Saturday Handmade Market

November is my crazy month this year. On Saturday I will return to The Empty Bottle for my second stint at the Handmade Market. The show is November 11 from noon to 4 at 1035 N Western Avenue in Chicago and features a variety of handmade gifts for your holiday shopping needs.

Handmade Market Chicago is a unique event to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate the unique and handmade. I enjoyed perusing the creations of fellow makers last month, and already signed up for Spring spots.


The event is free, but since this is a bar you must be 21 years or older (or with a parent) to come in. The Empty Bottle starts serving at noon, so feel free to shop with mimosas in hand. Markets include funky jewelry, knitted items, clothing, baked goods, handbags, paper crafts, skincare and more.

This month’s artists include:

3 to 5 Apothecary by Carlie Merkle ~ Handmade, organic body products made with 3-5 ingredients. I believe there is no need for extra additives when the most simple ingredients can work magic for your health and body.

Acutechic, LLC by Ruby Thomas ~ Upcycled and handmade women’s clothing, jewelry and accessories.

Auburn Moon Creations by Angelina Nunez ~ Purveyor of handmade bath and body products for sensitive skin. Specializing in all natural bar soap, body scrubs, lotion/lotion bars, and tinted lip balm.

Begorra! by Maura McDermott ~ Hand painted accessories including canvas, cross-body purses, wristlets, zipper pouches and stationary items including note cards, gift enclosure cards and journals.

Blue Violet Candles by Peggy Boyd ~ Blue Violet Candles features high quality unforgettable soy wax candles. My candles are made with all natural soy wax, the top quality fragrance oils and each are hand crafted individually.

Bricole Design by Jolanta Nawrocka ~ Ceramic work (which is ceramic jewelry, ceramic chimes, ceramic beads, small figurines) is 100% designed and handmade by me. Fired in electrical kiln. I use low fire clay and glaze all my work with non toxic glazes.

Damsel In This Dress Designs by Heather Flett ~ Cool stuff for women who don’t need to be rescued. Purses, totes, bags, and more.

Debbie’s Designs by Deborah Solomon ~ Handmade sterling silver jewelry with precious and semi-precious stones.

Design Delights Ltd by Linda Sue Collins ~ Treasure chest of handcrafted gemstone jewelry featuring semi-precious stone, amber, pearl, shell, crystal, glass, wood, leather, fiber, sterling silver, & more!

GretchenC Studio by Gretchen Colavito ~ Original beaded jewelry hand sewn with need and thread, inspired by Tribal Art, Couture fashion, the Victorian Era, and Belle Epoque Eras.

Lady Heart Paper by Marielle M-Olson ~ One of a kind stationery notecards handcrafted with repurposed vintage ephemera such as: playing cards, found photos, & book pages.

LuDesigns Creations (LuDesignsjewelry) by Lucy Clasen ~ Silver Smith, lapidary, leather, stamped and beaded jewelry. Some fiber art and greeting cards. Offering items for males has been an addition to my line.

Madame Platypus by Rachel Katzman ~ Cards/prints. Crochet dolls/toys. Humorous resin pendants w/ chain.

Made by Q by Lindsey Quaglio ~ Eco friendly handmade goods. Resuse..Recycle…Rethink

Maike’s Marvels by Maike Van Wijk ~ Pendants, earrings, necklaces, keychains, bracelets and ornaments are hand-wrangled from steel wire and then embellished with encaustic-medium-treated paper or vintage ephemera to gift to your loved ones or for yourself.

Mary Pfister Designs by Mary Pfister ~ Your source for beautiful, unique and high quality jewelry, inspired by nature, handmade with love.

MojoOwl by Nors Beatriz ~ Jewelry from natural raw gem stones often mixed with recycled jewelry to make new wearables, lots of love, light and energy goes into them.

Natalie Walser ~ Original arts and prints, pottery and cat toys, all exploring the joys and the hilarity of urban modern life.

