Handmade Holiday: Randolph Street Holiday Market

barrel of monkeysHappy New Year! Here’s to lots of sweet somethings in 2013. :)

A few weeks ago, while searching for gifts at the Randolph Street Holiday Market, like the barrel of monkeys above, I discovered these nifty belt ties, crafted by Rachel of Green Hide.

Belt Ties

She also had some cool recycled buckle jewelry.

Buckle Jewelry

At the time, I couldn’t think of anyone to gift these pieces to in my family, but wanted to share them here. Like the seatbelt handbags I eye-spied in Detroit, I love the way these items have been repurposed as unique wares.

Eggnog Cookies

Eggnog Cookies

Sugar and spice make the holidays extra nice. I found this recipe for Eggnog Cookies on Your Cup of Cake, and thought they would be perfect to bake up for a few holiday parties this year. The cookies come out light and fluffy, almost cake-like, and the glaze and sprinkled cinnamon on top packs in an extra bit of sweetness.

The Makings:

  • Flour – 2 1/4 cups
  • Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Nutmeg – 1 teaspoon
  • White sugar – 1 1/4 cups
  • Butter – 3/4 cup
  • Eggnog – 1/2 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1 teaspoon
  • Egg yolks – 2

Powdered Sugar Glaze:

  • Powdered Sugar – 1 1/2 cups
  • Eggnog – 3 tablespoons
  • Cinnamon – a pinch to sprinkle on top

The Sweetness:

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix together flour, baking powder, nutmeg and cinnamon.

3. Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Mix in eggnog, vanilla and egg yolks and beat them at a medium speed until smooth.

5. Fold in flour mixture just until combined.

6. Spoon batter onto ungreased cookie sheets. These cookies will spread out quite a bit while in the oven, so be sure to make your batter balls small, leaving space for them to expand.

7. Bake each batch for 15-20 minutes.

8. While cookies are cooling, whisk up powdered sugar and eggnog to create the glaze. Spoon glaze on top of cookies and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon on top.

More Sweetness:
Reindeer Cheer  Lemon Cool Whip Cookies  Cranberry-Orange-Pecan Swirls

Handmade Holiday: Renegade Craft Fair

Renegade Craft Fair 003

Renegade Craft Fair 001Earlier this month, a friend and I moseyed over to the Renegade Craft Fair in search of holiday gifts for our friends…and ourselves. ;)

Apparently, the fair started in Chicago in 2003, and has since expanded to other select cities, too, including BK. (Brooklyn in the house!)

The holiday market was a super cozy affair, hosted in a building that felt like an old school gymnasium, with high ceilings, tiled and wooden floors and winding, narrow hallways. Despite having to struggle through some of the crowds, the close-knit feel of the setting made it fun to explore. Everywhere you turned, you were greeted by a festive explosion of crafts from 100+ indie makers.

Plus they also had a super cool DIY gift wrapping station to stamp and decorate your purchases.

I ended up snagging a pair of earrings from uncommon handmade.

DIY Gift Wrap

uncommon handmade earrings

I also bought my dad, our family’s master of desserts, (seriously, Thanksgiving just isn’t a holiday without his pumpkin pie,) a fitting “evil pie” print by Paul Friedrich.

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Other nifty goods and collectibles spotted in the marketplace included: beaded bangles by Lily Dawson Designs, a booze bolster holster by four.chamber.forge, wooden wall decor by iamhome, a deck of Chicago playing cards by Double Blind.

Renegade Craft Fair Collage 001

I also spotted this chillingly fresh tee by the Little Friends of Printmaking, four seasons of Chicago prints by Ryan Kapp, a “Congratulations on Finding Your Mr. Darcy” love card by Pearl & Marmalade and a mixed media guitar by Dolan Geiman.

Renegade Craft Fair Collage 002I’m looking forward to swinging by the Randolph Street Holiday Market later this week. Where do you get your holiday shopping done?

Seatbelt Handbags

While home for the holidays, I spent some time with my parents browsing through the collections at the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum. (At the moment, there’s a cool exhibit about Picasso and Matisse, which tells a story about their different techniques by examining their sketches and prints.) As is customary for our family’s museum visits, we also stopped in the gift shop. That’s where I discovered this seatbelt handbags display. I thought it fitting to find this collection in the Motor City. :)

I love the idea of repurposing goods to produce something shiny (!!) and new; according to the display sign, Dana and Melanie Harvey created their first bag using the leftover seatbelt material from installing belts in their 1950 Buick. Made and designed in the U.S., the full catalog of bags is available at Harveys Seatbeltbags — my favorite in the collection is probably the studded clutch, though I’m also impressed by the “Denim” bag’s likeness in appearance to real blue jeans fabric.