Exploring Crystal Lake

On Friday I was scheduled for an evening art fair at the Immanuel Lutheran School in Crystal Lake, a suburb I had never visited before. So prior to the 4:30 pm setup time I decided to take the afternoon to explore the town. An online search produced an intriguing map of a nice walkable cluster downtown, so I figured out where to park and set the coordinates for a leisurely drive.

The weather was lovely (albeit slightly chilly), and I parked my car in a 4-hour spot. Then I oriented myself based on the map by the train station.

Since it was lunchtime I checked the list of restaurants first, and picked two that looked intriguing. While passing a bunch of enticing windows I decided on Le Petit Marche, a lovely french-inspired bistro.

I ordered a tuna salad brioche with tea, which was served quickly.

The ambiance is lovely, and I would love take part in a wine and cheese evening sometime.

I was going to leave some postcards for Affair of the Arts, but someone already had. 🙂

Fully nourished, I walked to the end of the street and fell in love with the Crystal Lake Antique Mall. This place has rooms upon rooms of vintage pieces that inspire nostalgia and tempt those with a flair for spinning stories about old pieces. I saw a lovely wooden desk secretary at a bargain price, but instead settled on a tray I actually needed. I do think I’ll visit again though, maybe I will know a place to put that piece by then (if it is still there).

Fully uplifted by this historic surprise, I strolled back outside and made my way back into modern times in an old-town setting.

I meandered 2 fabric stores, some fashion boutiques, and then stumbled onto Kaleidoscoops via a gift shop, and couldn’t resist treating myself to a cone. This is a nice after-school hangout for teens. I needed caffeine for a long evening so “The Grind” was a perfect fix with its delicious caramel and the crunch of chocolate covered espresso beans inside.

Across from the ice cream store was Evolve, a store with yummy-smelling chakra candles, lots of healing crystals, altar pieces, incense and beautiful instruments to center the soul. I could have spent hours in there but had a schedule to keep.

So I strolled in and out of a few more cute stores before being stopped by the Metra. In the future I could catch the UP-NW metro line in Mount Prospect for a mini trip to Crystal Lake.

On my way to the car I spotted this fun sign that applies to so much of life.

Five minutes later I was at the Lutheran School to unload my car in the gym.

Soon the place was transformed into a vibrant and colorful fair.

Fancy meeting Le Petit Marche here again!

It was fun getting back into the booth setup routine.

I had fun doing a quick perusal.

 Tupperware is more vibrant these days.

Now that I am sewing again, this coat by Ginspiration spoke to me.

A raffle drawing was held every 30 minutes.

I gained some new admirers and a few pieces walked away.

My angels, dragonflies and ladybugs were all petted.

A friend stopped by and snapped me in action.

My neighbors were fun to connect with.

Soon it was time to pack up again and head home. It was a good evening and I look forward to visiting here again.

On to Affair of the Arts!

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!

Fun at the Sidewalk Sale

I always have a bit of a hangover after a weekend fair, and this week is no different.


The Sidewalk sale was lots of fun, but setting up and tearing down two tents 6 times is a workout.


Construction workers had just finished pouring cement when we started setting up but they were eager to help us maximize our space.


Soon we were set up and ready to greet shoppers.


Soon browsers started to shop.


On Friday afternoon Sara Jane decided to move the party inside when the radar indicated rain, and I was glad for that decision.

reversible earrings

Sparkle Angel had fun with the sparklies, and so did I.


I met a friend at Sketchbook after the sale, and love their new taproom.


Saturday morning was overcast, but later the skies cleared up.


A Pedi-cab gave lifts to downtown or Main Street for additional sidewalk explorations.


Lots of friends stopped by.


It was Christmas in July at the Stumble & Relish table.


On Sunday I decided to take the Angels outside for some air.


It is fun to rearrange the setup each time.


Stumble & Relish had lots of deals throughout the weekend.


Sara Jane did major markdowns as well.


Most people on Sunday were looking for slashed prices, which is good to know for next year.


I took home some bargains myself.SRLoot

Quite a few pieces were adopted, which makes me happy.

sidewalk sale adoptees

Some of my inventory remains at See Jane Sparkle.


Sara Jane kept the Swarm, so go peruse my butterflies, dragonflies and ladybugs in her store.


I hope they go home to new owners soon.


I’m taking a pop-up break in August, so you’ll see me next at Platt-A-Palooza on September 3 in Bloomingdale.


