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.

Fun Mother’s Day Fairs

It’s been a whirlwind of fairs the past few weeks, but all were fun. I always like exploring new Chicago neighborhoods.

On April 22 I got to know the families involved with Sauganash School. The PTA hosted a fundraiser that included a vendor fair in what is normally their cafeteria.

Soon the space was transformed for Spring shoppers.

My spot was under a tree. 🙂

I was seated next to my friend Chai Wolfman, who has lovely collage art and paintings that she also makes available for prints. Meeting her family during the day was a bonus.

I have my eye on a few of her pieces, and got a head start on Mother’s Day cards.

Soon I had admirers too, and I was happy to see my creations go to new homes.

It was fun to play with a spring-y setup for this fair, since holiday trees are a bit too early for April.

On May 6, I ventured to Independence Park, which was also new to me. I have driven on Irving Park Road a few times, but never stopped to explore the area.

I unloaded my bags in the gym and set to transforming my table.

The Field House was quickly transformed from Gymnasium to art fair, with amazing new-to-me artisans.

Angel was partial to these twig creations.

Receptables made from pine needles and raffia caught my eye.

These glass boxes have so much scope for the imagination.

A young girl sold tic tac toe sets with different designs.

I enjoyed being next to a doll boutique that was perused carefully.

My dragonflies and ladybugs and butterflies were admired.

It was fun to imagine swinging from the ceiling.

Soon I had admirers, and a few pieces wandered away with kindred spirits.

I enjoyed admiring the craftmanship of old building construction.

These pieces were raffled off with positive feedback from the recipients.

Before long, this booth was packed up as well.

Let me know if there are indoor art fairs in your community I should know about. I always like learning of new organizations that support the handmade community, and enjoy exploring Chicagoland that way.

Bucktown Show Recap

My last show for the season was the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow.

As always, this show was a lot of fun and featured many creative artists.

I enjoyed making new friends and catching up with the regulars.

Day One was filled with visiting friends and some new admirers.

I enjoyed watching what people gravitated to in my booth.

I enjoyed lunch from the Yum Dum foodtruck outside.

The silent auction was in full swing in all rooms.

 

Chicago Cubs Pride was on display in many booths.

I was happy to see rainbow angels flutter off again.

Soon it was time to close up.

It snowed lightly on the way home.

The next morning I was greeted by a murmuration.

I unveiled my booth and rearranged my pieces.

It was my last time trimming trees for the year.

More customers streamed in.

Even our organizers and volunteers shopped.

These faux leather trees by MoHop are on my wishlist for next year.

I parted with some of my personal favorite angels.

Dragonflies also fluttered away.

I might see some of these adornments around town again.

A good day called for a reward.

Then came time for teardown.

I said bye to bobblehead frosty.

Another snowy evening for a beautiful winter wonderland.

Here’s to next year!

Spam and grasshopper friends

It was a scorching day on Saturday, but light breezes and the occasional cloud blocking the sun made the day lovely for an art fair.

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It was early when I set out to bring my wares to Bloomingdale.

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As always, Platt Hill Nursery has a plethora of fun and quirky garden accessories to peruse.

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The rainbow of watering cans cheered me up.

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The professional and cheerful staff directed us where we needed to set up.

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Soon my table was transformed.

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This year’s vendors sold jewelry, children’s clothes, stuffed animals, fun hand-crafted decorative items,

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gifts, household items, garden decor, and holiday ornaments.

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These golf ball critters were fun to peruse.

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Garden stakes are such fun, if you have a garden…

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I didn’t have much time to peruse the tents, but they looked like fun.

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It was fun to try out my souvenir from the home country.

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Spam the pig visited again and was loved by many.

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Butterflies and bumblebees fluttered by, and this grasshopper jumped into my path.

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I thought it would jump the minute after I snapped the photo, which it did, right on to my table!

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Then it explored for a bit and even picked out a pendant to go with its outfit.

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I had my annual hot dog and soft drink, but didn’t get around to sipping a Margarita this year.

Compliments

Two customers bought a keychain and a butterfly pendant and a few business cards walked away.

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It was fun to watch people parade their plant selections, and I was tempted to try my black thumb at a green orchid.

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Soon it was closing time, though, and tear-down became more important.

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If you’re a gardener, go check out Platt Hill Nursery in Bloomingdale or Carpentersville. They’ll have some fun Fall items in store for you.

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My next pop-up event is the Ravenswood ArtWalk September 19 and 20. I hope to see you there.

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Post-Fair Gratitude

Well my holiday fairs are over and I am so flattered and honored at the reactions my pieces garnered.

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It is lovely to be complimented on my wire-bending skills, and to have people purchase pieces to give to their loved ones.

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Knowing the quotes and songs touch people’s hearts and have meaning to them makes my day, and validates the creation of each piece. I am honored that you shared your moments and intentions with me.

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The exertion of hauling bags from one place to the next does come with a weakened immune system, so now I am resting up before planning the coming year.

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Thank you to everyone who came buy to each of these fairs to support local artists and shop handmade pieces.

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Without you, the pursuit of our passion wouldn’t be possible, and it is great to see that Chicago has a vibrant community of shoppers who seek out local and small business venues over ordering online from big-box manufacturers.

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Thank you for supporting me personally, and for giving my pendants, earrings, bangles, necklaces, ornaments and desktop minis new homes.

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The more you collect the more I can make, and that is what brings my heart joy.

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You can still peruse my wares at the Evanston Art Center’s Holiday EXPO and Dragonfly Boutique in Evanston, at Aurora Rose Boutique in Lemont, and on Etsy.

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