Archive for the 'Fun' Category

#robayrepatterns part 3

I'm gonna try and attempt #patternjanuary #letsmakepatterns. I had such a fun time last year, you should play along too!

Part 1 can be seen here

Part 2 can be seen here

Day 21 #patternjanuary #folkart I decided to go with barn quilts and these were done in watercolor. My mom introduced me to barn quilts, and we attended a lecture and took a workshop last year on them. Did you know they are a relatively new (like since th

Day 21 Folk Art – I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this one. This is probably my favorite from the whole month. Last year the barn quilt author and artist Suzi Parron came to speak at my mom’s quilt guild, and then we did a workshop with her as well, where we got to make our own barn quilts. My mom has been obsessed for years and it was so interesting to learn about them. The most fascinating thing being that they are a brand new art, as in this century! Don’t they seem like something that should have been around in Amish country for hundreds of years? This pattern is going to be made into a fabric, for sure!

Day 22 #patternjanuary #bicycle I actually made this pattern in 2013 but I don't think I ever shared the full thing. It has been stapled to a homasote board ever since and needs to be cleaned up and worked into a repeating pattern still. As you may know I

Day 22 Bicycle – This pattern was kind of a cheat, in that I made it years and years ago, but I don’t think I ever shared it fully. Maybe I posted a pic of a bike or two, but never the full thing. I have even made little pinback buttons of the bike illustrations pictured here. I penciled in the bikes, then inked them, then painted very wet and loose watercolor around them. In case you don’t know, I love bikes. My own bicycle in particular, and if you haven’t heard it before, I have bought my same bike FOUR times because I love it so much!

Day 23 #patternjanuary #pomegranate in a #littleartbook. #robayrepatterns

Day 23 Pomegranate - When I think of pomegranates I think of my mom and how she seems to take pleasure it preparing a pomegranate. She’ll prepare everything, gathering the fruit, a bowl, a knife and towel, opening it up and peeling it and filling a bowl full of the juicy gem like fruit pebbles. I also think about how much I love pomegranate too, but have way less patience and thus end up buying Pom juice in the fun shaped bottles for a rare treat. This pattern is a nod to the fruit and the juice in an abstract form, in a little art book.

Day 24 #patternjanuary #rain This wasn't my first attempt, the first one was a flop but I really like how this one came out.

Day 24 Rain- If I remember correctly, I had a different plan for rain, but it didn’t really pan out, so last minute I just did this with my Aquash water brush pen, and navy blue watercolor, and finished it off with splatter, and voila. It’s one of those patterns, that I wish they all could all be so quick and easy-peasy.Day 25 #patternjanuary #blackandwhite I used my #gelliarts mini rectangle and my hand cut paper stencils. They are all secondary prints, printed once through the stencil, then removed the stencil and printed again. There's something about printing like th

Day 25 Black and White – Last year I won a set of Gelli Arts mini shaped plates, and this rectangle one was my absolute favorite. I decided to make a pattern using just black on white paper, with my hand cut paper stencils.

Day 26 #patternjanuary #turquoise and decided to channel pal @ohsoniceshop and sketch a bunch of turquoise rings.

Day 26 Turquoise -  I was trying to go for that silver and turquoise ring thing. Turned out more meh than I had hoped for.

Day 27 #PatternJanuary #string. I think I've done this before, but it's an attempt to recreate a picture from a bajillion years ago, of a hand spun yarn I made, dyed with koolaid. This was made with #gouache and #coloredpencil #robayrepatterns

Day 27 String – I thought of this picture of handspun yarn I made years and years ago from fiber I dyed with koolaid. This also turned out more meh than I had hoped for. Day 28 #patternjanuary #floral - This theme is like the swan and house theme... my head is filled with too many ideas and it kind of paralyzes me. I'm putting this out there now, but it's definitely a theme I want to return to. #robayrepatterns

Day 28 Floral- Floral is another one of those pattern themes that I would love to explore, more, more, more and more of! This was just a quick pattern that I imagine being reproduced on fabric, but in a way that is reduced so the pattern is fairly tiny.

