Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Urban Craft Uprising

As promised, I'm back talking about arts and crafts.  But unlike the stuff you made with twine at church camp when you were nine, this stuff is actually good.  In some cases, it's also expensive.

I've already talked about the Urban Craft Uprising here, so I'll skip the introduction.  This is my fourth trip to the event, and it was a bit smaller and less crowded this time around.  All the better, because I was once again wielding my trusty camera and pointing it at everything that begged my attention, and behavior like that requires a bit of breathing room.

Totally smitten with these belt buckles by Lauren Rudeck (craft alias: La∙Ru), even though belts aren't really my thing.  In addition to buckles, however, she sells her art as prints, necklaces, and purse hooks.  I've never purchased anything from her, but I'm going to keep my eye out for an art print that screams my name.  But hey, what's not to like about an octopus dueling with a velociraptor and then getting hugged by a robot?

New discovery of the day: Mary Kate McDevitt, whose work drew a lot of attention at the exhibit.  She found some innovative ways to make her art functional, such as goal chalkboards and recipe books.  I found her drawings to be on the simple side (I had a few "I could do that!" moments), but I loved the creativity behind her lettering... I also loved that she wasn't charging very much for some of her original, hand drawn pieces, and she easily could have.

Although I initially pointed this piece out to my tea-drinking friend, Killian (of Tales 'n Teacups), the moment I found out that it was an original acrylic and pencil drawing (rather than a print), I was relieved when Killian decided she'd pass in lieu of another buy.

First art piece of the day = purchased!  While simple, it's also sweet and small and already framed. Win!

Next up: Row Boat Press, a collective of different artists and their screen printed creations.  I didn't snap any pictures of these live and in person (I totally spaced), so I've included links to their respective pages.

"Best Friends" art print, via Row Boat Press

Immediately drawn to this coffee pot and mug print, for no other reason than that I'm a total coffee addict.  I knew immediately that there's no place for it in my apartment; it struck me as the perfect minimalist print that really needs its own space.  (Sister Kim: You still need an art print above your stove?  Eh?  Eh?)  I find the simplicity rather refreshing.

"Genius Bee" by Kiku

If you're currently awe-struck by how cute these are, Jon and I had a similar feeling when we first saw them.  That may be why we didn't hesitate to cough up 30 big ones for these four 12x12 prints.  The artist, Kiku, teamed up with RBP to get her "Genius Bee" series printed.  We couldn't be more thrilled with how lovely they are, and how bright they're already making our living room.  As soon as they're hung and ready to go, I'll post about it (rest assured).

This booth was an exciting find, primarily because of this box of "vintage ephemera", which included photographs, music, and literary playing cards.  These were just some of the goods being offered by Constellation Co., a vintage letterpress and printing company operating out of Seattle.  Jon showed me this poster from their selection, which definitely made me blush a little. (Awwww.)

Killian fell madly in love with Mr. Lincoln, shown above right, and it didn't take much to convince her to succumb to temptation.  Meanwhile, I spent a good 10 minutes flipping through a pile of vintage hymns and anthems from a clearly old songbook.

The wear-and-tear on the sheets look almost intentional, and the woman working at the booth said that the songbook completely fell apart when she opened it.  I'd like to know which book the music came from, and what year it was printed.  OH well.  Some things are just meant to remain unknown.

For a mere 50 cents each, buying them was a no brainer, especially considering how good they look framed!  I'm not sure what I'm going to do with the hymns yet, but the "Star Spangled Banner / My Country 'Tis of Thee" sheet looks great on its own. ... But you'll just have to wait for that reveal, as well.

Okay, I don't have any use for these little creatures by Heidi Kenney (craft alias: My Paper Crane), but we all thought they were pretty adorable.  So perfect for kids—boys and girls!  Do you think if kids had carrots and cauliflower toys, they'd actually be more willing to eat their veggies?  Maybe.  For me, though, I don't think there's ANYTHING cool enough to make cauliflower taste good.  Yuck.

Speaking of things kids love to eat, Sarah found this print by CakeSpy, featuring a quote by random wisdom sayer, Andy Warhol...

... and this illuminating necklace by Polymath Design Lab:

Are you starting to notice a trend of whimsical, cartoon-y, and eccentric pieces?  Are you wondering why we aren't drawn to landscapes and portraits and clothing and other functional crafting goods like normal adults would be?

My excuse is that as long as there's one Harry Potter movie left to come out, we're allowed to hang on to the colorful and absurd remnants of our youth.  So there.

To top off the outing, Jon fell head over heals for possibly the silliest pieces of the day: little 3D paintings by Tripper Dungan.  We even got 3D glasses to go with them!

Jon said they made him laugh (specifically Mr. Buck-toothed Ice Cream Cone), so that was good enough for me to agree they needed to be in our apartment!  (Interesting tidbit: the 3D glasses that Tripper gave us to go with these actually make most of the artwork in our apartment look 3D... We might have to lump some stuff together for the ultimate multidimensional effect!)

More than getting in touch with our inner-children, the trend of the day really revolved around one thing: what makes us smile.  Each of us walked away with some original art, jewelry, or print that evoke feelings of happiness and humor; Killian's Lincoln, my bees, Jon's ice cream cone, and Sarah's necklace make us happy just by looking at them.

What more could we ask for from the things we buy?

As a result of our art hoard, we have some major redecorating to do on our walls.  There are a bunch of other art pieces not from the UCU that have finally been framed and a bunch of crap that just isn't doing it for us anymore.  Hopefully, you'll come back to see how it all turns out.

Until then,


*All images property of The Sleepy Peach


  1. I LOVE all this. I desperately want to buy a carrot and cauliflower for Henry. SO CUTE! I love the artwork you picked out, and I can't wait to see it!!

  2. Great art, Stace! FYI califlower amazeballs recipe = chopped head of cauliflower, tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder. 400 degree for 40 minutes. SO. FREAKIN. GOOD. trust.

  3. Wonderful entry! I wish I could have been there. Those little bee prints are to die for!

    As for the coffee print, I dig it, but I think something a little less simplistic and more whimsical/contempory would suit that above-the-sink spot. =) Nice thinking though!

    I still can't get over the art Killian did that you have - it's so cute! She could illustrate children's books! LOVE.

    Can't wait to see all this art in person!

  4. The song book is "One Hundred and One Best Songs for Home, School, and Meeting" - Published 1926.

    The woman working at the booth