Brenda Schweder Day

Right after fair season ended, it was time for a fun day. Now That’s A Jig! inventor Brenda Schweder had ordered an Ugly Sweater Angel via Instagram, which was a fun challenge.

I used some of my Belgian felt pieces as embellishments, picked some ‘ugly’ paper, and then ‘uglified’ it more by creating as much glittery pattern as possible on the body and wings.

Then when I told her I was about to ship it, she said she would come pick it up instead, with video equipment in tow. So I had to clean my desk!

Brenda arrived and the lights were set up.

I asked Brenda to bring an extra 1″ square peg for my mini-book projects. With the variety of pegs and extender packs Brenda has available, the NTaJ! possibilities are endless, especially with all the demonstrations she gives to inspire handufacturers.

We had a lovely morning chatting while I demonstrated how to wax a rainbow onto the wire bird Brenda had brought.

FridayMyDay Fieldtrip to Maike Vw's!Rollin'! . . .

Posted by Brenda Meintz Schweder on Friday, December 16, 2016

You can find the tutorial on making the wire part of the bird here:

HolidayBird Ornament Tutorial: Part II (The BirdFrame)Rollin'! . . .

Posted by Brenda Schweder Jewelry on Monday, October 17, 2016

A live watcher won the final piece. I am actually polling what kinds of birds are popular for a murmuration project.

Then my traveling Angel said goodbye to Ugly Sweater Angel.

We went for lunch and then I introduced Brenda to the merchants of the Main-Dempster Mile, which was a blast. I think she might return to Evanston, possibly before going to Rockford. 😉

A few days later Brenda mentioned a Craftsy Tutorial, and I signed up for one of hers too, of course.

I also want to re-read this article and jig that necklace up.

I am certain that 2017 will bring more NtaJ! shenanigans along with more Brenda fun!

Now That’s a Jig! news and product updates are available here, and you can take NTaJ! classes at June’s Bead & Button Show.

Bucktown Show Recap

My last show for the season was the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow.

As always, this show was a lot of fun and featured many creative artists.

I enjoyed making new friends and catching up with the regulars.

Day One was filled with visiting friends and some new admirers.

I enjoyed watching what people gravitated to in my booth.

I enjoyed lunch from the Yum Dum foodtruck outside.

The silent auction was in full swing in all rooms.

 

Chicago Cubs Pride was on display in many booths.

I was happy to see rainbow angels flutter off again.

Soon it was time to close up.

It snowed lightly on the way home.

The next morning I was greeted by a murmuration.

I unveiled my booth and rearranged my pieces.

It was my last time trimming trees for the year.

More customers streamed in.

Even our organizers and volunteers shopped.

These faux leather trees by MoHop are on my wishlist for next year.

I parted with some of my personal favorite angels.

Dragonflies also fluttered away.

I might see some of these adornments around town again.

A good day called for a reward.

Then came time for teardown.

I said bye to bobblehead frosty.

Another snowy evening for a beautiful winter wonderland.

Here’s to next year!

Enlightenment

The day before my birthday, a light fixture fell on my head. My mom was coming to town and I was preparing the futon for her to sleep on, when the ceiling fan decided to wobble out of alignment and to the floor, but since I had just pulled the futon out and was looking down, it bounced off my head onto the cushions.

A lightbulb shattered all over the place, and my forehead had an instant bump.

So I told mom to take a cab and swept the shards off myself to lay down for a bit, while googling concussion symptoms. After mom arrived we did cleanup and I had a fun birthday week with her, including a visit to Little Light Bazaar so I could shop for light fixtures.

After mom departed I interviewed electricians, and then researched ceiling fans, concentrating on flush mounts only.

I had a fun visit with Mateen to select the colors of my chandelier. All globes are interchangeable so you can change your mind and do a new color scheme over time.

The electricians arrived and on day one pulled out all the old wiring of my 1925 unit.

Outlets came first.

All the old lights came down.

Then they ran new wiring through all the light switches and light fixtures.