#patternjanuary #kaleidoscope I just piled a bunch of my pretty papery bits down, took a picture and then made this digitally. As I was starting out the first one I made looked too bland and boring so I added more tiny pieces of paper to break up the spac  Photo

Day 29 Kaleidoscope- This pattern started out from the picture on the bottom, and then I assembled into kaleidoscope circles on the top on the computer. It came out way more busy than I had envisioned. That is funny because I restarted once when I deemed the first pile of collage papers to be too plain and basic.

Day 30 #patternjanuary #plaid I actually wanted to make a hand painted buffalo plaid Christmas card for 2016, but didn't get to it, so, how about as a Valentine? #robayrepatterns #letsmakepatterns

Day 30 Plaid – Last year I had the idea of making a greeting card for Christmas with “buffalo plaid” that I would make from loose watercolors. I never got around to it, so this theme let me finally make that pattern that I wanted to do.

Aaaaaaand my final #patternjanuary, themed #fruitsalad When I think of fruit salad I think of my friend Henry and how we are both VERY opinionated and united about what fruit salads should be like in restaurants. We've all been there, disappointed by a fr

Day 31 Fruit Salad – I’m pretty opinionated on my fruit salads. There are few things worse than ordering a fruit salad at a restaurant and when it arrives it is just cantelope, honeydew and a grape. That is NOT a fruit salad. Fruit salad needs to have a LOT of variety. I built this sketchy fruit salad pattern on the computer and I rather liked how it came out.

#patternjanuary 2017

And here the full collection. At the end Anika asked people to answer a questionaire on how the month went:

  • 1. My favorite pattern – the barns/barnquilts for the Folk Art theme for the detail and subject matter being close to my heart.
  • 2. Favorite prompts – swan, home, and floral. These are prompts that made me overflow with ideas and I want to go back to them and do more, more, more. The swan and floral themes were ones in particular that I already had plans for in my head prior to starting patternjanuary.
  • 3. Biggest challenge – sleep. It’s something that I struggle with regularly anyway. My natural sleep habits would have me up late because I’m most productive and creative late at night, but I have to work at 6 a.m. Last year I finally stopped fighting it and started going to bed around 9 p.m. but the week before January I was on vacation so I slept like I wanted, meaning up late. Then working on patterns, wanting to do them justice, I ended up staying up late furthering the bad sleep pattern. I have been surviving on little sleep for the month (and being late to work more often than not, as well 😱)
  • 4. Most frustrating moment – had to be the times that I allowed myself to fall behind schedule because I was so overwhelmed by the prompts that I really wanted to do amazing stuff. I still haven’t finished the dollhouse pattern.
  • 5. Most popular pattern – rain. Funny because it was one of the simplest and quickest patterns I made after my first idea flopped. But I have to say that almost all of my patterns this month out perform my average posts. Thank you everyone, for the support!
  • 6. Biggest surprise – citrus. It felt like the biggest dud, especially since I was feeling so rusty AND because the picture of it was taken at night, but it got so many likes and comments.
  • 7. Proudest moments – being featured on other accounts and people reaching out to me about future projects due to these patterns ❤
  • 8. Patterns I want to redo – almost all of them need additional work, and as stated above the dollhouse one was never completed, and I want to do additional swan, house and floral patterns, but as for completely redoing, there aren’t any I’d scratch and start over.
  • 9. Goals for next time – maybe stick within one medium? My pieces were all over the place from digital and hand drawn, to watercolor, and collage. Although I do think that allowing myself to mix it up helped me to stick it out. I worry that if I limited myself to one medium that I might get bored and throw in the towel. I just thought of another goal and that would be inspired by @jessee_artschooldropout who made her patterns, finalized them and then uploaded them to spoonflower all in one go. That is amazing.
  • 10. Plans for February – catch up on all the things I neglected during January. I have so many things that I need to do that I’m a little overwhelmed where to begin. But number one should be to clean off my work table so I can get back to serious work

Speed Round – Episode 20

I know! I know! Two blog posts in two days. What?!

