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!

Shop Local!

I’m off to assist family with a post-Harvey move in Houston, but you can still shop my pieces in various Chicagoland places.

I brought my magick spell book stakes over to Sacred Art, along with some bats to keep them company. An orange ladybug also decided to stow away in the batch.

Owner Kate also picked out some Halloween themed pendants you can peruse at her lovely gift shop. Sacred Art is located in Lincoln Square at 4619 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.

I also dropped off some Halloweeny pieces at the Evanston Pop Up Gallery Evanston Pop up Gallery, 1627 Sherman Ave, Evanston.

This lovely gift store in downtown Evanston continues to attract local artisans and keeps surprising me with new inventory.

The Hip Circle Empowerment Center continues to carry my pieces as well, along with other women-owned merchandise.

ChromaK8, where I get my hair done also has a few pieces, and will be carrying more of my skulls when I go back in for a haircut.

I’ll be coordinating a trunk show with ReVive Consignment, 606 W Pratt Blvd, Chicago soon. I picked up some bargain tops there recently and will need to peruse the fall collection soon.

Lena Rose Natural Beauty, 4668 N. Manor Avenue, Chicago has a few of my bangles in its store.

I also just delivered something special to Evanston Stitchworks, so stay tuned on that!

Meanwhile, I love knowing that these have already made their home elsewhere in the world.

Evanston’s new Pop-up Gallery

On Thursday, a new pop-up shop will be opening its doors to the public. The Evanston Pop-up Gallery officially launches at 11 AM to showcase the art work of 50+ artists.

I snapped a photo of the application email when I walked by in June, and was promptly invited to see the space when I applied.

Having been a visitor to the former rendition of this storefront, I liked owner Steve and Sally’s vision for the space, and started scoping out the various options for my own display. 

After a few calls back and forth, we agreed to a pair of shelves by a mirror and I scoped out the dimensions some more.

It is always exciting to see something new take space. 

Maybe that’s why decorating shows are so popular, because we see spaces transform into something new.

I sat down at my bench and made some new earrings for summer.

Then I picked out the pieces I wanted to bring in and made the inventory sheet for it. The sheet was sent off so Sally would have time to add the inventory to the system.

After peeking in to see how lusciously other displays were coming together on Saturday, I decided to visit Michael’s and HomeGoods to scope out new shelf decorations.

HomeGoods inspired the look, and found the right pieces to complement each other.

I did some staging at home to ensure the dimensions would work.

On Monday I returned to Sherman Avenue. Steve put up my rented shelves and I started putting my display together.

Then the barcode stickers were printed and I cut them to size to fit my tags for the next 2 hours.

Then I heard a familiar voice, and Margarita and her mom popped in to plan out their space for Golden Sapphire bath bombs, soaps and other delicious materials to keep people and pets clean. Their natural and handcrafted bath and skincare products are safe for the environment, children, pets, and the rest of your family. All materials are recycled, and they use natural ingredients. I looove the bath bombs.

We are also partners at Hip Circle Empowerment Center’s Women-Powered Retail Zone so it will be fun to collaborate on this space as well. We decided to have fun in the selfie booth.

Angel also christened the selfie booth, and then Steve jumped in on the fun.

I also learned that Elektra and her husband will bring in their lampwork glass. Everlasting Fire Studio will bring in their beautiful  wine glasses, marbles and paperweights, and some pendants. I use their vases for my trunk shows.

The shelves were soon arranged, and I really like the look. It’s fun to see how a vision comes together in actuality.

I am super excited to see how the rest of the spaces come together.

There is already a lot of great art to see.

The pop-up gallery opens 11 am to 7 pm on Thursday at 1627 Sherman Avenue Evanston.

Then on Monday, the Mayor and Alderman will be present for a 4 pm ribbon cutting.

Check Facebook for updates, special events and hours

Here’s to a successful new boutique!

Consigned at ReVive

Entrepreneurs need to network to keep making connections. At a multi-chamber networking event I fortuitously sat down next to the owner of a consignment store, when my mission was to find more consignment opportunities. We agreed to a meeting, and after that I merrily made some springy pieces for this lovely store.

Owner Jackie opened ReVive Consignment 3 years ago, and most of the pieces she used to furnish the store are second hand. She even mixed leftover paints until she got the lovely colors she needed for her cheerful walls and fixtures.

Truly living by the philosophy that she doesn’t buy new if she doesn’t have to, Jackie consigns an array of boutique items and makes them accessible to the Rogers Park community. The store carries clothing, shoes, purses, books, and assorted gift items for women in all stages of life. There is a lovely bridal section, and the sizes range from small to plus.

I brought in a selection of my Springy pieces that will be on display for the next few months. There will probably be a trunk show in the future, but for now just pop in and take a peek at this lovely store and say hi to its friendly owner.

