Closing out December

The last months of the year were hectic, and two multiday shows capped off the art fair season. In late November, just before Thanksgiving the Jewelry and Gift Show was held at the Highland Park Art Center.

I always love visiting this town, and enjoyed the Pegasus horses that were set up for the holidays.

The Art Center always has wonderful sculptures on their premises.

Fresh off my 3D Encaustic workshop, I was intrigued by this sculpture in the hallway.

We transformed the indoors to a jewelry and gift fair.

The staff was helpful in adjusting lighting and ensuring we had all we needed for setup.

Spectacular Jewelry and Fashion items were available in 4 rooms of the Highland Park Art Center.

On Friday friends came by and invited me to dinner after their copper bangle making class and the show closing.

Saturday and Sunday we returned to see who would adopt our creations.

Some items were to benefit the Highland Park Art Center.

The show was not as successful as hoped for, probably because the venue and the name of the show were changed this year after a longstanding recognition as the BLING show.

Investing 3 days in this show when my cousin was in the country was a but of a bummer, but it is all a learning experience.

Nonetheless, a few pieces flew away, and I enjoyed meeting the other vendors.

My last show was the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow which was familiar territory.

The new organizer moved my space to Number 1!

Once again the gym was transformed into a handmade shopping extravaganaza.

It was chilly but we had a good turnout and the sun cooperated on day 2.

I visited with vendors I knew and met several talented creators.

This year’s silent auction benefited Visibility Arts.

The organization had a booth as well.

Soon it was time to put the booth to bed and head home for the night.

The next day the sun was bright and we had more foot traffic come through the door. I noticed the lovely stained glass skylight for the first time.

The Holstein Field House also hosted a king.

Here my angels and frosties were most popular.

I have a Facebook album with the angels and frosties still in my possession, and they are $5 off at Sacred Art and The Evanston Pop Up Gallery until I refresh my pieces for Valentine’s day.

I am curious what will be popular through 2018.

Art Fair daze

It’s been a good but weird year.  Overall the holiday art fair season went well, but the Holiday shows I was banking on didn’t do as well as in prior years. I only sold one piece at a time, rather than the two-to-three a single customer would pick up last year. The price points were slightly lower too, which changes the profitability of a show. Nonetheless, the ones I have been a regular at still did well, and the one new show that I lost money on was a good learning experience.

What helped this year is that I have made more year-round sales than before, so I am still showing overall growth in the business.

So now as I catch my breath and look for new opportunities, it is nice to see how much wandered away over the past two months.

The Evanston Pop Up Gallery is off to a great start and I hope their second year continues to mark growth and expansion.

The Downtown Evanston gift destination on Sherman Avenue is giving $5 off on my ornaments until I fluff up my shelf for Valentine’s Day.

My last-minute pop up at the Pop Up went quite well.

To spread the local price fairness, Sacred Art is taking $5 off the tagged price of the ornaments that are still there.

I don’t know what the current status is, but these are the ones I left their during my last visit.

I also dropped off some darker and naughtier angels in this quirky gift boutique full of creative locally made art.

Rainbow Dragonfly ornaments had a sudden surge, and I sold a few to friends via Facebook. Skull angels are also hard to keep in stock.

I enjoyed this custom order for my long-time friend’s children.

This year I also had a ladybug fan who kept picking up all my ladybug stakes.

My second Handmade Market was a lovely event, and I sold up until teardown.

Red was a theme color on that day. It is lovely to see some oldies flutter away.

Separate customers purchased a pupil and a teacher musical pendant.

At the Wilder Mansion, the first cold snap of the season encouraged a flurry of frosty sales.

Pendants and Keychains also found new owners.

In a moment of interesting vibes, a lady perusing my angel collection would ask what each carol was just as they were playing on the speakers. So clearly these two were meant to flutter away.

Pink was irresistible to a young girl, and other angels and dragonflies came out of the box to meet their new destination.

As I review all of these, it is fun to see how far my creations have come since I started developing angels in 2013.

Of course I made some presents as well.

And one friend proudly shared their custom angel atop the tree.

I am grateful for the support I received and excited to see what this year holds.

Last Pop-up Hurrah

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

I’ve had carols in my head since December and am contemplating which Christmas Album will be this year’s splurge (Gwen Stefani is a contender).

Meanwhile, I have one final local pop-up before my pieces go into holiday hibernation. The Evanston Pop Up Gallery is hosting The Pop Up Gallery Friends & Family Shopping Night, Thursday, December 14th from 5 to 7 pm.

