Last Pop-up Hurrah

It’s the most wonderful time of the year….

I’ve had carols in my head since December and am contemplating which Christmas Album will be this year’s splurge (Gwen Stefani is a contender).

Meanwhile, I have one final local pop-up before my pieces go into holiday hibernation. The Evanston Pop Up Gallery is hosting The Pop Up Gallery Friends & Family Shopping Night, Thursday, December 14th from 5 to 7 pm.

Owners Sally and Steve will offer snacks and drinks and you’ll get to mingle with a variety of artists who will be present to discuss their work.

I was going to sneak my Jewelry bag and ornament boxes into the back room so you can peruse my Facebook album in person. However, I’ll be able to set up a small table with my wares in the store, so it will be a true trunk show. 🙂

If you are unable to attend that event, The Pop Up Gallery, located at 1627 Sherman Avenue, is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., with closing hours extended on busy evenings.

Meanwhile, Sacred Art Chicago in Lincoln Square also has a few of my ornaments in their holiday inventory. Owner Kate Merena has been posting a fabulous gift guide on Facebook, so be sure to drop in 4619 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago for locally made gifts as well. She is also open til 10 pm on December 14, and might have other holiday events coming up.

Keep an eye out for Everlasting Fire Studio as well. I adore their ornaments and nabbed some for myself.

Meanwhile, this scarf weather is perfect for my scarf pins that are available exclusively at Evanston Stitchworks. Bundle up and meander over to 906 Sherman Avenue for gift cards and charming fabrics to offer your stitcher this Holiday Season. Around the corner, at 709 Washington Street, the Women-Powered Retail Zone is still open for business at Hip Circle Empowerment Center, where I have a small shelf as well.

Lena Rose Boutique, 4668 N. Manor Avenue, Chicago, is the hostess of my bangles this season, and has a variety of events to get you glammed up and beautified for the holidays.

Speaking of glam, get your hair done did at ChromaK8 boutique and peruse the lovely artisan gift items in their soothing and earth-friendly salon at 5425 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago.

It’s been a strange year for retailers so please be sure to shop local and shop small this holiday season. I can guarantee that every time you shop independent, someone if not more than one person is doing a happy dance because you chose to spend your dollars with them. I certainly cheer every time my partner locations make a sale, since keeping them in business keeps me in business as well!

Happy holiday shopping!

Scarfpin Collection at Evanston Stitchworks

Since my foray onto sewing I have been eager to incorporate fabric into my wax and wire designs too. The Ladybugs with fabric scraps are holding up well. Then a few weeks ago while popping by Evanston Sticthworks Amalia asked me about making scarf pins. I had already designed a safety pin for a friend, which was well-received.

I sat down with that design and made a prototype for Amalia to test.

Then the pin-top got dremeled and filed a bit to ensure no one pokes themselves.

We both like the result.

I was given a lovely array of fabrics to experiment with.

Last week I sat down and created a bunch of clasp-y designs.

I freewheeled with Brenda’s Now That’s a Jig! pegs, not anchoring them to her jig but just wrapping shapes by hand.

Then I added the fabrics that wanted to be paired with the shapes.

Each type of fabric has its own reaction to heat and wax, but on the whole the designs worked.

I delivered 7 pins to Stitchworks on Tuesday, and a customer already called dibs on two!

We arranged them on a lovely hand-knit sweater.

The prototype goes beautifully with Amalia’s hand-knit scarf.

I also prototyped some stitch markers and got feedback on which ones Amalia thinks are most useful for her purposes, so I have some homework to do!

Exacto knives don’t work well with warmed waxed fabric, so I got some special scissors to use on the next designs.

There is a plethora of other fabrics to make pins out of, and lots of different wire designs to experiment with!

Evanston Stitchworks offers a wide array of artisan designed fabrics, great sewing patterns, hand-dyed yarns and all the knitting supplies you need with those.

The store is located at 906 Sherman Avenue in Evanston and offers a variety of excellent workshops as well.

Can you pick a favorite out of these lovely fabrics?

They’re all so lovely in their own way, even if I say so myself.

I’m excited to add more to this collection, and figure out the stitch marker assignment too!

Reconnecting with the Sewing Machine

During my corporate life, I took a pencil skirt class at Vogue Fabric and of course gathered materials to build on that, except that my inherited sewing machine thwarted me and I gave up.  Eventually I got a brand-new machine, but I only used it for small projects and never went back to my UFOs, especially since my size changed over time and the pattern might not apply anymore.

