Seussian Studiotime

I’ve done a lot of uploading and tweaking wordpress for the shop, and while I have plenty of pieces in stock, I was itching to get back into the studio again.

This brush needed to be taken out of its misery too!

My rainbow collection garnered a custom Valentine order, which I cheerfully fulfilled.

These are off to new homes.

I also recreated the infinity pendant that came out of a Now That’s a Jig! playdate.

My original version was snapped up right away, so here is this brighter pendant.

A bangle I created last year turned out to be too small, and then my customer asked to have it embellished with birthstone beads to represent her family.

So I set out to Dave’s Rock Shop and Ayla’s Originals to get the right gemstones.

The bigger size bangle called for a new mandrel.

Then I layed out the stones.

Stringing took a full afternoon, as most of these tiered bangles do.

I love the look of them though.

I donated a few keychains to worthy causes.

Some will pop up in various fundraisers throughout the year.

I also made a Seuss-inspired pendant for Chiaravalle Montessori School’s “Oh The Places You’ll Go”-themed Spring Benefit.

Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite authors and I own his full collection, including the Dutch books I grew up with. So I wiggled together a whimsical wire form to reflect the Seussian landscape.

I took a cue from “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and drew some lines in the pastel colors of the book onto tissue paper. Of course there had to be a nod to the message of the book on the back.

Now my spirit is restored and I can get back to the mundaner tasks of business management and planning. I multitask during product uploads, and ponder the places my business will go.

WebShopping

I am busy loading products to the shop and working on tweaking some of the emails that follow the order.

Plugins and embedded php shortcodes are a whole different interface than the HTML I learned in 2000.

Still, the store should be functional enough for you to get your Valentine on (in spite of one pesky sidebar I need to remove).

I needed some rainbow therapy during the longest two weeks that impacted so many people.

So I made some hearts to cope with the events that I could not control.

Somehow making these pieces gives me peace.

The Love Wins heart got sold right after posting, but the full rainbow collection is up.

I am also continuing to add to the angels that are in the catalog right now.

A Spring theme with flowers of all kinds is also in the works.

The most time consuming part is getting all the pendant neckshots, especially since those shoots are daylight-dependent and it’s been a bit dreary lately, alternated by too much sunshine.

Then there’s the cropping and resizing, but being on Etsy gave me lots of practice to where I can listen to podcasts during this process.

I look forward to making some progress this week so you have the full range of my inventory.

Wishing you much love and joy as we navigate interesting times.

Holiday Support

Between fairs in November and December I also sent off a few commissions. Through the Wilder Mansion Girls’ Nite Out I met a person who wanted an heirloom earring converted to a pendant, the way she had seen in my display. Throughout the process I had to gauge my strength no not break this lovely resin rose, and in the end my jitters were rewarded with a lovely pendant.

My aim was to not use glue in the process so the earring can be re-purposed in the future as needed. Another customer ordered a bangle at the Holiday Show which was super-fun to create. I really like this bead combination a lot.

My Rainbow Angels went from Facebook posts to orders, and I sent several off to new homes. My Facebook angel album also garnered two other shipments.

A few more special angels went to friends’ homes. I am so grateful for all the support I received during the holiday season. It is validating to see your creations be a cause for delight on other people’s faces and to actually sell them to appreciative customers. This season showed growth compared to last year, and while it is small growth, it gives me hope to keep working at carving out an artist career.

I had consigned at The Collage Cafe, which was rewarded by some sales as well. I am excited to have joined the Grown*UP Girls Club this year for gatherings of creativity, inspiration and community.

A pair of ornaments also stood out at ChromaK8.

My holiday run at Sacred Art in Lincoln Square also proved beneficial. This store is such a delight of locally created gift items and home decor.

I am uploading my remaining non-seasonal angels in the shop this week, and look forward to sending more of them out into the world. We sure need some angels right now…

Christmas Bells and Angels

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,

and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love the rendition by Jars of Clay.

Wishing you a peaceful, comforting and joyous holiday.

Culture-immersion pop-ups

Last month I popped up in places that had nods to cultures other than mine.

Early in November I popped up at Esquina, a new place founded by Nomadic Ant.

Meaning corner in Spanish, the place is a conglomeration of artist exhibits, a gathering space for live music and poetry, and venue for monthly local artist bazaars.

It was a weekend of shock for many in the nation, so there wasn’t much traffic, but it was still a fun gathering.

A woodburning artist read tarot cards.

An illustrator showcased her work.

We met the artist of these creations.

