My brand new bag

My journey into art fairs started with greeting cards that were easy to pack. When I discovered wire jewelry my initial inventory fit nicely into vintage cookie tins I owned, and all my pendants fit nicely on one tray.


A few years later my inventory is up to more than 200 in stock (and 445 creations), and the tissues and boxes approach doesn’t work as well anymore.


I had started packing up at Creative Coworking’s Art & Wine night when someone picked up earrings that had a matching pendant, which of course was at the bottom of one of my boxes. After digging through I found it, but it wasn’t convenient.


So I started looking into a different way to transport and store my inventory. As I searched for ‘jewelry transport bags’ I found an online shop, Gems on Display, that has just the right supplies!


I found a bag that allows you to stack jewelry trays inside of it, and then online customer service directed me to one that had a shoulder strap. Then I checked out the trays and the liners, and took notes on the variety of options.


I measured out my pendants one by one to see what would fit in what compartment. At the Custer Fair I also scoped out how the jewelry trays were set up in the booths there.


On Monday I made the calculations for the depth of the trays, and opted for a few 2 inch trays and mostly 1 inch trays. 1.5 inches was an option but I was afraid I would get the measurements wrong so I went with even numbers.


The shipment arrived on Wednesday and all of it fits perfectly together.


Unfortunately two trays broke in transit, but replacement parts were shipped immediately, so I could try out my brand new bag for Swedish Days. Look at all these lovely compartments.


Big sigh of relief that online measurements met offline estimates.


How well it all fits!


It was fun lining everything up.


The earring liner is so helpful.

earring tray

Boxes that fit into two bags before are now contained into one.


I still set up my booth the way I usually do, but when I packed up I purposely didn’t stack the trays so people could still browse, which garnered a last-minute sale.


Not only is it easy to carry my new bag, but it is also an instant at-a-glance storage solution.


I’ll never have to dig for a particular jewelry piece again!


They’re all easily accessible and viewable.


It’s so exciting when an online purchase works out the right way!


A Swedish Days pop-up in Geneva

Summer has arrived which for me means one pop-up a month. This coming Saturday I will be in Geneva, Illinois with my wares. I love visiting this wonderful town that is abundant with inspiring and delicious small businesses.


You will find me at Peaceful Parlour, the eco-chic boutique where you can find all sorts of earth friendly wares.


I’ll restock my teas and make frequent use of the incense sticks available here. Shari also has a number of household items that are designed to save the planet.


Swedish Days is Geneva’s Midsommar Festival held from June 23 through June 28. The city hosts family-friendly fun including food, carnival rides, live music and entertainment, plus Sweden Vast, a tent that’s everything Swedish. You can find a schedule of events here.


On Saturday, June 27, events are planned from 8 am until 8 pm, including the Annual Granquist Music Competition , a used book sale, a basketball tournament, a Swedish Cottage Walk & Viking Ship Tour, a Sweden Väst, a Rosemaling Show, a Quad Power Jump, a Carnival by Windy City Amusements, Concerts on the Lawn, Geneva’s Got Talent Finals and a concert by The Moods.


I don’t have a conscious Swedish connection aside from devouring Astrid Lindgren’s books as a child (translated to Dutch). It looks like their music does permeate my life, with ABBA, Europe, Roxette and Ace of Base making it on my pre-iTunes playlists.


Check out Peaceful Parlour’s special and events on their Facebook page. They host angel card readings, herb-blending workshops, crystal bowl healing sessions, live music evenings and other events that align mind, body and spirit.


I look forward to seeing you on the sidewalk of 212 S 3rd Street in Geneva between 10 am and 8 pm. Rumor has it that the store received a make-over this week, so it will be exciting to see the new layout.

Friends in mid-June Openings

Mid-June seems to be the time for many gallery openings. I attended 4 between Thursday and Sunday.


I was Ahavani Mullen’s “plus one” for Art in Motion, which turned into a “presidential” FUSEDChicago gathering. (Ahavani is a vice president and I am co-President).


