Blog News

Westervin Turns 5!

a slice of homemade bundt cake to celebrate the Westervin blog's 5th birthday

You may not know this, but Westervin has been rocking the blog for 5 years! Yep, earlier this month marked the 5th straight year that we, Sarah and Brian, have been sharing our favorite recipes, tidbits from our lives, and all the beautiful art and handicraft that we love. Heck, we’ve been blogging longer than we’ve been married. Before we were officially engaged even!

In the grand scheme of our lives, 5 years is a small amount of time, yet between December 2009 (the official launch of this here web-log) and today, we’ve shared a seemingly infinite number of moments, big and small, of excitement and inspiration, of frustration and failures, and of accomplishment and growth. Though at times we’ve felt like we’ve outgrown our blog or we’ve put unnecessary pressure on ourselves to be constantly publishing, worrying about being original and interesting, we’re ultimately so very grateful to have had this platform. It’s given us an outlet for our respective interests and talents through which we’ve connected with countless talented folk and new friends. And now, we have a shared record of our time together. Through changing jobs, educational accomplishments, and new cities, we can look back to remember all the moments we’re most proud, if not also all the strange things we used to be into… Tastes are not timeless, apparently. At least, that’s one thing we’ve learned about ourselves.

Yes, time has certainly flown by. We thought we’d take a look through the past five years and pick out a few of our favorite and most popular posts. Journey back with us, won’t you?


{ Untitled photograph by Sophia of "Five Words in Orange Neon" by Joseph Kosuth; "Dark land, pink cloud" by Louise Balaam

Image above from Daily Pretties: Neon Clouds, posted Dec. 28, 2009, featuring untitled photograph by Sophia of Five Words in Orange Neon by Joseph Kosuth & Dark land, pink cloud by Louise Balaam

Though we only officially blogged for one month in 2009, that year saw the beginning of many of our favorite blog categories, including one that Sarah’s stuck with since the very first week: A Pretty Pair (formerly Daily Pretties). Can we call this her signature category? Over the years she’s perfected the art of pairing, searching for two works — whether photography, painting, illustration, or other — from two unrelated artists that speak the same visual language. In the words of Stacey and Clinton, it doesn’t match, it goes.

Also, through the magic of the pretty pair, we announced our engagement, way back on December 29, 2009, with this post titled Some Special News. It’s like… we are a pretty pair! Ya know?


Sailor Necklace from the Vamoose

Image above from Giveaway: Sailor Necklace from The Vamoose, posted April 19, 2010

Twenty-ten was the year of the giveaway. In that year, we had 14 giveaways! That’s more giveaways than months! Each one featured something beautiful, usually handmade, generously gifted by someone talented and kind. A few shout-outs to our most memorable sweepstakes:

  • The first: Shannon Rankin and Justin Richel gave away a stellar print from their collaborative project Intersect.
  • The most popular: Kathryn Blackmore gave away a Sailor Knot Necklace from her romantic jewelry line The Vamoose, which still offers gorgeous handmade pieces.
  • Our favorite: Lorena Marañon offered one of her wildly popular embroidered necklaces to try to help us win a dream wedding sweepstakes. Sadly, we didn’t win, but we still had a dream wedding! Lorena’s now whipping up painfully stunning textiles-based jewelry, housewares, and art pieces.
  • The one that lead to our custom wedding rings: Marina Lampropoulou gave a lucky reader a pair of Blue Bird Oval Hoop earrings from her contemporary handmade jewelry line tothemetal. The next year, we had her make our custom arrow wedding bands.
  • The one that lead to the best pen-pal ever: Lisa Bruemmer Drake offered one of her striking lace necklaces, also to help us win the dream wedding sweepstakes. She later became the BEST PEN-PAL EVER!

I could keep going until I’ve listed them all, or if you want, you can just peruse all our past giveaways here. Join our mailing list to be notified when we have another one!


Westervin's handmade save-the-dates, embroidered on vintage postcards

Image above from A Westervin Wedding: Save the Dates Revealed, posted April 4, 2011

Our second full year of blogging was all about our wedding, from the announcements, planning updates, and DIY projects to the series of posts sharing all the photos and our reflections from, arguably, the most fun day of our lives. Man, what a ride!

See all the posts under A Westervin Wedding, which also includes posts celebrating each of our three anniversaries since. You can even check out all of our wedding pinspiration on Sarah’s Pinterest board A Wedding for Westervin. Truth be told, she still pins wedding-y things. The girl loves weddings.


