Skeleton Time

When I had my Platt-A-Palooza pop-up, Halloween was already in full swing at the store, and I love decorations they have available.

restyourbones

It’s kind of fun to hang out “in death” like this, don’t you think?

plattskeletons

I’ll be putting on the Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas this weekend.

skeletonsplatt

I also put a harvest vignette on my fireplace mantel that will serve as a gratitude altar for November as well.

thanksgivingvignette

My sister gifted me a mini-fondue set, and Piron helped me with fillings.

pironfondue

This treat is worthy repeating more often.

chocfondue

My friend ‘squashed’ me, and I tested a frittata recipe that made for a few breakfasts last week.

squashed

Here’s to harvests, dress-up games, and the sweetness of life!

pumpkinlights

Book Ornaments

I started making mini-books in August, and worked on getting more ideas out of my head and into wire this week.

newminibooks

Based on the square peg measurements I created snippets of text in my computer and printed that out on tissue paper to fit in the various designs I have in my head.

printingpaper

I made lots of angels last week, but had many ideas for other pieces in the process that I couldn’t get to because the angel setup is a bit complex. So I ordered an extra Now That’s A Jig! jig bed from Brenda Schweder to be able to wire wrap in stereo.

2ndjigorder

I still only have two hands, but at least I can work on Frosties or other designs on the fly without having to undo the angel jig setup during production season.

doublejigged

Before I set up the Frosty production jig, I wanted to make a Dickensian book ornament. The Christmas Carol has a preface that lent itself to 1-inch snippets.

dickensianbook

Of course as I got inspired I couldn’t just bend one mini-book.

bookjig

Soon I was going through my stash to convert holiday songs into mini songbooks as well.

bookmakingpages

Getting the pages adhered is painstaking, during which I am learning about how to wrap the wire differently and the number of pages that work best as I go.

pagewaxing

Soon I developed a rhythm toggling between books as each needed to cool for cutting and re-adhering.

adheringpages

A Bible scrap from the book of Esther became a mini-bible storybook.

esther2-4book

O Holy Night lent itself for a mini songbook.

silennightbookphotoshoot

An O Tannenbaum score helped me tweak that design.

otannenbaumbook

When they were finished I did a quick photoshoot and inventoried and tagged the pieces so they’re ready for the Wilder Mansion’s Holiday Fair November 4 and 5.

inventoryupdate

It was a bookish weekend too, with me missing a significant Cubs win in favor of catching up on Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold characters. Her series might convince me to get an eBook reader soon, since I am almost through the library’s paper copies.

malleryfoolsgoldaddict

It’s on to Frosties next, and you’ll see these pieces on my shop page after November 6.

vadermask

Evanston Winewalk for Mudlark

Last Thursday the Main-Dempster mile was adorned with lime green aprons galore. Almost all the retailers between Chicago Avenue and Sherman on Main Street participated in the Evanston Charity Wine Walk benefiting Mudlark theater.

guitarworksww

I bought a raffle ticket, and many others tried to win the 12 gift baskets offered this evening.

rafflewinewalkmudlark

I’m curious which baskets my four keychains ended up in, and happy to know they will have a new owner soon.

winewalksponsor

I met my friend at Sketchbook brewery where she sampled the wine.

sketchbookstart

Hip Circle Studio offered a 3-class flight at a discount, so you can try out their classes and get a whiff of all the positive empowerment Malik’s space offers. Their class cards are also worth a whirl.

hcswinewalk

We had a taco at La Principal’s Cafecito.

laprincipalcafecito

I still want to try their morning cocoa with breakfast tacos but always forget about the 10:30 cutoff.

cafecitobkfast

Dave’s Down to Earth Rock shop offered edible rocks with the Wine Goddess’ selection.

ediblerocks

It was my first visit to the new Prehistoric Museum, and angel’s first view of ancient fossils.

davesprehistoricmuseum

Ten Thousand Villages has lovely soaps I hadn’t perused yet.

tenthousandwillagessoap

Their wine display was the best.

winewhine

At The Collage Cafe Lindy served greek wine along with creative energy.

tccwinewalk

Her pumpkin tree is so fun.

tccwinewalkpumpkins

Next door I had a nice chat with Geoff Martin Photography.

geoffmartin-photography

Open Studio Project had a live drummer.

openstudiosdrummer

Evanston Stitchworks has all kinds of fun class and gathering offerings for all ages, and vintage patterns!evanstonstitchworks

