Ravenswood ArtWalk this weekend

Fresh off the Girls Nite Out event in Elmhurst, I am busy prepping for the Ravenswood ArtWalk. Ravenswood ArtWalk is celebrating its 16th anniversary, once again bringing hundreds of artists into the community and filling the street with art, music, great food and local craft beer. The 2017 Ravenswood ArtWalk takes place on Saturday, September 16 and Sunday, September 17 along Ravenswood Avenue between Irving Park and Leland, from 11 AM – 6 PM.

I’ll be setting up in the Hayes Building, located at 4043 N Ravenswood, just down the street from the outdoor portion of the festival (on the east side of the tracks). You can stroll the outdoor market, beer garden, live music, food trucks and children’s activities at Ravenswood Ave and Berteau, and then meander into our building. 

The ArtWalk features more than 300 artists and 50 venues, while placing special focus on the diverse talents of the Ravenswood Corridor. Attractions for this year include a rooftop party at the Airstream building, tours of the All Saints’ bell tower, free group dance lessons, a peak at specimens from the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum archives, kids’ building projects from Bit Space and a public installation from local artist Dana Parisi.

All businesses are open from 11-6PM. At the center of the festival is the outdoor RAW Street Fest, which features two stages of live music, artists in tents, Begyle Brewing’s craft beer garden, a food truck roundup and children’s activities.

Participating venues include:

  • Manz Building (Multiple Attractions!)
  • Ballroom Dance Chicago
  • Hayes Properties Marketplace (me and a few other artists!)
  • Thresholds
  • RAW Street Fest
  • Deagan Building (Multiple Venues!)
  • Mathias Spider Schergen’s Garage Gallery
  • Lillstreet Art Center
  • Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church
  • Beyond Design

  • DEFY MFG Co
  • Lucila’s Homemade Alfajores
  • John Roggari Studio
  • CHEX Studio
  • Wellbeing Personalized Healthcare
  • All Saints’ Episcopal Church
  • Bill Bartelt Watercolors
  • Images Gallery Cooperative
  • 4500 Artists

  • Alternative Schools Network (Airstream Building)
  • Blackbird Gallery & Framing
  • Manifold
  • Tam Wim
  • Platform Coworking Pop-Up Market (where I used to have a spot
  • Viva Vintage Clothing
  • a. favorite design
  • Dovetail Brewery
  • Begyle Brewing Co.

It is the ArtWalk’s mission to generate community investment in, and public awareness of, the unique hub of creative industry that exists in Ravenswood. You can share your impressions of the weekend with: #RAW2017 on social media.

The  Ravenswood ArtWalk is easily accessible by Public Transit: CTA Brown Line: Montrose – Irving Park | CTA Bus: Ashland – Damen – Irving Park- Montrose | Divvy | Metra: Ravenswood Station.

As you can see, fair prep includes tagging new pieces, ensuring I have enough necklace cords of varying lengths to go with my pendants, reviewing the art fair instructions and checking off the items I need to bring along!

Girls Nite Out and ArtWalk week

It’s a busy week for me! Tomorrow I head out to Elmhurst for the Girls Nite Out Event. Since I had a blast at the Lizzadro Museum of Lapidary Art last year, I might stroll the Elmhurst Art Museum Wednesday morning prior to my setup time.  

The Wilder Mansion hosts Girls Nite Out from 4 to 9 pm on Wednesday, September 13. Organized by RGL Marketing for the Arts, this annual event is going to be full of exciting vendor booths, food and wine samples, and lovely people to mingle with.

On Saturday and Sunday, I am off to the Ravenswood ArtWalk. The 16th annual festival will include pop-up artist markets, live music, open houses and a street festival with local bands, Begyle beers and plenty of art projects for kids. I will be on the first floor of 4043 N. Ravenswood. RAW takes place along Ravenswood Avenue from Irving Park Road to Leland. It includes an outdoor market, beer garden, live music, food trucks and children’s activities at Ravenswood Ave and Berteau.

4043 N Ravenswood is a remodeled industrial building that’s home to a variety of artists and local businesses. This space has been a cornerstone of RAW for a number of years and is located just down the street from the outdoor portion of the festival (on the east side of the tracks).  Attractions for this year include a rooftop party at the Airstream building, tours of the All Saints’ bell tower, free group dance lessons, a peak at specimens from the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum archives, kids’ building projects from Bit Space and a public installation from local artist Dana Parisi.

