Monday, September 14, 2009

Birds, bikes and baloney

I apologize in advance for sounding like a total hater, but Renegade left me pretty cold this year.

I took a lap yesterday (a gorgeous day for an outdoor fair) and felt like I was being pummelled over the head with all things soooo cuuuuute. Don't get it twisted. I love cute. I have doll furniture on my windowsills. Right this moment, I'm wearing a pink polka-dot shirt and pink shoes. Every year, I hand make Valentines with hearts and squirrels and kittens cut from construction paper and doilies. I am no enemy of whimsy; for God's sake, I am the girl with toy animals in jars on my mantel.

So maybe it wasn't the cute.

Maybe it was the repetition of so much darling. Let's all be honest. There are only so many tea towels with nesting birds and t-shirts screen printed with old-timey bikes and adorably ugly stuffed animals and moustache-shaped throw pillows and posters with affirmative sayings and deer antler tote bags and saucer-eyed owls painted on some old plywood a grown person should own.

And of course booth after booth of same after same kind of defeats the purpose of buying handmade. I go because I want to see something novel and unique. I buy because I want to support the innovative people who come up with their crazy concepts, make them into reality and put them out there for the world to see.

And I get the concept of inspiration. You see something, it inspires you, and you create your own take on it. I just didn't feel like I was seeing much variation on a theme going on. Those sticky-sweet cupcake earrings you're peddling over there are getting a little stale. Yours too over there...and there...

Ok, enough of that. Out of it all. I did see some really lovely ceramics and jewelry, and I'm always happy to ooh and ahh over Dollybird's delightfully sinister spiderweb pendants.

I think it was all of the soft edges of everything else that attracted me to the hard lines of Plural's designs. It doesn't appear to be for sale online, but they were peddling the most interesting stark, geometric black and white wrapping paper.

Along the same lines was Beth Pohlman jewelry.

I'm absolutely in love with this pyramid necklace. Her earrings are pretty sweet too.

So I guess that's a long-winded way of saying I'll probably still attend Renegade next year (probably not the holiday show. That place gets way too crowded), but I'd probably buy more if presented with more variety.

No one wants go buy their one-of-a-kind whale-shaped chalkboard and then see it in the kitchen of everyone else they know.


Shannon said...

I hear you. I almost went but couldn't take seeing one more whimsical bird or old fashioned telephone screenprinted on a dishtowel or t shirt. Wonder what the next craze will be?

Anonymous said...

Totally felt the same way. Still quite lovely to mill around and people watch.

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