Main-Dempster Mile fun

I am easing out of hibernation and it is safe (no longer too cold) to take angel out and about on my adventures.

Evanston’s Main-Dempster mile is full of fun adventures. Squeezebox has the right idea with these postcards.

I had tacos for charity on the day of the Woman’s March, and later went to La Principal again with friends.

A few weeks later Brothers K collected funds for the ACLU.

My frosty is still hanging out at Rolf’s Auto Care, where I took my car for service.

We rewarded ourselves with some Sketchbook beer after a Hip Circle workout.

Stumble & Relish’s lovely card selection, along with my stash of Curly Girl Design’s Love Delivered subscription has me writing a postcard on Sundays.

I got to sample SPARK Syrup with Prosecco on Thursday and picked up some earrings I couldn’t resist.

Vivian Visser explained the process and inspiration behind her beautiful creations during an Artist talk at Cultivate.

This wonderful show is up through the end of the month.

It is always neat to see who shadows interact with art work on the wall.

I attended a few recent The Collage Cafe workshops, and loved the glowing woman who emerged from the last Grown*UP Girls Club session.

My vision boards will be shown when they manifest.

Then I was introduced to Bullet Journaling at Hip Circle Studio.

Next weekend I hope to explore Evanston’s Black-owned Businesses during Tour de Noir.

There’s always something fun to do in Evanston.

Bead Counting

Last week I shopped for some birthstones at Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop and at Ayla’s Originals. Ayla’s had a wonderful vintage bead sale and I couldn’t resist picking up a  sparkly iridescent strand.

Then I made a pact with myself to inventory what I have at home. I always gravitate toward the same colors, so I had to ensure that what I have is sufficient rather than giving in to temptation.

I also need to update my spreadsheets with what is still on hand after a few years, so much counting ensued.

When I went to the Bead & Button Show I had a list of colors and types of beads I could buy. I also had a current photo of my bead rack in the camera for reference. Over two days I made my way through my stash and identified beads that I had not yet learned names of in 2011.

Clearly I have plenty in my stash to keep me busy, but it is still wonderful to peruse bead stores, fondle the strands, and learn more about unique gemstones and bead artisans.

Right now my mission is to make a dent in the beads I have and post those creations onto the shop.

I also need to get the birthstone bangle completed that started this inventory session in the first place.

What are your favorite gems?

Desiderata

I am working on my shop, and with all the turmoil in the news I have no head space to draft a blog right now, so Max Ehrmann will have to do for this week.

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

Go placidly amid the noise and haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible without surrender
be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons,
they are vexations to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain and bitter;
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs;
for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals;
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially, do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.

You are a child of the universe,
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be,
and whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

Whose words sustain your soul right now?

Brenda Schweder Day

Right after fair season ended, it was time for a fun day. Now That’s A Jig! inventor Brenda Schweder had ordered an Ugly Sweater Angel via Instagram, which was a fun challenge.

I used some of my Belgian felt pieces as embellishments, picked some ‘ugly’ paper, and then ‘uglified’ it more by creating as much glittery pattern as possible on the body and wings.

Then when I told her I was about to ship it, she said she would come pick it up instead, with video equipment in tow. So I had to clean my desk!

Brenda arrived and the lights were set up.

I asked Brenda to bring an extra 1″ square peg for my mini-book projects. With the variety of pegs and extender packs Brenda has available, the NTaJ! possibilities are endless, especially with all the demonstrations she gives to inspire handufacturers.

We had a lovely morning chatting while I demonstrated how to wax a rainbow onto the wire bird Brenda had brought.

FridayMyDay Fieldtrip to Maike Vw's!Rollin'! . . .

Posted by Brenda Meintz Schweder on Friday, December 16, 2016

You can find the tutorial on making the wire part of the bird here:

HolidayBird Ornament Tutorial: Part II (The BirdFrame)Rollin'! . . .

Posted by Brenda Schweder Jewelry on Monday, October 17, 2016

A live watcher won the final piece. I am actually polling what kinds of birds are popular for a murmuration project.

Then my traveling Angel said goodbye to Ugly Sweater Angel.

We went for lunch and then I introduced Brenda to the merchants of the Main-Dempster Mile, which was a blast. I think she might return to Evanston, possibly before going to Rockford. 😉

A few days later Brenda mentioned a Craftsy Tutorial, and I signed up for one of hers too, of course.

I also want to re-read this article and jig that necklace up.

I am certain that 2017 will bring more NtaJ! shenanigans along with more Brenda fun!

Now That’s a Jig! news and product updates are available here, and you can take NTaJ! classes at June’s Bead & Button Show.

Bucktown Show Recap

My last show for the season was the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow.

As always, this show was a lot of fun and featured many creative artists.

I enjoyed making new friends and catching up with the regulars.

Day One was filled with visiting friends and some new admirers.

I enjoyed watching what people gravitated to in my booth.

I enjoyed lunch from the Yum Dum foodtruck outside.

The silent auction was in full swing in all rooms.

 

Chicago Cubs Pride was on display in many booths.

I was happy to see rainbow angels flutter off again.

Soon it was time to close up.

It snowed lightly on the way home.

The next morning I was greeted by a murmuration.

I unveiled my booth and rearranged my pieces.

It was my last time trimming trees for the year.

More customers streamed in.

Even our organizers and volunteers shopped.

