renegade chicago 2012

This past weekend, Naoto & I made our annual trek to the Renegade Craft Fair. I start looking forward to Renegade weekend in the middle of summer, checking to see who is coming and browsing online to see what I want to buy. [Sidenote: Naoto never looks forward to Renegade…he’s just along for the ride, and the beer I buy him to keep him from getting grumpy.] I’ve mentioned on the blog before–I am very frugal with a lot of things. I hate spending a lot of money on toilet paper, toothpaste, make-up and cleaning stuff. But, I never mind spending money on things that I think are high-quality, unique and beautiful, especially when they are handmade. I do a lot of shopping for our home at Renegade (and on Etsy), and, except for two concert posters and a map, everything on our walls comes from independent artists. (That’s a post for another day…once it all actually gets hung on the walls!)

My first stop at Renegade is always the 16 Sparrows/Letter Writers Alliance booth. Donovan & Kathy always have a fun space full of postal goodness and this year was no different. (Don’t you love the airmail accent on the tent? Donovan made it with tape!) They were selling pigeon posts like hotcakes (For more information on my experience mailing a pigeon, go here.) This year, they debuted their pneumatic post, so I snagged one of those along with some labels and a postcard.

After the LWA we did a pass through all of the booths at the fair, scoping out which ones deserved our attention and attempting to shop. I say attempting because the crowds were thick and the booths were tiny, making it a huge challenge to navigate, decide and pay. So, we went to lunch.

We were lucky to get a seat at Jerry’s right by the fair. It was my first time and it was incredible! Their sandwich menu is a novel of unique sandwich pairings, tasty sides and beers. I had the Munchy: a grilled cheese with pickles and potato chips on it and a side of dill potato salad, and I also may have eaten Naoto’s entire side of mac and cheese. Yum!

Refreshed from lunch, Naoto took over. He charged through the crowds dragging me behind him and helped make some space in the booths so I could shop…it was kind of hilarious. Watch out annoying people with dogs on long leashes–we are coming through! Move your stroller, mom with the toddling toddler, we are flying by. Shove over canoodling couple, we want to shop!

One place I really wanted to shop was Son of a Sailor. I’ve been eying their Etsy shop for awhile and I wanted a necklace with our initials (K&N). Their other bracelets and necklaces were tempting, too (I’m keeping my Christmas list options open, Naoto!)  Luckily we were able to sneak into the booth during a wee lull so I had a moment to scope things out, make my purchase and have a tiny chat with Jessica (the designer). She was absolutely lovely and cheerful and she is just the kind of artist that makes indie shopping such a great experience!

Other than the postal goodies and the necklace, I bought two letterpress prints. One is the desk with the Lord Byron quote (“Letter writing is the only device for combining solitude with good company.”) from Bison Bookbinding and the other is the donut (“Donuts make the world go ’round.”) from Nourishing Notes by Letterform. I’m very excited to get a couple of frames and get them on the walls. (For the record, last month I hung something up that I bought last year at Renegade.)  I also got some decals from Oh, Hello Friend and the lovely pillow cover from Little Low Studio.

All said and done, it was a great shopping trip, and a gorgeous day to be outside! Yay for Renegade! I can’t wait to see you again next year!

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6 thoughts on “renegade chicago 2012

  1. Mom says:

    Sounds like a great day. Love your buys! I spied the pigeons. Imagine you are already counting the days until next years.

  2. The pillow cover is gorgeous! All lovely finds, really. Thanks for sharing your fun goodies!

  3. Jessica says:

    It was awesome to meet you! I hope you’re loving your necklace! Great post, too!
    See you next year!?!
    Jessica (+William)
    Son of a Sailor

  4. […] strip–taken at Fitzgeralds a few summers ago//You Are My Sunshine–purchased at Renegade a few years ago, but I can’t remember the seller//Presley–one of my first Instagrams, […]

  5. […] the cold, cold wind and headed to Ravenswood for Show of Hands Chicago. Karen has never been to Renegade and we had plans to go this summer, except my trip to Japan got in the way. When I heard about Show […]

  6. […] (My 2012 Renegade post is here.) […]

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