The Renegade Craft Fair Rundown

I am determined to not let my trip to NYC slip through the cracks. I had such great intentions about blogging about Chris and I’s trip to London and Berlin earlier this spring that just never happened. So onward…

WEDNESDAY: Chris and I flew into NYC. It just so happens in a weird twist of fate Chris had to go to NYC for business. The awesome part is that his company put us up in the Hotel Giraffe which was totally amazing and swanky. There was a roof top bar and the blinds in the room opened and closed with a switch next to the bed. The first night in town was pretty chill. We went out and found NYC pizza and a Kinkos because I had to make a copy of my press kit / look book. We ended the night at the roof top bar each having an $8 Red Stripe. No really.

THURSDAY: Chris had to go to work and I had to go and meet with the PR firm that is working with the DIY Network. The ladies I met with seemed super awesome and totally on the ball. They are who I brought the press kit for. We are going to let the world know about Craft Lab when it comes out this fall. After the meeting I took myself shopping. We don’t have H&M in Texas so it is like a total treat. I actually bought 3 pairs of shorts, which for those of you that know me is a miracle. Even my mother said she could not remember seeing me in shorts since I was a small child and she put me in them. Got lots of other cute things. I know if you live in NYC H&M is nothing special, like a Forever 21 to us here, but to me it is like a little slice of fashion heaven.

After H&M I wanted to hit Barneys and started walking down the street popping in and out of various stores I could never afford to shop at. Hunger overcame me so I called my good friend Leah who lives in NYC. I told her where I was and by dumb luck I was standing below her office building. Leah works for Lacoste. Leah came down and we had a quickie lunch and she sent me on my way because we were meeting for dinner later. Luckily Leah also took my gigantic H&M bag up to her office with her so I did not have to tote it around shopping.

When Leah got off work we decided to go back to the bar on top of the Hotel Giraffe when we realized the St. Mark’s bar she had planned for us was closed for a private party. We ran into Chris in the hotel room and he invited us out with his co-workers. We all ended up at some Irish pub down the street which was pretty non-descript. The only exciting thing was that there was a couple at the bar with a screaming baby that was slamming beers. So Leah had to catch a train out to Long Island and we were all getting hungry. In our party was a lovely lawyer named Kerryann who suggested a hamburger joint in the West village so we all piled in 2 cabs and headed that way. I can’t remember the name of the place but it was a yummy cheeseburger and fries. With drinks all around the total for 5 people was $30. That is good for even Texas.

After the restaurant we walked to a bar a block away called The Cubby Hole. I chatted with Chris’s super sweet co-workers Valerie and Thomas and eventually we all said our good byes. In the elevator on the way to our room we met some people who attended FIT and a guy who claimed to design for YSL and they invited us up for a drink. Networking how could I say no?

FRIDAY: This morning I wished I had in fact said no and just gone to bed. Oh well I can sleep when I am dead. Chris left for home this morning and kissed me goodbye and left me in bed. My parents and younger sister had gotten into NYC late the night before and I was meeting them. Made my way over to the Marriot where they were staying just in time for breakfast. Hope and my dad went to museums for the day and my mom and I went shopping. Thanks to everyone who recommended all the awesome bead, button and trim shops in NYC. I loaded up with tons and tons of cool stuff.

We had to get back to the hotel at a decent hour because Hope and I were invited to a BBQ in Brooklyn hosted by the lovely Amy and Heather Sperber, AKA 31 Corn Lane. The party was super fun drinkies and grilling in their backyard in Williamsburg. All the ACM ladies who were in town for the Renegade Craft Fair came by: susann, Tina, Vickie and Jenny. I also got to see my friends Keith and Chris who run Fred Flare. The picture is Jenny, Tina and Keith. Amy and I stayed up late chatting about world fashion domination then I hit the hay. The thing that makes me giggle about the Sperbers house is that they have like 4 chihuahuas.

