Crafting in the Windy City

By guest contributor Amy Anderson

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I’m lucky to go to school in a city as crafty as Chicago—there’s never a lack of fairs, sales, and boutiques to browse! So in that spirit, I decided to go local and see what my fellow Chicagoans are up to on Etsy. There are so many sellers, but I found a few favorites that I think represent the diversity and Midwestern vibe of the city.

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I was instantly drawn to Abbey Hambright’s fingerpuppets in her Etsy shop Abbey Christine. She takes pop culture figures and makes them into quirky and fun toys. As an avid This American Life listener, I particularly love the Ira Glass puppet, complete with thick, black glasses!

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If I had kids, I would decorate their rooms full of Den-10 Studio. They’re simple, bright, and youthful works from an artist who is a mother herself and obviously knows that bikes, robots, and swing sets are key to growing up. 🙂

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Kate Pugsley’s gocco prints are made with black ink and then watercolored, giving them a great rustic, folk art look. The subtle coloring and distinctive portraits are striking and original.

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Moxiedoll’s contemporary take on needlework is one of my favorite craft ideas. From the outlines of Illinois to city skylines and roller skates, her work is a sweet spin on grandma’s stitching.

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I cannot get enough of the onesies that are taking over craft fairs and Etsy shops these days. Babies are dressing better than ever! Spring Olive’s pieces are no exception—I adore the vibrant animals, cupcakes, and flowers on Olivia Samson’s screenprinted outfits.

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The Sweet Unfolding is bringing back the written letter. How could you resist sending a card designed with bright red poppies or a vintage sewing machine? The mother-daughter business of Sarah Schultz and her mom, Gae Morris, should definitely revive the snail mail phenomenon.

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I saw Truche at the Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago and instantly fell for the state jewelry and dainty bird, tree, and owl designs. I’m eager to show off my Illinois pride with the “I Heart Illinois” necklace—complete with a cutout heart over Chicago.

About the contributor: Amy Anderson is one of  the Indie Fixx interns this summer and is also a student at Northwestern University. Amy has wanted to be a journalist since she was just 5 years old and she is also into the indie design and crafting scenes as well. In addition to writing the occasional post, she also helps me coordinate Feed Your Soul: the free art project.

4 thoughts on “Crafting in the Windy City

  • October 26, 2009 at 5:22 pm
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    What a great showcase for all your fellow Chicagoans, and soo many beautiful new shops to check out! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • October 26, 2009 at 11:14 am
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    Love Amy’s selections! They are diverse, playful and so creative

  • October 26, 2009 at 9:33 am
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    so true! I came out to Chicago for school as well and all the craftiness makes me miss Portland a little less (though I’m not sure it could ever replace the saturday market there, or voodoo donuts!)

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