Main-Dempster Mile fun

I am easing out of hibernation and it is safe (no longer too cold) to take angel out and about on my adventures.

Evanston’s Main-Dempster mile is full of fun adventures. Squeezebox has the right idea with these postcards.

I had tacos for charity on the day of the Woman’s March, and later went to La Principal again with friends.

A few weeks later Brothers K collected funds for the ACLU.

My frosty is still hanging out at Rolf’s Auto Care, where I took my car for service.

We rewarded ourselves with some Sketchbook beer after a Hip Circle workout.

Stumble & Relish’s lovely card selection, along with my stash of Curly Girl Design’s Love Delivered subscription has me writing a postcard on Sundays.

I got to sample SPARK Syrup with Prosecco on Thursday and picked up some earrings I couldn’t resist.

Vivian Visser explained the process and inspiration behind her beautiful creations during an Artist talk at Cultivate.

This wonderful show is up through the end of the month.

It is always neat to see who shadows interact with art work on the wall.

I attended a few recent The Collage Cafe workshops, and loved the glowing woman who emerged from the last Grown*UP Girls Club session.

My vision boards will be shown when they manifest.

Then I was introduced to Bullet Journaling at Hip Circle Studio.

Next weekend I hope to explore Evanston’s Black-owned Businesses during Tour de Noir.

There’s always something fun to do in Evanston.

Evanston’s Community Yarnbomb

Last year Evanston yarn bombed the Dempster-Chicago merchant area, and this year the initiative expanded to include Main Street as well.


Intrigued by promises of finger knitting I signed up for the May 7 workshop, but then was more incentivized last month by a yarnbomb-making session at La Principal.


Jaime gave us a tutorial on knotting, and then we all were off to the races.


You loop 1 strand around two (or more) others to get the effect.


She also showed a friendship-bracelet style technique.


It was fun to see all the color combinations and listen in on conversations.


Our drinks matched the first colors we were given.


Tacos and margaritas made for much creativity.


My first strand was fun.


These get sewn together with fishing line by other volunteers.


Number two of mine.


The project uses only Bonnie Braid, a weather resistant and colorfast yarn.


Donation checks for the yarn can be made payable to Stumble & Relish, they will use the funds to purchase more supplies.


Stumble & Relish owner Jaime Leonardi offers knotting and finger knitting tutorials for the events posted around town.


We cut longer and longer strands as we kept working.


This one spanned the room.


It was a productive evening.


My friend did an interesting weaving thing.


As we sipped one more drink we made one more strand.


Quite a fun pile.

knotted strands

I was given more yarn to play with at home.


A few crochet tutorials later, I got the hang of doily making.


Hip Circle Studio’s colors inspired me further.


The last community knotting class takes place Saturday, May 7 from 2-5 pm at Evanston Stitchworks on 906 Sherman Ave. (Next to The Collage Cafe).


The thick yarn makes for productive TV-watching.


Yarn installation dates are May 11 from 2-5 pm at Evanston Stitchworks, 906 Sherman Ave.and Thursday, May 12, from 2-5 pm at the corner of Chicago and Greenwood.


Some bombing was down over the weekend already, and on Wednesday.


You can drop off home made yarn circles and strands at Stumble & Relish 1310 A Chicago Ave. until May 13.


Feeding the meter might be fun after this.


I’ll also be inspecting each tree closely to see if I recognize my pieces.


It’s fun to make a contribution that adds color to our community.

Collages at Creative Coworking

My wall collages are adorning a new (temporary) home. Earlier this month I dropped off a few of my pieces to be on display at Creative Coworking in Evanston.


Creative Coworking is a lovely building filled with office spaces for solopreneurs and small business owners in Evanston. With a tagline of ‘your office home’ it truly feels cozy.


The entrance is a lounge area with comfortable sofas.


Further back on the first floor you can find closed conference rooms for team projects.


A spacious kitchen rounds out the first floor.


The second and third floors combine closed office space with open desk space areas. Click for a virtual tour.


Not only does this bright space offer a positive vibe and comfortable working atmosphere for business owners, but all walls are decorated with local art work that is available for sale.


Angela said that curating art is one of her favorite parts of her ’job’ and I love that this venture founded by her and her husband truly supports anyone trying to strike out on their own.


The building use memberships range from three months per visit to unlimited use of a fully furnished suite with bathroom. The fees offer flexibility and the opportunity to grow.


One can start with three visits a month and upgrade that incrementally by specific number of visits to reserving a desk or an office. Mail and fax services are also available.


You can read this fabulous ID8 Nation article to learn more about Creative Coworking. I perused the space during the March Art & Wine night, after hearing of it since Creative Coworking started.


Angela admired my Morpho Butterfly wax and wire pendant and after reconnecting when she wasn’t hostessing we arranged for me to drop off my wall decor.


Not only do my butterfly collages get to have a sleepover among 30+ artists, but I also get to pop up at the next Art & Wine night, which will be on May 30. You’ll be able to peruse my wax and wire jewelry as you make your way around this lovely building.


