Sunday, September 13, 2009

Learning to Knit at Renegade

The Renegade Craft Fair is one of the most impressive displays of creativity you can find anywhere. Although, I've only been to the one in Chicago, I have went down for 3 years in a row. I have seen it grow from just phenomenal to just "WOW!" It is safe to say that I am much older than the average age of the indie crafter displaying their wares. At one time when I worked for Leisure Arts there was an air that crafting and hands on creativity was thought to be something of a relic in the near future. Then something happened. I don't know if it was the new generation tired of mass production and super consumerism that pervaded our culture or if the do-it-yourself (DIY) shows on HGTV made people realize that "Hey, I can do that" but whatever it was I am eternally grateful to know that the art/craft spirit lives on.

And, now, I think my daughter may have caught some of the crafting bug. She has always been interested in art especially drawing and painting but not quite the crafty part, at least, not whole-heartedly. At Renegade this year the Chicago Waldorf School was there giving on-the-spot knitting lessons which included making your own knitting needles. Basically, they take wooden dowels, sharpen one end with a pencil sharpener, sand and then place beeswax on the end for a stopper. Here is Emma making hers:

Then she started casting on.

Didn't take long to get started but it did take lots of concentration.

She was so interested she tried to continue to do it on the Blue Line but the ride was a little too bumpy. (You aren't seeing things, she is wearing cat ears that the Tree House Humane Society was handing out.)

We had a great day even if it was a little on the warm side for a Chicago September day. If you ever get a chance to get to a Renegade Craft Fair please go.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I got this image from off their Facebook fan page. May we never forget and pray for peace to all.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Fall is Coming

A couple of weeks ago it seemed like October was just about here in Chicagoland already. It definitely put me in the baking mood but we are trying to be a little healthier around here so I got out my 12 Best Foods Cookbook and whipped up a batch of Sweet Potato Muffins. Well, I did have to go to the grocery store first but I had to do that anyway plus I picked out a black bean salad recipe out of the book to go with the grilled steak dinner my dear hubby was planning.

There is nothing like homemade food made from fresh ingredients. The muffins were made from fresh baked sweet potatoes, grated carrot and topped with pumpkin seeds. The salad involved fresh cilantro which is one of my favorite flavors. Great! I'm getting hungry again. Better get back to my craft table.