There was an auction for paintings done by patients of the rehabilitation institute, and a few offered demonstrations of their painting skills throughout the evening.


Since I had not been accepted to this show a few years back, I was curious to see what the aesthetic was, and can see that my art might not be the best fit. I was inspired by various pieces, even though I don’t generally veer toward the abstract.


Whether it’s the mark-making, gestures, colors, I don’t know. I couldn’t tell you what separates true artistry and talent from low quality abstract work.


FUSEDChicago co-President Michele Thrane had three encaustic monotypes in the show. (A monotype is described at this link.) Her work is featured in Embracing Encaustic: Mixing Media by Linda Robertson.


Ahavani also had three encaustic pieces in the show. She successfully funded her upcoming Here and Now exhibit.


Her diptych won third place.


Someone channelled the Jurassic World movie premiere.


We had a lovely dinner at Indian Garden and chatted about a multitude of things.

10_AiM IndianGarden

Friday night I headed to Motor Row Gallery to see UnchARTed. This gallery was converted from an old dealership. Apparently this area is where one went to buy cars in historic Chicago.


FUSEDChicago member Amy Van Winkle is part of this show.


I love how she stitches into her encaustic work.


My mentor and wax and wire teacher Crystal Neubauer has a multitude of collage works in the show.


My favorite pieces (with butterflies of course) were already snapped up.


There is so much texture in her work that you cannot see from photographs. Crystal’s book The Art of Expressive Collage: Techniques for Creating with Paper and Glue is available for preorder.


I had a lovely conversation in Dutch with collage and acrylic artist Turkan Ilkdemirci, who spent several years in the Netherlands before moving to the U.S.

18_unchArtedTurkan Ilkdemirci

Pam Peterson’s cold wax color palette spoke to me. UnchARTed runs through June 27 and its artists also include: Bill Sosin, James Edward Scherbarth, Nancy Pirri, Eve Ozer, Dianne Martia,and Cynthia Lee.


Janet Lewandowski’s triptych reminded me of a discussion during Sarah Krepp’s art critique that is still simmering in my brain.

23_Janet Lewandowski

I meandered over to Morpho Gallery for their STRATA opening with Carol Hamilton and Jeff Sevener.   STRATA is an exploration of colors and light through several diverse media.


I was drawn into Jeff Sevener’s Tempest right away. His layering of papers and combining them with thread is exquisite.


Then I entered the world of Carol’s multi-layered Madscapes. She combines mylar, rice paper, string and encaustic to create beautiful collage vignettes that can keep you mesmerized for hours.


Her Earth Science wall of encaustic paintings is also a feast of texture and depth of her pieces.


The texture and layers are bold on these pieces.

23_Morph CarolHamiltonEncaustictextures

So many favorites to choose from! This show closed on June 20, but another encaustic show is coming up.


On Sunday I caught the last hour of the new Evanston Art Center’s inaugural exhibit “Hybrid’s Paradise” curated by Sergio Gomez.


I got stuck chatting with people, so didn’t really have a chance to peruse the new art center, but admired the installation by the entrance.

25_EAC Silversculpture

I love these metal mobiles and have a soldering class on my wish list.


The lights were turned off just after I snapped pictures of this inspirational installation.


I’ll have to return to the art center for the upstairs art. Hybrid’s Paradise remains up through August 9. Pick up a class catalog while you are there. An encaustic workshop is available on August 26.

NEW at Good Dog, Better Art

June’s Wine Women and Wellness will involve some canine therapy, of the visual kind. We will gather at Sidetracked Studio, a brand-new Evanston-based gallery co-owned by artists Lauren Levato Coyne and Rory Coyne in partnership with collector Michele Mahon Jahelka.
Good Dog, Better Art is a Group Exhibition to Benefit Trio Animal Foundation, featuring the work of 16 canine loving artists.


If we were to bring along our furry friends, they might be more inclined to look at portraits of their counterparts than their humans, according to a study by Helsingin yliopisto (University of Helsinki) and referenced in Science Daily.

