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Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013

You’re not going to believe this. I just realized that I never shared my pictures from last year’s Renegade Craft Fair! For shame! As per usual, Brian and I had a great time perusing the impressive wares this past September at Chicago’s premier craft fair, and the booths certainly weren’t short on creative inspiration for me. I made sure to check out nearly every booth (a feat, let me tell you), and I snapped some pics of my favorites. After editing the pictures and putting this blog post together the following week, I promptly forgot to publish it. Gimme a break, though—it was a really busy time for me. But better late than never, right? I still wanna share all this great handmade work!

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Elizabeth Suzann dyed shirts

{ beautifully hand-painted silk shirts from Elizabeth Suzann }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Elizabeth Suzann dyed scraves

{ Elizabeth Suzann }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Dolan Geiman portraits

{ impressively large-scale, collage portraits and mixed media sculptures by Dolan Geiman }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Dolan Geiman art

{ Dolan Geiman }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Humperdinck Haberdashery hats

{ hats, hats, hats! from Humperdinck Haberdashery }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Naked Goat Farm jams

{ We got some DELISH bourbon peach jam from Naked Goat Farm after enjoying their free samples. }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Manymade wall art

 { I liked this cool booth filled with geometric animal portraits on wood. The business card I got said manymade.com, but sadly, the site doesn’t seem to exist anymore… }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Manymade art

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Adrienne Vita illustrated cards

{ colorful animal illustrations and printed gifts by Adrienne Vita }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Adrienne Vita pillows and prints

Adrienne Vita }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Caroline Borucki clothing

{ darling dresses made from unique fabrics by Caroline Borucki }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Susan Eastman textiles

{ Susan Eastman‘s display of hand-dyed scarves was perfect! }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Lisa Swerling glass cathedrals

{ Lisa Swerling’s Glass Cathedrals, delightful shadowbox sculptures }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Milled Home Goods Co

{ beautifully simple (and simply beautiful) wooden housewares and furniture from Milled }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Milled handmade furniture

{ Milled }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Urban Revisions glass vases

{ The highlight? Finally meeting the charming, talented Arlie Trowbridge of Urban Revisions and seeing her gorgeous glass jewelry and vases in person. Joyous! }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Urban Revisions glass jewelry

{ Urban Revisions }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Urban Revisions handmade clothing

{ Urban Revisions }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Moss for Meditation

{ serene moss sculptures from Moss for Meditation }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Moss for Meditation

{ Moss for Meditation }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Peg and Awl

{ special rustic treasures from Peg and Awl }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Michelle Starbuck tent decorations

{ Of course we stopped by Michelle Starbuck’s festive booth and admired her classy jewels! }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Michelle Starbuck Designs

{ Michelle Starbuck }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Janelle Gramling necklaces

{ And I got a crazy/cool necklace from Janelle Gramling. }

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2013: Janelle Gramling

{ Janelle Gramling }

Craft Contexts, Faire Play

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival 2013

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival 2013

After my last post on craft fairs and their impact on commerce and culture, I was motivated to get out of our apartment this weekend. The beautiful weather didn’t hurt either. I went with Brian to the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival yesterday in search of some crafty inspiration. We were not disappointed! For those of you who weren’t able to attend this fun neighborhood event, I am happy to share — through the modern miracle that is the internet — some of my favorite sightings. Feast your eyes upon these glorious works of creativity! May they inspire you in some way…

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Stephanie Burke and Jeriah Hildwine

{ T and O Map by Stephanie Burke & Jeriah Hildwine }

The first several photos were taken at one of the festival’s popup galleries, which were put together by the South Logan Arts Coalition.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Stephanie Burke and Jeriah Hildwine

{ right: Eldar Thing and T and O Map by Stephanie Burke & Jeriah Hildwine }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Garth Borovicka

{ Ends of the Earth by Garth Borovicka }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Garth Borovicka

Ends of the Earth by Garth Borovicka }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: photograph by Evan Baden

{ From Under the Influence by Evan Baden }

 Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Evan Baden at a South Logan Arts Coalition Popup Gallery

Evan Baden }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Atira Design

{ Atira Design }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Atira Design

Atira Design }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Penguin Foot Pottery

{ ceramics on display at the Penguin Foot Pottery tent }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Penguin Foot Pottery

{ ceramics on display at the Penguin Foot Pottery tent }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Rich Salamander's wire portraits

{ wire portraits by Rich Salamender of Neglected Renderings }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Rich Salamander of Neglected Renderings

{ Rich Salamender of Neglected Renderings }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Natalie Wagner

It Could All End in an Instant: The Existance of Absolute Destruction by Natalie Wagner }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Natalie Wagner

{ It Could All End in an Instant: The Existance of Absolute Destruction by Natalie Wagner }

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Natalie Wagner

Faire Play, Featured

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012: New Faves & Quirky Finds

ceramic cups & bowls from Ship & Shape

In addition to the few friends and old favorites we saw at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago earlier this month, I also happened upon a few new favorite shops. One of my most favoritist new shops is Ship & Shape, which had a very well-curated assortment of handmade jewelry, clothing, accessories, ceramics, and other lovely miscellany.

