Angel Sessions

I just finished inspecting all my pieces for the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow. Sometimes they get battered during teardown and transport, so I make sure all the waxed paper is properly secured.

As I reviewed my stock, I noticed my musical angels were running low, so I added to that stash.

Now I feel more confident about having the right song for the right person.

 

As I reviewed my stock I realized I’ve held some back from view because I am so attached to them.

But it’s time to let go of ugly sweater angels and other favorites. This photo is in the running for Now That’s A Jig!’s latest challenge that runs through December 31.

It’s been a month of inventorying and tagging.

I just made my 1000th jewelry piece, a pendant. This tracker includes earrings, bracelets, keychains, collar necklaces and pendants created since September 2012.

It’s this musical pendant that reminds my mom of a baby grand piano.

For those counting, my angels, frosties and other ornaments are currently at 469 and I started making them in 2013.

Druzy Angel is the latest in that collection.

Someone will be attracted to that sparkle!

My “Swarm”, including butterflies, ladybugs and dragonflies, expanded to stake format and now also include bats and witchy books. I started these in 2016 and have made 143 to date.

Red dragonfly turned a bit evil during creation.

I also played with a 3D Dreidel. I don’t know whether my Judaica ornaments will find an audience or not, but when someone in retail asks, I create!

I did think the Beetlejuice Angel would be snatched up last month.

It may not be the right time for a snowflake angel at this time

Bucktown usually is a good venue for Chicago Flag Angels.

I might not be able to recreate this skull angel cage.

Some of my dragonflies got blinged up for the last show, but are still awaiting adoption.

I’m incorporating more beads into the ornaments, and can always add custom birthstones to any of my creations.

So many more ideas are waiting!

You can find the angels below at Sacred Art this month, while they are in stock.

I look forward to seeing you at the Holstein Park Fieldhouse this weekend!

Here’s to Marbled Angel finding a home there.

Bucktown Holiday ArtShow Dec 9 & 10

This weekend is my last art fair of the year, the 2017 Bucktown Holiday ArtShow. I think I’m in year four now, and I love returning to the Holstein Park Fieldhouse every year.

The vendors are so creative, and it is a nice blend of catching up with regular exhibitors and those trying out the show for the first time. I enjoy perusing the creativity of each booth and tend to do my own holiday shopping here as time permits.

You’ll find 3 rooms filled with 100 artists offering ceramics to photography, watercolors to oils, jewelry to textiles. The show is Saturday December 10 and Sunday December 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at 2200 N. Oakley Ave. in Chicago.

A Silent Auction allows you to bid on donations from artists in the ArtShow. This year, auction proceeds benefit Visibility Arts. Visibility Arts is a comprehensive visual arts program that offers a combination of group learning experiences and hands-on studio time to adults with developmental disabilities. Guests can place a bid on any and as many items as they like by using the auction slip that will be attached to each item. Participants don’t have to be present to win.

I hope to see you there this weekend!

Ready for Advent

On Sunday Advent begins again.

When mom came to visit for her post-Harvey getaway, we spotted some lovely advent mittens at Ten Thousand Villages. We promptly decided it would be a fun craft activity for the family.

So after the Turkey feast we sat down and gathered quote books and coloring supplies. Together we lined up along the kitchen island and used quotes from our books that applied to each family member.  We also doodled and Zentangled.

Soon the boxes were filled with 21 messages, plus 3 mini bars of chocolate to sweeten the surprise.

We placed each paper in a mitten, and four of us now share a daily ritual for the month of December. The box comes with preprinted daily blessings as well, so we will be able to use those next year.

I helped mom hang hers.

When I got home I set up my Christmas Mantle.

This year I’m just using what’s on the mantle already, along with lights and a few small ornaments that were easy to reach.

I incorporated creations acquired at Chicago’s Sacred Art, and Evanston’s The Pop Up Gallery, Shaker Traditions, Secret Treasures, and Ayla’s Originals.

A few came from Wiesbaden’s Cuckoo Clock and famed German Holzschnitzereien.

Some angels are gifts from my family. They’ve come from Africa, Bali, Luxembourg and Germany.

My Photobomb Angel just turned two and I like having her hang out with these family members.

It is fun to rearrange the collection with creations by my friends, like Chai Wolfman.