Conversely, numerous studies attempt to validate the attribution of human behavior to dogs, and continuous to keep scientists engaged: “This search for common psychological processes in humans and dogs has been motivated by the fact that humans and domestic dogs have shared a common environment and similar selective pressures for tens of thousands of years.


Anthropomorphism-the attribution of human characteristics to animals, deities and objects has been around since ancient Greece: “humans are predisposed to perceive shapes, sounds, and other things and events in terms of human form or action, both in unconscious thought and in the conscious thought to which it gives rise.”

“Over the last 100,000 years, the social environments
of domestic dog pups and human children
have become more and more similar to each other,
and less like those of either species’ closer genetic kin.
It is as a consequence of this intense cohabitation
that dogs have come to emulate some behaviors
that are commonly viewed as uniquely human,
such as the recognition of another’s attentional state.”
~ A Review of Domestic Dogs’ (Canis Familiaris) Human-Like Behaviors

A study of domestic dogs identified several traits that are quite indicative of a small business owner as well. These include: ‘Playfulness’, ‘Curiosity/Fearlessness’, ‘Chase-proneness’, ‘Sociability’ and ‘Aggressiveness’. Like small business owners, all traits were found in all dogs, though to differing degrees and with differences between different groups of dog breeds.

On Thursday, June 25 we will gather from 6 to 8 pm at 707 Chicago Ave. in Evanston to discuss the merit of these traits as business owners and for our canine companions.

NEW Co-Founder Karen McCormack owns a Belgian Malinois, a German Shepherd breed. “I’ve always had rescue dogs, usually the breed is a guess,” Karen said. “I’ve also had a couple of golden retrievers when my kids were small because they are well known to be gentle and tolerant.”

Our hosts own a Husky and a Great Dane, both rescue dogs, who inspire and support our resident artists at the studio on a regular basis. NEW Co-Founder Maike spent her teenage years with Labradors, and is the aunt of 2 mixed breed rescues (a shepherd chow and a pitbull-bordercollie mix).


Good Dog, Better Art is a benefit exhibit for Trio Animal Foundation with up to 25% of all sales going directly to the Foundation. Matching funds will be provided by Apple, thereby doubling all donations.

Trio Animal Foundation is a woman-managed 501(c)(3) charitable organization that assists shelters, rescues and individuals by paying the medical bills of homeless pets. Trio specializes in taking in severely abused animals, and is responsible for numerous happy endings of animals that had essentially been fated to suffer agonizing deaths.  TAF also promotes adoption and responsible pet ownership, including spay and neuter.

Good Dog, Better Art is on display through July 4 and includes art work by: Brian Busch, Stephen Cefalo, Cesar “Nono” Conde, Rory Coyne, Teresa Elliott, Candice Groot, Jason John, Robin SoloKill King, Lauren Levato Coyne, Daniel Maidman, Keelan McMorrow, Jason McPhillips, Gail Potocki, Ellen Jo Dahlberg Roberts, John Walker, and Aaron Westerberg.


In addition to the works for sale, Sidetracked Studio will also accept donations on behalf of Trio Animal Foundation for the duration of Good Dog, Better Art. Sidetracked Studio is located on 707 Chicago Ave. Evanston and open Wednesdays through Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m. All other hours by chance or appointment.


NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.

Photos courtesy Sidetracked Studio.

Shimmying body issues away

Last May, I decided to get back into a fitness routine and walked into a studio that enriched my life. I had seen Hip Circle Studio’s demonstrations during various Custer Street Fairs since 2010, but didn’t take a class until the end of May. Located a few blocks away, there was no excuse of a long drive to get there, and with summer in full swing I had the energy to walk a few blocks to groove to world music.


I started with a CardioBelly class, which is a fast-moving session where Malik has us mimic quick combinations of bellydance moves. Even though I had taken Egyptian bellydance classes in 2007 and 2008, this class felt like rub your belly and pat your head for the first few tries, but the fun music and the can-do spirit of all the ladies kept me coming back.