Owners Sally and Steve will offer snacks and drinks and you’ll get to mingle with a variety of artists who will be present to discuss their work.

I was going to sneak my Jewelry bag and ornament boxes into the back room so you can peruse my Facebook album in person. However, I’ll be able to set up a small table with my wares in the store, so it will be a true trunk show. 🙂

If you are unable to attend that event, The Pop Up Gallery, located at 1627 Sherman Avenue, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with closing hours extended on busy evenings.

Meanwhile, Sacred Art Chicago in Lincoln Square also has a few of my ornaments in their holiday inventory. Owner Kate Merena has been posting a fabulous gift guide on Facebook, so be sure to drop in 4619 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago for locally made gifts as well. She is also open til 10 pm on December 14, and might have other holiday events coming up.

Keep an eye out for Everlasting Fire Studio as well. I adore their ornaments and nabbed some for myself.

Meanwhile, this scarf weather is perfect for my scarf pins that are available exclusively at Evanston Stitchworks. Bundle up and meander over to 906 Sherman Avenue for gift cards and charming fabrics to offer your stitcher this Holiday Season. Around the corner, at 709 Washington Street, the Women-Powered Retail Zone is still open for business at Hip Circle Empowerment Center, where I have a small shelf as well.

Lena Rose Boutique, 4668 N. Manor Avenue, Chicago, is the hostess of my bangles this season, and has a variety of events to get you glammed up and beautified for the holidays.

Speaking of glam, get your hair done did at ChromaK8 boutique and peruse the lovely artisan gift items in their soothing and earth-friendly salon at 5425 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago.

It’s been a strange year for retailers so please be sure to shop local and shop small this holiday season. I can guarantee that every time you shop independent, someone if not more than one person is doing a happy dance because you chose to spend your dollars with them. I certainly cheer every time my partner locations make a sale, since keeping them in business keeps me in business as well!

Happy holiday shopping!

Angel Sessions

I just finished inspecting all my pieces for the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow. Sometimes they get battered during teardown and transport, so I make sure all the waxed paper is properly secured.

As I reviewed my stock, I noticed my musical angels were running low, so I added to that stash.

Now I feel more confident about having the right song for the right person.

 

As I reviewed my stock I realized I’ve held some back from view because I am so attached to them.

But it’s time to let go of ugly sweater angels and other favorites. This photo is in the running for Now That’s A Jig!’s latest challenge that runs through December 31.

It’s been a month of inventorying and tagging.

I just made my 1000th jewelry piece, a pendant. This tracker includes earrings, bracelets, keychains, collar necklaces and pendants created since September 2012.

It’s this musical pendant that reminds my mom of a baby grand piano.

For those counting, my angels, frosties and other ornaments are currently at 469 and I started making them in 2013.

Druzy Angel is the latest in that collection.

Someone will be attracted to that sparkle!

My “Swarm”, including butterflies, ladybugs and dragonflies, expanded to stake format and now also include bats and witchy books. I started these in 2016 and have made 143 to date.

Red dragonfly turned a bit evil during creation.

I also played with a 3D Dreidel. I don’t know whether my Judaica ornaments will find an audience or not, but when someone in retail asks, I create!

I did think the Beetlejuice Angel would be snatched up last month.

It may not be the right time for a snowflake angel at this time

Bucktown usually is a good venue for Chicago Flag Angels.

I might not be able to recreate this skull angel cage.

Some of my dragonflies got blinged up for the last show, but are still awaiting adoption.

I’m incorporating more beads into the ornaments, and can always add custom birthstones to any of my creations.

So many more ideas are waiting!

You can find the angels below at Sacred Art this month, while they are in stock.

I look forward to seeing you at the Holstein Park Fieldhouse this weekend!

Here’s to Marbled Angel finding a home there.

Bucktown Holiday ArtShow Dec 9 & 10

This weekend is my last art fair of the year, the 2017 Bucktown Holiday ArtShow. I think I’m in year four now, and I love returning to the Holstein Park Fieldhouse every year.

The vendors are so creative, and it is a nice blend of catching up with regular exhibitors and those trying out the show for the first time. I enjoy perusing the creativity of each booth and tend to do my own holiday shopping here as time permits.

You’ll find 3 rooms filled with 100 artists offering ceramics to photography, watercolors to oils, jewelry to textiles. The show is Saturday December 10 and Sunday December 11 from noon to 5 p.m. at 2200 N. Oakley Ave. in Chicago.

