Ready for Advent

On Sunday Advent begins again.

When mom came to visit for her post-Harvey getaway, we spotted some lovely advent mittens at Ten Thousand Villages. We promptly decided it would be a fun craft activity for the family.

So after the Turkey feast we sat down and gathered quote books and coloring supplies. Together we lined up along the kitchen island and used quotes from our books that applied to each family member.  We also doodled and Zentangled.

Soon the boxes were filled with 21 messages, plus 3 mini bars of chocolate to sweeten the surprise.

We placed each paper in a mitten, and four of us now share a daily ritual for the month of December. The box comes with preprinted daily blessings as well, so we will be able to use those next year.

I helped mom hang hers.

When I got home I set up my Christmas Mantle.

This year I’m just using what’s on the mantle already, along with lights and a few small ornaments that were easy to reach.

I incorporated creations acquired at Chicago’s Sacred Art, and Evanston’s The Pop Up Gallery, Shaker Traditions, Secret Treasures, and Ayla’s Originals.

A few came from Wiesbaden’s Cuckoo Clock and famed German Holzschnitzereien.

Some angels are gifts from my family. They’ve come from Africa, Bali, Luxembourg and Germany.

My Photobomb Angel just turned two and I like having her hang out with these family members.

It is fun to rearrange the collection with creations by my friends, like Chai Wolfman.

After the Bucktown Holiday Fair I will set up a Christmas tree with my handmade ornaments.

Do you have an Advent Calendar?

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.

The Ornament Factory Opens

The holiday season is about to kick in for me, so the other day I pulled out my angels for a thorough count.

I also checked last year’s sales to see what colors sold.

There is no science to prior sales as a predictor, but it always helps to know what colors customers gravitate toward.

So now I am off to the studio to replenish the most popular designs, as well as create new angels that pop into my head.

I have so many accessories for them, and I love watching them get matched to their new owners. This original angel is not going anywhere, though.

I have plenty of frosties due to the limited snow last year, and will probably come up with some more ornament designs.

I have 3 shows coming up in November. The Wilder Mansion’s 7th Annual Holiday Market takes place November 3 & 4 in Elmhurst. Handmade Chicago returns to the Empty Bottle November 11.


The Jewelry & Gift Show by Amdur Productions takes place November 17 – 19 at the Highland Park Art Center.
Of course I will also distribute ornaments in various consignment locations, so stay tuned for where you can find them in a brick & mortar venue.

Holiday Support

Between fairs in November and December I also sent off a few commissions. Through the Wilder Mansion Girls’ Nite Out I met a person who wanted an heirloom earring converted to a pendant, the way she had seen in my display. Throughout the process I had to gauge my strength no not break this lovely resin rose, and in the end my jitters were rewarded with a lovely pendant.

My aim was to not use glue in the process so the earring can be re-purposed in the future as needed. Another customer ordered a bangle at the Holiday Show which was super-fun to create. I really like this bead combination a lot.

My Rainbow Angels went from Facebook posts to orders, and I sent several off to new homes. My Facebook angel album also garnered two other shipments.

A few more special angels went to friends’ homes. I am so grateful for all the support I received during the holiday season. It is validating to see your creations be a cause for delight on other people’s faces and to actually sell them to appreciative customers. This season showed growth compared to last year, and while it is small growth, it gives me hope to keep working at carving out an artist career.

I had consigned at The Collage Cafe, which was rewarded by some sales as well. I am excited to have joined the Grown*UP Girls Club this year for gatherings of creativity, inspiration and community.

A pair of ornaments also stood out at ChromaK8.

My holiday run at Sacred Art in Lincoln Square also proved beneficial. This store is such a delight of locally created gift items and home decor.

I am uploading my remaining non-seasonal angels in the shop this week, and look forward to sending more of them out into the world. We sure need some angels right now…

Wilder Mansion Holiday Market

I recently discovered my 1999 maps that helped me move across states to get to Evanston. Pre-GPS driving into the unknown was scary, but quite the road trip.

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So for kicks I looked up Elmhurst and got inspired.

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I am heading back to the Wilder Mansion on Friday and Saturday. The Wilder Mansion’s 6th Annual Holiday Market takes place November 4 from 4pm to 9pm and November 5 from 10 am to 4 pm.

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I’ll have a booth on the first floor among numerous artisans and crafters creating unique holiday items to buy as a gift to yourself or loved ones.