My location, 4043 N Ravenswood, was originally built in stages from 1910 to 1930 for the Manz Corporation, an engraving and commercial printing company. Eventually the building extended from Belle Plaine Avenue to Irving Park Road and across the alley to another building on Hermitage Avenue. In the 1960s manufacturing declined, and the neighborhood deteriorated.

The Manz Corporation moved to the suburbs and the building was partially sold, then fell into disrepair. After serving as a multi tenant industrial venue until 2000 the building got tied up in litigation. In 2005 Hayes Properties bought the property and started restoring it. Now it looks like sections of the 90,000 sq ft.building are available for leasing.

So come take a stroll and peek into other venues that are not generally open to the public. You will have a blast examining art work, learning more history, and sipping and noshing on local libations.

Ravenswood ArtWalk IV

Being part of the Ravenswood ArtWalk is always fun.

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This year Architectural Artifacts offered their Artifacts Events space to Ravenswood ArtWalk artists, and we were so fortunate to get to be in this spot.

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I had never visited the store, but am planning to go back to look at all the things.

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How amazing are these finds?

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I’ll have to examine light fixtures more closely before I settle on my new upgrades at home.

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There are so many large items.

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It felt a bit like being in a giant movie set store room.

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A vintage piece from Rotterdam.

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Sewing aficionados will love this spool receptable.

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I had to remind myself to go back to my booth and not start shopping.

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Saturday morning was overcast as we set up, once again proving that I should keep my shows indoors.

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I set up my table with risers from Ayla’s Originals’ recent garage sale.

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I used nightstands to hold my trees (they’re from Nadeau, for those who kept opening the drawers).

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Since it was raining we got an influx of browsers right away.

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Traffic was steady throughout the day, with a few people spending time circling for a few hours.

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The blue collar everyone always picks up and tries on went to a new home.

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The talent is always fresh and creative, and I couldn’t resist this cute handmade book.

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Architectural Artifacts also is a feast for the eyes.

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In the evening a bridal party passed through for their wedding in the courtyard and upstairs.

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We put our booths to sleep and checked out for the day.

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The following day more people perused.

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It was tough to watch everyone but me make transactions for a few hours, though my view was fun.

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A friend brought me a libation that I will not read anything into. 😉

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Thanks to that mojo finally in late afternoon people affirmed my presence with purchases as well.

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I’m excited that many of my pieces have new owners.

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Late in the afternoon the light cast interesting shadows on my table.

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Some ornaments were adopted as well.

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Before long it was time to tear down and load my car back up.

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You can check out next year’s event around August of 2017.

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Here’s hoping I get to be in this space again next year.

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Ravenswood ArtWalk is this weekend!

I’m SOOOO excited! 

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This year I will be at Architectural Artifacts during the Ravenswood ArtWalk. I’ve heard of this venue so much and never been inside, so this will be a great introduction to all the raves. This year the 15th annual Ravenswood ArtWalk is held September 10 and 11 from 11 am to 6 pm each day. This is a weekend filled with local art, local music, local food and local brews! Stretching from Irving Park Rd to Leland along Ravenswood Avenue, the ArtWalk features open studios and galleries, indoor pop-up markets and a street festival center with live music, a children’s corner, food truck roundup and the return of everyone’s favorite: the Begyle Brewing Urban Craft Beer Garden! 

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Pick up the virtual map to chart your course along the 29 participating venues, including: Manz Building, Ballroom Dance Chicago, Hayes Properties Marketplace, Thresholds, RAW Street Fest, Deagan Building, Artifact Events Indoor Market & Lounge,  Architectural Artifacts, Lillstreet Art Center, Ravenswood Fellowship United Methodist Church, DEFY MFG. Co. + Lucila’s Homemade Alfajores, Chex Studio, Wellbeing Personalized Healthcare, All Saints’ Episcopal Church, Bill Bartelt Watercolors, Earthly Aromas, Images Gallery, 4500 Artists, Blackbird Gallery & Framing, Alibi Fine Art + Manifold, Tam Wim, Platform Coworking Pop-Up Market, Hazel, Viva Vintage Clothing, Ork Posters, Dovetail Brewery, Mather & Sullivan Architectural Products, Begyle Brewing Company, and The Chicago Mosaic School.

