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!

Handmade Market on Saturday

On Saturday I’ll be popping up at my only October event. Handmade Chicago is kicking off its Fall season at the Empty Bottle, from noon to  4 p.m. on October 14. The event features 30 artists. I’ve never been at the Empty Bottle, located at 1035 N Western Avenue in Chicago, but I hear good things about it and its neighbor, the Bite Cafe. 

Handmade Market Chicago is a unique event to connect the makers of beautiful things to people who appreciate the unique and handmade. Each event is held on the second Saturday of every month, from the months of October to April from noon to 4. The Empty Bottle starts serving at noon, so feel free to shop with mimosas in hand.

The event is free to the public, but due to the venue you must be over 21 unless you have a parent with you. Artists will offer funky jewelry, knitted items, clothing, baked goods, handbags, paper crafts, skincare and more. You can park on the street or use the #49 Western bus.

Artisans include:

Shop Local!

I’m off to assist family with a post-Harvey move in Houston, but you can still shop my pieces in various Chicagoland places.

I brought my magick spell book stakes over to Sacred Art, along with some bats to keep them company. An orange ladybug also decided to stow away in the batch.

Owner Kate also picked out some Halloween themed pendants you can peruse at her lovely gift shop. Sacred Art is located in Lincoln Square at 4619 N Lincoln Avenue, Chicago.

I also dropped off some Halloweeny pieces at the Evanston Pop Up Gallery Evanston Pop up Gallery, 1627 Sherman Ave, Evanston.

This lovely gift store in downtown Evanston continues to attract local artisans and keeps surprising me with new inventory.

The Hip Circle Empowerment Center continues to carry my pieces as well, along with other women-owned merchandise.

ChromaK8, where I get my hair done also has a few pieces, and will be carrying more of my skulls when I go back in for a haircut.

I’ll be coordinating a trunk show with ReVive Consignment, 606 W Pratt Blvd, Chicago soon. I picked up some bargain tops there recently and will need to peruse the fall collection soon.

Lena Rose Natural Beauty, 4668 N. Manor Avenue, Chicago has a few of my bangles in its store.

I also just delivered something special to Evanston Stitchworks, so stay tuned on that!

Meanwhile, I love knowing that these have already made their home elsewhere in the world.

Trunk Show at Ayla’s this weekend

Whew, I thought 2 weeks between shows is a long time, but there is still a lot to be done by Saturday.

When I went to the Bead & Button show in June I stopped by Ayla’s booth first, and was promptly stickered by Joe.

At that time, we made plans for a trunk show, and August 12 & 13 felt so far away. I optimistically purchased some large hole pearls for the occasion. Fast forward one eventful month and I am wrangling wire like crazy, with idea after idea piling into my brain.

My aim is to make sure I am using beads sourced via Ayla, so I went through my inventory list, and I’ve attended quite a few of Ayla’s bead shows over the years, along with visits to the store itself with friends.

I compared the inventory dates to my visual archives (photos snapped after each shopping spree) and set those beads aside in my jewelers bench.

Soon I had ideas and matched papers to my designs.

The last batch came from Kina’s Trunk Show, and I started with those first.

I was pleasantly surprised that the vintage beads I bought from Ayla actually fit the 16 gauge wire, and had fun stringing those.

I waxed the pieces, with the cage versions being a bit more challenging than the others. The etched jade also fit the thicker wire, and I am glad my friend and I shared this strand last summer.

Ayla’s store has many beads that can be strung directly onto the steel wire for a swinging bead effect. David Christensen creates a gorgeous array of glass beads that I have had in my collection for a while. This pendant will get some matching earrings too, though whether that happens by Saturday is still a question mark.

Ayla’s Originals offers freshwater pearls, Czech glass, Swarovski crystals, antique trade beads and gemstones from all over the world. If you see something you love in the store this weekend, I am happy to design a piece if you aren’t interested in creating your own.

In 2016, Ayla’s Originals received an official proclamation from Evanston’s Mayor for the 20th anniversary in Evanston. The store’s history is longer though.

Two decades ago, Ayla was a Director of Human Resources in corporate America. She frequented a bead store to take her mind off her waning passion in the work she was doing.

After a few workshops, Ayla began designing her own jewelry. The bead store owner was retiring, putting Ayla in a position to take over the store’s lease after resigning from her job.

The Ayla’s Own jewelry line was soon featured in the Art Institute of Chicago and Field Museum Gift Shops and well publicized. In 1998 Ayla’s Originals moved to Sherman Avenue in Evanston.

