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!

Fun at the Wilder Mansion Holiday Market

The Wilder Mansion Holiday Market was a lovely event. The drive to Elmhurst was bright with scenic Fall colors.

prettytree

The Mansion is impressive.

WilderMansion

I can only imagine what it must have been like to live there in the stately rooms with beautiful crown molding, fancy chandeliers and gran fireplaces.

WilderMansionChandeliers

Unloading was in full swing when I arrived, but I was the first in my room on the first floor.

pre-setup

I unloaded my car and then drove to the designated parking area at Elmhurst College.

BlankTable

The short walk was lovely.

PrettyElmurstPark

Soon my wares were all set up, and I was able to take a peek at the other rooms, which weren’t fully set up yet.

WilderBoothdetail

Everyone’s art work is so inspiring, and I wish I could have shopped a little.

cutehats

I bumped into a vendor from the Ravenswood ArtWalk and one I had recently met at a Ravenswood Women in Business Chamber event.

Isabelle

There was jewelry made from broken china-both antique and more current.

shardjewelry

Across the room a real loom was being used for more lovely bags.

ActonCreativeLoom

We were provided some sustenance shortly before the doors opened, which made me feel well cared for.

lunch

Soon the doors were opened, and streams of people started walking in.

WilderMansionTraffic

My first sale was to a friend, but that garnered more sales as the evening went along, which made me very happy.

WilderJewelry

I celebrated with some prosecco.

prosecco

Before we knew it it was time to cover up our tables and leave the building for the night.

CoverdUpBooth

I splurged on a hotel room nearby to save me the stress of driving late at night and early in the morning.

hotelroom

I was thinking I would have a cocktail and snack at the bar, but the ‘bar’ was a vending machine.

nomingling

So I settled for beer and popcorn and made myself at home upstairs.

cocktail hour

My sore feet recovered sightly during a bath, and I read a little before sleeping fitfully in a strange bed-next to a freeway.

HotelView

The next morning some sad news made it hard to prepare, but I put on my bright yellow dress and shifted into vending mode.

DressSelfie

To start we were provided a lovely spread of breakfast foods and coffee.

snacks

Then we all uncovered our tables.

Coveredup

I uncovered my table and once again the minute the doors opened we had a steady stream of attendees.

MaikesMarvelsBooth

Within the first hour I sold 4 ornaments, and more sales kept coming.

OrnamentsWilder

To cover fair expenses and make some extra money was a very validating experience.

WilderVendoes

I did a little shopping with my neighbors.

corkornaments

Traffic continued to be steady during the afternoon.

papervendor

I think most people did well.

WilderMansionBowties

Then the doors were closed and we started tearing down our booths.

Teardown

I still love my handy bag, and it was surreal to only fill my ornament box halfway.

Hearts

The weekend sales filled me with contentment, and I am grateful more pieces have found new owners throughout the month.

SpecialPiecesforSpecialPeople

My next pop-up will be on Small Business Saturday on Damen Avenue.

12182303_10154230875034692_105992047_n

I’m heading to the studio to replenish my ornaments for that event.

StudioPlanning