Ayla’s Trunk Show Fun

In mid-August I spend the weekend at Ayla’s Originals, a lovely bead bazaar.


I frequently peruse this treasure chest of beads, and my wallet was shivering slightly at the thought of being surrounded by sparklies two full days.

It was fun to have two big tables to set up.

I dedicated one to jewelry.

The other held my critters and angels.

Ayla’s does a lot of jewelry repair. On Saturday, the lovely Phyllis was working on re-knotting a strand of pearls. A father and a little girl picked out charms for a bracelet and necklace, and several people came in to replace clasps on their jewelry, pick up repaired pieces, or drop off items that needed time to be fixed.

All of this was done with cheerfulness and a variety of findings to choose from.

At the Bead & Button Show I had purchased some large hole pearls and did my best not to scratch them while wrapping them in wire. I am a bit attached to the end result, but hope they will find a home at the Girls Nite Out show on September 13.

I also made other pieces for the event incorporating beads purchased at Ayla’s various trunk shows and bazaars.

I browsed the gift wares, including You Are Beautiful magnets, coin purses, notebooks and other small gift items.

Of course the majority of the store is dedicated to ready-made jewelry as well as a wide array of colorful beads and pearls to convert into your own pieces.

The array of David Christensen Beads was very tempting, since they fit 16 gauge wire so well.

Two Charming Chix has a great sense of humor.

Ayla’s also has the tools for jewelry making, and offers a variety of workshops, even as live streams, so you can hone your skills. I browsed and made a pile of items.

Since it is birthday month, I didn’t feel too bad about adding these tools and beads to my collection.

Sunday brought in a flurry of early visitors, and I was thrilled to see pendants adopted by new owners.

Then my stakes fluttered off to a new garden.

The angels were admired and enjoyed basking in the sparkle.

Soon it was time to tear down and go home.

I am definitely inspired to incorporate more of Ayla’s treasures into my pieces, and will display those in mid-September!

Visit 1511 Sherman Avenue in Evanston for some sparkly inspirational fun.

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!

Mother’s Day Gift Market

I love honoring the nurturers in my life, and I have another Mother’s Day shopping pop-up this week. On Wednesday, May 10 from 4 to 8 p.m. I will have a table at the Mother’s Day Gift Market hosted by Ravenswood Covenant Church.

The Mother’s Day Gift Market features fresh flowers and plants from Patyk Farms, green beauty products, and goods from local artists. It also features fresh new pieces by me.

I will be joining these fabulous vendors:

Bring the kids to create a personalized message for mom with a “Why I Love Mom” photo backdrop. Our friends at Ravenswood Covenant Church will also be running a craft table with activities for children.

The Mother’s Day Gift Market will be held indoors at 4900 N Damen Avenue in Chicago from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Ravenswood Farmers Market is a joint effort of Ravenswood Covenant Church, Ravenswood Community Council and Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

Check out the new creations I made last week to gift to your favorite maternal figure. I decided not to get too attached to the beads I had bought at last week’s expo, so after counting them I already had ideas.

Pink is always a fun color and perfect for spring, so I started stringing the square marble beads into new pieces.

I knew this would be a jewelry set right away, and the bangles called for the longest stringing.

The teardrop pendant has fewer beads.

Soon the set materialized.

I hope someone enjoys this combination!

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.

Creations for Dutchies

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

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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?

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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.

Fall Bead Bazaar

Ayla’s Beads held a Bazaar in Highland Park’s Art Center last weekend and I could not resist going.

TACBeadBazaar

Having learned from the Bead & Button Show, I took a visual inventory of what I had in stock.

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I sort of had a budget in mind, but made exceptions for exceptional beads in the 4 rooms of The Highland Park Art Center.

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They had a mother-daughter show in full swing, which had some lovely pieces.

TACMOthersDaughtersShow

Of course the butterfly by Matt Duvin caught my eye.

ButterflyArt

I turned a corner into a side room to discover Brenda Schweder’s That’s a Jig Booth.

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I’m planning on making that my Christmas splurge, and am so inspired by all the pieces Brenda’s friends have created with the jig and a variety of materials.

ThatsAJig

It was lovely to chat and reminisce about our first meeting at The Creative Connection Event in Minneapolis.

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photo by Brenda Schweder’s assistant

I was in such a different place then, and I needed the reminder this particular week that you are never stuck in the present.

Butterflycage

I was reminded that people you meet and classes you take can lead you down paths you don’t anticipate at that moment, but do help you pursue what you are meant to do over time.

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Silk Road Treasures had a wall of beads.

SilkRoadWallofBeads

I was thrilled with Dakota Stones, which was one of the busiest booths at the show due to its amazing array of gemstones. String a Strand had some awesome beads and findings as well.

DakotaStones

The handmade glass beads intrigue me, and I got a small starter set to play with from Diane Tarullo before delving into this.

CynthiaMcEwen

I had a lovely chat with glass artist Sheila Papaioannou and her husband.

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I am inspired by their designs as well.

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I splurged on some ring bling from Ayla’s booth, which is so inspirational.

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I look forward to taking a steel soldering class there next month that might help me create a pink ring of my own.

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I look forward to creating pieces with all these new inspirational, healing and cheerful pieces, and cannot wait to show them to you.

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My Shopping quota has been reached for now too, unless I sell loads of pieces at Ravenswood Art Walk October 4 & 5!