A shelf from Riggo Design
One-off Show-offs

More than 600 artists are heading to the Merchandise Mart next week to set up for the 11th annual One of a Kind Show, a four-day marketplace of handmade furniture, jewelry, clothing, serving pieces, and art. Some home-y Chicago-area booths are Abbey Brown Soaps, Bentbottle’s dishes, bowls, and lighting made from recycled bottles, woodworker David Stine’s furniture, Twice by Kelly Rauch’s repurposed vintage items (Kelly tells me she’ll be introducing a line of pet bowls that I’m psyched to check out), Arti-Factual Ceramics’ decorative containers, and iron artist Riggs Barr with new “shiny metal objects” from Riggo Design. (This gutsy statement of a shelf is one of his latest pieces.) The show starts Thursday, December 1 and runs through Sunday; regular admission is $12, but you can snag two free tickets here.

An octopus candleholder from Crosell and Co.


Crosell and Co. had a gracious little event last week to celebrate its one-year anniversary at the 900 North Michigan Shops and introduce new tableware lines and gift items. The store’s looking great. I chatted with owner/interior designer Dianne Crosell as a mixologist from Tzar Lounge muddled strawberry cocktails and poured flutes of bubbly, and spotted this tentacled wonder of a candleholder hanging out in the window. It’s one of a collection of pewter items Crosell carries from Vagabond House, which has its products handcrafted in Vietnam, and it is $675. (Put a bird on it? I don’t think so—that style trend is so 2008. And alligator motifs in home design haven’t been au courant for ages. Now it’s all about the octopus, judging from what I’ve been seeing at craft and art shows and shops lately.) Other stand-outs include shiny aluminum bowls and trays from Mariposa and Beatriz Ball, colorful country-style ceramics from MacKenzie-Childs, and chunky glass business-card holders and votives by Simon Pearce. From December 2–4 Crosell is having an in-store ornament hunt—if you find one, it’ll give you a 10-to-25% discount off a purchase, and customers can also take advantage of complimentary gift-wrapping and espresso bevs through Christmas Eve.

A 'Let's Make Out' pillow from Susan Fredman at Home

Fredman’s Finds

For more fine giftables, stop by Susan Fredman at Home’s River North (350 West Erie Street) holiday trunk show next Thursday, December 1, from 5–8. Reps from Chilewich, Jennifer Star, Graf + Lantz, Michael Aram, and Alexandra Ferguson (this is one of her sassy sit-upons) will be presenting new items and taking custom orders, and SFAH will be presenting drinks and sweets. RSVP to Jamie Fields at jfields@susanfredman.com. Susan is one of ten designers nominated for the Chicago Interior Design Hall of Fame, along with other influential Chicagoans, and the winner will be selected by online voting. Cast your ballot here, once a day if you like, through December 15.

Various sculptures from Homey

Homey for the Holidays

Through December 1, buy a $100 gift card from Homey (3656 North Lincoln Avenue) and you’ll receive an additional $100 gift card free. That’s a pretty sweet—let me do the math—two-for-one deal, and there are no restrictions or limits to how many certificates you can purchase. Homey is a welcoming gallery specializing in fine art and photography, but it also carries an extensive selection of gifts, garden statuary, and inexpensive small-scale sculptures like these limestone desktop figures.

A poster for the Chicago International Film Festival, featuring Faye Dunaway

Black-and-White Friday

The models Victor Skrebneski photographed for those iconic Chicago International Film Festival posters took (at least) half off, now you can do the same at its poster sale starting Friday, November 25 and continuing until December 16. Strip 50% off the prices on a sexy selection of Skrebneski images; just the ticket for any cinephiles on your shopping list. Sweeten the plot by having gifts framed at Prints Unlimited (1461 West Fullerton Ave.) with the 20% discount coupon CIFF customers receive for services there. Also for your consideration, all Festival merchandise has been reduced by 30% for the same period, including mugs, umbrellas, watches, books, and T-shirts with sayings like “My Life Is a Movie” and “So Many Subtitles, So Little Time.” (But tread with caution regarding message tees, friends—in the immortal words of Fran Lebowitz, “If people don’t want to listen to you, what makes you think they want to hear from your sweater?”)

A poster from a 2010 Trey Anastasio concert

Rock-and-Roll Grade School

If you want to give your den or office some rocker cred and help nurture future headliners at the same time, you need to get over to the Park West next Friday for the Rock For Kids benefit and auction. The nonprofit group brings professional music teachers and workshops to elementary school kids in underserved neighborhoods, and it has collected scores of donations from musical superstars to sell at the event. Pick up signed guitars formerly strummed by Sarah McLaughlin, Dave Matthews, or Taylor Swift; framed and autographed set lists and posters from Adele (get well soon, honey!), David Bowie, Janet Jackson, Cee Lo Green, Beck, Chubby Checker, Cyndi Lauper, et alia (this purple people-pleaser is from a 2010 Trey Anastasio concert at the Riv); and other nonmusical but still noteworthy memorabilia such as a book signed by Hugh Hefner, an original Planet of the Apes publicity shot, and Betty White cheesecake. The benefit runs from 6–10 p.m.; tickets are $50 through November 28 and $75 after that.