RAW Flyer

The Artifact Events Indoor Market & Lounge is located at 4325 North Ravenswood Avenue as venue #7 on your map. New to RAW 2016, the Artifact Events Artist Market includes almost 40 artists in one of the city’s most remarkable event spaces. Tour Architectural Artifacts’ inventory of vintage items and salvaged artifacts while shopping from a variety of local artists. Need a break from the walk? Head to Artifact Event’s Bubble Gallery lounge for refreshments!

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I’ll be set up near fabulous vendors, some of whom I have admired at past events. These artists include: Alison Bixby, Amati Originals, Archetype Leather, Brevity Code Visual Artists Group, Cape Horn Illustration, Cindy’s Stiches and Sterling, Clix2pix by Georgia, Cranky Pickle, Dail Kirkpatrick, DamenArt by, Nuria McNeal, Dan Schreck, Destiny Sparkles, Elaina Marie Chastain, Erin Okeson Architectural Illustration , erin rossi designs, h. bune design, jan and lisa olson/jl marie jewelry, Jungyul Yu, Just For You, Karen Frueh, Lindsay Budzynski, Little Blue Marble designs, Loop the Loop, LuDesignsCreations, Maike’s Marvels, Melinda Thorpe Gordon, Mysterious Mannequin, Que Sera Sarah, Ronda Ruby Ceramics, rovePrints, StephensDesign, Studio Renzi, Terra Elementa,Terry Hogan Ceramics, Tomorrowmorrow Design, and William Carroll.

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Learn more about the evolution of the ArtWalk here

packedSeptember

It’s a packed month. If you can’t join me this weekend, you can find me in Elmhurst on Wednesday, September 14. 

Ravenswood ArtWalk, the third

September was a whirlwind of weekend fairs and pop-up applications. The Ravenswood ArtWalk was moved to mid-September as well, which proved to be a great idea weather wise.

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I had secured an indoor spot, which meant that the weather was lovely on both days.

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Had I been outside, the outcome would have been different, with my luck. Social Media was abuzz with the event.

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Setting up was fun and easy after navigating the three doors. Tony Nuccio set up his digital art next to me.

BeforeAndAfter

I met encaustic artist Flora Calabrese who has a love for vintage illustrations and insects.

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Gwyndolyn Siebert also showcased Insect Art on her hand-painted greeting cards.

GwynFlora

Apparently my booth area used to be the home of District Chicago’s workshop space, but the company has moved to a store on Damen.

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I couldn’t resist playing with their metal letters but couldn’t come up with a good reason to buy the little man and woman.

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Platform Coworking has open non-dedicated spaces for occasional members, and designated areas for more regular business people. They also offer phone booths with discreet lights to show if they are occupied or not.

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The lounge area proved to be cozy (with furniture provided by District) which was great for my friends stopping by.

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I had fun chatting with Erin Rossi Designs and admiring her aluminum wire wrapped jewelry, along with some enameled copper pieces.

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There was time to take the Day 1 Selfie.

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Packing up the first evening was easy, and I enjoyed not having to dismantle everything.

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On day two I was the first to arrive to the sleepy booths.

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I put all my pendants out again.

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Soon traffic was flowing again, though I had mostly looky-loos on this day. They were all drawn to my keychains.

MaikesMarvelsKeychains

Between breaks the Day 2 combination was documented. You can view my weekly jewelry combinations and works in progress on Instagram.

Day2Selfie

By the end of the weekend I had recouped my booth fee and earned enough to make my coveted purchases.

RAW Sales

For further affirmation, my Geology Rocks wax and wire pendant found a new home via Etsy.

Geology Rocks

It was a fun weekend of new connections and new admirers. Here’s hoping for some holiday sales from the business cards that flew away.

PlatformCoworkingRAWBooths

Ravenswood ArtWalk lineup for this weekend

Guess what? After two years of struggling through weather issues, I secured an indoor spot at the Ravenswood ArtWalk this year. The event has also moved to mid-September instead of the fall-ish October weekend.

RAWPoster

On Saturday September 19 and Sunday September 20, the businesses, studios and shops along Ravenswood Avenue will open their doors from 11 am to 6 pm for a showcase of artists and industry. There will be open studios, craft beer, live music and family fun.

RAWBannerSep15

I will be at Platform Coworking – 4422 N Ravenswood alongside Erin Wesseli Rossi, Flora Calabrese, Gwyndolyn Siebert and Tony Nuccio.