I decided to brush up on my basics with BaseFusion, where Malik breaks down bellydance moves at a slower pace and helps us to coordinate muscles and practice more thoroughly. Both bellydance classes include an ‘improv’ session during which we dance like nobody’s watching. Malik’s intent is that we allow our body to remember its own natural rhythm rather than be indoctrinated with a certain way to move.


What I love about Hip Circle Studio is that it truly welcomes all women of all ages and all sizes and shapes. There is no pressure to dress in the latest fitness gear, no weigh-ins or tape measures apply, and we are praised for showing up. While personal sessions with Malik can certainly incorporate weight loss or muscle toning goals, group sessions are about celebrating our bodies as they are, and keeping them moving.

I received a complimentary personal training session when I joined,which I used to see if my muscles were up for Moxie Boxing. Malik’s one-on-one session gave me the courage to try it, and though the first few classes were challenging, I was never made to feel like I wasn’t keeping up.


When our muscles aren’t willing to do the full-on cardio moves, Malik shows us modifications, such as jumping jacks that don’t require jumping, or having us drop the dumbbell weights when one’s shoulders start tensing up during weight-lifting exercises. Even though I come on a regular basis and my muscles are familiar with the moves, there are still sessions where I opt for the lower-key workout.

The flash mob choreography for the June Custer Street Fair was in full swing when I joined, and even though I felt like I didn’t have the choreography down pat, I was encouraged to participate. So two weeks after joining I was dancing out in public.


I also became part of another choreography that was intended for last Fall’s Show & Tell’s performance art session. However, that October event was cancelled, so December became the next target date for that choreography. Suddenly I became a member of Zahara Fusion, Malik’s tribal fusion bellydance troupe.

Ranging from 3 to 7 performers based on the choreography and the event, Zahara Fusion was founded in 2006 to provide students a way to experience performance. The troupe commits to rehearsals at least once a week for the year and twice a week closer to the performance.


My duet with another dancer to an unconventional classic went off swimmingly during our appearance at the Martini Lounge in Elgin. We then re-enacted the flash mob with the troupe, which was quite a crowd-pleaser. I had a blast getting dressed up and being inspired by the other bellydancers present that evening.

Zahara Fusion performs at bellydance and performance art events throughout Chicagoland, but also is available for private parties (as long as they aren’t bachelor parties). The next Zahara Fusion performance is at Evanston’s Custer Street Fair, and several members will be traveling to various other bellydancing events this year.


A great benefit to Malik’s classes is the community among other women. We converse about life, body image, schedule challenges and other life issues in a safe and supportive environment. I leave sessions feeling empowered in more ways than just the endorphins running through my body and the fun music we listen to.

Malik is a community-builder and a woman-empowerer. She is also very engaged in the community. Her parties featuring local entrepreneurs and the other events I have been involved with through Hip Circle Studio have given me a greater awareness of the amazing women and small business owners in my neighborhood.


My muscles are becoming more toned throughout my body, and prompted by the Women Out Walking initiative I am more aware of my calorie intake too. I haven’t dropped dress sizes since I started last year, but I don’t feel the need to either. I can celebrate me for who I am, and I admire the other ladies in the studio for who they are. We each radiate our own unique brilliance with our own talents and carry our beauty in different proportions.


So come watch us flash mob at 5:45 Saturday and Sunday (Arena Stage), and swing by Hip Circle Studio at 709 Washington during the day to see if there is a class or workshop for you!

Drawing Birds

“Drawing is a lot about trusting your instincts.”
~ Lauren Levato Coyne of Sidetracked Studio

Drawing creatures is fun. Ever since daring to stretch my comfort zone with a drawing class, I keep getting lured in to the occasional workshop. Next month Lauren Levato Coyne will host a butterfly drawing workshop.


