Renegade Craft Fair Chicago 2011

My sister and I made our annual trek into the city to attend the Renegade Craft Fair on Sept. 10th.  It took us almost an hour to find a parking space, and even then it was 6 blocks away, in an ambiguous spot that we could not tell was subject to a one hour time limit or not.  
Once there, we realized why.  It was PACKED! 
Some things that I bought:

A glass pumpkin and Poe inspired mug. 

A beautiful necklace 
A tiny screenprinting kit
I love this bit of graffiti that I notice while there.

Some observations:  This was our 4th? 5th year?  Each year there is “something” there is too much of.  One year it was screened shirts.  The next it was prints.  This year, there was a dearth of everything, but one thing.  “Double booths”.  It seemed like many, many artists doubled up in one booth.  Presumably this is to cut costs to both artists, but to us it was a cop-out.  We wondered if both artists had to jury in or just one of them?  And some booths were so packed that we didn’t even go in them and see either artist.  It was unfortunate.  I go to see 300 juried artists, not 500 but only 300 had to jury in…  
Something else we/I noticed: very few artists were willing to say hello or engage in anyway with us when we walked in their booth.  Several decided to sit in the back of their booth and craft, not even looking up.  One of the people I bought something from gave me a snide answer to a question I had about the item as they were ringing me up.  Seriously?  If you don’t want to be there, don’t.  Otherwise, at least be nice to me when I’m buying your stuff! 

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The Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago

My sister and I make an annual journey to the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago from our places in the south suburbs.  We got there early, right at opening at 11 am, to a drizzly rain and most of the booths not open and still setting up.  We walked the place once around before the rain stopped and the booths really opened.  

We had a good time looking at the wonderful displays of merchandise and things that I would never make myself and leave to other experts in the field to make for me.
Cory and I noticed that there were fewer of the “shirt” booths from previous years, though they were still in abundance.  We did see a few “hot topics” for crafts this year… Octopus/squids, whales, and owls.  They were everywhere.  Renegade’s mascot is an owl, so that didn’t help matters.  But we saw octopuses everywhere.  We started to make a joke out of it, and I sort of wonder if I was unduly influenced in my “theme” for this year.  As we walked through, we noticed other patrons mentioning that is was still heavy on shirts.  I thought there were fewer than year’s past. 
I also got to chat with so many artists whose blogs or etsy sites are in my saved lists.  It was great to see and buy merchandise that I have coveted online for a while.  (I buy a lot of stuff on Etsy…  I should post more of what I buy, because I score some great things from some wonderful folks.)
So, show and tell time, right?  Here’s what I got and who it was from…. 
I coveted this from last year, and she had run out of this in red.  I don’t do pottery, so I do adore it when I find stuff that’s well made.  From Raquel Masri.
Isette is an etsy shop that’s long been in my saved favorites, and this peony necklace has long been sold out but on my saved favorites list.
I love letterpress cards, and I love snarky sentiments.  The Hello adorable robot postcards are from Little Korboose, who had something my sister absolutely loved.  The rest are from 16 Sparrows, the home of the Letter Writers Alliance whose banner you see on the right.  
Blown glass is another hobby I will never get into, and I admire “witch balls” when I do find them.  The price at this booth could not be beat, $12!  I loved this red color.  By Kit Paulson
If you know me, you know I love earrings.  I love any and all kinds of earrings.  But octopus tentacle earrings?  OMG…  So when I spoke with Peggy Skemp, the creator of these earrings, she told me that her great grandmother had a preserved tentacle that was shellacked in antiquity that was the original used for the molded earrings here.  She had gorgeous stuff, all with a story. We loved that.
One thing I don’t have a pic of yet is a jersey scarf from Garbella, it’s black with neat gears and cogs on it.  Check out the link to see what I mean, she has cool stuff in her shop.
Hope you enjoyed my little show and tell.

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This n That #7

I’m getting ready to go to Philadelphia to the Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza,and I can’t wait!
So much to do before then!
I’m planning to redesign my main website soon, so that should be completed by the end of the month.
I have a Halloween costume to plan, and I’m expecting this to take up a good chunk of September and October’s sewing time.
My sister and I attended the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago this past weekend, and we both got come crafty mojo. Not many booths selling what we are looking for however…. Sublime Stitching, her favorite, was not there. There were barely any quilts. I did see some bloggers that I follow, like The Small Object, Foundling, and 16 Sparrows. I thought the show was way too heavy on silkscreened t-shirts. In all, it was a good craft show. I bought a fair amount of cool stuff.
I’ve been recently diagnosed with hypothyroidism, and my new medication has not leveled out yet, so I have the typical fatigue associated with the disease. I can’t wait to get my energy back. Judy Coates Perez has the same thing and recently discussed this on her blog. I may think about switching from synthetic thyroid hormone to natural if I can’t get these levels to normalize soon.
Football season has started, and so has the fall tv seasons. So much to watch and so little time to do it!

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