Hand pampering and company gift creating

Sometimes weary hands need a bit of pampering, and it had been far too long since I visited Noktivo.

On Friday I gave my hands and feet a break and settled into one of the comfy chairs at Lena Rose. The hands deserved a break, since Noktivo and Lena Rose owner Jenny had asked me to make keychains for her employees.

She had eyed my sparkle bead keychain at a pop-up, and asked if I could make some as gifts. Inspired by her decor, I went through my button stash and made rose keychains, which were immediately approved.

I gathered more roses and started bending rose-colored wire to add to the steel.

The softness of this handmade paper rose contrasts with the industrial steel, and gives it a safe haven.

I also made a double-rose keychain.

It is on Jenny to pick who receives which keychain.

My nails kept up with the visual theme, and after getting the lengths evened out and a lovely massage I was lacquered with a cheerful non-toxic pink.

I also delivered some bangles for consignment, so you can adorn your pampered wrists with one of those on your next visit to Lena Rose.

Keeping with the rose theme, I delivered some pink bangles as well.

I still have more sparklies from my Bead & Button Show excursion, which are available for custom sizing.

One rose had too little wire for a bangle, so it became a pendant instead.

Lena Rose offers a variety of natural beauty products that are free of toxins to keep you healthy and preserve the environment. I love the spray-on sunscreen for its lightweight application and strong protection.

After my hands and feet were thoroughly relaxed, I strolled next door to see what First Slice Pie had to offer. This lovely cafe and bakery has sweet and savory treats. My favorite summer pie was available, and I took a mini strawberry-rhubarb pie home.

Now my nails are ready for the Independence Day festivities.

Lena Rose Natural Beauty is located at 4668 N. Manor Avenue in Chicago. You can book appointments via this link.

Seussian Studiotime

I’ve done a lot of uploading and tweaking wordpress for the shop, and while I have plenty of pieces in stock, I was itching to get back into the studio again.

This brush needed to be taken out of its misery too!

My rainbow collection garnered a custom Valentine order, which I cheerfully fulfilled.

These are off to new homes.

I also recreated the infinity pendant that came out of a Now That’s a Jig! playdate.

My original version was snapped up right away, so here is this brighter pendant.

A bangle I created last year turned out to be too small, and then my customer asked to have it embellished with birthstone beads to represent her family.

So I set out to Dave’s Rock Shop and Ayla’s Originals to get the right gemstones.

The bigger size bangle called for a new mandrel.

Then I layed out the stones.

Stringing took a full afternoon, as most of these tiered bangles do.

I love the look of them though.

I donated a few keychains to worthy causes.

Some will pop up in various fundraisers throughout the year.

I also made a Seuss-inspired pendant for Chiaravalle Montessori School’s “Oh The Places You’ll Go”-themed Spring Benefit.

Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite authors and I own his full collection, including the Dutch books I grew up with. So I wiggled together a whimsical wire form to reflect the Seussian landscape.

I took a cue from “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and drew some lines in the pastel colors of the book onto tissue paper. Of course there had to be a nod to the message of the book on the back.

Now my spirit is restored and I can get back to the mundaner tasks of business management and planning. I multitask during product uploads, and ponder the places my business will go.

Sparkles at Ayla’s Bead Bazaar

September closed out with a pop-up at Ayla’s Fall Bead Bazaar.

AylasBeadBazaar

I had perused the bazaar last year and was thrilled to be one of the vendors this year.

BeadRoom

What’s not to like about being surrounded by sparkles and beauty?

PaintedBeads

Last year’s Pyrite strand made it into a set.

PyritePendantMaikesmarvels

I paired it with my Desigual dress for the day.

fair outfit

I also combined it with the ring I bought from Ayla’s booth last year, which matched the sparkly Noktivo nails nicely.

NoktivoManicure

The set also marked a tagging milestone (when I hadn’t properly identified the beads).

501

Before the fair, I had to tally up my cash and business cards to make sure I was set.