After the Bucktown Holiday Fair I will set up a Christmas tree with my handmade ornaments.

Do you have an Advent Calendar?

Gratitude

I’m off to spend quality time with family for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Every 2 years my cousin flies from Germany for the Turkey Feast.

This year we’ll have a slumber party in mom’s new apartment and just spend time contemplating our lives. Each family member present is experiencing a re-set of some sort, and I definitely have a sense of new beginnings for everyone.

Life is full of flux, but we tend to try to control things with careerpathing and goal setting. Ironically, I feel more secure living this unpredictable solopreneurial life than I did in my corporate jobs. Even though the pay was regular and significant, the constant interpersonal strife made for difficult work. Opportunities for promotion were in other people’s hands and sometimes determined in non-quantifiable ways. Now I need to hustle harder to earn my keep, but I know that it is up to me to create income and to figure out how to grow my business. I don’t feel super-successful at it, but I do value the work I put into it and don’t feel like anyone is negating my efforts.

This year I am grateful for a sense of peace and contentment. Life isn’t perfect, but it is wonderful and full of opportunity.

I am grateful for the health and safety of my family. We’ve had quite a few scares this past year, so knowing that everyone is working on their mental, physical and emotional well-being is a good place to be. I also know that despite cultural messaging to the contrary, my body is healthy and flexible and in good shape. I have the resources and means to keep it healthy, and the opportunity to adorn it as I please.

I am grateful for the material gifts I have. The Abundance Mindset is still a work in progress, but I am well-aware that I am fortunate with what I have worked hard for and my financial management is sound. Feeling safe and at peace in one’s home is significant, as is being content with where one lives instead of looking for the next thing to acquire or upgrade to.

I am grateful for business growth. Each year has been better than the last for Maike’s Marvels. While generating life-supporting income will require an exponential burst through some side hustles, I am grateful for the organic growth that has occurred through the abundance of consignment opportunities and art fairs available to me in Chicagoland.

I am grateful for professional connections. Knowing that my skills are valued gives me the peace of mind that opportunities will continue to appear for me, and helps me feel secure as freelance gigs ebb and flow.

I am grateful for my community. It has taken a decade to feel at home in Evanston, but now I feel like I truly have neighbors and am pleasantly surprised to bump into people who know me by name as I stroll around town.

I am grateful for true friends. It is hard to maintain friendships when life is so busy and people are in different phases. Social media has both helped maintain connections but also a trap of superficiality. It is important to spend quality one-on-one time with people and also pick up the phone for a real conversation rather than rely on text messaging alone.

I am grateful for hope and joy and faith and love. This year has been so draining with so many disasters, the pandora’s box of awareness spilling over, and the call for activism for so many important causes. It’s been hard to play Pollyanna’s “glad game” at times, and even harder to hold on to sparks of joy during so much overwhelm-ment. But ultimately love still prevails, and if we can brighten someone’s day one smile or one act of kindness at a time, we can still change the world and make it a better place. 

I hope that you too are filled with gratitude this Thanksgiving, and wish you a sense of contentment and peace as life continues on this holiday season.

Jewelry & Gift Show Nov 17-19

On Friday, I will be setting up for The Jewelry & Gift Show. The Art Center Highland Park will transform into a haven for jewelers and jewelry lovers for three days.

Numerous Jewelers will set up booths to be perused by the public on November 17 from 4 to 8 pm, and from 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19. This is a free admission, free parking event.


Artists include Janet Alexander, Wayne Dawson, Jessie & Dan Driscoll, Lala Enver, Tetyana Fedorko, Susan Fox, Julie Furgat, Lisa Gent, Heather Hambrecht, Vivian Huang, Roger Iglesias, Christie Joy, Barbara Keisman, Betty Kirk, Ryan Lapeer, Rachel Leykind, Renata Mikota, Jackie Mortillaro, Ann Sofer, Sarella Suarez, Lynn Tatar, Maike’s Marvels (of course), Kate Vanasten, Joe Vilaiwan, and Diana Widman.


Their work includes jewelry, stone, wood, various metals, leather, mixed media, and fiber arts.
The Art Center is located at 1957 Sheridan Road in Highland Park.


After a full day of shopping head into Highland Park’s downtown and eat at one of their great restaurants. There are also lovely boutiques to peruse.

