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.

Bat and Bar Mitzvah mini-books

In August I was asked to create a Bat Mitzvah book. After brainstorming with a person practicing the Jewish faith, Ruth 1:16-17 was selected as the appropriate verse to use in the gift commission.

I printed out the verse on paper and created the mini-books.

Then I cut out the verses and coated them with encaustic medium.

It was important to keep each line in the correct order and ensure they would fit within each steel frame.

I cut the pages to size and adhered them to the book.

Soon the first one was completed.

With new creations, I always want to give my customers options, so I also created two other versions for them to peruse.

Sizing pages is pain-staking, which is why these mini-books are more pricey than my other pieces.

Working in tandem helped me learn more about various design elements.

These were admired by others on my way to delivering the final three.

Both the first book and the third book were snapped up within the week. So I got back into the studio to replenish.

Practice practice practice.

This one is still available.

This blue one accommodated smaller page sections before the printout spacing was fully figured out.

I have a new one on my desk.

Contact me to design a custom mini-book of your choice.

What’s your favorite quote?

Making Plant Stake Critters

I have distributed plant stakes at 3 locations this week, which means a lot of stake-making happened over the past month.

Staying focused to pick up more wire was indeed a danger zone during my hardware store trip.

Something compelled me to make stakes late last year, but then winter happened and ornament production kicked in. With spring/summer finally emerging, I decided to make more dragonflies and also play with ladybug designs.

I had to allocate enough pieces for Evanston Made, my own Pop-ups, a Sacred Art Consignment, and the new Hip Circle Empowerment Center Retail Zone.

There are popular colors, and then I keep finding scraps I want to play with, so it required some focus to get it all done. Shopping sprees also provide more fun colors.

I created a design on my Now That’s A Jig for the dragonfly. The ladybug is just two rounds and then I hand-bend the wings and the dots.

Then I cut out the patterns and place them on my palette to be waxed.

I fuse the paper layers onto the wire.

After that, I cut the paper or fabric to size.

It is easy to poke my eye out in the process, but so far so good. I also keep discovering new scratches on my arms…

Some stakes are embellished with alcohol inks, and I have one dragonfly hanging out on my porch to test all that for weather-fastness.

Rain causes a little bit of rust, and we’ll see what the sun does in terms of heat and fading.

Stakes are hard to photograph, so I need to figure out the setup for that if I load them to the shop.

Bouquets need a better backdrop as well.

I also wasn’t thrilled with the old bottles to use as a display.

So I scoped out Everlasting Fire Studio’s new glass vase designs that they debuted at a recent trunk show.

Based on my stake height they created two larger versions for me, and I love this much more than the recycled pieces.

I will still use the bottles as ‘car seats’ for my critters.

On Tuesday I dropped off my pieces at the former Hip Circle Studio.

Tonight the Hip Circle Empowerment Center makes its debut (changing Hip Circle from for-profit to not-for-profit) and the Women-Powered Retail Zone will be open for business.

I made special pieces for the occasion.

Class-goers have already admired all the gorgeous goodies by The Collage Cafe, Rita Shimelfarb, Golden Sapphire, See Jane Sparkle, Strait Jacket, Maike’s Marvels, Chai Wolfman, and Rock These Socks. We’ll be up for a month or two until the retail Zone features other woman makers, so you’d better shop during their new business hours.

The Women-Powered Retail Zone is open: 3 to 6 pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday,  1 to 4 pm Fridays, 15 minutes before & after all classes/workshops, and during the Custer Fair June 17 & 18. Here’s to my creatures flying off to new homes.

I also tagged a bunch for the Evanston Made pop-up shop at the Evanston Art Center, which opens tomorrow evening to the public.

All that spread-sheeting and number tracking has me looking forward to making more fabric versions next.

Mother’s Day Gift Market

I love honoring the nurturers in my life, and I have another Mother’s Day shopping pop-up this week. On Wednesday, May 10 from 4 to 8 p.m. I will have a table at the Mother’s Day Gift Market hosted by Ravenswood Covenant Church.

The Mother’s Day Gift Market features fresh flowers and plants from Patyk Farms, green beauty products, and goods from local artists. It also features fresh new pieces by me.

I will be joining these fabulous vendors:

Bring the kids to create a personalized message for mom with a “Why I Love Mom” photo backdrop. Our friends at Ravenswood Covenant Church will also be running a craft table with activities for children.

The Mother’s Day Gift Market will be held indoors at 4900 N Damen Avenue in Chicago from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Ravenswood Farmers Market is a joint effort of Ravenswood Covenant Church, Ravenswood Community Council and Greater Ravenswood Chamber of Commerce.

Check out the new creations I made last week to gift to your favorite maternal figure. I decided not to get too attached to the beads I had bought at last week’s expo, so after counting them I already had ideas.

Pink is always a fun color and perfect for spring, so I started stringing the square marble beads into new pieces.

I knew this would be a jewelry set right away, and the bangles called for the longest stringing.

The teardrop pendant has fewer beads.

Soon the set materialized.

I hope someone enjoys this combination!

