Tag Archive for 'Chicago'

Chicago Renegade 2018

renegade craft haul

I decided this year I wasn’t going to post a Renegade haul, and just not worry about it. Some of the vendors didn’t give me bags or business cards and so I was going to skip the whole thing. Then I started feeling kind of bad for breaking the yearly tradition that’s been going on for probably over a decade.

Chicago Renegade 2018

I gathered up the treasures, many that had already been in heavy use, and took this quick overhead shot. My sister’s items aren’t included, and neither is the Justice of the Pies pie we bought (but you can visit the last couple years’ posts to see what it looks like, as we bought the same one).

As I said before, I’m not sure the artists of a couple of the items.

Top left and clockwise, spiraling in: Oatmeal ceramic knot necklace, Letterspace stationery cards, Stay Home Club stickers and iron on patch, Muro Jewelry necklace, leather bracelet from ?, buttons (I think are from the same artist as the..) stickers, card and notebook by The Little Red House, A Mano ceramic speckled cup, spirit stones and rainbow brooch, and a skull button from Migration Goods.

Renegade 2018 Chicago - Muro jewelry booth

Rosa was back again and so of course I caught another video of people shopping in front of her booth.


And we (L-R, my sister Chris, Rosa and Me) took another picture.


I wear this necklace allllll the time. I love it so much.

Past Renegade Haul posts

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago Haul 2017 Edition

Whoops! I completely forgot to share my Renegade haul from September

Renegade post coming soon

This is everything my sister and I bought at Renegade Chicago, September 2017.

What’s funny is that I haven’t allowed myself to take any of my items (pie aside) out of the bag I have everything in, in my studio, until I do this post. I didn’t want to lose track of all of the business cards, so I could link back to everything. Plus there are a few things in here that are gifts for other people and I didn’t want to spoil any of them.

Starting at the top the left and zigzaging,
Fabric Origami Star Banner by Twenty Nine States
Fingers crossed relief print, and eyeball print patch are from The Diggingest Girl,
The etched ginko notebook is from Cardtorial,
Rootbeer Float chocolate Bar (my sister’s) by Chocolate Twist,
2018 Moon Calendar (my sister’s) by Margins Imprint,
Ceramic hanging planter and air plant (my sister’s) is from Kelso Doesn’t Dance,
Jewelry (my sister’s) from Muro Jewelry
They are kind of covered up, but Pick N Mix print cards by Sean Mort (My sister gifted these to me later)
The hello card was one my sister made at the Paper Source booth
Lightning Bug illustration card (my sister’s) by Methane Studios,
You Are Beautiful stickers and keychain (my sister birthday gifted to me later) by You Are Beautiful,
Reclaimed wood convex mirror by Bergeron Woodworks (my sister gifted to me)
Shark softie baby rattle (my sister’s) by Chipper Handmade,
More Muro Jewelry (mine),
Skull ring by Tough And Pretty,
We Hate Everything Together magnet by 6by6Arts,
Cards and pinback button by La Familia Green
Green monster softie by Mary Wells Design,
Sticker and skull felt brooch by Migration Goods,
and Blue Cheese Praline Pear Pie by Justice of the Pies

We had a pretty good haul this year and I was happy to see a lot of new shops as well as a more indie feel overall. I have been feeling more and more lately that Renegade was getting to be so big and so polished that it was turning commercial, and should no longer be called a craft show. You’d see booths for actual brick and mortar stores and to me, that’s not in the spirit of Renegade.

The weather was perfect.

Things that were popular this year seemed to be a lot of soap (and maybe candle?) booths, enamel pins and patches, ceramics, linen and fabric scarves, a lot of character and quote references to tv shows (Park and Rec, Broad City, etc.). There were a lot more stationers there than I ever remember seeing before, which made me so happy. I also noticed a lot of chunky beaded necklaces (mostly made from fimo) similar to the ones I make from paper clay. There were a few space, celestial, moon things, but we were surprised overall that there weren’t tons of eclipse things. Also, I didn’t notice it at the time, but searching for the origami banner maker made me realize there were SO many makers with hand dyed fabrics.


BUT, the most important part of Renegade this year was not the booths, or the weather, or the things we brought home, but rather, who we went to see. Muro Jewelry was selling for the first time at Renegade Chicago and that meant I would finally be meeting my dear friend Rosa Murillo for the very first time in real life. We have been friends for over 10 years, ever since Rosa reached out to me. She thought I might be interested in her Found Art Tuesday project, and I was, and we’ve been friends ever since.

Muro jewelry booth at Renegade Chicago 2017

Here’s a video above, that I caught of Rosa and her husband Ruben in their booth on the first day of the fair. I was just about to type that I somehow wasn’t nervous meeting her and then I remembered reality, lol. As I got closer and closer to her booth my heart was pounding out of my chest. When I hugged her I thought she’d feel me shaking. (You may have guessed I have a little bit of social anxiety, lol). After that though, everything was good. We’ve skyped, face-timed and talked on the phone before so I knew what to expect. Side story: I loathe talking on the phone, so for the longest time Rosa used to call me and leave me voicemail messages because she knew that I would never answer, lol.
What are your plans for the weekend? I hope if you are in the Chicagoland area, it includes Renegade, because guess what? @murojewelry is going to be there for the FIRST time! All the way from North Carolina! Eeeeeeeeee! Yes, after a bobajillion years of


Rosa was able to let Ruben take over the booth for a while, and she joined us to shop the show.


