Evanston Sidewalk Sale next weekend

Next week is the Evanston Sidewalk sale. Independent retailers and national chains will set up shop with specials on the sidewalks throughout downtown.


I am teaming up with Sara Jane at See Jane Sparkle to scatter more sparkle into the world.


I will have a table outside with newly created sparkle sets from 10 am to 4 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Sara Jane will have special offers on her own designs and likely some nibbles and bubbles.


It’s been fun to use the sparkle beads I picked up at the Bead & Button Show last month and come up with new designs.


I’ve been coiling away.


Some Sidewalks along Chicago Avenue are undergoing a makeover, but there will still be plenty of room to stroll. Check out the calendar event here.


The Evanston Sidewalk Sale is held along the Main-Dempster mile and in downtown Evanston throughout the weekend.


There will be discounts and special offers on apparel, shoes, one-of-a-kind accessories and decorative arts, including specialty and hand-crafted goods. Not all retailers will have items on the sidewalk per se but go inside to check out goodies.


Depending on weather, you can peruse my wax and wire creations inside the See Jane Sparkle Boutique.


An “Artists Row” will be set up on Sherman Ave. between Davis and Church Streets, displaying paintings, clothing, jewelry, home goods, accessories and more for all to peruse, enjoy and purchase.


Artists will display their wares in downtown Evanston on Saturday and Sunday.


In addition to shopping and art, there will be games and kid-friendly art activities set-up in Fountain Square. Challenge friends and family to a match of ping-pong, life-sized chess, giant Jenga and Scrabble or take part in a massive chalk art.


Then, head over to Hyatt House located at 1515 Chicago Ave. to check out the outdoor terrace and enjoy a complimentary, cold glass of lemonade (regular and spiked!).


To get to See Jane Sparkle you can take the CTA Purple line to Dempster St. or on the weekends, the CTA Red Line to Howard St. and then the Purple Line to Dempster Street.


You can also take the Metra UP-N Line to the Dempster St. station. Downtown Evanston is just a few blocks from Dempster St. and a few more from Main St. so you can easily walk between the districts.


If you’re driving, there are three City of Evanston parking garages in downtown Evanston, there is metered parking on the streets and free parking on side streets (like Hinman Ave.). Parking is $1/hr and it is free on Sundays.


Visit the Main-Dempster Mile Facebook page to learn about the deals at participating stores and other fun activities on Dempster Street, Main Street and Chicago Avenue.

Sidewalk Sale Poster-11x17_Final

Gathering of Wisdom Keepers

It’s been a week of busy-ness with snippets of self-care thrown in. I got my nails done Friday evening before the Brickton Art Opening and sitting still without anything to review, write, or create was a treat.


It’s been hard to plan for a non-business getaway this year because of the many work and social obligations popping up. So when Peaceful Parlour announced their Gathering of Wisdom Keepers, I marked my calendar right away.


On Saturday I took a mini-getaway to Geneva to get my spirit restored. After a 90-minute drive on a gorgeous day, I walked to Third Street and started scoping out the tents.


I was immediately asked if I wanted a massage, and got my neck and shoulders eased by Krysia Schwab of Kryssage. She offers maya abdominal massage, fertility massage, reiki at practices in St. Charles and Warrenville.


I met Bill Schwingel of Feng Shui 24, and learned about his practice for space clearing and balancing for your surroundings. He later presented on Earth Acupuncture.


Linda Hutcheson of Soul Flow, thai bodywork and reiki had a lovely tent where numerous people blissed out on her work.


I had lunch at Graham’s 318 and walked around Third Street on a glorious day to absorb all the positive vibes.


Summer doesn’t start without an ice cream cone!


Prior to lunch I had a one-card reading with Rebecca Brown of Dreaming Girl Highway. I later sat down for a formal oracle card reading, and then learned about her blessing wheel.


My first henna was drawn on me Thursday during the Main-Dempster Sip & Shop with See Jane Sparkle and Stumble & Relish.


I thought of having Angel’s heart ‘tattooed’, and Leah McCloskey of Heavenly Henna by Leah was happy to do it. Her focus is on natural henna incorporating your prayer, wish, dream or intention. I love the added sparkle.


