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Category: Ephemera

Chicago Botanic Garden

The Prettiest Show Venue

I closed out the 2022 show season with the American Craft Expo (ACE), held at the Chicago Botanic Garden. Unfortunately, the committee announced that this would be the final ACE show, so I feel lucky to have squeezed in under the wire as a first-time participant.

Incidentally, Glencoe, IL, where the garden is located, is where I spent a summer waiting tables and living at a nearby country club during college. I had just finished my second year at Indiana University. My parents divorced (on the east coast) and my mother moved. I had nowhere to go for summer break until a friend told me about this job. It felt a bit surreal to be back there after…gulp…37 years. Read more

Trash to Treasure

I recently completed a 6-week course with Bronwen Gwillim, a lovely Welsh jewelry maker who calls her work plasticsmithing. She runs her workshops multiple times through the year if you’re interested. I have not made a big foray into working with my waste plastic yet but am eager to get started.

I’ve always been a collector of bits and bobs, especially what I find on beaches. I like the design challenge of incorporating found objects into my work. You can cede control and let the material do the deciding, much like writers often say their characters write themselves. And who doesn’t love the thrill of the hunt? Getting out in fresh air? Read more

Bird prints in snow. Jane Pellicciotto

Briefest Beauties: Uncertainty & Impermanence

I’m stepping gently into the new year, not unlike the bird that left these prints in the fresh snow. The crossing paths seem like a metaphor about uncertainty, something that, by now, if we haven’t embraced, we might might be in for a bumpy ride.

I’m trying to see these uncertain times as if they’re a teacher. How do you forge ahead knowing that everything might come grinding to a halt? How do you stay focused on your path, and at the same time stay responsibly informed about various unfolding crises? Read more

Peggy, the packaging genius

One of today’s highlights (okay, it was a slow day) was this Twitter post image with the caption, “This note that arrived with an Etsy order is… the greatest thing that’s ever happened to me. WTF Peggy.

A few astute readers wanted to know how the note ended up in the package if Peggy’s daughter-in-law did the packaging. One person theorized, but it’s anyone’s guess. Inquiring minds (this one) want to know just what the purchaser ordered. If I’d scrolled any further down in the Twitter comments, I would probably have landed on the answer, but I didn’t want to ruin the fun.

I can’t quite picture an exquisite handmade item accompanying such a delightfully crass note as this. Hidden away in Peggy’s seemingly rude note is someone who really gives a damn about quality packaging. You gotta love her for it.

And much as I’d like to write notes that, you can count on pretty pleasant packaging from me. But Peggy, you do you.

Here’s the original thread.