It's like a holiday to some Chicagoans, the Renegade Craft Fair. I can understand why, with almost 300 juried booths filled with expertly, cleverly handcrafted goodies. We dedicated a solid two hour block to shopping and barely made the cutoff, even while bypassing 75% of the booths--not because they weren't wonderful vendors, but because we had ideas in mind of what we wanted and needed and had to resist all other temptations.
After a hot tip from a hot friend, I signed up to volunteer at the fair on Saturday. My duty was to sit at the West Entrance, track attendance, pet dogs, and people watch. Halfway through my shift, the crafty dreamboat fox, Madelon of Renegade, brought me a free Goose Island beer. Not a bad way to spend a sunny afternoon in Chicago. I saw beautiful person after beautiful person walk by with amazing prints and posters of all sizes. With my apartment getting a paint face-lift this week, I resolved to go back Sunday and adopt some new wall decor.
Just a preview of our print and poster bounty. We bought 4 total in various sizes from different vendors, with plenty more on our WANT list. This was hand-drawn and printed by The Peaceful Traveler. The colors are perfect for our apartment's new look, and it appeals to our nerdy love of science and maps.
Spectacular activity book/zine by The Peaceful Traveler (creator also of the Plate Tectonics print above)
My cat-friendly porcelain sprout egg from Eco-Elements! It was cat friendly that two of my fluffy buddies attacked and broke this within 5 minutes of bringing it home. And then again, half an hour later. Cats can be such (loveable) assholes. Good thing the eggs are super affordable, at some point I'll buy one of the six-pack kits and put them high out of asshole reach.
Ethically Engineered's shaving soap to partner with the boo's absolutely terrifying new razor. Maybe this stuff will keep him from shaving his handsome face off?
And here I am, looking like every other girl at Renegade (except you can kinda see my bra--oooops).
Some of my other favorite vendors:
- Hundreds of hand-painted colorful dots on upcycled wood at The Bocket Store.
- Tree stump furniture by the Elizabeth Element.
- Gorgeous pewter animal jewelry by f. is for frank.
- Interesting vases and candelabras from Urban Analog.
- I grew up with a birch tree in my back yard, so Bettula's jewelry and art seduces me.
- Gorgeous, asymmetrical jewelry made of natural resources at yellowgrey--reminds me a lot of Luxe Debris!
- I felt like I was meeting The Beatles of modern handcrafts when I came upon Paul at Tugboat Print Shop. Be still my heart! Check out the team's amazing, AMAZING process here.
- Nate Duval's prints are definitely in my "next to buy" queue. Love 133 Buildings and The Duke of Iris.
- I really wanted one of Larken's mugshot prints, but my roommate thought we should wait...
- Beautiful and uncommon scents in gorgeous packaging For Strange Women and men, too.
- Tastelessly funny cards done right by McBitterson's (this one got me!).
- I'd really like one of these i am home fences on my wall (they also have fun chalkboard skulls).
- Fringe earrings made from bike tubes! Verte Moderne Jewelry nails it.