Exploring Crystal Lake

On Friday I was scheduled for an evening art fair at the Immanuel Lutheran School in Crystal Lake, a suburb I had never visited before. So prior to the 4:30 pm setup time I decided to take the afternoon to explore the town. An online search produced an intriguing map of a nice walkable cluster downtown, so I figured out where to park and set the coordinates for a leisurely drive.

The weather was lovely (albeit slightly chilly), and I parked my car in a 4-hour spot. Then I oriented myself based on the map by the train station.

Since it was lunchtime I checked the list of restaurants first, and picked two that looked intriguing. While passing a bunch of enticing windows I decided on Le Petit Marche, a lovely french-inspired bistro.

I ordered a tuna salad brioche with tea, which was served quickly.

The ambiance is lovely, and I would love take part in a wine and cheese evening sometime.

I was going to leave some postcards for Affair of the Arts, but someone already had. 🙂

Fully nourished, I walked to the end of the street and fell in love with the Crystal Lake Antique Mall. This place has rooms upon rooms of vintage pieces that inspire nostalgia and tempt those with a flair for spinning stories about old pieces. I saw a lovely wooden desk secretary at a bargain price, but instead settled on a tray I actually needed. I do think I’ll visit again though, maybe I will know a place to put that piece by then (if it is still there).

Fully uplifted by this historic surprise, I strolled back outside and made my way back into modern times in an old-town setting.

I meandered 2 fabric stores, some fashion boutiques, and then stumbled onto Kaleidoscoops via a gift shop, and couldn’t resist treating myself to a cone. This is a nice after-school hangout for teens. I needed caffeine for a long evening so “The Grind” was a perfect fix with its delicious caramel and the crunch of chocolate covered espresso beans inside.

Across from the ice cream store was Evolve, a store with yummy-smelling chakra candles, lots of healing crystals, altar pieces, incense and beautiful instruments to center the soul. I could have spent hours in there but had a schedule to keep.

So I strolled in and out of a few more cute stores before being stopped by the Metra. In the future I could catch the UP-NW metro line in Mount Prospect for a mini trip to Crystal Lake.

On my way to the car I spotted this fun sign that applies to so much of life.

Five minutes later I was at the Lutheran School to unload my car in the gym.

Soon the place was transformed into a vibrant and colorful fair.

Fancy meeting Le Petit Marche here again!

It was fun getting back into the booth setup routine.

I had fun doing a quick perusal.

 Tupperware is more vibrant these days.

Now that I am sewing again, this coat by Ginspiration spoke to me.

A raffle drawing was held every 30 minutes.

I gained some new admirers and a few pieces walked away.

My angels, dragonflies and ladybugs were all petted.

A friend stopped by and snapped me in action.

My neighbors were fun to connect with.

Soon it was time to pack up again and head home. It was a good evening and I look forward to visiting here again.

On to Affair of the Arts!

Wilder Mansion Holiday Market

I recently discovered my 1999 maps that helped me move across states to get to Evanston. Pre-GPS driving into the unknown was scary, but quite the road trip.

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So for kicks I looked up Elmhurst and got inspired.

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I am heading back to the Wilder Mansion on Friday and Saturday. The Wilder Mansion’s 6th Annual Holiday Market takes place November 4 from 4pm to 9pm and November 5 from 10 am to 4 pm.

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I’ll have a booth on the first floor among numerous artisans and crafters creating unique holiday items to buy as a gift to yourself or loved ones.

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Beverages will be available, and the evening provides a fun outing for shopping, browsing and conversation. The Wilder Mansion is located at 211 South Prospect Avenue in Elmhurst, IL 60126.

