Artists Challenge

Last month a Facebook Artists’ Challenge made its rounds and it was an interesting way to narrow down my art into categories. I posted hearts on day one since Valentine’s Day was nigh. For that day I nominated Lisa Wilson of Being Breath, an artist and life-balancer I met during Shawna Moore’s encaustic workshop.

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With the challenge you had to post three pieces of art each day for 5 days, and nominate a new artist with each of those posts. Rory Coyne and Lauren Levato Coyne were hosting a gathering at their new Sidetracked Studio so I linked back to their pages the next day. Since Lauren and I met through butterfly obsession, posting encaustic collages of my favorite creatures made sense. Their next show “What did she say?” opens on March 7.

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Day three was dedicated to Crystal Neubauer, who introduced me to wax and wire. She operates Healing House Artists Studio where I look forward to taking art workshops this summer. Since her color palette is in earth tones, I posted my musical pieces that day.

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As the newly elected co-President of FUSEDChicago I had to give a shout-out to our midwest encaustic artists group, which I did on Day 4 with my jewelry for mothers, including custom birthstone pendants and bangles and newborn customized pendants.

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The last day was dedicated to Brenda Schweder, who helped me wrangle bangles before regular wire-working was even on my radar. I am looking forward to using her Now That’s A Jig for more pieces.

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I’m working on some branding exercises to narrow down my style and how to describe it. This challenge was a good exercise to pick out my favorites jewelry pieces.

Etsy Refresh

Valentine’s Day is coming up so it is time to review my jewelry inventory. With 238 pieces of jewelry in stock that is more time consuming than anticipated.

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I’m pleased to see that only one pendant has gone missing after packing and repacking items for multiple locations at least 10 times this past year.

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Deleting listings that have sold at fairs was satisfying.

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Now I am busy refreshing Etsy and photographing new wire-wrapped pieces that aren’t online yet. It feels like I have loaded some pendants before, but the listings tracker tells me otherwise.

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So I get to roll my eyes at the camera as I do my neck shots. Cropping is a wonderful thing!

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One of my favorite beaded wire-wrapped sets is uploaded now, and I am curious to see where it will travel.

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As I played with my wrap dress I found a new year-round use for scarf pendants: a belt-embellishment.

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Etsy has an #EtsyMatch campaign that I am trying out on Social Media.

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It got their attention on Instagram already.

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I still have a ways to go with photographing, editing and listing, but take a peek at my shop and see what you might like to get your Valentine.

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Here’s a sampling of the newbies on Etsy. I’ll post how they look in real life soon. Gotta get back into selfie-snapping.

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I’m contemplating a collar give-away for the ones I haven’t uploaded yet. What do you think?

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Holiday Shop at the EXPO

Last week I browsed the Evanston Art Center’s 12th Annual Winter Arts & Crafts EXPO at the Evanston Art Center.

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It is a vibrant exhibit of local artists who have hand-crafted holiday gifts for you and your family.

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Numerous fiber arts promise to keep you and your loved ones warm, while cheering the spirit with fun colors.

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Those in love with ceramics can peruse a roomful of creations.

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Jewelry is abundant, and so varied.

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I am inspired by all I see.

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And look, I have a cute little tree showcasing my ornaments (and keychains).

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There is also plenty of wall art ranging from cigar band collages to encaustics.

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The EXPO is open to the public Monday through Saturday 10 am to 4 pm and Sundays 12 pm to 4 pm until December 22.

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Encaustic artist Robin Samiljan is back, like a few other familiar names from last year.

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I’ll be gallery sitting on December 19 for a few hours.

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Mens’ Shopping Day is Saturday, December 20th from 10 am to 4 pm.

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The last shopping day will be December 22nd.

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All proceeds from the EXPO sale will benefit EAC’s ongoing exhibition, scholarship, and outreach programs, which is where I got my start exhibiting.

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Pendants of the Summer

I haven’t been taking many jewelry selfies lately, though I always get compliments on the Maraviglia I am wearing.

