Makers markets: wonderlands of handmade mugs, printmaker’s posters, saucy stickers and custom calendars. The perfect way to decorate a sparse dorm room with funky finds is to scavenge these markets. These markets come in all different shapes and sizes from mug markets hosted in small coffee shops, craft fairs hosted in large breweries, and print bazaars hosted for miles by a single street. Whenever we hear about one that interests us, my roommates and I will load into a car in search of St. Louis’ fine and fun artisan craft sales. We are in search of anything that brings personal expression, joy, and story into our apartment.
Recently we went to a mug market at Blueprint coffee, a perfect pair. The small outdoor seating area was lined with benches showing off dozens of mugs. Each mug was uniquely decorated by the artists hand, some resembled coral with intricate sculpture work, some had more detail in the underglaze depicting intricate flowers, and some were simpler colors with creative indented shapes. I found a small, shallow ceramic tea cup with delicately painted blue flowers around the exterior. The lip of the mug was lined in a dripping gold foil, and one side had “Caution! Hot Tea!” stamped on the side. I brought it home with me to put my own hot tea in it.
The mug is now the centerpiece of my desktop and my morning routine. While morning filters in through the gaps in the milky shades, I fill the mug to the brim with a bitter green matcha tea and honey drizzled on foam. I repose in my cozy apartment bedroom under a canopy of string lights and surveyed my surrounding environment. The walls… a few postcards and a calendar. The walls still feel bone-white and bare. More to do.
The next weekend, we loaded again into the care with the GPS for the Cherokee Street Print Bazaar. The street was crowded with artists, students, teachers, homeowners, parents, baristas, bar tenders, and residents. We wandered from store to store for over a mile, meeting artists like Theresa Williams and Allison Morris Lesch, women who used words, mantras and illustrations of everyday objects, and color to create posters that were luminescent with joy. Their colorful posters had charming two color prints of artists tools, pensive and dreamy forest scenes, and expressive hand-written type and loopy scrawls that said things like, “Don’t be so hard on yourself, you’re doing great” or “Make mistakes, learn from them, move in.” All printed in citrusy hues, electric pinks, forest greens, and complementary blues. Now, I start my morning routine admiring colorful posters that say things like “Stay on the rosy side,” as I sip from my gilded mug in the golden wash of sunrise, preparing for the day,