A Silent Auction allows you to bid on donations from artists in the ArtShow. This year, auction proceeds benefit Visibility Arts. Visibility Arts is a comprehensive visual arts program that offers a combination of group learning experiences and hands-on studio time to adults with developmental disabilities. Guests can place a bid on any and as many items as they like by using the auction slip that will be attached to each item. Participants don’t have to be present to win.

I hope to see you there this weekend!

Jewelry & Gift Show Nov 17-19

On Friday, I will be setting up for The Jewelry & Gift Show. The Art Center Highland Park will transform into a haven for jewelers and jewelry lovers for three days.

Numerous Jewelers will set up booths to be perused by the public on November 17 from 4 to 8 pm, and from 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday, November 18 and 19. This is a free admission, free parking event.


Artists include Janet Alexander, Wayne Dawson, Jessie & Dan Driscoll, Lala Enver, Tetyana Fedorko, Susan Fox, Julie Furgat, Lisa Gent, Heather Hambrecht, Vivian Huang, Roger Iglesias, Christie Joy, Barbara Keisman, Betty Kirk, Ryan Lapeer, Rachel Leykind, Renata Mikota, Jackie Mortillaro, Ann Sofer, Sarella Suarez, Lynn Tatar, Maike’s Marvels (of course), Kate Vanasten, Joe Vilaiwan, and Diana Widman.


Their work includes jewelry, stone, wood, various metals, leather, mixed media, and fiber arts.
The Art Center is located at 1957 Sheridan Road in Highland Park.


After a full day of shopping head into Highland Park’s downtown and eat at one of their great restaurants. There are also lovely boutiques to peruse.

Founded in 1984 Amdur Productions, Inc. is a nationally acclaimed arts festival production company that organizes and directs a selection of Chicago area’s most prestigious and successful juried summer art festivals.

The Art Center Highland Park is a community-based organization whose goal is to ensure access to the arts for all ages and cultural interests. A not-for-profit visual arts organization for more than 50 years, The Art Center (TAC) provides an arts education to Highland Park and surrounding areas as a thriving Arts Education and Exhibition Center, as well as a hub for culture and community.

Angel Making

It is angel making time.

No matter the season, I consistently sell angels throughout the year. So after my angel count session last week I had to replenish some more.

My purples and blues are popular. I also keep selling the skull angels I have in stock. After a 3D encaustic workshop my friend and I went to Blick’s and I found this lovely gold sugar skull paper which of course needed to be angel-fied as well. I love the result.

My aim for the Beetlejuice angel turned out to have a different effect when I went with horizontal stripes instead. Ah well, it’s cute whether you see a jail bird or Audrey or anything else in it.

I wanted to make an ugly sweater angel as well, and this one turned out to be a wine and sweets lover.

I had some Christmas carols from prior seasons that I converted into new angels as well. Some are from when I didn’t jig my angels yet, so I had to adjust the size of the bodies to fit the printed text.

Sometimes the multiple transports of the ornaments take a toll, and when this angel’s wing came loose I decided to refresh its wings entirely, while humming Mr. Mister.

Other angels got new accessories to see if that makes them more attractive to buyers.

Sometimes color decisions are difficult, so there may be multiple poinsettia angel iterations.

My friend Kaitlyn colored a bunch of scraps for me last year when rainbows were trending. I had time to incorporate those scraps into new creations this week.

The polka dots were begging for pompoms, and I am super delighted at the two pastel angels that came out of that.

Today I sent some off to local stores.

Sacred Art will be bringing a batch to Show of Hands this weekend.

My Evanston Pop Up Gallery section got a makeover today too.

The rest of inventory will be with me at the Handmade Market on Saturday, and at the Jewelry & Gift Show in Highland park next weekend.

I look forward to seeing these adopted to new homes. It is a pleasure to keep making dragonflies and angels, so I look forward to getting jigging some more after the Thanksgiving Holiday with family.

December is coming soon, and I am happy to work on commissions for your holiday needs. Contact me if you have a gift idea in mind.

Saturday Handmade Market

November is my crazy month this year. On Saturday I will return to The Empty Bottle for my second stint at the Handmade Market. The show is November 11 from noon to 4 at 1035 N Western Avenue in Chicago and features a variety of handmade gifts for your holiday shopping needs.

Handmade Market Chicago is a unique event to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate the unique and handmade. I enjoyed perusing the creations of fellow makers last month, and already signed up for Spring spots.