I knew right away we had to make our way to the photobooth. It’s an annual tradition!

I own so much of her jewelry, from the past, to what has evolved into her current body of breathtaking work. It was so fun to see a whole booth of her jewelry, and so hard to pick and choose what I was going to walk away with. She gave me a branch necklace for my birthday, and I purchased a necklace and ring.

I made her one of my chunky beaded necklaces, you can see below. She put it on right away, which was kind of embarrassing because I like to think of my necklaces looking like a giant kindergartner made them, so I feel like it stuck out next to all of her grown up “adult jewelry”. Later she told me that someone asked if she sold necklaces like the one she was wearing and how I needed to make more and sell, sell, sell them! At first I was flattered, but then I wondered if it might have been questionable “the same person that made this luxurious work, also made that?!” lol. I’m not trying to bash my work, I love my necklaces, but they are definitely a bit more niche, than jewelry you would find at a jewelry store. And clearly similar necklaces were being sold at many booths at Renegade, as I mentioned above.


Rosa has done several Renegades across the country, but never the original… Chicago. I’ve been trying to get her to come for ages. It really is the largest of all of the fests they do! Chicago did not disappoint. Muro Jewelry did amazingly well, and they ran out of business cards and bags early Sunday. She also brought enough jewelry to probably sell at (what she thought would be 2 shows) as well as enough for another event that they were hitting up on the way home. Turns out they barely scraped by! Chicago LOVES Muro! She has already decided to come back for the Winter show (which I’ve never been to before).

And if all of this wasn’t enough… I’ll have another post coming because… right before Renegade I entered an instagram loop giveaway, where I had to follow a bunch of shops that would be at the show, and as we were leaving Chicago that day I got an alert that I had WON! I got a huge box of loot that I also haven’t allowed myself to use any of the items yet either, so stay tuned for that.

Oh, and I can’t forget the link to past Renegade Haul posts.










Renegade Loot 2014

As promised, here is a loot/haul post from my trip to Renegade Chicago this year. Don’t miss the video of the fair at the bottom.

While assembling this post I went back to properly tag all my Renegade posts and realize that our trips to this fair predate my blog here, which goes back to 2006. I don’t think we went to the very first RCF (2003) but I think we made it to the 2nd one. For several years it was in Wicker Park, yes, the actual park, before it combined with the Division Street Festival. I feel like if there was a Division Street Festival before, it might have gotten overshadowed completely by the RCF now. It was also really cool, looking through old posts and seeing everything that I had purchased over the years and how the most of those items are still very much part of my life to this day.

That idea, combined with my experience shopping this year, I realize that even though I spend a bunch each year, I’m not buying blindly or aimlessly. I only buy what I REALLY LOVE.

As exampled in stack A.

Renegade 2014 loot

I usually collect tons of business cards each year, and this year was no different. There are always so many booths that I walk into and fall in love with their products, only to discover that there isn’t one particular piece that speaks to me. I’ll pick up the cards to keep a tab on their online shop and hope that maybe I’ll see a piece there that I just have to have.

We learned fairly early on in years past that you have to go to the craft fair on a Saturday because if you go on a Sunday all the good stuff is bought up. Well, not ALL the good stuff, but the variety is no longer there. One of the booths this year, that had tons of  pieces but not one piece that screamed ROBYN, was Build With Wood. They sold wood necklaces with resin centers that hold treasures of nature, like seeds, leaves, and lichen. They reminded me very much of long time “Robayre Favorite” Fern Works, but instead of silver, wood. I’d really love to own my own piece from Build With Wood someday.

B – Heron and Lamb necklace. This is a booth I’ve purchased from in previous years and started following on instagram. Recently she shared a new direction she was going with her work and I was really looking forward to purchasing this piece from her booth this year.

C – Gnome Enterprises shirt. This is a repurchase of a beloved shirt I bought at Renegade in 2010. The next year I bought another shirt of theirs with an american buffalo on it. In 2012 I debated buying another one of these fox shirts because I love it so much and with as much as it is worn it will inevitably get worn out, but I didn’t push the button. Figures, because last year we didn’t see their booth at all. This year I saw their booth and jumped! Let me highly recommend their shirts, they are SO COZY AND COMFORTABLE.

D – The Found I hotdog Chicago cards. I think this is a booth I’ve purchased cards from in the past. Well, I was going to buy one card which was $5 but then I saw that I could buy the set with 7 cards for $8. You do the math. I was going to buy one for myself, but now I can send some out to people.  1. I do hotdog Chicago and 2. it reminded me of this whole trademark episode I heard on 99 Percent Invisible on PRX.

