May 21, 2012

Renegade Roundup / 1

What a weekend, let me TELL you. The Boyfriend and I drove out to Austin Friday night, checked in at a lovely budget hotel (I'm going to be euphemistic here...but crayonalloverthebathroomdoor aside, it wasn't so bad), and automatically met up with the other half of my brain for some fun! I think I've mentioned this before, but The Boyfriend has never been to Austin, so of course we took him to 6th Street (on graduation weekend, of ALL things) and had a blast. 
The main reason for this trip, however, was the Renegade Craft Fair! Saturday we set out bright and early to drive around, get some food, wander the wonderland that is Paper Source, and hit up the Palmer Event Center. I was so excited I couldn't even STAND it. When it comes to handmade and indie business, I'm nothing but supportive...meaning craft fairs are BEAUTIFUL and also really bummy because I want to stop at every single booth and chat and buy everything until I'm penniless, living in a cardboard box with a sign that says "Spent all my $ backing indie business; will work for handmade".


But really. The folks at Renegade put together quite a convention of artisans; the variety of products and creative talent just blew me away. Christine and I had so much fun stopping at different booths, pointing out incredible pieces, giving each other knowing glances when That Super Cool/To Die For Thing was out of our price range...ok that part wasn't fun, but anyway. 

I took Way Too Many Pictures of some of my absolute FAVORITE booths, and to keep posts from being too photo-heavy, I'm going to split them up throughout the week. Note: Most of the shots don't do the booths justice as the tables kept getting swarmed by fellow fair-goers (something I'm completely ok with, because that means potential business!) If any of these items strike your fancy, I definitely encourage you to click through to shop sites, etc. I had the distinct pleasure of meeting so many incredible people who work really hard to bring amazing products to the table; so many beautiful, friendly, ridiculously crafty people whose ranks I hope to join in the future. Long live handmade! 

When I saw Oh Hello Friend on the list of artists who were going to be at this show, I died. I featured her notes of encouragement in last week's Bits & Pieces post, and for a very good reason. Her blog, shop, and creative spirit are like cupcakes for my soul. Seriously. So needless to say, meeting Danni was exciting; she was so sweet and friendly; the kind of person you just want to catch up with over a cup of tea! The jewelry (which you can find online here) at her booth was beautiful and well-crafted; no two pieces were alike! Necklaces (Christine bought two!), bracelets, rings, pins, earrings, hairpins...all of it. 
And it didn't end there. OHF's fair offerings also included wooden pendants, wooden magnets, washi tape, gift tags, mini photo postcards with envelopes, decals, buttons, decorative envelopes, drawstring giftbags. Overall, Danni's booth had the most product variety, which I really enjoyed (as did many others; I had to come back after I'd bought something to take photos because she was swarmed! So exciting). You can find her papercrafting supplies here, as well as clothing and bags here
Ummm...can I own all of these stamps right now? Please?! (:

I was automatically drawn to this booth because of the simple yet elegant prints and mix of colors created by Helen of Cloth & Ink. She and her husband were both extremely friendly and more than happy to answer all of my questions; throughout our conversation, their passion for craft was completely evident. (Completely unrelated sidenote: she was wearing the CUTEST lace top and green skinnies...I want to steal her style!) Helen told me that her pattern inspiration is derived from her travels, as well as nature. I was even more impressed to find out that she controls the whole production process at her in-home studio room, from pattern design to hand-printing to sewing, all the while using organic, fair-trade fabrics and eco-friendly inks. I really wish I would’ve taken more photos of this booth to capture some of the detail work. You can shop her full line of home decor products here and here. Did I mention she’s a blogger too?

If you’ve been reading anything on this blog lately, you know I’m ALL about journals and vintage books. So of course, when I found the Ex Libris Anonymous booth, Christine had to pinch me. And then bear with me as I poured through each box of recycled journals. The process is simple: Jacob, Ex Libris’ Portland-based mastermind (who was not actually at the fair, sadly), takes vintage books and repurposes them into spiral-bound journals, keeping a few of the most interesting original book pages scattered throughout the plain paper pages. 
Journal covers ranged from children’s books to mathematic and sociology textbooks to beautiful, simply designed covers that I can only describe as ‘vintage’. There were Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys journals (!!!), craft book journals…the variety was outstanding and no two journals were alike! Even though spiral-bound isn't my favorite, so many of them captured my heart that I had to walk away and come back to make a final purchase later, haha. Even then, it was so hard to choose! I finally decided on a large converted Make-It-Yourself journal and a children’s book called Fun and Fancy (the color won me over in the end- neon salmon? Yes I do!) You can find more of Jacob’s unique journals on his website. If you want an idea of the kinds of books he collects and uses, visit his Flickr (I can’t get enough of it! What a collection!)
That beauty right there (actually more green in person) was one of the three I was dying to buy that ended up getting left behind, and my heart still kinda hurts. I kissed it before I left. When I showed the boyfriend the picture he was like, "Oh yeah, that's Cyrillic lettering. It's a children's book, some kind of intro to Russian letters" (and then my soul cried a little, but anyway). 

The Circle Street booth was probably the most cozy and cohesive setup I encountered on Saturday. Both sides of the booth were covered in a colorful scrap quilt (love!), and random drawers displayed different sets of stationery all the way around the booth. In the back/center was a small shelf of mason jars. At first I thought they were filled with scrap fabric, but NO. Each jar contained two onesies, and there were jars for all different sizes available. Is that not one of the cutest packaging ideas ever?! I wanted to buy one on principle. Does this make me crazy? Maybe.
Lindy was very down to earth and I loved hearing about Circle Street’s journey from hobby to full-time business. One of the reasons I love craft fairs is to be able to commune with fellow creatives from around the country and hear their stories. It’s such a refreshing experience; some have worked at it their whole lives, and some just kind of fell into it, changed their life’s path, and here they are, pursuing their passions and being successful! You can find out more about Circle Street here, as well as shop her adooorable stationery here.   

I think that's enough photos for one day, but stay tuned this week for more fair favorites! It seems like this is craft fair tour season for a lot of creative business owners; are there any exciting shows coming to a city near you? What exciting things did you do this weekend? 


  1. This is amazing and I might hate you right now in the kindest way possible. ;] I'm so so so jealous! Haha

    If I ever went to something of this magnitude I would be bankrupt and in debt to my eyeballs. I need one of those book journals ASAP! I seriously need to click through and stalk these people and buy some pretty pretties.

    I'm super excited for all your posts. I'm living vicariously through you! =]

    1. Girl, it's CRAZYTOWN. I brought a set amount of cash with me and was like "Ok Jessica, this is it, this is all. Make the rounds and THEN decide what you want"...TOTALLY feel ya on the indebtuptomyeyeballs thing if I'm not careful, haha. GO TO JACOB'S ONLINE SHOP AND BUY YO'SELF A JOURNAL GIRL! I love mine so much (and totally emailed him about the Russian one...I'm so sad I didn't just buy it right then).

      Thanks girlfraaan! It was a lot of fun, and I hope you get to make it out one day (:

  2. hey Jessica, such a fab blog post, your photos are gorgeous inside and outside the fair. Thanks so much sweet write up on Cloth & Ink. There was so many talented people, I'm glad I wasn't there to shop else I wouldn't have known where to spend my pennies! It was great to meet you, maybe see you at the next one! :)

  3. You're too sweet Helen! I loved your booth, so I absolutely HAD to share it. It was so nice meeting you too (: Keep up the amazing work!


You're so sweet (: Thanks friend!


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