Heart in Texas

I’ve been trying to maintain normalcy since August 25, but there is a lot of emotional upheaval when the town you spent 8 years in is devastated by a catastrophic storm.

My mom and brother still live in the greater Houston area, as do many of my high school classmates whose parents are still rooted in the subdivision I finished High School in.

Since the airports were closed and the surrounding infrastructure tentative, I wasn’t able to rush out and be with my family. Now I keep tabs on them daily, watch the Facebook feeds of my friends in the aftermath, and feel helpless and guilty and on edge. I was too agitated to go into the studio last week; it felt too trivial to make art when lives were in danger.

The beauty is that so much unity is coming out of this. A lot of kindness and helpfulness and an abundance of love.

With my heart heavy, I decided to get back into my commissions yesterday, and worked on a Texas angel as well. Concentrating on the wire and pieces I have been assigned to make helped settle me again. I should remember that art is therapeutic, and that it would have helped me last week as well.

This storm has marked my family and friends. The full extent of the aftermath is not yet known. Neighborhoods that made it through numerous storms have become floodzones. My family was lucky in spite of the material losses. For my friends, their kids are displaced as Kingwood High School undergoes repairs, some of their families are dealing with devastating home damage, and emotionally everyone is spent.

I am aware of raging wildfires, more water damage around the world, political craziness going on, and all the microcosmic events my friends in non-disaster areas deal with day to day. I see the cynics utilizing images and opinions to promote their divisive agendas.

But Hurricane Harvey is deeply personal, and it is OK to sit with that for a moment while the rest of the world rages on.

What gives me peace is that my firefighter brother is utilizing his skills to help his neighbors, completely in his element, as weird as that seems. I know mom will be OK, and we all still have each other.

As volatile as the world and life seems just a few weeks after my birthday, I will continue to pursue what I am called to do, which means sending more angels out in to the world as I gear up for my mid-September fairs.

Feeling Ornamental

It’s a bit early for Advent, but I am having a blast caroling and making holiday ornaments for December.


Making snowmen has taught me all the lyrics to Frosty the Snowman.


Meanwhile angelic songs are humming in my brain as well.


’Tis the season to be jolly, two months ahead of schedule. Snow arrived early, too, but it will hopefully hold off after last week’s fluke. Technically I should have started Christmas preparations in June, but it’s my first year in retail world so I am still learning the ropes.


Peaceful Parlour was first to light a fire under me when they requested that I bring in ornaments in October. This is the selection I brought in, though some pieces may have already been adopted.


Located at 212 S. Third Street in Geneva, Illinois, Peaceful Parlour is Chicagoland’s most expansive Eco-Chic Boutique. The future-friendly store carries a wide variety of herbal remedies and offers a numerous hand-blended teas designed to enhance wellness and positive energy. The kid’s playroom offers a variety of earth-friendly, no-batteries-required toys that kids can experiment with while parents peruse the rest of the store.


Peaceful Parlour’s focus is to find products with environmental and community benefits, supporting local artists, small businesses, fair trade and women co-op groups around the world. These products include household items such as recycled-glass water bottles, cork bowls; gardening accessories; personal adornments such as scarves, hats, jewelry and purses; and home decorative items including lamps, paintings and chimes. With its focus on positive energy flow, Peaceful Parlour also offers incense, purifying sprays and other meditative tools.


The woman-owned store hosts a variety of pop-up events, including a psychic medium, meet the artisan, outdoor music in the summer and tie-ins to Geneva’s special holiday festivities. The store will hold hourly ‘Blue Light Specials‘ on Small Business Saturday (November 30).  Geneva’s Christmas Walk and House Tour on Dec 6th and Dec 7th marks the arrival of Santa Lucia  and the mayor is presented with the first candy cane of the season on Friday night. Stores stay open late and Peaceful Parlour will be serving some organic herbal teas and homemade cookies. A guy’s night out is planned on December 17th at which they can shop for their ladies (Peaceful Parlour will have them fill out a wish list in advance).


The Evanston Art Center’s Winter EXPO, opening on November 23, will have select pieces on display as well.


So while I am ambivalent about jumping on the Christmas-before-December retail bandwagon, I do need to sell and promote my wares. So peruse my Holiday collection at Peaceful Parlour in Geneva and at Aurora Rose Boutique in Lemont.


You can order your custom ornaments or pendants via e-mail. This set just got shipped overseas. Overseas orders need to be in by November 20 in order to arrive by Christmas, or they might get stuck in customs until the New Year.


I can make angels, snowmen and trees in any color combination, and incorporating the carols you favor. Wire cages get quirky at times, so those will be a blend of your choices and the wire’s personality. Since these will all be made by hand, my last day of taking custom holiday orders is December 9. Local and Etsy orders should be made by December 18 to ensure on-time Christmas delivery.


The three pieces below will be up for dibs on Facebook before they go to Etsy (trees may be a one-season-only offer, they’re complicated!):


New creations

This Saturday, the School for Little Children is hosting a fundraiser. I was invited to submit a silent auction item, so I decided to make a little angel.

Angel pendant by Maike's Marvels

It was fun to dress her up.

nekkid angel Maraviglia

She is a pin, to serve as a guardian angel on a lapel or maybe a backpack.

Angel Pin Maraviglia

I made other pieces during that studio sitting as well, with my wire getting funky at times.

New Maraviglia by Maike's Marvels

A Theobromide scrap became an additional Princess Scientist pendant for the auction.

Princess Chocolatier the second

Meanwhile some dragonflies wanted to be desktop minis, which will go up on Etsy soon.

Einstein Desktop Mini by Maike's Marvels

 Dragonfly Desktop Minis by Maike’s Marvels

Brussat  Desktop Mini by Maike's Marvels

Song of Solomon 2 was on my mind the day after Valentine’s Day, which resulted in these two love-related pieces.

Song of Solomon wax and wire pendants by Maike's Marvels

My new Maraviglia pendants aren’t going up on Etsy just yet due to another project in the works, but if something catches your eye message me and I’ll hold it for you.

translucent Angel Pin

Wishing you a creative rest of the week!