PlatformCoworkingBuilding

This is #5 on the official map, conveniently located near the CTA’s Montrose stop near the corner of Montrose and Ravenswood.

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We are just around the corner of LillStreet Art center.

Lillstreet

Just follow Montrose under the Metra bridge and turn right (north).

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Other venues and artists include: Beyond Design – 4515 N Ravenswood featuring: Alison Bixby, Ann Cohen, Bob London, Dail Kirkpatrick, Dan Schreck, Jan Olson, Janeane Bowlware, Melinda Gordon, Nuria McNeal, Robert McCollam and William Carroll. Hayes Properties – 4043 N Ravenswood will host: Debbie Lessin, Grace Gaynor, Kevin Lemel, Kim Laurel, Ladetria Warren, Laura Matzen, Lee Galusha, Luka Dziubyna, Marilyn Grad, Mariyam Jawed, Maureen Crowley, Nancy Cusick and Thomas Dubois. Movement Republic – 4526 N Ravenswood will host Tracy Poyser. Savvy Seconds & 1sts – 1748 W Lawrence will feature: Katy Higgins, Michelle Graves, Peyton Rack and Scott Holsterhaus. Urban Pooch – 4501 N Ravenswood is hosting Dinah Miller.

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The brave souls vending at the outdoor market at Ravenswood & Berteau include: Alexandra Jamroz, Alicia Londos, Amanda Joyner, Amy Tatsui, Andrew Christen, Barbara Grunewald, Cara Miller, Christina Caruso, Elektra Musich, Frances & Camilla Krueger-Jackson & Krueger, Gayle Weiss, Hilary Black, Hillary Miles, Jaque Mannakee, Jeneba Koroma, Jessica DeBoer, Joseph Mills, Kate Heilman, Kate Zitzer, Khabrim Diallo, Kim Amati, Laura Garza, Lisa Richards, Lori Hess, Marina Veiler, Monica Zanetti, Pablo Ramirez, Rita Sindelar, Robin Nathan, Roslyn Broder, Rossana Reformado, Russell Muits, Sean Gallagher, Scott Kiefer, Scott Vanderlin, Steve Connell, Tanya Milojkovic and Tuesday Webb.

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Music performances include: Zigtebra, Axons,  Dan Rico, Jeremy David Miller, Female Basic, Ursa Ensemble and Jonathan Hannau.

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So come on out and enjoy a plethora of art in a variety of locations along Ravenswood Avenue. Over 14 years, RAW has grown into what it is today; an dynamic celebration of arts and industry that features 300+ artists and 40 sites, while placing special focus on the diverse talents of the Ravenswood Corridor. Use the hashtag “#RAW2015” and tag @RAWchicago  when you stroll the event!

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Ravenswood ArtWalk recap

The Ravenswood ArtWalk turned out to be a good event for me.

2_RAWSetupDay1

On Saturday we had the coldest day of the season, which had me running home to get a heavier coat after my coffee run.

Wintercoat

No one was ready to get their winter coats out, but even gloves were necessary. I have to say that my bangle does look good on black leather.

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The big tent from last year was nixed for smaller sections of shared (and RAW-provided tents).

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We were sprinkled among the professionals who have their own pop-up tents, which was a nice layout.

1_RAWSetupDay1

Not many people milled about on Saturday, but those who did were actually dedicated to shopping, so most of us made some sales in spite of the chill and rain.

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A kind soul from another booth loaned us in Tent B her extra tent walls which made the day more bearable.

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I gladly took the ‘pity sales’ of customers feeling sorry for us in this weather. Since I was battling a cold I lasted til 5 and then packed up, even though we were slated to go til 7 that day.

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Sunday warmed up and the sun was out, which made for better attendance and a much brighter mood.

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The view was brighter too.

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It was the first Fall day to legitimately wear a scarf pendant.

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Beer was flowing from the beer truck, and the wafts of Pierogies and other delicious food-truck goodies made me wish I could have run down there for my lunch.

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But since it was just me in my booth I had to stay put.

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There just is no inner peace to walk away when you feel like a sale could happen any moment.

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Surprisingly people were ready for Christmas, and getting a head start on their gift shopping. My caroling ornaments (those with Holiday songs on them) flew off to new homes.

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I heard some interesting bands and wish I had a program to look some of them up.

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Dogs were abundant, as were strollers and kids.

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A model used the ArtWalk as a photoshoot backdrop.

