Beginnings of Spring

The weather is still in flux, but we’ve had a few spring-like days that allowed me to enjoy the sunshine.

It is fun to watch flowers pop up and see how quickly they respond to the sunshine and warmth.

I always forget what this blossomy tree is called, but love its gradation of budding blooms.

I love the scent of hyacinth.

Soon many will be emitting their fragrance in my neighbrohood.

The Narcissi survived a cold patch during which some were already coming out.

These clusters are fairly close to each other.

This sea of blue makes me happy.

Pink blossoms popped out overnight.

I also spotted an admiral pair dancing in the air, but they flew too fast to be captured on camera.

Cultivate is celebrating spring with an exhibit that documents the unfurling of ferns.

I wish you a happy Passover week and/or Easter weekend!


 

Valentine’s Week

Last week’s excuse to celebrate love was fun.

I made some loving food in heart-shaped muffin forms.

My Valentine came from Stumble & Relish, along with a delicious bath bomb.

A friend and I strolled along Dempster where I picked up new treasures from Crowded Closet and Secret Treasures. The top will serve well for neckshots.

 

We also stopped by Hewn and Chocolatier Piron for Valentine goodies.

I swung by Michaels to pick up new storage and was hit with Easter right away.

St. Patrick’s day is nigh as well, which will make me upload Shamrock Angel soon.

I had an eye on these scrapbook boxes but needed to explore other ways to transport my swarm and angels and frosties, so I browsed online for solutions until checking these boxes out in the store.

They happened to be on sale, hooray! It’s a great change from the non-weather proof shipping boxes I had recycled before.

I am using foam craft sheets as inserts, which will help keep my creations stable as I sift through layers to get customers the color and style they want when I haven’t hung all my pieces at a fair.

My old boxes wouldn’t close over the dragonfly squiggles, so this closed lid pleases me a lot.

I am excited to use these at the 2 upcoming shows, the Spring Craft Fair in Crystal Lake and Affair of the Arts in Spring Grove.

It’s been beautiful spring weather, and though I was felled with a bug over the weekend I enjoyed the sunshine in my windows and birds chirping.

Now plants are peeking through in February, which is strange.

The rays make for fun window shoots.

I’m uploading pendants, bangles, angels, earrings and other pieces as fast as I can.

Learning Jigoshop has been interesting, and changing the theme fixed a huge sidebar problem that didn’t seem to be solvable for a few weeks.

I am also applying to future shows, and crossing fingers for this one.

One Art Show Application site had me frustrated with rejection, but then this year I decided to try a new show, and I actually got a lovely green check mark! The BLING show will be in November.

Here’s to not giving up and believing in opportunity. Stay confident that you are in exactly the right place at the right time, and do what you can, with what you have, where you are. It might get you featured in a magazine!

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!

Countdown to Christmas

Fair season is over for me, but shopping is still allowed in these 10 days before Christmas.

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I just posted the angels and frosties I have in stock on my Facebook page. You can see individual photos of the angels here.

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Reds and Greens:

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My remaining frosties have individual photos here.

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I also still have a selection of ornaments in 4 Chicagoland retail locations that are each worth a visit.

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Go visit The Collage Cafe for inspirational joy-bringing and creativity-fueling gifts. You can get something tangible or give the gift of a workshop.

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Sacred Art has a lovely array locally made artisan gifts. This shop holds presents for all ages, genders and price-points. It’s also a one-stop art boutique for Chicago aficionados.

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See Jane Sparkle has extended holiday hours you can confirm on Facebook, and offers all kinds of sparkly jewelry, vintage fashion, and unique ornaments.

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ChromaK8 Beautique also has a variety of gift items for you to peruse while your hair treatment processes or after you get your nails done at Noktivo.

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Contact me if you saw anything at fairs or in my booth snapshots that caught your eye. My online store will remain sparse until January, when I will have a chance to take stock and photograph the pieces to be uploaded.

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I ran out of Rainbow Angels, but will be making more with new outfits my friend created, and will post those on Facebook soon.

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Here’s to more ornaments hanging on other people’s trees this season.

Bucktown ArtShow this weekend

On Saturday and Sunday I am returning to Holstein Field House for the 18th Annual Bucktown Holiday ArtShow. It is my third year there, and I think I’ll be in the same spot as last year.

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This show has 100 artists selling handmade, unique, one of a kind gifts and art in all media. I’ve been to many fairs and know some booths on ‘the circuit’ but this show draws artists I have not yet seen every year, along with some popular returnees.

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Come and join us on Saturday December 10 and Sunday December 11 from Noon to 5 pm. Holstein Park is located at 2200 N Oakley Avenue in Chicago. There should be a visitor parking lot South of the Park, and the Blue Line Western stop is nearby.

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Silent auction tables will be set up in each gym and in the auditorium with donated items from the participating artists. Guests are welcome to place a bid on any and as many items as they like. Participants don’t have to be present to win.

