Glee, the Music CD, 3.99Val's halla Records

The Oak Park Arts District hosted its annual Holiday Lights Event on Dec. 10 and 11. Local artists and shopkeepers came together to orchestrate Holiday Lights, a festive, celebratory arts and crafts event, spotlighting the work of the gifted artists from our own community and around the globe.

Art lovers and holiday shoppers convened to browse and shop for one-of-a-kind gift items on Harrison Street, which features blocks of unique galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. The event provided live music, refreshments, raffles, and family fun. I had the opportunity to browse a number of handmade creations from some of our finest indie-craft talents. This group of deft artisans offer eco-friendly and green items that are sure to please: pretty and practical home goods, striking artwork, innovative apparel, fabulous jewelry, and melodious music.

Lisa Nordstrom of Art Gecko offers found object art and fine crafts created primarily with vintage, reused, and reclaimed materials. You’ll unearth magnificent metal and glass jewelry with decorative embellishments: a necklace made of vintage children’s toys and antique arcade tokens will capture your heart. Lisa has conceived lovely holiday decorations: you’ll hardly recognize a sunny stocking as the dowdy sweater it once was. Pam Penney of the eponymous textile arts studio and gallery makes beguiling and beautiful wearable art. You’ll fall in love with her irresistible handmade home décor and soft sweaters.

Jennifer Tiner of Bright Olive Gallery features delightful earth-friendly items conceived of reworked and recycled objects: handmade and hand-painted journals; repurposed and remarkable jewelry pieces; and refined housewares. Steve Smith of Flavor City Studio paints inspired landscapes that can take you away to a warmer place on the coldest day of the year. I have just added one of his paintings to my Holiday Wish List.

Avoiding the crowds of the malls and the hassle of finding parking, I found the terrific task of shopping less daunting and more fun with this bounty of treasures right here in Oak Park. You’ll discover one spectacular gift after another in this cluster of shops featuring clever crafts from the creative minds on Harrison Street. There really is something for everyone in the Oak Park Arts District.

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