There are so many cultural treasures in Chicago. It’s hard to know how to spend your time. You couldn’t possibly enjoy everything wonderful happening on any given day. But sometimes if you carve out a little time, you can enjoy a night out with your girlfriends– starting with a bowl of  Japanese udon soup at Sunshine Noodle, and then some holiday crafting at the Swedish American Museum in Andersonville. (Can you make out from the photo that the instructions below are in Swedish?)

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First we made the little paper heart baskets, above. Probably the quickest of the crafts. I want to make some in wool felt to hang on the tree (and fill with presents?!).

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Then we made these Christmas crackers — paper tubes, wrapped with fringed tissue and then filled with goodies. These are my friend Bonnie‘s beautiful hands making fringe. Can I make twelve of these in time for Thanksgiving — when is that, tomorrow?

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Most beautiful of all, we made these Swedish straw stars, with sheaves of wheat in the middle. So simple and so lovely! I’m totally smitten, wondering where I can find more straw in the city. 

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I’m still trying to figure out the Swedish folded stars, below. The instructions look like this: (more Swedish, but a lovely diagram)  We ran out of time during class to finish these.

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And I had my first taste of the Swedish Bakery‘s “Andersonville Special” coffee cake. Talk about smitten! Worth asking for, if you like that little dash of almond paste inside. 

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