Renegade Craft Fair + Chicago (finally!)


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A little over a week ago, I met up with three friends in Chicago for the Renegade Craft Fair.

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Well, and to just hang out.

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We hooked up downtown and spent three fantastic days walking, taking pics, shopping, taking in the sights and catching up with each other.

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So here is our Chicago photo album ... photos from four girls on four cameras. Patty. Danielle. Mandi. And me.

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I attempted to give credit where credit was due for the photos I'm using here, but it was kind of hard to keep them all straight. Especially since we all used each others' cameras the whole time. That's just how you roll when you're with your camera-happy pals.

We started off with Friday afternoon beverages on Oak Street Beach.

Which could be easily confused with a beach somewhere in Cali or Florida. We felt totally transported, in a good way.

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We made Danielle re-enact her double-up margaritas from our previous trip.

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And we hung with our host for the weekend, Matt, who so kindly let us take over his fab downtown condo for a few days. He was such a good sport, putting up with our constant picture-taking, girl talk, sleeping bags and flat irons. He even tried to explain scrapbooking to his guy friends. (Which went something like this ... "they make ... uh, layouts. Some are like this, and some are like this. You know, like mixed media?")

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But of course, our main goal and mission for this trip was to spend the day at Renegade. And WOW, were we surprised at how huge it was. We spent an entire day there and still didn't see everything.

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It was handmade heaven.

Screen-printed everything, letterpress, hand-sewn kids' clothes, t-shirts, handspun yarn, jewelry, fabric, art, paper goods.

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I honestly wanted to put up my own tent and just live there for the weekend.

We met up with our friends Martha and Sarah for lunch.

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And hung out with them for most of the afternoon. It was so great to see them both.

We had to stop for this cute girl's free photo booth. (How awesome is that?)

And we scoped out a couple of gifties for our two of our besties who couldn't make the trip to Chicago.

It was a hot, steamy day, and while most of us were all kind of hoping for cool fall-ish weather (so we could wear boots, of course) we really couldn't complain. So happy for no rain.

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Here are all the tents lined up on Division in Wicker Park.

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And the Renegade store. It was such a nice area with lots of caf├ęs, coffee and spots to grab a bite to eat.

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Danielle, Mandi and me. All smiles, obviously.

We stopped to check out the RVA booth, and Sarah chatted with Jeremy. He was really sweet and nice.

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And we met Elsie, and chatted with her a tiny bit too.

But I really had my eye on the yarn most of the day. Hand dyed, hand-spun ... drool. I don't think I saw it all, but I had to come home with at least one skein. I picked up the one in this pic on the far right. Can't wait to make something cool with it.

And I adored this little tent (I think it was run by a Waldorf school) where little ones could sit down to knit, or even learn how. How sweet is that?

The whole day was filled with smiles. How can you not when you're surrounded by so much handmade awesomeness?

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And yetis. Patty picked up this guy and he began making appearances in lots of our photos. He liked my hair.

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Rarrr, Chicago.

One of our favorites and our bests from the trip was just hanging out on the terrace (we had a fantastic view.)

As you can see.

So we ended up hanging out there a lot. (Well, and watching The Soup, Real Housewives, Kardashian trash tv and Sons of Anarchy.)

We let our hair down.

We pretended that we were in Pantene commercials.

We laughed. Hard.

We danced like robots and sang and made up words. And then we sang songs about the made up words.

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And we took full advantage of our perfectly beautiful nighttime view, too. A few cocktails and many laughs were had here.

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This pretty girl is honestly so much fun. Mandi and I shared some good talks. And I raised a little hell with Patty, running to the 7Eleven and jumping around singing the only two lines to the theme song to 'Fame' that I know.

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We Skyped our internet BFFs Sandy and Vanessa and wished that they could have been there with us every minute. We know we all look a little over-animated here, but we were honestly so happy to talk with our pals.

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We hit up a few downtown restaurants/bars for dinner and drinks.

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Like the Blue Agave. Conveniently labeled here for me on the menu.

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Canton and Philly. (Well technically, Danielle is Mexico City.)

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Long Island and Des Moines.

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Ohio and Iowa. Ohiowa. Do they grow potatoes there? No, that's Idaho.

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Our last night there, we ate here.

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This is Mandi and I waiting to be seated. And we're looking pretty tough, although I think that might just be the look of hunger.

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More waiting on the steps.

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We were all wearing blue and yellow. How none of us noticed this that night is beyond me. Like, we really matched way too much.

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But we definitely enjoyed our awesome deep dish pizzas.

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And that was my good-bye to Chicago for awhile. I was the first to leave (again!) and was on my way back to Des Moines in the morning. Camera card full and a big smile on my face.

19 comments:

  1. you guys look like you had sooo much fun!

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  2. oh my gosh! Great recap! Your recap totally puts my recap to shame! ha I want to get together again SOOOON!

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  3. It was so fun! great to meet you in person and give you a hug! xoxo

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  4. ah, chicago. it's been far too long. i seriously need that kings of leon poster. do you know the name of that booth?

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  5. That looks like a FANTASTIC weekend and your photos make me miss Chicago SO much! Oh, and it makes me wish I were crafty too. Then I could partake in things like this in a legit way. :)

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  6. Oh, how I LOVE Chicago! I'm hoping to get to go next year!!! Great photos!

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  7. awww, this makes me sweak in delight!! so happy you all had a great time, love all of the pics!! :) CHI is an amazing city to be shared with friends :)

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  8. oh my gosh! I'm so heartbroken I couldn't go!!! But I am so glad you guys had so much fun! Miss you terribly! Kisses!

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  9. I never heard of that before....must go to it next year! thank for the awesome visual tour so we could live vicariously through you!!!!

    xoxo,
    ja

    http://julieannshahin.blogspot.com

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  10. Like Mandi said, your recap was totally awesome, I felt like I relived the whole weekend again:)

    I am so happy to have met you through our blogs, and to have the chance to hang out with you twice already.

    Heres to many many more!!!

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  11. HA! and HA! I loved looking at all our pics, what a fun weekend. I LOVE your story!! I about died at the dancing pics!!! I kick ass at the robot, but you have me at Salon, say it, Salon!!

    DON'T FORGET TO WATCH THE NEW SONS OF ANARCHY TOMORROW-JACKS IN THE SHOWER--DELISH!!!!

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  12. What a fun time!

    Seriously, I bet there are stories you guys aren't telling. Am I right? Am I right?

    I hope so!

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  13. LOVE the wrap up.
    really missing that deep dish pizza after seeing your photo!! YUM

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  14. Looks like so much fun! I am so jealous!

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  15. Awesome recap, Jen! Looks like a blast!

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  16. okay seriously... we need to plan something huge for like next summer. i need to meet you all before i turn into a dirt poor college student. and! i'll be a big girl then and won't have to worry about parents and flying by myself and such.

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  17. your trip looks like soooo much fun and it makes me super jealous, in a good way of course!! loving your blog, always inspiring <3
    xoxo
    janel

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