June, 2011

Renegade Craft Fair 2011

Tuesday, June 14th, 2011

On Sunday I roamed the Renegade Craft Fair, meeting cool crafters, buying their handmade wares, and getting loads of inspiration.

This year’s fair had a fun clutch of booths by the McCarren park softball fields where you could sit down and make things. Folks from BurdaStyle were teaching people how to use sewing machines.

Minwax wood had a station where you could stain a wooden picture frame.

And Renegade had a booth where you could learn how to make friendship bracelets.

There was a sweet little pamphlet you could take with you that had hand drawn instructions on how to make a friendship bracelet. I’m very excited to try to technique with something thicker than embroidery floss to make a belt.

The first folks I met were this lovely crew from Brooklyn and North Carolina, representing the shops Shelter, Lovelier Seas and Bow & Arrow.

Valerie, Ian, Carrie and Rob had one of my favorite booths in the whole fair. It had such a sweet old fashioned feel to it. And now that I tracked down the Shelter blog and this sweet post about their friendship, I love them even more! From the gorgeous bags that Shelter makes to the sweet kids clothes from Lovelier Seas to the smokin hot high-waisted denim shorts from Bow and arrow, these folks had something special. But there’s so much to see at the Renegade Craft Fair, I had to keep on keepin’ on.

There are loads of talented illustrators and designers represented at the fair. I love the cards I bought from www.Beauidealism.com, pictured above.

Check out the festive confetti filled eggs made by Laurin Garcia, pictured above, of Jokey Yokey. Her business is “inspired by the Latin American tradition of the Cascarone – a confetti filled eggshell cracked over one’s head to bring good luck and cheer.” Her products are colorful and 100% biodegradable, AND she donates the eggs whites and yolks to a local Baltimore homeless shelter. That’s what I call a good egg.

Next I visited with my friend Kimm Alfonso of Kimmchi. She was mobbed with lots of customers the whole time I was hanging around checking out her silkscreened tees.

I bought two sweet cards illustrated by Laura Fisk of Fisk and Fern. One of them I plan to save for my parents’ anniversary in November – I hope I’ll remember where I put it.

I adore the embroidered designs from Coral and Tusk. I wanted to buy everything they had on display.

One of the last booths that I visited had illustrations of veggies by Claudia Pearson. Her style is so great, and I dig the message to eat local and eat fresh.

So it was another wonderful Renegade Craft Fair. I’m always so inspired by what I see, and who I meet. I can’t wait ’til next June.

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Community Gardening

Friday, June 3rd, 2011

I posted a few months ago about that tree that grows in Brooklyn, the one that I adopted as part of the Trees NYC program. Well, I’m not the only one in my neighborhood beautifying the trees with flowers. Check out my Greenpoint mates who are giving our trees an added splash of color.

I love the white picket fence around the tiny tree. A mini version of suburban life!


These plants with the white edges look so fresh and so clean.


Look at all that green. That right there is one healthy looking tree!

But you don’t need a tree to get your gardening on – some renegade neighbor found a perfect patch of dirt around a fire hydrant.

That’s really making do with what you’ve got, and making what you’ve got look pretty, too.

But I’m most excited about my own tree. Who can blame me? I’m a proud tree momma.

My tree bed doesn’t look as lush as the others, but check out that fence! Sure, it’s not white and suburban, but do you know why it’s so darn inspiring? I’ll tell you why – it was built anonymously to protect my tree!

That’s correct – I did not build the fence, nor did my husband Rufus, my tree-care-sharer. But one day he walked home and saw that someone had made a fence to go around our tree! I have an idea who might have done the sweet and DIY deed.

When I was planting my second round of flowers, a guy in the neighborhood came over to say how pretty they looked and how nice it was that I was taking care of the tree. I swooned, because who can resist compliments like those? But then he said he was worried that the garbage was sometimes being put out right next to the flowers and crushing some of them. He said, “You need a fence.” And though I agreed, I wasn’t sure when I’d get around to it. But someone did it for me. And my flowers and my trees are squish-free.

So get out there in your world and do some good deeds for your neighbors or their trees. You’ll be building community in big ways with small steps of beauty. Sometimes fences DO make good neighbors.

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