Organized Living

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After a chaotic (but super-fun!) Christmas season, we’re ready to get back to a simpler, more orderly way of life here at Renegade HQ. So Things Organized Neatly is providing lots of much-needed inspiration. Ahhhh. (Found via Black Eiffel.)

California Holiday RCF Round-Up!

Many Merry Thanks to everyone who helped make our trip to California such a GREAT success!! We are so ecstatic to know that thousands upon thousands of folks will be giving a handmade gift this holiday season – how terrific is that?!

Here’s a quick little re-cap of our two weekends out West!

We’d like to personally thank whoever performed the perfect-weather dance in LA just in time for our arrival! Was it you?!

The weekend and the park couldn’t have been more lovely for our 1st ever Holiday Sale in Los Angeles!! In addition to the over 150 indie-craft talents on site that weekend, attendees could participate in hands-on workshops hosted by ReForm School, Urban Craft Center and Hands-On 3rd, listen to indie-jams from KXLU, pop in the Magnolia Photobooth Co. and grab a bite to eat from some of LA’s best independent food trucks!

Highlights included (clockwise from top-left) the always magnificent rope jewelry and textile creations of Tanya Aguiñiga, tiny topiary and terrariums – both faux and real – from Little Bit and TerriPlanty (center), the bicycle-powered sewing machine created by Frau Fiber, gorgeous ceramic jars and dishes from Eri Sugimoto and the clever and colorful papergoods of ever-delightful Krank Press!

Browse work by all of our RCF Holiday LA artists HERE!! And check out our complete FLICKR Photo Set!

We just love our new San Fran Holiday Sale venue – the cozy and colorful Concourse Exhibition Center! Over ten thousand holiday shoppers came through, going gaga over handmade gifts and spreading the indie-craft cheer!

With over 250 artists to fawn over, shoppers also took the opportunity to get involved with free workshops organized by ScrapSF and The Museum of Craft+Design (in collaboration with FLAX Art & Design), pop in the the free-to-use photobooth provided by Magnolia Photobooth Co., and flip through a free issue of 7×7 Magazine!!

Just a handful of highlights include (clockwise from top-left) the foodie inspired illustrations of Drywell Art, the leather ornaments hand tooled on site by Miss Natalie, the plethora of custom jewelry creations from Amy Olson, the 3-D psychedelic screenprints from John Howard (one of the nicest guys around!), charming one-of-a-kind block paintings from RPotter Studio, light-sensitive synthesizers from tech-gurus Magic Echo Music, and splendid illustrations by Caitlin Kuhwald!

Have your own little virtual San Fran Holiday RCF by browsing the artist line-up! Check out PHOTOS from the Fair!!

And with that, WE CONCLUDE THE RENEGADE CRAFT FAIR 2010 SEASON!!! Can you believe it?! Thank you to all the vendors, attendees and other participants that helped make this our biggest and best year yet!!!

See you in 2011!!

Giant Clothespin of Wonder

Here at Renegade, we’ve found approx. 58939 uses for wooden clothespins (current favorite use? keeping our “packages to wrap” pile sorted.). But this? This might just be the greatest use of a clothespin EVER. It’s from an awesome installation in Belgium. Oh, the Belgians. So clever.

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(Via Cup of Jo.)

Awesome Handmade: The Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef

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Whoa! How awesome is this crocheted coral reef? It’s part of the Hyperbolic Crochet Coral Reef, a super-cool project & traveling art exhibit that seeks to celebrate “the intersection of higher geometry and feminine handicraft, and a testimony to the disappearing wonders of the marine world.” Read more about this great handmade project here.

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Countdown to Chicago Holiday RCF: Jewelry

The Renegade Craft Fair Chicago Holiday Sale is coming up in just a little over 2 weeks! Whoa! We finally have our Chicago Vendor List up, and a beautiful e-flyer design by the lovely Kate Sutton! Please feel free to drag a flyer/banner off our website to help promote the fair!

In the meantime, here are 5 Artists I’m excited to see:

Artist: Miki and Nora Material: Antique Gold, Checkered Posts

Artist: Neogranny Material: Laser Cut Birch, Hand Painted

Artist: Noble Town Vintage Material: Salvaged Fishspine Chain, Turquoise

Artist: Cursive Design Material: Salvaged Textile, Wood, Glass

Artist: Dores Material: Hand woven Cotton, Gold Vermeil Beads

Craft (Life) Crush: Amy Sedaris

Yes, we love Amy Sedaris. Really, who doesn’t? She’s funny, makes cupcakes, has rabbits, and carried on an extensive relationship with an imaginary boyfriend named Ricky. There’s just a lot to love there. And now there’s yet ANOTHER reason to love her — she’s got a new book out called Simple Times: Crafts for Poor People. A log cabin out of sausage links? Sign us up.

