an (af)fair to remember

{note: please click on any of the collage images to enlarge…you’re gonna want to!}

i made it to friday’s opening of the country living fair in chicago! it was a brisk, though beautifully sunny, autumn day…i arrived at the fair as it opened & there were tons of people already. it was a plethora of sights, sounds & smells! oh how i love this time of year! really put me in the festive mood. to think i almost took a pass on this {thanks jes for motivating me to muster up energy to go!}…i am so wicked glad i went! as usual lately, i’ve taken a bazillion snaps (i think 400 on my digi cam, lol!) as the fair was held at the chicago botanic garden…have you ever been there? it’s an amazing place! {i went to the gardens & took a kajillion more pics there…but i will save those for another post}… the folks at country living & the chicago botanic garden pulled off an amazingly elegant show. with the botanic garden as the backdrop, things could not have been more perfect. there was something for everyone there, kids & grown-ups alike. there were insanely expensive pieces of antique items & artwork as well as affordably priced things…i had the whole day exploring pretty much every nook & cranny as i waited for my pal angie wangie & her buddies>>>she trekked 6 hours from st. louis & finally arrived the last couple of hours of the fair {tho they planned on going back to the fair today since they came so late on opening day}…
wow, this fair had antiques & art>>>things so close to my heart! there were some incredibly hefty price tags on many of the antiques i foddled or gawked at>>> a total jolt to my usual bargain/clearance-minded system! whoa! some of the booths were way out of my price range, but nevertheless, it was fun to look at, up close & personal…like this ginormous (i.e., gigantic + enormous= ginormous) bird cage that was {gulp} priced at something like $1895! yikes! is all i gotta say… i thought that this fair was much more upscale than the renegade craft fair i had gone to with my sisters a few weeks ago…not that it was bad or anything, just two entirely (stylistically speaking) different events that happened to attract different sets of crowds (a more mature/older, traditional set or as my friend annie likes to say, “sweater-people” types, her term for the affluent folks vs. a mucher younger, cutting edge/ crunchy-granola/hip, arty diy/indie set). regardless, i still thoroughly enjoyed myself…it’s like comparing apples to oranges, two completely different things…

i can’t believe i paid $7.oo + some change for a hotdog, bag of chips & bottled water, but that was the least pricey item on the fair’s cafe menu…but {sigh} my tummy was grumbling, so i literally& figuratively ate the high-priced food (note to self, bring own snacks, heck my own food cooler, next year!)…thank goodness for freebies>>> i sampled all sorts of gourmet delights>>>there were delectable goodies from this northshore foodie place called foodstuffs>>>i hope those folks didn’t notice (or mind very much) that i kept cruising by their booth A LOT & helping myself to their free (um, that’s the operative word here, lol!) yummies (i especially adored their pecan cranberry chocolates, those were, omg, simply to die for! they also had this amazing horseradish cheese which definitely left you with a zing! at the end of every bite!!!)… i gobbled up some yummy popcorn mix from a one-man vendor, whose name i cannot remember& then a deelish poundcake samples w/ lemon curd (can i just say, YUM?!) from folks called janie’s cakes…i also took in some demos such as autumnal cake decorating with country living’s food editor cheryl slocum, high-tech pumpkin carving with artisan ed mccann, cool potato stamping by these gals called the farm chicks, soapmaking by the proprietess of century farmhouse, & pottery making by a couple of artisans (their names escape me at the moment)there also was a cool rocking band who jammed during the fair & watching kids & grown-ups movin’ & groovin’>>>love hearing live music like that! very festive indeed!last spring, my sisters & i went to country living’s event, women entreprenuers. & it was nice to see & chat with a couple of the women who had shared their very inspiring stories at this event>>>lisa norris {she & her booth are pictured in above collage, first row) of made by one girl, was such a sweetheart for letting me take a snap of her & her charming booth {her work is fabulous to see up close & personal! pls. be sure to check out her website!) and gloria lombard of gloria lombard designs (based in charleston, south carolina; does not have a website but i bet if you google her you can find her!) who handmakes these lovely lampshades, pillows & other beautiful miscellaneous must-haves… it was certainly a pleasure to meet them again & have a chance to chat with them>>> to tell them both how inspiring their stories were to me & my sisters…
angie wangie & her pals finally arrived towards the end of day 1 (it’s a 4-day event)…it was great to see her again & meet her friends jennifer & lori (spelling?)…i was so relieved that they made it safely after their long trip! they did a quick once-over before the fair started to close up for the day…they had planned to go back to the fair this morning…i hope they had a wicked good time…

i know i did! Posted by Picasa

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4 Responses

  1. Hey, that fair looks like it was really cool (altho expensive, but isn’t everything in Chicago. Great pictures and the pictures from your trip to Maine are great too. And the pics from your fall color viewing! A feast for the eyes.
    I’m busy planning my cookie swap concoction! Have a great weekend!

  2. Thanks for all this fab sharing. A ginormous birdcage ~ wow ~ was it made of gold?
    I am SO envious. I’m really glad you were able to go and really glad for all the photos.
    HUGS!

  3. hi karen & wendy!

    thanks for your generous comments!!!

    yeh, the high prices seemily everywhere at the fair were SHOCKS to the system! & that ginormous birdcage (i kid you not, it was like 6 feet wide & about 5 feet tall)>>>it was distressed wood!!!!!! i don’t know how old the thing was, but it was painted white & distressed-looking (a la shabby chic style)…

  4. again, all i can say is double WOW! country living always does such a beautiful job in anything that they present. it was like walking through the very magazine through your eyes…thank you, thank you for brightening up my eyes to muster some creative inspiration this week…xoxo looney

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