New Pendants at Sacred Art

The other day I visited Sacred Art and we noticed only one pendant was left from my inventory there.

So of course I tagged a few more to bring in from my latest batch.

I am a bit attached to some of these, but I know they will fly off to good homes.

Meanwhile, quite a few angels got adopted over the holiday season.

Caroling Angels always find new homes.

And these are the pendants that found new necks to adorn.

I still have garden stakes there, but this pink one has also been adopted. They go so well with Everlasting Fire Studio’s vases.

Be sure to swing by Sacred Art Chicago for your gift-giving needs. They are located at 4619 N Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Square, Chicago.



Here’s to the last hurrah of our snow fest this month.

A few weeks ago Lake Michigan was splashing chilly waves all over the place.

It made beautiful iciclescapes.

Then came a dump of 12 inches over the weekend.

Officially we got 6 on the biggest day, but it looks like more to me.

Dutchies, what do you think?

The squirrels didn’t even come out to play on their branch.

Walking in this depth is a workout!

But I couldn’t resist seeing what it looked like at the lake.

What a difference 2 weeks make.

I couldn’t get out of my parking lot before the snowplows came through, and as I explored where they were to determine the timing, I saw interesting alley scapes.

No BBQ here!

Our trees got smile bombed during the storm.

The next day I drove to the handmade market and appreciated our less messy snowplows. Later that week I witnessed a snow mountain in a Skokie parking lot.

The icicles continue to amaze!

When that snow started melting away, another inch or 2 accumulated on a cozy Friday afternoon.

I think we’re done now though. The next two days should melt the grey grossness, and then maybe Spring will come?

My critters are ready for better weather.

Witness Quilt Sewing Circle

“Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”
attributed to Banksy
and Cesar A. Cruz

When I attended the unveiling of Melissa Blount’s Black Lives Matter Witness Quilt last year I knew I wanted to be part of future sewing circles. On January 31 that opportunity arose with an event at the Block Museum. In conjunction with an exhibit, people from all walks of life came to the Block Museum for an art making event.

I had spun through William Blake’s exhibit prior to the reception, and had no idea that this poet held such a spiritual force in the 1970s. I only remember the cadence of Tiger Tiger Burning Bright, and enjoyed perusing his prints and drawings. It was illuminating to see the influence William Blake’s poetry and art (1757-1827) had on those discovering him centuries later.

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius addresses how Blake’s art and ideas were absorbed and filtered through American visual artists from the mid-1940s through the 1960s. The exhibit shows that Blake became a model of non-conformity, individuality, and resistance to authority. 

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius is a psychedelic trip down the Hippie era, with wonderful vibrant art work juxtaposed against darker takes on Blake’s criticism of society.

A companion exhibit also drew my attention, showcasing fiber and visual arts. Experiments in Form: Sam Gilliam, Alan Shields, Frank Stella showcases the examination of art as more than 2-dimensional paintings on a wall.

At 7 pm we gathered for the Sewing Circle at Segal Visitors Center. The completed first Witness Quilt was on display, framed by the lovely red borders it didn’t yet have in June.

The names of 30 interpersonal violence victims had been gathered. Because so many more attendees RSVPd than anticipated, each table was given two of these names, with the rest of us stitching “Say Her Name” to commemorate the women and girls who succumbed to domestic violence but would not be named on police reports.

The youngest on the list was a baby, who was delivered when her mother had been shot but died 4 days later. We read the stories of our ladies out loud at the table. 

“Black women’s stories get lost in the Black Lives Matters movement,” Melissa said. Melissa’s plan is to continue the quilts based on police reports.

Melissa also wants to create a quilt for women who are incarcerated because they chose to defend themselves from intimate partner violence. Love & Protect was present to share stories of women whose witness testimony was ignored by law enforcement.

In spite of eye witnesses and neighbors testifying that these women had repeatedly been abused, they were still incarcerated for their act of self defense. Love & Protect intends to seek justice for these women, and we were invited to write postcards to individual women to let them know that there are people working to change their sentencing. 

In addition, another quilt will focus on transgender violence. This was triggered by a homicide report in which a person was misgendered, and activists set out to correct her name, and then discovered more, on the public record.  

In spite of the solemn occasion for the quilting circle, our directive was to focus on the positive. “These lives are lost opportunities, lost leaders,” said Melissa. We were asked to hold these women and babies in our hearts but also take advantage of discussing intersectionality within the impromptu community of 100+ attendees.

William Blake and the Age of Aquarius is on view at the Block Museum’s Main Gallery until March 11, 2018. Experiments in Form: Sam Gilliam, Alan Shields, Frank Stella is at the Katz Gallery until June 24, 2018.

More Witness Quilt Sewing Circles will be announced in the future. An offshoot sewing circle: Winter HeARTh: unCOVERed takes place on Sunday, February 18 at 10 AM – 4 PM at the Ecology Center. 

Valentines at the Pop Up Gallery

I was feeling the love vibe earlier this month and made some valentine hearts, along with other springy pieces.

I decided to deliver these to the Evanston Pop Up gallery and refreshed my shelf.

