Assemblage at The Collage cafe

I joined the Grown*UP Girls Club this year at The Collage Cafe and I am loving it. While I have my own studio where I can create, there is something about gathering around women, being in a different space, and having someone else prescribe a project that soothes the soul and takes me out of my head.

This month we did assemblage art. We started with a small chunky canvas to embellish with anything we wished.

The Collage Cafe owner Lindy Stockton has gathered numerous objects over the years, from buttons, ribbons, vintage clothespins, paper scraps, game pieces, puzzles to metal objects like washers and rivets, chunky safety pins, keys and a plethora of other things.

Clearly making a mess is part of the inspirational process. I found a lovely pencil that had to be mine, and gathered a variety of other embellishments that spoke to me.

I put a layer of acrylic paint on mine for starters.

Then I added scraps of decorative paper from a scrapbook paper stack.

With glue guns and drills and super-powerful glue we had a blast making our pieces.

Waiting for paint and glue to dry was the hardest part, but gave an opportunity to walk around and see what everyone else was working on.

It is such fun to see what people pick and how they use it in the end.

I snapped this picture as inspiration, and saw the piece being used by someone else.

I am really happy with how mine turned out, especially since I had no vision at all in the beginning.

Sometimes not knowing what could or should be is very freeing, and leads to results you don’t expect.

Playing with dimension is such fun.

The front addresses the writer in me.

The back clearly needed to sparkle.

You can catch a glimpse of the other pieces here.

Go check out this lovely play space and get your inner creatrix going!

Small Business Saturday Consignments

It’s been a whirlwind of making enough angels and frosties for my pop-ups as well as the four spaces I am consigned to this holiday season.

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Just in time for Small Business Saturday, my ornaments are now in three Chicagoland retailers: The Collage Cafe and See Jane Sparkle in Evanston, and ChromaK8 Beautique and Sacred Art in Chicago. My angels went under the sorting hat to determine which ones would fly off where.

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A few went to Chromak8 Beautique, where I get my hair done. ChromaK8 strives to deliver the highest quality beauty services with the cleanest, high performing products.

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On Black Friday, ChromaK8 will debut special holiday gift sets and a local artist showcase. The salon is located at 5425 N Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.

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I am thrilled to be in a new location in Lincoln Square as well.  Sacred Art offers a variety of gift items for the whole family, including wonderful Chicago-themed items. Owner Kate curates a selection of work from 110+ makers with a focus on Chicago-made art.

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Check out the Facebook page for extended store hours on Small Business Saturday, with nibbles offered to shoppers. Sacred Art is located at 4619 N. Lincoln Avenue in Chicago.

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I hope these characters enjoy their slumber party and find new owners.

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The sneak peek in the store is gorgeous.

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I switched out my inventory at See Jane Sparkle on Tuesday, so you will see brand-new pendants, bracelets and earrings in Sara Jane’s store. 

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The new pendants went straight from my studio to her.

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I hope you like perusing them.

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You can also peruse my sparkle ornament collection, created specifically for the boutique. 

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I’ll have my full collection available on December 8 during the Warm Bevvy Walk.

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The Collage Cafe also has brand-new pieces in the shop, and I cannot wait to see how my ornaments look in this lovely playspace.

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A few angels incorporate alcohol inks purchased at the store.

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Both The Collage Cafe and See Jane Sparkle are participating in the Hip Circle Studio Holiday Hike on Small Business Saturday, with special bags and goodies for shoppers walking off their Turkey coma.

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Check out the holiday offerings online at The Collage Cafe  and See Jane Sparkle

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I am so excited to be supported by these lovely women entrepreneurs, and look forward to visiting their holiday setups soon!

Earrings for Ear spools

When I had my pop-up at Chroma K8, she mentioned the need for different types of ear hooks to safely stay in her ear spools. I had ordered some clip-on loops, and those seemed to work with a trial run.

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However, of the three pairs one didn’t function, so I perused the Bead & Button show for other ideas.  Saki Silver had some fabulous bronze options and I took a few sizes to play with.

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Then I designed a few earrings and had them tested by an ear-plug wearing friend. With her stamp of approval, I feel good about leaving them with Kate for her clientele to peruse.

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These skulls were so much fun to play with.

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The nickel-free hooks work on regular ears too, so I am excited to see this new collection depart into the world.

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Meanwhile, I also made additional pendants and bangles with Kate’s beautique in mind.

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Since I was on a roll, I also made some new pendants for The Collage Cafe.

