Oranje Lente

It’s Springy!


We’ve had some fabulous weather over the past few days.

white and yellow


There was a gorgeous pink moon on Thursday.


I also enjoyed watching the plane constellations shift.


Someone wasn’t sure what all the moongazers were doing in its territory.


Trees are blossoming.


Birds are claiming their territory on a neighboring tree.


Squirrels munch on tree buds.


Flowers are emerging everywhere.


Tomorrow is a big day in my home country. Queen Beatrix is abdicating and Willem-Alexander will be the first king in 123 years.


I remember the abdication of Queen Juliana, and found a small essay I wrote in elementary school.


This was me as a queen in 1980. 🙂 It does seem strange to have a king whom I watched grow up in the papers.


Even though there is a debate about whether the monarchy is an antiquated institution (the Dutch Royal Family is mostly ceremonial and ambassadorial), tomorrow’s celebrations will be fun to observe.


Here’s to the land of tulips!


Artrageous Art Walk tomorrow

Tomorrow the the Chicago and Painters’ Meetup group will do an art walk at Artrageous, and you’re welcome to join.

Artrageous Opening

I look forward to seeing all the art work on display, including the encaustic art by FUSEDChicago members Jenny Learner, Katsy Johnson and Gina van der Reyden.

Katsy and Maike at Artrageous

Katsy Johnson and I 

You can download a tour map here. The punch card on the back will generate prizes. We had a lovely opening at Nest Furniture last week, with hors d’oevres in a setting that made me want to ‘nest’ there.


Several Artrageous artists are actually in Nest, so it was a sneak peek into the talent and beauty of the show.


The wine bar displayed the Mosaic that was created during last year’s extravaganza.


My dragonflies and Piano Scrolls are at Vapiano’s, which is definitely on my menu for Saturday.


Doesn’t this lounge look inviting?


You can vote for your favorite piece of art at this link until May 5. I sure hope you pick number 14!


If you can’t come out this weekend, be sure to add the Clark street corridor to your outings later. There were plenty of Cinco de Mayo festivities along the route last year.


Artrageous runs along Clark Street in Chicago between Diversey and West Belden until 5 pm on May 5. Voting closes at noon that Sunday.


Nature walk in Waterfall Glen

Before Chicagoland’s crazy flooding last week, I was able to go on a short walk at Waterfall Glen.


I had overestimated my commute time so just 15 minutes shy of Lemont I spotted a nature preserve and decided to take a look on a sunny, warm and dry day.


My attire wasn’t hike-friendly, but the wide gravel path was perfect for my getup.


The heeled Exotic boots by Naot are surprisingly comfortable and light-weight.


I listened to a lovely concert along the way:

Meanwhile these gnarly trees hold so much scope for the imagination.


Doesn’t this one look like a wizard with a staff?


This tree looks like a perfect climbing opportunity (not that I would, even if dressed for it).

climbing tree

I spotted a dragonfly but it was flying too fast for me to capture it on camera. Speaking of Dragonflies, you can vote for my piece in Artrageous up to May 5. Choose #14 as the votes will be tallied by art work and not by artist, so having everyone choose one out of my 3 entries will ensure more success.

I’m excited to see what this Forest Preserve looks like in green.


On my way out, I noticed the preserve managers have a great sense of humor.


What’s your favorite nature preserve?

Aurora Rose Ribbon Cutting Party

Last Tuesday Aurora Rose had its second anniversary, which was also marked by a ribbon cutting of their new location in Lemont, IL.

Aurora Rose ribbon cutting

Vendors, customers and family members celebrated the event, and it was lovely to meet some of the creative people my Maraviglia share the space with.

Aurora Rose party

Dad’s Roadhouse provided delicious snacks for the occasion, and his jars are available for sale at Aurora Rose.

Dads Roadhouse snacks

I met the newest greeting card vendor and perused her lovely art work.

Greeting Cards at Aurora Rose

It was fun to update my shelf, which had gained a little companion who showcases my wares.

Maike's Maraviglia at Aurora Rose Boutique

I also added the Dancing Wings butterflies to see if they might go home to a young girls’ room.


The store is full of wonderful gift items, including soaps, lotions, candles, baby blankets, jewelry, fairy dolls, parasols, wall art, hair adornments, children’s clothes, stuffed animals, quirky decorative items, handbags, doll clothes and more.


Kim and Amber take pride in selecting unique handmade gifts and are very passionate about their store.

Aurora Rose owner Kim

What American Girl Doll wouldn’t want to jump into the hippie era?


Goth-minded mothers will love shopping here (the fabric sparkles!).

girl skulls

Skeleton Christmas Ornaments, anyone?

AR Skeletons

Guess which pieces went home with me?

Bracelets at Aurora Rose

I love the decorative badge holders and the paper flower bouquets, and…


Kindly Recommended went home with an Aurora Rose customer.