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Proceeds from the Silent Auction will be donated to A Long Walk Home. A Long Walk Home is a Chicago-based national non-profit that uses art to educate, inspire, and mobilize young people to end violence against girls and women

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Yum Dum Food Truck will be set up just outside the entrance from approximately noon until 4 pm.

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I had some last year and it was delicious.

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Coffee, soda, water, muffins and some snacks are available at the food booth in the Auditorium.

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You’ll also want to get some hot cocoa from Bob’s Belgian Chocolate, who was set up in the West Gym last year.

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The first Bucktown Holiday ArtShow took place in 1999, at Holstein Park Fieldhouse.

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Admission is $2/person at the door, but you can print my newsletter to get into the ArtShow for free. There is also a half-off admission coupon on the Bucktown Promotions web site.  

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If you forget to prepare in advance, you can also check in on Facebook for free admission to the ArtShow (and then break all the rules). 

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This is my final art fair of the year, so it’s the last time you’ll see my trees and letterboxes fully adorned.

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Snow is in the forecast, but that hasn’t deterred shoppers in the past years.

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It truly is a fun outing for families and caters to people of all ages.

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Warm Bevvy Trunk Show

Last year I had a blast at the Warm Bevvy Walk in Evanston. It is a great way to explore local shops and make new friends. The 2nd Annual Evanston Warm Bevvy Walk is on Thursday, December 8 from 5 to 8 pm with my favorite businesses participating.

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Enjoy an evening stroll with friends and family, stopping at stores in downtown Evanston and along the Main-Dempster Mile to try tasty beverages and shop for the holidays. I will be at See Jane Sparkle with all my wares for an evening trunk show. Sara Jane is blending a special beverage and will also have special promotions that evening.

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This event is FREE and open to all ages, but registration is required. If you intend to drink alcoholic beverages, you are required to present an ID to get a wristband. This year, commemorative Shop Evanston enamel mugs will be available for purchase for $5 with cash or credit card. Along the Main-Dempster Mile, the following businesses are offering drinks.

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Check-in (where you get a map and wristband): The Pot Shop | 1224 Chicago Avenue or Sketchbook Brewing | 821 Chicago Avenue.

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See Jane Sparkle | 1312 Chicago Ave.
Threads Boutique | 1304 Chicago Ave.
The Collage Cafe | 912 Sherman Ave.

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Evanston Eye Wellness | 716 Main St.
Trash & Treasures | 611 Dempster St.
Follow Your Nose & The Alchemist’s Wife | 917 Chicago Ave.
Vogue Fabrics featuring Bon Events | 718 Main St.
Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery | 704 Main St.

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Virag Jewelers | 703 Main St.
Evanston Float Center | 800 Dempster St.
In Fine Fettle Holistic Health Center & Wellness Boutique | 900 Chicago Ave. (storefront on Main St.)
Belgian Chocolatier Piron | 509 Main St.

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Squeezebox Books & Music | 1235 Chicago Ave.
Evanston Stitchworks | 906 Sherman Ave.
stumble & relish | 1310 Chicago Ave.
YoFresh | 635 Chicago Ave., #7

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Downtown Evanston: Check-in: Vinic Wine | 1509 Chicago Ave.

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Life is Good | 1741 Sherman Ave.
Avail & Co. | 1106 Davis St.
Athletico Physical Therapy | 909 Davis St., Ste. 220
Underground Printing | 818 Clark St.
Chiropractic First | 1609 Chicago Ave.

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La Cocinita | 1625 Chicago Ave.
Ayla’s Originals | 1511 Sherman Ave.
Relish | 706 Church St.
Williams Shoes the Walking Spirit | 610 Church St.

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Holiday Inn Chicago North-Evanston | 1501 Sherman Ave.
Celtic Knot | 626 Church St.
Andy’s Frozen Custard | 719 Church St. {offering Hot Fudge/Caramel Turtle Sundaes for $2.30}
Spice & Tea Exchange of Evanston | 1615 Sherman Ave.
Pure Barre | 910 Church St.
Bookends & Beginnings | 1712 Sherman Ave. (alley entrance)
The Alley Gallery | 1712 Sherman Ave. (alley entrance)

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Saville Flowers | 1712 Sherman Ave.
Evereve | 1608 Sherman Ave.
Uncle Dan’s | 901 Church St.
Smylie Brothers | 1615 Oak Ave.
Exhale Evanston | 1890 Maple Ave.
First Northern Credit Union | 1705 Sherman Ave.
Bottle & Bottega | 1016 Davis St.
dragonfly-df | 1501 Chicago Ave.

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I hope to see you!

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Ornament Factory

Since sending off ornaments to 4 boutiques, my own supply has been depleted.

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So for the Irish American Heritage Center’s Christmas Bazaar I had to go back into the studio.

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I reviewed some Irish Christmas carols, and found my favorite on the list.