Ship & Shape at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

So many things I wanted!

handmade jewelry and accessories from Ship & Shape

air plants from Alapash at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

The greenery and beautiful displays from Alapash were refreshing to see. Unlike our now sad terrarium, these looked pretty darn robust!

handmade scarfs from Herron Clothier

These scarves from Herron Clothier looked perfect for a classy, geometric fall and winter.

Herron Clothier at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Just look at that beautiful weaving.

beaded necklaces from Moshi Handmade

Moshi Handmade had approximately one million necklaces I wanted.

handmade purses and pouches by Milkhaus Design

But the award for having so many beautiful things I wanted in my life that I couldn’t decide which one to get goes to….. Milkhaus Design! Can I have it all? Puh-leeeeease.

handmade dishes from The Bocket Store

I loved these hand-painted and re-imagined vintage pieces from The Bocket Store. The beauty was in the detail. And in the name. Bocket. That’s fun to say.

handmade bead & wood necklaces from I Am Home

Feeling nostalgic for the Original Wham-O Superball? Or maybe you just like bright colors and sand inspired patterns? In either case, iamhome makes the necklace for you.

iamhome at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

homemade kitchenwares from Tartella at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

At Tartella, I found some adorably printed napkin sets that were packaged in mason jars. Now that’s a nice touch.

handmade porcelain envelopes from Redraven

I’ve never really considered that I might one day need a handmade porcelain envelope, but these from Redraven were pretty enough to make me consider it.

art by D. C. Ice

These weird old animals in vintage frames from D. C. Ice were a major highlight for me. The stark color palette and elaborate frames really fit these delightful little weirdos.

D. C. Ice at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

That’s one tall drink of rabbit.

handmade cards from Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress

Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress had some of our favorite cards. Brian and I definitely picked up a few for some lucky someones.

handmade beaded jewelry by Sara Cramer

Sara Cramer was one of the friendliest sellers I met, taking a few minutes to explain to me how she made her intricately beaded jewelry. As you can probably imagine, each piece takes quite a bit of time.

Sara Cramer jewelry at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Nerfect at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

A pug with a banana? A gnome with a hot dog? This silly cat face? OK, count me in, Nerfect!

upcycled candles from Reuse First

…Somebody drinks a lot. Namely, those at Reuse First.

crocheted dolls from Morico

OMG fuzzy creatures! Need something silly and fuzzy…. Morico is your new best friend.

temporary tattoos and illustrations from Burrowing Home

It’s probably no secret that I really want a cat tattoo, but I figured I should play it safe for a little while and try out a temporary one first. Luckily, Burrowing Home came to the rescue. Now I just need a special occasion to try it out! Like, maybe… a Monday?

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Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012: A Few Friends & Old Favorites

Brian West, Jonathan Thomason, Laura Bock, and Sarah West Ervin

{ I stole this photo from Debbie Carlos }

The Renegade Craft Fair came to Chicago the weekend before last, and it was, as expected, the crafty highlight of my year. Brian and I grabbed some comfy shoes and our buddies Jonathan and Laura (pictured above), fueled up at the Milk & Honey Cafe, and got our shoppin’ on!

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

There was quite a crowd to navigate through, but we kept our heads down and pushed through to the goods.

Labrabbit Optics at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

One of the first booths we stopped at belonged to our old favorite Coyote of Labrabbit Optics, flaunting his awesomely curated collection of affordable new and refurbished vintage frames. With our powers combined, I think Laura and I must have tried on ever pair of glasses he had. I vowed to come back this winter for a new pair!

vintage eyeglass frames from Labrabbit Optics

Lady Faye Jewelry at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Then we found Katie of Lady Faye Jewelry and I got the kitty ring I’ve been wanting all summer!

handmade czech glass rings from Lady Faye Jewelry

Right Brain Drifts at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

We also stopped to say hi to Steve & Michelle of Right Brain Drifts.

bright, geometric wall art from Right Brain Drifts

handmade jewelry from Michelle Starbuck designs

But Laura and I probably spent more time drooling over Michelle’s jewelry (Michelle Starbuck Designs) than chatting! That little macaroni necklace was one of my favorite necklaces I didn’t buy that day. I’m gonna get one eventually.