It was fun to determine a new configuration and see where it leads.

Some items have been sitting for a while, so I need to come up with a sale for those, or just swap them out.

I only had one stowaway heart left, so I made some more hearts for the Handmade Market Show on Saturday.

I was feeling the blues this time around.

Cutting the tiers is always tricky.

A glittery peace dove cam under the wire.

It is so pretty, and one of a kind.

So go get your Valentine’s Day shopping on. Love is a celebration year-round, but it is always nice to have an excuse to give those you love an extra treat or a token of your affection.

Here’s to warm hearts and joyous minds.

Kulturbrücke 2018

On Saturday, after the Handmade Market, I will head over to the DANK Haus for the opening of Kulturbrücke 2018. Culture Bridge/Kulturbrücke 2018 is a month long cultural bridge of poets, musicians painters, dancers, and sculptors from Germany, the United States and around the world. Curated by Laura Engel and Marianna Buchwald of International Art Group Chicago, the exhibit will feature a broad range of works with the intention to deepen cross-cultural ties. There will be a series of events that will entertain and stimulate thinking about how many cultures can create a dialog about what matters in the world of art.

The opening reception is February 10th from 6 to 10 pm in the DANK Haus Scharpenberg Gallery, located at 740 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60625. The evening will include live performances by Ginny Ching Yin Lo, Kao Ra Zen and Michael Abcede. There will be food and a cash bar. Free Parking is available at MB Financial, 4800 N Western Ave, Chicago.

2018 Culture Bridge Visual Artists include: Adriana Poterash • Amy Regutti • Betty Johnson • Bishal Bhaikaji Manandhar • Brittany Boyer • Claudia Cleveland • Cleofe Casambre • Colleen Ostrander • Daniel Weinberg • Danny Diallo Hinds • Deanna Persson • Didier Nole • Dorothy Straughter • Elizabeth Parker • Elsa Töbelmann • Erin Weseli Rossi • Felicia Grant Preston • George John Larson • Gwyneth Lewis • Hans Ulrich Buchwald • Iwona Duniec • Jean Roberts Guequierre • Jenna Moudy • Jin Choi • Joanna K. Szymanska • Jo Scheder • Jose Aggari • Juan A. Cano • Judith Kempa • Juliann Wang • Kasia Szczesniewski • Kathryn Gauthier • Kelly Anderson • Kerri Mommer • Kristin Heike • Laura Engel • Lisa Metz • Maike van Wijk • Mami Takahashi • Margie Lawrence • Marianna Buchwald • Mary Ellen Croteau • Michael Abcede • Nadine Yadi Royster • Nancy Strahinic • Nora Moore Lloyd • Paulo Carvalho • Penelope Thrasher • Robert Pockmire • Rob Hogan • Sara Peak Convery • Sheree Blakemore • Socorro Mucino • Stanislaw Kielar • Stefan Föge-Riekenberg • Susan M. Fong • Teresa Gierwielaniec Rozanacki • Warren Perlstein • Yu Huaung • Zitlali Yunuhem

The gallery will be open Monday through Friday from 1 to 5 pm. The Willi Scharpenberg Gallery hosts rotating artistic and historical exhibits year round. The Gallery was created to support the DANK Haus mission of preserving and promoting cultural heritage. Special weekend and extended evening hours will apply throughout the exhibition to  events. Stay tuned for updates on weekly Culture Bridge events including musical performances, theater, and dance.

The DANK Haus German American Cultural Center is a nonprofit cultural center and language school located in the heart of one of Chicago’s traditionally German neighborhoods, Lincoln Square. Open to all ages and backgrounds, the center features a language school, a museum, an art gallery, and a library. Regular programs include a monthly open house, movie screenings, cooking classes, as well as concerts, plays and other performances. 

Valentine Shopping this Saturday

On Saturday, February 10 I return to the Handmade Market Chicago to sell Valentines to anyone who wants them. The handmade market is held monthly from 12 to 4 pm at The Empty Bottle at 1035 N Western Avenue in Chicago.

More than 30 artists are participating and offering funky jewelry, knitted items, clothing, baked goods, handbags, paper crafts, and skincare. The Empty Bottle starts serving at noon, so feel free to shop with mimosas in hand. You can also grab brunch at the tasty Bite cafe next door.

I will be at the March and April events as well. This month, you’ll visit with:

Handmade Market Chicago is a unique event to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate the unique and handmade. Each event is held on the second Saturday of every month, from the months of October – April. You must be 21 or older, and kids must be accompanied by an adult. Parking: Street Transit: #49 Western bus.

Halim’s Time Piece Collection

On my first visit to the Halim Museum I also strolled through the Clocks of the World. This exhibit starts with a reproduction of the oldest known clock, and impressive installation of gears attributed to Richard of Wallingford. He designed an astronomical clock,which was built approximately 20 years after his death.

More than 1,100 timepieces are on display in a labyrinth of hallways and rooms. The collection includes tower clocks, chronometers, automatons, pocket watches and tall case clocks.

There is a German domestic Turret clock from the 1500s. It is hard to imagine that time pieces were not a personal or household instrument during those times.