This rainbow sprinkle donut was consumed.

It was fun to peruse the record covers. Esquina offers Bring your own Vinyl nights, where you can play your records on a turntable.

In early December I visited the Irish-American Heritage Center, which transformed from a large gymnasium type space to a bustling vendor fair.

In spite of our first snowfall of the season, many people strolled through prior and after Sunday mass, including the bagpipers I had heard earlier.

I had researched Irish Carols and learned about Christmas in Killarney.

Candle Angel fluttered away.

It was a fun afternoon with a variety of arts and crafts on display.

My art fair season is over, and the display bags put away for a few months.

I get to enjoy the snow instead of watching it fall from the window, or luxuriate in hibernating for a bit.

Winter offers magical scenery.

Countdown to Christmas

Fair season is over for me, but shopping is still allowed in these 10 days before Christmas.

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I just posted the angels and frosties I have in stock on my Facebook page. You can see individual photos of the angels here.

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Reds and Greens:

angels1212

My remaining frosties have individual photos here.

frosties1212

I also still have a selection of ornaments in 4 Chicagoland retail locations that are each worth a visit.

maikesmarvelscages

Go visit The Collage Cafe for inspirational joy-bringing and creativity-fueling gifts. You can get something tangible or give the gift of a workshop.

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Sacred Art has a lovely array locally made artisan gifts. This shop holds presents for all ages, genders and price-points. It’s also a one-stop art boutique for Chicago aficionados.

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See Jane Sparkle has extended holiday hours you can confirm on Facebook, and offers all kinds of sparkly jewelry, vintage fashion, and unique ornaments.

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ChromaK8 Beautique also has a variety of gift items for you to peruse while your hair treatment processes or after you get your nails done at Noktivo.

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Contact me if you saw anything at fairs or in my booth snapshots that caught your eye. My online store will remain sparse until January, when I will have a chance to take stock and photograph the pieces to be uploaded.

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I ran out of Rainbow Angels, but will be making more with new outfits my friend created, and will post those on Facebook soon.

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Here’s to more ornaments hanging on other people’s trees this season.

Affair of the Arts

November’s Affair of the Arts was a lovely first show for me. Recommended by my friend, I made a mini-road trip to Spring Grove early in the morning of the 20th.

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I came upon a wonderful venue, The Shores of Turtle Creek, which is great for weddings and other celebrations.

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Soon we had transformed the space into a vendor pop-up.

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The selection of artists was lovely, but I left my camera at home so you’ll just have to visit the list to check them out. I tried on a booth neighbor’s coat and will have to save up for one in the Spring.

coats

The show also awards a free booth to artists who have the best display and the best attitude. I received second place, yippie!

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Several angels found new homes (pink was popular here).

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I also sold skulls, which is a new niche, I suppose.

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A ladybug made friends with my gecko pendant.

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I really enjoyed this show, and look forward to the next one.

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The Spring Indoor Art Fair takes place on Sunday, March 5, 2017, and I will be there.

 

Bucktown ArtShow this weekend

On Saturday and Sunday I am returning to Holstein Field House for the 18th Annual Bucktown Holiday ArtShow. It is my third year there, and I think I’ll be in the same spot as last year.

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This show has 100 artists selling handmade, unique, one of a kind gifts and art in all media. I’ve been to many fairs and know some booths on ‘the circuit’ but this show draws artists I have not yet seen every year, along with some popular returnees.

gymnasium

Come and join us on Saturday December 10 and Sunday December 11 from Noon to 5 pm. Holstein Park is located at 2200 N Oakley Avenue in Chicago. There should be a visitor parking lot South of the Park, and the Blue Line Western stop is nearby.

feltcritters

Silent auction tables will be set up in each gym and in the auditorium with donated items from the participating artists. Guests are welcome to place a bid on any and as many items as they like. Participants don’t have to be present to win.

auctiontable

Proceeds from the Silent Auction will be donated to A Long Walk Home. A Long Walk Home is a Chicago-based national non-profit that uses art to educate, inspire, and mobilize young people to end violence against girls and women

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Yum Dum Food Truck will be set up just outside the entrance from approximately noon until 4 pm.

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I had some last year and it was delicious.

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Coffee, soda, water, muffins and some snacks are available at the food booth in the Auditorium.

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You’ll also want to get some hot cocoa from Bob’s Belgian Chocolate, who was set up in the West Gym last year.

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The first Bucktown Holiday ArtShow took place in 1999, at Holstein Park Fieldhouse.

