Quotable women at the Black History Month Panel

“I am proud of all women,
whether at the level of Oprah or local entrepreneurs.”
~ Dori Wilson

Last Tuesday the Women’s Innovation Network held its second annual Black History Month Innovation Panel. Moderated by LeeAnn Trotter, the panelists included artist Makeba Kedem-Dubose, author Dawgelene Sangster, and PR Entrepreneur Dori Wilson.


Attending a panel by African-American women entrepreneurs is quite relevant, as the trend of a decade ago has not slowed down:

“Between the years 1997 and 2002,
the number of businesses owned by minority women
increased faster than those owned by non-minority women,
with minority women-owned firms accounting for
more than half of the increase in women-owned businesses.”

~ Women-Owned Businesses in the 21st Century October 2010 report

All women were shaped by life events, which then propelled them forward and led them to their current businesses. Some paths were created by fortuitous opportunities, others by necessity, and each step along the way provided growth.

“When we want to learn how to change something,
we have to unfreeze that way of thinking.
I have to embrace change.”
Dawgelene Sangster


Makeba said she is grateful for all the trials and tribulations in her life because it took her to a new level. When facing curve balls:

“Don’t give up. I had no money and now I’m fine. 
I had lived a different life. I realized I can’t go backward. 
You have to keep going, and I kept going.”
~ Makeba Kedem-Dubose

Dori echoed that sentiment, and said that her life path will not be the same for someone aspiring to follow in her footsteps.

“It isn’t about how I got started, it is about the circumstances you’re in.
It’s about survival, it’s about persistence,
it’s about hanging in there, it’s about being able to change. …
Being able to take the ‘nos’ without taking it personally.”
~ Dori Wilson


Perspective and a willingness to change were touted as key ingredients to success.

“We can re-do anything we want to do.
When stuff hits me in the face today,
it is not near as important tomorrow.”
~ Dori Wilson

“Just wake up every morning and reaffirm to yourself ‘I can do this’.”
~ Makeba Kedem-Dubose

“Sometimes when things happen to me and I am frustrated
I look at it from a different perspective.
I change my focus and I see what I didn’t see before.”
~ LeeAnn Trotter

“Remind yourself every day
‘I’ve been here before and I got through it, I can do it again’.”
~ Dori Wilson

When asked about how to press on when a significant other isn’t supportive, the women all affirmed that one has to be true to oneself first, regardless of the response from others.

“We have to have our own determination
regardless of anyone else.”
~ Dawgelene Sangster

Dori stated that sometimes that person is supporting you in the best way they can, and you have to accept them for who they are.  Makeba added that communicating your needs to that person is important too. They may not know how to support you, so expectation management is in order.

“Your personal happiness is not contingent on anyone else.”
~ Dori Wilson


LeeAnn stressed that groups like WIN can provide a community from which to draw the support a partner might not be able or willing to provide.

“Sometimes you have to look
at places outside the relationship for support.”
~ LeeAnn Trotter

The evening included savory appetizers by Cedars Mediterranean Kitchen, some bubbly to toast each other with, delicious sweet potato pralines by La Parisianne du Chocolat, plus cakes and pies by Classic Cobbler.

Delicious treats at WIN

Posters about inspiring African American women created by Kindergarten students were on display.


More pictures of the evening can be perused on Facebook.

In conjunction with the PBS Series MAKERS: Women Who Make America a Nebraska news outlet published this Owning It feature, highlighting another black woman entrepreneur.

“Know who you are, 
own who you are 
and don’t let anyone change that.” 
~ Dawgelene Sangster

For additional reading, the panelists recommended the following books:

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.


Mingling with FUSED and perusing From Motion To Stillness

The FUSEDChicago members recently gathered for a meeting. First we conducted some organizational business, but then we got to the fun part of socializing, noshing on goodies, and watching demos.


Jenny Learner set a panel on fire by torching shellac on a panel-in-progress. It had a few layers of wax on it already, and this seals the design below in, while then allowing to add more encaustic to the layer above.


Then Kathleen Waterloo gave us a peek into her technique.


Martin Jon filmed us for an upcoming FUSEDChicago video.


Visiting the studios of other artists always makes me joyful.


It was a lovely morning, made more enjoyable by the gorgeous exhibit on the first floor of Zhou B Art Center, titled From Motion to Stillness.


Rory Coyne’s A Better Companion (whom I first saw at Marked by Myth) is on display. (He’s having a big sale on Wednesday, by the way. Check it out on Facebook.)


As is this gorgeous piece, The Commitment by Tim Okamura, that juxtaposes butterflies with urban life.