Enter Evanston Stitchworks, a lovely store along Evanston’s Main-Dempster Mile offering sewing and knitting classes for teens and adults, along with all the supplies for those projects. This “Stitch Lounge and Studio” has been in business for a few years, but moved to the Sherman Street location last year.

Owner Amalia curates beautiful high-quality and fabrics, findings, yarns and patterns. I love the vibe of the shop and the beautiful array of fabrics. Her store reminds me of the doll-shop my mom made for me as a child.

Intrigued by Amalia’s workshops since the beginning, my schedule finally worked out to where I could take the Willow Tank Top Dress class she hosted in February.

For three Wednesday evenings, four of us gathered at Evanston Stitchworks to learn to make this lovely pattern by Grainline Studio. It was hard to decide on a fabric, but with Amalia’s guidance I settled on a lovely Birch Floral Periwinkle print by Rifle Paper Company.

On the first evening, we traced our pattern onto an interfacing fabric, and spent the remaining time cutting out our pieces. Tracing our pattern keeps the original pattern paper intact, allowing for size changes, which I love.

The next week, we started sewing half of the pattern together.

One selling point of this pattern is that I learned to make darts, which are a useful skill for my anatomy.

We learned machine threading, bobbin winding, and how to adjust needle and stitch settings during this session.

Lots of pinning was involved.

My classmates did just the top, so my dress portion took a bit of adjusting by Amalia. We decided I would come in for an extra session the next day to get me caught up with the rest of class.

I sewed the fold, fixed a wrongly attached collar, and received confidence boosters on my sewing capabilities.

Sewing class also involves tutorials on pressing seams.

Then decided to go home to figure out my own machine for the other half of the dress.

A few days later, I sat down with my manual to check out the difference between the Stitchworks machine and my own machine settings. Photo references helped me make sure I was doing the right thing with the arm holes.

Getting the attachment removed for the arm holes took some googling, but I got it figured out and was on my way.

Then I befriended the seam ripper some more due to a sewing snafu. I bet no one else has accidentally folded fabric into the seam mid-way through a garment. 😉

Seam rippers are lovely tools.

With all side seams connected and the hems all pressed, I was all caught up.

The final class was spent sewing the collar, arm holes and hem up to complete the dress. A side exercise was avoiding pinpricks during this round-about fabric feed.

I got some ironing tips for the darts, photos of our end result were taken, and we all went home happy with our creations.

I cannot wait for the weather to warm up so I can wear this fun dress out!

Overall, it took about 9 hours to put it together. Having Amalia supervise every move was affirming and confidence building. Knowing that my home machine is compatible also helps support future projects.

Now I need to incorporate the sample fat quarter fabrics I picked up on Small Business Saturday into my wax and wire creations.

I already gave an old pendant a makeover with a dress remnant.

My next quest is deciding on the next fabric to make the dress again.

Evanston Stitchworks is located at 906 Sherman Avenue in Evanston, Illinois and hosts monthly drop-in events that are posted on FacebookCheck out upcoming classes and online shopping opportunities here. You can also cheer up your Instagram feed by following Evanston Stitchworks.

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.

Warm Bevvy Trunk Show

Last year I had a blast at the Warm Bevvy Walk in Evanston. It is a great way to explore local shops and make new friends. The 2nd Annual Evanston Warm Bevvy Walk is on Thursday, December 8 from 5 to 8 pm with my favorite businesses participating.

spiceitorspikeit

Enjoy an evening stroll with friends and family, stopping at stores in downtown Evanston and along the Main-Dempster Mile to try tasty beverages and shop for the holidays. I will be at See Jane Sparkle with all my wares for an evening trunk show. Sara Jane is blending a special beverage and will also have special promotions that evening.

sjsangels

This event is FREE and open to all ages, but registration is required. If you intend to drink alcoholic beverages, you are required to present an ID to get a wristband. This year, commemorative Shop Evanston enamel mugs will be available for purchase for $5 with cash or credit card. Along the Main-Dempster Mile, the following businesses are offering drinks.

sketchbook

Check-in (where you get a map and wristband): The Pot Shop | 1224 Chicago Avenue or Sketchbook Brewing | 821 Chicago Avenue.

bevvymug

See Jane Sparkle | 1312 Chicago Ave.
Threads Boutique | 1304 Chicago Ave.
The Collage Cafe | 912 Sherman Ave.

