Week #49 – Winter Bazaar Benefiting Red Door Animal Shelter

My friend and co-worker Erica (who took our adorable photos with George) told me about the Winter Bazaar that she was exhibiting at, and I knew I wanted to go. I love craft shows! Better yet? Proceeds from the Bazaar went to Red Door Animal Shelter in West Rodgers Park.

I drove over to Warren Park, located in the same area, and was surprised by how big the green space was. When I looked on the Park District’s website, I noticed there is ice skating here when it gets cold, along with many other activities year-round.

I walked into the gymnasium, and it was such a sight to see. Vendors selling their work–everything from knitted items to beauty products to stationary to art and so much more. Dogs dressed up for the holidays. Photos with Santa! A cookie walk, in which you pay by the pound for fresh, homemade cookies. You definitely couldn’t be bored here, that’s for sure.

Erica and her friends Kristen (http://www.etsy.com/shop/tinyseabeast), Emily, and Emma (http://www.etsy.com/shop/ClawedMeownet) were the first booth when you walked in (prime real estate!). Erica and I walked around to see the vendor offerings, and I did a little shopping.

First, I purchased some cards from a woman who sold cards with French Bulldogs on them! Then, I met Gretta of Gretta’s Goats and fell in love with her story and her products. She has dozens of goats up in Grayslake, Illinois, (but she was moving just after the show) and makes these delicious smelling soaps that are handmade from goat’s milk that are raised in organic pastures. On her website, you can meet all of her goats, see the different soap scents, and purchase her soap. She also visits a lot of local farmer’s markets (check her Facebook page to learn more). Family: don’t be surprised if you receive this wonderful soap as a Christmas present!

I ended my visit at Erica and her friends’ booth, where I picked out some of Erica’s beautiful and fun cards, and purchased one of Kristen’s pretty cowls (magenta!).

Keep an eye out for the Winter Bazaar next year, and be sure to take a look at the vendors’ sites. It’s so nice to shop events like this because you’re not only supporting the animals (which is important!), but also local small business owners, too.

Red Door Animal Shelter
2410 West Lunt Ave.
West Rodgers Park

Warren Park
6601 North Western Ave.
West Rodgers Park

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Week #41 – One Strange Bird & Innjoy

Jill and Erin, my friends (and co-workers!), and I bought Groupons months ago for One Strange Bird, where they have tons of art classes available. After the lace plate classes Jill and I did earlier this year, I’ve been eager to find more new ways to be creative.

The store has many different class offerings, from painting to drawing to stationary making and fabric printing. But we wanted to take it one step further. Enter: jewelry making.

After some delicioso tacos and chips and guacamole at Big Star, we walked over with our chocolate and wine (did I mention the classes are BYOB?!?). One Strange Bird has a super cute storefront with a little shop when you walk in, and they had fresh white canvases set up on easels for a painting class that night. In the back of the store was another studio where our jewelry class was held.

Now, one might think that making earrings and necklaces is easy, but I beg to differ. Our teacher was awesome, and taught us two wire techniques to create wire earrings and necklaces.

If you’re Jill, you pick up on accessory making with ease. Erin’s designs were unique, and she listened and took the time to get them just right. I, on the other hand, was a hot mess.

First of all, I thought it would be fun to do chandelier earrings. Why not, right? I struggled a bit, but with Jill and the instructor’s help, I made assisted in making a pretty hot set of earrings. Because they took me almost the entire class to make, Jill kindly helped me made a long necklace so I would leave with what we were supposed to make. Ha!

The moral of this adventure is: Don’t bite off more than you can chew. I’d love to try another class at One Strange Bird, but I think I’m going to leave my accessory making to the experts.

After the class, Erin, Nate, and I headed over to Innjoy, a fun local bar, for a few drinks outside. I think it was College Night because we got free tequila shots, a Coors bottle, and a free t-shirt. I’m not sure if this made me feel young again or really old! But it was a fun way to end a great evening.

One Strange Bird
2124 West Division
Wicker Park

Innjoy
2051 West Division
Wicker Park

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Week #37 – Impressionism, Fashion and Modernity Exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago

My Ciocia (“aunt” in Polish) Andrea has worked at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago since I can remember, for many years as the Dean of the Fashion Department. So when she offered to show me around the museum’s new fashion exhibit, I couldn’t say no!

The exhibit pairs Impressionist paintings with dresses and accessories from the time period in a way that is both reflective and inspiring.

We couldn’t take photos, so I’ll tell you a little bit about what I saw and learned:

  • Each room has a theme. My favorite was the park room, with faux grass, park benches, and outdoor sounds. Not to mention beautiful garments.
  • Just like today, women dressed to stand out. The elite would go to milliners and have their clothes custom made to mimic the latest fashions from Paris.
  • When you look at the exquisite detailing of the dresses, notice the petite size and construction. The dresses don’t allow women to raise their arms above their shoulders…because they didn’t have to. Also, notice how the dress shape accentuates a tiny waist.
  • There’s something for men too! One room dedicated to the sophisticated suits and military wear.

That’s all for now because I want you to experience it for yourself!

Please, don’t miss this exhibit, open until September 29. I went over my lunch hour and felt rushed, so give yourself a bit of time. Enjoy!

(Thanks, Chuch!)

Art Institute of Chicago Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity Exhibit
111 South Michigan Avenue
The Loop

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