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by Darren McRoy

It’s never too early to think about holiday shopping for friends and family. And now, through November, Western Springs residents perusing their downtown can find a plethora of well-crafted homemade gifts at Passing Fancy, a pop-up gift store now open in the Old Town Art Studio at 1052 Hillgrove Ave_.

Passing Fancy is the brainchild of five Western Springs residents, mothers and craftswomen all. The group of friends have knit communally for several years, and have opened the store for the month to put their works up for display and purchase.

Like a team of superheroes, they each have their specialties aside from knitting (which all five do well.) Tracy Braunstein is the jeweler. Debbie Correnti does paintings, cards and canine-themed Christmas-tree ornaments. Mary Ellen McDermott does prints, sewing and wreaths recycled from wool sweaters. Noelle McDonough also does wreaths, as well as mittens. And Tracey Henrick crafts baby shoes.

“It’s been really fun to organize everything, and I’m really looking forward to having an outlet for our stuff,” said Braunstein, the group’s ringleader and, along with Henrik, star knitter. “I honestly don’t know how successful it’ll be. It’s nice to have it just for a month.”

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