tccangels
Evanston Eye Wellness | 716 Main St.
Trash & Treasures | 611 Dempster St.
Follow Your Nose & The Alchemist’s Wife | 917 Chicago Ave.
Vogue Fabrics featuring Bon Events | 718 Main St.
Cultivate Urban Rainforest & Gallery | 704 Main St.

cultivate
Virag Jewelers | 703 Main St.
Evanston Float Center | 800 Dempster St.
In Fine Fettle Holistic Health Center & Wellness Boutique | 900 Chicago Ave. (storefront on Main St.)
Belgian Chocolatier Piron | 509 Main St.

pironstnick
Squeezebox Books & Music | 1235 Chicago Ave.
Evanston Stitchworks | 906 Sherman Ave.
stumble & relish | 1310 Chicago Ave.
YoFresh | 635 Chicago Ave., #7

beadedbangle

Downtown Evanston: Check-in: Vinic Wine | 1509 Chicago Ave.

warmbevvyprograms

Life is Good | 1741 Sherman Ave.
Avail & Co. | 1106 Davis St.
Athletico Physical Therapy | 909 Davis St., Ste. 220
Underground Printing | 818 Clark St.
Chiropractic First | 1609 Chicago Ave.

wassail
La Cocinita | 1625 Chicago Ave.
Ayla’s Originals | 1511 Sherman Ave.
Relish | 706 Church St.
Williams Shoes the Walking Spirit | 610 Church St.

williamsshoes
Holiday Inn Chicago North-Evanston | 1501 Sherman Ave.
Celtic Knot | 626 Church St.
Andy’s Frozen Custard | 719 Church St. {offering Hot Fudge/Caramel Turtle Sundaes for $2.30}
Spice & Tea Exchange of Evanston | 1615 Sherman Ave.
Pure Barre | 910 Church St.
Bookends & Beginnings | 1712 Sherman Ave. (alley entrance)
The Alley Gallery | 1712 Sherman Ave. (alley entrance)

spicetea
Saville Flowers | 1712 Sherman Ave.
Evereve | 1608 Sherman Ave.
Uncle Dan’s | 901 Church St.
Smylie Brothers | 1615 Oak Ave.
Exhale Evanston | 1890 Maple Ave.
First Northern Credit Union | 1705 Sherman Ave.
Bottle & Bottega | 1016 Davis St.
dragonfly-df | 1501 Chicago Ave.

aylasbeads

I hope to see you!

parisangel

Evanston Winewalk for Mudlark

Last Thursday the Main-Dempster mile was adorned with lime green aprons galore. Almost all the retailers between Chicago Avenue and Sherman on Main Street participated in the Evanston Charity Wine Walk benefiting Mudlark theater.

guitarworksww

I bought a raffle ticket, and many others tried to win the 12 gift baskets offered this evening.

rafflewinewalkmudlark

I’m curious which baskets my four keychains ended up in, and happy to know they will have a new owner soon.

winewalksponsor

I met my friend at Sketchbook brewery where she sampled the wine.

sketchbookstart

Hip Circle Studio offered a 3-class flight at a discount, so you can try out their classes and get a whiff of all the positive empowerment Malik’s space offers. Their class cards are also worth a whirl.

hcswinewalk

We had a taco at La Principal’s Cafecito.

laprincipalcafecito

I still want to try their morning cocoa with breakfast tacos but always forget about the 10:30 cutoff.

cafecitobkfast

Dave’s Down to Earth Rock shop offered edible rocks with the Wine Goddess’ selection.

ediblerocks

It was my first visit to the new Prehistoric Museum, and angel’s first view of ancient fossils.

davesprehistoricmuseum

Ten Thousand Villages has lovely soaps I hadn’t perused yet.

tenthousandwillagessoap

Their wine display was the best.

winewhine

At The Collage Cafe Lindy served greek wine along with creative energy.

tccwinewalk

Her pumpkin tree is so fun.

tccwinewalkpumpkins

Next door I had a nice chat with Geoff Martin Photography.

geoffmartin-photography

Open Studio Project had a live drummer.

openstudiosdrummer

Evanston Stitchworks has all kinds of fun class and gathering offerings for all ages, and vintage patterns!evanstonstitchworks

Belgian Chocolatier Piron paired an assortment of their pralines with the Wine Goddess’ Boula Monsanto 2013 from Catalonia.