Seussian Studiotime

I’ve done a lot of uploading and tweaking wordpress for the shop, and while I have plenty of pieces in stock, I was itching to get back into the studio again.

This brush needed to be taken out of its misery too!

My rainbow collection garnered a custom Valentine order, which I cheerfully fulfilled.

These are off to new homes.

I also recreated the infinity pendant that came out of a Now That’s a Jig! playdate.

My original version was snapped up right away, so here is this brighter pendant.

A bangle I created last year turned out to be too small, and then my customer asked to have it embellished with birthstone beads to represent her family.

So I set out to Dave’s Rock Shop and Ayla’s Originals to get the right gemstones.

The bigger size bangle called for a new mandrel.

Then I layed out the stones.

Stringing took a full afternoon, as most of these tiered bangles do.

I love the look of them though.

I donated a few keychains to worthy causes.

Some will pop up in various fundraisers throughout the year.

I also made a Seuss-inspired pendant for Chiaravalle Montessori School’s “Oh The Places You’ll Go”-themed Spring Benefit.

Dr. Seuss is one of my favorite authors and I own his full collection, including the Dutch books I grew up with. So I wiggled together a whimsical wire form to reflect the Seussian landscape.

I took a cue from “Oh the Places You’ll Go” and drew some lines in the pastel colors of the book onto tissue paper. Of course there had to be a nod to the message of the book on the back.

Now my spirit is restored and I can get back to the mundaner tasks of business management and planning. I multitask during product uploads, and ponder the places my business will go.

Enlightenment

The day before my birthday, a light fixture fell on my head. My mom was coming to town and I was preparing the futon for her to sleep on, when the ceiling fan decided to wobble out of alignment and to the floor, but since I had just pulled the futon out and was looking down, it bounced off my head onto the cushions.

A lightbulb shattered all over the place, and my forehead had an instant bump.

So I told mom to take a cab and swept the shards off myself to lay down for a bit, while googling concussion symptoms. After mom arrived we did cleanup and I had a fun birthday week with her, including a visit to Little Light Bazaar so I could shop for light fixtures.

After mom departed I interviewed electricians, and then researched ceiling fans, concentrating on flush mounts only.

I had a fun visit with Mateen to select the colors of my chandelier. All globes are interchangeable so you can change your mind and do a new color scheme over time.

The electricians arrived and on day one pulled out all the old wiring of my 1925 unit.

Outlets came first.

All the old lights came down.

Then they ran new wiring through all the light switches and light fixtures.

The next day they upgraded my fuses, and I no longer have neighbor envy. Now my studio has the appropriate power supply for all my equipment.

Soon the pretty part came and the new light fixtures were securely and professionally installed. I didn’t ask anyone to swing from chandeliers, but I am assured none of these will crash down on me.

Getting electrical work done is a scary thing, and I held off out of fear of the expense and any scope creep, but this project was completed within 2 days. Some of the vintage fixtures could have been fire hazards. I donated all the old ones to a refurbishing store.

I had fun playing with the dimmer switches and enjoying the light in my studio.

Since my futon cover was littered with mercury glitter, we tossed the thing out and I shopped affordable portables for a new cover. I fell in love with BOHO by SIS covers, which was so new the store had to order a sample. That made me feel quite fashion forward.

I love the bohemian-ness of this design, which obviously fits right in as a work surface!

My favorite room is the bedroom, where we installed the beautiful chandelier.

All globes are hand made with Czech glass and each has its own personality. It completes the decal headboard very nicely.

Now I am enlightened in all my rooms, and happy this home improvement project is completed. My head is also OK. The weekend after the bump I had some bad symptoms where lights were too bright and noises were too loud. Strobe lights at a party were very irritating so I had to move off the dance floor, but otherwise things are back to my normal.

Affair of the Arts on Sunday

It’s the week before Thanksgiving, and I have been in the holiday spirit since September. On November 20 you can see the fruits of my latest studio sessions at Affair of the Arts.  The Affair of the Arts is a Fine Art & Artisan Gift Show held at The Shores of Turtle Creek, in Spring Grove, Illinois.  The spacious lodge will be filled with 10,000 square feet of original artwork and artisan crafts for one day.

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Affair of the Arts takes place Sunday, November 20, from 10:00 to 5:00 pm at 7908 Winn Road, Spring Grove, Illinois 60081. Admission to the event is free.

bendingangels

You can buy art, jewelry, ceramics, paintings, glass, photography, mixed media and more. Visitors are able to purchase beverages and enjoy complimentary snacks during the event. Hors d’ oeuvres and light snacks will be available.

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The first floor of Turtle Creek accommodates about half of the participating artists, with plenty of room for browsers to mingle and shop. Downstairs you will find another full level of fine art and crafts to purchase.