Kindly Recommended Sold

I love that Aurora Rose is a genuine family business, and what a nice family it is (with the webmaster son conferencing in from college for the occasion).


Close-ups of my wares now at Aurora Rose are here.  Aurora Rose offers classes and workshops, with a birdbath mosaic class coming up soon.


If you’re a car lover, check out Aurora Rose’s car show related events this summer.


Artrageous is back, and you can vote!

Last year the Lincoln Park Champer of Commerce held its first Artrageous event. My Swift Swallowtails were selected to participate, and it was lovely to be part of the activities surrounding the inaugural event. I was thrilled to see Artrageous listed among calls for art earlier this year, signaling its success. Of course I wanted to enter again, and I am thrilled to be part of the line-up again this year.

The grand opening of the event is tomorrow, with trolleys available to shuttle visitors between art locations. You can download a map here. Between 2 and 5 p.m. on April 20, some artists will be available at their art locations for a Meet and Greet.


The trolley will be available between 2 and 5 on Saturday and stops at: Diversey and Hampden, Clark and Diversey, Clark and Wrightwood, Clark and Arlington, Clark and Webster; trolley picks up on the east side of Clark and the south side of Diversey.

My pieces will be at Vapiano Restaurant, 2577 N. Clark Street. I admired the trees on the table last year and look forward to dining there this time around. Vapiano’s is open between 11 am and 10 pm every day, so pop in for lunch or dinner and peruse my pieces.


If you cannot make it to the Clark street corridor in person, you can still vote for your favorite pieces. My entries are Dragonfly – Damselfly Diptych (pair) (Encaustic photo collage on board), Maike van Wijk – CSLP 14; Piano Scrolls Diptych (pair) (Encaustic painting on cradled art board), Maike van Wijk – CSLP 15; and Ruby Meadowhawk (Encaustic photo collage on board), Maike van Wijk – CSLP 16.

However, since the votes are by art work and not by artist, if you want to focus the vote, pick #14, the Dragonfly-Damselfly Diptych. I believe you can vote daily.


12-spotted Skimmer encaustic collage by Maike's Marvels

Dragonfly – Damselfly Diptych encaustic collage by Maike’s Marvels

A few of my FUSEDChicago peers were accepted into the contest as well:

Katsy Johnson’s Little School on the Prairie, Retreat of the Farmer’s Daughter, and Woodland Worship is at Potbelly Sandwich Works, 565 W. Diversey. She does large scale photographs with encaustic wax and oil on cradled panel, which I admire since it is really hard to get the photos to adhere well without bubbles.

Gina Van der Reyden’s encaustic wax painting Heart of the Matter is at Ravens, located at 2326 N. Clark Street, which looks to be a perfect place for cocktail hour.

Jenny Leaners encaustic painting Emerald is at Langford Market, 621 West Diversey.

Photographer Doug Boehm, who was in the PerficalSense Salon show with me, has Room with a View at BankFinancial, 2424 N. Clark Street.

Ruby Meadowhawk encaustic collage by Maike's Marvels

Ruby Meadowhawk encaustic collage by Maike’s Marvels

Not only will your vote for people’s choice support the 39 selected artists, but you can win prizes too!  Present the Punch Card on the reverse side of the map at each business where you visit and view the art on display. Note that a lot of art is available for sale (including mine), and you can contact the artists directly to inquire about their pieces.

Visit 25 of 33 participating businesses for a chance to win a $1,000 Clark Street Prize Package. Visit 15 of 33 participating businesses and you will be entered to win a $500 Clark Street Prize Package. Visit 5 of 33 participating businesses and you will be entered to win a Clark Street Door Prize.


After viewing the art and having your card punched at the various businesses, complete the information on the form and detach from the map. Please deliver your completed Punch Card to the drop-off locations listed on the map no later than 5:00 p.m., Sunday, May 5, to be entered into the drawings.


Meetup organizer Jennifer Yang and I at last year’s Artrageous opening

The Chicago Painters and Artists Meetup Group will gather for an Artrageous Art walk at Hanig’s Footwear on Saturday April 27, at 11 am. You can RSVP here.

Siepie en Takkie

Recently, a young girl inspired me to incorporate dogs and cats into a pendant. To my surprise, my zoo collection of vintage stamps didn’t have a ‘domesticated’ cat and dog.


Instead, Jip en Janneke came to the rescue. This book was a staple in our household, with me being Janneke and my brother as Jip.


Jip and Janneke are young children (pre-schoolers) living next door to each other and who have all kinds of adventures. Takkie is Jip’s Dachshund, and Siepie is Janneke’s cat, who are often part (sometimes forcibly) of Jip and Janneke’s games.


They were created in 1952 by famed children’s writer Annie M.G. Schmidt and the iconic illustrations were created by Fiep Westendorp. We listened to the records (langspeelplaten) recounting Jip en Janneke’s adventures, and even today their stories are quite relatable.


