Given the popularity of cupcakes these days, it's understandable that the not-paying-close-attention community might come to the conclusion that W Cupcake is another one of those east-side cupcakeries.
It is not. It is one of those up-cycled crafteries (like State Street's Anthology and the Glitter Workshop, formerly on East Johnson). Right across from Winnebago Studios and next to Studio Paran, it's in a comfy spot to benefit from the Winnebago art corridor.
There's a rack of repurposed kids clothes and some cute stuffed toys, like the simple, somewhat forlorn calico cats ($13), but most of the trinkets here are for adults. Even the big stuffed owls ($20), made from repurposed fabric, look more like pillows for the adult head to fall asleep on while trying to read, rather than something for infants to hug close.
There's a good selection of handmade tote bags and purses with simple graphic spirals appliquéd on them, made from repurposed and vintage cloth. Felt pincushions that look like giant Jujubes ($7) bring forth the question: If you're handy enough to need a pincushion, wouldn't you be handy enough to sew your own pincushion?
Felt is big, also appearing as the base material for groovy sphere-shaped dangle earrings (various prices depending on size) and covering handmade soaps (for a built-in loofah effect, $9). Other handmade soaps are sold naked. The hand-knit all-cotton dishcloths ($9/3, in matching colors) could also be used as washcloths. Because they seem too lovely to use on a dirty dish, perhaps reserve them for your facials.
Tiles with fun designs polyurethaned on the top serve as coasters ($4/14 or $20/6); vintage lunchboxes and thermoses serve as the bases for lamps, while coffee cans, punched with designs and painted and shaped, become lampshades. And old book covers become one-of-a-kind notebook covers - goodbye, Jonas Brothers; hello, Spot and Puff.
W Cupcake is throwing a "multimedia trunk show" in conjunction with Gallery Night, Oct. 2. Some of the shop's artists will be on hand, including Whimsyhouse, Modcards, Molly Linn-Miller, Lilytrees, Remember Me, Emily, and Kym Rogge and Kyle Fite.