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!

 

 

 

 

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.

Shop Loading

Now that the holidays are over, I am inventorying the pieces that came back from boutiques and preparing for the month of love and Valentine’s Day.

This includes photographing my pieces for online upload, and then creating the database from which you can start shopping now.

I’m currently doing all the web work myself, but will probably need some help with the various glitches still happening, which aren’t all easily fixed with a changing theme. Still, it is fun to put on my techie hat for a bit and fiddle with WordPress Plugin functionality.

I’m loading my ‘non-seasonal’ angels this week, to be followed by hearts and springy jewelry for February.

My dragonflies were a big seller and I will post some I have in stock, and I am excited to play with more swarm ideas over the next quarter. The ladybugs I have with me are all online right now.

Poke around and let me know what pieces you want to see uploaded next. Hopefully the functionality is seamless on your end!

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.

Elmhurst Day Out

Like last year, the Holiday Fair in Elmhurst was a blast. This year, I made a weekend trip out of it and started at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art.

lizzadromuseum

This museum houses the collection of Joseph Lizzadro, who enjoyed cutting and polishing jade as a hobby, and began collecting beautiful artifacts.

lizzadrovitrine

Because rough jade was not available, Joseph obtained many statues, that were sometimes re-purposed into jewelry he made.

statues

The entry-level floor is filled with beautiful statues and charming dioramas created entirely out of gemstones.

lapidarydioramas

The desert diorama was my favorite.

desertscene

The Castle Lizzadro is gorgeous, though its in memoriam footnote leaves a sense of sadness and mystery.

castlelizzadro

I learned about commesso in pietre dure, which is painting with slivers of stone. There are numerous explanations throughout the museum.

guanyinmercy

On the lower level, the displays delve into the mechanics of how stone is carved.

howtos

It also taught me about Hunsrück Slate and what types of stones form in which layer of sediment.

hunsruckfossils

I envy the opal collection.

opal

I also spotted a lovely butterfly.

petrifiedoakbutterflylizzadro

Soon I had absorbed all I could and it was time to head back out into the sunshine.

silhuette

Fall was at its glorious peak.

elmhursttrees

I had noted the You Are Beautiful signs at the Art Museum and decided to take a closer look.

elmhurstbeautifulmuseum

The sculptures were uplifting.

beautifulmessages

I still had a little bit of time left so I explored the Conservatory of Wilder Park, a lovely greenhouse.

wilderconsservatory

Wilder Park is truly beautiful.

wilderpark

Then it was time to unload the car and start setting up at the Wilder Mansion, which was basking in gorgeous sunlight.

wildermansion

I found my spot and then moved the car.

unloading

The three-tree setup took some planning.

settingup

Soon I had everything the way I wanted it.

boothsetup

I spun around to meet other vendors.

wildersetup

Laurie Messerol is so recognizable.

lauriemesserolbooth

Between 4 and 9 pm numerous visitor milled about.

day2crowds

Libations were flowing, and I got to sip on Prosecco.

prosecco

My frosties and angels were popular that day.

frostieselmhurst

Those who capitalized on the Cubs’ win sold out their blue, red and white wares.

corkcubbies

When the doors closed we wrapped our booths for their slumber party.

boothslumber

The fountain was lovely at night.

nightfountain

I took stock of my purchases.

carlabanksdesigns

The next day we opened from 10 am to 5 pm, and more visitors milled about.

shoppers

This new vendor has lovely whimsy for sewers and knitters.

paperorthreadsbooth

Again, angels and frosties were adopted, and I am thrilled Elmhurst Angel stayed in Elmhurst.

angelsinelmhurst

I think the trees help.

threetrees

Jewelry also found new owners.

elmhurstjewelry

This is a great show for vendors to get their start in, and I enjoyed the lovely work by made by Q.

madebyqcards

I also met a lovely new pint-sized admirer who ordered a custom bangle.

girlbangle

Dragonflies are fluttering in new homes too.

elmhusrtornaments

It was a lovely weekend, and we all enjoyed our time in a beautiful setting.

mirror

Then I packed up what remained to be divided among boutiques and upcoming shows.

boothdetails

Soon the mansion was cleared, and ready for its next event. RGL Marketing for the Arts will put on an outdoor Spring Show in May.

endholidayfair

I buckled up my ornaments and drove home.

buckledangels

Then I headed to Ayla’s to source beads for another custom bangle, which I will send off this week.

banglecommission

If you want to commission a piece, contact me now since the holiday crunch is real.

