Post-Fair Gratitude

Well my holiday fairs are over and I am so flattered and honored at the reactions my pieces garnered.

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It is lovely to be complimented on my wire-bending skills, and to have people purchase pieces to give to their loved ones.

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Knowing the quotes and songs touch people’s hearts and have meaning to them makes my day, and validates the creation of each piece. I am honored that you shared your moments and intentions with me.

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The exertion of hauling bags from one place to the next does come with a weakened immune system, so now I am resting up before planning the coming year.

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Thank you to everyone who came buy to each of these fairs to support local artists and shop handmade pieces.

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Without you, the pursuit of our passion wouldn’t be possible, and it is great to see that Chicago has a vibrant community of shoppers who seek out local and small business venues over ordering online from big-box manufacturers.

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Thank you for supporting me personally, and for giving my pendants, earrings, bangles, necklaces, ornaments and desktop minis new homes.

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The more you collect the more I can make, and that is what brings my heart joy.

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You can still peruse my wares at the Evanston Art Center’s Holiday EXPO and Dragonfly Boutique in Evanston, at Aurora Rose Boutique in Lemont, and on Etsy.

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Holiday Shop at the EXPO

Last week I browsed the Evanston Art Center’s 12th Annual Winter Arts & Crafts EXPO at the Evanston Art Center.

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It is a vibrant exhibit of local artists who have hand-crafted holiday gifts for you and your family.

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Numerous fiber arts promise to keep you and your loved ones warm, while cheering the spirit with fun colors.

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Those in love with ceramics can peruse a roomful of creations.

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Jewelry is abundant, and so varied.

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I am inspired by all I see.

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And look, I have a cute little tree showcasing my ornaments (and keychains).

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There is also plenty of wall art ranging from cigar band collages to encaustics.

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The EXPO is open to the public Monday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sundays 12 pm to 4 pm until December 22.

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Encaustic artist Robin Samiljan is back, like a few other familiar names from last year.

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I’ll be gallery sitting on December 19 for a few hours.

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Mens’ Shopping Day is Saturday, December 20th from 10 am to 4 pm.

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The last shopping day will be December 22nd.

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All proceeds from the EXPO sale will benefit EAC’s ongoing exhibition, scholarship, and outreach programs, which is where I got my start exhibiting.

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Bucktown Holiday ArtShow

I’m busy preparing for the Bucktown Holiday Fair this coming weekend.

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The fun begins at noon and goes until 5 p.m. December 13 and 14.

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More than 100 artists will exhibit and I enjoyed the creativity last year’s show featured.

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There is a silent auction, a raffle, and delicious food and drink will be offered.

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The Bucktown Holiday ArtShow is at the Holstein Fieldhouse at 2200 N Oakley Avenue in Chicago.

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You can get a free ticket here.

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If Bucktown isn’t on your holiday shopping route, check out my pieces at Aurora Rose Boutique in downtown Lemont (open til midnight on Friday, December 12!) or Evanston’s Dragonfly on Chicago Avenue by Dempster.

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The Evanston Art Center also hosts a variety of my pieces through December 22.

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I am also on Etsy 24/7.

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Sipping Tea at Peaceful Parlour

Before Thanksgiving the Network of Entrepreneurial Women gathered in Geneva for a lovely afternoon of chatting, tea-sipping and getting to know each other.

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Members from the neighborhood as well as Winfield, the O’Hare area, Elgin, St. Charles, Barrington, Hyde Park, Evanston and Downers Grove introduced their respective businesses.

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We sampled the delicious teas and chais at Peaceful Parlour, which was in full swing preparing for Small Business Saturday.

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The eco-chic boutique has stocked up on all kinds of environmentally friendly and locally sourced holiday gifts.

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So when you are strolling down third street in Geneva, step on down into this cozy store and warm yourself with a cup of tea.

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The store holds whimsy and calm for the spirit.

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I enjoyed taking home a delicious special blend with Dandelion leaves, which I complemented with some goodies from The Sugar Path.

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Due to the holidays we won’t be meeting in person in 2014, but we have plenty of locations in mind to gather every 2nd Wednesday and every 4th Thursday of the month next year.

