renegade handmade

last weekend, i headed up to chicago for a conference for work. following the final session on sunday, my mom flew up to meet me in the windy city for a few days. neither of us had visited chicago before, but it's safe to say we're both in l-o-v-e. what a fabulous place!
one of my favorite parts of the city was the wicker park area. mom and i saw it while on the el and decided it might be worth a stop. so on the morning of our last day, we took a quick ride over for breakfast. right next door to the most fabulous breakfast place ever (more on that later) was this cute cute little handmade shop, renegade handmade. it was packed full of jewelry, books calendars, paper goods, etc. all handmade by local vendors. what a happy place!

ahhh...handmade gloriousness.

paper goodies. one of my favorites were the cute custom-made notebook dividers (on the far right with the cute frame).

in the far back of the store there was a little gallery. i started snooping and found this extremely inspiring craft room. what i wouldn't give for all this wonderful space to be creative!

naturally, handmade places inspire good ideas and a "hey, i could do that" attitude. i loved this creative eco-friendly grocery bag. it was a simple canvas tote (available practically anywhere for cheap) with a cute pig stitched on and the text stamped in permanent ink at the bottom. a far cry from the wal-mart totes i currently use. i plan on making some similar ones.

also, i can't say that i'm usually into cross stitch at all (although i did make some awesome christmas ornaments when i was in the seventh grade); but there were a number of cute little mini ones around the store. the wooden rings were spray painted in cool colors and each was stitched with sweet little woodland creatures - deer, birds, rabbits, and my personal favorite, owls. what a fun way to make something really outdated and ugly cool again!

such fun! and here's the best part - a lot of things are available for purchase on their website! it's like it's own little etsy. enjoy and more delicious chicago pics soon!

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