The next day they upgraded my fuses, and I no longer have neighbor envy. Now my studio has the appropriate power supply for all my equipment.

Soon the pretty part came and the new light fixtures were securely and professionally installed. I didn’t ask anyone to swing from chandeliers, but I am assured none of these will crash down on me.

Getting electrical work done is a scary thing, and I held off out of fear of the expense and any scope creep, but this project was completed within 2 days. Some of the vintage fixtures could have been fire hazards. I donated all the old ones to a refurbishing store.

I had fun playing with the dimmer switches and enjoying the light in my studio.

Since my futon cover was littered with mercury glitter, we tossed the thing out and I shopped affordable portables for a new cover. I fell in love with BOHO by SIS covers, which was so new the store had to order a sample. That made me feel quite fashion forward.

I love the bohemian-ness of this design, which obviously fits right in as a work surface!

My favorite room is the bedroom, where we installed the beautiful chandelier.

All globes are hand made with Czech glass and each has its own personality. It completes the decal headboard very nicely.

Now I am enlightened in all my rooms, and happy this home improvement project is completed. My head is also OK. The weekend after the bump I had some bad symptoms where lights were too bright and noises were too loud. Strobe lights at a party were very irritating so I had to move off the dance floor, but otherwise things are back to my normal.

A pause before entering 2017

Well here we are, it is 2017!

I meant to blog a bunch of things this past week, but instead I needed to relax, spend time with friends, and reset my brain.

I had a lovely Art Institute visit where I learned about the annual Creche.

Versatile artist László Moholy-Nagy gained a new fan

There was a fun Gift Exchange party at which my Ugly Rainbow Sweater Frosty found a new owner.

 My hair was overdue for a bit of head-pampering.

I took a winter stroll after garaging the car (same snowman, 1 week later).

Then I dove into the loot I picked up at Evanston Public Library.

Now I feel the pressure of setting resolutions and goals and doing all the self-improvement things.

But part of me says that I can hold off another week on all that, especially since I spent a day reviving my computer on the day I meant to do all the writing.

I am starting to close out my 2016 finances and inventory sheets, checking out the calendar, and considering where I want to spend my time next year.

Here’s to a fantastic new year filled with opportunities, joy and community!

Christmas Bells and Angels

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,

and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love the rendition by Jars of Clay.

Wishing you a peaceful, comforting and joyous holiday.

Culture-immersion pop-ups

Last month I popped up in places that had nods to cultures other than mine.

Early in November I popped up at Esquina, a new place founded by Nomadic Ant.

Meaning corner in Spanish, the place is a conglomeration of artist exhibits, a gathering space for live music and poetry, and venue for monthly local artist bazaars.

It was a weekend of shock for many in the nation, so there wasn’t much traffic, but it was still a fun gathering.

A woodburning artist read tarot cards.

An illustrator showcased her work.

We met the artist of these creations.

This rainbow sprinkle donut was consumed.

It was fun to peruse the record covers. Esquina offers Bring your own Vinyl nights, where you can play your records on a turntable.

In early December I visited the Irish-American Heritage Center, which transformed from a large gymnasium type space to a bustling vendor fair.

In spite of our first snowfall of the season, many people strolled through prior and after Sunday mass, including the bagpipers I had heard earlier.

I had researched Irish Carols and learned about Christmas in Killarney.

Candle Angel fluttered away.

It was a fun afternoon with a variety of arts and crafts on display.

My art fair season is over, and the display bags put away for a few months.

I get to enjoy the snow instead of watching it fall from the window, or luxuriate in hibernating for a bit.

Winter offers magical scenery.