ReVive Consignment is located at 1606 W Pratt Blvd. in Chicago and current hours are: 11:30 am to 7 pm Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. On Fridays and Saturdays the store is open from 11:30 am to 6 pm. The store is closed on Mondays.

You can make an appointment to consign high-quality pieces from your closet. ReVive Consignment accepts:

  • Women’s and maternity clothing
  • Shoes and boots in excellent condition
  • Purses
  • Jewelry
  • Accessories

These excellent-condition items must be on hangers and clean, wrinkle free, odor-free, without pet hair, holes, stains, pilling, missing buttons, loose hems, or broken zippers.

Check out this lovely store. I will return for some summer dresses soon!

 

Investing in a photoshoot

Recently Annette Kerstin Patko posted another great headshot on Instagram, and it incentivized me to set up an appointment with her. Six years into this solopreneurship venture, it was time to invest in a professional headshot.

The headshot originally featured on my web site was taken before I made my jewelry, and during an impromptu workshop break.

Then I used a cropped and photoshopped post-haircut selfie for a while (shocking, I know) for the various ads and small features I appeared in.

So after my latest coloring adventure at ChromaK8, I set up an appointment with Bordeaux Studio.

Annette instructed me to bring solid color tops, and she picked out the ones that worked out best on camera and with the purple streaks.

Then makeup artist Amy Banas set to work making my face camera ready.

I hardly ever wear makeup, but I know that for the camera lights, evening out skin tone and making the eyes and lips pop is crucial, so this was a fun investment.

Soon I was ready for the test shots, where lighting and shadows were tested to both touch up my makeup some more and to ensure the camera settings were right.

I paired each top with different pendants, and had fun with the various poses Annette instructed me to do to feature the jewelry. Annette did some really cool artsy shots that I am excited to see.

To me, the a professional photoshoot is an investment to make my business more visible, and be ready for any calls about magazine an blog interviews that might come my way (since the Evanston Woman feature caught me off guard).

It also helps me to realize that I can and should be seen. I pretend that people like my jewelry and focus on that during the art fairs, but ultimately buyers also want to connect with the maker, which means that I as a person need to be visible.

Annette has done a beautiful photo series about Evanston Women, Women of Substance, that was on display last year.

She often documents city-wide events like the Evanston bi-annual wine walk and holiday lighting ceremonies. She also works on weddings and special events, so check out her page and see what you need!

I had a blast and look forward to seeing the final results and figuring out what to use my new photos for!

Selfies may be trendy and fun, but for business, a professional picture is best!

Dragonflies in the shop

Last week was Dragonfly week and I uploaded a few of my favorite odonata.

There will be more to come, and I have a few in my head.

With spring coming I want to make more plant stakes.

Maike's Marvels Dragonfly Plant Stake

I also did neck shots and earring shoots as the sunlight permitted. I don’t have a photo studio so it’s just how the light falls in the living room.

It’s time consuming to get situated, but fun at the same time.

The aftermath of a photoshoot…

I cropped and recropped and set about writing product descriptions.

I also put two popular paper wedding anniversary pendants up on the shop. Earrings and bangles are coming soon.

Then I asked tech support why I couldn’t figure out how to get my necklace length options to work, and of course all I needed to do was start the attributes from scratch instead  of fiddling with the one I had created prior to the ecommerce migration.

When in doubt, just reset the thing you are doing in WordPress…

Anyway, after a day of going through all my pendant listings, you can now specify your necklace cord length when ordering a product, no special notes needed.

Being my own techie is frustrating sometimes, but learning how things work is fascinating too.

I still need to decide on an international shipping plugin, and want to explore more themes so the sidebar goes where it is supposed to to help you navigate better.

For real-life perusal, I made over a few older pendants and gave them new flair.

These are so 2013.

So now they are all made over in vibrant colors.

This spring collection is at The Collage Cafe.

Let me know what you would like to see next. I have many ideas for Spring, but enjoy hearing from you the most!

 

 

 

 

WebShopping

I am busy loading products to the shop and working on tweaking some of the emails that follow the order.

Plugins and embedded php shortcodes are a whole different interface than the HTML I learned in 2000.

Still, the store should be functional enough for you to get your Valentine on (in spite of one pesky sidebar I need to remove).

I needed some rainbow therapy during the longest two weeks that impacted so many people.

So I made some hearts to cope with the events that I could not control.

Somehow making these pieces gives me peace.

The Love Wins heart got sold right after posting, but the full rainbow collection is up.

I am also continuing to add to the angels that are in the catalog right now.

A Spring theme with flowers of all kinds is also in the works.

The most time consuming part is getting all the pendant neckshots, especially since those shoots are daylight-dependent and it’s been a bit dreary lately, alternated by too much sunshine.

Then there’s the cropping and resizing, but being on Etsy gave me lots of practice to where I can listen to podcasts during this process.

I look forward to making some progress this week so you have the full range of my inventory.

Wishing you much love and joy as we navigate interesting times.

