Fashion design classes offer creative fun for kids

By Angela Gagnon, Staff Writer

Children in downtown Chicago have an opportunity to channel their artistic, creative energy while learning from a fashion professional.

New Eastside resident Michelle Kim, a fashion designer, has been offering design classes to kids since July 2018. Kim is the founder of Mizel Jewelry and holds a masters degree in fashion design from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Parents said the classes encourage their kids to be creative and to develop ideas, while Kim said the classes inspire her, too. “Teaching these classes is very inspirational for me because I am a designer myself, and the kids often think of things adults don’t, like a unique color combination or pattern,” Kim said.

The classes, geared toward children as young as first grade, are held every other weekend in the New Eastside and typically follow a seasonal theme. Kim has introduced embroidery, fabric embellishment, collaging, beading, sewing and knitting since she began teaching the classes.

Her students have worked on hair accessories, backpacks, shoes, jewelry, clothing and lunch boxes and used various kid-friendly materials to create unique and personalized designs.

Kim will lead a winter class focused on cold weather items such as berets and sweatshirts. Students will work with material like faux fur and pom-poms along with fabric paints, felt, sequins and fake gems.

New Eastside mom Michelle Johnston said her 6-year-old daughter, Dilly, has gone to seven or eight ofand the design classes, and her daughter loves getting creative. “Dilly was so proud of her creations and Michelle was always so encouraging and complimented them on their designs,.” Johnston said.

Kim stresses that “perfect is not creative” and that the kids should “relax and have fun.” Once the drawing is complete, they embellish or decorate it with the materials to make their image come alive. “Dilly loved having access to all these wonderful tools, ribbons, jewels, fabrics at her fingertips,” Johnston said. “She learned a new skill each week and it was wearable art… shoes, t-shirt, hat, backpack and was personalized.”

Kim also puts together themed events for adults around holidays or special occasions. Plans are in the works for a Valentine’s Day “Moms’ Night Out” in which neighborhood moms can work with Kim to make something for their kids.

For more information about themes and price, visit https://www.mizelkids.com.

[Designer Michelle Kim teaches neighborhood kids the finer points of fashion at one of her design courses for kids. Photo by Angela Gagnon]

Stellar astronomical events in 2019


By Stephanie Racine, Staff Writer

Look, up in the sky—it’s a bird, it’s a plane it’s … something you might never see again!

And it’s coming this year to a night sky near you.

Michelle Nichols, Director of Public Observing at the Adler Planetarium, offered some insight on what astronomical events to be on the lookout for in 2019. Here are the astronomical events that have significant importance to earthlings.

·      Dec. 31–January: New Horizons Spacecraft flyby of Ultima Thule, a Kuiper Belt object. Pictures will be visible from NASA.

·      Jan. 3: China’s Chang’e 4 lander/rover lands on the far side of the moon to study its surface and subsurface.

·      Jan. 3–4: Quadrantid Meteor Shower, visible without moonlight interference. Head to a dark place to view.

·      Jan. 17: SpaceX uncrewed test of its future commercial crewed Dragon spacecraft.

·      Jan. 20: Lunar eclipse, visible from 9:30 p.m.-1 a.m.

·      Jan. 20–26: Venus and Jupiter are close together and visible. Observable right before sunrise in the east. Jupiter is slightly less dim.

·      Feb. 17–19: Venus and Saturn are close together and visible. Observable right before sunrise in the east. Saturn is slightly less dim.

·      March: Boeing uncrewed test for the future crewed Starliner spacecraft.

·      May 6–7: Eta Aquarid Meteor Shower, visible with little moon interference. Head to a dark place to view.

·      June: SpaceX crewed test of Dragon spacecraft.

·      August: Boeing crewed test flight of Starliner spacecraft.

·      Aug. 12–13: Perseid Meteor Shower, the light from the moon will interfere, but could still be visible in a dark place.

·      Nov. 11: Transit of Mercury between the earth and the sun. For safe viewing, head to the Adler to view on telescopes with sun filters.

·      Dec. 13–14: Geminid Meteor Shower, the light from the moon will interfere, but could still be visible in a dark place.

·      Throughout 2019: Parker Solar Probe will pass the sun a couple times and send information back to Earth about the sun’s atmosphere.

·      Throughout 2019: Juno Spacecraft orbits around Jupiter and sends information back to Earth.  

For more information about these or other astronomical events, visit the Adler Planetarium at 1300 Lake Shore Drive or their website, www.adlerplanetarium.org.

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