Countdown to Christmas

Fair season is over for me, but shopping is still allowed in these 10 days before Christmas.

minibooks1212

I just posted the angels and frosties I have in stock on my Facebook page. You can see individual photos of the angels here.

moreangels1212

Reds and Greens:

angels1212

My remaining frosties have individual photos here.

frosties1212

I also still have a selection of ornaments in 4 Chicagoland retail locations that are each worth a visit.

maikesmarvelscages

Go visit The Collage Cafe for inspirational joy-bringing and creativity-fueling gifts. You can get something tangible or give the gift of a workshop.

tccholiday

Sacred Art has a lovely array locally made artisan gifts. This shop holds presents for all ages, genders and price-points. It’s also a one-stop art boutique for Chicago aficionados.

sacredartselection

See Jane Sparkle has extended holiday hours you can confirm on Facebook, and offers all kinds of sparkly jewelry, vintage fashion, and unique ornaments.

sjs

ChromaK8 Beautique also has a variety of gift items for you to peruse while your hair treatment processes or after you get your nails done at Noktivo.

chromak8

Contact me if you saw anything at fairs or in my booth snapshots that caught your eye. My online store will remain sparse until January, when I will have a chance to take stock and photograph the pieces to be uploaded.

frostyalbum

I ran out of Rainbow Angels, but will be making more with new outfits my friend created, and will post those on Facebook soon.

angeldesigns

Here’s to more ornaments hanging on other people’s trees this season.

Affair of the Arts

November’s Affair of the Arts was a lovely first show for me. Recommended by my friend, I made a mini-road trip to Spring Grove early in the morning of the 20th.

aotaboothview

I came upon a wonderful venue, The Shores of Turtle Creek, which is great for weddings and other celebrations.

aotashoppers

Soon we had transformed the space into a vendor pop-up.

boothwithangel

The selection of artists was lovely, but I left my camera at home so you’ll just have to visit the list to check them out. I tried on a booth neighbor’s coat and will have to save up for one in the Spring.

coats

The show also awards a free booth to artists who have the best display and the best attitude. I received second place, yippie!

2nplacebooth

Several angels found new homes (pink was popular here).

aotapinkangels

I also sold skulls, which is a new niche, I suppose.

aotapurchases

A ladybug made friends with my gecko pendant.

geckoladybug

I really enjoyed this show, and look forward to the next one.

maikesmarvelsaotabooth

The Spring Indoor Art Fair takes place on Sunday, March 5, 2017, and I will be there.

 

Bucktown ArtShow this weekend

On Saturday and Sunday I am returning to Holstein Field House for the 18th Annual Bucktown Holiday ArtShow. It is my third year there, and I think I’ll be in the same spot as last year.

bucktownbooth2015

This show has 100 artists selling handmade, unique, one of a kind gifts and art in all media. I’ve been to many fairs and know some booths on ‘the circuit’ but this show draws artists I have not yet seen every year, along with some popular returnees.

gymnasium

Come and join us on Saturday December 10 and Sunday December 11 from Noon to 5 pm. Holstein Park is located at 2200 N Oakley Avenue in Chicago. There should be a visitor parking lot South of the Park, and the Blue Line Western stop is nearby.

feltcritters

Silent auction tables will be set up in each gym and in the auditorium with donated items from the participating artists. Guests are welcome to place a bid on any and as many items as they like. Participants don’t have to be present to win.

auctiontable

Proceeds from the Silent Auction will be donated to A Long Walk Home. A Long Walk Home is a Chicago-based national non-profit that uses art to educate, inspire, and mobilize young people to end violence against girls and women

bellydancejourneydoll

Yum Dum Food Truck will be set up just outside the entrance from approximately noon until 4 pm.

truckfood

I had some last year and it was delicious.

foodtruck

Coffee, soda, water, muffins and some snacks are available at the food booth in the Auditorium.

angelstobucktown

You’ll also want to get some hot cocoa from Bob’s Belgian Chocolate, who was set up in the West Gym last year.

bobsbelgianchocolate

The first Bucktown Holiday ArtShow took place in 1999, at Holstein Park Fieldhouse.

brandinhurley

Admission is $2/person at the door, but you can print my newsletter to get into the ArtShow for free. There is also a half-off admission coupon on the Bucktown Promotions web site.  

bucktowntix

If you forget to prepare in advance, you can also check in on Facebook for free admission to the ArtShow (and then break all the rules). 

