Creative Envy

Thursday, June 11, 2009, 9:03 pm
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It was a beautiful day at McCarren Park in Brooklyn, if a little hot at times; but the trees provided lots of shade relief when needed.


I love the NYC pick up after your dog/$1,000 fine signs on all the park fences. The design is great. And yes, that would be  beagle wearing a necktie. OF COURSE it is!

I was really impressed (and completely overwhelmed)  by the creativity in merchandising by all the vendors at Renegade. The ones that stole the show for me though are below.


1. Mean Cards had a super smart-looking booth. It was aesthetically beautiful yet environmentally friendly, efficient for finding what you wanted to buy, and just overall clean and simple. I wish I had taken more photos of the entire booth but I didn’t want to look like a stalker (you’ll notice that most of my pictures are from a safe distance). Mean Cards had all their merchandise displayed inside gorgeous handmade cardboard frames (yes, cardboard CAN be gorgeous and they pulled it off) hung with fish line from the tops of the tent. The owner explained it was to keep the foul language cards out of reach from youngsters’ gazes. Smart because they were also at the perfect eye-level for grown-ups and looked like framed art hanging on invisible walls. Each card was numbered so when you were ready to check out you just listed off what you wanted. It was so fast. I wish I had a picture of the great dane that was there taking up most of the booth’s real estate while we were browsing. He was so sweet and, well, just huge.

2. I didn’t get any other pictures than this one of the Greenpoint Craftworks booth but I loved their display too. They had the whole found objects theme going including airplanes made out of old dress shoes and this sign incorporating an old bicycle wheel. They have way better pictures posted on their blog here.

3. Up in the Air Somewhere was another eco-friendly, smart display. The walls of the booth were covered from top to bottom with uniform-sized, white sheets of paper with their logo floating in the center. It was a simple idea but when it all came together, the overall look was so elegant and clean. You can see a better picture of it here.

4. Nervous System’s jewelry was already baffling enough to me but then I saw this intricate wooden display for their merchandise and it completely floored me. Wow. This is some major talent. They talk about how they did it on their blog. I didn’t pick up anything at the time, but I think I’m going to have to visit their online store and make a purchase. Soon.

5. And finally, one of the booths that I was dying to see in person because I have seen it a bunch online, was that of Something’s Hiding in Here. This picture does not do their merchandising talents justice. Again, I didn’t want to be too paparazzi-ish so you can view more photos here from a past show. And if you have a few hours to waste, you should check out their Flickr photostream. I have total abode-envy for their Philly loft. Sigh….

You can see all these photos bigger on my Flickr Renegade set along with some others.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009, 9:07 pm
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I am back from my trek to Brooklyn and slightly overwhelmed with all the pictures I took, the fun business cards I loaded up on at Renegade, and all the shops and restaurants I experienced. Therefore, I’m going to attempt to break these posts into chunks to make it more manageable.

I’m going to start with the easiest first: what I bought. Surprisingly, I didn’t really have a lot of loot to take back with me that would have warranted the additional suitcase my hostess was more than willing to part with. I think it was because NYC has a way of making your wallet hemorrhage cash. I felt guilty dropping too much money on purchases when there was food to be eaten, transportation to be considered, and checked luggage fees (I still can’t get over that). At any rate, here’s what I picked up.

It’s no surprise to my close friends that the booth I really wanted to check out at Renegade was that of artist Dolan Geiman. I would love to own so many of his original pieces; however, my wallet only allowed (this time) for a DG mini. Still, I love it so much.


Next, I bought a couple of classics from Mean Cards. The merchandising of their booth was really smart and efficient. I’ll share pictures of it on my next post about Renegade. Check out their site though. They have the perfect piece of snark for every occasion.1027_elderlyOn Saturday I had come across Finch Metal’s booth and loved their child-like themed jewelry that was executed in a more sophisticated way. I couldn’t get this kite necklace out of my head so I went back on Sunday morning when they opened and snatched it up. This one knocks my current standby peacock necklace out of rotation, at least temporarily.


And finally, I picked up this simple jade-beaded, knotted bracelet at one of the small boutiques in Carroll Gardens, Andie Woo.


In addition, I bought a beautiful handmade bracelet by Courtney Fischer as a thank you gift for my friend who watched Beck.


My upcoming posts this week will include the Renegade scene, general Brooklyn photos, and a list of good eats (I ate insanely well all weekend).