E – Letter Writers Alliance – stamp. I just love this booth every year as well. I have some cancellation stamps made into buttons from them from a previous year and I just happen to be wearing a skirt that has one of those buttons on it permanently.

F – The Kite Collective – This beautiful kite has already been tested and flown successfully at the Kite Festival yesterday.

Kite festival 2014 A perfect day for the #dekalbil Kite Fest. Sadie got lift off @grrlroloff, @stat1995 and #docwells in the background
It was a perfect day for it and I have the lovely sunburn to prove it

G – Oh Hello Friend, magnet frame. It looks like a polaroid, it frames pictures, ‘nough said.

H – Poppy and Fern, necklace. This is one of those booths that we’ve fawned over in past years, but couldn’t find one particular piece that was meant for me. This year I finally found one and am so happy with it, I think it deserves its own post later.

I – Cardtorial, wooden cards. We actually bought 3 for a special deal.

A couple notes:

There should totally be a site “Overheard at Renegade” if there isn’t one already. I would have some great material, such as the girl who said that while she was hunting for her last apartment, almost all of the places she looked at had one of those Chicago neighborhood map posters hanging. I have one of those posters too. And then there was the NY lady in the Gnome Enterprises booth who thought she could throw her self important weight around because she had bought shirts from them in Williamsburg and the Hamptons and then she even had to call her daughter in NY to tell them “They have Gnome Enterprises in Chicago now too!” lol. I think she bought 6 shirts. Lady, they’ve been here for a long time.

Looking through the roster of vendors makes me feel like I must have missed so many booths. But then I think back to a conversation I just had yesterday where I was talking about how much I struggle with displays for my own craft booths. I said that because of my background being in 2D design and knowing photography, I’m much more comfortable with photographing my products and that when it comes to craft booths I just have no interest and want to simply throw all my stuff out on a table. But, I also understand the difference that a quality picture or display can make on selling. A friend had asked me to do some “research” while I was at Renegade and look at booths for creative displays. I realized quickly on that if I want to actually shop that I can’t be eyeing displays. In successful booths the displays are so great that you don’t even notice them and just focus on the products and those spectacular displays elevate the quality and price of the products compared to the exact same type of products that might just be thrown out onto a table.

I used Instagram’s new app Hyperlapse to take some videos while I was at Renegade this year. I put them together with another app which added that annoying logo in the corner. Not sure how to add music yet. But this video might give you a glimpse into how big and busy Renegade is.

See more Renegade Loot posts from previous years

International Photobooth Convention 2014 CHICAGO

International Photobooth Convention 2014

This past weekend I ventured into the city (Chicago) to attend the International Photobooth Convention. Years back it was held in Chicago and I chickened out going and then when the next convention was held elsewhere I really regretted missing that opportunity. I follow photobooth.net‘s blog and facebook page, so when I saw that it was being held in Chicago again I promised myself I would attend this year. I even stated on the facebook event page that I was attending. I couldn’t back out after that now could I?

International Photobooth Convention

Even though I RSVPed about 6 months ago I still was really nervous about attending. I was pretty much in denial that it was approaching up until a couple days beforehand. I didn’t want to drag along someone that wasn’t as into photobooths as I was, but I was still afraid of showing up alone. I had these visions of showing up by myself and the record screeching to a halt as I walked into the door and everyone turning and staring at me. When I think of photobooths I think of getting pictures taken with more than one person, so to show up solo might be a no-no. But, I learned my lesson before and I was determined to be there, push through the fear. I almost had a mini panic attack when I realized the workshop I wanted to attend was limited to only 25 people, so 2 days before the convention I signed up for the workshop on photobooth art with Meags Fitzgerald. I half expecting to get an email that the class was already at capacity, and then I would cry, and probably use it as an excuse to not go at all. But, no message came and the day of the class I woke up early and headed into the city.

International Photobooth Convention
The main room that had 6 of the 8 photobooths at the convention. Meags is pictured above in the red cardigan and notice the machine next to her is open and being worked on.

While the record didn’t screech to a halt when I entered, I do think that most people showed up with friends, and/or knew each other from the photobooth.net community and/or at the opening party the night before. In regard to my artwork and photography I can be very “camera shy” (badam bum) and it is very hard for me to think creatively and be productive when I am feeling self conscious and I can feel self conscious when I am around other people. So, in some ways it was good that I was flying solo because I didn’t have to worry what someone else was thinking, I could get into a booth, close the curtain and be in my own world.

International Photobooth Convention

The workshop with Meags was great and opened my eyes to many possibilities. I really didn’t know what to expect beforehand and have to admit I had never thought too much about photobooth pictures in relation to Art with a capital A, other than self portraits and capturing a moment in time with a fun and unique automated machine. The class got my mind suddenly racing with ideas, but because all of these ideas and possibilities were plopped in my lap moments before we were to start working I didn’t have much time to really organize my thoughts. Immediately after the lesson I sat down at the desk pictured above. I opened my sketchbook and wanted to start brainstorming, but I was surrounded by people and my mind was going a mile a minute I was worried that by the time I had a plan of attack, time would be gone, so instead I just decided to go for it and start jumping in booths. I also had this pressure once I realized that I have access to all these booths right here and now, but  if I come up with some great ideas later on, I will have to travel to get to a booth and each strip will put me back $3-$5. Why can’t there be a photobooth convention every year in Chicago?

