Brilliant Blooms

I’ve returned from my cabin getaway and will tell you more about that soon.


Right now, I am basking in the springy sunshine too much to sit and write.

I love this part of the season where petals unfurl in their brightest finery.

Pink is trending.

So pretty.

My favorite scent is everywhere.

I think it is a kind of jasmine, I keep forgetting the name of these blossoms.

The lake sparkles with all the sunshine cast upon it.

Tulips make my Dutch heart proud.

Narcissi have an array of petals.

Purple petals radiate.

I hum Alice in Wonderland’s flower song in the streets.

My favorite flower has returned.

Trees are coming out of hibernation.

Cultivate’s current exhibit has stunning photos of ferns unfurling.

OK-gotta go out and sniff again!

Garden Center Fun

I spent the last few days of August making some dragonflies for Platt-A-Palooza.

dragonflymaking

It was a glorious Saturday when we set up at Platt Hill Nursery.

boothcollage

Flowers greeted me as I unloaded the car.

gooseflowers

The amount of space is always amazing, and I had fun setting up my booth.

mmbooth

Foot traffic was great, so I had little time to peruse the other booths.

maikesmarvelsplatt2016

Seeing how my pieces interact with the sunlight is always fun.

angelbutterfly

Thankfully we had popcorn delivered to us.

popcornplatt

Parts of the swarm were on display.

plattswarm

There were stuffed animals,

stuffies

Other jewelry vendors,

egjewelry

Holiday Ornaments,

angelmeetsangels

Birdbath creations,

birdbaths

and my neighbor had lovely Faery Cottages that Angel couldn’t resist.

angelcottage

It is always fun to see the garden accessories Platt Hill Nursery has to offer, like these fun creations.

hedgiesandowls

Live Bluegrass entertained us throughout the day.

musicians

So much bloom.

creativejungle

I tested some plant stakes that need a bit more observing for durability.

planterdragonfly

Angel basked in some pansies as well.

angelinpansies

Several pieces found new homes.

plattsales16

I love all the flowers and plant varieties.

sunflowerangel

Gardening is not in the cards for me, but it is always fun to admire nature.

paintings

Soon the day was over and time to pack up.

packingup

I did some lazing and stretching before the next eventful week.

yaybuddha

Hopefully you had a labor-free Labor Day weekend.

reflower

Summer

Summer has begun and I wish I could go on vacation.

flowers

Instead I am sneaking lake time away from the computer when I can.

angellake

I uninstalled the DOT Show and am pleased my circles held up well.

emptypods

I even got to take home 2 of Carol Hamilton’s dots.

dotshowreturn

Along the way I got to watch some bridge action while stopped in traffic.

willistowerbridge

I delivered 2 memorial angels honoring a family member.

angeldelivery

It was fun to see the cityscape as I traveled for an artist critique on Saturday.

chitown

This weekend I strolled in the neighborhood and noticed this hugging tree.

treehug

Thunderstorms make for very green parks.

verdanttree

It is soothing to watch the horizon and the colors of the lake.

lake

I garnered inspiration at Cultivate’s Lucy Slivinski’s Opening. Go see it this month!

Slivinski

Now it is time to head back in the studio with commissions from my bead loot.

sunset

Spam and grasshopper friends

It was a scorching day on Saturday, but light breezes and the occasional cloud blocking the sun made the day lovely for an art fair.

sunnyness

It was early when I set out to bring my wares to Bloomingdale.

ontheroad

As always, Platt Hill Nursery has a plethora of fun and quirky garden accessories to peruse.

DragonsAndKitties

The rainbow of watering cans cheered me up.

gieters

The professional and cheerful staff directed us where we needed to set up.

PlattSign

Soon my table was transformed.

PlattSetup

This year’s vendors sold jewelry, children’s clothes, stuffed animals, fun hand-crafted decorative items,

booth1

gifts, household items, garden decor, and holiday ornaments.

booth2

These golf ball critters were fun to peruse.

golfballcritters

Garden stakes are such fun, if you have a garden…

plattapalooza

I didn’t have much time to peruse the tents, but they looked like fun.

tents

It was fun to try out my souvenir from the home country.

DutchSouvenir

Spam the pig visited again and was loved by many.

SmapThepig

Butterflies and bumblebees fluttered by, and this grasshopper jumped into my path.

grasshopperfriend

I thought it would jump the minute after I snapped the photo, which it did, right on to my table!

GrasshopperBizcards

Then it explored for a bit and even picked out a pendant to go with its outfit.

Grasshopper

I had my annual hot dog and soft drink, but didn’t get around to sipping a Margarita this year.

Compliments

Two customers bought a keychain and a butterfly pendant and a few business cards walked away.

PlattPurchases

It was fun to watch people parade their plant selections, and I was tempted to try my black thumb at a green orchid.

PlattHillNurseryFLowers

Soon it was closing time, though, and tear-down became more important.

byePlatt

If you’re a gardener, go check out Platt Hill Nursery in Bloomingdale or Carpentersville. They’ll have some fun Fall items in store for you.

