Crafting perfect holidays: Artisans offer handmade gifts as ‘Nutcracker’ spins onto stage
|Proceeds from the 100 reindeer ornaments created for this week's Wilder Mansion Holiday Market by Donna Castellanos of Elmhurst will be donated to United Community Concerns Association. (Submitted photo)|
With Thanksgiving arriving early this year, holiday events are zooming into focus. We’ve rounded up a selection of craft shows offering handcrafted items for gift-giving, and alert you to a sugarplum-packed season of “Nutcracker” ballet performances already leaping into view this weekend in Downers Grove.
WILDER MANSION HOLIDAY MARKET
ADDRESS 211 S. Prospect Ave., Elmhurst
CONTACT (630) 712-6541, rglmarketingforthearts.com
One-of-a-kind arts, crafts, jewelry, handbags, children’s clothing, gourmet food and unique holiday gifts from more than 50 artists and culinary food vendors will be in the spotlight at the second annual Holiday Market at the landmark Wilder Mansion on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10. On Saturday, the market is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free. It’s sponsored, in part, by the Elmhurst Park District (www.epd.org). A special benefit is planned from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, to support United Community Concerns Association, which provides food and food certificates for families in need from Elmhurst School District 205 and for seniors. Ticket price is $20, and includes one glass of wine and appetizers provided by Café Amano. Tickets are available Friday evening at the door. Elmhurst artist Donna Castellanos will donate the proceeds from sales of more than 100 reindeer ornaments made of recycled pants and canvas that are coffee-dyed and embellished with recycled sweaters, vintage fabrics and trims. Along with Donna and Her Friends, the unique holiday ornaments have been created by many volunteers, including “Kohl’s Care” employee volunteers and Park Place Seniors. For each reindeer purchase, one receives a raffle ticket for an original Christmas art piece. In addition, Room & Board will give away store totes.
The Red Sled Holiday Bazaar
ADDRESS Ogden Avenue Elementary School, 501 W. Ogden Ave., La Grange
Calling the bazaar “a beloved community event that’s fun for the whole family” are co-chairs Laura Attebery and Teresa Fitzgerald. Open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, it features crafters, bake table, pictures with Santa, children’s activities, raffle and a cafe for lunch and coffee. Fitzgerald notes the raffle baskets are themed, and focus on: Broadway in Chicago, golfing at Cog Hill, a weekend at Wilderness Lodge, a laptop, an American Girl Doll and an iPod touch. Exhibitors include 70 juried artisans and crafters, offering jewelry, clothing, home decor, pottery, knits, stained glass, toys and woodworking. A photographer will be on hand when Santa drops by for pictures from 10 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 1:30 p.m. Freshly baked breads, cakes and treats are donated by the Ogden School community. And prizes are in the offing for kids who take part in games and crafts at Candy Cane Lane. This is the 33rd year for the event by the parent-teacher organization, which earmarks all money raised to benefit the students.
PUMPKINS ‘N HOLLY CRAFT SHOW AND BAKE SALE
ADDRESS St. Barbara Parish Center, 4015 S. Prairie Ave., Brookfield
CONTACT (708) 485-2900, www.stbarbarabrookfield.org
Fifty crafters take part from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17. The show is complemented by baked goods and luncheon items. Admission is free, and children are welcome. This marks the 20th craft show organized in the past decade by Jenny Jarosz on behalf of the Council of Catholic Women for the parish, raising $25,000 to date. She says the event offers strictly handmade items, from tree ornaments and fall and Christmas decor to original greeting cards, stained glass, painted frames and glassware, wooden boxes, cemetery wreaths, chocolate truffles and taffy apples by Kory’s Chocolates, jewelry, crocheted items, hair bows and ribbons, and doll clothes. The women of the church offer a wide array of freshly baked treats, plus a baked goods raffle. There’s also a craft show raffle, in which winners are phoned at 2 p.m. and have until 3 p.m. to claim their prize. The lunch menu features hot dogs, polish sausage and tamales, along with chips, soda and coffee.
HELPING HAND CRAFT FAIR
ADDRESS 9649 W. 55th St., Countryside
CONTACT (708) 352-3580, www.hhrehab.org
More than 50 crafters will sell their handmade creations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 1. The day, which also features food, drinks, homemade baked goods and raffle, benefits Helping Hand, which serves children and adults with disabilities.