Some of my strips from yesterday at the #internationalphotoboothconvention in #Chicago. I think there were 8 booths and I took a workshop on #photobooth art with Meags Fitzgerald. It was so exciting to play freely and explore.

The convention cost $18 to the general public and I think I took over 20 strips home with me, so it was a great deal! I actually can’t believe that there weren’t tons more people there during the open booths time slots. Surprisingly though, the people that were there were from all over the country and world!

Meags provided us with packets with creative tools to use in the booths. My pictures might not all be amazingly creative BUT I’m not done yet! I have some ideas and I think I’d like to incorporate some of pictures into some mixed media and mailart.

Meags Fitzgerald's book Photobooth: A Biography

Overall it was a GREAT experience. Now that I have this under my belt and knowing what I know now, I think I’d be more comfortable attending a future convention. I also took with me a few mementos including Meags’ new graphic novel, Photobooth: a Biography. The book is great so far and I highly recommend it. The page above shocked me and just about made me cry. I had no idea that photobooths are so close to “extinction”.

SO, please, if you like chemical photobooths (as opposed to digital) please visit photobooth.net, search locations to find nearby photobooths and support them now while you can.

Edit to add:

3.28.13 photobooth prints

My photobooth poster DIY project from last year. Make your very own LARGE poster for only $5. It’s easy and FUN!


#sofa #chicago #art #2013

Today I had the fortune of joining my friend Bethany as she took a group of her high school art students to the SOFA show at Navy Pier in Chicago. If you aren’t familiar with SOFA, it stands for Sculptured Objects Functional Art. I’ve probably been to SOFA around 6 or 7 times and it is always an amazing show. Several times today I was just overwhelmed by the beauty of it all. It filled my well, and now I just want to MAKE MAKE MAKE! Also, I want a gallery to represent me. Any galleries looking? :D :D :D

When I saw this piece all I could say was "MY HEART". Too much beauty at #sofa chicago #art

The above thumbnail photograph shows my favorite piece. The whole piece actually goes ceiling to floor. It is by Tanya Lyons & Mathieu Grodet and is called called Strands of Time. It is a collection of 25 strands of flamework glass & found objects. I’m such a sucker for “collections” and this piece had me swooning from the get go. I think my exact words were “My HEART!” when I first saw it. If only I had $11, 250 just burning a hole in my pocket. I wanted to step inside it and wear it and wouldn’t ya know, they had necklaces in this same style! But for the more affordable price of $800.00. No problem, let me just get my billfold (if only). Each individual glass sphere held found ephemera, anything from thread to seeds, a rusty old bullet to egg shells, and antique paper to a dead bee. I would just love looking at this piece (in my home, cough) everyday.

This year I didn’t make the mistake of forgetting to purchase the catalog and I am very excited to go through it again and again and find out more about some of the artists I saw today.

One of my favorite things that happened today wasn’t even at the exhibit, but on the school bus as we rode to the show. One of the other chaperones is authoring a book on techniques that will help children learn to cope with anything from trauma to everyday emotions. It started a whole conversation about breathing techniques, meditation and rituals. It reminded me of many things I’ve learned in the past but then forgotten about. It got me really excited to try and use rituals to help my mind make the left to right brain switch and get into Flow when working on artwork. I’ve been really struggling lately with going into my studio and actually getting into “the zone”.

That being said…

11.1 NaBloPoMo
It’s November 1st. In October I kept seeing mention of NaNoWriMo, which reminded me of NaBloPoMo. It’s been a loooooong time since I’ve posted daily for a month, and I’ve been wanting to get back into posting more so here it goes. As usual, no promises, no jinxes. Hopefully this helps get the creative juices flowing and I can share some of them here.

Sheila’s Visit

It’s been about two months now since my friend Sheila visited and this post has been half written/assembled for the last month. It won’t get any easier as time goes on and I do want to document it so I can go back and remember it later on. I am determined today to finally finish composing this post.

Sheila and I met online in 2008 through a group blog formed by Etsy shop owners wishing to share what creative projects we were working on daily… Create A Day. Long story short, the blog was accidentally deleted but the group of friends formed by the blog have lasted long after. Last year I got to meet another Create A Day friend Tiffany Teske when she was teaching Polaroid image transfer in Chicago, and now this summer Sheila came to visit me. Yes, me. She flew into Chicago from Oklahoma, I picked her up and we were together for 4 full days of awesomosity.

