Arts & Entertainment in Evergreen Park

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The creative team of framers and decorators at Foursided stocks stacks of creative greeting cards and paraphernalia. The self-described "frame nerds" do more than cultivate a collection of stationery by planting paper seeds in nearby printing presses; they also place prints and objects into frames and furnish homes with original pieces by a handful of favored artists. Staffers also buy and sell vintage flash cards, puzzle pieces, and letter tiles harvested from a variety of objects.

Owner Todd Mack has worked in framing for 20 years, and he draws on his vast experience when custom mounting a broad spectrum of pieces. Vintage and recycled frames, archival framing, and shadow boxes are a few of the options available. Mack's interest in shadow boxes makes perfect sense to visitors who take a look at his own art, which assembles found photos and objects in forms that aren't always 2-D.

On HGTV's Urban Oasis, interior designer Vern Yip ornamented a luxury apartment with prints gathered from Foursided's expansive collection. In that collection, colorful shelves of letter blocks, maps, corks, baby-doll heads, and harmonicas turn personal, nostalgic objects into stylish new decorations. Candles, jewelry, and books round out the gift selections.

5061 N Clark St
Chicago,
IL
US

Celebrated in Creative Child Magazine, Handstand Kids fosters a sense of global community by introducing children to the languages and cuisines of Italy, China, and Mexico. Cookbooks brim with designated cultural recipes, which also provide translated words for each ingredient and utensil so that tots can learn to speak a new language while they learn to cook in a way that doesn’t involve microwaving play-doh. Recipes are rated by difficulty, allowing kids aged 3¬–12 a chance to whip up edibles perfectly suited to their age and skill. They’ll prepare items ranging from the easy Year of the Monkey smoothie to the more difficult There's a Meatball in My Soup soup and Oh My Pizza Pie pizza. Accompanying the recipes, the illustrated Handstand Kids characters share tips that increase kids' awareness on food-related issues, such as information on special dietary needs or ideas on the various ways cooking can be used in the community.

600 W. Chicago Ave
Chicago,
IL
US

Nearly every experience in Laurel Stradford’s life led to the moment she opened her own store in 1999. As a child, she hung a map of the world on her bedroom wall and listened to the stories of Aladdin and One Thousand and One Nights, which inspired a lifelong interest in travel. She later worked as the executive director for special programs for Africa and Europe at Revlon International, which afforded her the opportunity to see the world and taught her how to speak to elephants in multiple languages. After penning a book about her overseas adventures titled What The Traveler Saw, Stradford opened a store with the same name. There she stocks internationally sourced candies, luggage, home decor, and clothing from countries including Morocco, India, Ghana, and Turkey. In many cases, proceeds from the items benefit their country of origin—bowls made in Indonesia aid in the tsunami-recovery effort, and a Haitian oil-drum sculpture benefits victims of the 2010 earthquake.

1508 E 55th St
Chicago,
IL
US

With pieces that have been featured on The Martha Stewart Show, hung in the White House, and chosen by Oprah to bestow upon Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to celebrate their joint invention of the cotton gin, Sticks and Stones has made one-of-a-kind art ubiquitous. The company's master photographers have compiled a gallery of black-and-white art photographs depicting natural and structural images that represent each letter of the alphabet, which customers can peruse to craft a framed heirloom up to 14 letters long. Once finished, a panel of judges approves the message masterpiece, which, regardless of semiotic weight, gets framed and shipped. Lauded by numerous other celebrity and media outlets, these letter-based and individually tailored decor concoctions make ideal housewarming, wedding, and new-baby gifts.

904 W Blackhawk St
Chicago,
IL
US

Each month, Hearst Magazines disseminates glossy periodicals packed with insightful columns, informative features, and vivid graphics to keep readers hip to trends in fashion, automotives, and the domestic sphere. Between the pages of Esquire, for example, gents scan celebrity interviews and glean cocktail recipes. Homeowners and hopeful homeowners find inspiration between the pages of ELLE Decor and House Beautiful, while car buffs ogle aerodynamic centerfolds in Road & Track. Lifestyle magazines such as Redbook deal advice on scores of quotidian topics, from work and parenting to clothes and health. Geared toward the younger set, magazines such as Cosmopolitan reveal tips on beauty and fashion.

600 West Chicago Avenue
Chicago,
IL
US

In 1967, John Dreznes bought a modest record and novelty shop for his wife, Christine. According to the Beverly Records website, Christine hardly knew the Monkees from the Beatles, but she listened, learned, and added artists over the years until the shop's conservative record collection overflowed into four expansive locations in the 1980s. Now consolidated into a single space and owned by the Dreznes's son Jack, the Beverly Records of today stands as a destination for rare and out-of-print vinyl recordings, along with newly reissued records and freshly mastered CDs. Along with the LPs and 45s, Beverly Records also carries a number of 8-track tapes and rents out karaoke machines loaded with more than 900 songs for parties at home or corporate meetings held on a Broadway stage.

11612 S Western Ave
Chicago,
IL
US