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I loved Anidem’s copper creations.

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Amelia Kieras makes amazing pop-up cards that are stories within themselves.

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You can peruse all exhibiting artists on this link.

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I might return next year if I re-establish some weather bravery.

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A bit raw about RAW

When every day is an adventure, it is hard to get your bearings.

Day0_SetupPrep

After much anticipation, repricing and retagging, the Ravenswood Art Walk wasn’t quite what I had hoped it would be.

 Day0Pricing

I brought in the borrowed table and old shelving unit the night before to keep nerves and muscle strength preserved.

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Day0_dropoff BigTent

The next morning the true setup began.

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Day1_settingup

I was in awe of the pros with their amazing displays.

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The big tent had a lot of traffic and I received many positive compliments, but I made no sales on day one.

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Predicted thunderstorms held off for some time, and when they came we initially thought the additional traffic was a boon to business as everyone sought shelter. Our glee quickly turned to concern however, when the water didn’t drain away and more kept coming in.

day1rain

It turns out that Chicago shuts down drains to control how much water enters the Chicago River, which is fine when the parking lot is filled with cars during a rainstorm. However, as the runoff from outside started pooling around the drain in the center of the big tent, we realized we had to move things off the ground and away from the center.

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Soon we were ankle deep and had to evacuate our wares, a rough way to learn one’s new boots aren’t waterproof.

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The RAW volunteers profusely apologized at this unanticipated, never-before-seen incident, and ordered a water-vac to drain the mini-pond for the next day.

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It was quite the adventure, especially since the point of renting space in the big tent was the assurance that professionals would deal with all the weather hazards.

Day1_ankle deep

This was just an unprecedented occurrence no one had anticipated.

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Even the outside tents were affected.

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Painter Jason McPhillips was able to greet anyone coming after the flood (but his feet got soaked too).

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The sound guys had a rain-playlist ready, playing “Singing in the Rain”, “It’s raining Men”, “Blame it on the Rain” and other wet standards.

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The next day I put on the covenant pendant in which God placed a rainbow in the sky to pledge that he would never destroy all life again after Noah’s flood (Genesis 9:12-17). Gotta have a little humor, right?

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The puddle had been vacuumed up.

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Temperatures had dropped significantly, changing the dynamics of tent flow and likely keeping many people inside.

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Fewer people were touchy-feely about my wares, though I still got a lot of nice compliments and encouragement (along with unsolicited advice, as is always the case at these things).

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Those who had promised to come back never did (unsurprisingly).

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I only made a few sales in the late afternoon, but analyzing the situation doesn’t give me much to go on.

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It wasn’t my location, since I basically acted as a greeter all day long, being across the main entrance. Some veterans also did worse than prior years, and others were happy with their results.

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My pricing was similar to that of the other jewelry vendors, but having 7 of us in the same tent might have been a drawback, even though we each had different types of work.

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Like the armchair advisors I have numerous display ideas, but practically and funds preclude me from going all out before I know for sure what venues work best for me. At the end of the day, all you can do is pack everything up and let the fair go.

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Fortunately Jason did better than me in his tent.

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It helps to have supportive friends take you out for comfort food after the fair.

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Energetically I do feel buoyed by the support and compliments I received, and by the fact that many people picked up my business cards for their holiday shopping list.

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I can check off another ‘what if’ from my bucket list, and I got to practice being extroverted and making random small talk in spite of my introverted nature.

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My outfits were a hit too, which proves that dressing the part and feeling good in what you’re wearing goes a long way. The fashion was fun to watch throughout the weekend.

A booth neighbor fell in love with Faith with Deeds and took it home with her. It has parts of James 1 and 2 peek on the front and  the back quotes James 2:15 to 21, including “Faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

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Encaustic artist friend Kathleen Roman picked up Green Honor and an oval with the hymn of Christ the Lord is Risen Today.

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My tiny coils matched the pendant another customer was wearing, rounding out my weekend sales.

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Art fairs, especially outdoors, are not for the faint of heart, and I deeply admire those who choose this gypsy-like lifestyle on a weekend-by-weekend basis.

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I will be testing out some indoor shows over the holiday season and am pleased to have the support of select boutiques as I learn the ropes of what sales venues will be most effective for me. My Etsy store is open (please heart your heart out!), and Aurora Rose in Lemont and Stella Boutique in Evanston both have select jewelry in their storefronts.

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Hope springs eternal!