When we first met she had a shop, blog and lived in California. Since then she has changed careers, no longer has a shop and lives in Norman, Oklahoma. Fortunately because of social media we have kept close tabs and I really think of her as one of my greatest friends. Have you ever met someone and clicked and thought I need more people like that in my life, or “if only that person lived nearby and we could be real life friends?” Well, Sheila is definitely one of those people. I count myself lucky to have her in my life. She is my one true Drewbie ;)

This post will probably be like a scrapbook of pictures and explanations.

Years back when Create A Day members first talked about getting together to meet I said I’d probably be too shy and afraid to meet them, Sheila suggested that we could all wear plastic animal masks. For fun, I actually purchased 2 masks. When I picked her up at the airport she got this picture of me on the left, and then when I dropped her off at the airport we snapped this one of us together on the right.

True to Sheila’s online tag  “I’m always thirsty” as soon as I picked her up at the airport she said she needed something to drink right away.

I’d heard about a new-to-me coffee shop, Ready Coffee, that has an artomat, so we headed there. We got our art fix (left) and then drink fix (right). Apparently they serve their chilled coffee over “coffee cubes”. We were both pretty thrilled about that. No one likes watered down coffee, so why have it any other way?

From there we walked down the block to Reckless Records on Milwaukee Ave. It may be a great music store, but to me it is one thing… where they shot the music store scenes in High Fidelity. I’d never been inside before because I was too intimidated to walk in. But with Sheila I had courage and it turned out to be a great little record store and was actually very down to earth and I kick myself for being too intimidated to go in before. It made me miss back in the day when we used to have a plethora of record stores in town and would go for fun and to browse and always come home with some great music. I seriously miss those days. And for the record I do still buy CDs and will continue to do so. Why pay the same amount of money and NOT get a hard back up as well as ARTWORK?

#photobooth with @sheeeeeeela at #quimby's

Reckless also had a photobooth which made me happy, then made me sad that I had been too afraid to go in before. I’d been missing all sorts of photo-booth opportunities. We took a photoset there, and then headed to Quimby’s, loaded up on zines and took another set of photobooth pictures. Both strips of pictures I stuck securely into my sketchbook pages, so they wouldn’t get lost or damaged. After the weekend was over I remembered them and went to retrieve them only to find the set from Reckless gone. It was so weird because when I stuck them into my sketchbook they were still both essentially wet, and would have stuck to the dry pages of my sketchbook, but the only thing I can think of was when I was taking my book in and out of my bag at some point the one set fell out. I’m sad that I didn’t even really remember what the pictures looked like, but perhaps someone out there found it and will treasure it Amelie-Style.

After Quimby’s we got in the car and went to another place I’d been wanting to go to for a long time… Hot Doug’s. Chicago is known for its hot dogs, so it was a must that we get dogs at some point. It was mid day on Friday at this point and the line to get inside was out the door and wrapped around the outside of the building. We were both up to the challenge and stood in line and chatted for an hour before getting inside. Sheila took a picture of this great street poster on a post outside Doug’s. Beforehand I read that they have a controversial menu item, foie gras in a hotdog form, which apparently foie gras used to be banned in Chicago and so this explained why I had been seeing it on the menu at places. They did however have “duck fat fries” which we ordered. Also, Doug himself works the register and was unbelievably kind, which made the whole experience rosy for me. Chicago can be known for being filled with mean and rude people, and at a place that is in demand like this it would not be unusual to get to the front of the line and be treated curtly, and ushered along, like you are some dumb child that has been scolded. I would even go so far as to say people in Chicago can even be glutteon for punishment and enjoy that kind of treatment, ahem, Ed DeBevic’s and Dick’s Last Resort. Anyway, all of that is to say that Doug was NOT like that, and kindly took our order and wasn’t annoyed by our questions and just seemed to be happy with life, and I liked that!

IMG_3692 IMG_3716
From there we went to Millennium Park to see the Bean (Cloud Gate) where I always believe that people have to see it twice, once during the day, and once at night. It is two very separate experiences. During the day it is all about people taking their own pictures, and at night it is all about reflecting the city. For some reason I didn’t get any pictures of the bean from further away, but the two pictures above were reflections from the bean day and then night.

I was sad to see that because Lollapalooza was going on they had closed the gardens, so we just hung out at the Pritzker Pavillion, got more coffee (without coffee cubes, sad face), played at the Crown Fountain and went back to the Bean. For the longest time we sat in the pavillion wondering what Pound Her and U meant, until we saw a guy taking an official picture and I asked him about it. It actually said Hashtag HCR and U and had to do with a promotion the building, Blue Cross, Blue Shield was doing. Interesting, but not as fun as Pound Her and U.

In the meantime, while hanging out at Millennium Park, fellow friend Rosa Murillo caught on that Sheila and I were together in Chicago, probably via our incessant instagramming of everything,  and posted this awesome illustration. The weekend could have only been cooler if she had been present. Isn’t it awesome to have creative friends?

Evening hit and so we got in the car and trekked back to ye olde DeKalb-town, where we pretty much, came in, showed her the place, introduced her to Matt and the kitties and then crashed and slept until the morning. The next day, Saturday, Matt, Sheila and I started the day at the Junction for brunch. Then I had the idea to take her to the Kane County Flea Market which I think is Illinois’ largest flea market. I’ve been a billion times but this particular month must have been their biggest yet because even after shopping from for 4 to 5 hours, we were probably only halfway through it and it was closing time.