I’m posting today because I just remembered how I wanted to start a new blog post series. Every week I look forward to the weekend and a new episode of Art for Ears, the Jealous Curator’s podcast. Danielle Krysa has an amazing blog called The Jealous Curator (subtitled: Damn. I wish I thought of that), where she shares the artwork of artists that she is jealous of. How many other artists out there can relate? (Raising my hand) If you haven’t checked out the blog or her podcast, I highly recommend it. The idea behind the podcast is that Danielle interviews a different artist each week, so that the listeners get a little look into the lives of all kinds of artists. Each episode has a speed round section where she asks the artist quick questions that they should answer without thinking too long or too deeply about them. Each week I try to imagine how I would answer these same questions if I were being interviewed by Danielle, so I had the idea to start this series where I will share my own answers to each week’s speed round on this here blog.

This week’s episode was with artist Kelly Puissegur. You can find the episode of Art For Your Ears here.

1. Beer or Wine
Wine, hands down. I have the palate of a child, so in all honesty, that wine would probably be more like a “wine cooler”.
2. Favorite article of clothing from your teenage years
I had a red zipper hoodie and I wore it through high school and probably college before it became too stained, frayed and holey. Trying to relive that era and comfort, I actually just purchased a replacement hoodie. I bet you’d never guess how hard it is to buy a cherry red, zipper front hoodie. If you go into stores, the hoodies in the women’s section will always be pink or magenta, the hoodies in the men’s section will always be a maroon or burgundy. Online, if you find a red-red hoodie they will be offered in sizes XS or XXXL with everything in between sold out. Or it will be super bulky with that fake wool lining, or have some brand or logo plastered across it. It took me about a year to finally snag a perfect, plain red zipper hoodie.
3. Favorite animal to paint
I can not think of the last animal I painted, possibly a deer on Ann’s baby shower invite? If I had to paint any animal right now I’d paint a cat, since I’m most familiar with how they look.

My Top Gun name
4. If you were a fighter pilot in Top Gun, what would your call sign be?
I only saw Top Gun for the first time last year and meh. I had no idea how to answer this so I cheated and searched for a generator “What’s your Top Gun name” and pow! Hobby! I couldn’t have come up with a better option than that if I sat all day thinking about it.
5. Other than art, what would you love to be awesome at? The first thing that popped into my head is singing. I love music so much, and I really belt it out when I’m alone, but I’m also pretty sure I’m super tone deaf. I blame a bajillion ear infections during my childhood and adulthood.
Bonus: Have you ever gone topless on a beach?
No way, jose! I’m a practicing NEVER NUDE. I’m the layer queen. Layers and layers of clothes, even at the beach.

I’ve really been wanting to do this for a while, so I might go back through old episodes and postdate my answers

Nachusa Grasslands

Nachusa

Over the Summer Matt, my sister and I attended the STEM event, Breakfast with the Bison at a nearby tall grass prairie, Nachusa Grasslands. I’ve been pretty obsessed with the tall grass prairie since I was in high school when my grandma (who volunteered to conserve prairie lands near her home) taught me. My first semester in college, I took an environmental biology class and focused projects and did outreach in the classrooms about prairies. Since then I’ve had an item on my bucket list to join a prairie conservation group.

prairie buttons

Years back I made a little prairie watercolor illustration that I turned into buttons

It poured on our way there and was a fairly blustery day, but it cleared up in time for our hike. The prairie at Nachusa was SO beautiful and so I want to share some of the pictures that each of us took.

8.29 Nachusa Tall Grass Prairie2

8.29 Nachusa Tall Grass Prairie

This might be a bunch of invasive, non native plants, but I thought it was pretty. Just got back from #nachusa #tallgrassprairie

Matt at #nachusa

little yellow house on the prairie

The pictures above were mine. One thing our guide said was how everything changes from week to week and things will look completely different, so I’m excited to go back again and again to witness those changes over the seasons. Other than all of the other people that were there for the event it was such a peaceful place and I really just want to go and hang out for a longer period of time.