In England, clocks were designated for markets, such as this Turkish Market clock from 1780.

There is a room designated to nautical instruments that any sea-lover will want to spend time in.

It has a beautiful stained glass dome.

I learned of the Dutch and German influences of clock making, and took note of those detailed descriptions with my camera.

Galileo’s original pendulum mechanism was on display as a model.

Its application to the first pendulum clock is attributed to Dutchman Christiaan Huygens in 1656. Then the Fromanteels took their training in The Hague during the 1860s to England, and English clocks built upon the Dutch education.

I do love the ornate clocks such as this Catherine the Great Elephant Clock made by Meissen designer Peter Reinecke in the 1700s.

My Greek memories had me gravitating toward Hellenistic Goddess themes as well, like this Athena and Hermes Clock. This one is also a Meissen Design.

The Dutch reoccurred in the 1700s as well with Bernard I van Risamburgh designing some clocks as well. Of course no clock collection can ignore the Black Forest Clock Industry

Of course the mechanical clocks are super fun, and the ones presented have computer screens showing all the gears in motion.

The Watch collection is overwhelming, and there is a lot more to see in this fabulous gem of a museum. I will definitely revisit the museum at a future date to take in more of this exhibit, though I think it is impossible to do so in detail in one visit alone.

Invisible work

It’s a week of invisible work. I have a number of blog posts in my head but real life keeps me from writing them.

Valentine’s Day is looming and before I could start making I had to do some organizing. So much happened in the jewelry bench drawers and yet it seemed like I spent hours in the studio clearing nothing.

Tools are cleaned and back in their spots.

My high school friend was nominated for the Grammys and I watched as I continued organizing my studio. He won!!!

I will always remember this piece that I dropped mid-bend to take screenshots of the live stream.

I had some fun social time with friends, including visiting Ayla’s amazing $1 sale (ends tomorrow!). Pro tip: Go with a friend so you can split up the strands and get twice the projects!

I am also sofa shopping, and pondering the options, along with debating how big it should be after reading about furniture free living.

For Christmas I gifted myself a craft cart that I had always wanted since spotting it on Kelly Rae Roberts’ blog. I am super excited at how much it stores and worked with box lids to layer the tiers up with project ideas.

There is still a whole lot to be done, but I feel somewhat accomplished.

I also threw some old clothing into my trunk to enable the donation drop-off. My plates were so faded it was high time for new ones, which came in the mail this week. Putting those on is also part of the ‘stuff people don’t see’ list.

On a lovely Saturday afternoon I came upon a twitter gathering.

Then I worked on my closet shelves for a bit. They’ve filled up quite a bit since the closet makeover.

After the Grammys I carved out a space to make some Valentines which are headed over to the Evanston Pop Up Gallery soon.

We’ll see if the big table gets before and afters in the near future.

Art Journaling for Relaxation

This week I am trying to create order in my studio, which is hard to do after sifting through storage units last week. I seem to have reached my organizing quota.

I am looking forward to replenishing my musical pendant inventory and creating some Valentines for February when order is restored.

Next week I hope to refresh the shelf at the Pop Up Gallery. Until then my ornaments are still $5 off.

Meanwhile, I am part of an art journaling Facebook group that has been fun.

Mostly I see my pages as backgrounds for future musings, but some might remain as standalone art works.

We get various prompts, like drawing circles, doodling on strips of collaged paper, stamping with various random items found around the house, using colors we don’t normally choose etc.

It helps me to settle to do something like this, and is also fun to do with friends and family.

At a The Collage Cafe drop-in I made a collage from paper scraps.

It got me to dig out some templates I had never used.

Sometimes it is good to have a project that takes me out of solopreneur mode where the outcome doesn’t have to be sellable.

Plus it is fun to see what everyone else does and how other people express themselves.

I had fun with the word cloud challenge when I was in Houston.

Self care is good, and pausing from the daily grind with a bit of coloring is therapeutic.

Some collage snippets even offer wisdom and humor.

We’ll see what these two get embellished with in the future!

Frozen January

This January feels stalled. I am not accomplishing what I thought I would, partially because of where my family focus has been.

I had a laundry list of things I wanted to work on since December 15, but am finding that January is breezing by.

So when I returned from Houston I decided to let January be, and am making peace with not having much to show for it.

The deep freeze left its mark, and I enjoyed the ice sculptures of Lake Michigan on a balmy 30-degree walk.

But then 2 grey days zapped my energy, and I had a 3-hour slump yesterday where I couldn’t energize myself to do anything.

Now the snow is melting, and the weather’s temperature swings are on the upward trend between 30s and 50s.

I’ll keep plugging away on the things I have set out to do, without berating myself for letting time fly by.

Living in awareness and being present is sometimes all we can do, and what is truly important will get accomplished in due time.

Ultimately it is all about perspective, and knowing we can only do what we can in the time that we have, with the resources available to us.

The things that are percolating will come to fruition, just as the plants wrapped in ice will soon be sprouting leaves again.

Life works in cycles, and we need to honor both the seasons and our own circadian rhythms, even when technology has us believing in a 24/7 alertness mode.