorite. 
For more on the new craft competition web series and to even watch the first episode, go to Michaels
miss manners
Mind Your (Miss) Manners 

But not all the news is good from the land of craft. One Gentle Reader queried our favorite p's and q's guru Miss Manners about how to respond to rude questions regarding her public displays of knitting. Apparently, observers assume the (self-described) "larger girl" clacking away at the needles must be pregnant, and do not hesitate to pay the “When are you due?” dues. 
To learn how Miss Manners advises our Crafty Reader, go to the Chicago Tribune
criminal from scrapbook
Book Him!

A scrapbook over 100 years old went on sale this week, but rather than featuring great-granny in a pinafore, the centennial scroll captures criminals instead. Why British Detective Inspector Robert Mather created this pocket-sized collection is unknown, but we have to assume he was crazy ... for crafting. And criminals. 
The Telegraph has images of the scrapbook and more on its history.
baker hosts baking party
Strudel Shindigs and Gateau Galas 

On an un-creepy note, The Fayettville Observer reports baking parties are a growing entertaining trend. Groups of friends gather at local bakeries to learn the secrets of rolling chocolate, decorating cookies and more. Owner of the Sweet Boutique bakery Nicole Sullivan credits the culinary trend to the abundance of reality baking shows like “DC Cupcakes” and “Next Great Baker.” 
Interested in knowing more about the rising trend of baking parties? Head to The Fayetteville Observer

Image credits (from top): FAO Schwartz, Craig Warga / New York Daily News, screengrab via Michaels, Judith Martin, Reuters / Bonham and Cindy Burnham 

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