And did you know? You have a chance to ask Amy your burning questions. She’ll be appearing later this month on the PBS show Need to Know, and she’ll be answering your questions! Go here to ask her anything! You can submit a question through tomorrow, November 4th. Do it!

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Here’s one of our favorite clips from Amy on the Martha Stewart show. If this doesn’t make you laugh, you might be a robot.

Today We Love: Quilts

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Is there anything better than curling up with a cozy quilt on a cold Fall night? Probably not. So it makes sense that we’ve got quilts on the brain. The quilts of Gee’s Bend will just never fail to amaze us. So, so beautiful.

If any of you are lucky enough to be in the Richmond, VA area, check out the American Quilt Exhibit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, we hear it’s an amazing show.

(Also pictured: Two of our favorite quilt prints, found here & here.)

Owly Shadow Puppets Workshop!

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Interested in making your Halloween more handmade? Andrea of Owly Shadow Puppets is hosting an evening of crafting October 23rd here at Renegade Handmade! Workshop includes making traditional bamboo lanterns with an Owly Shadow Puppets twist. Sign up now to guarantee a spot since space is limited! Email info@renegadecraft.com or comment below!

Monster mash your way to Wicker Park:
Who: Owly Shadow Puppets!
Where: Renegade Handmade 1924 W. Division
When: October 23rd After Dark [Spooky!] Price: $15 for supplies and fun

Ad Love

Unsurprisingly, we’re totally suckers for good design, especially if it involves sewing machines and/or coffee. So you can imagine our excitement when we saw these vintage VW bus ads. Two of us here at Renegade HQ have VW cars — can we get a sewing machine affixed to the top of one or what?

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From Delicious Industries, found via FFFFOUND!

Craft Crush: Leah Duncan

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Tuesday is Craft Crush day! Today, we love love love the sweet designs of Leah Duncan. Read on to see what makes this Texas crafter’s world turn. Oh, and guess what? Leah’s work will be on display at the Renegade Handmade booth at Design Harvest this weekend! Check it out!

When did you first start crafting?

I’ve probably been crafting since I was first allowed to hold scissors. I’m not sure if “crafting” includes giving my barbies different hairstyles, occasionally unflattering, or making new outfits for my little ponies, but a girl has to start somewhere! I didn’t start using my craft skills in my art and as a profession until very recently when I taught myself to sew and felt myself being drawn to other mediums besides simply drawing on paper.

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What is the story behind your business name?

I was born with it. Then my husband took over me with his last name. : )

What is your creative process?

I try my best to stay inspired so am always watching, contemplating, and absorbing things that could spark new ideas. I’m not the best at saving them for later, so when the lightbulb goes off it’s important that I get it down on paper. My process starts with a sketch, then I clean it up, scan it in, and start to color my drawings which could turn into a print, a pillow, a tea towel, or any other item I feel like breathing a little bit of life into.

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Do you have a best seller?

I have a few! My hills print has been very popular, along with my rooster tea towel, doily throw pillow cover, and blooms summer scarf.

Are you working on anything new that you’re particularly excited about?

I have a lot of new projects I’m excited about! I have my first tabletop collection in collaboration with an extra special company coming out soon. I’m working on a ceramics collaboration as well with a fellow indie artist. I’ve got a group show coming up which will be the first time I’ve ever shown originals. Other than that, I’m really excited to have launched my first wholesale line this year where I’ve ventured into textiles and other useable goods. So far it’s been a great year with a lot of new adventures.

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Who are your favorite artists and designers?

I have a craft crush on those Swedish ladies! Camilla Engman, Elisabeth Dunker, and Sandra Juto are my latest loves. I dream of sitting down to tea with them in Gothenburg and quietly absorbing all of their amazingness. I’d probably be very shy and unable to form words, but just sitting there would be enough for me.

What’s a typical working day for you?

I wake up in the morning, make a fresh cup of coffee, and stumble downstairs to my studio in my favorite pajama pants. After waking up a bit, I get dressed and take my pit mix Oslo for his morning walk. Once my animal duties are over, I start on my daily tasks. Sometimes it’s packaging etsy or wholesale orders. Other times it’s drawing, working on a commission, or new products for myself. I find the seclusion of working from home can sometimes be overwhelming so I’ll often step outside for a walk, a bike ride, or a run so long as the Texas sun isn’t threatening to melt me.

Can you tell us something silly about yourself?

I’m really good at dancing badly in my living room. And studio. Only occasionally in public!

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Thanks, Leah! You’re awesome! Check out more of Leah’s lovely work here and here. Itchin’ to see it in person? If you’re in Chicago, stop by the Renegade Handmade storefront or the Renegade Handmade booth at Design Harvest! It’ll be fun!