Garden Center Fun

I spent the last few days of August making some dragonflies for Platt-A-Palooza.

dragonflymaking

It was a glorious Saturday when we set up at Platt Hill Nursery.

boothcollage

Flowers greeted me as I unloaded the car.

gooseflowers

The amount of space is always amazing, and I had fun setting up my booth.

mmbooth

Foot traffic was great, so I had little time to peruse the other booths.

maikesmarvelsplatt2016

Seeing how my pieces interact with the sunlight is always fun.

angelbutterfly

Thankfully we had popcorn delivered to us.

popcornplatt

Parts of the swarm were on display.

plattswarm

There were stuffed animals,

stuffies

Other jewelry vendors,

egjewelry

Holiday Ornaments,

angelmeetsangels

Birdbath creations,

birdbaths

and my neighbor had lovely Faery Cottages that Angel couldn’t resist.

angelcottage

It is always fun to see the garden accessories Platt Hill Nursery has to offer, like these fun creations.

hedgiesandowls

Live Bluegrass entertained us throughout the day.

musicians

So much bloom.

creativejungle

I tested some plant stakes that need a bit more observing for durability.

planterdragonfly

Angel basked in some pansies as well.

angelinpansies

Several pieces found new homes.

plattsales16

I love all the flowers and plant varieties.

sunflowerangel

Gardening is not in the cards for me, but it is always fun to admire nature.

paintings

Soon the day was over and time to pack up.

packingup

I did some lazing and stretching before the next eventful week.

yaybuddha

Hopefully you had a labor-free Labor Day weekend.

reflower

Ravenswood ArtWalk is this weekend!

I’m SOOOO excited! 

RAWBanner

This year I will be at Architectural Artifacts during the Ravenswood ArtWalk. I’ve heard of this venue so much and never been inside, so this will be a great introduction to all the raves. This year the 15th annual Ravenswood ArtWalk is held September 10 and 11 from 11 am to 6 pm each day. This is a weekend filled with local art, local music, local food and local brews! Stretching from Irving Park Rd to Leland along Ravenswood Avenue, the ArtWalk features open studios and galleries, indoor pop-up markets and a street festival center with live music, a children’s corner, food truck roundup and the return of everyone’s favorite: the Begyle Brewing Urban Craft Beer Garden! 

raw2016Map

Pick up the virtual map to chart your course along the 29 participating venues, including: Manz Building, Ballroom Dance Chicago, Hayes Properties Marketplace, Thresholds, RAW Street Fest, Deagan Building, Artifact Events Indoor Market & Lounge,  Architectural Artifacts, Lillstreet Art Center, Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church, DEFY MFG. Co. + Lucila’s Homemade Alfajores, Chex Studio, Wellbeing Personalized Healthcare, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Bill Bartelt Watercolors, Earthly Aromas, Images Gallery, 4500 Artists, Blackbird Gallery & Framing, Alibi Fine Art + Manifold, Tam Wim, Platform Coworking Pop-Up Market, Hazel, Viva Vintage Clothing, Ork Posters, Dovetail Brewery, Mather & Sullivan Architectural Products, Begyle Brewing Company, and The Chicago Mosaic School.

RAW Flyer

The Artifact Events Indoor Market & Lounge is located at 4325 North Ravenswood Avenue as venue #7 on your map. New to RAW 2016, the Artifact Events Artist Market includes almost 40 artists in one of the city’s most remarkable event spaces. Tour Architectural Artifacts’ inventory of vintage items and salvaged artifacts while shopping from a variety of local artists. Need a break from the walk? Head to Artifact Event’s Bubble Gallery lounge for refreshments!

RAWArtifactEventsArtists

I’ll be set up near fabulous vendors, some of whom I have admired at past events. These artists include: Alison Bixby, Amati Originals, Archetype Leather, Brevity Code Visual Artists Group, Cape Horn Illustration, Cindy’s Stiches and Sterling, Clix2pix by Georgia, Cranky Pickle, Dail Kirkpatrick, DamenArt by, Nuria McNeal, Dan Schreck, Destiny Sparkles, Elaina Marie Chastain, Erin Okeson Architectural Illustration , erin rossi designs, h. bune design, jan and lisa olson/jl marie jewelry, Jungyul Yu, Just For You, Karen Frueh, Lindsay Budzynski, Little Blue Marble designs, Loop the Loop, LuDesignsCreations, Maike’s Marvels, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Mysterious Mannequin, Que Sera Sarah, Ronda Ruby Ceramics, rovePrints, StephensDesign, Studio Renzi, Terra Elementa,Terry Hogan Ceramics, Tomorrowmorrow Design, and William Carroll.

RAWMaikesMarvels

Learn more about the evolution of the ArtWalk here

packedSeptember

It’s a packed month. If you can’t join me this weekend, you can find me in Elmhurst on Wednesday, September 14. 

Platt-A-Palooza this Labor Day Saturday!

On the Saturday of Labor Day Weekend I will be popping up at Platt Hill Nursery again.

plattbanner

It’s my third year participating in Platt-A-Polooza and I look forward to perusing the handcrafted booths in such a fun setting.

gardenplates

You can shop for garden supplies and garden decor all Labor Day weekend, likely with a bunch of discounts for the Labor Day Weekend.

Plattflowers

The pop-up is one day only, and will feature garden accessories, gift items and handmade household utensils from 9 am to 5 pm.

PlattBoothprep

I’ll be bringing some botanical pieces.

PlattPromo1calendar

Platt Hill Nursery will be selling hot dogs, chips, and drinks.

expressivedragons

Platt-A-Palooza Craft Show is September 3, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm.

wateringcanrainbow

Platt Hill Nursery is located at 222 W Lake Street in Bloomingdale, IL 60108. 

PlattFair2015

Platt Hill Nursery’s Carpentersville location will also have a handmade pop-up that day.

Banglesandearrings

The Carpentersville location is at 2400 Randall Road, Carpentersville, IL 60110.

FBPlattlastyear

Spam the pig might make an appearance.

SpamthePig

I’ll see if I can complete more critters.

Ladybugs

I hope to see you there!

PLatt2015

More events are in the works for September.

SeptCalendar

Birthday Break

Monday was my birthday, and I started the celebration early with my mom’s visit on Thursday.

whiteflowers

We took a long weekend and explored Evanston, while meeting friends for food and libations among various stops.

clarksq

Prior to mom flying in a ceiling fan fell on my head, so we made this a walking weekend while monitoring for potential concussion symptoms.

deadceilingfan

We walked Main street first, picking up delicious chocolate mousse and lots of chocolate at Piron.

piron

We got our nails done at Agora Spa.

manies

Then we looked at the rocks at Dave’s Rock Shop and took some goodies home.

DavesStorefront

I got a silver dollar plant from Cultivate.

cultivate

We took the alcohol ink coaster workshop at The Collage Cafe for one of my birthday parties.

CoasterClass

I even got birthday cake and a serenade.

bdaycake

The inks are wonderful, and I played with some on my wire to see what that would do.

coasters

Then I picked out the colors to take home. The iridescent effect is lovely, and I cannot wait to design new pieces.

patina

Afterwards we met friends at La Principal for delicious tacos, churros and cocktails.

principal

Sunday was Dempster day, with a stop at Little Light Bazaar to explore my new lighting options.

czech glass

Mateen has designed a whole new line of light fixtures out of punched copper and metal.

lantern

Some of these might work with a ceiling fan attached, so I get to ponder various rooms.

lightblending

So many pretties!

purple

You can create a souq-like atmosphere or be very monochromatic.

whitemoroccan

Lots of ideas to ponder, and also consider more functional lighting in the studio.

bluebeads

We stopped in Stumble & Relish and then visited my inventory at See Jane Sparkle.

SJSinventoryAug

I want these bangles to go travel the world.

banglesatSJS

After those sparklies we made our way to Ayla’s Orginals to pick out more beads.

angelatAylas

Ayla’s has a bingo game so you should go in and get your playing cards to earn discounts on future purchases.

AylasBingo

All that shopping made us thirsty, so Sketchbook’s new Taproom was a great spot for refreshment.

sketchbook

We had dinner at Campagnola which is always a treat.

campagnola

Monday morning we had our coffee fix at Brothers K, and I get to drink more with a gift card!

brothersk

The bulk of the day was spent wandering near the lake.

angellakemich

We dined at Oceanique for a lovely birthday celebration.

Oceanique

Of course Lucky Platter was the favorite breakfast choice.

luckP

With all that could have gone wrong during the ceiling fan drop, I am grateful to have another year to look forward to, and to have so many friends and loved ones to celebrate life with.

prezzies

It is good to be alive, and to live the life I am living.

choclateandwine

Here’s to more bright days ahead!

brightdaysahead

Setting up Webshop

I just installed JigoShop to my site and am in the process of uploading my new products.

JSDashboard

You’ll see some website makeovers as I figure out the right theme that also keeps my sidebar alive.

product page

I’ll still have an Etsy presence, but it is getting harder to keep track of what is online, what expired, and what hasn’t been uploaded yet.

Inventorytracking

Since the Etsy IPO and made-in-China products creeping in it feels like it is time to take control over my online shop.

photoshopping

The good news is that product shoots and edits have become routine and are less tricky than when I first started listing products.

photoshoot

The WordPress interface is just like my blog.

product page

I already got my very first order the day after installation.

Shipping

Now I just need to figure out more of its functionality so I can ship more pieces into the world.

ToUSPSwego

I still have a lot more to upload!

InventorytoLoad

You’ll also see everything in my various Fall and Holiday fairs that I am applying to right now.

craftfairtracker

Here’s to upward trends!

SalesTrends