8.15 me at Nachusa

Here is a picture of me I found on Matt’s camera. This is how excited I am to be in the prairie. Of course I had to wear my Prairie State shirt from The Rockford Art Deli. The next 3 are other pictures Matt took and shared on Flickr. He took TONS of pictures, but deemed only these 3 worthy of publication.

DSC_1983

DSC_2071

DSC_2112

Had to get one of the bison. Apparently they just added them last year and have already almost doubled their herd. The bison at Nachusa are real bison. Apparently a lot of “buffalo” farms actually have bison/cow hybrids because they can cross breed. I didn’t know that!

Below are some pictures my sister took

Nachusa 360

You can click on any of the pictures in this post to see them larger.

Nachusa by stay1995

Nachusa by stat1995

Nachusa stat1995

Again, super excited to be in the prairie

Nachusa stat1995

Nachusa stat1995

If you follow me on instagram you may have seen a snippet of a project that was inspired by our trip to Nachusa. Check back in a couple days to see a finalized project based on that snippet.

International Photobooth Convention 2014 CHICAGO

International Photobooth Convention 2014

This past weekend I ventured into the city (Chicago) to attend the International Photobooth Convention. Years back it was held in Chicago and I chickened out going and then when the next convention was held elsewhere I really regretted missing that opportunity. I follow photobooth.net‘s blog and facebook page, so when I saw that it was being held in Chicago again I promised myself I would attend this year. I even stated on the facebook event page that I was attending. I couldn’t back out after that now could I?

International Photobooth Convention

Even though I RSVPed about 6 months ago I still was really nervous about attending. I was pretty much in denial that it was approaching up until a couple days beforehand. I didn’t want to drag along someone that wasn’t as into photobooths as I was, but I was still afraid of showing up alone. I had these visions of showing up by myself and the record screeching to a halt as I walked into the door and everyone turning and staring at me. When I think of photobooths I think of getting pictures taken with more than one person, so to show up solo might be a no-no. But, I learned my lesson before and I was determined to be there, push through the fear. I almost had a mini panic attack when I realized the workshop I wanted to attend was limited to only 25 people, so 2 days before the convention I signed up for the workshop on photobooth art with Meags Fitzgerald. I half expecting to get an email that the class was already at capacity, and then I would cry, and probably use it as an excuse to not go at all. But, no message came and the day of the class I woke up early and headed into the city.

International Photobooth Convention
The main room that had 6 of the 8 photobooths at the convention. Meags is pictured above in the red cardigan and notice the machine next to her is open and being worked on.

While the record didn’t screech to a halt when I entered, I do think that most people showed up with friends, and/or knew each other from the photobooth.net community and/or at the opening party the night before. In regard to my artwork and photography I can be very “camera shy” (badam bum) and it is very hard for me to think creatively and be productive when I am feeling self conscious and I can feel self conscious when I am around other people. So, in some ways it was good that I was flying solo because I didn’t have to worry what someone else was thinking, I could get into a booth, close the curtain and be in my own world.

International Photobooth Convention

The workshop with Meags was great and opened my eyes to many possibilities. I really didn’t know what to expect beforehand and have to admit I had never thought too much about photobooth pictures in relation to Art with a capital A, other than self portraits and capturing a moment in time with a fun and unique automated machine. The class got my mind suddenly racing with ideas, but because all of these ideas and possibilities were plopped in my lap moments before we were to start working I didn’t have much time to really organize my thoughts. Immediately after the lesson I sat down at the desk pictured above. I opened my sketchbook and wanted to start brainstorming, but I was surrounded by people and my mind was going a mile a minute I was worried that by the time I had a plan of attack, time would be gone, so instead I just decided to go for it and start jumping in booths. I also had this pressure once I realized that I have access to all these booths right here and now, but  if I come up with some great ideas later on, I will have to travel to get to a booth and each strip will put me back $3-$5. Why can’t there be a photobooth convention every year in Chicago?

