Fittest loser

Articles filed under Arts & Crafts

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  • In this 1943 photograph by Jack Delano, Clarence Dwight Averill takes a break from his job as a freight train conductor. The West Chicago man spent nearly 50 years working for the Chicago & Northwestern Railway.

    Photography exhibit shows suburban railroaders on the jobApr 4, 2014 12:00 AM
    A new photography exhibit opening Saturday in the Chicago History Museum features suburban railroaders who helped power a key industry during World War II. For the descendants of the workers, the images fill missing chapters in family history. "I thought, 'Oh my gosh, I see my father in him,'" said Marilyn Theobald, when she studied a photo of her grandad.

  • Congressional art contest accepting entriesApr 1, 2014 12:00 AM
    Submissions are now being accepted for the 2014 Congressional Art Competition, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth’s office announced Tuesday. High school students who reside or attend school in the 8th Congressional District may participate.

  • A natural dye bath, top left, can be made from pomegranate rinds, and natural dyes, bottom, made from rose petals and iron.

    For natural dyes, look to the yard or kitchenMar 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    Transforming weeds, kitchen scraps and other natural elements into a rainbow of textile dyes is a concept as old as civilization itself, with dye vats dating to as early as 2000 BC. Now, these homemade pigments — some long abandoned in favor of more startling chemical dyes — are being rediscovered in kitchens and studios around the world. “There’s been a huge rise in interest over the last two or three years,” said Sasha Duerr, author of “The Handbook of Natural Plant Dyes.”

  • The Learning Express toy store bustles with shoppers, but Ellery Patterson, 11, of Aurora, Kaeli Wloch, 10, of Romeoville, instructor Ashley Humberstone, of Lombard, Hailey Mitchell, 8, of Aurora, and Eleanor Cuasay, 8, of Naperville, focus on turning rubber bands into a colorful Rainbow Loom monkeys.

    Rainbow Loom makes kids, parents happy around suburbsMar 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    Jimmy Kimmel wore a suit made out of Rainbow Loom projects. Suburban Learning Express toy stores offer classes in Rainbow Loom. And the Chicago Wolves are hosting a Rainbow Loom Expo before the game on Sunday. Something about making jewelry and art out of rubber bands makes kids (and their parents) happy.

  • Northwest Celtic Fest returns to Hoffman EstatesMar 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    The third annual Northwest Celtic Fest, a celebration of Celtic heritage, will take place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, March 22 at the Sears Centre Arena, 5333 Prairie Stone Parkway in Hoffman Estates.

  • A felt shamrock craft provides a pretty way to wear some green. “Once you know how to make these shamrocks then when we get to spring you can make them in different colors and have a bouquet of flowers,” says Marianne Canada, host of’s Weekday Crafternoon.

    Simple crafts for St. Patrick’s DayMar 12, 2014 12:00 AM
    From leprechaun beards to shamrock hats, a few simple crafts can turn you from a spectator into a participant at a St. Patrick’s Day parade or party. “Kids especially like something they can wave, and to join in on the festivities,” says Joy Howard, associate editor of FamilyFun magazine.

  • Perfume can be crafted at home though yours may not smell exactly like the exotic whiffs from expensive brands, but there’s satisfaction in doing it yourself, and saving some cash.

    For signature scent, concoct your own perfumeFeb 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Think it would be nice to have your own signature fragrance? Try making it. Perfume can be crafted at home. Yours may not smell exactly like the exotic whiffs from expensive brands, but there’s satisfaction in doing it yourself — and saving some cash. It’s not difficult to concoct your own perfume. For some, the process is downright addictive.

  • Hoffman Estates H.S. parents host craft fairFeb 26, 2014 12:00 AM
    Hoffman Estates Loyal Parents will be hosting a Spring Craft and Vendor Fair from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, March 8 at Hoffman Estates High School, 1100 W. Higgins Road in Hoffman Estates. The sale offers gifts for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and graduation, accessories for prom, and baby and wedding shower gifts.

  • Josh Guge works on one of his bird projects near his work space covered with all kinds of carving drill bits. The Guge Institute and Art Studio is now located in Elgin.

    Guge Institute hosts open house Saturday at Elgin ArtspaceFeb 21, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Guge Institute, a wood-carving school previously located in Gilberts, has moved to Elgin. The grand opening of the brand new art studio inside ArtSpace is Saturday. Formerly called the Guge Institute of Wildlife Art, it was founded by Guge and his father, Bob Guge, who died in November after battling brain cancer. “I told him we were moving the shop to Elgin and he was excited about it, but he never got to see it,” Josh Guge said.

  • Grandmother Cheryl Thiel looks for fourth-grader Belle Johnson’s artwork during the Studio 118 open house Thursday at Wauconda Area Library. The show featured more than 600 pieces of art by District 118 students.

    600 art pieces on displayFeb 20, 2014 12:00 AM
    The Wauconda Area Library is showcasing more than 600 pieces of artwork created by students in Wauconda Community Unit School District 118. The show is titled Studio 118. An opening gala was held Thursday evening for the artists and their families.

