Sure it’s January 14 and the holidays are behind us and we’re back to business in the new year. Well, I’ve decided to look again at some of my favorite things from the past month or so, to relish them.
First up are prints done by Steve Shanabruch. From The Chicagoist I found out about his Chicago neighborhood project in which he gives a neighborhood a unique logo and makes a WPA-inspired print for it. At the time the article came out, only the South Loop, Beverly and Logan Square had been given the Steve Shanabruch treatment. I Tweeted about it, saying I wished he had one for my old neighborhood of Ravenswood Manor. Turns out he was working on one and he Tweeted me back. I was ecstatic when I saw them. First I bought two and when I saw that my sister had the same reaction to the print, I ordered them for all my siblings.
If you visit Steve’s site you’ll see he now has done Lincoln Park and Edgewater. Is there a print for your neighborhood?
This year I tried to stay out of the stores and buy my gifts from artists and small companies. I attended craft fairs at the Irish American Heritage Center and Pleasant Home Organization in Oak Park. I also went to the Renegade Craft Fair and the gift shop at Woman Made Gallery. Plus I found some pretty cool presents at online companies like the Unemployed Philosophers Guild and society6.
I bought these earrings from St. Louis jewelry maker Laura Murray who showcases her work on her Laura’s Creations Facebook page. I gave the typewriter key ones to some of my writer friends and I bought the roulette wheels one for myself so I can wear them next time in Vegas.
My friend Joan knows I love bananas and whenever she sees something bananas, she gets it for me. How cool are these cards? Designed by a young woman named named Paulina Rico, the card was created as part of the Design to Print career development program of Marwen. Marwen is an after-school arts organization that provides high quality visual arts education, college-planning, and career development programs–all free of charge–to Chicago’s underserved youth in grades 6-12.
On the back of the ‘Bananastache” card, Paulina Rico writes: “As a food connoisseur and mustache enthusiast, I am inspired by everyday fruit and transforming it into something that is wearable or admirable. I want my art of remind us of our inner child.” I could say this has appeal but instead I’ll tell you that I smile whenever I see the card.
I can’t say how long it has been, but for a while now, each year year at Christmas I have been the happy recipient of homemade caramels. I wish I could write something as satisfactory, a poem that is as delicious or a story that blends so well it melts in your mouth. I have two left. If you wonder why I didn’t unwrap the caramel in the picture it’s because I am saving it. Nothing fights off the winter doldrums like this golden candy. (Thanks D.H.!)