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All items for sale are handcrafted. There will be something for everyone’s budget, from affordable small gifts to collector pieces. Both levels are handicapped-accessible. There is a ramp to the upper level along the west side of the building, and also a ramp sloping down to the lower level entrance.

puzzlepour

Ceramics artists include:

  •     Lois Hoveke
  •     Jan Johnson
  •     Elaine Kadakia
  •     Danuta Loane
  •     Regina Lombardo
  •     Pietrangelo Rustic Furnishing
  •     Josie Rochell
  •     TreeNut Studio

sweetheart3

Fiber & Photo Artists

  •     Katie Biedrzycka
  •     Kathie Chicoine
  •     Destiny Photographic Art
  •     Kathleen Freund
  •     Debby Henning
  •     Anthony Spittler
  •     Upsydoozy

sweetheart4

Jewelry

  •     Marianne A. McKoveck
  •     Paula Dammeyer
  •     Leanne Emery
  •     Jewels Botanica
  •     Kim Falat
  •     Rachel Joyce
  •     Linda Julian
  •     Karen’s Nature Art
  •     Marie Morrison
  •     Monica Sargeant
  •     Lynda Wallis
  •     Kathleen Watson

waxingangels

Drawing/Painting

  •     Karen Ann Hollingsworth
  •     J + K Isacson
  •     Rachel Joyce
  •     Sara Michaels
  •     Connie Olmstead
  •     Karen Sako
  •     Elizabeth Waddington

angellineup

Other Mediums

  •     J + K Isacson
  •     Maike’s Marvels
  •     Will Slagel
  •     Maija Steele
  •     Whispering Oaks
  •     Snow White

deer

Check out the Facebook event and join us! 

Witchy Studio

I meant to get my travel blog started but I had too much fun in the studio.

palette

Halloween is coming, and I picked up some napkins in Germany to expand the collection from last year.

2015halloweenpendants

So I set about wrapping wire based on the designs.

wirewaiting

I used the Now That’s A Jig! Big rounds to shape the wire.

jiground

Then I adhered the napkin, which turned out to be of fabulous waxing caliber.

skulluncut

Skull beads are fun.

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Later in the week I rediscovered a stamp I had purchased after last year’s season.

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So I made a whimsical spider pendant that reminds me of Jip en Janneke illustrations.

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My sister’s felted pieces are also very encaustic-friendly, so more “treats” were made.

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Some bitchy witchys didn’t want to do as I said, so they were scrapped and new ones flown into spiderwebs.

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Some of these pendants will be uploaded later in the week, and I am dropping off a small necklace selection at The Collage Cafe during tomorrow’s playtime drop-in.

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Have fun getting your Halloween adornments together! It’s fun to add to the collection and I am curious to see what goes to new homes this year.

squarecollection

Making Mini-books

During my play date with Brenda Schweder I specifically focused on her angled gadgets, since sharp corners are not my forte.

TableView

I took home the Square NTaJ Accessory Peg Pak Mix.

NTaJSquarePegs

Higher gauge wire is easier to manipulate, but my affinity for 16 gauge steel remains strong.

SquarePegging

As I fiddled with the multiple squares a book shape emerged.

Nekkidbooks

At home I played some more.

Copperfielding

Sadly the book lovers guide paper is too thick for this design, but it was fun to consider.

BookLovers

Cutting, waxing, inserting and sizing the paper is quite time consuming.

David CopperfieldMM

Each type of paper reacts differently to the wax and to the steel wire structure.

Cuttingpages

So these will be higher-priced pendants or ornaments.

MiniJournalM

For now, Angel is enjoying her temporary library of a Paris travel guide, a David Copperfield review, a coloring book and a journal.

AngelLibrary

You may see some other bookish designs as I rip up books and work with scraps.

BookishOrnaments

I am happy to take commissions.

CopperfieldFinished

I also want to remake this pendant.

WritePendant

Speaking of reading material, one of my creations is featured in a book. You can order Incite 4: Relax, Restore, Renew right now.

Incite 4 cover

Reading is good for you!

ShadowCopperfield

More musical pendants

My violin clef pendants are a best-seller, and I need to replenish my inventory on a regular basis.

handful

See Jane Sparkle has a bass clef pendant in stock, but I need to swing by there to add more violin clefs for a friend.

BassClefatSJS

I sold a musical pendant at Moon Art Gallery as well.

IrishRoseSOLD

So I sat down and made some more.

collaging clefs

A friend had gifted me with vintage music books, and one page has a song about a Shepherd-boy.

Layout

It turns out to be a poem by Thomas Moore, but there seems to be no musical piece online that I could find. Google has the poem in The Poetical Works of Thomas Moore.

ThomasMooreSong

It’s fun to refresh my musical vocabulary as my flute is gathering patina. Subito means “quickly, suddenly” and Simile means “in the same way” .

similebyMaikesmarvels

Some pendants don’t quite turn out for the purpose I intended, but then they get re-bended into a new piece.

MusicalReject

I liked a page on whole notes from the Robyn-Hanks Keyboard Primer and placed those in pendants. It also had a section about major scales I’ll be pulling from more.

Wholehalf

I also play with earrings and bangles and not-so-literal shapes.

variationsMusicClef

Some think my Chakra and birthstone bangles have a musical feel to them as well.

362_ChakraBangle_1

You’ll see these at the Ladies Who Lunch fundraiser on Sunday, and the April 30 pop-up at See Jane Sparkle. I’ll be sure to get some to The Collage Cafe and Moon Art Gallery by May as well.

NewbiesforSampaguita