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!

Culture-immersion pop-ups

Last month I popped up in places that had nods to cultures other than mine.

Early in November I popped up at Esquina, a new place founded by Nomadic Ant.

Meaning corner in Spanish, the place is a conglomeration of artist exhibits, a gathering space for live music and poetry, and venue for monthly local artist bazaars.

It was a weekend of shock for many in the nation, so there wasn’t much traffic, but it was still a fun gathering.

A woodburning artist read tarot cards.

An illustrator showcased her work.

We met the artist of these creations.

This rainbow sprinkle donut was consumed.

It was fun to peruse the record covers. Esquina offers Bring your own Vinyl nights, where you can play your records on a turntable.

In early December I visited the Irish-American Heritage Center, which transformed from a large gymnasium type space to a bustling vendor fair.

In spite of our first snowfall of the season, many people strolled through prior and after Sunday mass, including the bagpipers I had heard earlier.

I had researched Irish Carols and learned about Christmas in Killarney.

Candle Angel fluttered away.

It was a fun afternoon with a variety of arts and crafts on display.

My art fair season is over, and the display bags put away for a few months.

I get to enjoy the snow instead of watching it fall from the window, or luxuriate in hibernating for a bit.

Winter offers magical scenery.

Elmhurst Day Out

Like last year, the Holiday Fair in Elmhurst was a blast. This year, I made a weekend trip out of it and started at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art.

lizzadromuseum

This museum houses the collection of Joseph Lizzadro, who enjoyed cutting and polishing jade as a hobby, and began collecting beautiful artifacts.

lizzadrovitrine

Because rough jade was not available, Joseph obtained many statues, that were sometimes re-purposed into jewelry he made.

statues

The entry-level floor is filled with beautiful statues and charming dioramas created entirely out of gemstones.

lapidarydioramas

The desert diorama was my favorite.

desertscene

The Castle Lizzadro is gorgeous, though its in memoriam footnote leaves a sense of sadness and mystery.

castlelizzadro

I learned about commesso in pietre dure, which is painting with slivers of stone. There are numerous explanations throughout the museum.

guanyinmercy

On the lower level, the displays delve into the mechanics of how stone is carved.

howtos

It also taught me about Hunsrück Slate and what types of stones form in which layer of sediment.

hunsruckfossils

I envy the opal collection.

opal

I also spotted a lovely butterfly.

petrifiedoakbutterflylizzadro

Soon I had absorbed all I could and it was time to head back out into the sunshine.

silhuette

Fall was at its glorious peak.

elmhursttrees

I had noted the You Are Beautiful signs at the Art Museum and decided to take a closer look.

elmhurstbeautifulmuseum

The sculptures were uplifting.

beautifulmessages

I still had a little bit of time left so I explored the Conservatory of Wilder Park, a lovely greenhouse.

wilderconsservatory

Wilder Park is truly beautiful.

wilderpark

Then it was time to unload the car and start setting up at the Wilder Mansion, which was basking in gorgeous sunlight.

wildermansion

I found my spot and then moved the car.

unloading

The three-tree setup took some planning.

settingup

Soon I had everything the way I wanted it.

boothsetup

I spun around to meet other vendors.

wildersetup

Laurie Messerol is so recognizable.

lauriemesserolbooth

Between 4 and 9 pm numerous visitor milled about.

day2crowds

Libations were flowing, and I got to sip on Prosecco.

prosecco

My frosties and angels were popular that day.

frostieselmhurst

Those who capitalized on the Cubs’ win sold out their blue, red and white wares.

corkcubbies

When the doors closed we wrapped our booths for their slumber party.

boothslumber

The fountain was lovely at night.

nightfountain

I took stock of my purchases.

carlabanksdesigns

The next day we opened from 10 am to 5 pm, and more visitors milled about.

shoppers

This new vendor has lovely whimsy for sewers and knitters.

paperorthreadsbooth

Again, angels and frosties were adopted, and I am thrilled Elmhurst Angel stayed in Elmhurst.

angelsinelmhurst

I think the trees help.

threetrees

Jewelry also found new owners.

elmhurstjewelry

This is a great show for vendors to get their start in, and I enjoyed the lovely work by made by Q.

madebyqcards

I also met a lovely new pint-sized admirer who ordered a custom bangle.

girlbangle

Dragonflies are fluttering in new homes too.

elmhusrtornaments

It was a lovely weekend, and we all enjoyed our time in a beautiful setting.

mirror

Then I packed up what remained to be divided among boutiques and upcoming shows.

boothdetails

Soon the mansion was cleared, and ready for its next event. RGL Marketing for the Arts will put on an outdoor Spring Show in May.

endholidayfair

I buckled up my ornaments and drove home.

buckledangels

Then I headed to Ayla’s to source beads for another custom bangle, which I will send off this week.

banglecommission

If you want to commission a piece, contact me now since the holiday crunch is real.