The event is free, but since this is a bar you must be 21 years or older (or with a parent) to come in. The Empty Bottle starts serving at noon, so feel free to shop with mimosas in hand. Markets include funky jewelry, knitted items, clothing, baked goods, handbags, paper crafts, skincare and more.

This month’s artists include:

3 to 5 Apothecary by Carlie Merkle ~ Handmade, organic body products made with 3-5 ingredients. I believe there is no need for extra additives when the most simple ingredients can work magic for your health and body.

Acutechic, LLC by Ruby Thomas ~ Upcycled and handmade women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories.

Auburn Moon Creations by Angelina Nunez ~ Purveyor of handmade bath and body products for sensitive skin. Specializing in all natural bar soap, body scrubs, lotion/lotion bars, and tinted lip balm.

Begorra! by Maura McDermott ~ Hand painted accessories including canvas, cross-body purses, wristlets, zipper pouches and stationary items including note cards, gift enclosure cards and journals.

Blue Violet Candles by Peggy Boyd ~ Blue Violet Candles features high quality unforgettable soy wax candles. My candles are made with all natural soy wax, the top quality fragrance oils and each are hand crafted individually.

Bricole Design by Jolanta Nawrocka ~ Ceramic work (which is ceramic jewelry, ceramic chimes, ceramic beads, small figurines) is 100% designed and handmade by me. Fired in electrical kiln. I use low fire clay and glaze all my work with non toxic glazes.

Damsel In This Dress Designs by Heather Flett ~ Cool stuff for women who don’t need to be rescued. Purses, totes, bags, and more.

Debbie’s Designs by Deborah Solomon ~ Handmade sterling silver jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones.

Design Delights Ltd by Linda Sue Collins ~ Treasure chest of handcrafted gemstone jewelry featuring semi-precious stone, amber, pearl, shell, crystal, glass, wood, leather, fiber, sterling silver, & more!

GretchenC Studio by Gretchen Colavito ~ Original beaded jewelry hand sewn with need and thread, inspired by Tribal Art, Couture fashion, the Victorian Era, and Belle Epoque Eras.

Lady Heart Paper by Marielle M-Olson ~ One of a kind stationery notecards handcrafted with repurposed vintage ephemera such as: playing cards, found photos, & book pages.

LuDesigns Creations (LuDesignsjewelry) by Lucy Clasen ~ Silver Smith, lapidary, leather, stamped and beaded jewelry. Some fiber art and greeting cards. Offering items for males has been an addition to my line.

Madame Platypus by Rachel Katzman ~ Cards/prints. Crochet dolls/toys. Humorous resin pendants w/ chain.

Made by Q by Lindsey Quaglio ~ Eco friendly handmade goods. Resuse..Recycle…Rethink

Maike’s Marvels by Maike Van Wijk ~ Pendants, earrings, necklaces, keychains, bracelets and ornaments are hand-wrangled from steel wire and then embellished with encaustic-medium-treated paper or vintage ephemera to gift to your loved ones or for yourself.

Mary Pfister Designs by Mary Pfister ~ Your source for beautiful, unique and high quality jewelry, inspired by nature, handmade with love.

MojoOwl by Nors Beatriz ~ Jewelry from natural raw gem stones often mixed with recycled jewelry to make new wearables, lots of love, light and energy goes into them.

Natalie Walser ~ Original arts and prints, pottery and cat toys, all exploring the joys and the hilarity of urban modern life.

Naturally Refreshed Oil Kreations by Nicole Singleton ~ Essential oil infused products for everyday relief perfectly crafted. Pregnant and Breastfeeding Friendly.

Pure Principles by Cheryl McSherry ~ Skin care using organic botanicals, herbs, and oils without the use of any chemicals, additives, or toxic ingredients.

rj studio inc. by Rashida ~ Handmade jewelry, stationery, and accessories.

Sand and Stain by Todd Miller ~ “Now Playing” Record Display Stands are a great way to display what vinyl is currently spinning on your turntable.

ShopAdele by Leah Ill ~ Crochet projects that get me out of my head and into the world again creating something that others can enjoy, three dimensional play-toy for a children to functional pieces an adult can use every day.

Sonrie Bags by Emma Grigsby ~ Handmade items to make you smile and serve a practical purpose in your life.

Soothsayer Hot Sauce by Kyle Janis ~ All natural, small batch, hand bottled hot sauce. Hand numbered, vegan friendly products focused on a unique flavor palate over intense heat.

