Angel Making

It is angel making time.

No matter the season, I consistently sell angels throughout the year. So after my angel count session last week I had to replenish some more.

My purples and blues are popular. I also keep selling the skull angels I have in stock. After a 3D encaustic workshop my friend and I went to Blick’s and I found this lovely gold sugar skull paper which of course needed to be angel-fied as well. I love the result.

My aim for the Beetlejuice angel turned out to have a different effect when I went with horizontal stripes instead. Ah well, it’s cute whether you see a jail bird or Audrey or anything else in it.

I wanted to make an ugly sweater angel as well, and this one turned out to be a wine and sweets lover.

I had some Christmas carols from prior seasons that I converted into new angels as well. Some are from when I didn’t jig my angels yet, so I had to adjust the size of the bodies to fit the printed text.

Sometimes the multiple transports of the ornaments take a toll, and when this angel’s wing came loose I decided to refresh its wings entirely, while humming Mr. Mister.

Other angels got new accessories to see if that makes them more attractive to buyers.

Sometimes color decisions are difficult, so there may be multiple poinsettia angel iterations.

My friend Kaitlyn colored a bunch of scraps for me last year when rainbows were trending. I had time to incorporate those scraps into new creations this week.

The polka dots were begging for pompoms, and I am super delighted at the two pastel angels that came out of that.

Today I sent some off to local stores.

Sacred Art will be bringing a batch to Show of Hands this weekend.

My Evanston Pop Up Gallery section got a makeover today too.

The rest of inventory will be with me at the Handmade Market on Saturday, and at the Jewelry & Gift Show in Highland park next weekend.

I look forward to seeing these adopted to new homes. It is a pleasure to keep making dragonflies and angels, so I look forward to getting jigging some more after the Thanksgiving Holiday with family.

December is coming soon, and I am happy to work on commissions for your holiday needs. Contact me if you have a gift idea in mind.

The Ornament Factory Opens

The holiday season is about to kick in for me, so the other day I pulled out my angels for a thorough count.

I also checked last year’s sales to see what colors sold.

There is no science to prior sales as a predictor, but it always helps to know what colors customers gravitate toward.

So now I am off to the studio to replenish the most popular designs, as well as create new angels that pop into my head.

I have so many accessories for them, and I love watching them get matched to their new owners. This original angel is not going anywhere, though.

I have plenty of frosties due to the limited snow last year, and will probably come up with some more ornament designs.

I have 3 shows coming up in November. The Wilder Mansion’s 7th Annual Holiday Market takes place November 3 & 4 in Elmhurst. Handmade Chicago returns to the Empty Bottle November 11.


The Jewelry & Gift Show by Amdur Productions takes place November 17 – 19 at the Highland Park Art Center.
Of course I will also distribute ornaments in various consignment locations, so stay tuned for where you can find them in a brick & mortar venue.

Heart in Texas

I’ve been trying to maintain normalcy since August 25, but there is a lot of emotional upheaval when the town you spent 8 years in is devastated by a catastrophic storm.

My mom and brother still live in the greater Houston area, as do many of my high school classmates whose parents are still rooted in the subdivision I finished High School in.

Since the airports were closed and the surrounding infrastructure tentative, I wasn’t able to rush out and be with my family. Now I keep tabs on them daily, watch the Facebook feeds of my friends in the aftermath, and feel helpless and guilty and on edge. I was too agitated to go into the studio last week; it felt too trivial to make art when lives were in danger.

The beauty is that so much unity is coming out of this. A lot of kindness and helpfulness and an abundance of love.

With my heart heavy, I decided to get back into my commissions yesterday, and worked on a Texas angel as well. Concentrating on the wire and pieces I have been assigned to make helped settle me again. I should remember that art is therapeutic, and that it would have helped me last week as well.

This storm has marked my family and friends. The full extent of the aftermath is not yet known. Neighborhoods that made it through numerous storms have become floodzones. My family was lucky in spite of the material losses. For my friends, their kids are displaced as Kingwood High School undergoes repairs, some of their families are dealing with devastating home damage, and emotionally everyone is spent.

I am aware of raging wildfires, more water damage around the world, political craziness going on, and all the microcosmic events my friends in non-disaster areas deal with day to day. I see the cynics utilizing images and opinions to promote their divisive agendas.

But Hurricane Harvey is deeply personal, and it is OK to sit with that for a moment while the rest of the world rages on.

What gives me peace is that my firefighter brother is utilizing his skills to help his neighbors, completely in his element, as weird as that seems. I know mom will be OK, and we all still have each other.

As volatile as the world and life seems just a few weeks after my birthday, I will continue to pursue what I am called to do, which means sending more angels out in to the world as I gear up for my mid-September fairs.

Holiday Support

Between fairs in November and December I also sent off a few commissions. Through the Wilder Mansion Girls’ Nite Out I met a person who wanted an heirloom earring converted to a pendant, the way she had seen in my display. Throughout the process I had to gauge my strength no not break this lovely resin rose, and in the end my jitters were rewarded with a lovely pendant.

My aim was to not use glue in the process so the earring can be re-purposed in the future as needed. Another customer ordered a bangle at the Holiday Show which was super-fun to create. I really like this bead combination a lot.