Naturally Refreshed Oil Kreations by Nicole Singleton ~ Essential oil infused products for everyday relief perfectly crafted. Pregnant and Breastfeeding Friendly.

Pure Principles by Cheryl McSherry ~ Skin care using organic botanicals, herbs, and oils without the use of any chemicals, additives, or toxic ingredients.

rj studio inc. by Rashida ~ Handmade jewelry, stationery, and accessories.

Sand and Stain by Todd Miller ~ “Now Playing” Record Display Stands are a great way to display what vinyl is currently spinning on your turntable.

ShopAdele by Leah Ill ~ Crochet projects that get me out of my head and into the world again creating something that others can enjoy, three dimensional play-toy for a children to functional pieces an adult can use every day.

Sonrie Bags by Emma Grigsby ~ Handmade items to make you smile and serve a practical purpose in your life.

Soothsayer Hot Sauce by Kyle Janis ~ All natural, small batch, hand bottled hot sauce. Hand numbered, vegan friendly products focused on a unique flavor palate over intense heat.

SunshineIsHappiness by Susan Lechner ~ Oil hand painted magnets, canvas boards, coasters, and prints, some are sweet, some are whimsical, but all are created to bring you warmth and happiness.

Terminal Cross Stitch by Angela Isadora ~ Nerdy and vulgar cross stitcher obsessed with Robocop, Rick & Morty and horror movies, offering finished products, patterns, and accepting custom requests.

The Drunken Cherry Bake Shoppe by Anna and Irina Goldberg ~ Unique cupcakes made by hand, using high quality ingredients, offered in seasonal varieties. A blast of booze here and there means you don’t have to choose between a cupcake and a cocktail, now you can have both in one adorable package.

Twinette Poterie by Emilie Bouvet-Boisclair ~ Handmade pottery for the thoughtful home. Focusing on functional ware that are inspired by color and nature.

Stop by Bite cafe if you get a little hungry. Parking: Street. Transit: #49 Western bus.

Each event is held on the second Saturday of every month, from the months of October – April from noon to 4:00 PM.

Evanston’s Terrain Biennial

On a recent summery Sunday I did an art scavenger hunt in Evanston. As part of the 3rd Terrain Biennial, Evanston artists have organized eight host locations on a walkable route, along Wesley and Florence between Emerson and Dempster. Eight homes are hosting the work of nine artists on the front yard, porch, or facade. Participating artists include Ben Blount, Paul Catanese, Shawn Decker, Alice George, Patrick Lichty, Kristin Mariani, Niki Nolin, Laurie O’Brien, Mat Rappaport, Anne Hayden Stevens and Kevin Valentine.

I started with The Beloved Community by Ben Blount. His collaboration with 40 artists resulted in a miniature community with a small Black Lives Matter yard sign to demonstrate neighborhood unity.

Next to this tiny neighborhood, nine full-sized Black Lives Matter yard signs, one for each of Evanston’s wards, were altered/defaced to reflect the recent vandalism and theft of Black Lives Matter signs in Evanston neighborhoods.

Near Ben’s installation was Laurie O’Brien‘s Dislocation, a birdhouse installation that held a miniature cinema. I felt like I would be trespassing to check out the piece closer, so I didn’t see the miniature film that is held inside.

On a sign was a poem by Niki Nolin, who also has a video installation in the exhibit.

I drove to the next location, Shawn Decker’s The Night Sounds. www.shawndecker.comThere was a definite hum coming from the bucket installation suspended between two trees as Cicadas were singing on a warm afternoon. A small motor activates this sculpture that is also going to change sound as rain falls into the buckets.

Next for me was 24 Hour Psycho (With Apologies to Douglas Gordon) by Patrick Lichty and Mat Rappaport. I heard an eerie soundtrack but wasn’t sure where to look for the actual video loop associated with this installation. A few signs were already written on, and I added my message (not pictured). I look forward to returning to this one to see how it evolves.

Another installation to return to is Kristin Mariani’Off Shoot. She will continue to weave this photoluminescent thread for the duration of the exhibit.