Margarita Jello Shots in Lemon Wedges - Westervin blog

Image above from World Party Day: Margarita Jello Shots, posted March 29, 2013

In 2012 we were really hitting our stride and created some of our most popular posts. A few of our favorites:

  • Edible booze: We created a margarita jello shot for world party day.  We made way too many of these jello filled booze lemons, but people seemed to like them.
  • Taking care of business: Sarah posted the results of her Who Buys Handmade survey, which still offers a valuable look at the handmade market for makers.
  • Sweet treats: We were lucky enough to have Debbie Carlos, who just can’t stop doing amazing things, guest blog for us and share a recipe for a 60-second cake in a cup, which has become a dessert staple at the Westervin’s. Debbie’s large-scale photo prints and other work can be seen everywhere from Urban Outfitters, J. Crew, and CB2 to Apartment Therapy, Better Homes & Gardens, HGTV, and even an episode of Parenthood.
  • Fancy cocktail post: Brian was hired to create a signature cocktail for Poetry magazine’s centennial celebration. It was called the Hippocrene, and it got a nice writeup on the New York Times Drinks blog.
  • Glitz and glamour: Sarah created a spinoff of the classic pretty pair category, Who are You Pairing, which pairs red carpet looks and some awesome art.


handmade crochet beanie with stripes and pom-pom from Westervin

Image above from Westervin Shop Now Open, posted December 2, 2013

2013 was the start of the Westervin craft movment. Sure, we’d covered craft before (with the Who Buys Handmade survey, and featured handmade wares and independent artisans), but 2013 was the launch of the Westervin shop! Starting her own shop had Sarah thinking even more about craft in general, it’s history and it’s relation to art. A few highlights:


10 Tips For Your First Wholesale Order -- For Makers, From Westervin

Image above from 10 Things I Learned From My First Wholesale Order, Part 1, posted November 19, 2014

While 2013 was the start of the Westervin craft movement, 2014 found us moving away from ruminations on art vs craft and taking a closer look at the nuts and bolts of running a craft business. It’s important to us to share what we learn along the way so that other aspiring crafters can learn from our mistakes and, hopefully, our successes. Highlights include:

It’s been a really fun five years, and we hope that in 2015 we can come up with some more useful, fun, and entertaining content for all of you. Thanks for spending some time with us!

Craft Contexts

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration:  Above Home Floor Mat by Hlynur Atlason

{ Above Home Floor Mat by Hlynur Atlason }

Inspiration is a fickle mistress. She visits without warning, and, when needed most, she’s nowhere to be found. But we can’t quit her.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration:  Hand-Knit Headband by Camelotia

{ Hand-Knit Headband by Camelotia }

Fall is nearly here, but I have little to show for a new collection in the Westervin shop. I’ve let myself get too distracted by freelance work, the stress of taking care of a new home, and some pressures in my personal life. But I can’t quit! I won’t give up on Inspiration.

Westervin F/W 14 Inspiration: "Thinking About Water" by Sarah Ferone

 { Thinking About Water by Sarah Ferone }

To ease into the roller-coaster ride that is the creative process, I’ve forced myself to look at the work of others — crocheters, knitters, and fiber artists, as well as artists and fashion designers. This process proves both motivating and intimidating, as I cycle through the enlivening sparks of creativity and the fears of not measuring up. Hopefully, inspiration will take over before my insecurities get the best of me.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration: Scout Top from Need Supply Co.

{ Scout Top from Need Supply Co. }

Large, flat shapes. Pale, neutrals broken up by bright metallics and bolder colors. Rich textures. Headbands and a semicircle clutch. These are the lovely things I’ve found from talented makers that are inspiring me today.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration: Semi-Wallet by Georgie Cummings

{ Semi-Wallet Clutch by Georgie Cummings }

I can only cross my fingers… and my toes and arms and legs… and hope that I’m able to create a few things that are at least half as lovely as these.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration: Miss Fortune Tank by The Handy Studio

{ Miss Fortune Tank by The Handy Studio }

But if not, I guess there’s always next season.

