Things We Love: Uppercase Magazine


As you might imagine, we like pretty things here at Renegade. So you can guess how much we enjoy Uppercase Magazine, which is basically a hundred pages of pretty every month. We find constant inspiration in their great designer profiles, pop culture roundups, and just general awesomeness. And good news! We now carry Uppercase at Renegade Handmade! Find it in store or online here. Not gonna lie, I’m totally picking up a copy of each issue today. Hooray!

Craft Crush: Mariko of Calico

This week, we’re crushing on Calico, a sweet line of bags & pouches made from vintage fabrics. Mariko, the brains behind Calico, kindly gave us a little glimpse into her world, and discusses the inspiring qualities of friendship bracelets, feed sacks, and Bon Jovi.


When did you first start crafting?

I always loved art classes in school, and my mom used to do flower arranging, so I often went to the craft store with her. I remember that I liked making stuffed animals from “handmade stuffed animal kits” and I sure made a decent looking Mickey and Minnie Mouse. I was probably about 10 years old at the time.

I also think back to those times (early 90’s!!!) and remember making braided bracelets and learning to knit. I never liked sewing back then, but somehow I ended up going to fashion design college in Tokyo and making a line of hand sewn accessories!

What is the story behind your business name?

Simply, I have a “calico” cat which I really love and “calico” is also a type of unbleached woven cotton fabric, originating in India. It was often printed with many different colors, and that is why the name became used for the cats, as well.


What is your creative process?

My inspiration comes from the antique feed sacks that I find. My initial idea was to make tote bags with feed sacks, so that each one would be totally unique and special, but I soon found that many of the feed sacks were damaged or stained, so only some parts would be useable. This forced me to look at the bags as source material for many different products, and sometimes a sack that is mostly destroyed will have one little corner that is perfect for a coin purse. Making these products takes time to source the material, and then find the best way to use the material in a way that has good design qualities, and still has the character of the original print. I also use vintage inspired new fabrics for some products, and with those it is a matter of choosing patterns and color combinations that fit with my vintage aesthetic.

Do you have a best seller?

I think the best seller is the small Japanese coin purses. They are small, affordable, and available in both vintage and new fabrics.

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

Yes, I am working on key fobs and silkscreened totes right now. The key fobs are fun because I have to stamp the leather by hand and that means I have to do a lot of hammering into a piece of wood to get the stamp looking right! The silk screened totes are cool because it is an opportunity for me to let the influence of so many wonderful feedsack designs come out in an original design, and it will be a fun and simple product.


Who are your favorite artists and designers?

Samantha Hahn – Illustrator
Tim Burton

What’s a typical working day for you?

After having breakfast with my husband, he goes to his recording studio by vespa, and I start cleaning our house, taking care of our cats and my fire escape garden and all other chores. I usually have an early lunch around 11:30 (my metabolism is fast!), and then start working from around noon till 8-ish.

Can you tell us something silly about yourself?

I like listening to classic rock radio while sewing, and sometime sing along to “You Give Love a Bad Name” and that gives me more energy to keep sewing!

(Photos by Yuki Wakamaki)
Thanks, Mariko! See more beautiful Calico goodies here & here.

Roadtrip to Renegade: I-5 With the Berkleys.


(Another in our series following some of our favorite crafters as they make the trek to the West Coast Fairs. Today, Ryan and Lucy Berkley of Berkley Illustration share their experiences making the journey from Portland to SoCal and explore what is perhaps the greatest roadside restaurant on I-5… or the world. Go see the Berkley at Renegade Los Angeles RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE! And next weekend you can see their smiling faces at the San Fransisco fair.)


Portland to Los Angeles: Just under 1000 miles of road.


We have driven the I-5 many times up and back but for some reason we’d never stopped at Anderson’s Pea Soup before. I’m happy to say that today we mended that gaping hole in our roadside repertoire.


I think we can all agree that any roadside attraction worth its salt has some kind of board you can put your head through.


I love how Andersons hasn’t tried to modernize too much. Look at the awesome combo of typefaces!


Oops. I guess they’re a little modern inside. They have these nice trendy mugs adjacent to their adorable collection of Dutch Fairytale knick-knacks.


I don’t know if this is legal, but here is the recipe for their pea soup. Please note, as we did, it’s vegan friendly!


Why is this upside down???? Well, if you turn your computer around you can see the sweet loot we scored. It was too early for soup eating so we grabbed a can to go. Maybe we can share it at Renegade? Bring a spoon! Also, you don’t even realize how cool those cups are. They have a light show inside them!  We’re hoping to feature those after dark later in our adventures.


We also picked up this very special postcard. We’re going to mail it to the first person who emails us at and tells us their favorite song with “California” in the title. See you again soon!

UPDATE: We have a winner! Thanks for playing!

Roadtrip to Renegade: Sweetie Pie Press in the Heartland


(Another in our series following some of our favorite crafters as they take to the road headed for the West Coast Fairs. Today, Becky from Sweetie Pie Press explores the finer points of diner cuisine & sidewalk sales right smack dab in the middle of the country.)

woke up in a favourite kansas city motel (we have actually stayed here on almost every tour). the people are nice, but the menu is limited at the adjacent diner. (just kidding; they have more selections of homemade pies than you can shake a stick at.)

kansas city (9)b
Kansas City, MO

kansas city (10)b
Kansas City, MO

taken in by the amazing young men at a gallery/shoppe called wonder fair, we made our first foray into the prairie oasis of lawrence, kansas. this is the sweetie pie press’ first ever stop in kansas and i was tickled pink to join the boys for a day-long sidewalk sale. brick buildings, big skies, and like-minded people always put me in good sorts, sleep or no.

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The view over Massachussetts Street. Sidewalk Sale Wonder Fair Lawrence, KS

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Sidewalk Sale Wonder Fair Lawrence, KS

lawrence, kansas (14)b
Sidewalk Sale Wonder Fair Lawrence, KS

Roadtrip to Renegade: Sweetie Pie Press Discovers Giant Condiment Bottle

(From our series following crafters as they roadtrip out to the West Coast fairs. In this installment, Becky of Sweetie Pie Press explores the world of novelty condiment bottles.)

we are staying just outside of st. louis, missouri, in southern illinois. while exploring, we happened upon the world’s largest catsup bottle in collinsville, illinois. it made me wonder if there might be a slightly larger ketchup bottle somewhere else.

World’s Largest Bottle of Catsup Collinsville, IL July 14, 2010

St. Louis, MO July 14, 2010 Photo by Reverend Aitor