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Beverages will be available, and the evening provides a fun outing for shopping, browsing and conversation. The Wilder Mansion is located at 211 South Prospect Avenue in Elmhurst, IL 60126.

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Artists and businesses include: Alouette Jewelry, TOK GRAPHICS, Lucy Blue Knits, The Goodfrog Candle Company, Acton Creative, Carla Bank Art, Jewels Botanica, Maike’s Marvels, Laurie Shuran Meseroll Painting, Harvest Moon Designs, Mixed Media by Donna Castellanos, Pencil Lady, made by Q, Denise Riesen Photography, Cork Art by Donna Zommer, the Merchants of Downers Grove, Drury Lane Theatre, O’Meara’s Irish House, Mazzenga Images, Laughing Frog Studio, Helen’s Daughters, Art Girl Pottery, 4 Girls Jewelry, Glass by Nancy Morris, Jewelsies, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, Fuller & Howe, Lo in London, Pura Vida Home, Lucky Skype Graphics, Julie Marie Jewelry, Jackthemanabouttown, Lisa Williams Jewelry, Desmond Brown Design, Studio Giverny, East Grove Stamp Co, The Buttons Stop Here, Jewelry by Venus, Paka Monk, Mia’s Wish Inc. Horn Photography, Loveknitz, Lost Sparrow Jewelry, James McCarthy Cole Photography, Weener Ware, Marigold Mary, Practical Girl Designs, Elegant Facets, Liam Hughes Jewelry, Brim and Dash, The High Hopes for Pets Company, Big Fat’s Hot Sauce, Amy’s Cranberry Candy, Wicked White Chocolate Popcorn , bettyplum Handmade Confections, Kilwins, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Badala, In Sheep’s Roving, A Little Book, Susan Nester Jewelry, and Lady Stainpunk Studios

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I wrapped the angel on the jig.

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Then I cut out her outfit.

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Then I ironed on the papers after coating them with encaustic medium.

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Voila, Elmhurst Angel is ready to make her debut.

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I’m busy embellishing other angels for your perusal as well.
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I love the felt pieces and how they work with the wax.

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Based on The Collage Cafe’s alcohol inks class I am learning how the inks work with steel wire and liking the effects.

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Postage stamps aren’t as easy to work with, so that requires further tweaking, but this one turned out sweetly.

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You’ll see my brand-new mini-books there, as well as SWARM ornaments. I will have plenty of pendants, collar necklaces, bracelets, earrings and keychains on hand to balance out the holiday extravaganza.

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Check out RGL Marketing for the Arts on Facebook for updates on the event. You’ll see the pieces that don’t sell in various boutiques and on my shop after the 6th.

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Making Angels

Angel is literally making new friends.

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When I signed up for Bead & Button workshops there was a reverse engineering option but due to lack of registration the workshop was dropped.

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Instead, Brenda Schweder offered to help me reverse engineer my angel ornaments remotely, and I sent one in.

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Soon I received an email with the required Now That’s A Jig! Parts, and I ordered the pegs to supplement my StartrKit.

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I got my very own angel design template in the mail, and decided to test the design prior to working on a commission. Getting the violin clef right took some effort after being out of practice for 6 months.

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Then I set about picking out pink paper for the memorial angels. I traced a musical score onto the handmade paper.

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Then I added a sparkle bead.

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I picked out outfits for the other angels and waxed them up.

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The delicate hearts are so sweet.

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Soon they were all dressed and cooling off.

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You’ll see them at the upcoming Main-Dempster Sidewalk Sale.

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I’ll be taking up See Jane Sparkle’s Sidewalk between 10 and 4 July 19-31 with new wares.

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Turquoise Frosty got a new outfit too, in hopes of it making him more attractive at the holiday fairs.

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Come October I’ll be jigging up a whole collection for the holiday season! Any color requests?

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Summer

Summer has begun and I wish I could go on vacation.

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Instead I am sneaking lake time away from the computer when I can.

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I uninstalled the DOT Show and am pleased my circles held up well.

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I even got to take home 2 of Carol Hamilton’s dots.

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Along the way I got to watch some bridge action while stopped in traffic.

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I delivered 2 memorial angels honoring a family member.

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It was fun to see the cityscape as I traveled for an artist critique on Saturday.

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This weekend I strolled in the neighborhood and noticed this hugging tree.

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Thunderstorms make for very green parks.

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It is soothing to watch the horizon and the colors of the lake.

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I garnered inspiration at Cultivate’s Lucy Slivinski’s Opening. Go see it this month!