Tim Okamura Commitment

My favorite creatures:


Casey ChildsUnveil reminded me of the historic masters.

Casey Childs Unveil

Becoming by Steven DaLuz drew me in as well.

Steven DaLuz Becoming

The variety of finishes is intriguing, some painting very smoothly while others use brush strokes as texture.  From Motion to Stillness is up through March 10 at 1029 W 35th St. in Chicago. Curator Sergio Gomez posts great interviews with artists on his blog.

FusedChicago Show

Meanwhile, FUSEDChicago is gearing up for an opening on Friday, March 1. FUSEDChicago: A Group Encaustic Exhibition will be on view at the College of Lake County March 1 – April 7, 2013.

The show includes works by: Dan Addington, Alicia Forestall-Boehm, Shelley Gilchrist, Nikkole Huss, Katsy Johnson, Catherine Keebler, Elyse Martin, Jane Michalski, Sarah E. Rehmer, Paul Rinaldi, Emily Rutledge, Michele Thrane, Kathleen Waterloo, and Donna Zarbin-Byrne.

The opening reception is Friday, March 1, 7:00-9:00 p.m. with live music by harpist Daphne Freund. The exhibit is located at 19351 W. Washington St. in Grayslake, IL 60030. The Gallery is open to the public from Mon-Thu: 9am – 9pm; Fri-Sat: 9am – 4:30pm; Sun: 1am – 5pm (check for Spring break hours).

Valentine’s Day with Wine Goddesses and heavenly cheeses

“Hey, maybe this is the start of a trend.
Maybe this is a whole new trend for old Charlie Brown.
Maybe this is the start of something big!
Maybe next year I’ll get a whole bunch of valentines!”
~ Charlie Brown 

Did you have a loving Valentine’s Day? I watched Charlie Brown’s Valentine for the first time, after learning about the film at the Museum of Science and Industry’s Great Charlie Brown Exhibit.

Normally I don’t have a date on this holiday, but the newly opened Wine Goddess offered the perfect remedy for that. The Wine Goddess opened in January, and offers wine and beer for purchase, week-end drop-in tastings (Fridays and Saturdays), private events and formal wine classes such as my Valentine’s Day date.

The WIne Goddess Evanston Storefront

Last Thursday, owner Diana Hamann and manager Kate Soto hosted an evening with two of my loves, a Wine and Cheese pairing class.


Diana said that in the United States we “drink wine like cocktails,” having it at the end of the day before cooking, rather than as a supplement to our meal. In Europe, on the other hand, cocktails are drunk during happy hour, and wine is carefully paired with the food of its corresponding region.

Wines at the Wine Tasting

After a bad day, said Diana, a good food and wine pairing should lighten the mood: “For a moment in time, everything should be A-OK on your palate.”

“When they [Europeans] sit down to their celebrated cuisine,
out comes their celebrated wine.
It should give you pause.
It is good Feng Shui on our palates.”
~ Diana Hamann

We were instructed on how to open a Stelvin closure (screw cap bottle) in a classy way, as well as when to eat the rind of a cheese and when not to. Diana also showed us how to hold a wine glass by the stem, or “the sassy way” as pictured below:

Holding a wine glass the Sassy Way, Diana Hamann

After these preliminaries, we were treated to delicious pairings, and then even more heavenly pairings as we tried some wines with two different cheeses.

cheeses at the Wine and Cheese Pairing

“The stickier the cheese, the sweeter the wine, the more the nirvana.”
~ Diana Hamann

The pairings were as follows (Diana and Kate will tell you which year):

  • Raventos Cava Rose (Spain) with
    Pont l’Eveque (Normandy, France)
  • Mahi Sauvignon Blanc (New Zealand) with
    Bucheron (Poitou-Charentes, France)
  • Luca Chardonnai (Argentina) with
    Caveman Blue (Oregon, U.S.)
  • Domaine Pichot Vouvray (Loire Valley, France) with
    Robiola Rosina (Piedmont, Italy)

“Cheese is a white wine game,
especially triple cream and soft cheese.”
~ Diana Hamann

Although cheeses should generally be paired with white wines, Diana made exception to the harder cheeses, such as parmesan, cheddar and aged Gouda. So we tried the following on the red wine spectrum:

  • La Meridiana Barbera d’Asti (Piedmont, Italy) with
    Parmegiano/Reggiano (Emiglia-Romagna, Italy)
  • Jim Barry “the Lodgehill” Shiraz (Australia) with
    3-year old Gouda (Netherlands)

I was impressed that Diana pronounced Gouda properly, and enjoyed the thoroughness of her research. We were each given handouts upon arrival, including a page on how to make cheese. Diana certainly lives and breathes wine and infuses her instruction with much humor.