Sandy Sabo taught about grounding with copper and showcased her lovely spiral pendants. She also makes wonderful spoon fish wind chimes.


Susan Francis hosted several animal communication sessions for dogs and cats.


Jen Reinhofer balanced my energy with a reiki session after which I just wanted to nap on the table.


Hope Ross makes lovely Reiki infused gemstone jewelry and I couldn’t resist a citrine ring by her.


Kathleen Reedy performed tuning fork chakra balancing and empathic soul work, incorporating color therapy and grid work. Vicky Feyen did Astrological chart readings while Stacy Chandler offered psychic medium readings, Akashic records, and crystal clearing.


David Zoberis demonstrated Sumi ink painting.


I did some shopping in the eco-friendly shop to keep the positive energy flowing at home.


Peaceful Parlour is located at 212 South 3rd Street on the lower level in Geneva, Illinois. Their hours are Monday – Saturday 10am – 5pm and Sunday 11am – 5pm


It is important to take time-outs when you can. While it is ideal to take a 48-hour window or more to unplug, sometimes an evening with friends, or an hour of getting your hands, head or body pampered will do the trick.


I have King Spa on my list to explore, and plan on returning to White Pines before Winter as well.


Earrings for Ear spools

When I had my pop-up at Chroma K8, she mentioned the need for different types of ear hooks to safely stay in her ear spools. I had ordered some clip-on loops, and those seemed to work with a trial run.


However, of the three pairs one didn’t function, so I perused the Bead & Button show for other ideas.  Saki Silver had some fabulous bronze options and I took a few sizes to play with.


Then I designed a few earrings and had them tested by an ear-plug wearing friend. With her stamp of approval, I feel good about leaving them with Kate for her clientele to peruse.


These skulls were so much fun to play with.


The nickel-free hooks work on regular ears too, so I am excited to see this new collection depart into the world.


Meanwhile, I also made additional pendants and bangles with Kate’s beautique in mind.


Since I was on a roll, I also made some new pendants for The Collage Cafe.

TCC pendants

A few items were adopted at a recent Cocktails and Coloring Fourth Friday event.


America’s Got Talent is a nice backdrop for bangle-making.


I support local women-owned businesses as much as possible.


I may make some copies of these stackable bangles for myself.


You can peruse these newbies during the grown-up summer camp sessions and browse Lindy’s other lovely gifts.


Then I spent some time tagging the newbies.


Tracking the consignments requires some color-coding.


Angel helped pack and deliver everything.


Swing by The Collage Cafe at 912 Sherman in Evanston for these goodies.


Chroma K8’s earth-friendly hair salon is located at 5425 Lincoln Avenue in Chicago where Noktivo does splendid nail services.


Next up is adding more sparkle to my creations for the Sidewalk Sale at See Jane Sparkle July 29-31.

The Abstract Show

Abstract hard is a contentious topic, and I don’t quite understand it all the time. Nonetheless, I found myself submitting my Hexaptych to the Abstract 4 Show juried by Ahavani Mullen. One of my pieces, Infinity, was accepted into the show.


I’ll be among familiar FUSEDChicago artists, including Carol Hamilton, Rebecca Stahr, Carol L. Meyers, Pat Lagger and Cindy Lesperance. I also look forward to seeing the other works in person: Tim Abel, Josh Anderson, Jordan Acker Anderson, Patrick Carr, Kenna Delmar, Brian Franczyk, Jung J. Jae, Megan Woodard Johnson, Kathryn Kane, Guntis Lauzums, Julia Levin, Ara Lucia, Mark P. McKernin, Jane Michalski, Bridget Mullen, Mark J. Palmeri, Adriana Poterash, Sara Risley, Kat Rodriguez, Camille Silverman, and Courtney E. Thayer.


The Fourth Annual Abstract Show opens at the Brickton Art Center on Friday, July 15 from 7 to 9 pm, and will be on exhibit July 11 through 29, 2016. The art center is located at 306 Busse Hwy, Park Ridge, IL 60068 and gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 9 am to 5 pm, Fridays from 9 am to 4 pm, and Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm (closed on Sundays).