rulebreakers

This is my final art fair of the year, so it’s the last time you’ll see my trees and letterboxes fully adorned.

barebooth

Snow is in the forecast, but that hasn’t deterred shoppers in the past years.

frostiestobucktown

It truly is a fun outing for families and caters to people of all ages.

bucktownbooths

Warm Bevvy Trunk Show

Last year I had a blast at the Warm Bevvy Walk in Evanston. It is a great way to explore local shops and make new friends. The 2nd Annual Evanston Warm Bevvy Walk is on Thursday, December 8 from 5 to 8 pm with my favorite businesses participating.

spiceitorspikeit

Enjoy an evening stroll with friends and family, stopping at stores in downtown Evanston and along the Main-Dempster Mile to try tasty beverages and shop for the holidays. I will be at See Jane Sparkle with all my wares for an evening trunk show. Sara Jane is blending a special beverage and will also have special promotions that evening.

sjsangels

This event is FREE and open to all ages, but registration is required. If you intend to drink alcoholic beverages, you are required to present an ID to get a wristband. This year, commemorative Shop Evanston enamel mugs will be available for purchase for $5 with cash or credit card. Along the Main-Dempster Mile, the following businesses are offering drinks.

sketchbook

Check-in (where you get a map and wristband): The Pot Shop | 1224 Chicago Avenue or Sketchbook Brewing | 821 Chicago Avenue.

bevvymug

See Jane Sparkle | 1312 Chicago Ave.
Threads Boutique | 1304 Chicago Ave.
The Collage Cafe | 912 Sherman Ave.

tccangels
Evanston Eye Wellness | 716 Main St.
Trash & Treasures | 611 Dempster St.
Follow Your Nose & The Alchemist’s Wife | 917 Chicago Ave.
Vogue Fabrics featuring Bon Events | 718 Main St.
Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery | 704 Main St.

cultivate
Virag Jewelers | 703 Main St.
Evanston Float Center | 800 Dempster St.
In Fine Fettle Holistic Health Center & Wellness Boutique | 900 Chicago Ave. (storefront on Main St.)
Belgian Chocolatier Piron | 509 Main St.

pironstnick
Squeezebox Books & Music | 1235 Chicago Ave.
Evanston Stitchworks | 906 Sherman Ave.
stumble & relish | 1310 Chicago Ave.
YoFresh | 635 Chicago Ave., #7

beadedbangle

Downtown Evanston: Check-in: Vinic Wine | 1509 Chicago Ave.

warmbevvyprograms

Life is Good | 1741 Sherman Ave.
Avail & Co. | 1106 Davis St.
Athletico Physical Therapy | 909 Davis St., Ste. 220
Underground Printing | 818 Clark St.
Chiropractic First | 1609 Chicago Ave.

wassail
La Cocinita | 1625 Chicago Ave.
Ayla’s Originals | 1511 Sherman Ave.
Relish | 706 Church St.
Williams Shoes the Walking Spirit | 610 Church St.

williamsshoes
Holiday Inn Chicago North-Evanston | 1501 Sherman Ave.
Celtic Knot | 626 Church St.
Andy’s Frozen Custard | 719 Church St. {offering Hot Fudge/Caramel Turtle Sundaes for $2.30}
Spice & Tea Exchange of Evanston | 1615 Sherman Ave.
Pure Barre | 910 Church St.
Bookends & Beginnings | 1712 Sherman Ave. (alley entrance)
The Alley Gallery | 1712 Sherman Ave. (alley entrance)

spicetea
Saville Flowers | 1712 Sherman Ave.
Evereve | 1608 Sherman Ave.
Uncle Dan’s | 901 Church St.
Smylie Brothers | 1615 Oak Ave.
Exhale Evanston | 1890 Maple Ave.
First Northern Credit Union | 1705 Sherman Ave.
Bottle & Bottega | 1016 Davis St.
dragonfly-df | 1501 Chicago Ave.

aylasbeads

I hope to see you!

parisangel