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…

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!

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.

A pause before entering 2017

Well here we are, it is 2017!

I meant to blog a bunch of things this past week, but instead I needed to relax, spend time with friends, and reset my brain.

I had a lovely Art Institute visit where I learned about the annual Creche.

Versatile artist László Moholy-Nagy gained a new fan

There was a fun Gift Exchange party at which my Ugly Rainbow Sweater Frosty found a new owner.

 My hair was overdue for a bit of head-pampering.

I took a winter stroll after garaging the car (same snowman, 1 week later).

Then I dove into the loot I picked up at Evanston Public Library.

Now I feel the pressure of setting resolutions and goals and doing all the self-improvement things.

But part of me says that I can hold off another week on all that, especially since I spent a day reviving my computer on the day I meant to do all the writing.

I am starting to close out my 2016 finances and inventory sheets, checking out the calendar, and considering where I want to spend my time next year.

Here’s to a fantastic new year filled with opportunities, joy and community!