Things being rather wonky lately what with the wreck in Pittsburgh and such, I was rather glad to get out of the house and walk around a bit at the DIY Trunk Show with Leah. It was three huge rooms of tables and people and though it may have been a little too much walking around too soon in my temp-gimp state, it was fun.

When we arrived, we saw Ben Tanzer and his wife and two little boys, then we all chatted with Jason Behrends of Orange Alert, Tim Hall, Chris Szostek and Michelle Miller of Red Reign as she showed us the kit she uses to create her microgami. We saw a ton of stuff and met a ton of really nice crafters (which I love; it’s cool to me to meet the people who make the things), with some of my favorites being:

  • Pretty crocheted things from Jengibre Wear— there was a magenta and green wrappy thing I don’t see on their site that I really liked.
  • Pretty handmade, recycled paper note cards and such from Woman Craft. Check out the organization’s mission statement. I do rather like their vision.
  • Delicious, natural, safe and ethically-made goods from Edgewater Soaps by certified soapmaker, David Melis. Kitchen Special is a good one. Chicagoans can buy from the lovely Soothe Your Senses Spa.
  • I haven’t quite seen anything like Owly Shadow Puppets before. Very cute and very fun. Love the mermaid.
  • I squeaked with happy when I laid eyes on Circa Ceramics‘ small bowl painted my very favorite aqua and covered with typewriters. This bowl, as a matter of fact. I was so excited I pulled off half of my shirt to show them my typewriter tattoo. Nice folks, too, and they’re right in my neighborhood!
  • Unfortunately, I can’t find them online, but in addition to their shadowboxes, VoodooToaster (with business cards that are tiny pieces of toast!) makes, hold onto your seats, the coolest thing: picture foreign stamps placed between microscope slides, the bound with stained glass edging, then hung on a necklace. Hi. Awesome.
  • Loved Re-Conceived, where designer Christine Renee makes zombie stuff (Zombie Pin-Up Girl, take note!), and great blank journal books from all sorts of interesting things like Japanese knitting instructions, old children’s books, and old Harlequin romance novels. Fabulous.
  • Laura George makes beautiful prints. I pointed her to my ol’ pal from an Omaha Lit Fest adventure past, Michael Barnes, because the faces and creatures they make seemed wonderfully similar to me. I like her little people.
  • Ol’Factory Candle Co: based in Wisconsin, soy wax candles with cotton wicks, and they smell fabulous with very different scents than most candle companies carry.
  • The recycled glasses from ReUseful Objects are so pretty. I like the clear and silver ones at the top of this page, made from Nantucket Nectar bottles.
  • I really liked the tiny ceramic pieces Sofia Masri fashions into jewelry. I haven’t seen anything similar, and really love the vintage look of pieces like this, this and this. (And, her mom is on Etsy, too, with a whole slew of other pretty things.)
  • Moira & Obbie make clothes and accessories from recycled fibers. And, the wrist equivalent of a legwarmer, which puts an end to my endless quest to dodge the ol’ wind-up-the-sleeve issue.
  • Leah found a terribly cute shirt for her nephew from Sheriff Peanut.
  • LadyRocket sells a poker chip necklace pendant decoupaged to bear a miniature replica of Johnny Cash’s passort info and photograph. I think we can all admit that it spectacular.
  • Citizen Shay brings “affordable art for the people of earth”, and makes the delightful antiqued Chicago “L”-train signs.
  • I’m not much for collecting, except when it comes to typewritery things, stationary and tea towels. Art Goodies makes very cute tea towels.
  • Unit i Press also makes beautiful, letterpress cards and notepaper.
  • And, Leah and I stood at the Rar Rar Press table giggling and ohhing/ahhing over the various cards and designs, such as Get Awesome, the ‘Stache card, and the poster to end rumors for good. Twas only later, long after we left the event, that Leah surprised me with a framed typewritery card that reads “cooler than computers”. And, it’s awesome. I have it on the mantle with my collection of different art, but I think I’ll move it into my office.

We also got info about the One of A Kind Show & Sale in Chicago December 407th at the Merchandise Mart and the Handmade Market of Chicago, at the Empty Botte the 2nd Saturday of each month from noon to 4:30. Anyway, we did one pass through and my lower back and I were unfortunately quite done. But, it was a lovely time, and nice to get out of the house and do something fun, even if just for a bit.

Now, I want a letterpress.