pironwinewalk

I went back the next day to pick up their hot cocoa blend and the famed Hazelnut Chocolate spread that will get me through the cooler days (they ship too) and goes with the French Press home brew from Brothers K.

pironorder

We bookended the walk with a pint at Sketchbook brewery. There were many stops further north, so hopefully the event will happen again and we can map our route in another neighborhood to get to know their businesses better.

sketchbookwinewalk

Beer starred again the next night, with Sketchbook brewery launching their Oktoberfest beer, DIAPASON, in conjunction with Opus 327.

opus327

St. Luke’s Episcopal Church houses the Skinner organ developed by Ernest M. Skinner, one of his best maintained original organs. Eating in the pew felt irreverent, but the food created by St. Luke’s members with meat provided by Bluestone Restaurant was delicious.

opus372_peweating

Christine Kraemer played an “organ Flight” for us with Toccata in D Minor, Adagio from Symphony V, Flues Blues (my favorite) and the Fanfare of the Common Man, which showcased the newly restored trumpets.

opusfestflights

I look forward to visiting this church for their various concerts again. Go check out your local community events. You may be surprised at how much fun you will have even down a street you think you already know.

Birthday Break

Monday was my birthday, and I started the celebration early with my mom’s visit on Thursday.

whiteflowers

We took a long weekend and explored Evanston, while meeting friends for food and libations among various stops.

clarksq

Prior to mom flying in a ceiling fan fell on my head, so we made this a walking weekend while monitoring for potential concussion symptoms.

deadceilingfan

We walked Main street first, picking up delicious chocolate mousse and lots of chocolate at Piron.

piron

We got our nails done at Agora Spa.

manies

Then we looked at the rocks at Dave’s Rock Shop and took some goodies home.

DavesStorefront

I got a silver dollar plant from Cultivate.

cultivate

We took the alcohol ink coaster workshop at The Collage Cafe for one of my birthday parties.

CoasterClass

I even got birthday cake and a serenade.

bdaycake

The inks are wonderful, and I played with some on my wire to see what that would do.

coasters

Then I picked out the colors to take home. The iridescent effect is lovely, and I cannot wait to design new pieces.

patina

Afterwards we met friends at La Principal for delicious tacos, churros and cocktails.

principal

Sunday was Dempster day, with a stop at Little Light Bazaar to explore my new lighting options.

czech glass

Mateen has designed a whole new line of light fixtures out of punched copper and metal.

lantern

Some of these might work with a ceiling fan attached, so I get to ponder various rooms.

lightblending

So many pretties!

purple

You can create a souq-like atmosphere or be very monochromatic.

whitemoroccan

Lots of ideas to ponder, and also consider more functional lighting in the studio.

bluebeads

We stopped in Stumble & Relish and then visited my inventory at See Jane Sparkle.

SJSinventoryAug

I want these bangles to go travel the world.

banglesatSJS

After those sparklies we made our way to Ayla’s Orginals to pick out more beads.

angelatAylas

Ayla’s has a bingo game so you should go in and get your playing cards to earn discounts on future purchases.

AylasBingo

All that shopping made us thirsty, so Sketchbook’s new Taproom was a great spot for refreshment.

sketchbook

We had dinner at Campagnola which is always a treat.

campagnola

Monday morning we had our coffee fix at Brothers K, and I get to drink more with a gift card!

brothersk

The bulk of the day was spent wandering near the lake.

angellakemich

We dined at Oceanique for a lovely birthday celebration.

Oceanique

Of course Lucky Platter was the favorite breakfast choice.

luckP

With all that could have gone wrong during the ceiling fan drop, I am grateful to have another year to look forward to, and to have so many friends and loved ones to celebrate life with.

prezzies

It is good to be alive, and to live the life I am living.

choclateandwine

Here’s to more bright days ahead!

brightdaysahead

Sparkly Sidewalk Sale tomorrow!

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

studioaftermath

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

Z_Tagging

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

NewSparklies

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

Z_silversparkleset

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

Z_RainbowDruzy

My swarm is also planning on fluttering in.

LadyBugs

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

Z_SparkleAngelSJS

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.

HCSCircle

There will be a variety of specials offered by retailers.

ZSparkleangelcabuchon

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.

vintageflower

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.

Z_2sparkleangelsjs
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.

Z_redsparkleset
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.

Sidewalk Sale Poster-11x17_Final