Monday, August 2, 2010

Renegade Craft Fair

A few weeks ago, one of my younger sisters, Ann, and I went on a sister's trip to San Francisco.  We had Thursday-Sunday to pack in as much fun as possible!!  John, being the sweetheart of a husband that he is, took 2 days off of work so that he could watch Michael for me while I went.  They had a great time playing soccer, visiting the zoo, eating Red Mill burgers (Michael just enjoyed the fries), going swimming, making smores, etc.  Although John says Michael would yell "MAMA" every morning while he waited for someone to come pick him up out of his crib, I know Michael had such a fun weekend with dad.

We both flew down from separate cities and met at the airport...can you believe our flights landed at the exact same minute?  Can't time it any better than that :)  We took the BART into the city and got to our hotel room (I had always wanted to stay at this hotel ever since I saw it with John a few years ago...I bid on a downtown hotel room in SF and this is the one that I won...LUCKY ME :)  The architecture itself was beautiful...lots of chandeliers, crown molding and beams.  We didn't have much time to relax before we headed off to see The Birth of Impressionism art exhibit that was in town.  I was SUPER excited because it was a traveling exhibit from the Musee d'Orsay that I've always wanted to visit.  
The photos above are of some advertising outside the deYoung Museum where the exhibit was displayed...we had fun goofing around and snapping some photos :)  
The art was stunning and there was an almost reverent atmosphere in the museum...not a lot of talking...just pondering the paintings.  I loved how huge some of the paintings were and learning more about the stories behind the art was interesting as well.  Ann and I shared an audio tour which explained so much more than the wall plaques.
Two of my favorite paintings that we saw are below:

The Ballet Master by Edgar Degas
I've always loved Degas' paintings ever since I was a young ballerina and my dad gave me a print of one of his paintings.  But in learning about this painting, I was reminded that these master artists weren't just perfect at painting from scratch.  They did many, many, many studies and drawings of their painting and the final masterpiece didn't just arrive without being meticulously planned out.  In fact, this painting above wasn't supposed to be the final was a study in itself.  It reminds me to enjoy the process of creating, to not give up when it may not turn out how I envisioned it the first time and to remember that quality is better than a quick finish. I get so excited about the finished product when I'm painting or creating sometimes because I can't wait to see it all done :)  I'm still perfecting my patience...

The Cradle by Berthe Morisot
I also loved this painting by the French Impressionist painter Morisot.  She was one of the only women impressionist painters who was successful.  Another one is Mary Cassatt whose work is full of beautiful images of mothers and children.  In the above painting, it is said that Morisot is dreaming of two things...her beautiful baby and motherhood and becoming a famous artist.  It just struck a chord with me.  I love the look and feel of the Impressionist movement.

We walked around Golden Gate Park admiring the architecture (SF has some beautiful old buildings).  We enjoyed many French bakeries during the 4 days.  And I think we lived on Italian food for dinner...mmm!  We shopped, WALKED AND WALKED AND WALKED everywhere, took public transportation to every part of the city (we explored a bunch of the different neighborhoods), discovered that we aren't really into 60's and 70's vintage so next time we'll go antiquing.  

One of the main reasons we went to SF was to attend the Renegade Craft Fair.  One of the biggest craft parties in the country!  So much fun :)  It was down at Fort Mason near Fisherman's Wharf in a huge pavilion.  Over 200 different craft vendors were there...whew!  That's a lot of crafting!  There was so many talented and creative people.  I hope to one day be able to do a fair like this (but start out smaller first).

Photo of the crazy fun-filled pavilion.  

They had this free photo booth with was way too much fun!!

Ann enjoying our falafel wraps for lunch outside the craft sister is such a lovely soul inside and out!  Love you!

We also had a couple of very important items on our out the best candy stores SF has to offer!
Ironic since I can't eat too much candy,  but still...candy stores are just too cute and I splurge every now and again for the good stuff  :)  We took a bus and walked awhile to find Miette...worth the trip for its cuteness and goodies :)  My favorites there were the peanut butter taffies filled with PB...and their wallpaper  :)  

Isn't that wall amazing?!  So many colorful candies...and those arches?!  LOVE THEM!

I love how they display their makes me want to run out and buy some cute jars and fill them up with colorful treats...hmmm, might have to do that!  We also visited Fiona's Sweetshoppe which was a tiny little place with the best European candy.  My favorites were Midget Gems, a British gummy candy.  

My sis Ann trying our raspberry macaroon.  I've always wanted to try macaroons...and honestly, after trying them, I realized I don't care for them...funny!  They are beautiful though!

I snapped a quick photo of this sister Ann has always wanted to own her own flower shop...she said hers would be a lot cuter than this one though :)

We stopped by Ghirardelli Square and the beach.  It was a beautiful day but breezy (apparently July and August are SF's cold months and October is their warmest month).

We both got some goods at the craft fair.  Ann bought some hand-made hammered stacking rings, and I bought a ring, some wool felt and some postcards from an artist whose blog I've followed for a while.  And we both bought some yummy organic toffee for the hubbies back at home.

The best parts were the simple things:  I was with one of my sisters who is a best friend (we missed you A LOT year for SURE), we got to sleep in every day, we were mistaken for Italians by a man and his wife...funny story(they may or may not have been sober), we talked and laughed lots!  I loved our adventures together.  Thanks for the wonderful weekend!  I can't wait until next year!!

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