Craft Crush: Cursive Design

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Today’s Craft Crush is all about Sarah Fox of Cursive Design. We’ve been crazy for the sweet, ladylike jewelry from Cursive for quite some time, and we’re especially fond of her newest styles. Sarah kindly gave us a little peek into her world o’ craft, and we like what we see.

When did you first start crafting?
I’ve been interested in making things for as long as I can remember. My parents really fostered my creativity which I think is very crucial for little ones.

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What is the story behind your business name?
Initially, when I first started my business and making jewelry in 2005 I was only using lace and chain so I wanted to pair that idea with an elegant word. Cursive came to mind and I liked it. I also love that it reminds me of being a kid in school and learning how to write this very special way. Even though I’ve moved on to incorporating other materials in my jewelry and the pieces now are more playful that overly feminine I still love the name because it reminds me how I’m constantly learning and exploring.

What is your creative process?
My jewelry design process usually starts with looking at and playing with color swatches and then I narrow in on the material choices for the piece. I’m interested in combining color and transforming materials. One thing I’m starting to do now while I design new work is to absolutely stay away from the design/art/fashion blogs. For me I get too distracted and it’s important for me to really distill what it is I’m trying to say/make. I need to lock myself away in the studio with my own ideas. Then when I’m done I come out again and see what the world is up to.

Do you have a best seller?
It varies from season to season. I’ve been selling a lot of the color theory necklaces this summer. It’s exciting to me, because I think those necklaces are a pretty bold choice. Yes, embrace the neon yellow and hot pink.

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Are you working on anything new that you’re particularly excited about?
I’m fine tuning new jewelry designs for the fall/winter that will be debuting in early October and I recently made a large art installation that is hanging in the shop window of Orange Beautiful (up until October 15th). I’m particularly excited for that since it’s a total childhood dream come true and I hope to have more time/opportunity to do more of these large scale art works in the future. I need to make more time for art making. It always influences/informs my ideas and design work.

Who are your favorite artists and designers?
Tord Boontje
Dan Flavin
Joon + Jung
Josh Blackwell
Collina Strada

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What’s a typical working day for you?
I usually work on emails and maybe a blog post in the morning. If I’m feeling up for it I’ll work out, if not and I’m feeling low energy I’ll cuddle with my cat for a bit and try not to judge myself. At about noon I hop on my bike for the 5 minute ride to my studio where I work there until about 6 or 7. These days I’ve been filling a lot of shop orders and in between that time I work on new designs/projects. I come home and make dinner with my husband. We might meet up with friends in the evening or watch a documentary on Netflix. But there are also lots of “non-typical” days. I really love the days where I’m material sourcing/buying. Three times a year I go to a gem/bead/stone show at Rosemont Convention Center to stock up on beads and pretty things. Those days are so intense and fun. You’re making quick decisions and you are designing in your head on the spot. I always go with my friend who also makes jewelry. At the end of the day we pull out our treasures and treat ourselves to crappy food and drinks at the Olive Garden. It’s so awesome.

Can you tell us something silly about yourself?
Well, I actually love to be silly. I have a private/locked Twitter account where I like to tell pretty ridiculous jokes and write ditty’s. It’s like brain farts.

Thanks so much, Sarah! See more of her crafting awesomeness here and here. And stay tuned for a special surprise from Cursive later this week!!!

Congrats!

Hoot! Winner: Shawnimals

Congratulations to our Hoot! Winner:

Shawnimals!

Thank you to everyone who voted and a special thanks to the awesome crafters for participating in the Craft Fair and Spotlight Gallery! Stop in Renegade Handmade 11-7 everyday to see the wonderful owl creations!

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See the Shawnimals entry here!

Ten Things: Local Artists at the Fair!

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Have you heard? The Renegade Craft Fair is in Chicago THIS WEEKEND! (Of course you’ve heard, we can’t stop talking about it.) Things are getting pretty crazy around here, with new owl submissions for our HOOT Spotlight Gallery Show coming in every day and final preparations falling into place (never fear, the root beer float man has been confirmed). Today, we bring you a little hometown pride with ten RCF artists who hail from the Windy City.

1. The folks from Cordinated are keeping music accessories awesome + handmade.

2. We hear Crosshair Silkscreen Design made Willie Nelson’s most recent album cover and got to travel around Texas in Willie’s pickup truck. Um, awesome.

3. We love the natural simplicity of Kindling’s pieces.

4. Koboshop Inc. makes us think of the smell of leather, and we like that.

5. Laurageorge is a particular Renegade favorite. Did you see how awesome she made the front of our shop look?

6. We’ll take one of each of PLYtextiles’ gorgeous pillows, please.

7. Shapes&Colors, you use bright colors like champions.

8. We could do some great things with an overalls-styled ticking apron from Winter Session.

9. Fresh new prints from Yellowlion? Mesmerizing.

10. Do a little good and donate to great non-profits like Greyhounds Only and Tree House Human Society.

Craft Crush: Kit Paulson

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While things are buzzing at Renegade HQ in preparation for this weekend’s Renegade Craft Fair, we couldn’t help but develop a little CRAFT CRUSH on local crafter Kit Paulson. Read on to find out the secrets behind this glass-blowing wizard. (Also, a little bird told us Kit is a pretty great singer. Check her out here.)