Founded in 1984 Amdur Productions, Inc. is a nationally acclaimed arts festival production company that organizes and directs a selection of Chicago area’s most prestigious and successful juried summer art festivals.

The Art Center Highland Park is a community-based organization whose goal is to ensure access to the arts for all ages and cultural interests. A not-for-profit visual arts organization for more than 50 years, The Art Center (TAC) provides an arts education to Highland Park and surrounding areas as a thriving Arts Education and Exhibition Center, as well as a hub for culture and community.

Angel Making

It is angel making time.

No matter the season, I consistently sell angels throughout the year. So after my angel count session last week I had to replenish some more.

My purples and blues are popular. I also keep selling the skull angels I have in stock. After a 3D encaustic workshop my friend and I went to Blick’s and I found this lovely gold sugar skull paper which of course needed to be angel-fied as well. I love the result.

My aim for the Beetlejuice angel turned out to have a different effect when I went with horizontal stripes instead. Ah well, it’s cute whether you see a jail bird or Audrey or anything else in it.

I wanted to make an ugly sweater angel as well, and this one turned out to be a wine and sweets lover.

I had some Christmas carols from prior seasons that I converted into new angels as well. Some are from when I didn’t jig my angels yet, so I had to adjust the size of the bodies to fit the printed text.

Sometimes the multiple transports of the ornaments take a toll, and when this angel’s wing came loose I decided to refresh its wings entirely, while humming Mr. Mister.

Other angels got new accessories to see if that makes them more attractive to buyers.

Sometimes color decisions are difficult, so there may be multiple poinsettia angel iterations.

My friend Kaitlyn colored a bunch of scraps for me last year when rainbows were trending. I had time to incorporate those scraps into new creations this week.

The polka dots were begging for pompoms, and I am super delighted at the two pastel angels that came out of that.

Today I sent some off to local stores.

Sacred Art will be bringing a batch to Show of Hands this weekend.

My Evanston Pop Up Gallery section got a makeover today too.

The rest of inventory will be with me at the Handmade Market on Saturday, and at the Jewelry & Gift Show in Highland park next weekend.

I look forward to seeing these adopted to new homes. It is a pleasure to keep making dragonflies and angels, so I look forward to getting jigging some more after the Thanksgiving Holiday with family.

December is coming soon, and I am happy to work on commissions for your holiday needs. Contact me if you have a gift idea in mind.

Saturday Handmade Market

November is my crazy month this year. On Saturday I will return to The Empty Bottle for my second stint at the Handmade Market. The show is November 11 from noon to 4 at 1035 N Western Avenue in Chicago and features a variety of handmade gifts for your holiday shopping needs.

Handmade Market Chicago is a unique event to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate the unique and handmade. I enjoyed perusing the creations of fellow makers last month, and already signed up for Spring spots.


The event is free, but since this is a bar you must be 21 years or older (or with a parent) to come in. The Empty Bottle starts serving at noon, so feel free to shop with mimosas in hand. Markets include funky jewelry, knitted items, clothing, baked goods, handbags, paper crafts, skincare and more.

This month’s artists include:

3 to 5 Apothecary by Carlie Merkle ~ Handmade, organic body products made with 3-5 ingredients. I believe there is no need for extra additives when the most simple ingredients can work magic for your health and body.

Acutechic, LLC by Ruby Thomas ~ Upcycled and handmade women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories.

Auburn Moon Creations by Angelina Nunez ~ Purveyor of handmade bath and body products for sensitive skin. Specializing in all natural bar soap, body scrubs, lotion/lotion bars, and tinted lip balm.

Begorra! by Maura McDermott ~ Hand painted accessories including canvas, cross-body purses, wristlets, zipper pouches and stationary items including note cards, gift enclosure cards and journals.

Blue Violet Candles by Peggy Boyd ~ Blue Violet Candles features high quality unforgettable soy wax candles. My candles are made with all natural soy wax, the top quality fragrance oils and each are hand crafted individually.

Bricole Design by Jolanta Nawrocka ~ Ceramic work (which is ceramic jewelry, ceramic chimes, ceramic beads, small figurines) is 100% designed and handmade by me. Fired in electrical kiln. I use low fire clay and glaze all my work with non toxic glazes.