FairPrep

My satin necklace cords had dwindled as well, so I spent one afternoon tediously cutting and crimping.

cordmaking

It is always fun to see the bare bones of a fair.

baretables

My table was set up with time to spare.

AylasBeadBazaarBooth

So I perused the other booths before the public came in.

ElkaDesignsBoothtable

Elka’s Designs has so many treasures.

ElkasDesigns

I had picked up strands from her trunk show recently at Ayla’s Originals Evanston store.

ElkasStrands

Elka hand-picked the colors for this Hematite bangle.

SquareBangleMakingMaikesmarvelssm

I felt the need for some orange and she had this Hollowite Turquoise on hand. The coppery acrylic beads are lightweight in spite of their size.

OrangeBangleElkasbeads

This Pink Agate set lights up my life and wardrobe.

PinkAgateBangleMaikesMarvels

I played with Fall notes for the round hematite beaded bangle (and I have plenty of beads for monochromatic versions as well).

ROundHematiteBangle

Ayla’s had a variety of tables to peruse, including pearls and silver strands of gorgeousness:

SilverStrands

Leather:

AylasLeatherTable

Two Charming Chicx’ Trunk Show pendants:

2CharmincgChix

Glass beads I will eventually work into a design:

FurnaceBeads

There were gorgeous handmade beads and pendants:

Diane Turrillo

Organic jewelry and jewelry components:

OrganicBeads

The Pastels Chicago show at the Art Center – Highland Park was not as pastell-y as anticipated. I was surprised by the earth tones in many pieces.

PastelsChicago

My neighbor sold chainmaille kits:

MidwestMaille

So much sparkle!

Sparkle

I was worried I might not be able to find the strands of this chunky bead bangle that has been requested by two customers already.

DakotaStonesChunkyBangle

Thankfully Dakota Stones was right in front of me.

DakotaStonesbooth

Hooray, two strands for me (and more goodies)!

DakotaStonesLoot

I wasn’t the only one browsing the $5 and $10 strands.

5dollarbeads

I was tempted by so many other beads, but had to restrain myself.

ButtonsBooth

After all, one has to turn a profit first!

AylasCustomers

My pen-person from the last NEW meeting did its job.

SquareMan

All these embellishments spark so many ideas!

Bellydancegoodies

The ornaments drew admiration, so I hope some holiday orders come my way.

Ornaments

It was a lovely day filled with inspiration, and I look forward to showing the new creations from my new stash.

Embellishments

Creations for Dutchies

I went on a family reunion trip during which I finally got to show my wares in person to my family.

DelftBlueBeadsMaking

One person fell in love with the purple coral bangle I had made, but wanted it in blue so I found a strand of lapis chips at Dave’s Down to Earth Rock Shop.

LapisChipsDaves

It was fun to make the bangle and earrings, though I might need a new mandrel for spiraling…

LapisBangleMakingsm

The result was well-received.

LapisSetFinished

A linguistics discussion referenced a tape measure as a ‘roll of inches’ and I like that analogy to my rolls of steel wire.

rollofinches

I also incorporated a Michael Jackson favorite into a gift. Lining up the 2 sides of music score and lyrics took a few attempts.

WillYouBeThereMaking

I like this pendant a lot, and hope it gets a lot of wear in the Netherlands.

WillYouBeTherePendant

An attempt to take birthstone bangle measurements abroad went awry, with the 14 cm resembling a collar rather than a bracelet.

14centimeters

So I packed up the toolkit and supplies and decided to bring my work on my vacation.

workvaca

It was fun to take a morning just to play with beads amidst all the touring and eating and visiting.

NLMaking

There is already an addition on the way for this bangle, so I will have to add a new birthstone bead when I return.

MargaCollage

In addition to the custom pieces, these lovelies went on to new homes.

Sold

The Dutch vibe continued at home with this delft blue bead set.

DelftBeadSet

What do you think of this simple earring design, should there be more of these?

delftblueearring

Come see my other bangle and earring pairings at the Ravenswood ArtWalk this weekend, or visit Ayla’s Bead Bazaar in Highland Park next weekend!

EtsyUpdates

Esty is open when I am not vending in person.