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Photos copyright NetworkHoncho and Maike’s Marvels.

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NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

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Ornaments Galore

Holiday season is official now, and I am busy making custom orders.

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I am also replenishing the angel and frosty supplies of ornaments that found new homes Thanksgiving week.

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My inventory numbers broke the 100 mark recently.

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On Friday I will have my entire inventory at the ADA Holiday Fair from 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. in the ADA building’s lobby.

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Saturday you will find me at the Waukegan West class of 1990 fundraiser from 2 to 6 p.m.

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The Evanston Art Center’s 12th Annual Winter Arts & Crafts EXPO is hosting jewelry and ornaments until December 22.

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Aurora Rose will be hosting these ornaments in their shop at 111 Stephen Street in Lemont.

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Dragonfly boutique at 1309 Chicago Avenue in Evanston also has a few frosties, cages, angels and my jewelry in stock.

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You can message me via Facebook for your selection or special order.

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Etsy will gradually update between holiday fairs.

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My last fair for the year will be the Bucktown Holiday Fair December 13 & 14.

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Thanksgiving Reflections

10 things I am grateful for this year:

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1. The deepening of relationships and appreciating each person in my life for their unique qualities

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2. Embracing opportunities instead of shying away from them

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3. Seeing myself through other people’s eyes and liking their reflection of me

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4. Being encouraged to challenge myself and enjoying the growth it brings

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5. Joining small communities and savoring the spirit of acceptance and camaraderie

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6. Living in this day and age, and learning from all the inspirational ladies present and past

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7. Being an empath in spite of the emotional challenges that brings

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8. Resilience in spite of the disappointment, sadness and loss that comes with living life to the fullest

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9. Living in a beautiful world that holds so many wonders and joys every day

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10. The knowledge that love is always around me and within me, which makes all things possible

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Small Business Saturday

This is a week of gratitude, and I am particularly grateful for all the small business women I have gotten to know over the past year. Through the Network of Entrepreneurial Women I have been exposed to a variety of fascinating businesses, and I am inspired by the ladies who run them.

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On Saturday, November 29 many of us will be celebrating Small Business Saturday, an initiative sponsored by American Express to counteract the Black Friday craze of big box retailers. Local and family owned businesses can’t compete with the deep discounts that come with mass manufactured goods, but we do offer personalized and unique goods and services that are designed to lift your spirits and enhance your life.

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In my hometown Evanston, all three merchant associations (Main Street, Chicago-Dempster and Central Street) have joined forces to create a holiday event with a trolley service. Hip Circle Studio will be hosting family dance sessions. My favorite Main Street Businesses are listed here. The Chicago-Dempster Corridor also offered lovely businesses that I explored during a recent wine tasting event.

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Dragonfly Boutique, which hosts several of my pieces, offers a free tote when you spend $75 on Small Business Saturday, and you get more perks when you bring in that tote throughout December.

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Another lovely venue for a Small Business Saturday field trip is Geneva, where Peaceful Parlour owner Shari Ralish resides. She was recently featured in Black Friday Is Fading Away and Customers Are Noticing.

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Per the article, Small Business Saturday has grown consistently since 2010. Last year, it was estimated that $5.7 billion was spent as part of the Shop Small movement. “It really is a special day that seems to be growing each year among customers and businesses both,” Ralish said.

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While you are in Geneva, I highly recommend sweetening up at the Sugar Path with a cupcake or a slice of pie. All of Third Street and State Street offer really fun small businesses filled with delights to gift or indulge in this holiday season.

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My favorite family-owned business is in Lemont. Aurora Rose Boutique was the first shop to carry my products, and they have a variety of events this holiday season that should have you checking out the Historic Downtown area.

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Also supporting local artisans is the Evanston Art Center with the 12th Annual Winter Arts & Crafts EXPO from November 22 to December 22. You can peruse my jewelry and ornaments there while taking in the taken and creativity of other Evanstonians.

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I admire all the brick and mortars willing to take on overhead that I don’t dare to fund yet. Your local merchants are invested in the community and make your hometown what it is, so support them with your wallet and your referrals.

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Lemont Fair Fun

My Holiday Market started in earnest November 1, at the 7th Annual Lemont Township Neighbor to Neighbor Vendor/Crafter Market.

