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Bazaar Bizarre began in 2001 in the Boston area as an informal craft show featuring handcrafted items for sale with a heavy emphasis placed on subversive, indie, punk, goth, and rockabilly subcultural aesthetics. The first event was also billed as an "offbeat entertainment extravaganza" since it featured musical acts and DJs, and continues to today. In 2004 the Bazaar Bizarre spread to Los Angeles and Cleveland. In 2006 Make (magazine) sponsored the Bazaar Bizarre as part of the Maker Faire in the San Francisco area every spring. The Bazaars in Boston, Cleveland, Los Angeles and San Francisco happen every year during peak holiday shopping season in December.

Bazaar Bizarre was an extension of the craft fair of the same name, and came out to early fanfare in such publications as USA Today. "Never underestimate the power of Ziploc bags, duct tape and beer cans. That's what I learned last week, when I got a crash course in cutting-edge crafts nearly everywhere I looked: from designer Todd Oldham's five-part HGTV series ...and in author Greg Der Ananian's Bazaar Bizarre ... As Bizarre's subtitle points out, many of today's do-it-yourself items are "not your granny's crafts" — they're edgier, more diverse and often cheaper."

The book is a how-to craft book that features specific projects contributed by various celebrity crafters, such as Dana Berkowitz and Leah Kramer of Craftster. Besides the crafters narrating how to make their featured items, there are interviews covering topics such as the state of DIY culture, music, independent film, etc. The book features projects such as:

    * a 'dirty pillow' with traditional embroidery used to spell out subversive sayings
    * 'anarchy soap' showing how to make your own soap and mold it into the ubiquitous anarchy symbol
    * a 'craft tote' with pockets for knitting needles, scissors, and craft supplies, decorated with punk fabrics
    * vinyl cuffs made out of colored vinyl from vinyl LPs and EPs

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San Francisco, Crafts, Boston, Diy, Cleveland, Diy Crafts, Craft Fair, San Mateo


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review by . January 12, 2010
When I lived in Boston I was still a student, so my schoolwork and job were my first priorities over finding all of my friends and family the "perfect" Christmas gift. Luckily, each year I was able to attend Bizaar Bizarre and take care of ALL my Christmas presents -  literally, I was able to check eveyone off of my list after attending this event year after year.   Bazaar Bizarre was started to help support local independent crafters. As it says on the website, "Dissatisfied …
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