Meanwhile, you can peruse my pieces at The Collage Cafe and ChromaK8 Beautique as well.


Ravenswood ArtWalk this weekend!

Time is a’flying, and this coming weekend I will be packing up and putting my wares out at the 13th Annual Tour of Arts & Industry. My booth will be at the Ravenswood ArtWalk Detour in Tent B on Ravenswood and Berteau.


The official Art walk kicks off with a reception on Friday, October 3, 2014 from 7:30 to 10:30 PM at the Ravenswood Events Center, 4025 N Ravenswood (donation of $10 requested). A wide array of artistc vendors will open their booths Saturday and Sunday at 11 a.m. along Ravenswood and Sunnyside Avenues between Irving Park and Lawrence Avenues. On Saturday, October 4, the main walk will be until 7 p.m. But the detour (food and music) is open until 9 p.m. On Sunday, October 5, the festivities end at 6 p.m.


The Ravenswood Art Walk’s mission is to generate community investment in the artistic, industrial and historic importance of Ravenswood and to raise awareness for the unique hub of creative practices that exists here. Part of Chicago Artists’ Month, this year’s annual Ravenswood Arts Advocate Award Ceremony honors artist Judith Roth. Additional events include a performance by the Oistrach Symphony Orchestra and belly dance group Amaranth.


The Detour features a street fest-style center to the ArtWalk that will feature artists, live music, a craft beer garden, a children’s corner and a food truck roundup. The Ravenswood ArtWalk Detour provides a logical rest and meet-up point where festival attendees can pause, grab a bite and a drink, enjoy some entertainment and then move on to explore the art blossoming around Ravenswood. Come see me on Saturday and/or Sunday, and check out the newbies I’ve been creating just for the walk!


Platt-A-Palooza recap

This Labor Day weekend was a glorious one, and I am so grateful for that.


The skies looked ominous Saturday morning as I packed up my pieces for Platt-A-Palooza.


I had been staging the 16-foot area in my home-across 2 rooms.


The weather channel predicted thunderstorms for the entire duration of the craft fair.


However, show organizer Chrissie insisted that she always had good weather on her event days, and her energy held true.


A few wind gusts blew the storm clouds away, and before long we had a steady stream of shoppers.


It was the longest display area ever for me.


I think I filled the space up nicely.


There were lots of fun crafts to peruse, ranging from garden decor to jewelry to household items.



The nursery is full of fun finds as well.


I like the garden decor.



If I had a backyard I would make a fairy garden for sure.



Live music was playing.


Margarita slushies and hot dogs were served.


I had a great time getting to know my crafty neighbors.


Spam the Pig paid a visit in the evening.


Numerous creative people sold their wares.



A few customers mixed and matched pendants and earrings for their take-home pleasure.


A desktop mini fluttered off to a new home as well.


I look forward to next year’s event.


Meanwhile stay tuned for announcements about Fall and Holiday trunk shows and pop-ups.


I will be loading the newbies to Etsy in mid-September, unless dibs are called on Facebook.


Have a great weekend!


A bit raw about RAW

When every day is an adventure, it is hard to get your bearings.


After much anticipation, repricing and retagging, the Ravenswood Art Walk wasn’t quite what I had hoped it would be.


I brought in the borrowed table and old shelving unit the night before to keep nerves and muscle strength preserved.


Day0_dropoff BigTent

The next morning the true setup began.




I was in awe of the pros with their amazing displays.



The big tent had a lot of traffic and I received many positive compliments, but I made no sales on day one.


Predicted thunderstorms held off for some time, and when they came we initially thought the additional traffic was a boon to business as everyone sought shelter. Our glee quickly turned to concern however, when the water didn’t drain away and more kept coming in.


It turns out that Chicago shuts down drains to control how much water enters the Chicago River, which is fine when the parking lot is filled with cars during a rainstorm. However, as the runoff from outside started pooling around the drain in the center of the big tent, we realized we had to move things off the ground and away from the center.


Soon we were ankle deep and had to evacuate our wares, a rough way to learn one’s new boots aren’t waterproof.


The RAW volunteers profusely apologized at this unanticipated, never-before-seen incident, and ordered a water-vac to drain the mini-pond for the next day.


It was quite the adventure, especially since the point of renting space in the big tent was the assurance that professionals would deal with all the weather hazards.

Day1_ankle deep

This was just an unprecedented occurrence no one had anticipated.