Some of my strips from yesterday at the #internationalphotoboothconvention in #Chicago. I think there were 8 booths and I took a workshop on #photobooth art with Meags Fitzgerald. It was so exciting to play freely and explore.

The convention cost $18 to the general public and I think I took over 20 strips home with me, so it was a great deal! I actually can’t believe that there weren’t tons more people there during the open booths time slots. Surprisingly though, the people that were there were from all over the country and world!

Meags provided us with packets with creative tools to use in the booths. My pictures might not all be amazingly creative BUT I’m not done yet! I have some ideas and I think I’d like to incorporate some of pictures into some mixed media and mailart.

Meags Fitzgerald's book Photobooth: A Biography

Overall it was a GREAT experience. Now that I have this under my belt and knowing what I know now, I think I’d be more comfortable attending a future convention. I also took with me a few mementos including Meags’ new graphic novel, Photobooth: a Biography. The book is great so far and I highly recommend it. The page above shocked me and just about made me cry. I had no idea that photobooths are so close to “extinction”.

SO, please, if you like chemical photobooths (as opposed to digital) please visit photobooth.net, search locations to find nearby photobooths and support them now while you can.

Edit to add:

3.28.13 photobooth prints

My photobooth poster DIY project from last year. Make your very own LARGE poster for only $5. It’s easy and FUN!

Embroidery Hoop Knick Knack Shelf

knick knack mantle

I finally installed my knick knack shelf over the mantel in a proper way.

Back story: Shortly after we moved into our house in 2011 I put these shelves up over the mantel but Matt did not like how they were all just leaning there. He said if I wanted them up I need to attach them properly and it took me a couple years to finally get that done. Since I want to regularly rotate out our mantel, so the decor never gets stale, I just used LOTS of 3M velcro strips.

knick knack mantle 2014

There are two shelves that are deeper than the type case shelves so they are sitting on the mantel. The shelf on the bottom left is by my friend Ann of a A Beautiful Party and I bought it at a show but I think she needs to make and sell these online, they are so wonderful. Because that shelf is painted a very pale aqua or teal and a different color than the rest of the wooden shelves, and because I had an empty spot on the top right I had the idea of making my very own little knick knack shelf.

I first saw this shelf by etsy seller Senkki and thought it would be great to make a small, round knick knack shelf but from an embroidery hoop, to balance out my own shelf wall. Easy Peasy.

Embroidery Hoop Knick Knack Shelf supplies

A quick craft store run later and I was on my way. I just picked up an wooden embroidery hoop, and then went to the wood craft section and picked out some balsa wood that was the same thickness as the hoop’s depth. I grabbed a pencil, an X-acto pen knife, a glue gun (you could use wood glue if you want and have more time), and a cutting board.

Embroidery Hoop Knick Knack Shelf

I just eyeballed where I’d like a shelf to go and marked it with a pencil. Since the balsa wood is so thin and soft I was able to just cut it with the pen knife, no power tools necessary! Dabbing a bit of hot glue on each end, I then put it into the hoop and let the glue cool while I worked on the next piece.

Embroidery Hoop Knick Knack Shelf

The whole thing took less than a half an hour.

embroidery hoop Knick Knack Shelf up

Also, since the wood is so light I was able to put it up with more 3m strips, tada! I think the next size larger embroidery hoop might look better, filling the space, so I might try that next. You may want to stain or paint your embroidery hoop shelf. I’d recommend doing that before beginning.

Other Crafty DIYs and Tutorials by Robayre

New Stationery and a Giveaway

Happy Valentine’s Day. I hope you are celebrating with lots of love, hugs and candy.

self mailing stationery by robayre

I just added this new self mailer stationery to my etsy shop. The outside is a reproduction of an original art print I made with my gelli arts plate. I added some lighter areas for addressing and stamp placement.

self mailing stationery by robayre

The inside is lined, has a self sealing adhesive and is perforated (with my sewing machine) so that the recipient can open it.

