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posted: 11/18/2013 1:46 PM

Find holiday gifts at Christmas on the Fox

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  • Angela Bell of Warrenville looks over some doll clothes during last year's Christmas on the Fox juried art and craft show at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles. Bell was helping a friend find some handmade doll clothes for her granddaughter.

       Angela Bell of Warrenville looks over some doll clothes during last year's Christmas on the Fox juried art and craft show at the Kane County Fairgrounds in St. Charles. Bell was helping a friend find some handmade doll clothes for her granddaughter.
    BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Bill Morse of Seat Weavers from Elgin works on repairing a chair during last year's Christmas on the Fox. This year's show will feature 70 artisans and crafters.

       Bill Morse of Seat Weavers from Elgin works on repairing a chair during last year's Christmas on the Fox. This year's show will feature 70 artisans and crafters.
    BRIAN HILL | Staff Photographer, 2012

  • Find seasonal decorations and handcrafted items at the Christmas on the Fox Art and Craft Show, set for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23-24 at the Kane County Fairgrounds Prairie Events Center.

      Find seasonal decorations and handcrafted items at the Christmas on the Fox Art and Craft Show, set for Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23-24 at the Kane County Fairgrounds Prairie Events Center.
    Courtesy of Joanna Bolton

 
Art of the Heartland, Inc.

Looking for an alternative to malls and outlets for your holiday shopping?

The Christmas on the Fox Art and Craft Show is a juried market offering creative shoppers unique gifts and over-the-top seasonal decor not found elsewhere. Visitors can shop from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 23-24, at the Kane County Fairgrounds Prairie Events Center, 525 S. Randall Road, St. Charles.

With your gift list complete, you are freed up to savor turkey and an indulgent nap on Thanksgiving, then devote all day Black Friday to practicing designer gift wrapping and holiday decorating techniques introduced at the show. Admission is $3. Parking is free, and a catered lunch is available.

Need some head-turning gifts? Browse fine art vases with an organic twist by Arizona artist Alex Rossiter. The fashionista on your list may appreciate an alluring L'Amour couturier scarf created from fabric recently selected in Paris by designer Laura Schubert. She may also covet one of Carol Juntenen's hand-crocheted ladder ribbon necklaces.

Ceramist Terry Shevelenko's collection of dynamic commemorative pieces, clocks for wall or desk and contemporary serving pieces satisfy a variety of interests. There are miniature Fairy Gardens made from foraged goods by Marilyn Price, and whimsical animal-shaped quilts handmade for children by Joan Woods. The list goes on.

The eclectic market is produced by Art of the Heartland, Inc. offering some 70 booths amply outfitted with items not available elsewhere. Everything is made in America, then personally presented by its talented artisan creators. And there's nary a bar code in sight.

"Successful art and craft shows must offer a wide variety of top quality merchandise and just as importantly, be a lot of fun to attend," said Robin Reed, Art of the Heartland, Inc.'s owner and founder, in a news release. "Our objective is to make happy, satisfied visitors leave the show making plans to attend next year."

Art of the Heartland, Inc. produces a number of Fox Valley-area shows including West Dundee's Heritage Fest arts and crafts and antique shows, the Country Folk Art Festival, Autumn on the Fox and Christmas on the Fox.

Reed spends months scouting the work of artisans and prominent crafters making sure the annual show can be counted on to offer something out of the ordinary for every shopper.

Sherry Theilgaard's hand-stitched ornaments. Linda Eckle's fabric snowmen. Jamie Cady's vintage Santas. Moon-related art by 13th generation American artist Laurie Ragan. Street, country or seascape paintings by Nick Englehardt. Photography and ceramics combine in Robert Sjostrom's decorative work. They all fill the bill.

In a bow to the past, Allyson Campbell's silhouette-like pictures give new life to vintage dressmaker's patterns. Same goes for John and Casey Illig's quilt block wall hanging of repurposed wood. Ross Joy's wooden toys and furniture are poised to achieve heirloom status.

While shopping is fun, the show's complimentary clinics offer useful tips and techniques. Choose from:

It's a Wrap: Interior designer Cledith Ruden offers insider tips on creating memorable packages. Her 20-minute demonstration workshops are at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Saturday.

It's a Set Up: Throughout each day, interior designer Karen Riordan will demonstrate her strategies for holiday decorating and answer questions on using holiday décor.

Clinics are free with show admission.

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