MOTHERS CLUB HOLIDAY ARTS AND CRAFTS SHOW
ADDRESS Geneva Community High School, 416 McKinley Ave., Geneva
More than 100 crafters will be featured in the club’s 38th annual show from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. It’s also known for its tempting baked goods, luncheon fare and raffle baskets. All proceeds will go to Fox Valley charities serving women and children. Admission costs $4, and is free for ages 12 and younger; strollers are discouraged. A highlight will be a book signing for the new holiday children’s book, “Rodney the Repo Reindeer,” co-written by two Genevans, Laura Heine and Karen Tomko (rodneythereporeindeer.tateauthor.com and Town House Books in St. Charles). “It is a book to be shared after the holidays to help remind kids they need to behave after Christmas too,” Heine says. “Its main character, Rodney, is a quirky, fun and friendly reindeer whose lanky physique kept him off Santa’s A team, but landed him an important role nonetheless — helping parents teach a valuable lesson.” She says she and Karen are each mothers of three and former teachers, adding, “So the idea for this book was conceived in the trenches.” Complete with a door hanger to let Rodney know whether to repossess gifts from misbehaving kids or to return them, the book is described by Heine as a useful parenting tool to help kids keep up good behavior. She will be on hand from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
ADDRESS Kane County Fairgrounds, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles
CONTACT (815) 878-2728, www.craftproductionsinc.com
The show runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, in the fairgrounds’ Prairie Events Center. The 150 exhibits will range from holiday and everyday decor to wood and fabric items, rustic furniture and ceramics. Everything is handcrafted, and food and refreshments will be available. Admission costs $4.50, and is free to ages 16 and younger. A $1 discount coupon is on the website.
FESTIVAL OF ARTS AND CRAFTS
ADDRESS DuPage Expo Center, 4050 E. Main St., St. Charles, across from Pheasant Run
CONTACT (847) 301-8543, www.stepbysteppromotions.com
About 175 exhibits will be in the spotlight from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. Described as an authentic arts and craft show, it showcases handcrafted treasures by artists from six states. Yard art, painted windows, tole painting, stained glass, calligraphy, metal art, hand-carved Santas, paper tole, copper art and purses are just a few examples of wares. Admission costs $3.
MIDWEST BALLET ‘NUTCRACKER’
ADDRESS Tivoli Theatre, 5021 Highland Ave., Downers Grove
CONTACT (630) 971-9751, www.midwestballet.org
For almost two decades, Midwest Ballet Theatre, a nonprofit, semi-professional ballet company in Downers Grove, has produced a highly acclaimed, classical version of “The Nutcracker.” The holiday favorite returns at 1:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, Nov. 10, 11, 17 and 18, in the Tivoli Theatre. The full-length ballet will be danced by the young talent of Midwest Ballet Theatre and MBT alumnae. Guest artists will be April Daly and Mauro Villanueva, both principal dancers with the Joffrey Ballet of Chicago, returning to the Tivoli stage in the roles of the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier. Arion Tanabe and Antoinette Klimek, freelance ballet dancers from Chicago, will dance the Snow pas de deux along with other roles. Downers Grove actor Fred Zimmerman appears as Herr Drosselmeyer. Choreography is by artistic director Mim Eichmann. Cast members are from Downers Grove, Darien, Clarendon Hills, Westmont, Itasca, Willowbrook, Lombard, Lemont, Chicago and Wheaton. Tickets cost $14 to $16.
CHRISTMAS AT THE MILL FINE ARTISAN BOUTIQUE
ADDRESS Graue Mill and Museum, 3800 York Road, Oak Brook
CONTACT (630) 655-2090, www.grauemill.org
Talented local artisans will sell handcrafted Christmas decorations, one-of-a-kind jewelry, stained glass, pottery and hand-woven and knitted items from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 17 and 18. Admission is free. Specially selected ornaments, other decorative items and stocking stuffers will be offered in the mill’s gift shop. Strolling carolers and decorated Christmas trees add to the fun, and Santa will drop by Saturday and Sunday afternoons. A wine-and-cheese benefit preview is offered from 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 16; preview tickets cost $8.