On Lake street, I visited Kevin Valentine‘s The Structure of Memory. His structure of woven together branches is dedicated to the widows of Iraq. “The created space is for contemplation, remembering sacrifices made, representing the complexity and hollowness of life after conflict, but also for hope, rebuilding and peace. These found sticks and driftwood were used by participants in drawing symbolic lines in the sand in memory of and solidarity with the millions of uncounted widows from decades of strife in the Middle East.  Each branch is dated and signed by participants who marked half-a-million lines in the beaches of Chicago, Evanston and elsewhere over several years.”

Next I walked over to Paul Catanese‘s Aerial Reference Studies, using reference markers used in aerial cartography. It would be cool to view this one from up high.

My last stop was Anne Stevens‘ Sleeping Giants, representing the mountains that resemble humans. “We are the sleeping giants now, moving at a glacial pace as our country twists and turns on a new axis. Our local lives continue—work, school, eat, sleep—but we struggle with erosion of policies that protect our democratic society.”

Founded in October of 2011 by artist Sabina Ott and author John Paulett, Terrain Exhibitions and The Terrain Biennial repurposes private spaces such as front yards, porches, or windows, turning them into public spaces in order to foster dialogue between neighbors and provide opportunities for artists and viewers alike to experience new perspectives.

Along the way nature inserted its own art. It is fun to become more observant in neighborhoods and see art that isn’t labeled as such, but can be enjoyed nonetheless.

There was also a fun whimsical garden installation that gave me a chuckle.

This year, 115 sites and more than 115 artists are participating in the Terrain Biennial. Projects include sites across Chicagoland, Springfield, Iowa City, Los Angeles, Tucson, and Marnay-sur-Seine, France.  For more information on The Terrain Biennial, including the 2017 partnership with Chicago’s Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) visit the FAQ page here. Learn more about Chicago’s “Year of Public Art” here.

The 3rd Terrain Biennial runs through November 15, 2017 between Emerson and Dempster Streets.
Grab the interactive map here.

Final Evanston Made Sip ‘n Shop

June has flown by, and this is the final week to see all the Evanston Made art on display at the Evanston Art Center. As of July 1, all this lovely art will be off to new owners or back to artists’ studios. To celebrate the success of this annual event, Evanston Made is hosting a Sip ’n Shop party on Thursday, June 29 from 5 pm to 8 pm.

Enjoy a night of cocktails, nibbles and shopping at the Evanston Made Pop Up Shop at the Evanston Art Center, located at 1717 Central Street. It’s your last night to purchase locally created goods by the creatives of Evanston.

You can peruse ceramics that are decorative and functional, fiber arts you can wear, carry with you, or hang on the wall. Handmade Jewelry is abundant and offers something for everyone.

Gorgeous leather goods include bags and keychains. Prints, postcards, stickers and books offer affordable art that makes a statement. I especially love the mixed media vignettes.

You can also take in the full exhibit on the main floor one more time. I love all the vibrant art that showcases the variety of artisan skills Evanstonians have.

The event is free and open to the public. Though we hope you invest in some of your local artists, of course…

The night before, Wednesday, June 28 I will finally make my way to the Five and Dime for the Evanston Made Closing party. Dan Kelch of Lulu’s, Five & Dime and Taco Diablo is throwing a party to say “Thank you” to everyone who participated in Evanston Made!

There will be food and drink from 6 pm to 9 pm at 1026 Davis Street in Evanston. We’ll celebrate the volunteers who made this event happen.

I’ve never been to the Five & Dime but have great things about it, so I am looking forward to this excursion in my home town. If you cannot make it to either, be sure to follow the artists below for upcoming events. Their art is so lovely and I have been honored to be in such good company this month.

 

 

Making Plant Stake Critters

I have distributed plant stakes at 3 locations this week, which means a lot of stake-making happened over the past month.

Staying focused to pick up more wire was indeed a danger zone during my hardware store trip.