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A few items were adopted at a recent Cocktails and Coloring Fourth Friday event.

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America’s Got Talent is a nice backdrop for bangle-making.

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I support local women-owned businesses as much as possible.

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I may make some copies of these stackable bangles for myself.

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You can peruse these newbies during the grown-up summer camp sessions and browse Lindy’s other lovely gifts.

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Then I spent some time tagging the newbies.

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Tracking the consignments requires some color-coding.

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Angel helped pack and deliver everything.

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Swing by The Collage Cafe at 912 Sherman in Evanston for these goodies.

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Chroma K8’s earth-friendly hair salon is located at 5425 Lincoln Avenue in Chicago where Noktivo does splendid nail services.

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Next up is adding more sparkle to my creations for the Sidewalk Sale at See Jane Sparkle July 29-31.

Evanston Made ArtWalk

Evanston Made is a month-long celebration of the arts in Evanston designed to create opportunities for artists to engage with the community (and vice versa).

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Art studios, galleries, museums and businesses throughout Evanston are showing works by Evanston creatives June 3 through 30.

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I put on my bangles for the Opening Soiree.

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Opening night was packed at the Evanston Art Center.

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I heard 300 artists were represented in the show.

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My piece had a lovely prime spot.

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The second floor holds four thoughtful exhibits, 2 by groups and two by solo artists.

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In conjunction with the exhibit, Evanston Art Center is hosting a Pop Up Gallery and Store June 3-30.

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The store is located in the lobby of the Evanston Art Center, 1717 Central Street, Evanston.

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You can meet the various artists during their pop-up shifts.

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It turns out one of the Brothers K baristas is an artist as well, and he did a demo at the Art Center on Opening night.

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His pillows are at the Pop-up, and you can see his art work at Brothers K Coffeehouse.

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I bumped into a few friends, one of whom snapped my photo.

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After the opening I plotted my route with the fabulous Evanston Made map.

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I started out on Florence Avenue which had changed quite a bit since my last visit there.

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Angel felt right at home at Mill Creek Miniatures.

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I wanted to get lost daydreaming about all the little vignettes.

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You can get doll houses restored or custom made here.

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The beauty of these studio tours is that you can see the tools of the trade, like Beth Adler’s.

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So much mesmerizing print work.

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Next door I could have gotten lost in Rita Shimelfarb’s stained glass portraits as well.

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I learned about a co-op called Space 900.

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I drove to the Dempster/Chicago area next, where inspirational Karna Designs was open.

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I swung by See Jane Sparkle.

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My pieces are enjoying various arrangements.

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Stumble & Relish hosts a variety of EvanstonMade products year-round

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Frame Warehouse had one of the Swarm posters up, and Paul Nebenzahl was doodling inside. A few shops have artists on display through June 30.

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After parking my car by Main Street, the rain started in earnest, but I wanted to see my friends anyway.

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At The Collage Cafe three artists are on display.

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I am looking forward to my next playtime, and enjoy seeing my pieces in such joyful and inspirational company.

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Evanston Sticthworks has beautiful quilts up by Ann Wasserman.

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She was there in person and we had a lovely conversation.

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Vanessa Filley’s dolls would fit right in at Evanston Stitchworts.

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I visited my friend at Oliver’s Toys where Angel had fun chatting up a knight in shining armor and petting a fluffy hedgehog.

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Cultivate has beautiful ceramics by Mollie Morris on display, and Laura Mae Noble’s terrariums are little vignettes you can get lost in.

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I had a snack at La Principal before heading to the Swarm opening.

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Got was in a swarmy mood throughout the day, and these pieces at Ausrine’s Art Room, The Collage Cafe and See Jane Sparkle were fun to get me into opening mood.

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Then it was time to see the swarm, and I’ll share pics of that lovely evening next week.

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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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Grown*UP Girls Club

Remember when I introduced The Collage Cafe? This Sunday I got to join the Grown*UP Girls Club for a creative session.

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This gathering is Lindy’s brainchild of creating a haven for women to leave all the day-to-day behind and spend some time playing, creating and getting to know other ladies.

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The group meets on the second Sunday of the month and includes annual members, drop-ins, and another tier of membership Lindy can tell you about.

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Some considered themselves uncreative and bravely stepped out of their comfort zone, and others had dabbled in various artistic ventures.

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After introductions we were given a blank canvas and instructed to write positive things on it, in order to set the intention for the class.

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Then we selected paint colors to cover our words with.