Our time there was a great success though. Sheila scored an original painting and a great metal letter sign. We saw a Family Vacation style station wagon. I thought I lost my ipod (with all the pictures I’ve taken for months and months) and was almost in tears and freaking out, then I realized I had it inside my wallet. A kind vendor who witnessed it all approached to make sure I was ok and had found it, which then in turn made me cry from his kindness. Then my personal highlight, I got the Fisher Price Castle, In the BOX, WITH ALL THE PARTS, FOR ONLY $40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These things go for mega $$$$ on ebay and etsy and I had been on the hunt for one for a year or two.We ate lunch at the market and were only partially beaten down by the heat and sun by the time we left.

Afterward, we headed back to DeKalb and this is why I shouldn’t have waited two months to chronicle the visit because I can’t really remember what we did. We walked to Twin’s Tap for dinner and who knows what happened after this. We probably went to bed early again because the next day was going to be a big day – LOLLAPALOOZA.

Sunday was devoted to Lollapalooza. This was actually my third time, but in the years since last I went it has gotten even crazier. I can’t even put it into words the amount of people present, so just take a look at this picture.

And that’s probably just a portion of the people attending.

(Left) Our lolla wristbands and souvenir matching bracelets we bought. (Right)  My reflection in my sunglasses that Sheila was wearing.

Sheila was so sweet to buy us the tickets, but since we didn’t make the plans until a month or so out the tickets for Saturday (Mumford & Sons, The National, etc.) were long ago sold out so we went on Sunday and ended up seeing a great line up – The Cure, Grizzley Bear, Tegan and Sara, Beach House, Cat Power, Alt J.

That night I got us a hotel room closer to the city so we didn’t have to drive all the way home. We checked into our room and then tried to walk through a Wendy’s drive up at the end of the parking lot, but they denied us, boo. So we went back, got the car and drove until we found a McDonald’s, went back to our room, ate, and crashed again.

Monday we got up for breakfast at the hotel and then headed back into the city. I had recently heard about a store Rotofugi, that sells designer and collectible new toys. It was awesome and I was so glad that we went. They had all sorts of toys I had been wanting, but my favorite thing was completely unexpected. Sheila pointed out to me a machine in the back.

They have refitted an old Mold-o-rama machine to make brand newly designed art pieces. Click on the image above to see a little video of the machine in action. They also have a gallery space and new shows once a month! I will definitely be going back.

Next we went to go look at some ART! For our remaining time in Chicago before Sheila’s flight back we went to the Art Institute where we spent most of our time in the modern wing.

Me standing in front of and talking about Rothko (a favorite of mine). Sheila made this animated gif using the 5 Seconds gif app.

Sheila in close observance of a Cy Twombly (another favorite of mine)

Then sadly, it was time to go. The gallery was closing and Sheila’s flight was swiftly approaching. This post has probably taken me hours to compose! But I finally did it. I’ve probably forgotten all sorts of cool things. Really, I should have broken this post up into several smaller bit size pieces, but I’m selfish and want it all in one location for later. Things not covered in this post are things like how she introduced me to Flower Beauty products, helped me score some minnetonka’s for cheap, was always thinking of others and buying souvenirs to take back to friends from home, and makes Norman, Oklahoma sound like the coolest place on earth.

If you found this post, skipped through the text, and just quickly glanced over the pictures I can sum the post up for you shortly. Chicago is awesome, Sheila is even cooler and I can’t wait to hang out with her again. Pictures are by both Sheila and me, and right now I am far too lazy to link them back to their original sources on our respective instagrams, so here is Sheila’s, and here is mine, And for the one picture from Rosa, click here. Scroll back far enough to the beginning of August 2013 and you will find them.

The end. (or until I remember something else I forgot to mention and have to come back and add more later)

Week 1 of August Break 2013

It’s one week into August and so here I am ready to share my contributions to August Break 2013

August 1st: Ever since we discovered that one of our local mexican restaurants offers a veggie chicken option on their menu, we find ourselves there quite often. I’m not vegetarian but even I prefer it to the meat options. And while we’re there we can’t help but partake in bebidas.

August 2nd: I’ll have to do a more extensive post on this, but my friend Sheila came to visit me and we had 4 GREAT days of adventures. This is the photobooth at quimby’s in chicago.

August 3rd: On Saturday we went to the Kane County Flea Market. I’ve been going to this flea market since I was a little, little girl. We were there the whole time (4 hours) and didn’t even make it through half of it, BUT, we did find some great scores, including a vintage Fisher Price Little People Castle. I’ve been trolling etsy and ebay for years to get one of these and they can go anywhere for around $80 for a dirty, broken and worn one to $300 for a complete set in box. I had one as a kid and want to have it for my nephew and niece to place with at my house. I was able to score a complete set IN THE BOX for only $40! This has to be my best flea market score ever. It’s an investment and immediate return on investment, ha, I’ll consider it part of my retirement fund.

August 4th: Sheila had never been to lollapalooza before so she got tickets for us on Sunday. This shot was of some random girl in front of me taking a stage picture while Cat Power was performing.

August 5th: Some people checking out some American Gothic at the Art Institute in Chicago.

August 6th: Back to the real world. Returning to work is made easier by bike AND by wearing brand new orange, fringed, and bow-tied, Minnetonkas that I swooped up at TJ Max at discount.

August 7th: This is why we can’t have nice things. I need a one armed man to come teach Bishop a lesson “And that’s why we don’t pee outside of the litter box!”

SOFA 2012

Last Friday I got to take the day off work to go with my friend Bethany and her high school ceramics students to the SOFA exhibit at Navy Pier in Chicago. It has been a few years since I’ve been to SOFA and I was wanting to go, so it was perfect that she invited me. Plus, day off from work, oh yeah!

SOFA was brilliant as usual. Unfortunately I was a bit distracted by the schedule and the wrangling of students that I left without buying the catalog. Also, I am kicking myself because although Bethany was writing down artists and gallery names to look up later, I didn’t.  So now with no catalog and no names I have all these art pieces floating in my head and no artist to attach them to.

It was also really interesting to ride a school bus for the first time in more than a decade or more. I mean, I know we were taking a bus but I really hadn’t pictured a big yellow school bus. Does it show I’m spoiled or what, but I thought we’d be taking a coach-type bus or something. I had a bit of a feeling like Principal Rooney riding the school bus with all these kids around me. “One of these things is not like the others.” Also, High school kids are so stylish. Granted these were all art students so it might not have been an accurate representation across the board, but woah! I wanted to go home and throw away my entire wordrobe and start from scratch. Really, it just went to show how out of touch I am with fashion. I thought to myself that it was good that I don’t have to work in that kind of environment because I know those feelings of comparing myself to others that I had in high school would creep in again.

Afterward Bethany and I went to pick up her kiddies and went out to dinner and just to talk and hangout. It was a great day. I wish all Fridays could be as sweet. Have I mentioned how I miss my Fridays off? Maybe once, twice?

Promised Birthday Post

First, because inquiring minds want to know what happened with my craftastrophe… Half of the resin pieces were bad. The resin didn’t harden all the way and is just gooey. Fortunately my contact from the Book Shack is great and understanding (Aussies are always friendly, laid back folks, in my estimation) and I am going to try a few things and see if they can still be saved. I was afraid I was going to be so upset, but I’ve handled it as a learning experience and realize it’s not the end of the world.

It’s exactly one week later so I thought I better get on with my birthday post I promised earlier in the week. It’s a long one!

Celebrations actually began on Friday. My sister, Matt and I took the day off from work to take a trip into the city. Not having to work on Friday (a thing I dearly miss) was an excellent birthday present on its own. We had plans to drive into Chicago to go to the Shedd Aquarium and finally see the Jellies exhibit, something we attempted last winter, but arrived to a 2 hour long wait. outside. in the winter. in the rain. without umbrellas. And so we turned around and went all the way back home. But not this time. This time we bought tickets online beforehand.
Friday was 9.21, which is Nikki’s birthday, my friend who passed away in February of 2011. As usual I see the numbers 921 every where I go (hello, our new street address), but especially on September 21st. Of course it pops up on the clock twice a day, but of all the minutes of the day I always just happen to look right at that minute. Also, I was taking pictures and looked to see how many pictures were left on the card and it told me I could take 921 more. All of this is just to say that her birthday was one day before mine and sometimes we’d celebrate together, and that she is still with me, and naturally that I miss her.

We went got the Shedd and I naturally forgot my camera in the car, so pictures were taken with either my sister’s camera or my camera phone. We made due. AND I was even able to make this video from the Jelly exhibit.
It was really awesome and I had a great time, although I do have to share with those interested in going: beforehand I thought the exhibit would be much bigger. I had hoped the tanks would be huge and the jellyfish would be huge and that there would be benches where I could sit back and just watch them in their magnificence. In reality, the tanks were mostly no larger than 2 feet across, and if you go during a high traffic time, forget about being able to watch them up close. Fortunately we realized if we hold out until the water show (just outside the exhibit) is going on, there were much fewer people in there.

I took tons of video of the rest of the aquarium as well, but here are a couple highlights.

What’s up with these guys? They looked like cartoons and I couldn’t believe they were real. I betcha there’s a guy who’s job it is to sit under that tank and stick those guys up and down at random intervals.

And here is the Caribbean Reef, a long time favorite. I could just sit there all day and watch as the fish go by.

I took the above picture while enjoying a tidepools exhibit that was open from the top. There was a sign that said “do not touch” which led me to say “but I wanna pet a starfish”. A few minutes later we went down a set of stairs and right there was an exhibit where you could pet starfish. Yes, I pet a huge giant starfish and it was slimy and rough at the same time.

