Plant Stakes for the Trunk Show

Last summer I made a dragonfly stake on a whim and it was well-received. This year I took the production level up a notch and added ladybug stakes to the collection. I distributed them at my various boutique outlets, and they steadily fly off to new homes. A post on Facebook prompted Ayla’s Originals to coordinate a trunk show with me.

So for Ayla’s Trunk Show this coming weekend, August 12 and 13, I am replenishing the batch. The traditional ladybugs go fastest, so red was on the brain this week.

Meanwhile, the jig I had set up for the Morpho application needed to be dismantled. However, I was inspired to create a stake form that setup before making the change.

I had also just made two mini-books, and that book setup led me to make two bookish stakes.

Then I changed the jig to my custom-created dragonfly template, and started bending wire into the popular dragonfly stakes. When my fingertips were sore I closed the studio for the evening.

The next morning I fired up the griddle and my irons, and started laying out the outfits for each critter. I hand-stamped lime green paper and interfacing fabric to reflect the writings of a book. Then I painstakingly added each page, which takes a lot of aligning, adjusting, cutting and realigning.

The books are my most time-consuming piece at this stage, followed by the dragonflies and their waxing intricacies.

I hand-colored interfacing with rainbow stripes (in permanent marker) for the ever-popular rainbow dragonfly.

One ladybug was begging for polka-dotted fabric, and the other two were given red tissue paper.

Storm clouds were brewing, so I also used that tissue paper and another fabric scrap for a test ladybug ornament, which I swiftly hung outside.

Soon the buckets came down and even splattered onto the deck.

Nonetheless, I stepped out in the rain to see how my own two creatures were faring. Rain was bouncing off the dragonfly.  The ladybug was shielded from the onslaught, but soon the angle changed and it too started getting wet.

After the storm, both ornaments were wet, but undamaged.

Upon closer inspection you can see spots of rust in the dragonfly, which has accumulated since I hung it in April.

But overall the droplets just hang out on the wax until they evaporate, and the fabric and tissue strips remain intact.

I waxed my new creations. The whimsical oval piece was fun to design.

Then I photographed them as the light and angle allowed.

Stakes are harder to take pictures of than my other pieces. They don’t lay flat like regular ornaments, and getting all the angles in a photogenic way is challenging.

The Everlasting Fire Studio vases showcase each one well, though.

I really like the bookish ones, which will be a whole other outdoor test run. As ornaments, these books are more fragile than my other pieces. So for now I’d recommend them indoors only.

Good thing I have a volunteer with an outdoor plant I can send one of these off to.

My fireplace mantel is also a bit crowded, so I played with one corner for now, which isn’t ideal.

I will need to work on a light box setup to block out the windowsill.

Meanwhile, they look pretty as a bouquet and by themselves, and make me happy.

Since I will be showing at a bead store next, I also wanted to play with some bling on a stake.

The organic creation received 3 led crystals, which I know will hold up outside.

I plan on asking Ayla what else is suitable for outdoor sun catchers when I set up my trunk show this weekend.

The new creations will have their own table at the Ayla’s Originals Trunk show. I will also bring my jewelry and angels of course. 

Ayla’s Originals Store is located at 1511 Sherman Avenue in Evanston. I will be there Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm and Sunday from 12 to 5 pm. Then all unsold pieces go home with me again.

There are lots of fun shops and eateries around 1511 Sherman. Be sure to take a selfie with Wonder Woman at the Other Brother Coffeehouse!

Garden Center Fun

I spent the last few days of August making some dragonflies for Platt-A-Palooza.

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It was a glorious Saturday when we set up at Platt Hill Nursery.

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Flowers greeted me as I unloaded the car.

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The amount of space is always amazing, and I had fun setting up my booth.

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Foot traffic was great, so I had little time to peruse the other booths.

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Seeing how my pieces interact with the sunlight is always fun.

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Thankfully we had popcorn delivered to us.

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Parts of the swarm were on display.

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There were stuffed animals,

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Other jewelry vendors,

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Holiday Ornaments,

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Birdbath creations,

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and my neighbor had lovely Faery Cottages that Angel couldn’t resist.

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It is always fun to see the garden accessories Platt Hill Nursery has to offer, like these fun creations.

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Live Bluegrass entertained us throughout the day.

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So much bloom.

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I tested some plant stakes that need a bit more observing for durability.

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Angel basked in some pansies as well.

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Several pieces found new homes.

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I love all the flowers and plant varieties.

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Gardening is not in the cards for me, but it is always fun to admire nature.

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Soon the day was over and time to pack up.

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I did some lazing and stretching before the next eventful week.

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Hopefully you had a labor-free Labor Day weekend.

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Making a Swarm

With Evanston Made kicking off June 3, I am thrilled to be part of the official Evanston Art Center Exhibit as well as a special show featuring critters near to my heart. SideTracked Studio will be hosting Swarm, a small works exhibition.

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Jason McPhillips, “Negentropy,”
Oil and Gold Leaf on Panel, 10″x10″

The word can be defined in different ways – from an act of aggression/protection to simply a group of animals – and the Coynes thought it high time to mount their own swarm via artists interpreting the theme.

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Lauren showed me her concept art, which aligned with my vision of creating a butterfly mobile, and I am excited to be included in this show with such highly talented artists.

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Works on exhibit will be: Lauren Levato Coyne, Rory Coyne, Jason McPhillips, Erin Gergen Halls, Anthony Cramer, Gail Potocki, John Walker, Erich J. Moffatt, Victoria Fuller, Renee McGinnis, Maike van Wijk, and Stephanie Inagaki.

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This exhibit will be a wonderful spectacle of highly crafted works that are mostly no larger than twelve inches, and an installation made of smaller components by the artists to make one collaborative piece, or swarm.

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The opening reception is Saturday, June 4 from 6 to 9 p.m. with beverages provided by New Holland Brewing Co. The exhibition continues through July 2, 2016.

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I had fun creating different critters, dressing them (aka making up my own species), and arranging them in various ways.

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There is no telling how Lauren and Rory will install them when they combine my pieces with the other artists’ submissions.

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Sidetracked Studio is the storefront studio of artists Lauren Levato Coyne and Rory Coyne founded with collector and advisor Michele Mahon Jahelka. Throughout the year Sidetracked Studio, located at 707 Chicago Avenue, also presents gallery exhibitions of visiting artists, workshops, and lectures. For information visit sidetrackedstudio.com or find them on social media.

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Sidetracked Studio is located near the purple line Main Street station, as well as the Main Street Metra station. Metered parking is available on Chicago Avenue, and you can find residential parking a few blocks closer to the lake. The gallery is wheelchair accessible.

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