Halloween Stake-Out

Fall is trying to make its entrance and it’s been getting spooky in the studio.

I reviewed the pieces I have on hand from last year, and was inspired to make more.

With my plant stakes having such a positive response I decided to try a batty design as well.

I pulled a generic bat shape from google, designed by Rubberboots and Elf Shoes and placed a printout on my Now That’s A Jig! as a guideline.

Then I started wrapping wire around the lines, mostly in freeform. Soon I added the paper.

The result makes me happy.


I also had my book setup on the other jig, and decided to use my halloween stamps to make magic spell books.

Of course my witches only cast good spells, we’re all about spreading kindness and making the world a better place.

It is time consuming to attach the individual pages, but the result is worth it.

I’m playing with various colors and ‘contents.’

My skull pendants tend to ‘disappear’ each season so I made a few of those as well.

Sacred Art has parts of my Halloween Collection in stock now. When I head for my next haircut ChromaK8 will get some pendants as well.

I also dropped off some items at the Evanston Pop Up Gallery.

You can peruse the newest Halloween Creations at the Handmade Market on Saturday. I am looking forward to that new-to-me event at the Empty Bottle from noon to 4 pm on October 14.

I’ll bring the Calcite stakes I made out of a shattered gemstone.

I am also making skull bead pendants, and this red one was snapped up right away.

I hope the Halloween revelers enjoy these new pieces, and look forward to watching the parade of trick or treaters go by.

Do you have a costume in mind yet?

Jigging Frosties

My offline life is speeding up so the online blog is getting off-schedule. Here’s a peek at what pulls me away from the computer these days.


In mid-October I was able to purchase Brenda Schweder’s Now That’s A Jig Starter Kit, which I eagerly anticipated.


I consulted with Brenda via email on the various Rounds she had, and ordered the Big Rounds set for my Frosty the Snowman Holiday Ornaments.


I joyfully set up the jig on a sunny day.


Then I dove in with the frosty-making.


Once I had added an ‘allowance’ for the wire, twisting the strips was easy-peasy.


Having the option of making various sizes of Frosties is great.


It beats using the household mandrels I used last year, and makes the process much faster.


I still do some hand-bending after the base is completed.


Then I heat up the griddle for their adornments.


Sometimes a bit of smashing is required to flatten the snowmen out again.


I tried setting up the jig for trees and angels too but that requires a little more finessing (more pegs in particular).


Productivity is booming for the holiday season!


You’ll see my frosties, angels and other holiday ornaments on Etsy, at Aurora Rose Boutique in Lemont, Dragonfly Boutique in Evanston, The Evanston Art Center’s EXPO, the Waukegan West class of 1990 fundraiser and the Bucktown Holiday Fair.


Necklace pendants, earrings and key chains are also in the works.


something for everyone: Keychains

Last month I pondered what I can make that appeals to men and women, since my jewelry does have a slight gender bias. So I started making some keychains.


I put some coiled wax pieces on a keychain loop, which wandered off with customers at Aurora Rose during my last trunk show. I also put some scribble balls in the mix. The scribble balls can be customized with any color of choice.


My brother will be ‘product testing’ this one.


A blue keychain is on Etsy, but I’ll be happy to make more if you tell me that you’ll use them.


What do you think?

Fun factory

It’s been a veritable factory in here the past few weeks as I created ornaments for fairs, friends, families and boutiques, and sprinkled in some new pendants and earrings to keep the fingers nimble.


The start is always cutting and prepping the wire (sanding off the oily residue) and hammering it into a straight line for easier bending. Then it is shaped into what it wants to be (sometimes matching my vision, sometimes making its own).


After that the tissue paper is selected and cut out.


I leave an allowance for trimming until it is properly fitted to the piece


Then the paper is adhered with wax, mostly with just encaustic medium but at times with pigmented wax to match the figure’s color scheme.


I use a little iron for detail work.


I don’t have a favorite thing to make. Creating is such a joy and interacting with the wire, the wax and coming up with color combinations and the right carol to apply makes each ornament a unique experience.


Trees are the most difficult, so I doubt I will make those in the quantities that I’ve done for the angels.


While I do get faster as my finger-strength has improved and the bending becomes more routine, I can’t count the physical studio time as the only time I spend creating.


Numerous pieces have mulled in my head for some time and I don’t log the time spent looking up quotes or musical scores and sizing them to fit the shape (plus the time picking up supplies from the store) by individual piece.


I know there is a limit to how many wire lengths I can sand and bend in a day, as my fingertips have made that known. So in general a piece probably takes 3 days from conception to completion, though not always in a linear fashion.


Of the 70 ornaments I made this year, 50 are scattered in Lemont, Geneva and the local Expo for in-person purchasing, and 15 were shipped overseas for custom orders. The remainder will be on display at the Bucktown Fair this weekend, but they’re available on Etsy until then.