Candy Gala glamour shots

Tomorrow the fabulous ladies of WIN are gathering for Spa & Cupcakes. I’m busy on a deadline, so I am still reveling in last Tuesday’s fabulous event.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

I splurged on a professional styling and then traveled in style. 😉

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

Here’s the Magnificent Mile.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

Water Tower Place is home to a Lego store.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

 I did my shoe switcheroo by the go-to destination of little girls.

 photo copyright Maike's Marvels

Here we are!

The home of a candy museum.

Fashionable candy wrappers.

A licorice painting.

Then I set up the auction table, which barely had room for all the donated goodness.


We took turns greeting guests.

Toasted to our good fortune.

Nibbled on fabulous treats by FIG Catering.

Listened to inspirational stories.

Terese Lang McDonald shares the Candyality story

Brenda Palms Barber shares the beginning of Sweet Beginnings 

We admired each other’s glamorous outfits (some accessorized by Lia Sophia).

Our fabulous and glamorous WIN founders 

Bidding wars broke out over certain auction pieces.

We met our goal! Sweet Beginnings received all proceeds.

A chocolate buffet sweetened the evening.

The Jelly Bean guessing game brought exclamations of joy.


But everyone walked away a winner with a goodie bag.

There were ‘red carpet’ moments.

Eventually security asked us to wrap it up.


You can read coverage by ChiTownStarConnections and peruse the WIN Candy Gala Facebook album to continue savoring this event.

Our fun group shot courtesy DaShan Thomas

ADDENDUM: As of March 10, 2013, I no longer support the WIN Board and its actions. However, I do support small business, women-owned businesses, and the gracious hosts of past WIN events.

Artrageous Opening — vote for Swift Swallowtails!

Artrageous Lincoln Park 2012

On Friday, Artrageous opened to the public. You can now vote online for your favorite pieces, which are all listed here. The Swift Swallowtails are number 42, which made me think of the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. In this case, I fully agree that the answer, and vote, is 42!

Artrageous Lincoln Park 2012

I attended the opening at Nest Furniture, which was ‘nesty’ indeed.

Artrageous Lincoln Park 2012

My friend Jennifer Yang came with me, and WIN sister Chris Pierucci brought Valerie Beck along, so it felt like a small party for me in a giant store with strangers milling about.

Photo copyright Valerie Beck

An opening with friends
photos courtesy Valerie Beck 

Photo copyright Valerie Beck

The food was delicious, nudging me toward purchasing a Cravings on Clark ticket. You can pick up a booklet with the map at participating businesses along Clark Street.

Artrageous Lincoln Park 2012

My Swift Swallowtails are hanging at the Nail Bar, right next to KC Chocolatier, which happens to be part of the Chicago Chocolate Tours Lakeview route, if you want to sweeten the event.

Artrageous Lincoln Park 2012

The Chicago Painters and Artists’ Group will be touring Artrageous on Saturday afternoon with me. You can invite yourself along at the Meetup site.

Artrageous Lincoln Park 2012

Another Meetup Group, the Chicago Creative Social Club, will be attending the May 5 festivities with me, and their invitation and meeting information is here.

Vote for me online or text CSLP 042 to 32075 (you don’t have to be in town!).

Photo copyright Valerie Beck

Photo courtesy Valerie Beck

(I do admire the other artists’ works also, but you know I’m partial!)

Midweek interlude

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

I’m transcribing notes from my weekend events, but the combination of freelance work and Marvels events preclude me from having that ready for you today.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

Galas and opening parties are fun to make time for, but it does cut away from other activities, such as blogging.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

So you’ll have to contend with a few snapshots of my Sunday walk while I catch up my musings.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

May you have sunshine and flowers on your path today.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

Candy Gala Anticipation

This promises to be another fabulous week. 2011 was wonderful, but this year I’ve had numerous “pinch me, I must be dreaming” moments. Artrageous has opened, I attended a very inspiring studio visit, and the Red Admirals obliged me a little bit in posing for me on Sunday. I’m not sure my adrenaline-meter can keep up with all the goodness and joy, and sometimes wonder if it’ll explode into sparkly pieces.

Tomorrow, the sparkles and excitement continue with the Women’s Innovation Network’s Candy Gala. We’ll be surrounded by sweets and a candy museum in the 3,000 square foot store. Fig Catering will be providing a more hearty buffet to round out the sweetness provided by Candyality.

Women's Innovation Network

The event includes a silent auction benefiting Sweet Beginnings, so of course I set out to create a piece.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

I don’t have bees in my photographic repertoire yet, so I pulled photos of my current favorite butterfly, the Ricepaper butterfly also known as the Large Tree Nymph, Paper Kite or Idea Leuconoe.