Even the outside tents were affected.


Painter Jason McPhillips was able to greet anyone coming after the flood (but his feet got soaked too).


The sound guys had a rain-playlist ready, playing “Singing in the Rain”, “It’s raining Men”, “Blame it on the Rain” and other wet standards.


The next day I put on the covenant pendant in which God placed a rainbow in the sky to pledge that he would never destroy all life again after Noah’s flood (Genesis 9:12-17). Gotta have a little humor, right?


The puddle had been vacuumed up.


Temperatures had dropped significantly, changing the dynamics of tent flow and likely keeping many people inside.


Fewer people were touchy-feely about my wares, though I still got a lot of nice compliments and encouragement (along with unsolicited advice, as is always the case at these things).


Those who had promised to come back never did (unsurprisingly).


I only made a few sales in the late afternoon, but analyzing the situation doesn’t give me much to go on.

Day1 ChiLonghorn


It wasn’t my location, since I basically acted as a greeter all day long, being across the main entrance. Some veterans also did worse than prior years, and others were happy with their results.


My pricing was similar to that of the other jewelry vendors, but having 7 of us in the same tent might have been a drawback, even though we each had different types of work.


Like the armchair advisors I have numerous display ideas, but practically and funds preclude me from going all out before I know for sure what venues work best for me. At the end of the day, all you can do is pack everything up and let the fair go.


Fortunately Jason did better than me in his tent.


It helps to have supportive friends take you out for comfort food after the fair.


Energetically I do feel buoyed by the support and compliments I received, and by the fact that many people picked up my business cards for their holiday shopping list.


I can check off another ‘what if’ from my bucket list, and I got to practice being extroverted and making random small talk in spite of my introverted nature.


My outfits were a hit too, which proves that dressing the part and feeling good in what you’re wearing goes a long way. The fashion was fun to watch throughout the weekend.

A booth neighbor fell in love with Faith with Deeds and took it home with her. It has parts of James 1 and 2 peek on the front and  the back quotes James 2:15 to 21, including “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”


Encaustic artist friend Kathleen Roman picked up Green Honor and an oval with the hymn of Christ the Lord is Risen Today.


My tiny coils matched the pendant another customer was wearing, rounding out my weekend sales.


Art fairs, especially outdoors, are not for the faint of heart, and I deeply admire those who choose this gypsy-like lifestyle on a weekend-by-weekend basis.


I will be testing out some indoor shows over the holiday season and am pleased to have the support of select boutiques as I learn the ropes of what sales venues will be most effective for me. My Etsy store is open (please heart your heart out!), and Aurora Rose in Lemont and Stella Boutique in Evanston both have select jewelry in their storefronts.


Hope springs eternal!

Join me at the Ravenswood Art Walk

In addition to networking and having fun with visitors, the past few weeks have been filled with Ravenswood Art Walk preparations.


I have a table in the big tent (located at the corner of Wilson and Ravenswood- west of the Metra tracks) at which I will showcase my wax and wire jewelry as well as the encaustic collages not currently displayed at Art Lakeview and PerficalSense Studio.


The Ravenswood Art Walk is a wonderful show, and the past few years have been blessed with sunshine. I love strolling the Ravenswood corridor and getting a peek into the businesses housed along the railroad tracks. The art is so diverse and inspirational, and I am honored to be part of it this year. Here are my impressions of 2011 and 2012.


The opening reception is on Friday, October 4th from 7:30 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. and the art walk itself is open from 11 a.m. To 7 p.m. on Saturday, October 5; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, October 6. You can peruse the map and artist index here. My friend Jason McPhillips is also participating, as are a few FUSEDChicago artists.


The first Ravenswood ArtWalk took place in 2002 when Judith Roth (President of Chicago Women’s Caucus for Art) ‎ sought to involve her community in the celebration of Chicago Artists Month. Judith asked artists if they would open their studios for a day to the public. A year later, The Jane Addams Resource Corporation partnered with Judith to combine a “Tour of Industry” they had operated since 1998 with the Art Walk. The “Tour of Industry” focuses on the area’s industrial history on the Ravenswood Corridor.


Now a non-profit organization, the Ravenswood Art Walk is an exciting community event kicking of Chicago Artists Month, featuring more than 150 artists and highlighting the talents and diversity of the Ravenswood Corridor.

artwalk sign

I look forward to seeing you in the big tent, and hope the weekend will be as fabulous and vibrant as years past.