Belgian Chocolatier Piron paired an assortment of their pralines with the Wine Goddess’ Boula Monsanto 2013 from Catalonia.

pironwinewalk

I went back the next day to pick up their hot cocoa blend and the famed Hazelnut Chocolate spread that will get me through the cooler days (they ship too) and goes with the French Press home brew from Brothers K.

pironorder

We bookended the walk with a pint at Sketchbook brewery. There were many stops further north, so hopefully the event will happen again and we can map our route in another neighborhood to get to know their businesses better.

sketchbookwinewalk

Beer starred again the next night, with Sketchbook brewery launching their Oktoberfest beer, DIAPASON, in conjunction with Opus 327.

opus327

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church houses the Skinner organ developed by Ernest M. Skinner, one of his best maintained original organs. Eating in the pew felt irreverent, but the food created by St. Luke’s members with meat provided by Bluestone Restaurant was delicious.

opus372_peweating

Christine Kraemer played an “organ Flight” for us with Toccata in D Minor, Adagio from Symphony V, Flues Blues (my favorite) and the Fanfare of the Common Man, which showcased the newly restored trumpets.

opusfestflights

I look forward to visiting this church for their various concerts again. Go check out your local community events. You may be surprised at how much fun you will have even down a street you think you already know.

Halloween in the shop!

I finally got around to loading my Halloween pendants onto Jigoshop on my web site.

jigoshophalloweenview

There is still some back-end testing to be done but hopefully my first order goes through smoothly.

jigoloading

I also want to take some neck shots, but lighting hasn’t been good enough in my home, plus there are other things to take care of first.

photoorg

I dropped off a few pieces at The Collage Cafe, and will be working on some sparkly versions for See Jane Sparkle this week. Soon I’ll be loading more ‘general’ jewelry as well.

halloweenattcc

Have you considered your costumes and accessories yet?

The Moseltalbahn and the Rheingaulinie

I lived in Germany for 7 years, and was thrilled when my aunt and uncle took me to revisit the lovely Rheingau.

eltvilleamrhein

We strolled by the river in Eltville and then visited a lovely garden at The Burg of Eltville, built in 1329.

eltvilleburg

Roses were still in bloom.

eltvillegarten

We passed a lovely wine press.

weinpress

I forgot how magnificent the churches are, and katholische Pfarrkirche St. Peter und Paul had a lovely blend of modern and old stained glass windows.

eltvillekirche

This Ölberggruppe aus der Werkstatt von Peter Schro is fascinating.

gethsemane

Fachwerk is everywhere

fachwerk

We had a snack and some Riesling at the Brentanohaus, where Goethe was a regular.

allendorfbrentano

Sage advice from the wine growers:

savewaterdrinkriesling

Beautiful grapes.

weinreben

We dined at Kloster Eberbach, known in Hollywood as the movie setting of the Name of the Rose.

klostereberbach

It was a lovely reintegration into Germany.

eberbachkerzen

I rode the train to Stuttgart when it was dark, so I have not much to share from that ride.

koblenz-wiesbadenzug

The ICE is lovely to ride though.

wiesbaden-stuttgart

After Stuttgart and a visit to Luxembourg I got back on the train in Trier, which are future blog posts.

trier-koblenzroute

From Trier’s Hauptbahnhof, I passed the St. Paulin Kirche.

trierkirche

Then I was treated to a lovely Mosel valley ride via the Moseltalbahn route.

moselrivier

Wineries abound along the hillsides.

moselwinery

Fall was making its entrance.

trier-koblenzreise

Castles dot the landscape along wineries.

weinrebenburg

The towns along the river are so beautiful.

moselufer

Mountains and Water are a lovely combination.

schoenemosel

In Koblenz I switched over to the Rheingaulinie.

koblenz-wiesbadenroute

I only caught a glimpse of Koblenz’s fort.

koblenzstop

This line travels along the Rhein valley.

rheingaulinie

The windows were a bit dirty, so getting good shots was harder, especially after sunset.

dirtywindowdb

Oberlahnstein had an intriguing tower by its station.

obrelahnstein

The towns are so picturesque.

moselberge

Churches abound.