Image copyright Maike's Marvels

Per David Carter’s Eyewitness Butterflies and Moths handbook, this translucent-winged creature lives in Indo-Australia, from Thailand to Malaysia, the Philippines and Taiwan. I have the privilege of observing these at Peggy Notebeart’s Nature Museum.

I layered colored wax on the substrate.

image copyright Maike's Marvels

This piece also became a practice in the photo transfers I learned with Bridgette Guerzon Mills.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

burnishing and peeling

 photo copyright Maike's Marvels

I’ve picked out my dress and shoes (black tie/cocktail attire), and will be wearing my sparklies from Swarovski. It is going to be such fun. Candyality is located on the 7th floor of Water Tower Place. The party begins at 7 pm.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

Last Friday we finalized the program for this event during a very energetic WIN Committee meeting.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

How can one not get giddy while savoring cake, pikante hot chocolate, mint capuccinos and discussing gowns and jewelry?

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

You can still buy tickets (online and at the door), so please join us Tuesday evening.

photo copyright Maike's Marvels

And yes, this earworm is in my head:

ADDENDUM: As of March 10, 2013, I no longer support the WIN Board and its actions. However, I do support small business, women-owned businesses, and the gracious hosts of past WIN events.

Admirals Spotting

As I gear up for another Innovation Circle, followed by the Artrageous opening reception, I’ll share some more butterfly sightings with you.

photo by Maike's Marvels

I hope to get closer to these lovely admirals when it is warmer and less windy.

photo by Maike's Marvels

Leigh Standley wrote a lovely blog about Spring which resonates with me.

On Sunday I might take a cue from the cozy Earth Hour and unplug for a little bit.

photo by Maike's Marvels

What are your weekend plans?

Some upcoming events

My mind is still full from an Art Criticism panel discussion I attended Sunday, along with all the wire ideas I have from Saturday’s class. In the midst of freelance projects, Artrageous anticipation, and lots of networking and artsy events on my calendar I feel like I can barely keep up with my own life. 

Feeling wired without the need for coffee

It’s all good though. I wouldn’t trade this time for anything.

There are some fun events you can join me in if you’re in Chicagoland this coming week.

I’m pondering outfits for Tuesday’s Candy Gala. It’ll be a fancy black tie/cocktail party in a candy store. I haven’t dressed up in ages, so this promises to be a sweet event. Not only do we get to admire fancy dresses, tuxes and gowns and sparkly jewelry, but the event will benefit Sweet Beginnings, whose founder inspired me in February. 

I’ve been working on a silent auction piece, which hasn’t quite revealed its final state yet (So glad I have a weekend to either restart or truly finish it!). You can RSVP here. 

Background of silent auction project
for the WIN Candy Gala April 24

Artrageous opens to the public April 20, and you can judge 50 pieces through May 5. The organizers are also hosting Cravings on Clark on May 1, a Restaurant Crawl where you can sample goodies. 

wall decor

Collage art by Maike’s Marvels

I’m certainly much busier and more productive this year than I was this time last year. One of these days I’ll sit down and journal about it. 🙂

ADDENDUM: As of March 10, 2013, I no longer support the WIN Board and its actions. However, I do support small business, women-owned businesses, and the gracious hosts of past WIN events.

Wax & Wire with Crystal Neubauer

heart by Crystal Neubauer and wire form by Maike's Marvels

Wire heart by Crystal Neubauer,
wire shape by Maike’s Marvels

I took a fabulous class with Crystal Neubauer on Saturday. PerficalSense Studio hosted “Moving Beyond the Canvas with Wax and Wire.”  I had met Crystal at the “Meditations: Looking In, Reflecting Out” exhibit, and knew I’d enjoy learning more from her.

Workshop with Crystal Neubauer

First, we were introduced to the tools we would need, wire of various gauges and metals, pliers to cut and shape, a hammer, an anvil, paper or fabric, and encaustic medium.

workshop with Crystal Neubauer


Crystal, who enjoys bringing new life to old objects from her vintage finds in both collage work and this wire work, had brought several samples from which we could take cues.

 Class samples by Crystal Neubauer

Crystal noted Tia Kramer, Brenda Mallory, Lorrie Fredette and Lee Bontecou as her inspirations, along with finding shapes and patterns in concrete, glass work, and even the earrings I was wearing that day.

Inspirational idea books

First we sanded the rebar wire, shaped it, and hammered into a form to our liking.


Wire shapes by Crystal Neubauer

Copper flower frame by Maike’s Marvels

Then we picked out papers while the wax was melting.

Encaustic Medium

These papers were cut to smaller sizes and dipped in the wax.

waxed and unwaxed paper

We then adhered the paper to our forms with a quilting iron, and burnished the warm paper to fuse the wire and the wax.

You can layer any way you want, and then cut or tear the paper to fit your shape.

wire heart by Maike's Marvels

A few of us played with colored wax, pan pastels and PearlEx pearls to add color to our creations.

Adding sparkle to my wing


Some people created multidimensional shapes.

At the end of class, we were all quite pleased with the results.

Crystal Neubauer Wax & Wire Workshop at PerficalSense Studio

Creations by 5 of Crystal’s students

I am already looking forward to the next class in June, “Moving Beyond the Canvas with wax and 3D.”  The La Grange Art League will host Crystal’s Wax and Wire Works on April 29. These classes and exhibits by Crystal can be perused here.

Wax and Wire creations by Maike’s Marvels

I’m so excited about the possibilities these new techniques offer!


Announcing … Artrageous

Have you ever wanted to judge an art exhibit?

You will have your chance next week. Lincoln Park will be hosting Artrageous along Clark Street and Diversey from April 20 to May 5, at which you can vote for your favorite pieces of art.

Artrageous is a new multidimensional event featuring pop-up art exhibits, cooking demonstrations, live music, entertainment and special attractions; and it is free!

  • The Main Event takes place Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. featuring a full day of live art, entertainment, seminars, cooking demonstrations, community art projects and food sampling (click for schedule).
  • The event closes with an Artrageous Awards Ceremony from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. at which the voting results will be announced.

And guess what? You can vote for my Swift Swallowtails! This was my first juried submission, and I’ve been holding my breath to see how that would work out. So I was thrilled when my name was on the list of selected artists. V A L I D A T I O N !

You can vote for your favorite art via text message or from noon April 20 until 4 p.m May 5. Voting instructions will be available at and also at participating businesses.

It is recommended that you take public transportation. Finding street parking might make you wish for your own set of wings.

I hope to see you there!

$pa and Cupcake$

“When we exhale we don’t worry about
where the next inhalation is going to come from.”
WIN Co-founder and President Valerie Beck

Last week I took a midday break and visited WIN’s Spa & Cupcakes. Held every first Tuesday from 2 pm to 3 pm at a downtown spa, the event boasts mini-spa treatments, mini-cupcakes and big networking.

I met a few lovely ladies from various countries in a variety of businesses. Then I was whisked to the manicure room for a little polish and picked a lovely green shade. Little did I know that ‘green’ was also the topic of our five tips for the day.

Valerie Beck’s Top Five Money Mindset Tips

1. Visualize Wealth

Ask how much money you want and why. What is the motivation for receiving that money? If you have a reason for obtaining wealth, you won’t quit.

2. Feel Rich

Instead of listening to the old gremlin of “I can’t afford that,” reverse the thought and say “I could buy that if I wanted to (someday).” Go shopping in your imagination and spend $100 over and over again.

3. Give Rich

Donate. You can start with any amount. It puts you in the mindset that there is always enough to share and to spare.

4. Monitor Self-talk

Like water and fire, money is a resource and we can use it as we choose. Money is here to support us.

5. Spend time with like-minded people

The more you are around people who believe in manifesting wealth through thinking rich, feeling rich, giving rich, speaking rich, the more you will attract abundance.

Let’s see how much green we can get our shiny hands on. 🙂

“It is not a risk to follow your dream, it is more of a risk not to.”
~ Valerie Beck

P.S. You can still sign up for the Candy  Gala, an evening of sweet glamour on April 24.

ADDENDUM: As of March 10, 2013, I no longer support the WIN Board and its actions. However, I do support small business, women-owned businesses, and the gracious hosts of past WIN events.

Easter Weekend Walk

Walking through the neighborhood is such a joy these days.

photograph copyright Maike's Marvels

It’s gotten a little cooler from the strange March ‘summer,’ but this has not deterred all the blooming.

photograph copyright Maike's Marvels

My favorite flower is already popping up in places.

photograph copyright Maike's Marvels

 These ‘bells’ do feel like Easter to me.

photograph copyright Maike's Marvels

And tulips abound as well.

photograph copyright Maike's Marvels

photograph copyright Maike's Marvels

The resident Peregrine Falcons have laid eggs.

Photograph copyright Maike's Marvels

Red Admirals and small whites are fluttering about. I hear painted ladies are in the area as well but haven’t spotted one yet.

Photograph copyright Maike's Marvels

Here’s wishing you a lovely Sprummer.

Photograph copyright Maike's Marvels