FallPrep

My next pop-up event is the Ravenswood ArtWalk September 19 and 20. I hope to see you there.

boothme

Summer Daze

I have a few blog posts in my head, but sitting down to write them is a challenge these days. I am drawn outside on the warmer days and thrilled to spot the butterflies fluttering about.

summerbfliesSM

I’ve explored a variety of events and enjoyed taking in all the inspiration and creativity. Business projects keep me engaged and occupied, making days fly by.

klokjes

Nutrition is top of mind as I explore more vitamin-rich meals.

pizza

Summer novels keep my brain from churning too much in the evenings.

Macomberreading

I love how warmer weather draws out color and scent and music.

comma

I don’t know how June flew by so quickly, but I am grateful for all the activity, the comradery, and the challenges June brought with it.

flowers

It is good to be alive and well and see the magic of fireflies.

firefly

Sunshine and warmth call for little pleasures.

gelato

Monarchs are threatened, but I see them fluttering about, which gives me hope.

sMonarchs2015

I wish you the most fabulous of summers, filled with much joy and contentment. Happy Independence Day!

OranjeBloemen

Could it be Spring?

Could it be? Did Winter finally get the memo to make way for Spring?

Knospe

I saw buds pop up last week only to be covered by snow.

Sneeuwklokje

But now the majority of ice blobs have melted, and these sprouts just might have a chance!

Sprouting

There are still remnants of ice. This was February 22.

Feb222015

And on April Fool’s Day, ice blobs are still taunting us.

IceBlob

Fascinating physics for sure.

ShelfIce

Here’s hoping that spring is here to stay, and we can enjoy the blossoming of new life.

Tulpen

I am reminded of a childhood song whenever I see Croci

WitteKrokus

and Narcissus.

Narcissus

This is the only YouTube version I could find.

I wish those observing holy days this week(end) peace and pause.

PurpleCroci

March flowers

We keep getting more snow but it is springtime in the studio.

MarchSnow

I received a gift in this vibrant floral tissue paper and couldn’t resist making some cheerful pendants with them.

tissuepaperinspiration

A simple oval was the obvious choice, but then it was fun playing with petal shapes too.

OvalPinkFlower

I pulled out Brenda Schweder’s Now That’s A Jig to practice more form-making.

NowThatsAJig2

When the wire shapes are completed I cut out the papers to match each form.

cuttingpetals

After dipping the paper in wax each petal is painstakingly aligned with the wire, and fused to its rightful place with a quilting iron.

Petalingsteps

A yellow scrap made me want to add another flower to my blend.

yellowflower1

I shall call it Potentilla erecta. Buttercups might have to be next!

yellowflower

I’ve been loading more pendants and earrings to Etsy the past week.

weeklyupload

These newbies will be processed for new listings soon, but you can always contact me to call dibs! I post combos and works in progress on my Instagram feed as well.

ThinkPinkPendants

For the floral pendants, earrings and collar necklaces already uploaded, view my Etsy shop.

FlowersonEtsyMaikesMarvels

Mother’s Day Pendants are in the works, too.

Momdayprep

May 10 will be here before you know it, so contact me now for your custom order.

Productivity

Other people’s gardens

Normally this time of the year I have plenty of butterfly snapshots, but they’ve been scarce thus far.

purplewhiteflowers

royalblue

I am pleased to see monarchs fluttering about, the cabbage whites are becoming more visible, and I’ve spotted a few admirals, but not as plentiful as seasons past.

moodflowers

Those I do see are either too fast or too far away from my camera.

clusterpink

Nonetheless, the gardens are vibrant with beautiful flowers and I love the scent of summer wafting along.

hydrantfloral

I’ve focused on orange flowers in the past month for #TeamOranje, but the Lilies are abundant in other colors as well.

liliesyellow

Such stately flowers.

redlilies

They are so gorgeous standing tall in numerous groupings around my neighborhood.

liliespink

There are also other flowers whose names I don’t know, but their scents are lovely.

mysterySeussflowersmellgood

A stroll after a downpour always brings out freshness and pretty droplets.

redberrydrops

And OK, the World Cup may be done, but orange is still abundant…

oranjeberries

oranjebloemen

Bunnies are munching on the lawns.

findthebunny

The “toddlers” are so adorable.

toddlerbunny

It’s so good to love life, to enjoy old love and new love alike.

OldNewLove

So much prettiness makes my heart sing.

smallfuchsiabeauty

Delicate yet strong.

smallwhiteflowercluster

pinkdaisy2

Life looks rosy from this angle.

rosegarden

Rosyes

Flowers brighten up the grey.

fuchsiaconcrete

Here’s to more sunshine and flowers as summer continues.

tussledflower

Summertime Reading

Summer weather is finally here, and I’ve been basking in the sunlight the past few days.

Brilliance

With the mighty success of NEW’s birthday party and fundraiser I declared Thursday a holiday.

stars

Friday afternoon became another one as my family goaded me into watching the amazing World Cup opening game of team orange.

poppy

It was a blast sharing the joy of 5 goals via Facebook and Whatsapp.

hugging dandelions

Meanwhile I am doing some mental excavating and reprogramming as I read these affirmative books.

JuneBooks

Lifelong patterns take a while to break, and re-identifying them to craft a life lived by purpose is important.

2Hearts

It’s not all brain acrobatics. I’m sprinkling in some childhood romance books, too.

BrilliantBigLeap

What’s your summer reading?

MohnBlume