A week before our trip my sister suggested we attempt going to Superdawg. Since we were going other places I thought I should check out locations for photobooths. I remember someone telling me about a photobooth just outside of the city. Looking down the locator list I found the first one outside of Chicago, in Lincolnwood at a golf and games place and just by chance it looked like it was nearby Superdawg. Perfect.
9.21 at photobooth photo.JPG
The photobooth was perfect. It was a cold and rainy last day of summer and it appeared that the place was closed, but as luck would have it the booth is just outside. 9.21 photobooth

The pictures are black and white and last frame was over exposed at the bottom, but that’s the kind of thing I love. I was pretty excited about this booth and wish there was one just like it near me. I think this also crosses off another item on one of my yearly lists about visiting different photo booths.
9.21 Superdawg
Next on to Superdawg. I have been wanting to go to this place ever since seeing it on Hot Dog Paradise on the Travel Network. Robyn Fun Fact #29: I hate cooking/food shows in general, but I LOVE restaurant/food shows on the travel network or where they visit and eat extreme/novelty foods (hello, Man Vs. Food). I think it’s based on my love for roadtrips and stopping at quirky roadside attractions (see, giant ball of twine).

Like kismet, Superdawg was literally right off the same street as the photobooth!  We weren’t sure what to expect. We arrived right around 5:30 which could have been a disaster, but again as luck would have it, it was a super rainy and cold day so there were only a couple of other cars when we arrived.
9.21 Superdawg drive-in 9.21 Superdawg

We pulled in, ordered our dawgs and enjoyed! My sister said the dawg was even better than Portillo’s. Even Matt who is vegetarian enjoyed his meal of grill cheese, delicious fries, and sides of fried onions and veggies. In true Matt style he put the fried onions on his sandwich.

From here we went home and I was utterly happy after crossing off several things I’ve been wanting to do for a long-long time.

Saturday, my actual birthday, I woke up and immediately went to get my hair chopped. Also, I made myself a crown, as you can see. Inspired by artist Alyn Carlson‘s beautiful paper hats, I have started making crowns for people on their birthdays, so why not one for myself?

My family usually goes out to dinner for birthdays and they asked me where I wanted to go. The place I wanted to go didn’t open until dinner time so we waited and a half an hour before they opened we called to make reservations. Turns out it was homecoming weekend in all the surrounding towns and they were fully booked for larger parties. I had no desire to go anywhere else, and figured I’d rather just have people over to our house. My mom picked up a party sized chop salad from portillo’s at my request and we ordered pizza and played games. Also between what Matt and my mom bought, I had something like 4 birthday cakes. My nephew helped me blow the candles out.

I was also showered with a generous amount of birthday presents. For time sakes I’ll just note a couple.
9.21 new handmade bag

My sister made me this amazing bag. She helped me pick out the fabrics. The lining is more of the floral pattern. I’ve already had compliments on it. She made the bag using  this pattern from Erin Erickson.

Also, I got a macro lens for my iphone.Which allowed me to take pictures like the flower above (which were also a birthday gift) and the close up of my paper spiral jewelry below.

Then, after almost everyone left, my sister and I walked over to a nearby park and let go of a paper sky lantern. I’d bought three of them from Think Geek, but we just did the one. It really is a 3 person job. 2 people to hold it, light it and balance it while it fills and another to photograph/film/document it, so my pictures and video were very lacking. It was just the last thing to finish off a perfect birthday.

Renegade 2012

9.10 renegade

This last weekend was the 10th annual Renegade craft fair in Chicago. I think my sister and I went to their second year and have gone to every one after that. We’ve seen it all, from rain, crazy winds, to intense heat, but I think I can safely say the weather this weekend was PERFECT. There were clear skies, and it was in the comfortable 70s.

Now, onto my loot.

1. My favorite piece I purchased has to be this terrarium necklace by Heron & Lamb.
2. Floppy disc notebook, and slide notebooks (I’ve purchased these before in previous years) by Reuse First
3. Vintage cancellation stamp pinback buttons by Letter Writing Alliance
4. White, black and yellow disc rings by Cat Eats Coyote Jewelry
5. Peanut knife necklace (I’ve been wanting one of these forever) by Little Pancakes
6. Roundy pinback button by Laura Berger
7. Lasercut globe keychain (which I think I will turn into a necklace) by Neogranny
8. Playing card notebooks by Kelso Doesn’t Dance
9. Porcelain envelope by Red Raven
10. Molar town stickers by Skelecore
11. Vintage flashcards and photobooth friend card by The Found

Here’s an instagram of my terrarium necklace. It isn’t a real terrarium and just contains hobby moss, but it’s still beautiful.  The comments on instagram reminded me of when I was a freshman in college I bought some miniature bottles from American Science Surplus and I had an aquarium that was being taken over by snails. I had the brilliant idea to fill a little bottle with aquarium water and a tiny baby snail and wear the bottle on a necklace. By the time I got to school the snail seemed to have died from the heat of my body, and by the time I got home for the day the water was murky and gross. I had unintentionally cooked that little guy :(