Renegade Chicago/DIY Street Fair 2010 Recap

Billy watching my booth at Renegade Chicago, during one of the rare times it was (almost) empty.
 What a busy September!  I had two great back-to-back weekend shows, The Chicago Renegade Craft Fair, and the DIY Street Fair in Ferndale.  Both fairs were awesome, there were a ton of people in attendance, and the vendor selection was top-notch.  I was honored to be included amongst so many awesome artists.

Renegade was awesome as usual, and my booth was right across the street from Starfruit! I had frozen kefir evvveryday and it was amazing. This was the first big show Billy has helped me out with, and he was pretty impressed with it too.  He also realized how tiring they are!  My mom came to visit, but only for fun and shopping, no working vacation for her this time.  I saw a lot of old friends, and made some new ones.  One of my new favorites is Laura Fauna. And oh man, did I buy a ton of handmade goodness.  But I'll save that for another post. I also indulged myself in one of the temporary tattoos from the Renegade booth.  This year's design was so good, I couldn't resist plastering it on my forearm!

Billy was such a great helper!  Parking my car, carrying heavy stuff, watching my booth while I went walking around, and even rigging up this contraption to carry my set-up back to the car.

The DIY Street Fair in Ferndale was also a great show.  This was my first year doing it, and I thought it was run very professionally, and they sure brought a lot of people in!  One of the great things about this show is that they provide you with a tent.  Another great thing about this show is all the great bands they had lined up to play.  I didn't have any helpers for this weekend, and I was pretty bummed that I didn't get to walk around and check out what everyone else was doing.  This was the first show that I successfully built a changing room, and it was a big hit.  I'll definitely be including a changing room in all my future displays.
I loved the twinkie car at DIY!

I love doing shows, but it's true that there can be too much of a good thing! I'm glad to have a bit of a break from the city, and work on shenanigans, bonfires, and painting our house. But give me a month, and I'll be super-stoked about the next craft fair, no doubt!


Style Friday: Plaid Beatrix

This top is one of my new Fall designs.  It wasn't originally meant for me, it was supposed to be for sale at the Renegade Craft Fair this weekend.  But...I made a huge mistake on it!  I cut out the pieces with the grain going the wrong way, so it stretches along the length of the body instead of the width.  I couldn't sell it like that, but it fit me fine, even with the backwards stretch.  It was a happy end to a sewing mistake.

This top is a good transitional piece for Fall, since it has longer sleeves and the material is a bit thicker. When it gets colder in the evening, I wear my grey zip-up over it, and I'm good to go!  And my ubiquitous cut-offs too. I wore this top almost every day last weekend (it was a four-day weekend too, haha) It's pretty much perfect!

I named it the Beatrix Top, continuing with the old-fashioned lady names.  I think I'm going to switch to old Detroit-area street names now, I'm running out of ladies names, and some of the older street names are really cool.  Any street name suggestions?  They have to be old, and from the tri-county area.

braid detail at the neckline


Renegade Craft Fair this Weekend!

The 8th annual Renegade Craft Fair is this weekend (Saturday and Sunday, 11am-7pm).  Each year gets better and better!  For a full list of what's going on, check out http://www.renegadecraft.com/chicago. Here are some of the things I'm most excited about:

-Wood St. has been transformed into "Craft Alley" with crafty documentary screenings, hands-on activities and workshops. 
-Marching bands and DJs from Reckless Records. 
-How cute is this: a bicycle parking lot!
-Reallllllly good food everywhere.

But really, there's so much more going on, so definitely make sure to check out the above link for more awesomeness.  I'm putting the finishing touches on my Fall designs, they'll be for sale.  I'll be booth #241, see you there!


Pretty Packaging

I love getting packages in the mail.  It's even better when they're in super cute boxes.  But what I love even more than that is putting packages in the mail.   There's a path at the back of my house that goes through the woods and ends up right by the post office, and it's like a little adventure every time I go there. I've been working on perfecting the packaging I send my Always the Forest clothing out in.  The boxes I use are 100% post-consumer waste, and recyclable. And they're made in Illinois! I can't use these boxes when shipping internationally (booo!) but I still decorate the bags I use for those orders.

I package the clothing item in these awesome newsprint bags.  I bought a huge bulk package of them a few years ago, and that place has since gone out of business.  I'll be so sad when I run out! I got that awesome Always the Forest stamp custom-made by http://www.etsy.com/shop/AsspocketProductions, and the other stamps are also from Etsy.

Invoice, business card, and a little note from me.

 And done!  I need to figure out some sort of water-proofing solution, just in case a package gets left out in the rain.  I'm thinking a small plastic bag for the garment itself, I just need to find a good supplier.

Maybe it seems like a lot of effort to stamp and sticker the bags and boxes, but it really doesn't take that long, and I think it's important for the package to be as nice as the clothing inside.  Plus, stamping things is fun for me anyways!


Style Friday: My Favorite Wrap Skirt

So I've been doing good with the whole not-buying-anything-new part of my goal this year...I only bought one pair of pajamas from target.  Anything else has been made by me, or another local, independent designer.

In the summer, I basically rotate through the same few clothing items.  If I'm going to be working, getting dirty, or exploring, I wear cutoffs and a t-shirt.  If I'm teaching, I'll wear a skirt and a plain shirt.

But! The more fancy clothing I make for myself, the more I get to dress up!  Which is kinda fun.  I made this skirt a while ago, and I wear it so often.  It's the first Hattie wrap skirt that I made.  It's super comfortable, but looks really fancy.  I was working in it today, that's why it's wrinkled. 

My next project is going to be making some plain tops for myself.  I bought the ones in the picture last year, or maybe two years ago, probably from Target.  They're getting a little worn out, and I'd like to make some that are a little better in quality.

Close-up of my shoes, they matched the fall leaves.  I can't wait for tights and sweater season! But that's probably because I'm an old lady at heart.


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