Something compelled me to make stakes late last year, but then winter happened and ornament production kicked in. With spring/summer finally emerging, I decided to make more dragonflies and also play with ladybug designs.

I had to allocate enough pieces for Evanston Made, my own Pop-ups, a Sacred Art Consignment, and the new Hip Circle Empowerment Center Retail Zone.

There are popular colors, and then I keep finding scraps I want to play with, so it required some focus to get it all done. Shopping sprees also provide more fun colors.

I created a design on my Now That’s A Jig for the dragonfly. The ladybug is just two rounds and then I hand-bend the wings and the dots.

Then I cut out the patterns and place them on my palette to be waxed.

I fuse the paper layers onto the wire.

After that, I cut the paper or fabric to size.

It is easy to poke my eye out in the process, but so far so good. I also keep discovering new scratches on my arms…

Some stakes are embellished with alcohol inks, and I have one dragonfly hanging out on my porch to test all that for weather-fastness.

Rain causes a little bit of rust, and we’ll see what the sun does in terms of heat and fading.

Stakes are hard to photograph, so I need to figure out the setup for that if I load them to the shop.

Bouquets need a better backdrop as well.

I also wasn’t thrilled with the old bottles to use as a display.

So I scoped out Everlasting Fire Studio’s new glass vase designs that they debuted at a recent trunk show.

Based on my stake height they created two larger versions for me, and I love this much more than the recycled pieces.

I will still use the bottles as ‘car seats’ for my critters.

On Tuesday I dropped off my pieces at the former Hip Circle Studio.

Tonight the Hip Circle Empowerment Center makes its debut (changing Hip Circle from for-profit to not-for-profit) and the Women-Powered Retail Zone will be open for business.

I made special pieces for the occasion.

Class-goers have already admired all the gorgeous goodies by The Collage Cafe, Rita Shimelfarb, Golden Sapphire, See Jane Sparkle, Strait Jacket, Maike’s Marvels, Chai Wolfman, and Rock These Socks. We’ll be up for a month or two until the retail Zone features other woman makers, so you’d better shop during their new business hours.

The Women-Powered Retail Zone is open: 3 to 6 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,  1 to 4 pm Fridays, 15 minutes before & after all classes/workshops, and during the Custer Fair June 17 & 18. Here’s to my creatures flying off to new homes.

I also tagged a bunch for the Evanston Made pop-up shop at the Evanston Art Center, which opens tomorrow evening to the public.

All that spread-sheeting and number tracking has me looking forward to making more fabric versions next.

Assemblage at The Collage cafe

I joined the Grown*UP Girls Club this year at The Collage Cafe and I am loving it. While I have my own studio where I can create, there is something about gathering around women, being in a different space, and having someone else prescribe a project that soothes the soul and takes me out of my head.

This month we did assemblage art. We started with a small chunky canvas to embellish with anything we wished.

The Collage Cafe owner Lindy Stockton has gathered numerous objects over the years, from buttons, ribbons, vintage clothespins, paper scraps, game pieces, puzzles to metal objects like washers and rivets, chunky safety pins, keys and a plethora of other things.

Clearly making a mess is part of the inspirational process. I found a lovely pencil that had to be mine, and gathered a variety of other embellishments that spoke to me.

I put a layer of acrylic paint on mine for starters.

Then I added scraps of decorative paper from a scrapbook paper stack.

With glue guns and drills and super-powerful glue we had a blast making our pieces.

Waiting for paint and glue to dry was the hardest part, but gave an opportunity to walk around and see what everyone else was working on.

It is such fun to see what people pick and how they use it in the end.

I snapped this picture as inspiration, and saw the piece being used by someone else.

I am really happy with how mine turned out, especially since I had no vision at all in the beginning.

Sometimes not knowing what could or should be is very freeing, and leads to results you don’t expect.

Playing with dimension is such fun.

The front addresses the writer in me.

The back clearly needed to sparkle.

You can catch a glimpse of the other pieces here.