So I fiddled with the rubber stamps issued by Hema to create a pendant that would be fun for a young lady.


It took a few tries to get the stamp to print well.


Then I wrapped the waxed paper into wire.



Unfortunately I am unable to locate information about the ‘angel policies’ of Hema-issued stamps, so for now this shall be the one and only pendant I’ll create with Jip en Janneke illustrations. I’d love to make more though, they are so cute!


For young cat lovers I highly recommend Annie M.G. Schmidt’s story Miss Minoes (or also Minnie), about a cat who turns into a lady after “eating something from the garbage tin”.

Minoes boek

The movie is also charming, and sometimes turns up on Netflix.

Minoes collection

What’s your favorite childhood book?

Will the ribbon be blue or pink?

 “Amber and I have a vision for Aurora Rose.
We see it as an important part of the community.
Someplace where you can get that perfect gift no matter the occasion,
or the most adorable purse for yourself,
a special keepsake, or learn something new.”

~Kim Peters 

On Tuesday Aurora Rose Boutique will celebrate its second anniversary with a ribbon cutting in its new location at 111 Stephen Street in Lemont, IL 60439.

Formerly located in Willow Spring, Aurora Rose moved to Lemont, IL a few months ago. The store expanded in size and seeks to take advantage of the car shows that ride through town during the summer months.

Aurora Rose houses more than 40 artisans and craftspeople, priding itself on selecting handmade items not found in nearby stores or boutiques. My Maraviglia pendants have a special shelf, and I’ll be bringing fresh inventory in for the occasion.

Aurora Rose Ribbon cutting

The boutique also offers workshops ranging from fairy visits for children, couponing classes, and handmade crafts including jewelry making, birdhouse making, ceramics painting, knitting, crocheting, etc.

The Ribbon cutting takes place at 5 pm on Tuesday, April 16, with festivities starting around 4 pm. You can follow Aurora Rose on Facebook  and on Twitter @LoveAuroraRose.

Aurora Rose is named after the Disney princess, so I’m curious to see if the fairies will squabble over the color of the ribbon as they did in the movie. I have an inkling as to the color the owners prefer.

Fashion and Sweetness at The Sugar Path

GNO sign

Monday was a gorgeous day in Geneva. Although the day started out with rain, the drive was dry and sunny, and the gusty winds near the lake became a gentle breeze further inland.


I took a lovely stroll around downtown Geneva upon my arrival and admired the various homes in the neighborhood.


Soon it was time to set up for the evening event at The Sugar Path, where mini cupcakes had to be present.

cupcake prep

I took up my spot at the counter.


Among savory appetizers and champagne punch the lady shoppers could also purchase regular size cupcakes.

The Sugar Path cupcakes

Meanwhile browsers could sample coffee provided by FreshGround.


One could taste peanut brittle and fudge and other caramel-y sweets by Mamie’s Toffee.


K’Tizo Tea offered samples next to a representative of Miche Bags.


I adored the Hazel Brown Designs table, with pillows and mini-pinboards and journal covers and all kinds of customize-able handcrafted fabric goodies.


The scent of Watershed Soaps was irresistible, and I found myself ‘taking a sniff’ during breaks.


I also met the blogger of Offbeat and Inspired and look forward to perusing their fashion and style posts.


Michelle passed out some amazing Kahlua and pretzel icing ‘shots’ which won rave reviews.


Throughout the night Simply Elegant Harp offered enchanting music, including a Disney medley for a toddler-aged princess.


It was a lovely evening of mingling with wonderful ladies.


Naturally I couldn’t go home without a cowboy pie, which I enjoyed with Peaceful Parlour’s tea the next day.


The Sugar Path will offer Girls’ Night Out every other month, so like their Facebook page to tune in to their next event. My butterfly collages still flutter about the store, so pop in for a peek and pick up a cupcake or two.

Encaustic Collage by Maike's Marvels

Here’s to the beginning of spring!



Ever have those days where the fog in your head doesn’t lift? You have some caffeine, then try a sugary-sweet, but you’re still feeling sluggish and unmotivated?

Sometimes I push through, but yesterday I didn’t. It was a grey rainy day, and in spite of birds chirping, my energy tank remained on low.

Therefore, the pop-up recap will have to wait, as pictures remain unsorted and content-writing has been relegated to ‘later’.

Heeding Leonie Dawson’s words in her post on burnout, Tuesday was for vegging, and life will resume when the body wants to cooperate again…

Pop-up anticipation

Tonight I get to nosh on delicious The Sugar Path Cupcakes again.

The Sugar Path cupcakes

Meanwhile the last few days were spent preparing cords to go with the pendants.


I’m also toying around with various display ideas for the summer fair.


It’s fun to think about branding.

display option

Tonight’s setup will be like last time, though. Oh, and the Etsy store will be ‘on vacation’ while I am out today. It will re-open tomorrow.

pop-up tray

Wishing you a lovely week. I hope to see you in Geneva this evening!