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When did you first start crafting?

I’ve been making stuff for as long as I can remember. My grandmother taught me to knit when I was 5 or 6 years old. I can’t even remember when I first started sewing. When I was 12 or so I was digging up clay deposits in my parents’ yard, shaping it into cups, bowls and tiny animals and then “firing” it in little bonfires behind the chicken coop. I started blowing glass in college, was horrified at first and then somehow got used to it.

What is your creative process?

I draw stuff in a sketch book, I look at lots of old pictures in books, I mess around with glass and see what I can make it do. I am always trying to streamline all of my glassblowing processes and make them faster and more efficient. I’m constantly timing myself when blowing glass and trying to set records for how long it takes me to make a particular piece and then trying to break those records.

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Do you have a best seller?

Drink Me! I can’t paint “Drink Me” on hip flasks fast enough. It’s eerie how many people seem to want “Drink Me” written on the side of a flask.

Are you working on anything new that you’re particularly excited about?

I’m working on a process for making my own fire-on enamel decals for my glass. I’m not meeting with much success so far but my goal is to have it all ready to go in time for the September Renegade show.

Who are your favorite artists and designers?

I totally dig the illustrations of Aubrey Beardsley and Arthur Rackham. I think Banksy is brilliant. I can’t get enough of the glass work of Carmen Lozar.

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What’s a typical working day for you?

This summer I’ve been getting up and getting into the glass shop super early in an effort to avoid heat exhaustion. I come home around noon, eat lunch, mess around with my Etsy page. Since becoming involved with Etsy I have been spending more time at the post office than I ever thought possible. I also spend a lot of time sending and
receiving emails. I try to get all my business stuff done by 5 or 6 so that I can make dinner for my husband and tidy up around the house.

Can you tell us something silly about yourself?

I cherish a latent envy for Civil War reenactors because they get to wear complicated and spectacular costumes and hang out in homemade tents.

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Thanks, Kit! You can check out more of her awesome pieces here or up close and in person at the Renegade Craft Fair this weekend!!!

Happy 9.02.10!!

Yes! It only comes once a century! It’s September 2, 2010!

It’s 9.02.10 Day!!!!!

To celebrate, we picked out some jewelry for the ladies of Bev Hills and have a very special announcement!

Since Kelly, Donna, Brenda and Andrea are such trendsetters (well, okay, maybe not Donna, she’s more a follower, right?), you can pick up any of these jewelery delights not at the Peach Pit (or even The Peach Pit After Dark), but right here in our online store!!!

What do you buy the girl who has everything?! Well, for our beloved spoiled little rich girl Kelly Taylor we’ve got a gorgeous crystal cluster necklace from Nous Savons – nothing less than crystal would ever do! – and an adorable circular locket necklace from Lauren Haupt. Now remember, Kelly, this locket is for storing memories – not diet pills or for when you go skiing – yeah, we saw Season 6, girl.

Raven haired vixen Brenda Walsh may have started sweet, but by the time of her departure she had to worry about matching jewelry with her studded leather jacket! Well, VERAMEAT’s zombie queen necklace + a coiled snake ring from Species By The Thousands will surely match Dylan’s motorcycle and simultaneously give good ole Mr. + Mrs. Walsh something to worry about!

Oh, Donna Martin. We don’t even know where to start! Well, your choice in color-palette is certainly unique, so these X’s and O’s laminated earrings from Ina Weise will surely match any spandex ensemble you throw together + since you did save that deer from a forest-fire that one time, we know you’ll love this storybook ring from The Weekend Store. With these great items, maybe Donna will finally quit her whining!

If only Andrea Zuckerman had come to us sooner, we could have helped her bag Brandon with this fashionable ensemble! Ever the environmentalist, Andrea will surely love making a statement with these bamboo and suede branch earrings from Molly M + can preside over the West Beverly Blaze newspaper with added authority wearing a brass pencil necklace from Gold Teeth Brooklyn!

Imagine the handmade-craze these girls would have caused wearing these items about the halls of West Beverly High!

Happy 9.02.10 Day once more!

And since we’re on the subject of LA….

Yes! The rumors are true!

We will be returning to Los Angeles State Historic Park this December 11 + 12 for the 1st Ever Renegade Craft Holiday Sale in Los Angeles!!

This past July’s event was such a hit, we just had to come back for more!

Mark your calendars – Applications Open September 17th!!

SO many more details to emerge soon!!

Stay Cool!