Field Trip: Randolph Street Market

Chicagoland is silly with markets and bazaars.

One one hand, you have the city attracting nationally-known shows like Renegade Craft and the International Vintage Poster Fair. On the other, you have the rest of Illinois, where self-reliant folk have amassed generation upon generation of vintage goods and have honed traditional skills (I'll bet a dollar every Illinoisan reading this has gone to Amish Country at least once). This creates a crafty/vintagey apex to feed my constant obsession with "things".

Over the 4th of July weekend I took a trip to the Randolph Street Market in Chicago. 
Considering Chicago is a mere 30 minute drive and my friends live there, I have no excuse for not going more than I do. It was great. I was so focused on finding good stuff that I forgot I was supposed to be taking photos for the first half of the trip.

Here are a few camera phone shots gussied up by Instagram:

Oh, look: jars of things. I love jars of things! I almost bought one with screws in it, but JB talked some sense into me. I sort of still want one.

More after the jump...
Every time I see a rack of vintage dresses, I get nervous and excited. The quality of even lower-end midcentury dresses far outshines that of modern ones and when I am lucky enough to find one in my waist size, they fit like a glove. God bless circle skirts.

I so want someone to hang these over a fireplace. Or a bed.

Rare photographic evidence of self-restraint.
I really, really wanted this dress, but it was just a bit too big and I already have one just like it. Still and yet.

Interesting and useful.

One of the many booths of random mishmash.

I've been yearning for a butterfly display for months, but I found this after I spent my fair budget. Sad.

More market.

That fan is superb. It looks like a diving helmet from a Jules Verne novel.

Also awesome.

Taxidermied bird. Weird.

What is that hand gesture?

So true. I've since thought about how fine paneling is. More than once.

More fun things to sift through.

I avoided picking up anything large so I didn't have to cart it onto the train, but I did come home with a few good pieces.

Live this pin. Love it. It was something like 50 cents.

I also got a set of 3 identical deco mirrors. They've got drill holes in each corner for easy hanging and a sweet deteriorating patina.There's a stamp on the back citing they were manufactured in 1928. The guy threw in three little useless-but-pretty matching mirrors, too.

Last but not least, I got this little nugget of joy. When I first picked it up, I thought it was just a quirky gold walnut pendant.

I was wrong. It was so much more than that. When I opened it up I audibly squealed. It's a teeny tiny sewing kit. I keep it in my purse.Sometimes I forget it's there, find it, and live the joy all over again.

I also picked up a few vintage maps and probably some other small stuff, but these were my favorite.
I encourage each of you to make it out to an outdoor fair while the weather is still nice. If you do, send me some pics of what you find!

Your Sister in Craft,


September 07, 2011

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