Tuesday, July 7, 2009


i washed all the dishes, sent the kids to school, pushed my work aside, had a long visit with my neighbor. last weekend's fear has (for the time being) tucked its gnarled tail between its legs and crawled back under the bed where it belongs. thanks for all the words of enCOURAGEment. shall we move on then?

ren·e·gade (rěn'ĭ-gād') n.
1. One who rejects a religion, cause, allegiance, or group for another; a deserter.
2. An outlaw; a rebel.

over the weekend i checked out the renegade craft fair. the first thing i am compelled to
say, is that it was huge; like the kind of huge that would have laura looking for a little
extra buttercream, but i digress...

kids in tow, i met a few friends (also with kids in tow), and we were so overwhelmed by the enormity (not enough lubricant in the world could put us at ease), that we planted ourselves about ten yards from the entrance, letting the kids run in little lunatic circles until they were panting and begging for shelter. as we readied our retreat, the other moms suggested they watch my charges while i got my craft on.

well, you don't have to ask me twice.

oh the (relative) peace of strolling and of time and of art and a thousand-some-odd-people in williamsburg getting their craft on. there was a lot of great work; of course i was most drawn to folks using recycled materials. in a world where we are encouraged to max out our resources and options along with our credit cards, anyone finding a way to make do (or who do make) with stuff almost sent to the land fill in my humble opinion, deserves the sobriquet renegade...

brian and patrick of wrecords by monkey

these are the boys i would have been hanging out with in some questionable bar twenty years ago, although they may have still been in diapers when williamsburg was polish. clearly these guys have their scene locked down.

they're transforming lp's (remember those?) into necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets...the wrecord cuff being their signature piece.

there was a lot of buzz in this booth:

i have to assume the folks responsible are a bit bibliophilic (heh?); re-purposed books and scrabble pieces became earrings, magnets, chotchkes, and purses.

of course as i was standing in the tiny space trying to get a shot of the scrabble chips which spelled out 'princess' some little tyke chose that moment to tweak the composition. i had no choice but to call her every name still visible in the display.

i had actually seen an incredible piece of a tiny cast gas mask on etsy before i had even
left the house; as fate would have it, i ran into the artists who create them.

ball and chain's utensil earrings

so styleee sterling silver silhouettes

their work is a combination of recycled and new production. as i was getting the skinny on what was what, their paying customers needed attention, and i certainly wasn't going to stand in their way.

Align Centerkat balling of ball and chain with (a truncated representation of) her husband
sorry, i didn't get his name...

kat suggested i find her on etsy and 'convo' her. it made me feel a little naughty. so kat, when you speak of this, and you will, be kind...

i have to give this next lovely lady extra credit.

not only is she making real, stylish jewelry with cast-off skateboards, but she took it in stride as i rolled up on her booth and started babbling about how stunning her work was, and could i possibly take a picture. then i took a picture...just as she took a bite of her lunch. she didn't even flinch. i realized what i had done about five seconds after she did, and shot the photo above. i think she was pretty relieved. how much of an ass would i have to be to post the shot of a perfect stranger with her mouth full?

about .08 ounces more of an ass than i am. apparently.

her rings really are arresting. please check them out on her website, as i was far too embarrassed to hang around to get more photos.

i have to give this lady extra credit.

and then, there was final approach. amazing. i had never before seen custom painted and decoupaged suitcases. perhaps due to the rock under which i am living. but these? like nothing else.

beautifully executed, really intelligent, and ridiculously affordable. last time i checked their etsy shop was closed while they take a little holiday. no doubt packed in cases that would make louis vuitton (and stephen sprouse) swoon. bookmark their shop if they're still away. trust me.

the facade of the hunter s. thompson case

inside is a portable (potable) bar

this was about the time i remembered i am still a mother (what to do?) and headed to scoop up
my angels. the most pleasant of surprises met me, as i stepped in to discover the renegade of all
renegades. shall we read it again?

ren·e·gade (rěn'ĭ-gād') n.
1. One who rejects a religion, cause, allegiance, or group for another; a deserter.
2. An outlaw; a rebel.

as i walk into my friend's home, it is in the process of being completely transformed as her husband dennis puts together a show of his work. it was best said by alethea; he wants to turn the space into a whole sort of carnival.

i'll be damned if i don't bring the popcorn. i adore his work.

dennis mcelroy is totally under the radar. no galleries, fairs, no agent. not that he wouldn't be thrilled to have representation. it's not easy to get out and promote your own work. at all. and then putting a price on something that is an extention of whatever that spark is which keeps your heart beating. and the work doesn't necessarily fit neatly into a box. everywhere you turn, you gander at a piece of magic dennis has pulled out of his hat.

what had me beyond dazzled was this case he made with an old fence he rescued from the trash.

the door opens to reveal a cable on which 'Her Queen Majesty Quadapus' can go for a ride. so smart. and so sweet.

watch it in action. dennis went into a blow-by-blow of the contraption that allowed the goonies to
open the front gate without leaving the house...and just as he was getting into it when i accidentally hit the stop button. oh yeah. that's me.

dennis made this jewelry 'case' for alethea which hangs in their bathroom. who wouldn't want one of these?

the opening of dennis' carnival will be in the next few weeks. i'll take lots of pictures. lots of video. and i'll try not to hit the stop button.

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