Damsel In This Dress Designs by Heather Flett ~ Cool stuff for women who don’t need to be rescued. Purses, totes, bags, and more.

Debbie’s Designs by Deborah Solomon ~ Handmade sterling silver jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones.

Design Delights Ltd by Linda Sue Collins ~ Treasure chest of handcrafted gemstone jewelry featuring semi-precious stone, amber, pearl, shell, crystal, glass, wood, leather, fiber, sterling silver, & more!

GretchenC Studio by Gretchen Colavito ~ Original beaded jewelry hand sewn with need and thread, inspired by Tribal Art, Couture fashion, the Victorian Era, and Belle Epoque Eras.

Lady Heart Paper by Marielle M-Olson ~ One of a kind stationery notecards handcrafted with repurposed vintage ephemera such as: playing cards, found photos, & book pages.

LuDesigns Creations (LuDesignsjewelry) by Lucy Clasen ~ Silver Smith, lapidary, leather, stamped and beaded jewelry. Some fiber art and greeting cards. Offering items for males has been an addition to my line.

Madame Platypus by Rachel Katzman ~ Cards/prints. Crochet dolls/toys. Humorous resin pendants w/ chain.

Made by Q by Lindsey Quaglio ~ Eco friendly handmade goods. Resuse..Recycle…Rethink

Maike’s Marvels by Maike Van Wijk ~ Pendants, earrings, necklaces, keychains, bracelets and ornaments are hand-wrangled from steel wire and then embellished with encaustic-medium-treated paper or vintage ephemera to gift to your loved ones or for yourself.

Mary Pfister Designs by Mary Pfister ~ Your source for beautiful, unique and high quality jewelry, inspired by nature, handmade with love.

MojoOwl by Nors Beatriz ~ Jewelry from natural raw gem stones often mixed with recycled jewelry to make new wearables, lots of love, light and energy goes into them.

Natalie Walser ~ Original arts and prints, pottery and cat toys, all exploring the joys and the hilarity of urban modern life.

Naturally Refreshed Oil Kreations by Nicole Singleton ~ Essential oil infused products for everyday relief perfectly crafted. Pregnant and Breastfeeding Friendly.

Pure Principles by Cheryl McSherry ~ Skin care using organic botanicals, herbs, and oils without the use of any chemicals, additives, or toxic ingredients.

rj studio inc. by Rashida ~ Handmade jewelry, stationery, and accessories.

Sand and Stain by Todd Miller ~ “Now Playing” Record Display Stands are a great way to display what vinyl is currently spinning on your turntable.

ShopAdele by Leah Ill ~ Crochet projects that get me out of my head and into the world again creating something that others can enjoy, three dimensional play-toy for a children to functional pieces an adult can use every day.

Sonrie Bags by Emma Grigsby ~ Handmade items to make you smile and serve a practical purpose in your life.

Soothsayer Hot Sauce by Kyle Janis ~ All natural, small batch, hand bottled hot sauce. Hand numbered, vegan friendly products focused on a unique flavor palate over intense heat.

SunshineIsHappiness by Susan Lechner ~ Oil hand painted magnets, canvas boards, coasters, and prints, some are sweet, some are whimsical, but all are created to bring you warmth and happiness.

Terminal Cross Stitch by Angela Isadora ~ Nerdy and vulgar cross stitcher obsessed with Robocop, Rick & Morty and horror movies, offering finished products, patterns, and accepting custom requests.

The Drunken Cherry Bake Shoppe by Anna and Irina Goldberg ~ Unique cupcakes made by hand, using high quality ingredients, offered in seasonal varieties. A blast of booze here and there means you don’t have to choose between a cupcake and a cocktail, now you can have both in one adorable package.

Twinette Poterie by Emilie Bouvet-Boisclair ~ Handmade pottery for the thoughtful home. Focusing on functional ware that are inspired by color and nature.

Stop by Bite cafe if you get a little hungry. Parking: Street. Transit: #49 Western bus.

Each event is held on the second Saturday of every month, from the months of October – April from noon to 4:00 PM.

The Ornament Factory Opens

The holiday season is about to kick in for me, so the other day I pulled out my angels for a thorough count.

I also checked last year’s sales to see what colors sold.

There is no science to prior sales as a predictor, but it always helps to know what colors customers gravitate toward.