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Now it is time to head back in the studio with commissions from my bead loot.

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A Merry Year-end

It’s been fun to create new goodies for my friends this season. Their inspiration has sparked my creativity, and I have more spin-offs in my head from the pendants and ornaments ordered for their loved ones or themselves.

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My chunky beaded bangle got a few admirers, and fortunately Dakota Beads had two more strands for me at Ayla’s Originals Highland Park Bead Bazaar so I could make two custom bangles for my friends.

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Her wonder woman powers will only be used for good and adventuring.

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This set of portraits has special meaning to the recipients.

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They are now traversing the world.

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A transgender symbol adorns a proud owner.

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I wonder if I will see these pendants around town or if they flew elsewhere.

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Some of my favorite Angels got adopted.

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Frosties weren’t as popular due to the lack of snow, but some found new homes and What Linus Said sold twice this year. Destinations include Mexico and Portland, Oregon.

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Earrings were admired, one pair converted to clip-ons at the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow, and ‘write’ actually went to a novelist.

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Musical pendants continue to be bestsellers.

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My Delft Blue set stayed in the family.

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Two of these sets will be auctioned off in Houston on New Year’s Eve.

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Thank you all for your support this season. It’s been very affirming to make these goodies and know that they are meaningful to you.

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I have re-opened Etsy, and The Collage Cafe has my bangles and pendants in Evanston. Moon Art Gallery will get an inventory update in January. I’m exploring additional venues, and will keep you posted on upcoming fairs and pop-ups.

Least Favorite Christmas Songs

Believe it or not, I incorporate lyrics of holiday tunes that grate on me, because I know they are popular.

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We can’t get around Feliz Navidad during the holiday season. I enjoyed it the first time I heard it, but now it seems to be everywhere.

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My younger brother is an established drummer in the Netherlands, so when I made his ornament last year Little Drummer Boy was appropriate.

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I looked for a metal version and found a score by August Burns Red.

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They’re an interesting band, and I like the rendition more than other covers.

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It’s grown on me now, but Johann Sebastian Bach’s Weihnachts Oratorium was overplayed at home when I was a child.

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Still, with early music aficionados in the family, this one became an angel as well.

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When I make Christmas song ornaments the music is in my head the whole time.

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Tissue paper colors inspire me as well.

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So you’ll definitely be able to tell the favorites from the less favorite tunes by the amount of ornaments I have with each carol.

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It’s a good thing I don’t get tired of Frosty the Snowman or White Christmas.

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I used to buy a new holiday album every year, but I skipped it last year.

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I’ll have to see if a soundtrack or artist captivates me with their renditions.

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What holiday songs do you wish we didn’t have to listen to all the time this season? (My face with the Chipmunks below).

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Come see my collection a See Jane Sparkle’s Pop-up Bazaar!

A Sparkly Collaboration

When I was little my mom handmade a doll’s fabric store for me that had me pretending to be a shop owner for hours on end. For the coming weekends, I get to do that in real life!

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I won’t be surrounded like bolts of fabrics, but instead get to boutique sit for See Jane Sparkle for a spell. Sara Jane Abbott jumped on the opportunity to lease a bigger location just a few blocks away, and is graciously hosting guest artists in her original store for the holiday season.

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I’ll be sharing space with Cultivate Urban Rainforest & GalleryLittle Light Bazaar, Marie’s MusingsTiny Frock ShopBiba Cosmetics and AFFASHIONADO. See Jane Sparkle’s starter shop (the pop-up site-now without awning) is located at 817A Chicago Ave in Evanston. That’s next to Campagnola for you foodies.

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I got to deck three Christmas trees with my angels and frosties.

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They go quite well with Cultivate’s greenery.

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We open with a Soiree on Wednesday, December 2 from 7 to 9 pm. The perfect evening to pick out your pearls for your holiday parties.

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Pop-up Bazaar shop hours are:

Fri, Dec 4th 12-6pm
Sat, Dec 5th 11-5pm
Sun, Dec 6th 12-4pm

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Fri, Dec 11th 12-6pm
Sat, Dec 12th 11-5pm
Sun, Dec 13th 12-4pm

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Thurs, Dec 17th 7-9pm
Fri, Dec 18th 12-6pm
Sat, Dec 19th 11-5pm
Sun, Dec 20th 12-4pm

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The new See Jane Sparkle is now at 1312 Chicago Ave in Evanston and will have a grand opening December 10.

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I hope to see you pop in!

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