Since it is a Friday and I’m off work and since it is Valentine’s Day, I thought I’d like to celebrate by offering a set (2 in a set) of these mailers in a giveaway. Just leave a comment on this post or the post on instagram (or leave comments at both locations for an extra chance) and one lucky person will be chosen randomly next Friday.

So, did you get or send any valentine’s this year? I just went out to the mailbox and found a valentine from my 3 year old nephew, so cute!

You Are The Bomb Diggity Stamp

You Are The Bomb Diggity

Tonight after work I just crashed. Absolutely emotionally and physically drained from this work week, and it had only been 3 days. After a loooong nap, I woke up around 9 p.m. with so much to do. But, in true Robayre style, instead of tackling anything on my urgent to-do list, I decided to carve this stamp. I deserved that little treat.

Bomb diggity

I drew out the beginning idea in my sketchbook a week or two ago.

Hand carved stamp

I have carving supplies but I have found that just using an Xacto knife on this soft block carves up so much easier and quicker. On the top finished print, I used a combination of gold embossing powders, one was a metallic and one was a glitter and it had this awesome result. Of course I love it and now I want to print up tons of them and give them to all the cool people I know.

And then, just for fun…

A super quick little demo on embossing. It’s as easy as that. Embossing stamp pad, powder and heat gun, voila! I remember first doing this as a freshman in high school taking Graphic Arts. Well, we were using commercial stamps with logos, but you get the idea.

Confetti Gun

So, after Andrea’s list about how to use confetti, I finally pulled the trigger (haha) on these confetti guns that I’ve had in my amazon shopping cart forever.

And the aftermath #confetti #confettigun

And here is the aftermath. Aaand, Matt (the wonderful hand model/stuntman who shot the gun) wanted to make sure everyone knew…

11.13 confetti gun

CARTRIDGE CAN BE INTERESTING BLOCKS.

Sheila’s Visit

It’s been about two months now since my friend Sheila visited and this post has been half written/assembled for the last month. It won’t get any easier as time goes on and I do want to document it so I can go back and remember it later on. I am determined today to finally finish composing this post.

Sheila and I met online in 2008 through a group blog formed by Etsy shop owners wishing to share what creative projects we were working on daily… Create A Day. Long story short, the blog was accidentally deleted but the group of friends formed by the blog have lasted long after. Last year I got to meet another Create A Day friend Tiffany Teske when she was teaching Polaroid image transfer in Chicago, and now this summer Sheila came to visit me. Yes, me. She flew into Chicago from Oklahoma, I picked her up and we were together for 4 full days of awesomosity.

When we first met she had a shop, blog and lived in California. Since then she has changed careers, no longer has a shop and lives in Norman, Oklahoma. Fortunately because of social media we have kept close tabs and I really think of her as one of my greatest friends. Have you ever met someone and clicked and thought I need more people like that in my life, or “if only that person lived nearby and we could be real life friends?” Well, Sheila is definitely one of those people. I count myself lucky to have her in my life. She is my one true Drewbie ;)

This post will probably be like a scrapbook of pictures and explanations.


Years back when Create A Day members first talked about getting together to meet I said I’d probably be too shy and afraid to meet them, Sheila suggested that we could all wear plastic animal masks. For fun, I actually purchased 2 masks. When I picked her up at the airport she got this picture of me on the left, and then when I dropped her off at the airport we snapped this one of us together on the right.

True to Sheila’s online tag  “I’m always thirsty” as soon as I picked her up at the airport she said she needed something to drink right away.


I’d heard about a new-to-me coffee shop, Ready Coffee, that has an artomat, so we headed there. We got our art fix (left) and then drink fix (right). Apparently they serve their chilled coffee over “coffee cubes”. We were both pretty thrilled about that. No one likes watered down coffee, so why have it any other way?