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After a few layers we started cutting out papers. In addition to the two sheets provided we were allowed to peruse numerous art materials in the studio, and it was lovely seeing what the participants gravitated toward.

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Washi tape became a popular embellishment, and how can it not with this amazing variety?

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We chatted while we snipped and pasted, making for a lovely afternoon of kindredness.

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There were two birthdays so we were treated to Sacher Torte in addition to other nibbles.

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We also got to try new teas that were refilled regularly.

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Some snacks looked ready for a painting.

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It was lovely to step out of my regular medium and get back to my collage roots. Some people experimented with rubber stamps and added dimensional embellishments to their pieces.

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Mine may get wire-wrapped in the future, but I am pleased with how much was completed in the session.

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I cannot distinguish between the creative and ‘non-creative’ collages, can you? Each of these is worthy of an open studios exhibit!

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Want to be part of the fun? Check out The Collage Cafe’s upcoming workshops!

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You can also visit my bangles and pendants, and peruse a plethora of lovely gift items that are bound to spark your joy.

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The Collage Cafe is located at 912 Sherman Avenue in Evanston IL 60202, near the corner of Main and Sherman.

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.

Evanston’s new Collage Cafe

There’s a new cafe in town, The Collage Cafe!

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Lindy Stockton opened the storefront for a sneak peek during Open Studios Evanston.

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Since then, she has carefully curated gift items and creativity-inspiring products for adults to celebrate our inner artist.

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The store has a plethora of greeting cards, pendants, wall decor, candles and decorative household items to cheer yourself or your loved ones up.

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The Collage Cafe formally opened in September and has since hosted numerous workshops, including book binding and journal cover making.

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Hopefully Q1 slows down enough for me to take advantage of this nearby workshop space.

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Lindy founded the Grown-up Girls Club that allows women to gather every second Sunday of the month for an afternoon of creativity and inspiration.

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From 1 to 4 pm, Lindy arranges for a project and provides a fun place to get away from daily chores and spend some quality creative time among like-minded women.

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Private parties are welcomed by Lindy, just give her a call or pop into her store to make arrangements.

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I’ve already gifted the lovely deck of inspirational cards Lindy created, and am making a wish list for the holidays.

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I also have a few of my bangles and pendants in the store.

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Those bangles garnered a commission, which was so much fun to create.

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So go check out the Collage Cafe, around the corner from Vogue Fabrics at 912 Sherman Ave, Evanston.

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Check out the store hours and upcoming workshops and drop-in classes at the web site.

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It’s inspiring to see artists open up storefronts and I am excited that Main Street has so many new businesses popping up. It’s an affirmation that I live in the right community of like-minded people.

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I’m also impressed by the clear vision Lindy communicates through the aesthetics in her store. Her color-palette and product selection indicates a strong sense of her brand, which my inner marketer appreciates and values.

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Artsy Weekend Fun

It’s a weekend of artistic activities! On Saturday and Sunday The Collage Cafe is hosting its true grand opening.

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On September 26th & 27th  from 11 am – 5pm you can peruse this lovely boutique while being treated to surprises and door prizes, refreshments and discounts. Lindy will show some fun and fast make and take projects, and you can sign up for future workshops.

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A few of my bangles are having a sleepover there, and The Collage Cafe also has my Curly Girl Design pendant on hand, among others.

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Check out the events page for upcoming fun workshops. Regular hours are Tuesday through Friday from 12 – 6, Saturday and Sunday 12 – 4, and by appointment on select Mondays. The Collage Cafe is located near Main and Sherman at 912 Sherman Avenue, Evanston IL 60202

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On Sunday I will be in Highland Park at Ayla’s Bead Bazaar trying to stay in my booth while being surrounded by sparklies.

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Monday evening you will find me at Creative Coworking to mingle with One State Together participants. Creative Coworking is part of a bus tour showcasing Evanston’s small businesses and developments that have made a special place for art, performance, and placemaking in their growth, prioritizing collaboration over pure competition.

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The biennial One State Together in the Arts conference takes place September 28 and 29 in Evanston. More than 300 artists, arts managers, and arts supporters will come together to collaborate to ensure that the arts are leading the way toward a more equitable, unified, and livable society.

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Co-convened by Arts Alliance Illinois and the Illinois Arts Council Agency, One State is the only statewide, multidisciplinary conference for arts leaders and practitioners in Illinois. It’s pretty cool to live in such a fun, vibrant and inspiring creative community.