Established in 1997, Brickton Art Center is a non-profit organization serving the people of Park Ridge and surrounding communities through creative outreach services in art therapy, art education and exhibitions. It began when a group of visionaries identified the arts as an important part of a healthy community and set out to establish a base for the visual arts in Park Ridge.


Brickton Art Center draws operating funds from memberships, fundraising and classes. They provide:

  • Art therapy programming for community organizations
  • Diverse art education for adults, teens and children
  • Art exhibitions for students and professional artists

Maybe I’ll see you on Friday evening and we can explore this organization and the art together.

Making Angels

Angel is literally making new friends.


When I signed up for Bead & Button workshops there was a reverse engineering option but due to lack of registration the workshop was dropped.


Instead, Brenda Schweder offered to help me reverse engineer my angel ornaments remotely, and I sent one in.


Soon I received an email with the required Now That’s A Jig! Parts, and I ordered the pegs to supplement my StartrKit.


I got my very own angel design template in the mail, and decided to test the design prior to working on a commission. Getting the violin clef right took some effort after being out of practice for 6 months.


Then I set about picking out pink paper for the memorial angels. I traced a musical score onto the handmade paper.


Then I added a sparkle bead.


I picked out outfits for the other angels and waxed them up.


The delicate hearts are so sweet.


Soon they were all dressed and cooling off.


You’ll see them at the upcoming Main-Dempster Sidewalk Sale.


I’ll be taking up See Jane Sparkle’s Sidewalk between 10 and 4 July 19-31 with new wares.


Turquoise Frosty got a new outfit too, in hopes of it making him more attractive at the holiday fairs.


Come October I’ll be jigging up a whole collection for the holiday season! Any color requests?


Exploring Volo Bog

Over the Holiday Weekend I felt the need to take a hike. I decided to revisit Volo Bog State Natural Area, where I had been a few times almost a decade ago.


I was pleased to see the preserve was still as nice as I remembered, and that it was quiet in spite of the lovely weather.


Volo Bog is the only quaking bog in Illinois, and also shows all stages of bog succession.


The eye shape of the bog allows visitors to see all types of vegetation that surround (literally) a bog, from the open pool of water in the center radiating out to a floating map of sphagnum moss, cattails and sedges.


The Friends of Volo Bog campaigned to preserve the bog in 1958, and later protected it from being developed again.


The bog is now a National Natural Landmark, showcasing a microcosm of plant succession, from bog, through wetland, to sedge-grass meadow. The Visitor Center used to be a dairy farm, and has a lovely interactive education center.


Upon entering a Western Fox Snake was slithering in its enclosure.


The upstairs room has a plethora of skulls to touch and identify, along with other displays about local flora and fauna. You can also get the trail map and nature guide there.


There is a lovely picnic area with tables and an outdoor privy by the parking lot.


The Bog originated during the Woodfordian Stage of the Wisconsinan Glaciation. As the glaciers melted, numerous depressions formed and developed into lakes.


Volo Bog began filling with vegetation about 6,000 years ago, which subsequently died and formed a peat mat during decomposition.


The combination of sphagnum moss and stagnant water resulted in acidic conditions within the bog community, encouraging other acid-loving plant species, such as leatherleaf, certain specialized orchids, and coniferous tamarack trees to grow. The main attraction is a half-mile boardwalk trail into the lake area of the bog.


From the grassy entrance you walk through a forest of cattails until the vegetation changes.


A seasonal guide gives information at various well-marked spots on what to look for.


I saw a garter snake slither across the board walk, and was greeted with a bullfrog concert in the eye of the bog.


Frogs are everywhere. Lin’s Domain says the frog totem symbolizes metamorphosis into one’s personal power and reminds us to not get bogged down (haha) with day-to-day living.


I also spotted some turtles, and helpful teens pointed out a catfish in the other pond area where tadpoles were abundant.


I then took the 2.5 mile trail surrounding the bog. There is a lovely play area for kids where they can interact with nature.


I spotted some beaks peeking out of bird-hatcheries, and enjoyed the variety of bird, cricket and for noises throughout the trail.


It got a bit hot along the way, but fortunately there are rest areas.


After some fortification and hydration I carried on.


A marker directed me toward the observation ‘tower’ which seemed further than it looked on the map.


I found was a small observation hut on ground level.


I came upon some lovely insects along the way.