The bird drawing workshop Lauren hosted in April was a surprise for me. I won the workshop during an instagram campaign, and was a bit daunted by drawing our feathered friends.


Instructed to pick out a bird ahead of time, I discovered the Dickcissel on a birds of Illinois web site.


The Dickcissel has lovely markings, and I liked the pose. Lauren instructed us to ignore the bird and focus on shapes first, and from those would come the bird.


She stated that if we noticed something wrong, it is likely the beak or the eye in relation to the top of the head. We were given an overview of different pencil brands and their relation to wax and oil. Lauren also gifted us with two special pencils that she uses in most of her drawings.


Although the general rule is to start with the lighter color first and then color darker, I was instructed to do the greys first.


With a few adjustments from Lauren, the time passed quickly, but a whole bird was completed.


Of course I am more awed by my classmate’s work than my own.


Everyone is so gifted!


Lauren’s upcoming butterfly drawing workshop will be held in July at Sidetracked Studio in Evanston. The fee is $60. Contact sidetracked studio for more information.


You will receive a wooden panel and 2 important pencils, along with valuable instructions on how to draw a butterfly.


There will likely be a few real specimens, and photos will be used as well. I am looking forward to this one!

“The mood of the thing is more important than the thing itself”
~ Lauren Levato Coyne of Sidetracked Studio

Strolling Evanston’s Studios

Saturday was a glorious day to wander about town for Open Studios Evanston.


I attended the opening evening of Made in Evanston at Noyes Cultural Art Center on Thursday and marked my map with the works I wanted to learn more about.


photo by an Open Studios Evanston organizer

I walked over to Creative Coworking where I witnessed a lovely Make and Take by Twisted Fiber Studio.


I chatted about encaustics with one visitor.


Then I had lunch at Bennison’s Bakery.


The chocolate eclair made up for missing National Donut Day on Friday.


Botti Studio had lovely art by multiple artists for their Studio/Shift exhibit.


I love stained glass and hope to have a lamp like that one day.


I played with Carol Neiger’s Sphinx Lithograph-the shavings are magnetic and move.


Lorena LaGrassa and I admired each other’s jewelry and I love her mixed media work too.


Watercolorist Katherine Orr offered an ink demonstration at La Petite Gallerie Lapin.


She had wonderful insights about the flow of art making.


Lapin is a fun place to take your laptop for upgrades!


Part of the fun is exploring the various homes and garage spaces the art making happens in.


I was struck by Joyce Elias’ blue wood collage at Noyes, and loved the variations in her studio.


She makes other fun mixed media art too.


I’m eager to pop in to The Collage Cafe that is opening up at 709 Sherman Avenue soon.


I was too engaged chatting to take pictures of the space, but Jessica Lynn and Lindy Stockton have pieces at the Noyes Made in Evanston Exhibit.


Open Studio Project had inspiring pieces up, made from egg cartons!


I had met Robin Carlson at an artist networking event and enjoyed seeing where she creates her photo collages and multimedia art work.


She sold a piece while I was visiting.


Her mosaic process is inspiring.


Then I stopped at Sidetracked Studios where a raffle was underway to raise funds for the Trio Animal Foundation.


I hope my collar pendant enjoys the canine point of view of its new owner.


Sirius by my friend Jason McPhillips was ‘adopted’.


Hip Circle Studio showcased the veil choreography the students had learned in a single day.


I ended the tour at Perspective Gallery where FUSEDChicago member Katsy Johnson is featured with her new series of encaustic photos.


Earlier in the week I had checked out Bridgette Guerzon Mills’ encaustic art at Gather.


She is showing with Deva Suckerman who transforms salvaged wood into lovely portraits.


Check out the Made in Evanston exhibit at Noyes Cultural Art Center through the end of the month and explore who your favorite artists are.


Creativity and artistry abounds in this north shore community!

Open Studios Evanston this Saturday

June promises to be a busy and artful month. The artist community in Evanston has banded together to host Open Studios Evanston. In its second year, June 6 allows Evanston residents and visitors to poke around the studios of local artists, including those who do not generally open their studio to the public. This Saturday I will pop in at Creative Coworking. Several of the artists adorning the building’s walls will be present between 12 and 5 pm.