The store offers classes, private lessons, and private party options. The store offers a wide array of You Are Beautiful merchandise as well.

You can get a bingo card for special discounts on future purchases. Ayla and her husband, photographer Joe Pizzo, reside in Evanston.

Ayla’s Originals Store is located at 1511 Sherman Avenue in Evanston. Hours are: T,W, F: 10 am to 6 pm; Th: 10 am to 7 pm; Sat. 10 am to 5 pm; Sun 12 to 5 pm. Closed Mondays.

I will also be bringing my stakes, which are getting additional siblings this week.

There is so much more to make!

Sacred Art Trunk Show

Summer is here, and with it come leisurely strolls around neighborhoods to peruse art and beauty.  On June 10 I visited the bustling Lincoln Square Neighborhood for a Meet & Greet at Sacred Art.

I set up my wares in a lovely nook, and met wonderful customers.

Sacred Art hosts handmade creations by more than 100 artists. There are numerous gift items to cheer up friends, adorn your home and or a human with, or to use in your every day life.

Chicago lovers have a plethora of unique gifts to choose from as an alternative to mass-manufactured tourist tchotchkes.

The store is also a wonderful inspiration for decoration ideas.

I had a lovely afternoon absorbing the Lincoln Square vibe and seeing pieces adopted.


Sacred Art is located at 4619 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago and still has a selection of my pendants and pant stakes available.

Check out upcoming Sacred Art events on their Facebook page.


Sacred Art Pop Up Saturday

Part of the fun of being a maker is discovering all the boutiques that support artisans in Chicago. Last November Sacred Art had my Angels in the shop, and in late May I took some pendants and plant stakes there.

On Saturday, June 10 from 11 am to 3 pm I will have a Pop Up Shop at Sacred Art Chicago.  I love this specially curated gift shop of local art.

Sacred Art is an art gallery and gift boutique located in Chicago’s charming Lincoln Square neighborhood. This lovely area along 4619 N Lincoln Avenue is filled with small businesses and lovely places to eat, drink and be merry.

Owner Kate Merena features new artists every month. Last month we popped in to peruse the new origami collection that Prairie Kate had brought in.

My friend Chai, with whom I hung out in April, also has lovely art work on display.

I made a special Chicago Flag Ladybug stake for the store.

The collection I dropped off includes these pendants.

Since Kate also teaches meditation workshops at various satellite locations, I felt the Kyanite stone is particularly appropriate for her store, so I left this Kyanite Square with her.

I will have all my wares at Sacred Art on Saturday and look forward to meeting new people from the neighborhood. Founded in 2006, Sacred Art has more than a decade of experience connecting makers and clients, with an eye for quality and style and a focus on community. Owner Kate Merena’s goal is twofold: to support independent artists in the Chicago area and beyond, and to provide you with an inviting environment in which to browse and buy original artwork.

Sacred Art’s hours are Monday: closed or by appointment, Tuesday – Friday: noon – 7pm, Saturday – Sunday: 11am – 6pm. Metered street parking is available and there are two metered parking lots nearby. The shop is steps from the CTA Brown Line Western Avenue stop. You can also take the 49 Western bus to Wilson Ave stop, the 50 Damen bus to Eastwood/Brown Line stop, and 81 Lawrence bus to Western Ave stop. I also spotted some bike racks along the street.

Lincoln Square also has lovely eateries and drinkeries to peruse, so grab some frozen yogurt in the cheerful shop nearby.

I’m looking forward to taking a Flirty Cupcake home.

It will be hard for me not to shop while I am hanging out at this lovely store, but I already have some uplifting art gracing my fireplace mantel. So come buy things from me so I can pay that money forward to other artisans.

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.

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

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

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

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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.

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We had a taco at La Principal’s Cafecito.

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

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

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

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

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Their wine display was the best.

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

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Her pumpkin tree is so fun.

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

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Open Studio Project had a live drummer.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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

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We got our nails done at Agora Spa.

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

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I got a silver dollar plant from Cultivate.

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

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I even got birthday cake and a serenade.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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So many pretties!

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

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

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

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I want these bangles to go travel the world.

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

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

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

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We had dinner at Campagnola which is always a treat.

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

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

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We dined at Oceanique for a lovely birthday celebration.

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Of course Lucky Platter was the favorite breakfast choice.

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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.

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

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Here’s to more bright days ahead!

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Scattering Love Initiative

Let’s scatter some love this weekend!