A HOLIDAY HAPPENING CRAFT AND ART FAIR
ADDRESS DuPage County Fairgrounds, 2015 W. Manchester Road, Wheaton
CONTACT (815) 878-2728, www.craftproductionsinc.com
In a new location this year, the show runs from 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. A hundred exhibits will range from holiday and everyday decor to wood and fabric items, rustic furniture and ceramics. Everything is handcrafted, and food and refreshments will be available. Admission costs $3, and is free to ages 16 and younger. A $1 discount coupon is on the website.
ADDRESS 218 W. Front St., Wheaton
CONTACT (630) 653-7090, www.dupageartleague.org
Yuletide Treasures, the DuPage Art League’s holiday gift show, runs from now through Dec. 24, featuring original, handcrafted pieces by local artists. Jewelry and Christmas ornaments share the shelves with holiday decorations, pottery, wood, glass and hand-woven baskets. Boxed note cards and greeting cards are among the creative offerings, as well as paintings and photographs for the art lover. “It’s the perfect place to get into the holiday spirit,” say members, noting they decorate the space inside and out, taking special pride in their Christmas window displays. Sales benefit the non-profit organization, and help provide scholarships to the league’s classes for children and adults. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.
ADDRESS Victory Centre, 1101 W. Bartlett Road, Bartlett
CONTACT (630) 213-0100, www.PathwaySL.com
Dozens of artisans and crafters take part in the sixth annual event from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Nov. 9 and 10, at Victory Centre of Bartlett, a supportive living and senior apartment community. The show is set in buildings 1101 and 1105, and each day features 35 vendors, a bake sale and raffle. Admission is free for the fundraiser for special programs for residents.
HOLIDAY CRAFT SHOW
ADDRESS St. Isidore Ministry Center, 427 W. Army Trail Road, Bloomingdale
CONTACT (630) 529-3045, stisidoreparish.org
A popular draw for years, the CCW Holiday Craft Show will feature handmade crafts, a bake sale and lunch café. The show continues from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10. Admission costs $2, and the first 100 shoppers will receive a free gift.
MUSEUM’S HOLIDAY BAZAAR
ADDRESS DuPage County Historical Museum, 102 E. Wesley Ave., Wheaton
CONTACT (630) 510-4941, www.dupagemuseum.org
The 29th annual event, sponsored by the Museum Guild, is set from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, offering handmade ornaments, wreaths, holiday decorations and other stocking stuffers. Admission is free. “These are nice little gifts for friends, family or even the kids’ teachers,” says Mary Udelhofen, guild president. “We work all year long, making these ornaments. And all the money goes to the museum.” Entertainment from noon to 1 p.m. features carols by the adult chorus called Beyond Glee. Local vendors will include Thirty One, Lia Sophia and Tastefully Simple, with purses, jewelry and easy-to-prepare foods. The Granny’s Attic area presents small, white-elephant goods for the home, such as decorative items and kitchen gear. Donations for Granny’s Attic are accepted at the museum’s front desk.
AUTUMN FESTIVAL, AN ARTS & CRAFTS AFFAIR
ADDRESS Odeum Expo Center, 1033 N. Villa Ave., Villa Park
CONTACT (402) 331-2889, www.hpifestivals.com, www.odeumexpo.com
Hundreds of artisans will offer their wares in a four-day show. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday and Friday, Nov. 15 and 16; 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 17; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 18. Admission costs $8, $7 for seniors 62 and better. It’s free for children 10 and younger. The Autumn Festival, An Arts & Crafts Affair in Villa Park is ranked 15th in the country according to Sunshine Artist Magazine, say organizers, noting the event also offers stage entertainment, food and drink “and lots of family fun.”
HOLIDAY CRAFT SHOW
ADDRESS Trinity Lutheran Church, Roosevelt and Westmore-Meyers roads, Lombard
CONTACT (630) 629-8765, www.trinitylombard.org
The 33rd annual show returns from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 10, to support projects by the women’s ministry of the church. Admission is free, and children are welcome at the complimentary Kids Korner activity tables. The show has expanded to 40 crafters, who will offer unique, handmade wares, ranging from collectibles and wearables to holiday items. Organizers say items are available in every price range. Several vendors offering unusual merchandise also take part.
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