From there we walked down the block to Reckless Records on Milwaukee Ave. It may be a great music store, but to me it is one thing… where they shot the music store scenes in High Fidelity. I’d never been inside before because I was too intimidated to walk in. But with Sheila I had courage and it turned out to be a great little record store and was actually very down to earth and I kick myself for being too intimidated to go in before. It made me miss back in the day when we used to have a plethora of record stores in town and would go for fun and to browse and always come home with some great music. I seriously miss those days. And for the record I do still buy CDs and will continue to do so. Why pay the same amount of money and NOT get a hard back up as well as ARTWORK?

#photobooth with @sheeeeeeela at #quimby's

Reckless also had a photobooth which made me happy, then made me sad that I had been too afraid to go in before. I’d been missing all sorts of photo-booth opportunities. We took a photoset there, and then headed to Quimby’s, loaded up on zines and took another set of photobooth pictures. Both strips of pictures I stuck securely into my sketchbook pages, so they wouldn’t get lost or damaged. After the weekend was over I remembered them and went to retrieve them only to find the set from Reckless gone. It was so weird because when I stuck them into my sketchbook they were still both essentially wet, and would have stuck to the dry pages of my sketchbook, but the only thing I can think of was when I was taking my book in and out of my bag at some point the one set fell out. I’m sad that I didn’t even really remember what the pictures looked like, but perhaps someone out there found it and will treasure it Amelie-Style.

After Quimby’s we got in the car and went to another place I’d been wanting to go to for a long time… Hot Doug’s. Chicago is known for its hot dogs, so it was a must that we get dogs at some point. It was mid day on Friday at this point and the line to get inside was out the door and wrapped around the outside of the building. We were both up to the challenge and stood in line and chatted for an hour before getting inside. Sheila took a picture of this great street poster on a post outside Doug’s. Beforehand I read that they have a controversial menu item, foie gras in a hotdog form, which apparently foie gras used to be banned in Chicago and so this explained why I had been seeing it on the menu at places. They did however have “duck fat fries” which we ordered. Also, Doug himself works the register and was unbelievably kind, which made the whole experience rosy for me. Chicago can be known for being filled with mean and rude people, and at a place that is in demand like this it would not be unusual to get to the front of the line and be treated curtly, and ushered along, like you are some dumb child that has been scolded. I would even go so far as to say people in Chicago can even be glutteon for punishment and enjoy that kind of treatment, ahem, Ed DeBevic’s and Dick’s Last Resort. Anyway, all of that is to say that Doug was NOT like that, and kindly took our order and wasn’t annoyed by our questions and just seemed to be happy with life, and I liked that!

IMG_3692 IMG_3716
From there we went to Millennium Park to see the Bean (Cloud Gate) where I always believe that people have to see it twice, once during the day, and once at night. It is two very separate experiences. During the day it is all about people taking their own pictures, and at night it is all about reflecting the city. For some reason I didn’t get any pictures of the bean from further away, but the two pictures above were reflections from the bean day and then night.

I was sad to see that because Lollapalooza was going on they had closed the gardens, so we just hung out at the Pritzker Pavillion, got more coffee (without coffee cubes, sad face), played at the Crown Fountain and went back to the Bean. For the longest time we sat in the pavillion wondering what Pound Her and U meant, until we saw a guy taking an official picture and I asked him about it. It actually said Hashtag HCR and U and had to do with a promotion the building, Blue Cross, Blue Shield was doing. Interesting, but not as fun as Pound Her and U.

In the meantime, while hanging out at Millennium Park, fellow friend Rosa Murillo caught on that Sheila and I were together in Chicago, probably via our incessant instagramming of everything,  and posted this awesome illustration. The weekend could have only been cooler if she had been present. Isn’t it awesome to have creative friends?

Evening hit and so we got in the car and trekked back to ye olde DeKalb-town, where we pretty much, came in, showed her the place, introduced her to Matt and the kitties and then crashed and slept until the morning. The next day, Saturday, Matt, Sheila and I started the day at the Junction for brunch. Then I had the idea to take her to the Kane County Flea Market which I think is Illinois’ largest flea market. I’ve been a billion times but this particular month must have been their biggest yet because even after shopping from for 4 to 5 hours, we were probably only halfway through it and it was closing time.