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Earlier this summer I wore Blessed are you among Women out paired with my favorite twinsy spirals.

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At NEW’s anniversary party I wore my bangles, which pretty much go with all my outfits and can be custom-ordered.

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The Make by Megan K. dress was combined with my Amazonite collar and swirly pearls at my trunk show.

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Aurora Rose has a set for sale, which you can view here:

At other NEW events I wore Orange You Dancing with Smashed Earrings and a brown version of this green wax and wire triangle along with another set of abstract earrings.

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On a sunny day I adorned my lace sundress with a wax and wire butterfly and the smashed earrings.

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The other day I opted for just earrings and no necklace with this purple wire-wrapped pair that hasn’t been listed yet.

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Message me if you are interested.

Pinks

I felt the need for some inner peace one day and paired blue scribble ball earrings with this wax and wire peace symbol pendant. In the background is the jellyfish lamp from Peaceful Parlour.

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I wore the lace dress to Evanston’s Lakeshore Art Fest with a caged feather butterfly similar to this one and added the pink scribble ball earrings.

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Check out my Etsy store and see which piece would make a great adornment for you or someone you love.

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I also make custom pieces year-round for any occasion.

Validation

I took off most of August to tend to visitors which meant that my studio was also occupied. As I reviewed the upcoming exhibits and fairs I felt stressed that I had not spent more time in the studio.

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Then I created some pieces for Aurora Rose which brought me back into that zone of flow and zen, and their reception of the newbies made me feel better.

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As I shared photos of pieces in progress and completed, the earrings not placed in Aurora Rose Boutique were quickly claimed by my friends.

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Another friend who had placed a pendant on hold a few months ago was able to send her check in, and I happily shipped her piece off.

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Then I got birthstone orders from a repeat customer for two fall birthdays, which has me excited to create custom pieces reflecting family members.

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A day later, my Etsy store got an order from someone whose name I didn’t recognize.

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Out-of-town visitors admired one of my musical pendants so much they took it home.

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It is super-exciting to make sales, because it validates that my creations resonate with people.

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All artists struggle with the economic viability of pursuing their passion, so having this sales boost is giving me hope that I can eventually create a steady income stream and truly make a living at this (rather than depleting savings and looking for freelance gigs).

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So please put your money where your mouth is and buy from local artisans. Praise is wonderful and being complimented on one’s work is always affirming, but making a sale, no matter how small, is cause for happy dances and joy that words alone cannot generate.

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I will showcase my inventory at the Ravenswood Art Walk October 5 and 6 and am hoping for lots of happy dances behind my table in the big tent.

Meanwhile, Art Lakeview will host my Malachites at Powell’s Bookstore. PerficalSense Studio has an encaustic show coming up, about which more details will emerge in the coming weeks.

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New at Aurora Rose

I dropped off new pieces at Aurora Rose this week.

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The store has lots of fabulous fall activities planned and I look forward to the announcements.

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My earrings are popular right now, so Kim and Amber wanted in on the action.

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I have plans for more pendants like this, with paint brushes and pencil nibs and other ‘utensils’.

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My cousin and I beaded earrings as Tweens (before that was a real term), so adding beads to pieces always reminds me of those girlfriendly times.

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Pearls have a je ne sais quoi.

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Danglers don’t come out in photos, but have such a nice energy to them when worn.

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Not all moms have daughters, nor do all moms like pink, so I made a denim and jade version.

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Many of my wire pendants are reversible, and this is a rare waxed one that can be worn both ways.

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A teaser for the Winter Collection.

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I’ll be making more feathered flutteries as this white one found a wonderful new owner.

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Pop into the store and peruse all of their lovely gift wares.

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If you can’t make it out to Lemont poke around on my Etsy store and see if anything there strikes your fancy. Anything you see can also be customized by special order, and all pendants come with a black satin cord.

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Meanwhile, these are up for dibs on Facebook before they go on Etsy.

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Any takers?

coppertriangle for dibs