Markers indicated which way to go and how far I had gone along the trail.


I also passed other walkers along the trail, so it was a lovely blend of being solitary without feeling lost.


As I reached the picnic area, I was at the same level of two herons, just separated by a meter of shrubbery. Watching them walk past was magical.


Herons have powerful independent and solitary energy. I rested my feet for a bit before getting back in the car.


Volo has a car museum as well, but I haven’t visited that yet.


Illinois has lots of places to hike and stretch one’s legs, so I will make it a point to go on more excursions this summer.


Check out what the Friends of Volo Bog are up to here.


Jigging at the Bead & Button Show

Two years ago I visited the Bead & Button Show for the first time and was overwhelmed.


It is amazing how a convention center can have a block worth of bead booths with all of them offering different wares.


The plethora of colors and sparkles resulted in me only buying a few strands, since I couldn’t remember what I had at home.


This year I checked my color inventory ahead of time.


Two friends had gifted me a lot of beads, so I had quite some notes to take.


I also wanted to learn how to operate my jig better, so I signed up for a few of Brenda Schweder’s Now That’s A Jig! Sessions.


I use the jig for my frosties, which morphed into the dot show pieces. I also started experimenting with butterflies and dragonflies for the Swarm Show.


I knew I could learn more tricks by getting some hands-on demos from the Jig designer herself.


On June 8 I learned how to make stick figure necklaces with lovely beads by Diane Hawkey.


It was so hard to pick out faces. I’m glad we got to choose three.


Brenda introduced us to the gadget that helps make collars.


I finished putting my people together at home.


I reviewed my swag bag and started plotting the map.


Bead & Button has various calls for art prior to the show, and the beaded artistry was amazing.


The display of buttons was amazing also, and I coveted these museum pieces.


Crowns of beads and wirework and lots of whimsy.


I drove back to Milwaukee on Saturday morning and tried to be methodical in going aisle by aisle.


I did get distracted here and there, but since I had marked my must-see booths in advance, I was able to focus my purchases for day 1.


These handcrafted Peruvian critters were impossible to resist.


There were tassels that reminded me of See Jane Sparkle.


Crystals everywhere.


Beads in all sizes and shapes.


What’s better than beads? Beaded beads!


Smartly, the convention center kept the snackbar open on the shopping floor, and had a cocktail bar to boot.


Fortified, I continued to browse and note what was where.


I compared prices on pearls and druzy agate and had lovely conversations with vendors.


Although I had not planned to shop on day 1, some beads were impossible to resist and I brought some treasure into the hotel with me.


I took a lovely stroll of the riverwalk and enjoyed a restful night before the workshop the next day.


On Sunday I participated in the Jig StartrWorkshop-Xpress to learn what all my pegs and rounds could do.


Now That’s A Jig! Was designed by Brenda Schweder as a collaboration with Swanstrom in 2012.


I had met Brenda in 2011 and took a bangle class with her then.


We reconnected at Ayla’s Highland Park Bead Bazaar in 2014 and I ordered a jig shortly after.


We were given a lovely template to learn different connecting pieces that could form a bracelet and help kickstart a variety of ideas.


You can also make jumprings on the jig.


Brenda’s technique is different from mine, so it was good to see how she works and learn how to maximize the Swivelok.


I was too busy admiring all her beautiful pieces and learning more tips and tricks to really focus on finishing the bracelet links, but we got take the template home so I can finish making links later.


Later this summer I’ll do a studio visit to learn how to operate Now That’s a Pliers!


This year Brenda launched PatternPaks to help people set up the jig with a published design.


After class I went up to the booth to check out additional PatternPaks, and settled on the RainChain template for which I already have all the rounds.


Then I reviewed my shopping list to determine what beads I needed to take home.


Of course my self-imposed ban on blue beads didn’t last, but they are all unique finds I know I wouldn’t be able to source as easily here.


I decided to indulge in cheese fries before the ride home.


It was a lovely day of sifting through colors and sparkles, and being inspired by the wide variety of beads that exist.


The gulls decorated my car as it stood overnight.


I am already at work designing beads for people who made special requests, and look forward to sharing additional designs at the upcoming Evanston Sidewalk Sale.


But first, the beads had to be inventoried.