So now I am off to the studio to replenish the most popular designs, as well as create new angels that pop into my head.

I have so many accessories for them, and I love watching them get matched to their new owners. This original angel is not going anywhere, though.

I have plenty of frosties due to the limited snow last year, and will probably come up with some more ornament designs.

I have 3 shows coming up in November. The Wilder Mansion’s 7th Annual Holiday Market takes place November 3 & 4 in Elmhurst. Handmade Chicago returns to the Empty Bottle November 11.


The Jewelry & Gift Show by Amdur Productions takes place November 17 – 19 at the Highland Park Art Center.
Of course I will also distribute ornaments in various consignment locations, so stay tuned for where you can find them in a brick & mortar venue.

Wilder Mansion Holiday Market Nov 3 & 4

This coming weekend I return to Elmhurst for the 7th Annual Wilder Mansion Holiday Market. This lovely gift show takes place Friday, November 3 from 4 to 9 pm and Saturday, November 4 from 10 am to 4 pm.


A lot of the vendors look familiar, so get your shopping list ready for unique holiday gifts including ornaments, coasters, table linens, pillows, jewelry, pottery, scarves, hats, mittens, kid’s clothing, European photography, painting, holiday stationary, candles, soaps, Irish capes, and gourmet food holiday gifts.
 Doti Liquors will offer wine by the glass on Friday evening. There will also be a raffle.
Of course I will have my full line of holiday ornaments with me, along with my jewelry and possibly a few plant stakes.

The vendors for the 2017 Holiday Market include: Alouette Jewelry, TOK GRAPHICS, Susan Nester Glass, Lucy Blue Knits, The Goodfrog Candle Company, Acton Creative, Carla Bank Art, Jewels Botanica, Maike’s Marvels, Cork Art by Donna Zommer, made by Q, Redefined Map Design, CL Creates, Sue Rosengard Design, Denise  Riesen Photography, Brewpoint Coffee, Edward Jones Investments, Drury Lane Theatre, Smashing Jewels,
DogGone Good Martingale Collars, Jewelsies, O’Meara’s Irish House, Urban Art Chicago, Grayling Ceramics,
Laughing Frog Studio, Art Girl Pottery, Untamed Roots, 4 Girls Jewelry, Lo in London, Capistran, Lisa Williams Jewelry, Scarred for Life, Desmond Brown Design, Paper art by Don Widmer, East Grove Stamp Co, Pura Vida Home, Lucky Skype Graphics, Eclectic Redesigns, Mia’s Wish Inc., The Buttons Stop Here, Jewelry by Venus, Paka Monk, James McCarthur Cole Photography, Kilwins, The Kringle Company, The High Hopes for Pets Company, Amy’s Cranberry Candy, Barcacaochocolat, Spice Merchants of Downers Grove, bettyplum Handmade Confections, Big Fat’s Hot Sauce, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Jewelry by Liam Hughes, Marigold Mary, Black Angel Designs, Weener Ware, Brim and Dash, Elegant Facets, Mixed-Media by Terri Gregory, Marie Miklaszewski, From Shirt 2/A Little Book, Bees Knees Paper Goods.

Wilder Mansion is located at 175 S. Prospect Avenue in Elmhurst. Admission is free. Presented by Brewpoint Coffee, the holiday market is sponsored by the Elmhurst Park District and Produced by RGL Marketing for the Arts, Inc. For further information visit rglmarketingforthearts.com

Color Changes

Fall is making its entrance, and the warm weather has people predicting that the leaves won’t stay on trees very long.

Recently I basked in the glorious sunshine that cast a special vibrant glow on the trees.

I love the three-toned trees this time of year.

I am surprised to still see butterflies fluttering and hear crickets in the thick grass, but am going to enjoy nature’s concerts as long as it lasts.

In mid-October Cicadas were still singing, and birdies are doing their thing.

The lake continues to provide peace and perspective.

Maybe I can sneak away to a nature preserve in November to forest bathe a bit.

But the local parks have plenty of beauty to offer.

This week the colder weather will call for coats and socks instead of t-shirts and sandals.

It has been lovely to have summer linger for a bit though.

I hope the color change holds for a little bit.

Here’s to joyous days playing in the leaves.

Seasons are a wonderful reminder of the cycles in life.

Enjoy your pre-Halloween week!