Debbie Carlos and bf/gf at Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

Finally, we ran into our new friend and guest blogger Debbie Carlos with hubby Devin at the booth she shared with BF/GF.

handmade jewelry by Debbie Carlos

We also spent a lot of time ogling Debbie’s beautiful jewels and posters.

photo posters by Debbie Carlos

Laura Bock and Jonathan Thomason with their new Dino Planter

But are you wondering what all we bought? Well, Laura and Jonathan brought home a new bundle of joy—a triceratops planter from The Plaid Pigeon!

bright aqua triceratops dinosaur planter with succulent

silver teardrop ring from Ship & Shape

Laura also got the sweetest dainty ring from Ship & Shape.

handmade loot from Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2012

While there were a million things I wanted but didn’t get (I’m not made of money, people), I did make out with quite a bit of loot. In addition to my Lady Faye ring, I snagged clay bead earrings and a set of ceramic cups from Ship & Shape, a temporary tattoo from Burrowing Home, and cards from A. Dub Designs, Kate Funk, and Bison Bookbinding.

temporary cat tattoo from Borrowing Home and cat ring from Lady Faye Jewelry

handmade ceramic cups and earrings from Ship & Shape

These shops and killer handicraft weren’t the only things I discovered at Renegade, though! On Friday, I’ll share some of my new favorites and a few more quirky items we found.

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The Vintage Bazaar

The Vintage Bazaar in Chicago's Aragon Ballroom

In addition to our Dose Market outing, we recently visited the The Vintage Bazaar with our beloved summer brunch club. This monthly market occupies Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom and spills over into a nearby lot with many vintage and antique vendors, as well as a few food trucks and stands.

a vintage camper at the Vintage Bazaar

We started our adventure in the lot, where we were greeted by a cute, retro camper and a plethora of vintage clothing. I found a beautiful blue floral dress on the cheap (maybe I’ll show you later…), and Caitlin snagged a cool pair of tan woven shoes for a pretty good deal. I think our other partner in crime, LB, made out with a sweet vintage slip for a few bucks. I’d say were were fairly happy with our finds!

a crowd at The Vintage Bazaar

There was a good sized crowd — not too busy, but not dead.

a vintage ethiopian dress at The Vintage Bazaar

This is my favorite thing I didn’t buy — a magnificently embroidered, vintage Ethiopian dress. It was, very sadly, a tad too small and more than a tad out of my price range.

antique elegance: chandelier and ceiling at The Aragon Ballroom

One of my favorite things about the Vintage Bazaar is the setting. The exquisite details of the historic Aragon — the intricately adorned ceilings, the mosaic tiled floors, the chandeliers — were quite distracting in the best possible way.

the "Ladies Lounge" at the Aragon Ballroom

I saw several other attendees stop to take pictures of the space.The entrance to the women’s bathroom (aka the Ladies Lounge) appeared to present the most popular photo-op. I think I’m going to start using the term ‘Ladies Lounge’ to refer to all restrooms. “Pardon me… I need to powder my nose in the ladies lounge.”

a travelling barbershop at The Vintage Bazaar in Chicago's Aragon Ballroom

And fitting with the old-timeyness was a traveling barbershop, complete with a retro “tiled” floor mat. I tried to get Brian to sit down for a shave, but he wasn’t havin’ it. I don’t think he trusts anyone else with his prized beard hairs…

Laura Bock, Sarah West Ervin, and Caitlin O'Meara at The Vintage Bazaar in Chicago

After snapping a few ridiculous photos at the Smilebooth (who is that dude?!), it was time for our summer afternoon naps…

If you’re in the area and want to experience The Vintage Bazaar for yourself, the next one will be Sunday, August 12th!