I can see how malas and rosaries can help quiet the mind, because there is something zen about counting beads on a string.

countingpearlsMore photos to come soon!


Summer has begun and I wish I could go on vacation.


Instead I am sneaking lake time away from the computer when I can.


I uninstalled the DOT Show and am pleased my circles held up well.


I even got to take home 2 of Carol Hamilton’s dots.


Along the way I got to watch some bridge action while stopped in traffic.


I delivered 2 memorial angels honoring a family member.


It was fun to see the cityscape as I traveled for an artist critique on Saturday.


This weekend I strolled in the neighborhood and noticed this hugging tree.


Thunderstorms make for very green parks.


It is soothing to watch the horizon and the colors of the lake.


I garnered inspiration at Cultivate’s Lucy Slivinski’s Opening. Go see it this month!


Now it is time to head back in the studio with commissions from my bead loot.


Learning Soldering

In May I took a getaway to Racine for continuing education.


Ordering new tools always fills me with anticipation.


Crystal Neubauer, who introduced me to Wax and Wire in 2012, offered another wax and wire workshop with soldering and pinback-making.


Since my larger DOT Show pieces could have used some stabilization, I was eager to learn more.


Crystal met us in her temporary studio, and has since moved to a different floor in the same location.


Perusing other people’s tool collections is so fun.


So many toys to play with.


As is seeing all the samples she created.


Day one was spent bending and hammering wire.


My index finger took the brunt of one hammer strike, turning an array of colors until deciding on black for now.


We bent shapes to embellish the next day.


We were also taught soldering with a torch, but none of us could get the hang of it on day one.


I watched and noted.


A few of us were determined enough to keep trying the next day, and I made two successful joins after numerous false starts.


I learned to use my own brand-new dremel and will be finishing the 2 pins later this summer to add brooches to my collection.


Crystal also showed us how to make a cradle for a bezel, and riveting.


We closed out day one with dinner.


On day two we were taught wax techniques, including dipping, pouring, adhering and monoprinting.


We brought our own embellishments and also were gifted some of Crystal’s collected papers to play with.


The mini-pour was super inspiring.


We embellished our bezels.


I experimented with wrapping and pouring.


I also snuck in on the printing station for some fun paper to work with later.


Even the mono-printed trash was pretty.

artful scraps

One of my Swarm butterflies became a waxed collage experiment.


Everyone was so creative and inspiring.


I am happy with my new pieces, and look forward to implementing the techniques learned.


Some of these will be mine for the time being until I am ready to post them in the shop.


This weekend I will pick up more inspiration at Cultivate Urban Rain Forest with their next wire artist show opening.


I cannot wait to meet Lucy Slivinski and examine her flowers up close.

Swarm Show Opening

I had such fun creating a Swarm, and it has garnered more ideas percolating in my head.


I love how the dragonflies turned out, and am also enamored with the ladybugs.


At home, I fiddled with various configurations. The mobile can be added to and subtracted from.

swarmathome closeup

I put on a swarmy collection for the Art Walk.


After the Evanston Made ArtWalk, I headed over to SideTracked Studio, where Rory was adding final touches to the swarm.


Seeing it installed was so fun.


Paintings include: Lauren Levato CoyneRory CoyneJason McPhillipsErin Gergen Halls, Anthony Cramer, Gail Potocki, John Walker, Erich J. Moffatt, Victoria Fuller, Renee McGinnis, Maike van Wijk, and Stephanie Inagaki.


The exhibition continues through July 2, 2016, check Facebook for opening hours.


The details in each painting are amazing.


Sidetracked Studio is the storefront studio of artists Lauren Levato Coyne and Rory Coyne founded with collector and advisor Michele Mahon Jahelka.


Throughout the year Sidetracked Studio, located at 707 Chicago Avenue, also presents gallery exhibitions of visiting artists, workshops, and lectures.


Sidetracked Studio is located near the purple line Main Street station, as well as the Main Street Metra station.


Metered parking is available on Chicago Avenue, and you can find residential parking a few blocks closer to the lake. The gallery is wheelchair accessible.


At night, the shadows added their own art to the installation.


Go see the exhibit and also check out Rory’s videos of the art at the Facebook Page of SideTracked Studio.