Sunday, December 9, 2012

One of a Kind

that's the name of the show we went to yesterday at Merchandise Mart in Chicago & what a great time Nacho & i had!  i found out about it by accident (a click here, a link there) but put it on my calendar more as a reminder, not thinking i'd actually go.  Nacho saw it & did a little googling himself & was all up for it, so off we went.
the official One Of A Kind Show site phrases it better than i could ever hope to!

Chicago's Most ONEderful Time of the Year

The 12th annual One of a Kind Show and Sale Chicago® is Chicago's holiday shopping show! A refreshing alternative to traditional retail, the show is the ideal place to find one-of-a-kind gifts for everyone on your holiday list. More than 600 talented artists from across North America will bring their imaginative, handmade creations to this year's show offering a wide range of media and categories...

and oh the things we saw & ate!  there was just so much!  okay, the easy parts first, IT WAS CROWDED!
i am not a person who likes crowds & i really had to talk myself down from the ledge when i saw all the people.  when i accepted we were gonna be here for a while & we were not going to go anywhere fast, then it was fine.
i started out by heading to the Etsy village to track down Four Eyes Handmade.  it was their Robot Uprising Venn Diagram clock that caught my attention from one of the many design blogs i follow.  Unfortunately, they no longer sell that item according to the gentleman that i spoke to at their booth.  awww so sad!
after that disappointment, i stumbled upon Laura Berger's Etsy booth.  i'm a sucker for a good print!  many many lives ago, i worked in an art gallery back in undergrad & i will never forget all the neat/cute little prints or cards that people would bring in to have framed. it taught me, art does not have to be some expensive piece hanging on a wall that you can't touch. so a memorable post card or pricey oil on canvas; if it speaks to you or about you, then that's all that matters.  i bought a couple of items - her 2013 calendar which i plan to frame so i can switch each card out, and something else (shhh, you'll see later).
i have a feeling i'll be purchasing from her again!
at that point, we decided to start from the beginning and wonder up & down each aisle - just like the grocery store!  we were in awe of the rock & metal sculptures at Chuck Adams (aka Francis Metal Works)
i mean, we see all these guys on or around our beach every day!  how cool is that?  he came up with the concept while searching for something for his own garden.  ah, the best ideas are the simplest aren't they?  and we could not leave without coming back to pick a little something up for ourselves!
we came home with 2 baby turtles from the log & the middle turtle just below the log. can't wait to put them in the garden!
next came FOOD!  1st up was River Valley Kitchens.
that Five Cheese Garlic Spread is U-N-R-E-A-L!  it's taking all i can do not to go open it now while Nacho is at hockey, eat the whole thing & claim we must have forgot it!  heads up:  i'm going to leave my husband for this jar!  and the Spicy Pickled Mushrooms....2 words:  Bloody Mary!  'nuff said!  and they sell Mushroom Kits! i am definitely trying that next year.
moving on....Gourmet Blends & here's something i never thought i'd say....Dark Chocolate Balsamic (note, this links to their Chocolate Balsamic. i did not see a link for the Dark Chocolate that i purchased).
yeah, crazy right?  well guess what i'm eating on vanilla ice cream RIGHT NOW!  this stuff is amazing!
after this it was just a sea of people & lots of wondering.  but we found some really impressive pieces.  i am no where near being able to purchase a piece from Kevin Lahvic, but boy i wish i was!  his Faces series is spectacular.
and we found ourselves going back to Kudu-lah & enjoying Kenneth's unique art.
apologies for the blurry photo here
his About says he believes in "fun and affordable" art.  it was definitely both!  while i can't say an original is quite affordable for me yet, i'd really like to own one some day.
Loft Prints had some of the most vibrant prints of anyone in the entire show (IMHO).  and his Blue Heron piece was great!  this one will be on my wall before it is all over with!
i wish i had the kitchen for his Bad Sushi series.  too funny!
there were plenty other artists that i simply did not get any info from.  just too much to take in!  and not everyone was serious.  check out this guy
Dick Cooley's specialty was spark plugs (aka Spark Plug Guy) and he did some "interesting" things with them.  don't get me wrong, he had some great items, this was just the most bizarre piece i'd seen at any show!  the man has quite the sense of humor & imagination.  really, he was impressive.
i did actually purchase one other thing for myself.  i found myself at the Chomp booth 3 times until i simply could not help myself.  her canvas bags are just so beautiful!
Dana was super super pleasant & when she didn't have anything in a cross body bag that i was looking for, i decided i couldn't stand it any longer & bought myself one of her totes instead.
i just love the simple modern prints that she designs.   i was so impressed that she does all her own prints & taught herself to sew.  how i envy that creativity!
ok so i gotta stop cuz i could go on forever about all the cool & unique things we saw.  i think my favorite part of the day was how much fun we BOTH had.  i could not believe that Nacho was the one really pushing to go (when i hadn't planned on saying anything to him).  we decided we will definitely return next year & make an overnight event of it.  and maybe by next year i will be able to buy at least one of those things i fell in love with this trip!

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