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The sunset was gorgeous.

rheinreise

My camera did me proud.

dbsunset

I passed another castle ruin along the way.

rheingaukirche

Scope for the imagination.

rheincastle

In Kaub there is this Burg, which reminds me of the many Rhein tales. There is a song about two lovers who couldn’t swim to each other and this castle feels like the setting for it.

kaubburg

Soon I arrived in Wiesbaden, in the dark.

lumixwindow

Wiesbaden is home to the largest Cuckoo Clock in the world.

largestcuckooclock

It was filled with cuckoo clocks, of course, and wooden Christmas decor.

cuckoo

My aunt and uncle live near the Neroberg Kapelle.

neroberg

We listened to the noontime music of the Marktkirche.

marktkirche

More travel pictures will follow, as this was a fun sightseeing trip.

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Witchy Studio

I meant to get my travel blog started but I had too much fun in the studio.

palette

Halloween is coming, and I picked up some napkins in Germany to expand the collection from last year.

2015halloweenpendants

So I set about wrapping wire based on the designs.

wirewaiting

I used the Now That’s A Jig! Big rounds to shape the wire.

jiground

Then I adhered the napkin, which turned out to be of fabulous waxing caliber.

skulluncut

Skull beads are fun.

purpleskull

Later in the week I rediscovered a stamp I had purchased after last year’s season.

stampingspooks

So I made a whimsical spider pendant that reminds me of Jip en Janneke illustrations.

jipjannekespin

My sister’s felted pieces are also very encaustic-friendly, so more “treats” were made.

waxingorange

Some bitchy witchys didn’t want to do as I said, so they were scrapped and new ones flown into spiderwebs.

creatingorange

Some of these pendants will be uploaded later in the week, and I am dropping off a small necklace selection at The Collage Cafe during tomorrow’s playtime drop-in.

halloweenpendants

Have fun getting your Halloween adornments together! It’s fun to add to the collection and I am curious to see what goes to new homes this year.

squarecollection

Jet Lagging

After 2 whirlwind months, coming home instantly messed with my immune system.

ordfra

Between my relatives’ cats, dogs and horses, I had regularly taken Benadryl, but it didn’t keep the sniffles and sneezes away.

fraord

Add to that the airplane air and I was felled the weekend I came home to dreary skies.

ordflags

I reintegrated with a hearty breakfast at the Lucky Platter, right at their opening time.

luckyplatterbenedict

Then I got my go-to “Nature’s Flu Shot” ingredients and juiced and rested the bulk of the weekend.

flushotstuff

I did the laundry right away, but still need to put away the suitcase and organize my clothes. Instead I colored a bit until my brain could process life again.

coloring

My toilet was runny too so I had to look up how to fix it and then replace a toilet flapper.

newflapper

Since I had to go out to Home Depot, I also swung by Michaels.

michaelshopping

I put my art fair displays away that I had just dumped after RAW and Girls Nite Out.

studiomess

How cute is this (on sale) rainbow drawer set that allows me to color-code my scraps instead of digging through a shoebox?

rainbowscraps

The cleanup had me revisiting old project ideas and I tossed out old sheets for which I now have better paper.

outwithold

Dave’s Rock Shop has an assortment of triangle beads I want to fiddle with.

davestrianglebeads

I also did a visual inventory of my ornaments and made a stash of Christmas papers.

octangels

My sister got me some goodies to incorporate into my holiday ornaments.

holidayfeltfromluxemburg

I picked up skull napkins in Germany.

halloweenpendants

Now I am making some additions to the Halloween Collection.

makingnewbies

Then it’s incorporating beads I picked up at Perlenspiel to my angel ideas.

perlenspielbeads

I shopped that store in Wiesbaden when I was a teen, and was thrilled to have my aunt take me back there on my visit.

perlenspielwiesbaden

Contact me if you want a trick or treat pendant—my online shop will lag a bit since the rainy weather doesn’t lend itself to photoshoots.

skullstreat

The INCiTE 4 Reveal!

When I got back from Germany my mail carrier delivered my copy of INCiTE 4: Relax, Restore, Renew.

incitecover

Each part talks about how art relaxes, restores, and renews from the perspective of the contributing artists.

InciteTOC

My page is in the Relaxing section, which makes me happy.

inciteartrelaxe

It is exciting to see my piece reproduced in a book for all the world to see.

incitemaikesmarvels

Fellow FUSEDChicago member Cheryl Holz is also featured, and I cannot wait to peruse all the pages for more inspiration. I actually met editor Tonia Jenny during the first Where Women Create event, when my artistic journey was just a little seedling seeking nurturing.

inciteindex

Being published in the context of my wire pieces spurs me on to evaluate other avenues of publication here, and I am excited to see where my art will take me.

BurgundySwirl-Incite

You can order your copy of INCiTE 4: Relax, Restore, Renew here.