Westervin F/W 2014 Inspiration: "Shelter II" by Liz Toohey-Wiese

Shelter II by Liz Toohey-Wiese }

Faire Play

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, 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 }

A Westervin Wedding, Blog News

Put a Ring on It, Part 2

handmade wedding ring set

You may recall that way back in September we celebrated our second anniversary. However, we forgot to tell you about our rings! Each year we get a new set of rings to celebrate the ever changing married life we lead…and for fun. If you haven’t been following along, be sure to check out our original rings as well as our first anniversary rings.

oxidized silver wedding rings

For our second anniversary Sarah picked out three different rings that go together as a set, two of which are oxidized silver. I have a simple oxidized silver ring that goes along with hers. It’s one big happy ring family!

set of handmade silver wedding bands

Clockwise from Top Left: {Epherielle } { Patrick Irla Jewelry }  { Lady Faye Jewelry }  { ANDYSHOUSE }


Craft Contexts

Craft is Not a Four Letter Word

carnations in a chain-link fence

{ carnations in a fence outside the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival 2013 }

While Brian and I were at the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival this past weekend, we ran into a friend of mine who had some of his photographs on display in one of the festival’s popup galleries, which were coordinated by the South Logan Arts Coalition. After catching up, I mentioned my summer project — reading through Makers: A History of American Studio Craft and writing regular blog posts on topics or ideas inspired by the text — and that I was at the festival to gather some material for my next post. He seemed genuinely interested but a little puzzled. “So you’re a… crafter?” he asked, hesitating on the word, as if he wasn’t sure what the appropriate term was.

Evan Baden with photographs from Under the Influence

{ Evan Baden in front of his work, photographs from Under the Influence,

at a South Logan Arts Coalition popup gallery }

He admitted that it seemed almost like a dirty word, that some people speak about craft as something to be looked down on. And it’s true—many people consider “craft” to be of less value than “fine art.” Perhaps they think of craft as requiring less imagination, less intellect, less skill — who knows what, just less. But I don’t hesitate to identify as a crafter, though I think it’s important for me to acknowledge that I’m more of a hobby crafter or a domestic crafter rather than a maker of fine or studio craft.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Stephanie Burke and Jeriah Hildwine

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

After confidently shaking my head yes, yes I would call myself a crafter, my friend seemed a little perplexed again at my reason for attending the Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival. Perhaps he was worried I wouldn’t find much by way of craft inspiration. But the funny thing is that the very popup gallery we were in, which showcased the work of at least six different artists, had more to do with craft than not. Almost one entire wall was taken over by Stephanie Burke and Jeriah Hildwine, whose several pieces of mixed media work included quilting, embroidery, and sewing. Textile arts? Or textile crafts? You say potato.

Milwaukee Avenue Arts Festival: Garth Borovicka

Ends of the Earth by Garth Borovicka }

Also in the room were wooden miniature works by Garth Borovicka, which I’ve seen at the Renegade Craft Fair and on Etsy. Those are pretty clearly “craft” venues. These Borovicka pieces that were on display at the popup gallery were hanging on the wall next to a slip of paper that described the work — its maker, its materials, its title. So, if it’s hanging on a wall in gallery, it’s art, and if it’s sitting on a table at a craft fair, it’s craft? My head hurts. Either way, Borovicka’s pieces are delightful….

Wooden miniatures by Garth Borovicka

{ Desktop blocks by Garth Borovicka }

Everyday objects are transformed into public art in these tiny worlds. A paper clip becomes an oversized sculpture in the manner of artist Claus Oldenburg and Coosje Van Bruggen, adding wonder to any work space. —- Garth Borovicka

Like the wood and textile works in the popup gallery that I’ll call “craft adjacent,” miniatures are a phenomenon that seem to float somewhere between art and craft. A good friend of mine who works in the art auction world was recently describing a miniatures collection that she was helping to sell. It seemed odd at first, not just the idea that someone had collected thousands upon thousands of teeny tiny handmade pieces of furniture and home décor, but also the fact that these pieces were part of an “art auction” being sold for a couple hundred bucks a pop. She showed us a few pictures, and after I stopped awing over the preciousness of the itsy bitsy works, I started to wonder at the skill required to make exquisite replicas of furniture, sometimes famous antique pieces of furniture, on such a small scale. My friend then passed around her phone with a picture of a miniature silver platter with incredible detail — it was about as tall as one’s thumb. When she was helping to unpack all the miniatures, she unwrapped this little platter, turned it over in her hand, and found her father’s signature on the bottom. Her father, a silversmith, had actually made this piece. Apparently, his mother was an avid collector of miniatures herself. What a small world (and other puns).

