Sacred Art Trunk Show

Summer is here, and with it come leisurely strolls around neighborhoods to peruse art and beauty.  On June 10 I visited the bustling Lincoln Square Neighborhood for a Meet & Greet at Sacred Art.

I set up my wares in a lovely nook, and met wonderful customers.

Sacred Art hosts handmade creations by more than 100 artists. There are numerous gift items to cheer up friends, adorn your home and or a human with, or to use in your every day life.

Chicago lovers have a plethora of unique gifts to choose from as an alternative to mass-manufactured tourist tchotchkes.

The store is also a wonderful inspiration for decoration ideas.

I had a lovely afternoon absorbing the Lincoln Square vibe and seeing pieces adopted.


Sacred Art is located at 4619 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago and still has a selection of my pendants and pant stakes available.

Check out upcoming Sacred Art events on their Facebook page.


Sacred Art Pop Up Saturday

Part of the fun of being a maker is discovering all the boutiques that support artisans in Chicago. Last November Sacred Art had my Angels in the shop, and in late May I took some pendants and plant stakes there.

On Saturday, June 10 from 11 am to 3 pm I will have a Pop Up Shop at Sacred Art Chicago.  I love this specially curated gift shop of local art.

Sacred Art is an art gallery and gift boutique located in Chicago’s charming Lincoln Square neighborhood. This lovely area along 4619 N Lincoln Avenue is filled with small businesses and lovely places to eat, drink and be merry.

Owner Kate Merena features new artists every month. Last month we popped in to peruse the new origami collection that Prairie Kate had brought in.

My friend Chai, with whom I hung out in April, also has lovely art work on display.

I made a special Chicago Flag Ladybug stake for the store.

The collection I dropped off includes these pendants.

Since Kate also teaches meditation workshops at various satellite locations, I felt the Kyanite stone is particularly appropriate for her store, so I left this Kyanite Square with her.

I will have all my wares at Sacred Art on Saturday and look forward to meeting new people from the neighborhood. Founded in 2006, Sacred Art has more than a decade of experience connecting makers and clients, with an eye for quality and style and a focus on community. Owner Kate Merena’s goal is twofold: to support independent artists in the Chicago area and beyond, and to provide you with an inviting environment in which to browse and buy original artwork.

Sacred Art’s hours are Monday: closed or by appointment, Tuesday – Friday: noon – 7pm, Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm. Metered street parking is available and there are two metered parking lots nearby. The shop is steps from the CTA Brown Line Western Avenue stop. You can also take the 49 Western bus to Wilson Ave stop, the 50 Damen bus to Eastwood/Brown Line stop, and 81 Lawrence bus to Western Ave stop. I also spotted some bike racks along the street.

Lincoln Square also has lovely eateries and drinkeries to peruse, so grab some frozen yogurt in the cheerful shop nearby.

I’m looking forward to taking a Flirty Cupcake home.

It will be hard for me not to shop while I am hanging out at this lovely store, but I already have some uplifting art gracing my fireplace mantel. So come buy things from me so I can pay that money forward to other artisans.

Inspirational Women at Blue Buddha Boutique

At last week’s pop-up opening we had a lovely tour of the Blue Buddha Boutique facility and got to meet some fabulous entrepreneurial ladies.

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Rebeca Mojica started making chain maille jewelry 12 years ago when she saw a cool belt that she wanted to recreate. She purchased 1000 jump rings that turned out to be 16 gauge galvanized steel, but she persevered and made a belt.

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Then she started playing with her remaining rings. At Caravan Beads she learned how to make clasps, and when that teacher left she began teaching classes. On her first day she sold $300 of supplies and felt she was on to something.

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She started a web site to let students place orders in February 2003 with the values of creativity, empowerment, community, kindness and chocolate. In 2007 she opened her first storefront, which in 2013 moved to the Granville location.

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The storefront now houses 73 artists and ships 30 to 80 chainmaille packages a day from the warehouse in the back to 50 states and 40 countries. We were given a tour of the vast back area of the boutique, where a variety of colors, metals and sizes of jump rings are stored for shipping. Employees gather supplies from pick lists, ranging from bulk orders to project kits that are then shipped.

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In the back is also where niobium is colored. The precious metal is placed in a bath that is linked up to cathodes.

Niobium bath

As the voltage increases, the color of the niobium changes, creating a rainbow of colored rings.

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During our tour we were introduced to Kathmandu Yogi, which sources meditation cushions, malas and clothing from Nepal. Natasha Casanova’s vision was to bring meditation cushions to retail stores for people to try in person rather than ordering them online.

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Natasha’s suppliers who hand brocade the fabrics used in the products didn’t lose their homes in the recent earthquakes but their neighbors did, and the purchase made from Kathmandu Yogi directly support the residents in the disaster area.

KathmanduYogi

Next to Blue Buddha Boutique is AVP Beads, founded by Ana Pizarro. Ana worked at Caravan Beads for more than a decade until they closed.

AVP Beads

In need of a livelihood, she and her sister used a tax refund and credit cards to start a bead store on Elston and Irving Park (3960 N Elston Ave). In July, the second location next to Blue Buddha Boutique was opened. AVP beads is a family business supporting a niece and brother-in-law, who each have roots in Ecuador.

woven beads

AVP offers project tables where you can get help on a beading project you are working on. Ana loves bead weaving but does a variety of beading projects.

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Ana’s Wonderwoman Cuff was featured in Creative Beading.

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The beads come from all over the world, including nuts and seeds from the Amazon, African glass, precious stones and more.

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Blue Buddha Boutique was hosting another pop-up on opening night: Tulia’s Artisan Gallery. Karen Torres named her business after her grandmother. Her mission is to bring Colombian art to the Chicago area.

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She sources her statement pieces for the home from a Wounaan family forced out of the Darien rainforest into Bogota 13 years ago (due to territorial conflicts). That family has since built a larger home to support additional migrants and help them get started in a new city.

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The refugee community comprises an extended family of weavers, carpenters, and silversmiths.  The family creates baskets and bracelets from palm leaves. They do the hand dye-ing and thread making themselves and it takes one day to do one turn of a basket.

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Another women’s artisan group preserves ancestral techniques of the Guane indians of central Colombia. Growing cotton, cleaning, dyeing and handspinning are all done according to tradition and a museum has been established by this group to ensure this art form isn’t lost. Scarves are available via Tulia’s Artisan Gallery.

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I couldn’t resist picking up a butterfly clip made from “fique,” a relative of the agave plant.  These are hand made by women in central Colombia who work from home.

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We also met the founder of LiftUpLift, an online marketplace for women. Corielle Heath crowd funded her business after realizing there was no marketplace for women owned by a woman. She carefully selects the businesses reflected on the online shopping site to ensure that the work is authentic and matches her mission and vision. We had a lovely time chatting and I am exploring the online shopping interface.

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I did a little make and take during the evening and made this lovely keychain pull in 20 minutes.

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It looks nice on my purse from the Geneva Swedish Days.

pepped up bag

Pop in to Blue Buddha Boutique and view our Edgewater Artists In Motion pop-up through December. A variety of artists are on display with gift items the whole family will love.

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