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Dose Market

Sarah West Ervin, Brian West, and Laura Bock at Chicago's Dose Market

If Chicago feels like a dark, dead wasteland of misery in the winter (I exaggerate a bit), then I’m happy to say it really comes alive in the summer. There are more festivals and markets than you can shake a stick at. Brian and I have finally been taking advantage of these exciting outings, with some help from a few friends. Last month, our buddy LB (pictured above right) was able to drag us out of our apartment to visit the Dose Market, which happened to be celebrating it’s first birthday. If you’re not awares (as we, ourselves, were not), Dose is a monthly, indoor market, with an impressively curated list of food and fashion vendors (aka Dosers).

coffee at Dose Market

After arriving, we decided to fuel up with some horchata from Crop to Cup. I think my love for horchata is rivaled only by my love for chocolate milk.

upcycled speakers at Dose Market

We then started winding our way through the crowd, the tables, and the impressive displays. We were quite impressed with Gentleman’s Boombox, which wins the award for most creatively repurposed object.

yummy treats and sweet kicks at Dose Market

LB and I drooled over some treats from Bake and Brian drooled over some finely handcrafted leather shoes from Oak Street Bootmakers.

handmade leather goods at Dose Market

There was some more fine leather work…

camping supplies at Dose Market

And some vintage camping gear from Camp Wandawega.

Laura Lombardi's handmade jewelry at Dose Market

Then I noticed one of my favorite local jewelry makers, Laura Lombardi. It’s always such a treat to see her work around town.

handmade jewelry at Dose Market

peanut butter! at Dose Market

We then made our second purchase: some chocolate peanut butter from Yumbutter. Yum is right!

handmade scarves and other accessories at Dose Market

fresh berries at Dose Market

handmade clothing at Dose Market

After we enjoyed our complimentary drinks (beer from Goose Island and cocktail creations combining whisky from  Spicebox Whisky and snow cone syrups from Jo Snow), I grabbed a bottle of  smoky heirloom tomato catsup from The Scrumptious Pantry (lord knows I love my condiments!).

Laura Bock & Sarah West Ervin at Dose Market

We also took full advantage of the Smilebooth before we headed out.

being silly at Dose Market

We even got Brian to join the fun. And you know how much he hates fun….

goodbye, Dose Market! we had a blast ;)

All in all, it was a wondrous adventure!

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Faire Play: BIG BIG CITY Chicago

BIG BIG CITY: Chicago art market poster

I’m holed up at home today with food poisoning, which, in case you’re wondering, is THE WORST. However, my stomach seems to be on the mend, and I wanted to take a minute to share this fun event with you. Chicago peeps, this is for you. If you’re free tomorrow night (February 7th) from 5-9pm, head to this pop up art market, BIG BIG CITY: Chicago. Do it.

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Faire Play: Handmade Market Chicago

Rar Rar Press at the Handmade Market Chicago

Earlier this month, B-bops and I braved the cold and snow venturing to the Handmade Market in Chicago, which is hosted every second saturday at The Empty Bottle. What a fine city we live in! So many craftastic opportunities. We were not disappointed with our little trip, and I discovered some fun new craftspeople! But I don’t mean to rub this in your face, seeing as how you probably couldn’t come. Luckily for you, I’m about to take you on a virtual visit to the Handmade Market by introducing you to my 6 favorite booths!

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Faire Play: Four Markets in Four Weeks

renegade handmade holiday craft fair chicago

Did you take advantage of all the craft fairs before the holidays and buy handmade gifts? We sure did! And what’s that? You want to hear about all the fun we had on our holiday market marathon? Well, if you insist…

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Faire Play: Volunteering

{ photo credit: The Lovely Poppy }

Volunteering. This thing people do when they care about something so much that the thought of getting paid for advancing the cause of said “something” doesn’t even cross their minds. Who knew! I’ll be trying out this “volunteering” thing before the year is out, because as it turns out, I care about something! Again, who knew? My reasons, you ask? Well, I want to gain some real world experience that applies to my grad studies. But I’m working full time, in addition to classes, so I can’t devote myself to an internship. Solution: volunteering at craft fairs! Fun fun fun.

It looks like I’ll get to help out with the Renegade Craft Fair Holiday Market in Chicago next month, and I’m pleased as punch at the thought of getting a behind-the-scenes look at one of my favorite craft fairs. And for those of you in the Chicago area, I invite you to join me! If you’re interested, just shoot Madelon an email at info [at] renegadecraft [dot] com. But the fun doesn’t have to stop with Renegade! The Chicago Craft Mafia‘s DIY Trunk Show is also in serious need of volunteers. I wanted to help out with this show, along with the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow, but they just happen to be on two of the three weekends that I have to work this year. Drat! But who knows what joyous fairs the Spring will bring. And there’s always YOU. Volunteer! I know you can feel the crafty spirit moving in you…. No? Is that a weird thing to say? Well, I just thought I’d make the suggestion…