Trunk Show at Ayla’s this weekend

Whew, I thought 2 weeks between shows is a long time, but there is still a lot to be done by Saturday.

When I went to the Bead & Button show in June I stopped by Ayla’s booth first, and was promptly stickered by Joe.

At that time, we made plans for a trunk show, and August 12 & 13 felt so far away. I optimistically purchased some large hole pearls for the occasion. Fast forward one eventful month and I am wrangling wire like crazy, with idea after idea piling into my brain.

My aim is to make sure I am using beads sourced via Ayla, so I went through my inventory list, and I’ve attended quite a few of Ayla’s bead shows over the years, along with visits to the store itself with friends.

I compared the inventory dates to my visual archives (photos snapped after each shopping spree) and set those beads aside in my jewelers bench.

Soon I had ideas and matched papers to my designs.

The last batch came from Kina’s Trunk Show, and I started with those first.

I was pleasantly surprised that the vintage beads I bought from Ayla actually fit the 16 gauge wire, and had fun stringing those.

I waxed the pieces, with the cage versions being a bit more challenging than the others. The etched jade also fit the thicker wire, and I am glad my friend and I shared this strand last summer.

Ayla’s store has many beads that can be strung directly onto the steel wire for a swinging bead effect. David Christensen creates a gorgeous array of glass beads that I have had in my collection for a while. This pendant will get some matching earrings too, though whether that happens by Saturday is still a question mark.

Ayla’s Originals offers freshwater pearls, Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, antique trade beads and gemstones from all over the world. If you see something you love in the store this weekend, I am happy to design a piece if you aren’t interested in creating your own.

In 2016, Ayla’s Originals received an official proclamation from Evanston’s Mayor for the 20th anniversary in Evanston. The store’s history is longer though.

Two decades ago, Ayla was a Director of Human Resources in corporate America. She frequented a bead store to take her mind off her waning passion in the work she was doing.

After a few workshops, Ayla began designing her own jewelry. The bead store owner was retiring, putting Ayla in a position to take over the store’s lease after resigning from her job.

The Ayla’s Own jewelry line was soon featured in the Art Institute of Chicago and Field Museum Gift Shops and well publicized. In 1998 Ayla’s Originals moved to Sherman Avenue in Evanston.

The store offers classes, private lessons, and private party options. The store offers a wide array of You Are Beautiful merchandise as well.

You can get a bingo card for special discounts on future purchases. Ayla and her husband, photographer Joe Pizzo, reside in Evanston.

Ayla’s Originals Store is located at 1511 Sherman Avenue in Evanston. Hours are: T,W, F: 10 am to 6 pm; Th: 10 am to 7 pm; Sat. 10 am to 5 pm; Sun 12 to 5 pm. Closed Mondays.

I will also be bringing my stakes, which are getting additional siblings this week.

There is so much more to make!

Playing with beads

The Bead and Button Show is on May 27 through June 8, but this year I won’t be able to attend.

BangleBeads

I would love to take Brenda Schweder’s Jig workshops, but time- and money-wise it’s not feasible to travel to Milwaukee this year.

AgatePrep

Instead, I am perusing the beads I picked up last year for new projects.  The Yellow Agate chunky beads from Ayla’s Fall Bead Bazaar inspired a new set.

AgatesPicked

I love the uneven shapes and the marbled patterns. Playing with the shapes and wrapping steel wire around them to create earrings and two pendants was fun.

ModelingAgateSet

Two other strands caught my eye, the chunky glass beads I also obtained at Ayla’s Fall Bead Bazaar and the purple coral from A Bella Bead in Glen Ellyn.

ChunkyGlassbefore

The purple coral became a pair of earrings, and I’ll likely add a pendant and a bracelet to match.

purplecoralearrings

The glass beads have such cheerful colors that were fun to sort.

sortingcolors

I liked playing with different designs based on how the beads coordinated themselves. First I just strung some beads on a wire the traditional way.

stringingbeadsforoval

These asked for the classic oval cage design.

ovalcage

Then I kept wrapping around it until the wire was up.

OvalCagewithBeads

The angular beads asked for a triangular shape.

TriangleWrapping

Then I wrapped around them more.

TriangleWrappingAround

Fiddling with wire gauges and bending the beads into clusters is very organic.

wrappingglassbeads

This cluster wrapped itself into a rectangular shape.

SquareWrapping

It is fun to watch the pieces catch the light.

catchinglight

Dirty hands make me feel accomplished.

dirtyhands

Being a matchy-matchy person, I added earrings to the mix as well.

earringMakingChunkybeads1

I still have plenty of beads to make a bangle bracelet.

ChunkyBanglePoll

I also made Amazonite earrings to go with the collar and bangle set I have up on Etsy.

AmazoniteEarrings

These newbies will be loaded onto Etsy after my pop-up shop on May 30 at Creative Coworking.

beadedPieces

‘Heart’ your favorites on Etsy!

Validation

I took off most of August to tend to visitors which meant that my studio was also occupied. As I reviewed the upcoming exhibits and fairs I felt stressed that I had not spent more time in the studio.

Studio Time

Then I created some pieces for Aurora Rose which brought me back into that zone of flow and zen, and their reception of the newbies made me feel better.

Makingreflecting

As I shared photos of pieces in progress and completed, the earrings not placed in Aurora Rose Boutique were quickly claimed by my friends.

DibbedFB2

Another friend who had placed a pendant on hold a few months ago was able to send her check in, and I happily shipped her piece off.

Theobromidesold

Then I got birthstone orders from a repeat customer for two fall birthdays, which has me excited to create custom pieces reflecting family members.

TreasaSold

A day later, my Etsy store got an order from someone whose name I didn’t recognize.

EtsyOrder1

Out-of-town visitors admired one of my musical pendants so much they took it home.

LargoSold

It is super-exciting to make sales, because it validates that my creations resonate with people.

 SalesSeptember

All artists struggle with the economic viability of pursuing their passion, so having this sales boost is giving me hope that I can eventually create a steady income stream and truly make a living at this (rather than depleting savings and looking for freelance gigs).

Progress1

So please put your money where your mouth is and buy from local artisans. Praise is wonderful and being complimented on one’s work is always affirming, but making a sale, no matter how small, is cause for happy dances and joy that words alone cannot generate.

TreasaDibs1

I will showcase my inventory at the Ravenswood Art Walk October 5 and 6 and am hoping for lots of happy dances behind my table in the big tent.

Meanwhile, Art Lakeview will host my Malachites at Powell’s Bookstore. PerficalSense Studio has an encaustic show coming up, about which more details will emerge in the coming weeks.

SmeakPeek