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Valentine’s Day is coming, and for some that means feeling less loved rather than more loved. Lindy Stockton of The Collage Cafe is out to change that!

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This Saturday, February 13th she is hosting a free Scatter Love event at her store (912 Sherman Avenue).

1) Stop by The Collage Cafe anytime between 12p- 5pm
2) Create one or two or ten inspiration cards
3) Take the cards with you and scatter them
in public spots for people to find and cherish

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Don’t you love this idea? You can even do it in your community if Evanston is too far to visit.

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If you’re pressed for time or feel uncreative, you can even scatter love with Lindy’s beautiful Joy*filled Journey Deck.

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It offers uplift, inspiration and affirmation to me on a regular basis.

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Lindy also has a variety of gift items to present to your loved ones and help you express what is sometimes hard to put into words.

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This mug is such a fun way to sip your morning coffee or tea.

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The Grown*UP Girls Club monthly meeting will also be about self-love and the love of good friends (it’s fun!). There may be drop-ins for the heart-making event on Sunday February 14th 1 pm, but you have to call to reserve a space. Follow The Collage Cafe on Instagram to see workshop results.

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I’ve scattered some hearts into the store to help express that someone has your heart under lock and key.

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Wunderblume is one of my favorites, made from an old dictionary page and a hand-stamped tulip (a most treasured flower in the 1600s).

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Two bangles were made to match The Collage Cafe’s lovely color scheme when I first consigned here.

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They’re hoping for someone to fall in love with them.

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Visit The Collage Cafe’s website for classes and the most up-to-date calendar of events.

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The Collage Cafe is open Wednesdays through Fridays from noon to 6 pm and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 pm. Private parties are also available.

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Evanston Favorites

The SJS bazaar has closed, and Turquoise Heart Angel is ready to chill (and get some correspondence done) until St. Nick drops by. Here are the places I like to go for an oasis of calm and deliciousness.

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Brothers K Coffee often lifts my energy level in the morning, whether I take my mocha to go or to stay.

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Noktivo pampers my hands and feet after all the wire bending and art fair loading and unloading. Jenny did this sparkly fresh manicure on a friend that I am in line for next.

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Rebecca Sturgeon adjusts the rest of my body with her gentle massage at the Heartwood Center (and angels get their wings adjusted too).

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Post-massage it is lovely to browse the Evanston Public Library and take a stack home. I’m finally watching Frozen.

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I get my walking boots from Williams Shoes, the Walking Spirit on Davis Street.

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Then I walk over to Dragonfly Boutique on 1501 Chicago Avenue for clothing, home decor and jewelry inspiration. Their felted and knit ornaments are adorable!

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Further South on Chicago Avenue there is Stumble & Relish, located right next to the new See Jane Sparkle shop. It is full of quirky gifts and excellent cards to send to loved ones.

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My draw angel is adorned with one of their tiny pencils.

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See Jane Sparkle offers all kinds of brilliant jewelry and vintage fashion items.

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As you walk further down Chicago Avenue your life will brighten with a light from Little Light Bazaar.

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How gorgeous is this array of color? I need to decide on a living room chandelier.

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On Main Street east of Chicago Avenue you will find the Lucky Platter which offers delicious food morning, noon and night.

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Have some hot cocoa and check out the lovely chocolate creations of Belgian Chocolatier Piron across the street for dessert. I’ve never gone wrong with their chocolate.

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Warm up at the oasis of Cultivate where you can learn all about keeping your plants alive and get inspiration for decorating your home with greenery.

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Around the corner on Sherman, The Collage Cafe is full of creative gift items to inspire joyful days and holiday cheer.

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My pendants and bangles are enjoying a sleepover there, so if you missed the bazaar, say hi to Lindy and browse all the goodies she has in stock.

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When you’re ready for a drink you can dine at La Principal and enjoy their delicious Tacos and a beverage.

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I work it off at Hip Circle Studio with Moxie Boxing, Bellydance and African Dance. Kettlebell is on the list for January.

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Further down Chicago Avenue Sketchbook Brewery offers a variety of local brews.

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And if you keep strolling you will bump into Sidetracked Studio which is having a fabulous year-end sale of art work right now.

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If you’re more into traditional cocktails, Ward Eight on Howard street has got you covered.

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S-Paragon on Main Street offers Asian dishes and is my post-manicure outdoor hangout for Summer.

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There’s more to explore in Evanston, and you might even find Liz at the Biz, the 3-D rendition of Evanston’s Mayor Tisdahl.

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I love this town.