From Central street to Oakton, painters, sculptors, filmmakers, jewelers, clothing designers, photographers, puppeteers, acrobats, singers, dancers, and other creatives are hosting open houses to let the curious wanderer explore Evanston’s art scene.


I will mingle with the resident artists at 922 Davis Street arond noon before moving along the trail myself. Numerous arts organizations, galleries and boutiques are joining the celebration with special events. Maps and a list of participants are provided the day of the event at locations throughout the city.


My friends at Sidetracked Studio are hosting a fundraiser raffle for the Trio Animal Foundation, and Hip Circle Studio will teach you how to choreograph a dance. Encaustic arts will also be represented at Gather and at Perspective Gallery. Dragonfly Boutique (hostess to my earrings and pendants) is having a 20% off moving sale through Sunday.


So grab a map and meander around town on Saturday! Regardless of the neighborhood you’re in, you’re bound to find inspiration.

Maps designed by IDG Evanston and courtesy of Open Studios Evanston.

Meet, Munch & Flow: NEW at the Heartwood Center

It’s been documented that seasonal allergies are worse than usual this spring, so come clear your head at this month’s Meet & Munch with NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women. On Wednesday, June 10 from 2 to 4 pm we will meet at Evanston’s Heartwood Center, where massage therapist Rebecca Sturgeon (LMT, CMLDT) will provide a Manual Lymphatic Drainage demonstration, which can clear sinus congestion.


Rebecca is a  graduate of the Cortiva Institute – Chicago School of Massage Therapy and holds a certification in Manual Lymphatic Drainage. Manual Lymphatic Drainage (MLD) is a gentle massage technique which works with the lymphatic system to move waste out of the body. In an MLD session, the skin is moved in a specific direction and a specific order which has been proven to encourage lymphatic flow. MLD is often used after cancer treatment to prevent or as part of treatment for lymphedema, but it has many benefits for everyone. For example, MLD can help clear chronic sinus congestion, reduce post-workout or post-surgical swelling, reduce injury-related swelling and bruising, and possibly boost immune system function.


Rebecca will empower us to clear our own heads with a demonstration. I was part of a demonstration of this simple technique a few months ago, and it is amazing how the body knows how to take care of itself if we help it along with nutrition and self-care. Once our heads are clear we can mix and mingle while nibbling on goodies. My Health Beet’s Chocolate Energy Truffles might be on the menu.

Rebecca specializes in Oncology and Geriatric massage. Having worked in clinical settings, she adapts massage for clients undergoing cancer treatment and other medical challenges. In addition, as a longtime runner, Rebecca enjoys providing therapeutic massage to help people maintain their optimum wellness and fitness. She educates the Evanston community about their bodies on Wednesdays from 5 to 6 p.m. at Hip Circle Studio with her Anatomy Cafe series.


Other practitioners will present their services at the Heartwood Center as well, including:

Kathy Kessenich, LMT focuses on Swedish and Deep Tissue massage. She sees herself as a health facilitator working in partnership with people in need of massage service. Her philosophy is that massage therapy is a tool through which people can access an awareness and greater connection with their own bodies to help them live more comfortably and happily. This awareness can gradually move people toward a better understanding of the body’s ability to heal itself and put them in a frame of mind to actively affect their own health. Kathy was trained at the Wellness and Massage Training Institute and has more than 700 hours of coursework in massage therapy techniques, wellness, anatomy, physiology and kinesiology.  She provides a safe, comfortable, soothing environment in which people can be themselves, let go of their stresses and have the opportunity to make positive changes to improve their overall health and quality of life.