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Artists and businesses include: Alouette Jewelry, TOK GRAPHICS, Lucy Blue Knits, The Goodfrog Candle Company, Acton Creative, Carla Bank Art, Jewels Botanica, Maike’s Marvels, Laurie Shuran Meseroll Painting, Harvest Moon Designs, Mixed Media by Donna Castellanos, Pencil Lady, made by Q, Denise Riesen Photography, Cork Art by Donna Zommer, the Merchants of Downers Grove, Drury Lane Theatre, O’Meara’s Irish House, Mazzenga Images, Laughing Frog Studio, Helen’s Daughters, Art Girl Pottery, 4 Girls Jewelry, Glass by Nancy Morris, Jewelsies, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, Fuller & Howe, Lo in London, Pura Vida Home, Lucky Skype Graphics, Julie Marie Jewelry, Jackthemanabouttown, Lisa Williams Jewelry, Desmond Brown Design, Studio Giverny, East Grove Stamp Co, The Buttons Stop Here, Jewelry by Venus, Paka Monk, Mia’s Wish Inc. Horn Photography, Loveknitz, Lost Sparrow Jewelry, James McCarthy Cole Photography, Weener Ware, Marigold Mary, Practical Girl Designs, Elegant Facets, Liam Hughes Jewelry, Brim and Dash, The High Hopes for Pets Company, Big Fat’s Hot Sauce, Amy’s Cranberry Candy, Wicked White Chocolate Popcorn , bettyplum Handmade Confections, Kilwins, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Badala, In Sheep’s Roving, A Little Book, Susan Nester Jewelry, and Lady Stainpunk Studios

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I wrapped the angel on the jig.

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Then I cut out her outfit.

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Then I ironed on the papers after coating them with encaustic medium.

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Voila, Elmhurst Angel is ready to make her debut.

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I’m busy embellishing other angels for your perusal as well.
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I love the felt pieces and how they work with the wax.

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Based on The Collage Cafe’s alcohol inks class I am learning how the inks work with steel wire and liking the effects.

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Postage stamps aren’t as easy to work with, so that requires further tweaking, but this one turned out sweetly.

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You’ll see my brand-new mini-books there, as well as SWARM ornaments. I will have plenty of pendants, collar necklaces, bracelets, earrings and keychains on hand to balance out the holiday extravaganza.

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Check out RGL Marketing for the Arts on Facebook for updates on the event. You’ll see the pieces that don’t sell in various boutiques and on my shop after the 6th.

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Evanston Sidewalk Sale next weekend

Next week is the Evanston Sidewalk sale. Independent retailers and national chains will set up shop with specials on the sidewalks throughout downtown.

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I am teaming up with Sara Jane at See Jane Sparkle to scatter more sparkle into the world.

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I will have a table outside with newly created sparkle sets from 10 am to 4 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

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Sara Jane will have special offers on her own designs and likely some nibbles and bubbles.

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It’s been fun to use the sparkle beads I picked up at the Bead & Button Show last month and come up with new designs.

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I’ve been coiling away.

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Some Sidewalks along Chicago Avenue are undergoing a makeover, but there will still be plenty of room to stroll. Check out the calendar event here.

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The Evanston Sidewalk Sale is held along the Main-Dempster mile and in downtown Evanston throughout the weekend.

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There will be discounts and special offers on apparel, shoes, one-of-a-kind accessories and decorative arts, including specialty and hand-crafted goods. Not all retailers will have items on the sidewalk per se but go inside to check out goodies.

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Depending on weather, you can peruse my wax and wire creations inside the See Jane Sparkle Boutique.

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An “Artists Row” will be set up on Sherman Ave. between Davis and Church Streets, displaying paintings, clothing, jewelry, home goods, accessories and more for all to peruse, enjoy and purchase.

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Artists will display their wares in downtown Evanston on Saturday and Sunday.

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In addition to shopping and art, there will be games and kid-friendly art activities set-up in Fountain Square. Challenge friends and family to a match of ping-pong, life-sized chess, giant Jenga and Scrabble or take part in a massive chalk art.

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Then, head over to Hyatt House located at 1515 Chicago Ave. to check out the outdoor terrace and enjoy a complimentary, cold glass of lemonade (regular and spiked!).

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To get to See Jane Sparkle you can take the CTA Purple line to Dempster St. or on the weekends, the CTA Red Line to Howard St. and then the Purple Line to Dempster Street.

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You can also take the Metra UP-N Line to the Dempster St. station. Downtown Evanston is just a few blocks from Dempster St. and a few more from Main St. so you can easily walk between the districts.

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If you’re driving, there are three City of Evanston parking garages in downtown Evanston, there is metered parking on the streets and free parking on side streets (like Hinman Ave.). Parking is $1/hr and it is free on Sundays.

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Visit the Main-Dempster Mile Facebook page to learn about the deals at participating stores and other fun activities on Dempster Street, Main Street and Chicago Avenue.

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