There will be delicious snacks, wine, ample room to mingle, and lots of intriguing people to converse with.


Join us on on Saturday, May 30 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at 922 Davis Street, or check out other events Creative Coworking hosts.


Winning fun things

2015 is promising to be a winning year. I’ve won something unexpected three months in a row, and it makes me happy to live in Evanston. During Suminagashi artist Amy Lee Segami’s presentation at the Evanston Public Library in February I was the recipient of her poster, which she autographed for me.


Being in the winning category of a random drawing is new to me. I gave up holding my breath with those types of events over the years, and just considered participation a fun thing without attachment. Hashtagging proved lucrative in March, when I unexpectedly won Symphony tickets for participating in the #WeLoveEvanston campaign.


I didn’t even know there were prizes involved with this campaign, but it was a lovely introduction to this local orchestra and some wonderful composers I didn’t even know.The Evanston Symphony Orchestra is made up of volunteers.


Balikpapan, Indonesia got the most lovable city award, but Evanston was named the United States’ Earth Hour capital by the World Wildlife Fund.


This week I won a drawing class with my wonderful friend Lauren Levato Coyne through Instagram. Evanston Merchants held a Loop Giveaway campaign to gain more Instagram followers, and I played along to support my friends.


Incidentally SideTracked Studio was linked to my favorite shop, Dragonfly Boutique, where some of my pieces are having a slumber party among beautiful gift and fashion items.


Check out their goodies!


Lauren is a fabulous drawing teacher, and I cannot wait to see what models she has selected for us. SideTracked Studio is still hosting “What did she say?” through May 10, so take a peek at this intriguing exhibit, and grab some Hoosier Mama Pie around the cornerIt’s fun living here.

HVNSTN encaustic collage by Maike's Marvels

I also broke the 155 likes mark on Facebook, which makes me feel quite loved. Thank you for reading and for being a fan!


Women Out Walking

“You’ve got to find something that makes you happy
to keep you moving.”

~ Malik of Hip Circle Studio

In mid-March, the City of Evanston launched Women Out Walking for the 8th year in a row. The 12-week program encourages women to become more physically active and lead healthier lifestyles. Every week women are asked to log their steps, and whether as individuals or part of a team, are incentivized with prizes for their achievements.

Not only does this program give you incentive to walk more in your personal life, but local businesses are offering special sample sessions of exercise classes, like yoga, martial arts, dance, and running. Workshops on nutrition and general health are also promoted through June 21.


I attended the kickoff at Evanston Township High School and put on the pedometer that came with the goodie bag right after the speeches. Mayor Tisdahl endorsed the event, and Hip Circle Studio owner Malik offered a keynote speech.


Urban Beat Dance demonstrated the joy of moving with two fun performances.


Currently 400 women are part of the program, but registration is ongoing. Goals of the program are to engage women in meaningful and healthy activities, increase social interaction, provide access to healthy resources, and ensure a sense of safety while walking.


You submit your steps for the week every Monday with a link that is provided in a reminder email. You can use any step tracking device you want, such as the Fitbit, the WOW-provided pedometer, or other tools.


After the kick-off speeches we were sent to 3 different stations for exercise options. In Hip Circle Studio’s demonstration we learned steps to the bellydance flashmob that will be shown at the Custer Street Fair.


Connelly Martial Arts offered tips on how to walk around more safely, which means taking the earplugs out, putting your phone in your pocket, walking straight and purposefully and being alert of your surroundings. The best way to deal with a suspicious person is to simply walk away.


photo courtesy Hip Circle Studio

Balance Through Motion had brought various balance boards for us to try out. They can be used to improve your general sense of balance, but also as tools for moderate to more challenging exercises. While our instinct was to stand on them and use them as teeter-totters for our feet, you can also do exercises while sitting, laying down, and as part of a new pilates program.

There was a vendor scavenger hunt with Bingo during which we learned more about nutrition, spinal alignment, footwear and other health-related resources. 1914 steps later, I was encouraged with all the walking we did at the event itself.  At the end of that very active first day, I logged more than 6000 steps!


However, attaining the goal of 10,000 steps a day (recommended by the American Heart Association) is a challenge without an out-of-the-home commute. My ‘commute’ only logs about 33 steps. Thankfully the weather is nicer so I will be enticed to walk around the block more often during lunch time. Still, with Moxie Boxing, the most active of my workout sessions, the most steps I have gotten in one day is 7000.


I have experimented and found that the pedometer does count shimmies—albeit not one-for-one, something I am told the Fitbit doesn’t do. Ultimately the point is to get moving and be motivated to move more.

If I hit the 10,000 step mark during summer I’ll be happy, but I am allowing for the sedentary under 1000 steps days too. Maybe I’ll see you at the final Women out Walking Session, Ricky Byrdsong Memorial Race Against Hate at Long Field at the corner of Lincoln Street and Sheridan Road.


PS-I loooove this vending machine at ETHS.


It’s a writer’s dream.