My Rainbow Angels went from Facebook posts to orders, and I sent several off to new homes. My Facebook angel album also garnered two other shipments.

A few more special angels went to friends’ homes. I am so grateful for all the support I received during the holiday season. It is validating to see your creations be a cause for delight on other people’s faces and to actually sell them to appreciative customers. This season showed growth compared to last year, and while it is small growth, it gives me hope to keep working at carving out an artist career.

I had consigned at The Collage Cafe, which was rewarded by some sales as well. I am excited to have joined the Grown*UP Girls Club this year for gatherings of creativity, inspiration and community.

A pair of ornaments also stood out at ChromaK8.

My holiday run at Sacred Art in Lincoln Square also proved beneficial. This store is such a delight of locally created gift items and home decor.

I am uploading my remaining non-seasonal angels in the shop this week, and look forward to sending more of them out into the world. We sure need some angels right now…

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!

Christmas Bells and Angels

I heard the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,

and wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom

Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,

A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,

And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,

And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;

“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;

The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I love the rendition by Jars of Clay.

Wishing you a peaceful, comforting and joyous holiday.

Countdown to Christmas

Fair season is over for me, but shopping is still allowed in these 10 days before Christmas.

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I just posted the angels and frosties I have in stock on my Facebook page. You can see individual photos of the angels here.

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Reds and Greens:

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My remaining frosties have individual photos here.

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I also still have a selection of ornaments in 4 Chicagoland retail locations that are each worth a visit.

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Go visit The Collage Cafe for inspirational joy-bringing and creativity-fueling gifts. You can get something tangible or give the gift of a workshop.

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Sacred Art has a lovely array locally made artisan gifts. This shop holds presents for all ages, genders and price-points. It’s also a one-stop art boutique for Chicago aficionados.

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See Jane Sparkle has extended holiday hours you can confirm on Facebook, and offers all kinds of sparkly jewelry, vintage fashion, and unique ornaments.

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ChromaK8 Beautique also has a variety of gift items for you to peruse while your hair treatment processes or after you get your nails done at Noktivo.

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Contact me if you saw anything at fairs or in my booth snapshots that caught your eye. My online store will remain sparse until January, when I will have a chance to take stock and photograph the pieces to be uploaded.

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I ran out of Rainbow Angels, but will be making more with new outfits my friend created, and will post those on Facebook soon.

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Here’s to more ornaments hanging on other people’s trees this season.

Ornament Factory

Since sending off ornaments to 4 boutiques, my own supply has been depleted.

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So for the Irish American Heritage Center’s Christmas Bazaar I had to go back into the studio.

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I reviewed some Irish Christmas carols, and found my favorite on the list.

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Then I realized my friends had requested rainbow safety pin angels, and I set to bending those as well.

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Soon my fingers were sore and I had to put gloves on.

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Putting outfits together came next, which was easier on the fingers.

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Last month my favorite mini-iron lost its protective handle, and the back-up iron came apart as well.

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I ordered a replacement, which is really a rhinestone setting tool.

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The new one is so pristine that I am still using my rejiggered version, but the blue strip is coming apart again so the time is next to christen the clean one.

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I dressed my “Irish” angels in reds and greens.

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I also tried to draw a Chicago flag for a friend, but it requires more practice for the general public.

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This rainbow angel had awesome hair, but it’s not feasible to keep that look.

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A customer wrapped her pendant commission in lovely paper that had to be repurposed.

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This is my Beetlejuice Frosty.

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I also put a pom-pom frosty together.

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I had a productive few days.

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There are more ideas swirling in my head, but these will be the ones going on display on Sunday.

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Tagging them was next.

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I’m re-setting the jig for book ornament commissions, and am ready to take on a new batch of custom orders now that these cuties are floating to new homes.

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This is my current full range of angels. Claim them on Sunday or at future pop-ups.

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I look forward to seeing you on Sunday, or next Thursday at the Warm Bevvy Walk at See Jane Sparkle, or at the Bucktown Holiday ArtShow December 10 & 11.

 

 

Making Angels

Angel is literally making new friends.

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When I signed up for Bead & Button workshops there was a reverse engineering option but due to lack of registration the workshop was dropped.

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Instead, Brenda Schweder offered to help me reverse engineer my angel ornaments remotely, and I sent one in.

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Soon I received an email with the required Now That’s A Jig! Parts, and I ordered the pegs to supplement my StartrKit.

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I got my very own angel design template in the mail, and decided to test the design prior to working on a commission. Getting the violin clef right took some effort after being out of practice for 6 months.

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Then I set about picking out pink paper for the memorial angels. I traced a musical score onto the handmade paper.

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Then I added a sparkle bead.

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I picked out outfits for the other angels and waxed them up.

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The delicate hearts are so sweet.

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Soon they were all dressed and cooling off.

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You’ll see them at the upcoming Main-Dempster Sidewalk Sale.

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I’ll be taking up See Jane Sparkle’s Sidewalk between 10 and 4 July 19-31 with new wares.

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Turquoise Frosty got a new outfit too, in hopes of it making him more attractive at the holiday fairs.

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Come October I’ll be jigging up a whole collection for the holiday season! Any color requests?

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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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