Our time there was a great success though. Sheila scored an original painting and a great metal letter sign. We saw a Family Vacation style station wagon. I thought I lost my ipod (with all the pictures I’ve taken for months and months) and was almost in tears and freaking out, then I realized I had it inside my wallet. A kind vendor who witnessed it all approached to make sure I was ok and had found it, which then in turn made me cry from his kindness. Then my personal highlight, I got the Fisher Price Castle, In the BOX, WITH ALL THE PARTS, FOR ONLY $40!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! These things go for mega $$$$ on ebay and etsy and I had been on the hunt for one for a year or two.We ate lunch at the market and were only partially beaten down by the heat and sun by the time we left.

Afterward, we headed back to DeKalb and this is why I shouldn’t have waited two months to chronicle the visit because I can’t really remember what we did. We walked to Twin’s Tap for dinner and who knows what happened after this. We probably went to bed early again because the next day was going to be a big day – LOLLAPALOOZA.

Sunday was devoted to Lollapalooza. This was actually my third time, but in the years since last I went it has gotten even crazier. I can’t even put it into words the amount of people present, so just take a look at this picture.


And that’s probably just a portion of the people attending.

(Left) Our lolla wristbands and souvenir matching bracelets we bought. (Right)  My reflection in my sunglasses that Sheila was wearing.

Sheila was so sweet to buy us the tickets, but since we didn’t make the plans until a month or so out the tickets for Saturday (Mumford & Sons, The National, etc.) were long ago sold out so we went on Sunday and ended up seeing a great line up – The Cure, Grizzley Bear, Tegan and Sara, Beach House, Cat Power, Alt J.

That night I got us a hotel room closer to the city so we didn’t have to drive all the way home. We checked into our room and then tried to walk through a Wendy’s drive up at the end of the parking lot, but they denied us, boo. So we went back, got the car and drove until we found a McDonald’s, went back to our room, ate, and crashed again.

Monday we got up for breakfast at the hotel and then headed back into the city. I had recently heard about a store Rotofugi, that sells designer and collectible new toys. It was awesome and I was so glad that we went. They had all sorts of toys I had been wanting, but my favorite thing was completely unexpected. Sheila pointed out to me a machine in the back.

They have refitted an old Mold-o-rama machine to make brand newly designed art pieces. Click on the image above to see a little video of the machine in action. They also have a gallery space and new shows once a month! I will definitely be going back.

Next we went to go look at some ART! For our remaining time in Chicago before Sheila’s flight back we went to the Art Institute where we spent most of our time in the modern wing.

Me standing in front of and talking about Rothko (a favorite of mine). Sheila made this animated gif using the 5 Seconds gif app.

Sheila in close observance of a Cy Twombly (another favorite of mine)

Then sadly, it was time to go. The gallery was closing and Sheila’s flight was swiftly approaching. This post has probably taken me hours to compose! But I finally did it. I’ve probably forgotten all sorts of cool things. Really, I should have broken this post up into several smaller bit size pieces, but I’m selfish and want it all in one location for later. Things not covered in this post are things like how she introduced me to Flower Beauty products, helped me score some minnetonka’s for cheap, was always thinking of others and buying souvenirs to take back to friends from home, and makes Norman, Oklahoma sound like the coolest place on earth.

If you found this post, skipped through the text, and just quickly glanced over the pictures I can sum the post up for you shortly. Chicago is awesome, Sheila is even cooler and I can’t wait to hang out with her again. Pictures are by both Sheila and me, and right now I am far too lazy to link them back to their original sources on our respective instagrams, so here is Sheila’s, and here is mine, And for the one picture from Rosa, click here. Scroll back far enough to the beginning of August 2013 and you will find them.

The end. (or until I remember something else I forgot to mention and have to come back and add more later)

Robayre Beaded Necklaces

I added some fun new beaded necklaces to the etsy shop. Click on the pictures to find out more.