Miniature Furniture

{ hand-carved Rosewood miniature furniture }

So what’s the difference? Why is “craft” sometimes a dirty word in the art world? I wish I could explain it. Truth be told, I’ve spent the last few months trying to figure it out, reading books and articles, asking curators and craftspeople, thinking about it while I stare out the bus window on my commute home. I think I’m beginning to formulate my own understanding of the division, but it’s just a nugget of an idea right now. There seem to be a number of ways to slice it: form versus function, head versus hand, expression versus reflection. But none of these divisions really tell the whole story. There’s no doubt there’s plenty of grey area here. I’m sure I’ll never figure it out completely, and I’m sure my opinions will evolve over time, but after this summer, I hope to have a better understanding of studio craft and, therefore, a better idea of how craft is similar to and different from art. If I get closer to an answer, you’ll be the first to know!

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

Crafty News

Craft in America: Memory

Craft in America

I’m a little late to the game. I’ve only recently become aware of the documentary series Craft In America, which aired on PBS with the episode “Memory” in 2009. Better late than never, right? Luckily, all the episodes are archived and free to watch online!

Through interviews with a 90-year-old woodworker, a southern basket maker, a Native American weaver, a soft-spoken blacksmith from Santa Fe, and a rebellious furniture maker slash sculptor, this first episode painted a colorful and varied picture of American craft traditions.

Admittedly, I was initially disappointed with the show’s focus on conventional forms of studio craft and established craftspeople who’d garnered a notable amount of success in the fine art world. As one whose appreciation for craft developed more recently, amid the indie craft revolution and more commercial DIY movement, I had difficulty at first connecting with these craftspeople’s stories. Fortunately, I quickly recognized the depth of knowledge and insight these expert artisans could offer to younger craftsters and that the craft practices I engage in and value today have deep-rooted, rich, and lively histories.

fiber artist and basket weaver Pat Courtney Gold

{ natural fiber basket by Pat Courtney Gold }  { Pat Courtney Gold harvest cattails }

“Memory” presented beautiful but accessible work to aspire to and absorbing personal narratives to inspire. The weaver, Pat Courtney Gold, holding steadfastly to both her heritage and her individuality, created exquisite baskets that blended traditional Wasco designs with her own aesthetic experimentations. Handcrafted objects, she explained, “tell their own stories, have their own lives.”

Blacksmith Tom Joyce

{ blacksmith Tom Joyce in his studio; image credit: Bear Brandt }

Tom Joyce, the blacksmith, tenderly shared his handicraft—tools and hardware as well as substantial public sculpture made from recycled materials, including a baptismal fountain commissioned by a local church that was forged from salvaged metals donated by the community. The glimpse into this intense, impressive metalcraft was remarkable; the discussion of the “inherited history” of each piece was powerful.

Furniture maker Garry Knox Bennett

{ Ghost Chair #3 by Garry Knox Bennett }  { Garry Knox Bennett in his loft by Joe Samberg }

The candid sculptor/furniture-maker, Garry Knox Bennett, whose work is best described as delightfully irreverent (nonfunctioning chairs and ornately carved, traditional-style tables in garishly bright, clashing colors) was a downright hoot. While explaining how his career began with selling handmade roach clips, he proclaimed, “God bless the hippies—they loved anything ugly.”

In addition to these entertaining stories and inspiring insights, the first episode of Craft in America provided an essential context for contemporary craft. Through “Memory”, I realized that today’s craftspeople must have an awareness of the past—of our country’s craft traditions—to fully appreciate the present state of American craft and to actualize its best possible future. I’m excited to see what the next episode holds!

Shopping Sherpa

Come On, Spring…

handmade art, accessories, and housewares inspired by Spring

{ 1. Mini Macrame Planters }  { 2. Custom Portraits on Wood }

{ 3. Butterfly Temporary Tattoos }  { 4. Cat Chase Wallet }  { 5. Compound Ring }

{ 6. Snow & Pearl Cup }  { 7. Lemon/Mint Scarf }

Blog News

Put a Ring on It

Brian's second anniversary ringAs you may know, we recently celebrated our very first wedding anniversary! As part of the festivities, we decided to get new wedding bands that, we hope, will kick off a yearly tradition of sitting down together to find some new bling. Seems fun, right? Well, it was also kinda tough. We really wanted some rings that would go together. Not necessarily matching rings or anything like that, but rings that were similar in some way. Eventually we found two that we both liked on their own, but also happened to go together (marriage is about compromise, right?).

Sarah's 2nd Anniversary Ring

Sarah’s ring (from Meander) is very simple and dainty, but the curves echo the rounded inlays of my ring (from Harmony Winters)…and thus, a match was born!

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?