Ixchel Muhlberger, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist.  She completed her Master’s degree in Oriental Medicine (MSOM) and B.S. in Nutrition, attaining Cum Laude honors, from Midwest College of Oriental Medicine.  For 10 years she worked alongside physical therapists, which allowed her hands-on experience with a variety of orthopedic injuries.  Ixchel facilitates healing from a mind/body perspective; in addition to acupuncture and herbs, she incorporates bodywork (if deemed appropriate) into her treatments.  Ixchel provides a holistic approach to health care for her clients, and focuses on giving them the tools they need to heal their own bodies.

Heartwood Sign

Psychotherapist Marsha Smith, MSW, LCSW, integrates mindfulness and focusing with empathic and practical approaches to help with a varitey of psychological and social challenges including: relationship issues, anxiety, depression, parenting, work, loss and bereavement, and coping well with health issues. Working with adults, couples, adolescents and families, she collaboratively develops solutions to enable living life more fully. She also teaches focusing and mindfulness skills.

Margaret Olson, LMT, CMLDT, is a Massage Therapist, Manual Lymphatic Drainage Therapist, and self-care enthusiast. Her work is designed to ease pain, promote relaxation, and reenforce her client’s mind/body connection by combining eastern and western modalities of massage.

Melissa Sanchez, LPC, R-DMT, GL-CMA is a dance/movement therapist, meditation teacher and life-long dance artist. Since graduating from Columbia College Chicago, she has worked in community mental health centers throughout the city providing counsel, education in mindfulness meditation, body/mind connective therapy and support in recovery from substance dependence and the effects of chronic mental illness or dis-ease. She studied meditation and mindfulness practices in psychotherapy at the Barre Center for Buddhist Studies in Massachusetts. Her practice is stemmed in trauma-focused healing as well as providing holistic therapy alongside “diagnosis” related treatment. Melissa’s creative therapeutic approach is rooted in the belief that each individual possesses the power to heal when provided with a safe, trustworthy and unbiased environment.

Yvonne Mitchell is a consulting hypnotist, workshop facilitator and motivational speaker. She uses customized, innovative techniques to assure personal breakthroughs and transformations for her clients. Yvonne specializes in helping individuals and organizations identify key passions and unique life purpose. She facilitates life redesign and reinvention in health, career, relationships, finances, spirituality and restoration following personal loss. She allows nothing to stand in the way of her clients “achieving the life of their dreams now.


Founded in Evanston, Illinois, in 1999, Heartwood Center was conceived by owner Nancy Floy as a membership organization where practitioners could work together in a collaborative environment as they grew their practices. Sharing resources and supporting one another to increase business for all exemplifies Heartwood’s vision of an interdependent network of health and wellness specialists.

Heartwood Center started in downtown Evanston with a community of 12 healing professionals. With a transfer to the Dempster location, Heartwood has expanded to more than 40 practitioners. The Heartwood Center believes in an integrative approach to health that encompasses mind, body and spirit. Healing services include Acupuncture, Chiropracty, Hypnotherapy, Life & Health Coaching, Massage Therapy, Naturopathy, Personal Training, Physical Therapy, Psychotherapy, Spiritual Direction and Tai Chi. The Heartwood also hosts Tsogyaling Meditation Center, a small, community-based meditation center rooted in the teachings of the historical Buddha  Shakyamuni.

Heartwood is located in Evanston at the intersection of Dempster and Dodge, 1818 Dempster Street in Evanston, IL 60202. Free parking is available in the Heartwood-owned lot, two doors east of our building on Dempster. The Pace Bus #250 picks up from the Davis Metra/El Stop in downtown Evanston every 15 minutes and stops just down the block from our front door. A bicycle rack is located in front of our building for environmentally-friendly patrons.

NEW – The Network of Entrepreneurial Women is a group of Chicagoland business women who are upgrading business networking with fun and creative events that inspire attendees to work together, refer each other and most of all cheer each other on as the membership succeeds. Events rotate around various suburbs on a semimonthly basis, usually the 2nd Wednesday and 4th Thursday of the month. RSVP for our upcoming events at Meetup, or like us on Facebook and check up on the calendar there.