Go check out this lovely play space and get your inner creatrix going!

Main-Dempster Mile fun

I am easing out of hibernation and it is safe (no longer too cold) to take angel out and about on my adventures.

Evanston’s Main-Dempster mile is full of fun adventures. Squeezebox has the right idea with these postcards.

I had tacos for charity on the day of the Woman’s March, and later went to La Principal again with friends.

A few weeks later Brothers K collected funds for the ACLU.

My frosty is still hanging out at Rolf’s Auto Care, where I took my car for service.

We rewarded ourselves with some Sketchbook beer after a Hip Circle workout.

Stumble & Relish’s lovely card selection, along with my stash of Curly Girl Design’s Love Delivered subscription has me writing a postcard on Sundays.

I got to sample SPARK Syrup with Prosecco on Thursday and picked up some earrings I couldn’t resist.

Vivian Visser explained the process and inspiration behind her beautiful creations during an Artist talk at Cultivate.

This wonderful show is up through the end of the month.

It is always neat to see who shadows interact with art work on the wall.

I attended a few recent The Collage Cafe workshops, and loved the glowing woman who emerged from the last Grown*UP Girls Club session.

My vision boards will be shown when they manifest.

Then I was introduced to Bullet Journaling at Hip Circle Studio.

Next weekend I hope to explore Evanston’s Black-owned Businesses during Tour de Noir.

There’s always something fun to do in Evanston.

Fun at the Sidewalk Sale

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

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

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

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Soon we were set up and ready to greet shoppers.

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Soon browsers started to shop.

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

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

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

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

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

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Lots of friends stopped by.

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

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

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It is fun to rearrange the setup each time.

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Stumble & Relish had lots of deals throughout the weekend.

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Sara Jane did major markdowns as well.

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

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I took home some bargains myself.SRLoot

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

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Some of my inventory remains at See Jane Sparkle.

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

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I hope they go home to new owners soon.

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

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

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Sparkly Sidewalk Sale tomorrow!

I’ve been sparkling up the studio this week to make more beaded pieces.

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Then I tagged all the newbies for the upcoming 3-day sale.

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Tomorrow I’ll be setting up in front of See Jane Sparkle for the Evanston Sidewalk Sale.

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I’ll have a table in front of 1312 Chicago Avenue from 10 am to 4 pm July 29, 30 and 31.

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Depending on weather, Sara Jane will have my wax and wire pieces inside.

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My swarm is also planning on fluttering in.

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You can look for Sparkly Angel in the store too, along with her friends.

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This year the sidewalk sale extends down to Main Street, so be sure to visit my favorite shops there as well, including The Collage Cafe, Cultivate, Hip Circle Studio, and more.

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There will be a variety of specials offered by retailers.

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In downtown Evanston a few artists will pop up over the weekend, so plan to head toward Fountain Square and see what’s going on.

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To get to See Jane Sparkle you can take the CTA Purple line to Dempster Street or on the weekends, the CTA Red Line to Howard Street and then the Purple Line to Dempster Street. You can also take the Metra UP-N Line to the Dempster station. Downtown Evanston is just a few blocks from Dempster Street and a few more from Main Street so you can easily walk between the districts.

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If you’re driving, there are three City of Evanston parking garages in downtown Evanston, there is metered parking on the streets and free parking on side streets (like Hinman Ave.). Parking is $1/hr and it is free on Sundays.

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Visit the Main-Dempster Mile Facebook page to learn about the deals at participating stores and other fun activities on Dempster St., Main St. and Chicago Ave.

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Evanston Made ArtWalk

Evanston Made is a month-long celebration of the arts in Evanston designed to create opportunities for artists to engage with the community (and vice versa).

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Art studios, galleries, museums and businesses throughout Evanston are showing works by Evanston creatives June 3 through 30.

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I put on my bangles for the Opening Soiree.

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Opening night was packed at the Evanston Art Center.

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I heard 300 artists were represented in the show.

