Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Renegade Craft Fair

Take one crystal clear blue sky, one cloudless free Sunday afternoon, one of the most gorgeous cities in the country and combine these with five cute girls (well, four cute girls and one cute mom) and what do you have?

My Sunday last Sunday!

My daughter, Kate, got the crafty gene, unlike her mother. In fact, so did her sisters. Don't know where that came from, but they all are artistic in their own special ways. Kate, in particular, has done some amazing work with papers and photography. You can see some of it on the blog she started over two years ago here.

And she reads craft blogs. Can you imagine? Craft blogs! Who knew?

But she kept reading about this event called the Renegade Craft Fair.

Renegade: 1. a person who deserts a party or cause for another. Or 2. an apostate from a religious faith.

What either of these definitions has to do with arts and crafts, I have no idea. Are they renegades FROM crafts or, probably more like it, from normal everyday life TO crafting? Whatever.

Anyway, last December we went to the Christmas show in Chicago and had a GREAT time! (I guess I didn't blog about it because I tried the little "search" button over there on the right and couldn't find it. What was I thinking?) So many wonderful indie artisans. It was so much fun and such a slice of life that I usually don't get to see.

Well, last weekend was the fall showing of the Renegade Craft Fair and this was no small deal. They shut down Division Street which, if you know Chicago you would know is a fairly busy street, and lined the place with probably 300 artisan booths.

See? Wasn't it a pretty day?

And pretty days just put me in a good mood, so I played the good mommy and allowed my children to eat cupcakes, croissants, and scones for lunch, all purchased at this amazing little bakery right on Division Street.

Alliance Bakery, I'll be back.

Each booth was decorated as the artist wished--some were cute, others just so-so. But I liked the rooster on this flag. And the booth was cute too.

Even the little flags to draw you into the booth were cute. I bought two pairs of earrings at this booth--probably because I loved the little flags made of old library cards.

And then there were the crafts themselves. Each hand made. Each unique. Each beautiful.

If I had an extra $185 I probably would have bought this purse. It was so well-made and just plain cool.

Same booth, cute little dolls.

For me, though, the most fun was watching the people who attended the Renegade Craft Fair. Believe me, we saw all types.

From the lady in the snake skin leggings . . .

To the street performer . . .

To the band . . .

. . . which only knew one song and drove me completely insane by the time we left.

Personally, I always think it's fun to see another side of life every now and then. Makes me appreciate the quiet world I usually live in.

Quiet indeed.

After about two hours of bumping into every form of tattoo, piercing, and crazy hair imaginable, Maggie looked at me and said, "Mom, I think I'm ready to go home now. I mean, this has been fun and all, but it feels like all the freaks and weirdos of the world are here."

"They aren't freaks and weirdos, honey," I replied. "They're crafters."

Eventually we did make it home to our cozy, quiet, sweet suburban life . . . where the ink stays in the pen and the only thing pierced is an earlobe.



  1. I used to read some scrapbooking blogs. Actually, this makes me want to find them again! :)

  2. Fun!

    I love the soft dolls that remind me of matroyeshka dolls from Russia.

    I love that you are so great at taking covert pictures of people. My daughter is good at that but I am a chicken usually. People are interesting!