  • Gelato from chef Alain Roby’s All Chocolate Kitchen, Geneva, will be served at the opening reception of “The Nature of Clay” exhibit at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles.

    Pottery exhibit to open at Fine LineFeb 18, 2014 12:00 AM
    ClayMirth is a group of potters, both teachers and students, affiliated with Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles, whose works manifest the scope and breadth of ceramics. Fine Line is will welcome this creative group of artists to the center’s Kavanagh Gallery for the upcoming show, “The Nature of Clay.”

  • Known for advocating for change on social issues, 81-year-old Lloyd Levin looks to the past when it comes to Valentine's Day. His antique card collection features some true works of art.

    Mount Prospect man loves valentines of oldFeb 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    A lover of fresh ideas and grand schemes, Mount Prospect's Lloyd Levin appreciates the forgotten charms of his vast Valetine's Day card collection that boasts romantic greetings from the 1800s. “I was brought up in a time when you wooed your girlfriend,” Levin says. Having traveled from Bangkok to New Zealand to Paris and beyond during his long career, Levin still doles out an antique card to “people who do normal work and don't get thanked for it,” he says.

  •  Turn trendy rubber band bracelets into Valentines by wrapping them around cards adorned with a silly pun.

    Olympics, bracelets inspire handmade Valentines Feb 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    There’s no Olympic medal for making rubber band bracelets or bad puns, which is too bad because Valentine’s Day falls right in the middle of the 2014 Winter Games. I tried to persuade my 9-year-old to make Olympics-themed Valentines this year, but he declined. Instead, he decided to make those ubiquitous rubber band bracelets for each of his classmates.

  •  Jenny Chapman would rather craft her own “bubble button bib” necklace than buy it at a store.

    A bib for adults to craft and wear Jan 28, 2014 12:00 AM
    Who knew that a bib would get so much adult wear? The bib necklace — often giant, sometimes sparkly — started hanging around a lot of necks a few years ago, and it’s still here. Of course, some women would rather craft than buy theirs. From buttons to lace, here are a few examples.

  •  Original painting by French impressionist Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

    Judge orders Renoir painting returned to museum Jan 10, 2014 12:00 AM
    A federal judge awarded ownership of a disputed Renoir painting to a Baltimore museum, citing “overwhelming evidence” that the painting had been stolen from the museum more than 60 years ago.The judge’s decision rejected the claims of a Virginia woman, Marcia “Martha” Fuqua, who maintained that she bought the painting at a flea market for $7.

  •  “Martha Stewart’s Favorite Crafts for Kids” packs the best for kids into one handy tome.

    Ring in 2014 with best recent crafting books Jan 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    As a longtime knitter, my New Year’s resolution is to learn how to crochet. Storey Publishing has obliged with the fifth in its One-Skein Wonders series, an enticing grab bag of a book called “Crochet One-Skein Wonders,” edited by Judith Durant. The idea is clever: Provide an eclectic mix of projects, including purses, toys, hats and shrugs, that require only one skein (or ball) of yarn, proving there’s more to crochet than you can shake a hook at.

  •  Pam Hirsch of Algonquin, front, and Ann Sutherland of Winfield learn how to weave on looms with the help of Fine Line Creative Arts Center volunteer Louise Ioder of Elburn Saturday. Ioder has been a volunteer at the St. Charles center for close to 15 years.

    Fine Line offers artists a chance to experiment Jan 4, 2014 12:00 AM
    Multiple rooms were buzzing with artistic activities at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles Saturday as dozens of people explored new art forms and techniques during the center’s exploration day.

  • “Zygote” by Sara Sally LaGrand

    Glass and metal artwork featured in ‘Molten’ Jan 3, 2014 12:00 AM
    It's one hot show. "Molten," a nationally juried show featuring artwork crafted from glass or metal, will open Saturday, Jan. 11 at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center in St. Charles. It will run through Feb. 15, and will feature wearable, decorative and functional creations formed of glass and/or metals.

  •  Industrial-style shelving units and tables made from planks of wood and plumbing parts are gorgeous and trendy, and can cost thousands of dollars. But creating custom-designed, industrial furniture yourself is surprisingly easy.

    DIY bookcase: Steps to an industrial-style piece Jan 1, 2014 12:00 AM
    I started by shopping, assuming the only way I could have an industrial-style bookcase was by paying a hefty sum for one. As this style of furniture has become more popular, many different companies and craftsmen have begun offering variations on the theme: rustic, sturdy shelving units, and tables made from planks of wood and plumbing parts. Meanwhile, the Internet has also become crowded with do-it-yourself instructions for making these pieces.

  •  A quick and easy decorating idea is to encircle simple votive candles with coordinating washi colors.

    For quick and easy decorating, think washi Dec 25, 2013 12:00 AM
    Washi tape — adhesive but easily removed and available in hundreds of colors and patterns — is putting a new spin on decorating. The original thin, sheer tape derived from rice paper was imported from Japan and pounced on about eight years ago by scrapbooking fans and other paper crafters. Its popularity has grown as a creative and simple way to add a personal touch to gifts, wrapping or party decorations.

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