After the tasting, we were invited to ask questions and learned that we should put dried fruits and nuts with a cheese plate, as “fresh fruit and wine don’t mix.”

Any foods with soy sauce should be paired with sake, beer or white wine, but not with reds. Chocolate goes well with any wine that has a chocolate note, such as port, or New World red wines.


It was a lovely evening that had me going home with the Vouvray, and the Barbera and the Shiraz are on my shortlist for future purchases.

The Wine Goddess is located at 702 Main Street in Evanston, Illinois 60202 and their web site is http://winegoddess.com/. I look forward to attending more classes, and perusing their 12 under $12 selections.


New creations

This Saturday, the School for Little Children is hosting a fundraiser. I was invited to submit a silent auction item, so I decided to make a little angel.

Angel pendant by Maike's Marvels

It was fun to dress her up.

nekkid angel Maraviglia

She is a pin, to serve as a guardian angel on a lapel or maybe a backpack.

Angel Pin Maraviglia

I made other pieces during that studio sitting as well, with my wire getting funky at times.

New Maraviglia by Maike's Marvels

A Theobromide scrap became an additional Princess Scientist pendant for the auction.

Princess Chocolatier the second

Meanwhile some dragonflies wanted to be desktop minis, which will go up on Etsy soon.

Einstein Desktop Mini by Maike's Marvels

 Dragonfly Desktop Minis by Maike’s Marvels

Brussat  Desktop Mini by Maike's Marvels

Song of Solomon 2 was on my mind the day after Valentine’s Day, which resulted in these two love-related pieces.

Song of Solomon wax and wire pendants by Maike's Marvels

My new Maraviglia pendants aren’t going up on Etsy just yet due to another project in the works, but if something catches your eye message me and I’ll hold it for you.

translucent Angel Pin

Wishing you a creative rest of the week!

Black History Month Panel tomorrow

I finished the book, and am processing thoughts and notes from a fabulous weekend.

Tomorrow, I’m heading out to the Women’s Innovation Network’s Black History Month Innovation Panel: Super Successful Black Women Entrepreneurs Share How They Did It – the Story Behind the Glory!


Last year was a lovely inspirational gathering, that to me kicked off a great year of WINning connections, support and motivation.

Join panelists

  • Jetta Bates, award-winning marketing expert and creator of JettaSetting
  • Makeba Kedem-Dubose, artist, curator and art educator
  • Dori Wilson, PR entrepreneur, president of Dori Wilson Public Relations, former high fashion model
  • Dawgelene Sangster, author and founder of Think Royally Inc.

For an evening of insights and fellowship at International House at the University of Chicago, Home Room at 1414 E. 59th Street Chicago, IL on Tuesday, February 19 from 6 to 8 p.m.

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.

I love encaustics

The big day of love is tomorrow, so I will share my love of encaustics with you today. Last Monday I perused the Rhythm in Wax exhibit and was blown away by the beauty of it.

Rhythm in Wax

The show includes my fellow FUSEDChicago members, and it is on the first floor of The Dellora A. Norris Cultural Arts Center  at 1040 Dunham Road in St. Charles, IL 60174. Viewing hours are from 11 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, until February 23.

Rhythm in Wax

I’ve perused FUSEDChicago shows over the past two years, and seeing the growth of each individual artist is such a joy. It is also nice to know the members in person, and to recognize their signature style as I familiarize myself with their work.

Rhythm in Wax

Since this show was done in conjunction with a concert by the Fox Valley Orchestra, rhythm and music were key criteria for acceptance. The theme was interpreted in powerful ways.

Rhythm in Wax

Doesn’t this encaustic painting look like real water?

Horseshoe Lake

 Horseshoe Lake by Julie Lutjen Lawrence

Jenny Learner always embeds interesting objects in her work, like beads.

Jenny Details


Art work by Jenny Learner

There was a lot of texture in many paintings created by mark-making:

American Music

American Music by Sarah Rehmer 

Rehmer Detail

The use of tape:

Ris Details


Wound by Julia Ris


Works by Emily Rutledge and Julia Ris

And dripping wax:

Lagger Detail

Pat Lagger

Encaustic paintings by Pat Lagger

Collage materials add texture as well:

Brad Hook encaustic collages

Encaustic collages by Brad Hook

I love the translucence of layers and tissue paper:

Tichy Detail Karen Tichy

Tonal Texture and Beats in a Measure by Karen Tichy

April Nomellini

Work by April Nomellini

FUSEDChicago founder Shelley Gilchrist creates custom boards to execute her vision.

