I went to the Renegade Craft Fair in Austin this past weekend and IT.WAS.AWESOME. I brought cash, a reusable shopping bag, and was prepared to buy, buy, buy! The fair had over 200 talented vendors selling their handmade merchandise. Most of them have their own Etsy shop, and you know how much I love Etsy.
I drove to Austin with three of my friends and each one of us left with some great finds. There was something to suit all of our tastes. I was incredibly excited to attend the fair. Renegade only accepts the best of the best so I knew this would be an amazing experience. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take the best pictures because it was so crowded that I had to snap away with my camera quickly. You can find better pictures here.
I was a tad nervous that the one and a half hour drive wasn't going to be worth it, especially because I was the one who invited everyone to join me. I just wanted to walk away with at least one thing. So when I saw a table that allowed you to make your own button for fifty cents, I was happy because at least I could walk away with that.
I have no need for a button pin, but for fifty cents, I can find a reason. They had a basket with fabric scraps that you could choose from and I picked a little yellow floral print. I used a rotary cutter to cut out a perfect circle. Then I was taught how to use the button making machine. It was like magic!
The Hubby has been complaining about our bare walls ever since we moved in. At one point he said, "If by the time I'm back and we still don't have any art on these walls, I'm going to freaking finger paint something and put it up!"
Thus, finding prints for our house was my ultimate goal. I want to do a picture frame collage on one of our walls, similar to what Young House Love did, but with fewer frames because our landlords will not be happy with so many holes in their walls.
I was immediately attracted to a colorful booth with bright yellow balloons. I wanted to buy every single one of Kate Thomas from Little Things Studio's prints! She also had adorable journals, cards, bookmarks, and recipes for sale. I ended up buying four prints from her, and I can't wait to hang them.
I am so ecstatic that the prints of the letters of our first names were so fitting. Mine is perfectly feminine while The Hubby's is in a more masculine blue.
The first print I fell in love with has a quote from Winnie the Pooh that reads, "If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you." Who knew a stuffed bear could be so clever? I also purchased a smaller print that has beautiful flowers and an inspirational quote.
Little Things Studio has a great sale going on in honor of Kate's cat's birthday. She is offering everything in her shop for 25% off until midnight Saturday! I had a chance to speak briefly with her at the fair and she is a total sweetheart. I love to support nice and cheery people!
Another print I purchased was from Brainstorm Print + Design. I think it's a limited edition print because it isn't being sold on their website. I love the subtle colors.
I have seen the work of Paper Pastries before online, and I was excited to find their booth at the fair. I wish they were selling the Heart California Postcard, but I'm very happy with my new "I left my heart in LA" card. I plan on framing it.
Another card I plan on framing is from Viva Greetings. It says the Spanish phrase for "I love you," a throwback to The Hubby's background. Or half of it, anyway. The woman at that booth was super sweet, too.
My last purchase was a pair of earrings by Gem Junkie for five big ones. I've always wanted a pair of earrings like this. I don't think the backing is made of sterling silver though so I may not be able to wear them as often as I'd like. Apparently, my ears have expensive tastes.
I also grabbed as many business cards as I could. I'm so intrigued by all of the designs and creativity of all of these artists. The business cards below were just some of my favorites. The one that says "I carry your heart" is from the famous Paloma's Nest. When I went to check out their booth, I felt like I was at Nordstrom when I totally belong at Marshall's instead. That little business card is about all I can afford from Paloma's Nest.
You know by now how much I champion politeness and manners. Well, one of the reasons I loved Little Things Studio so much was because Kate had an amazing personality and made an effort to speak to all of her customers. I let her know that her art was the first that I purchased for our home and she complimented me back. She was incredibly gracious and genuine. Kate was even thoughtful enough to write down the frame size I should purchase to hang her prints.
And while the people behind Paloma's Nest are extremely talented and I admire their work, I did not get nearly the same vibe from them when I visited their booth. No smiles or hello's, which made me want to turn around and walk away quickly when I initially wanted to splurge on something from their shop.
Some others working at the booths barely looked up from their journal writing or cell phones. I think this is quite sad. And then there was somebody else who was a little too friendly and hit on me, as confirmed by a friend watching nearby. I don't get hit on very often. I think The Hubby got me a super shiny ring just for that reason.
There is going to be a Renegade Craft Fair in Los Angeles, and I highly suggest all those back at home to attend. Admission is free and it is just great fun. You can also find some amazing inspiration if you are crafty like I like to think I am.
I am definitely going to drag The Hubby with me to Austin next year when there is another fair!