Creative Goodness at the Renegade Craft Fair

Oh boy, was I like a little girl at the candy store today at the 8th Annual Renegade Craft Fair – Brooklyn edition. This year it took place at the Williamsburg Waterfront. I have two main points to make:

– The fair was awesome.

– Sweet baby Jesus, has the Williamsburg Waterfront changed! I remember being taken there by my then-boyfriend during the big blackout of August 2004 and being more than slightly worried that we were going to get murdered. That whole area was a shady junkyard with a kick-ass view. Looks like some smart developers saw through the scary mess and were able to see a retardedly huge amount of space with, yes, a kick-ass view, which could be turned into fancy condo central.

There were fewer Brooklyn artisans at the fair than I expected, but we were well represented. And not only do these people make amazing clothes / housewares / art / stationary / you name it; a lot of them now also accept credit cards, so the fair becomes on the one hand a lot more accessible but on the other slightly dangerous for your finances. Our beloved Kristiana Pärn was there! It was delightful to talk to her and check out her latest work.

kristiana parn's work at the fair

Kristiana is not only an amazing artist, but also a super sweet gal. As luck would have it (or as if the forces of the universe were busy checking out this site recently), she’s having a show at Blue Sky, the bakery/coffee shop where I first saw her work. I think that’s enough of a reason for me to schlep all the way up 5th Avenue for a lovely breakfast with Kristiana’s paintings. As I got to her booth, this gorgeous print started politely asking me to take it with me.

kristiana parn print, "we are here"

I had to obligue, and these notecard sets came along to keep it company. You can see more of Kristiana’s work on her Etsy store.

kristiana parn notecards

Samara Mahendru of MUNY was there too with her beautiful quilts, heavenly-soft baby blankets, throws and kidswear. I had had my eye on this shirt for my older monkey since I first came across her site. The size is pretty generous, and a 3T is just right for my 4-year-old.

muny shirt

MUNY’s gorgeous textiles are so beautiful and soft, I had to stop myself from grabbing a quilt and snuggling with it. Luckily it was pretty hot today, so I didn’t have to fight with myself too hard. Not sure if this was also due to the heat or perhaps it was a combination of the absence of my kids and being around so many hipsters, but I got myself a miniskirt.

Jay McCarroll is a Philadelphia designer that was so sweet, he earned a mention in this Brooklyn-centric blog. Turns out he won the first edition of Project Runway – the only edition I ever watched was the one that Christian Siriano won. A few months after that season’s finale, Christian kissed my baby at Ten Japanese Restaurant in Park Slope. True story. But back to Jay, his designs are fun and colorful and it was tough for me to pick just one skirt. My Lucisnail bag from The Odd Luminary was starting to get full, so I had to get this sturdy tote from Morris + Essex, a Maine studio run by former Brooklyn resident Eliza Jane Curtis. The colors are bold and beautifully silkscreened on cotton canvas.

morris essex bag

My one complaint about the Renegade Craft Fair is that it only happens once a year. I think it would be great to have a second event at the end of the summer, after Labor Day, while it’s still nice out. No need to fret though – there will be a Holiday edition of the fair right before Thanksgiving, on November 17th & 18th. Also, I kind of liked the loop around McCarren park a little better. It was nice to be by the water, but the setup was a bit maze-like, and towards the end I didn’t know my left from my right. Which is actually pretty normal for me, but still. The handwashing stations were pretty cool. Overall, I’m not sure which venue was better. What do you think? Let’s take our first poll!

 

Which venue did you like better for the Renegade Craft Fair?

 

Oh yeah, we’re getting fancy. Just wait, the site is about to get a little makeover! Stay tuned.

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