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Then I realized my friends had requested rainbow safety pin angels, and I set to bending those as well.

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Soon my fingers were sore and I had to put gloves on.

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Putting outfits together came next, which was easier on the fingers.

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Last month my favorite mini-iron lost its protective handle, and the back-up iron came apart as well.

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I ordered a replacement, which is really a rhinestone setting tool.

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The new one is so pristine that I am still using my rejiggered version, but the blue strip is coming apart again so the time is next to christen the clean one.

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I dressed my “Irish” angels in reds and greens.

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I also tried to draw a Chicago flag for a friend, but it requires more practice for the general public.

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This rainbow angel had awesome hair, but it’s not feasible to keep that look.

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A customer wrapped her pendant commission in lovely paper that had to be repurposed.

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This is my Beetlejuice Frosty.

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I also put a pom-pom frosty together.

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I had a productive few days.

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There are more ideas swirling in my head, but these will be the ones going on display on Sunday.

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Tagging them was next.

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I’m re-setting the jig for book ornament commissions, and am ready to take on a new batch of custom orders now that these cuties are floating to new homes.

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This is my current full range of angels. Claim them on Sunday or at future pop-ups.

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I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, or next Thursday at the Warm Bevvy Walk at See Jane Sparkle, or at the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow December 10 & 11.

 

 

Small Business Saturday Consignments

It’s been a whirlwind of making enough angels and frosties for my pop-ups as well as the four spaces I am consigned to this holiday season.

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Just in time for Small Business Saturday, my ornaments are now in three Chicagoland retailers: The Collage Cafe and See Jane Sparkle in Evanston, and ChromaK8 Beautique and Sacred Art in Chicago. My angels went under the sorting hat to determine which ones would fly off where.

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A few went to Chromak8 Beautique, where I get my hair done. ChromaK8 strives to deliver the highest quality beauty services with the cleanest, high performing products.

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On Black Friday, ChromaK8 will debut special holiday gift sets and a local artist showcase. The salon is located at 5425 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.

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I am thrilled to be in a new location in Lincoln Square as well.  Sacred Art offers a variety of gift items for the whole family, including wonderful Chicago-themed items. Owner Kate curates a selection of work from 110+ makers with a focus on Chicago-made art.

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Check out the Facebook page for extended store hours on Small Business Saturday, with nibbles offered to shoppers. Sacred Art is located at 4619 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.

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I hope these characters enjoy their slumber party and find new owners.

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The sneak peek in the store is gorgeous.

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I switched out my inventory at See Jane Sparkle on Tuesday, so you will see brand-new pendants, bracelets and earrings in Sara Jane’s store. 

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The new pendants went straight from my studio to her.

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I hope you like perusing them.

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You can also peruse my sparkle ornament collection, created specifically for the boutique. 

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I’ll have my full collection available on December 8 during the Warm Bevvy Walk.

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The Collage Cafe also has brand-new pieces in the shop, and I cannot wait to see how my ornaments look in this lovely playspace.

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A few angels incorporate alcohol inks purchased at the store.

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Both The Collage Cafe and See Jane Sparkle are participating in the Hip Circle Studio Holiday Hike on Small Business Saturday, with special bags and goodies for shoppers walking off their Turkey coma.

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Check out the holiday offerings online at The Collage Cafe  and See Jane Sparkle

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I am so excited to be supported by these lovely women entrepreneurs, and look forward to visiting their holiday setups soon!

Local Artist Bazaar at Esquina

It’s pop-up after pop-up for me. On Sunday I will be at Esquina’s Local Artist Bazaar.

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Founded by neighbor and fellow jewelry artisan Nomadic Ant, Esquina is “a place to explore your creative superpowers”.

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The space hosts art openings, poetry readings, shared stories, workshops, travel talks, a music listening room as well as discussions and gatherings.

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This month’s Local Artist Bazaar or LAB will be Sunday, November 13 from 12 pm to 5 pm at 4602 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL.

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Throughout the afternoon local artists will gather and support each other in a cool community space. Marvin Tate will have a few live performances, cocktails will be provided by Jo Snow Syrups, and tarot card readings will be available.

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Participating artists include:

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Esquina can also offer private events. Come and join us on Sunday, and see what fun can be had here.

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Skeleton Time

When I had my Platt-A-Palooza pop-up, Halloween was already in full swing at the store, and I love decorations they have available.

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It’s kind of fun to hang out “in death” like this, don’t you think?

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I’ll be putting on the Corpse Bride and Nightmare Before Christmas this weekend.

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I also put a harvest vignette on my fireplace mantel that will serve as a gratitude altar for November as well.

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My sister gifted me a mini-fondue set, and Piron helped me with fillings.

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This treat is worthy repeating more often.

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My friend ‘squashed’ me, and I tested a frittata recipe that made for a few breakfasts last week.

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Here’s to harvests, dress-up games, and the sweetness of life!

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