Shelley Gilchrist

Encaustic paintings by Shelley Gilchrist 

The possibilities are endless with encaustic. It’s a thrill to have my Piano Scrolls in such fantastic company.

Rhythm in Wax

The show closes February 23, so head on over to St. Charles to see all the creativity up close.


Encaustic paintings by Kathleen Waterloo

The next FUSEDChicago show is already up at the Fine Arts Building.


Wishing you a romantic end of the week. Mine will be filled with R.O.C.E., and I have a date with some Wine Goddesses tomorrow. Don’t stop believing in love.


Girls’ Night Out at The Sugar Path

Last week I attended The Sugar Path’s first Girls’ Night Out pop-up event, which was a lovely gathering of women. Owner Michelle Adams kindly invited me to bring my Maraviglia wax and wire pendants.


The Sugar Path was founded in 2011, when three sisters decided to pursue a love of baking. Michelle researched the food industry for 6 years prior to leaving her career as an attorney to embark on this venture with her family.

The Sugar Path storefront

Initially the cupcakes and pies traveled to various farmers markets in the Geneva area, but when a storefront became available last summer, The Sugar Path expanded into a storefront operation. Their official ribbon cutting was on February 5.

Now the bakery has become a lovely gathering spot for after-school tutoring, post-work cupcake happy hours, and fun events like Girls Night Out. In addition to regular and alcohol-infused cupcakes, mini-pies and slices of pie, the cafe-style location offers teas, coffees, cocoa and milk.

Vitrine at The Sugar Path

Since I arrived early (The Sugar Path’s hours and menu are updated here), I had lunch at Graham’s 318, which served a fabulous egg salad sandwich and yummy hot cocoa.

I admired the snowy landscape as I walked around.


Then I stopped in at the Peaceful Parlour to stock up on tea and honey. Owner Shari had introduced her wares to us at the Geneva WIN Retreat.

Peaceful Parlour in Geneva IL

Soon it was time to set up at the store.

Maike's Maraviglia Pop-up

Girl’s Night Out! features female owned businesses, and will be held on a regular basis. The vendors in the February 4th line up included:

Frock ’n Roll Chicago (clothing)

FrockNRoll Chicago

NYR Organics (make-up and lotions)

NYR Organic

Pawprint Barkery (dog treats)

Pawprint Barkery

Bema and Pa’s (infused Olive Oils)

Bema and Pas

The Farmer’s Wife Aprons


Stella & Dot jewelry

Stella and Dot

We were offered samples of K’Tizo Tea, Fresh Ground Roastin Coffee, and mini cupcakes by The Sugar Path.

Tea and Coffee

Harpist Tina Barber of Simply Elegant Harp played lovely melodies.

Simply Elegant Harp

Sweet Embellishment’s postcards were a favorite as well.

Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes

Sweet Embellishments at The Sugar Path

A few friends stopped by for the fun.


I was happy to send my wire pendants off with new owners, including two of the girly hearts inspired by the shop owner’s daughter.

Maraviglia sold at Girls Night Out

A great time was had by all.

Girls Night Out at The Sugar Path

My collages are still up at The Sugar Path’s Market Place corner, so stop in and peruse the vendor shelves and don’t forget to pick up a cupcake or some pie!

The Sugar Path market

My pendants wanted to jump into the Cowboy Pie (so I took one home).



New Princess Scientist pendants


I had more inspiration under the brightness of the chilly sun on Friday and created another Princess Scientist inspired batch. Who can resist such a sunny table?

Sunning wire

Princess Chocolatier emerged from reviewing the molecular structure of Theobromine.

Theobromine for the Princess Chocolatier pendant

I attempted to emulate the loopy notches of a microchip for the Princess Programmer pendant, and was surprised to learn that a very fashionable-looking countess, Ada Loveless, is actually credited with founding scientific computing. So I incorporated her into the back of the pendant.

Princess Programmer pendant by Maike's Marvels

It is always fun to look up fitting quotes and words with each pendant shape, in this case a quote by Martha Graham about Life Force Energy, the Ladybug and horticulture.

pendant words

My exacto knives get their own wax treatment in the process.

waxed exactos

The round Life Force pendant is off to a new home already, but the others will be on Etsy by the end of the week.

Princess Scientist pendants by Maike's Marvels
Who’s your Valentine next week?
Be Mine Necklace