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Admission is $2/person at the door, but you can print my newsletter to get into the ArtShow for free. There is also a half-off admission coupon on the Bucktown Promotions web site.  

bucktowntix

If you forget to prepare in advance, you can also check in on Facebook for free admission to the ArtShow (and then break all the rules). 

rulebreakers

This is my final art fair of the year, so it’s the last time you’ll see my trees and letterboxes fully adorned.

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Snow is in the forecast, but that hasn’t deterred shoppers in the past years.

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It truly is a fun outing for families and caters to people of all ages.

bucktownbooths

Ornament Factory

Since sending off ornaments to 4 boutiques, my own supply has been depleted.

frostyview

So for the Irish American Heritage Center’s Christmas Bazaar I had to go back into the studio.

dressingirish

I reviewed some Irish Christmas carols, and found my favorite on the list.

irishcarols

Then I realized my friends had requested rainbow safety pin angels, and I set to bending those as well.

safetypinangels

Soon my fingers were sore and I had to put gloves on.

gloves

Putting outfits together came next, which was easier on the fingers.

irishoutfits

Last month my favorite mini-iron lost its protective handle, and the back-up iron came apart as well.

toolfail

I ordered a replacement, which is really a rhinestone setting tool.

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The new one is so pristine that I am still using my rejiggered version, but the blue strip is coming apart again so the time is next to christen the clean one.

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I dressed my “Irish” angels in reds and greens.

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I also tried to draw a Chicago flag for a friend, but it requires more practice for the general public.

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This rainbow angel had awesome hair, but it’s not feasible to keep that look.

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A customer wrapped her pendant commission in lovely paper that had to be repurposed.

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This is my Beetlejuice Frosty.

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I also put a pom-pom frosty together.

pompomfrosty

I had a productive few days.

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There are more ideas swirling in my head, but these will be the ones going on display on Sunday.

irishangels

Tagging them was next.

taggingoratorium

I’m re-setting the jig for book ornament commissions, and am ready to take on a new batch of custom orders now that these cuties are floating to new homes.

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This is my current full range of angels. Claim them on Sunday or at future pop-ups.

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I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, or next Thursday at the Warm Bevvy Walk at See Jane Sparkle, or at the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow December 10 & 11.

 

 

Small Business Saturday Consignments

It’s been a whirlwind of making enough angels and frosties for my pop-ups as well as the four spaces I am consigned to this holiday season.

newornamentsnov

Just in time for Small Business Saturday, my ornaments are now in three Chicagoland retailers: The Collage Cafe and See Jane Sparkle in Evanston, and ChromaK8 Beautique and Sacred Art in Chicago. My angels went under the sorting hat to determine which ones would fly off where.

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A few went to Chromak8 Beautique, where I get my hair done. ChromaK8 strives to deliver the highest quality beauty services with the cleanest, high performing products.

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On Black Friday, ChromaK8 will debut special holiday gift sets and a local artist showcase. The salon is located at 5425 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.

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I am thrilled to be in a new location in Lincoln Square as well.  Sacred Art offers a variety of gift items for the whole family, including wonderful Chicago-themed items. Owner Kate curates a selection of work from 110+ makers with a focus on Chicago-made art.

sacredartstorefront

Check out the Facebook page for extended store hours on Small Business Saturday, with nibbles offered to shoppers. Sacred Art is located at 4619 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.

sacredartangels

I hope these characters enjoy their slumber party and find new owners.

sacredartfrosties

The sneak peek in the store is gorgeous.

sacredartig

I switched out my inventory at See Jane Sparkle on Tuesday, so you will see brand-new pendants, bracelets and earrings in Sara Jane’s store. 

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The new pendants went straight from my studio to her.

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I hope you like perusing them.

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You can also peruse my sparkle ornament collection, created specifically for the boutique. 

sparklecollection

I’ll have my full collection available on December 8 during the Warm Bevvy Walk.

sjsnewshelf

The Collage Cafe also has brand-new pieces in the shop, and I cannot wait to see how my ornaments look in this lovely playspace.

tccornaments

A few angels incorporate alcohol inks purchased at the store.

alcinkangels

Both The Collage Cafe and See Jane Sparkle are participating in the Hip Circle Studio Holiday Hike on Small Business Saturday, with special bags and goodies for shoppers walking off their Turkey coma.

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Check out the holiday offerings online at The Collage Cafe  and See Jane Sparkle

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I am so excited to be supported by these lovely women entrepreneurs, and look forward to visiting their holiday setups soon!