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My piece had a lovely prime spot.

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The second floor holds four thoughtful exhibits, 2 by groups and two by solo artists.

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In conjunction with the exhibit, Evanston Art Center is hosting a Pop Up Gallery and Store June 3-30.

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The store is located in the lobby of the Evanston Art Center, 1717 Central Street, Evanston.

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You can meet the various artists during their pop-up shifts.

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It turns out one of the Brothers K baristas is an artist as well, and he did a demo at the Art Center on Opening night.

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His pillows are at the Pop-up, and you can see his art work at Brothers K Coffeehouse.

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I bumped into a few friends, one of whom snapped my photo.

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After the opening I plotted my route with the fabulous Evanston Made map.

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I started out on Florence Avenue which had changed quite a bit since my last visit there.

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Angel felt right at home at Mill Creek Miniatures.

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I wanted to get lost daydreaming about all the little vignettes.

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You can get doll houses restored or custom made here.

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The beauty of these studio tours is that you can see the tools of the trade, like Beth Adler’s.

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So much mesmerizing print work.

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Next door I could have gotten lost in Rita Shimelfarb’s stained glass portraits as well.

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I learned about a co-op called Space 900.

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I drove to the Dempster/Chicago area next, where inspirational Karna Designs was open.

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I swung by See Jane Sparkle.

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My pieces are enjoying various arrangements.

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Stumble & Relish hosts a variety of EvanstonMade products year-round

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Frame Warehouse had one of the Swarm posters up, and Paul Nebenzahl was doodling inside. A few shops have artists on display through June 30.

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After parking my car by Main Street, the rain started in earnest, but I wanted to see my friends anyway.

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At The Collage Cafe three artists are on display.

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I am looking forward to my next playtime, and enjoy seeing my pieces in such joyful and inspirational company.

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Evanston Sticthworks has beautiful quilts up by Ann Wasserman.

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She was there in person and we had a lovely conversation.

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Vanessa Filley’s dolls would fit right in at Evanston Stitchworts.

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I visited my friend at Oliver’s Toys where Angel had fun chatting up a knight in shining armor and petting a fluffy hedgehog.

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Cultivate has beautiful ceramics by Mollie Morris on display, and Laura Mae Noble’s terrariums are little vignettes you can get lost in.

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I had a snack at La Principal before heading to the Swarm opening.

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Got was in a swarmy mood throughout the day, and these pieces at Ausrine’s Art Room, The Collage Cafe and See Jane Sparkle were fun to get me into opening mood.

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Then it was time to see the swarm, and I’ll share pics of that lovely evening next week.

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Trunk Show Sparkles

The last day of April was marred by rain, but that did not deter shoppers from browsing See Jane Sparkle and my Trunk Show.

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I set up for the show in the morning, and dropped of more yarn bomb doilies next door, where drawing angel hung out for the day to support Stumble & Relish’s guest artist.

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It was fun to play with social media throughout the day.

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My traveling angel almost got snapped up, but then she was recognized and her friend went to a new home instead.

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Jaime of Stumble & Relish wore her new pyrite pendant out the door.

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In the afternoon, several people perused my wares, and adopted some pieces.

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I had made lots of sparkly pieces for See Jane Sparkle, and she consigned the new collection.

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Exclusively for her I made some single-dangle bangles.

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Sara Jane Abbott is a participant in Evanston Made, which runs through the month of June.

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She offers a variety of fun events throughout the month, including designer make and takes and beads and bubbly parties.

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Check out her Facebook page for the latest and greatest.

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Be sure to stop by other Evanston Made venues through June. I might have an angel photobomb during the various art walks and events.

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The Evanston Art Center Made in Evanston Show featuring participating artists is up at 1717 Central Street along with a pop-up shop in the lobby.

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The SWARM show at SideTracked Studio is also fun to peruse, located at 707 Chicago Avenue.

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The Collage Cafe also has an Evanston Made exhibit, and offers numerous workshops for you to create your own art work.

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