SunshineIsHappiness by Susan Lechner ~ Oil hand painted magnets, canvas boards, coasters, and prints, some are sweet, some are whimsical, but all are created to bring you warmth and happiness.

Terminal Cross Stitch by Angela Isadora ~ Nerdy and vulgar cross stitcher obsessed with Robocop, Rick & Morty and horror movies, offering finished products, patterns, and accepting custom requests.

The Drunken Cherry Bake Shoppe by Anna and Irina Goldberg ~ Unique cupcakes made by hand, using high quality ingredients, offered in seasonal varieties. A blast of booze here and there means you don’t have to choose between a cupcake and a cocktail, now you can have both in one adorable package.

Twinette Poterie by Emilie Bouvet-Boisclair ~ Handmade pottery for the thoughtful home. Focusing on functional ware that are inspired by color and nature.

Stop by Bite cafe if you get a little hungry. Parking: Street. Transit: #49 Western bus.

Each event is held on the second Saturday of every month, from the months of October – April from noon to 4:00 PM.

Wilder Mansion Holiday Market Nov 3 & 4

This coming weekend I return to Elmhurst for the 7th Annual Wilder Mansion Holiday Market. This lovely gift show takes place Friday, November 3 from 4 to 9 pm and Saturday, November 4 from 10 am to 4 pm.


A lot of the vendors look familiar, so get your shopping list ready for unique holiday gifts including ornaments, coasters, table linens, pillows, jewelry, pottery, scarves, hats, mittens, kid’s clothing, European photography, painting, holiday stationary, candles, soaps, Irish capes, and gourmet food holiday gifts.
 Doti Liquors will offer wine by the glass on Friday evening. There will also be a raffle.
Of course I will have my full line of holiday ornaments with me, along with my jewelry and possibly a few plant stakes.

The vendors for the 2017 Holiday Market include: Alouette Jewelry, TOK GRAPHICS, Susan Nester Glass, Lucy Blue Knits, The Goodfrog Candle Company, Acton Creative, Carla Bank Art, Jewels Botanica, Maike’s Marvels, Cork Art by Donna Zommer, made by Q, Redefined Map Design, CL Creates, Sue Rosengard Design, Denise  Riesen Photography, Brewpoint Coffee, Edward Jones Investments, Drury Lane Theatre, Smashing Jewels,
DogGone Good Martingale Collars, Jewelsies, O’Meara’s Irish House, Urban Art Chicago, Grayling Ceramics,
Laughing Frog Studio, Art Girl Pottery, Untamed Roots, 4 Girls Jewelry, Lo in London, Capistran, Lisa Williams Jewelry, Scarred for Life, Desmond Brown Design, Paper art by Don Widmer, East Grove Stamp Co, Pura Vida Home, Lucky Skype Graphics, Eclectic Redesigns, Mia’s Wish Inc., The Buttons Stop Here, Jewelry by Venus, Paka Monk, James McCarthur Cole Photography, Kilwins, The Kringle Company, The High Hopes for Pets Company, Amy’s Cranberry Candy, Barcacaochocolat, Spice Merchants of Downers Grove, bettyplum Handmade Confections, Big Fat’s Hot Sauce, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Jewelry by Liam Hughes, Marigold Mary, Black Angel Designs, Weener Ware, Brim and Dash, Elegant Facets, Mixed-Media by Terri Gregory, Marie Miklaszewski, From Shirt 2/A Little Book, Bees Knees Paper Goods.

Wilder Mansion is located at 175 S. Prospect Avenue in Elmhurst. Admission is free. Presented by Brewpoint Coffee, the holiday market is sponsored by the Elmhurst Park District and Produced by RGL Marketing for the Arts, Inc. For further information visit rglmarketingforthearts.com

Handmade Market on Saturday

On Saturday I’ll be popping up at my only October event. Handmade Chicago is kicking off its Fall season at the Empty Bottle, from noon to  4 p.m. on October 14. The event features 30 artists. I’ve never been at the Empty Bottle, located at 1035 N Western Avenue in Chicago, but I hear good things about it and its neighbor, the Bite Cafe. 

Handmade Market Chicago is a unique event to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate the unique and handmade. Each event is held on the second Saturday of every month, from the months of October to April from noon to 4. The Empty Bottle starts serving at noon, so feel free to shop with mimosas in hand.

The event is free to the public, but due to the venue you must be over 21 unless you have a parent with you. Artists will offer funky jewelry, knitted items, clothing, baked goods, handbags, paper crafts, skincare and more. You can park on the street or use the #49 Western bus.

Artisans include: