Jigging at the Bead & Button Show

Two years ago I visited the Bead & Button Show for the first time and was overwhelmed.

BeadFrosty

It is amazing how a convention center can have a block worth of bead booths with all of them offering different wares.

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The plethora of colors and sparkles resulted in me only buying a few strands, since I couldn’t remember what I had at home.

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This year I checked my color inventory ahead of time.

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Two friends had gifted me a lot of beads, so I had quite some notes to take.

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I also wanted to learn how to operate my jig better, so I signed up for a few of Brenda Schweder’s Now That’s A Jig! Sessions.

JigStarterKit

I use the jig for my frosties, which morphed into the dot show pieces. I also started experimenting with butterflies and dragonflies for the Swarm Show.

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I knew I could learn more tricks by getting some hands-on demos from the Jig designer herself.

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On June 8 I learned how to make stick figure necklaces with lovely beads by Diane Hawkey.

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It was so hard to pick out faces. I’m glad we got to choose three.

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Brenda introduced us to the gadget that helps make collars.

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I finished putting my people together at home.

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I reviewed my swag bag and started plotting the map.

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Bead & Button has various calls for art prior to the show, and the beaded artistry was amazing.

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The display of buttons was amazing also, and I coveted these museum pieces.

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Crowns of beads and wirework and lots of whimsy.

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I drove back to Milwaukee on Saturday morning and tried to be methodical in going aisle by aisle.

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I did get distracted here and there, but since I had marked my must-see booths in advance, I was able to focus my purchases for day 1.

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These handcrafted Peruvian critters were impossible to resist.

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There were tassels that reminded me of See Jane Sparkle.

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Crystals everywhere.

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Beads in all sizes and shapes.

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What’s better than beads? Beaded beads!

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Smartly, the convention center kept the snackbar open on the shopping floor, and had a cocktail bar to boot.

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Fortified, I continued to browse and note what was where.

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I compared prices on pearls and druzy agate and had lovely conversations with vendors.

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Although I had not planned to shop on day 1, some beads were impossible to resist and I brought some treasure into the hotel with me.

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I took a lovely stroll of the riverwalk and enjoyed a restful night before the workshop the next day.

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On Sunday I participated in the Jig StartrWorkshop-Xpress to learn what all my pegs and rounds could do.

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Now That’s A Jig! Was designed by Brenda Schweder as a collaboration with Swanstrom in 2012.

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I had met Brenda in 2011 and took a bangle class with her then.

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We reconnected at Ayla’s Highland Park Bead Bazaar in 2014 and I ordered a jig shortly after.

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We were given a lovely template to learn different connecting pieces that could form a bracelet and help kickstart a variety of ideas.

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You can also make jumprings on the jig.

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Brenda’s technique is different from mine, so it was good to see how she works and learn how to maximize the Swivelok.

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I was too busy admiring all her beautiful pieces and learning more tips and tricks to really focus on finishing the bracelet links, but we got take the template home so I can finish making links later.

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Later this summer I’ll do a studio visit to learn how to operate Now That’s a Pliers!

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This year Brenda launched PatternPaks to help people set up the jig with a published design.

LinkPatternPak

After class I went up to the booth to check out additional PatternPaks, and settled on the RainChain template for which I already have all the rounds.

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Then I reviewed my shopping list to determine what beads I needed to take home.

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Of course my self-imposed ban on blue beads didn’t last, but they are all unique finds I know I wouldn’t be able to source as easily here.

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I decided to indulge in cheese fries before the ride home.

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It was a lovely day of sifting through colors and sparkles, and being inspired by the wide variety of beads that exist.

BeadsGalore

The gulls decorated my car as it stood overnight.

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I am already at work designing beads for people who made special requests, and look forward to sharing additional designs at the upcoming Evanston Sidewalk Sale.

BeadsfromtheShow

But first, the beads had to be inventoried.

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I can see how malas and rosaries can help quiet the mind, because there is something zen about counting beads on a string.

countingpearlsMore photos to come soon!

Summer

Summer has begun and I wish I could go on vacation.

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Instead I am sneaking lake time away from the computer when I can.

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I uninstalled the DOT Show and am pleased my circles held up well.

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I even got to take home 2 of Carol Hamilton’s dots.

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Along the way I got to watch some bridge action while stopped in traffic.

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I delivered 2 memorial angels honoring a family member.

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It was fun to see the cityscape as I traveled for an artist critique on Saturday.

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This weekend I strolled in the neighborhood and noticed this hugging tree.

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Thunderstorms make for very green parks.

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It is soothing to watch the horizon and the colors of the lake.

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I garnered inspiration at Cultivate’s Lucy Slivinski’s Opening. Go see it this month!

Slivinski

Now it is time to head back in the studio with commissions from my bead loot.

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Learning Soldering

In May I took a getaway to Racine for continuing education.

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Ordering new tools always fills me with anticipation.

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Crystal Neubauer, who introduced me to Wax and Wire in 2012, offered another wax and wire workshop with soldering and pinback-making.

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Since my larger DOT Show pieces could have used some stabilization, I was eager to learn more.

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Crystal met us in her temporary studio, and has since moved to a different floor in the same location.

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Perusing other people’s tool collections is so fun.

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So many toys to play with.

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As is seeing all the samples she created.

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Day one was spent bending and hammering wire.

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My index finger took the brunt of one hammer strike, turning an array of colors until deciding on black for now.

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We bent shapes to embellish the next day.

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We were also taught soldering with a torch, but none of us could get the hang of it on day one.

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I watched and noted.

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A few of us were determined enough to keep trying the next day, and I made two successful joins after numerous false starts.

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I learned to use my own brand-new dremel and will be finishing the 2 pins later this summer to add brooches to my collection.

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Crystal also showed us how to make a cradle for a bezel, and riveting.

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We closed out day one with dinner.

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On day two we were taught wax techniques, including dipping, pouring, adhering and monoprinting.

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We brought our own embellishments and also were gifted some of Crystal’s collected papers to play with.

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The mini-pour was super inspiring.

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We embellished our bezels.

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I experimented with wrapping and pouring.

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I also snuck in on the printing station for some fun paper to work with later.

Monoprintfun

Even the mono-printed trash was pretty.

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One of my Swarm butterflies became a waxed collage experiment.

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Everyone was so creative and inspiring.

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I am happy with my new pieces, and look forward to implementing the techniques learned.

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Some of these will be mine for the time being until I am ready to post them in the shop.

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This weekend I will pick up more inspiration at Cultivate Urban Rain Forest with their next wire artist show opening.

Slivinski

I cannot wait to meet Lucy Slivinski and examine her flowers up close.

Swarm Show Opening

I had such fun creating a Swarm, and it has garnered more ideas percolating in my head.

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I love how the dragonflies turned out, and am also enamored with the ladybugs.

Arrangements

At home, I fiddled with various configurations. The mobile can be added to and subtracted from.

swarmathome closeup

I put on a swarmy collection for the Art Walk.

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After the Evanston Made ArtWalk, I headed over to SideTracked Studio, where Rory was adding final touches to the swarm.

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Seeing it installed was so fun.

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Paintings include: Lauren Levato CoyneRory CoyneJason McPhillipsErin Gergen Halls, Anthony Cramer, Gail Potocki, John Walker, Erich J. Moffatt, Victoria Fuller, Renee McGinnis, Maike van Wijk, and Stephanie Inagaki.

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The exhibition continues through July 2, 2016, check Facebook for opening hours.

SwarmShowOpening

The details in each painting are amazing.

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Sidetracked Studio is the storefront studio of artists Lauren Levato Coyne and Rory Coyne founded with collector and advisor Michele Mahon Jahelka.

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Throughout the year Sidetracked Studio, located at 707 Chicago Avenue, also presents gallery exhibitions of visiting artists, workshops, and lectures.

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Sidetracked Studio is located near the purple line Main Street station, as well as the Main Street Metra station.

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Metered parking is available on Chicago Avenue, and you can find residential parking a few blocks closer to the lake. The gallery is wheelchair accessible.

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At night, the shadows added their own art to the installation.

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Go see the exhibit and also check out Rory’s videos of the art at the Facebook Page of SideTracked Studio.

Evanston Made ArtWalk

Evanston Made is a month-long celebration of the arts in Evanston designed to create opportunities for artists to engage with the community (and vice versa).

EvMadeMap

Art studios, galleries, museums and businesses throughout Evanston are showing works by Evanston creatives June 3 through 30.

AngelAtEAC

I put on my bangles for the Opening Soiree.

shiny bangles

Opening night was packed at the Evanston Art Center.

packedEAC

I heard 300 artists were represented in the show.

EvanstonMadeShow

My piece had a lovely prime spot.

MusicatEAC

The second floor holds four thoughtful exhibits, 2 by groups and two by solo artists.

EAC2ndfloor

In conjunction with the exhibit, Evanston Art Center is hosting a Pop Up Gallery and Store June 3-30.

PopupShopEAC

The store is located in the lobby of the Evanston Art Center, 1717 Central Street, Evanston.

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You can meet the various artists during their pop-up shifts.

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It turns out one of the Brothers K baristas is an artist as well, and he did a demo at the Art Center on Opening night.

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His pillows are at the Pop-up, and you can see his art work at Brothers K Coffeehouse.

BrothersK

I bumped into a few friends, one of whom snapped my photo.

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After the opening I plotted my route with the fabulous Evanston Made map.

EvanstonMadeMap

I started out on Florence Avenue which had changed quite a bit since my last visit there.

FlorenceAve

Angel felt right at home at Mill Creek Miniatures.

RetroMiniatures

I wanted to get lost daydreaming about all the little vignettes.

MillCreekMinis

You can get doll houses restored or custom made here.

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The beauty of these studio tours is that you can see the tools of the trade, like Beth Adler’s.

BethAdlerStudio

So much mesmerizing print work.

Adler-Georfe

Next door I could have gotten lost in Rita Shimelfarb’s stained glass portraits as well.

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I learned about a co-op called Space 900.

Space900

I drove to the Dempster/Chicago area next, where inspirational Karna Designs was open.

KarnaKarna

I swung by See Jane Sparkle.

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My pieces are enjoying various arrangements.

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Stumble & Relish hosts a variety of EvanstonMade products year-round

Stumblerelish

Frame Warehouse had one of the Swarm posters up, and Paul Nebenzahl was doodling inside. A few shops have artists on display through June 30.

Dempster

After parking my car by Main Street, the rain started in earnest, but I wanted to see my friends anyway.

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At The Collage Cafe three artists are on display.

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I am looking forward to my next playtime, and enjoy seeing my pieces in such joyful and inspirational company.

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Evanston Sticthworks has beautiful quilts up by Ann Wasserman.

AnnWassermanQuilts

She was there in person and we had a lovely conversation.

AnnWasserman

Vanessa Filley’s dolls would fit right in at Evanston Stitchworts.

VanessaFilley

I visited my friend at Oliver’s Toys where Angel had fun chatting up a knight in shining armor and petting a fluffy hedgehog.

OliversToys

Cultivate has beautiful ceramics by Mollie Morris on display, and Laura Mae Noble’s terrariums are little vignettes you can get lost in.

Cultivate

I had a snack at La Principal before heading to the Swarm opening.

AngelTaco

Got was in a swarmy mood throughout the day, and these pieces at Ausrine’s Art Room, The Collage Cafe and See Jane Sparkle were fun to get me into opening mood.

SwarmyThingsEvanstonMade

Then it was time to see the swarm, and I’ll share pics of that lovely evening next week.

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2nd Fridays at Chicago Arts District

On Friday, June 10, the 1800 block of South Halsted Street will be the place to be for Art Aficionados.

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I discovered during out DOT Show opening that the Chicago Arts District hosts art walks along Halsted, giving out maps at 1821 S. Halsted Street. (Corner of 18th and Halsted).

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The Chicago Arts District hosts 2nd Fridays Gallery Night, monthly opening receptions at the galleries and artists’ studios centered around South Halsted and 18th Streets in Chicago. The event begins at 6:00pm and runs until 10:00pm.

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We had a lovely DOT show opening last month in ShowPOD 7, where numerous people perused Jenny Learner and Kathy Blankley Roman’s art up close in spite of the rain.

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We also walked along the other windows where people asked about technique and inspiration.

FUSEDAdmirers

As usual, it is a joy to see how the variety of encaustic styles come together during a FUSEDChicago show. Fourteen FUSEDChicago members are in this show, curated by VA de Pintor, Elyse Martin, and Linda Sorkin-Eisenberg.

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The DOT show will be up through June 22, and will be uninstalled on the 23rd. You an stop by any time, as the show is behind glass and well-lit in the evening.

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There are 30+ creative spaces in the Chicago Arts District at South Halsted and 18th Streets which showcase an exciting display of art and artists from Chicago and beyond.

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This unique art community opens its doors, free of charge, and lets you get up close and personal with the art and artists. I saw S’mores being made as I strolled.

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Check out FUSEDChicago.org for upcoming events and keep tabs on encaustic artists through our Facebook page.

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showPOD1  Sue Cahill & Marian Ostrowski:

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showPOD2  Carol Hamilton & Maike van Wijk:

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showPOD3  Linda Sorkin-Eisenberg & Carol L. Myers:

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showPOD4  Alicia Forestall-Boehm & Amy Van Winkle:

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showPOD5  Michele Thrane & Pat Lagger:

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showPOD6  Joan Moriarty & Karen Tichy:

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showPOD7  Kathy Blankley Roman & Jenny Learner:

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And yes, I will self indulgently post some more pics of my collaboration with Carol:

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The bus stops by our pod:

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Joan Moriarty and Karen Tichy’s work behind the DOTs is worth a closer look:

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I love Jenny’s Universe too. Some of her dots glow in the dark.

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It truly is magical how art comes together and lifts the spirit.

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Trunk Show Sparkles

The last day of April was marred by rain, but that did not deter shoppers from browsing See Jane Sparkle and my Trunk Show.

AudreyTable

I set up for the show in the morning, and dropped of more yarn bomb doilies next door, where drawing angel hung out for the day to support Stumble & Relish’s guest artist.

DrawAngelatSR

It was fun to play with social media throughout the day.

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My traveling angel almost got snapped up, but then she was recognized and her friend went to a new home instead.

CharmedAngel

Jaime of Stumble & Relish wore her new pyrite pendant out the door.

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In the afternoon, several people perused my wares, and adopted some pieces.

SJSSales

I had made lots of sparkly pieces for See Jane Sparkle, and she consigned the new collection.

consignedSJS

Exclusively for her I made some single-dangle bangles.

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Sara Jane Abbott is a participant in Evanston Made, which runs through the month of June.

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She offers a variety of fun events throughout the month, including designer make and takes and beads and bubbly parties.

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Check out her Facebook page for the latest and greatest.

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Be sure to stop by other Evanston Made venues through June. I might have an angel photobomb during the various art walks and events.

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The Evanston Art Center Made in Evanston Show featuring participating artists is up at 1717 Central Street along with a pop-up shop in the lobby.

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The SWARM show at SideTracked Studio is also fun to peruse, located at 707 Chicago Avenue.

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The Collage Cafe also has an Evanston Made exhibit, and offers numerous workshops for you to create your own art work.

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