Affair of the Arts Spring Show

Last Sunday took me to the Shores of Turtle Creek in Spring Grove for the Affair of the Arts Spring Show.

The grounds are so pretty and I can imagine the festive events that are held here.

Like the holiday show, we had ample setup time. The load in was smooth, and soon my table was all set.

I had time to visit my friend Cindy Lesperance’s booth.

She had already made two sales before opening.

Of course I had to pick out one of my favorites as well, since her ‘stippling’ technique in encaustic is so fascinating.

My neighbor was the lovely coat lady of KatKo Designs, for which I still need to save up funds. The transformation of the coats on different people is amazing. They each have their own personality.

Across from me Kari’s Clay Creations had her table, and her ‘drunken mugs’ were admired by many.

It was fun to interact with so many friendly people.

The Lodge was filled with amazing art and one of a kind creations.

I love the bright skylights and rustic decor.

The downstairs level was also filled with talent.

Cindy was one of the booth award recipients this time around. The winners are automatically part of the Fall 2017 Show on November 19.

You can apply for that show here.

I had a great day and was happy to see my creations go to new homes.

Organizers Karen and Joe Isacson also had a booth.

Check out the web site of J + K Isacson for upcoming artist events.

I am excited to have a bit of the show in my home.

 

Exploring Crystal Lake

On Friday I was scheduled for an evening art fair at the Immanuel Lutheran School in Crystal Lake, a suburb I had never visited before. So prior to the 4:30 pm setup time I decided to take the afternoon to explore the town. An online search produced an intriguing map of a nice walkable cluster downtown, so I figured out where to park and set the coordinates for a leisurely drive.

The weather was lovely (albeit slightly chilly), and I parked my car in a 4-hour spot. Then I oriented myself based on the map by the train station.

Since it was lunchtime I checked the list of restaurants first, and picked two that looked intriguing. While passing a bunch of enticing windows I decided on Le Petit Marche, a lovely french-inspired bistro.

I ordered a tuna salad brioche with tea, which was served quickly.

The ambiance is lovely, and I would love take part in a wine and cheese evening sometime.

I was going to leave some postcards for Affair of the Arts, but someone already had. 🙂

Fully nourished, I walked to the end of the street and fell in love with the Crystal Lake Antique Mall. This place has rooms upon rooms of vintage pieces that inspire nostalgia and tempt those with a flair for spinning stories about old pieces. I saw a lovely wooden desk secretary at a bargain price, but instead settled on a tray I actually needed. I do think I’ll visit again though, maybe I will know a place to put that piece by then (if it is still there).

Fully uplifted by this historic surprise, I strolled back outside and made my way back into modern times in an old-town setting.

I meandered 2 fabric stores, some fashion boutiques, and then stumbled onto Kaleidoscoops via a gift shop, and couldn’t resist treating myself to a cone. This is a nice after-school hangout for teens. I needed caffeine for a long evening so “The Grind” was a perfect fix with its delicious caramel and the crunch of chocolate covered espresso beans inside.

Across from the ice cream store was Evolve, a store with yummy-smelling chakra candles, lots of healing crystals, altar pieces, incense and beautiful instruments to center the soul. I could have spent hours in there but had a schedule to keep.

So I strolled in and out of a few more cute stores before being stopped by the Metra. In the future I could catch the UP-NW metro line in Mount Prospect for a mini trip to Crystal Lake.

On my way to the car I spotted this fun sign that applies to so much of life.

Five minutes later I was at the Lutheran School to unload my car in the gym.

Soon the place was transformed into a vibrant and colorful fair.

Fancy meeting Le Petit Marche here again!

It was fun getting back into the booth setup routine.

I had fun doing a quick perusal.

 Tupperware is more vibrant these days.

Now that I am sewing again, this coat by Ginspiration spoke to me.

A raffle drawing was held every 30 minutes.

I gained some new admirers and a few pieces walked away.

My angels, dragonflies and ladybugs were all petted.

A friend stopped by and snapped me in action.

My neighbors were fun to connect with.

Soon it was time to pack up again and head home. It was a good evening and I look forward to visiting here again.

On to Affair of the Arts!

Dragonflies in the shop

Last week was Dragonfly week and I uploaded a few of my favorite odonata.

There will be more to come, and I have a few in my head.

With spring coming I want to make more plant stakes.

Maike's Marvels Dragonfly Plant Stake

I also did neck shots and earring shoots as the sunlight permitted. I don’t have a photo studio so it’s just how the light falls in the living room.

It’s time consuming to get situated, but fun at the same time.

The aftermath of a photoshoot…

I cropped and recropped and set about writing product descriptions.

I also put two popular paper wedding anniversary pendants up on the shop. Earrings and bangles are coming soon.

Then I asked tech support why I couldn’t figure out how to get my necklace length options to work, and of course all I needed to do was start the attributes from scratch instead  of fiddling with the one I had created prior to the ecommerce migration.

When in doubt, just reset the thing you are doing in WordPress…

Anyway, after a day of going through all my pendant listings, you can now specify your necklace cord length when ordering a product, no special notes needed.

Being my own techie is frustrating sometimes, but learning how things work is fascinating too.

I still need to decide on an international shipping plugin, and want to explore more themes so the sidebar goes where it is supposed to to help you navigate better.

For real-life perusal, I made over a few older pendants and gave them new flair.

These are so 2013.

So now they are all made over in vibrant colors.

This spring collection is at The Collage Cafe.

Let me know what you would like to see next. I have many ideas for Spring, but enjoy hearing from you the most!

 

 

 

 

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.

minibooks1212

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

moreangels1212

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.

tccholiday

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.

sacredartselection

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

sjs

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.

chromak8

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.

frostyalbum

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

angeldesigns

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.

aotaboothview

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

aotashoppers

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

boothwithangel

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!

2nplacebooth

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

aotapinkangels

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

aotapurchases

A ladybug made friends with my gecko pendant.

geckoladybug

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

maikesmarvelsaotabooth

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