HandmadeArcade Hat Attack

HandmadeArcade Pittsburgh Convention Center, December 5th – 

This past Saturday was the annual Pittsburgh HandmadeArcade Craft Fair.  Last year, I was too late to arriving in Pennsylvania to apply (or even know of) any craft fairs. With only a few weeks to move from the UK, my husband and I had to get our kids up to speed on American inoculations, find a school district and place to live. Yikes!  Eventually,  I learned about the HandmadeArcade and signed up as a volunteer helper.  What a novel concept! Someone helps artists so they can leave their booth and take a short break/get a bite to eat/visit the loo! Never saw such a feature in the UK — or at least not in Norwich.

The HandmadeArcade is truly was a fantastic event, with many talented artists. And it was quite busy too with quite a fun and happy vibe.  Best of all, I really enjoyed ‘booth sitting’ for several vendors. Being in a maker’s booth made me ‘slow down’ and appreciate the items in front of me, while encouraging the public to ‘try this one on’ or ‘what about this one?.’

Being a bit more settled, this year I applied to be a vendor with my hand felted hats. However, I didn’t get accepted to HandmadeArcade.  I’ve learned from several local artists that this is not unusual. Nor, should I feel disheartened.  Although I must confess that I was. One artist started her own annual event after being rejected. Another artist kept on applying until she was accepted to HandmadeArcade.  So there is always next year to look forward to!

Anyway, I didn’t manage to sign up in time to be a volunteer at HandmadeArcade for this year. But, I made sure to visit this fantastic, free craft fair as a member of the general public. I attended with my spouse and my younger, craft-resistant, child. Hence, it was a fast whip-around, where I spent more time pointing out all the robots, monsters, bicycles and computer hardware bits.  Even at that speed, I recognized several makers from last year’s event. And then there were new ones too. In my haste, I forgot to take photographs inside the convention center. <– I hate when bloggers say that.

However, did manage a few pictures of the riverfront on that glorious day. Pittsburgh had weather the kind that San Francisco has in January. It was heavenly! There was no wind and it was in the 50’s (Fahrenheit)! Such golden light too.


Pittsburgh Riverfront Park on an balmy day in December - golden warm light everywhere!


Pittsburgh Riverfront Park is such a pleasure to walk along. Or cycle. There is a paved path, areas to sit, and interesting, native-plant-type landscaping.  We especially liked the area under the convention center. At night it is lit up and is (to us) an unexpected bit of public sculpture. In the day it looks more like when Dorothy and friends gaze at the Wizard in Oz. A nice contrast of light against the dark and that curving path could be the yellow brick road. Supposedly, the water in the fountain runs, but we didn’t see that. Perhaps the fountain was drained for the coming winter?


Tenth Street Water feature under Pittsburgh Convention Center


Here’s a picture of me in front of the pedestrian walkway, wearing one of my Christmas-themed Elf hats. I actually gave out a few business cards to the truly interested at HandmadeArcade. A compliment should always be greeted with that, no?

Me, wearing my red raincoat and a green elf hat, below the HandmadeArcade in the Pittsburgh Convention Center.


Here’s a better picture of that hat, which I call a ‘porkpie fascinator.‘ That is certainly a new species of hats. Nonetheless, it’s a fairly modest thing and doesn’t quite shout ‘look at me.’ After all, I was with my family!

Elf Hat with Holly Leaf


Incidentally, it’s that time of the month again – Hat Attack!

In coordination with Judith Boyd of StyleCrone, we celebrate the wearing of hats! She’s wearing a green feathered headpiece which is stunning and reminds me of an exotic bromeliad. The feathers vary in width, with some being quite narrow and others being wider. It’s a great hat THAT would have been head-turning at HandmadeArcade!


That’s the fun of wearing hats! You get to choose the hat that reflects your mood and situation. What ‘requires’ a hat may be as formal as a wedding or as informal as a craft fair.

Only you can decide to wear a hat!

But, the more hats worn, the better!




2 Responses

  1. The Style Crone

    Hoping that you will be showing at the HandmadeArcade next year! Sounds like a place for you to be. I love your “porkpie fascinator.” So unique, and of course business cards go with compliments. I’m sure you turned many a head.

    Thank you so much for sharing your headwear and your beauty with Hat Attack. I’m happy to hear that you liked my green feather number. I agree with the concept that the more hats worn, the better!

  2. jgorman

    Many thanks StyleCrone for stopping by and writing. Indeed, I do love your recent green hat attack hat. My absolute favorite (so far) is your turquoise blue feathered hat. That hat really tempts me to learn to work with feathers; love how they reflect the light when applied to a curved (hat) surface. The biggest surprise is that I hadn’t realized that you were a proprietor of a hat shop!! Ah, that explains the passion!! Thank you again for all your sweet appreciations.