These faux leather trees by MoHop are on my wishlist for next year.

I parted with some of my personal favorite angels.

Dragonflies also fluttered away.

I might see some of these adornments around town again.

A good day called for a reward.

Then came time for teardown.

I said bye to bobblehead frosty.

Another snowy evening for a beautiful winter wonderland.

Here’s to next year!

Enlightenment

The day before my birthday, a light fixture fell on my head. My mom was coming to town and I was preparing the futon for her to sleep on, when the ceiling fan decided to wobble out of alignment and to the floor, but since I had just pulled the futon out and was looking down, it bounced off my head onto the cushions.

A lightbulb shattered all over the place, and my forehead had an instant bump.

So I told mom to take a cab and swept the shards off myself to lay down for a bit, while googling concussion symptoms. After mom arrived we did cleanup and I had a fun birthday week with her, including a visit to Little Light Bazaar so I could shop for light fixtures.

After mom departed I interviewed electricians, and then researched ceiling fans, concentrating on flush mounts only.

I had a fun visit with Mateen to select the colors of my chandelier. All globes are interchangeable so you can change your mind and do a new color scheme over time.

The electricians arrived and on day one pulled out all the old wiring of my 1925 unit.

Outlets came first.

All the old lights came down.

Then they ran new wiring through all the light switches and light fixtures.

The next day they upgraded my fuses, and I no longer have neighbor envy. Now my studio has the appropriate power supply for all my equipment.

Soon the pretty part came and the new light fixtures were securely and professionally installed. I didn’t ask anyone to swing from chandeliers, but I am assured none of these will crash down on me.

Getting electrical work done is a scary thing, and I held off out of fear of the expense and any scope creep, but this project was completed within 2 days. Some of the vintage fixtures could have been fire hazards. I donated all the old ones to a refurbishing store.

I had fun playing with the dimmer switches and enjoying the light in my studio.

Since my futon cover was littered with mercury glitter, we tossed the thing out and I shopped affordable portables for a new cover. I fell in love with BOHO by SIS covers, which was so new the store had to order a sample. That made me feel quite fashion forward.

I love the bohemian-ness of this design, which obviously fits right in as a work surface!

My favorite room is the bedroom, where we installed the beautiful chandelier.

All globes are hand made with Czech glass and each has its own personality. It completes the decal headboard very nicely.

Now I am enlightened in all my rooms, and happy this home improvement project is completed. My head is also OK. The weekend after the bump I had some bad symptoms where lights were too bright and noises were too loud. Strobe lights at a party were very irritating so I had to move off the dance floor, but otherwise things are back to my normal.

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.

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.

aotaboothview

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).

aotapinkangels

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

aotapurchases

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.

 

Christmas Bazaar on Sunday

Thanksgiving was a lovely respite from angel and ornament marketing. Now I am back using the last remnants of Where the River Shannon Flows and some other musical pieces.

sheetmusic

On Sunday, December 4 I’ll be setting up shop at the Irish American Heritage Center’s Christmas Bazaar. The Bazaar is from 9 am to 3 pm, but the day holds a variety of activities until 9 pm. The day starts with mass, breakfast, a craft and bake sale, music, dance and a visit from Santa Claus.

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The Irish American Heritage Center is located at 4626 N Knox Avenue in Chicago. Mass is celebrated in the auditorium at 10:30am, with music by the Irish Heritage Singers. A traditional Irish breakfast follows in the Erin Room. The Fifth Province Pub will be open at noon and into the evening for live music and a cash bar.

Featured entertainment includes the Shannon Rovers Irish Pipe Band, Mulhern School of Irish Dance, The Irish Heritage Singers, Academy of Irish Music, Parick and Karen Cannady, Tim O’Sullivan and the O’Sullivan Fiddlers, Shepard’s Irish Music School and Murphy Roche Irish Music School.

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Vendors include Images of Ireland, Nimble Thimbles, Rampant Lion Celtic Traders, Galway Bakers, Chicago Calligraphy Collective, Blossoms and Berries, Because I Like It and more (including me). Tickets for the breakfast are $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under and reservations are required.

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There is no charge to browse and shop the craft and bake sale and shoppers can enjoy the craft sale from 9am to 3pm with Chicago artisans. The IAHC Gift Shop will be open all day for shoppers.  Santa Claus visits from 1 to 3pm and will pose for photos with each child. Attendees can bring a canned good for the IAHC’s Holiday Food Drive for the Greater Chicago Food Depository. To purchase tickets for the breakfast, click or call 773-282-7035, ext. 10 by December 1.

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The mission of the Irish American Heritage Center is to nurture and strengthen Irish culture and heritage through programs emphasizing Irish music, literature, drama, traditional dancing, fine arts and the constructive contributions of the Irish and Irish-Americans to the United States of America.

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The Irish American Heritage Center supports this mission by maintaining its resources, including the museum, Irish school, archives, choir, art gallery, auditorium, library, theatre group and other related programs and partnerships, while providing a gathering place for the Irish American community and those interested in Irish culture.The Irish American Heritage Center is one of the premiere Irish cultural organizations in the United States. It is a destination for people of Irish descent as well as those who wish to learn more about the Irish heritage.

rivershannonremnants

My friend gave me a stack of vintage music, but it veers toward the classical rather than Irish Ballads, so these last two pendants may be all the Irish music I can do for a while.