Small site update: I’ve created a Flickr account under Creative Envy which I hope to post on weekly. You can check it out here, or click on my photostream in the sidebar. Over the next week I’ll post pictures from my trip as well as older, backlogged pics that I think are relevant to the content here. Hope you enjoy them.

Monday, May 11, 2009, 8:18 pm
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I am beside myself with excitement because today I booked a weekend trip to NYC to attend the Brooklyn Renegade Craft Fair. Woo hoo!!! I’ve been to New York a bunch of times but have never visited Brooklyn beyond a one-time trip to see a friend’s apartment. So not only will I get to scour RCF for some kick-ass handmade goods, I’ll get to explore Williamsburg with a local BK girl. (Thanks for letting me crash with you, C-dawg!)


The big kahuna Renegade is in Chicago on the weekend of September 12th, which I am plotting and planning to attend as well since I’ve never been to Chicago either (I know, it’s kinda ridiculous). My hope is that one day I won’t just be a shopper at these fairs, but actually holding down my own booth.


Renegade Brooklyn will be taking place Saturday and Sunday June 6th and 7th at McCarren Park from 11am – 7pm. Check it out!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009, 7:39 pm
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Thanks to seibuone for pointing me to a recent Columbus Underground podcast where two resident craft superstars talk about the indie, handmade community here in the Cbus. You can listen to Olivera Bratich of Wholly Craft and Amy Dalrymple of AmyD here.


They discuss valuable resources that are accessible to any crafter here in town as well as some upcoming events. One that I had never heard of but plan on attending, Agora 6, is on May 16 at Junctionview Studios (the same site of my favorite annual indie market, Tiny Canary). Here are some links to the events they discussed:

Agora 6 – May 16
Comfest – June 26-28
Handmade Expo at the Ohio State Fair – August 8

They spoke a lot about the Columbus Crafty Cotillion which, again, I had never heard of. (Apparently I live under a rock.)

The Columbus Crafty Cotillion is a collective of artists, crafters, and designers in the Columbus, Ohio area. We have monthly meet-ups, social events, craft swaps, and email discussions. We are an inclusive group with no membership dues and new members are always welcome!

I will definitely have to check out one of the monthly meet-ups when I get my Etsy shop off the ground. Our local community of crafters is pretty impressive.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009, 9:14 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy, music envy | Tags:

I’m back from vacation and kind of refreshed in that I-feel-like-I-never-left kind of way. While I was in Florida, my sister and I took my nephew to see Coraline. We didn’t see the 3D version unfortunately, but there is plenty of visual stimulation jam-packed into the film in its regular format to keep you entertained (and the story’s not bad either). I’ve spent a solid hour tonight exploring the website and I’m still not done. There are so many nooks and crannies to investigate and you can definitely get lost, realizing you’ve just spent 30 minutes picking out the perfect button eyes for you and your dog.



I know, kinda creepy but great at the same time. I love how the button kit opens to reveal all the little compartments. And the site allows you to save your images to your computer or publish them immediately to Facebook or MySpace. The site has all kinds of interactive surprises to play with. You can spell your name with the Bobinsky acrobatic mice,


download some sweet posters and wallpapers for your desktop (the overall aesthetic of Coraline is lovely, isn’t it?),

coraline_posterswallpaperand view galleries and movies of how Coraline came to life. The most intriguing individual to me is the woman who knits miniature sweaters using needles as thin as human hairs. Whaaaaaat? And I thought those snowflakes were challenging!

Overall, I’m just in awe of  the detail in every aspect of Coraline and the dedication to making almost everything by hand. Unreal.

I downloaded the film’s soundtrack this afternoon. It makes great background music for working on the computer….or for sewing on buttons (insert evil laugh here).

Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 7:51 pm
Filed under: craft envy, projects | Tags: , , ,

Some great posts lately from Peapods and How About Orange for making useful items from that pile o’ scrap paper, fabric, catalog pages, or even paint chip samples. So smart.

Gift tags from Peapods. Click here for more info.


From How About Orange, bookmarks made from scrap fabric and paint cards.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009, 7:30 pm
Filed under: craft envy, design envy | Tags: , , ,

I’m in awe of Lobster & Swan’s second blog, Record the Day, where she posts a (practically) daily mood board to document that particular day using magazine clippings, real objects, stamps, etc. I assume they are reflections of how she’s feeling that day or are representations of projects and various inspirations for her work. This is such an overwhelming undertaking to me so I admire her for doing it. I also love her personal style which comes through in each posting.

Here are some of the ones that stood out for me.