SATURDAY: The first day of the Renegade Craft Fair, oh the excitement. It was a touch tricky getting our booth all set up since there were a lot of cooks in that kitchen, but we managed and the Austin Craft Mafia booth looked pretty spiffy if you are asking me. We of course managed to bring the Texas heat with us. Apparently it was lovely weather the week before, but this weekend was in the 90’s sitting in the park. The turn out was super good and all the other crafty booths there were amazing. I walked around and saw Jenny Harada who was a guest on Craft Lab and Kathy Cano Murillo from Crafty Chica was right across the aisle from us. The lovely Leah Kramer of Craftster stopped by the booth to say hello and gave me some awesome buttons that I wore proudly. Also right next to us was Portland Super Crafty who I had never met in person so it was awesome to get to see those guys. Right behind us was the Make Workshop who I hear nothing but wonderful things about. The big excitement was Karen Duffy (as in the MTV VJ Duff) stopped by our booth to film a segment for her new TV show. She bought one of Hope’s purses and was nice as could be.

After the fair we all went over to a little dive bar close to the park that has something to do with Turkeys in the name. I only know because the ladies room says Turkettes on the door. They also serve beer in Styrofoam cups with straws which is totally weird. This is Tina and I at the bar with our new matching Fred Flare sunglasses on.

We were starving and headed off to find dinner. We called Susann who had left with her friends Leslie (Rolleta Lynn) and Kim and asked if we could join them for dinner. Not sure of the name of the place but I had salad, soba noodles, sushi and tempura friend veggies and they were wonderful.

At this point I had decided against an air mattress at the Sperbers since my parents were in Manhattan at the Marriot with a big plush bed waiting for me. Hope and I stopped by to get my things and Amy loaded us up with an array of their awesome 31 Corn Lane Bags. I already have the red one that says Carry All and adore it. They gave me so many I gave some away and took Karly and Jesse bags at the Stitch meeting on Sunday. So after the total score in the purse department Hope and I made our way back to Manhattan.

SUNDAY: The only thing that sucks about Renegade is that each night you have to totally take your booth down and each morning set everything up again. Not the ladies fault at all, but I am spoiled with events like Austin City Limits where you just tarp up the booths and security guards are there all night. Even though we had a camera crew in the booth on Saturday, Sunday felt like the never ending day of camera crews. Keith and Chris from Fred Flare were floating around the fair filming people for their pod cast and wanted to get the Austin Craft Mafia ladies. My episode should run in august, I’ll keep you posted. There is a really amazing documentary in the works right now by Faithe Lavine (Flying Fish Designs) and Micaela O’herlihy called the Indie Craft Documentary. These awesome ladies stopped by the booth and filmed all of us for their film. I for one can’t wait to see everything when it is done. The underground punk rock craft movement is such an interesting phenomena it totally needs to be documented.

My parents also stopped by the booth today. Since it was so hot I was afraid they were going to pass out. This is a picture of all of us in the booth. I made my dad hold one of Vickie’s I Heart Crafty Chicks shirts since well we are all pretty crafty.

The rest of the fair was awesome and I am already looking forward to next year. I would go to the Chicago Renegade Craft Fair but it is always at the same time as Austin City Limits and we have an Austin Craft Mafia booth there. The highlight of the fair was a round house kick to the face. Not my face mind you. Our booth was right in front of the truck where you picked up and dropped off your rented tables, chairs and tents. Well after a long hard weekend the employees were restless and had begun yelling at each other. Next thing I know Hope says they are fighting and I look over in time to see one guy make an attempt at a round house kick to the other guy. Contact was not made, but it was hilarious. So much karate in one weekend. You see our sad little makeshift dressing room was a hula hoop, shower curtain and picnic umbrella. It looked exactly like Ralph Machios Halloween costume in the Karate kid when he is a shower at the dance.

After we closed down it was after all fathers day. Vickie came along with my fam and I for a nice Italian dinner at some place close to the hotel. I was so exhausted I don’t even remember what I ate.

So overall the Renegade Craft Fair was tons o’ fun. One of the highlights of my summer for two years in a row. If you live in Chicago be sure and stop by this September.

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