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I set up my table among several other vendors and had a blast seeing the creativity represented.

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Aurora Rose Boutique owners presented their Quirkals line with some quirky sayings.

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They offer custom printed coasters on tile and wood.

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Across from me Designs by Starla etched away, and made me a present.

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They have some of their inventory at Aurora Rose Boutique for the Holiday Season.

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Greeting cards got me started into this artistic adventure, so chatting with my neighbor was lovely.

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A few ornaments and my violin clef earrings walked away. The fair supports the Lemont Township Family Assistance Fund, helping neighbors in need.

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I stopped by Aurora Rose Boutique for a shelf update.

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I swapped out a few earrings.

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Scarf Season is official now.

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They will also be hosting these ornaments in their shop on Stephen Street in Lemont.

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A Happy Star’s cuddlies always cheer me up.

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Harry Potter fans will find some merchandise here.

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Fairies abound, along with quirky stitchwork.

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Check out their upcoming events and shop local!

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My next fairs include the ADA Holiday Fair downtown on December 5,  the Waukegan West class of 1990 fundraiser December 6, and the Bucktown Holiday Fair December 13 & 14.

Maraviglia at the Winter EXPO

This weekend I dropped off 70 pieces for the 12th Annual Winter Arts & Crafts EXPO at the Evanston Art Center.

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It was a veritable tagging fest the night before.

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The EXPO opens on Friday evening and will be open to the public Monday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sundays 12 pm to 4 pm until December 22.

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The Annual Winter Arts & Crafts EXPO features original, handmade works of jewelry, ceramics, fiber, metal, glass, painting, photography, mixed-media and more. It offers Chicagolanders a venue for purchasing Christmas presents while supporting 100 local artists.

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A Preview Party for early shopping will be held on Friday, November 21st from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. (Tickets are $30 in advance, $35 at the door).

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A Student Expo opens on Saturday, December 6th from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jewelry Fest will be held on Saturday, December 6th from 10 am to 4 pm.

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I’ll be gallery sitting on December 19 for a few hours.

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I included some keychains for Mens’ Shopping Day on Saturday, December 20th from 10 am to 4 pm (though I think they’re supposed to shop for their leading ladies).

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The last shopping day will be December 22nd.

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All proceeds from the EXPO sale will benefit EAC’s ongoing exhibition, scholarship, and outreach programs, which is where I got my start exhibiting.

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The Evanston Art Center is moving so it is also the last month to peruse the charming historic Harley Clarke Mansion before it changes residents.

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New pendants for dibs

I made a few new pendants this month that I almost do not want to part with.

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The studio has been shiny and bright, luring me in.

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Someone posted Isaiah 55:12 in a piece of their work, so I went to my art Bible and ripped that page out for a pendant.

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Don’t you love its message?

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May it bring much joy to its future wearer.

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Meanwhile, Iggy Azalea’s ear worm was in my head, so I took a piece of Hello Holiday tissue paper and stamped its theme onto the paper (but not quite out of my head).

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I was also feeling the need to create an empowerment talisman with royal purple.

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American Authors’ song reminds me to live each day to the fullest this year, so I wrote their lyrics out too.

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For the Evanston Art Center’s 12th Annual Winter Arts & Crafts EXPO I created a green pendant, which will debut there November 22.

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For their Men’s Shopping Day: Saturday, December 20 from 10am to 4 pm I also made a keychain (though I think they’re supposed to get help shopping for the leading ladies in their lives).

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Turning the clock back has me feeling like I am chasing daylight as the sun sets sooner.

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I also used some scraps to create mini pendants.

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Clearly purple is vibing with me these days.

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I’ve also got a few more earrings in my head that will hopefully come out of my hands soon.

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I have not loaded these on Etsy yet but you can message me via Facebook for your selection or special order. Holiday pendants are coming too.

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Lots of ornaments are in the works and some will float around Chicagoland next month. Etsy will gradually update between holiday fairs.

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If you like to shop in person, you can peruse The ADA Holiday Fair downtown on December 5, the Waukegan West class of 1990 fundraiser December 6, and the Bucktown Holiday Fair December 13 & 14.

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