Art Adventure: Steve Ferrera at the DeYoung Museum

I was so happy to have arrived in San Francisco just in time for the closing night of Steve Ferrera‘s residency at the DeYoung Museum.


Steve Ferrera is an incredible sculptor and filmmaker. I had the pleasure of first meeting Steve at his show at Woot Bear. Check out my previous blog post about that night. And I’ve been a follower of his ever since.

During his residency at the DeYoung, Steve offered a behind-the-scenes look at the multimedia production of a children’s book, involving puppets and handcrafted sets.



The various techniques that go into each stage of planning, building, and documenting were on display, including initial sketches and final production.









Museum visitors also had the opportunity to help in the construction of set components, and to participate in the same processes used by such films as Coraline and Fantastic Mr. Fox. One of my nephews and I had fun with this part!







It was such a wonderful turn-out, and it was so cool to be able to see some of the beautiful captures that will be used in the children’s book and to hear Steve speak about the process.



Steve Ferrera (in the white shirt) talking about his project and residency experience

I feel very lucky to have met such a talented and nice person. Steve Ferrera is definitely an artist to follow! You can visit his website, follow the progress of his children’s book project, To Touch the Sun, on Facebook, and follow Steve on Instagram. And you can even become and patron and support this project by clicking here.

This is a cake modeled after one of Steve’s sculptures!

Renegade Pop-Up at the Hideout


I got to spend a wonderful, yet HOT, Saturday with Nancy of Circa Ceramics at the Renegade Pop-Up outside the Hideout in Chicago. Braving the heat was definitely worth it because there were so many amazing artists showing their incredible art and wares. Here are some of my favorites…

One of our first stops was to check out the fabulous clothing created by JoEllen Lustig who owns JOLN.


Usually, I don’t feel comfortable trying on clothes at fairs, but JoEllen and her friend made me feel extremely at ease and helped me find a couple of dresses that flattered my shape and size.



Besides making beautiful outfits, JOLN‘s mission is to create affordable clothing made in the U.S.A. that is also sophisticated, yet comfortable. This tag explains it all:


You can check out JOLN’s website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram. I’m really excited to see her future designs!

Next, we stopped in at Girls Can Tell gift co. where we saw a kind, familiar face.


Girls Can Tell is a line of gifts and homewares created by Sara Selepouchin. The awesome diagram illustrations are all hand drawn by Sara, and they are printed in the U.S.A. I couldn’t resist picking up a couple of these towels that bring a smile to my face:



You can check out Girls Can Tell’s website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram. Plus, Sara has a really cool brick and mortar store in Philadelphia called Occasionette, that you can follow on Instagram, too!

After a little shopping, it was a pleasant surprise to find some delicious popcorn made by Chicago’s very own & popcorn. The popcorn is made in small batches, using non-GMO organic corn, and they have a variety of delicious flavors.


You can check out & popcorn’s website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram.

We happened upon a ceramicist team we’ve never seen before! I absolutely love the pieces created by Silver Run Ceramics.


Silver Run Ceramics is the artistic duo of Michelle Lyn Strader and Frederick Bartolovic. On their small farm in the Appalachian foothills of Eastern Kentucky, they create a collaborative line of functional ceramic ware. Michelle and Frederick combine their experiences on the farm and their unique strengths to create these one-of-a-kind pieces of functional art. Their ceramics are made entirely by hand and can be used for casual, everyday use or for special occasions.


I had to take these little horses homes because they are sweet, and they reminded me of my late mom’s love of horses.



You can visit the Silver Run Ceramics website, check out their Etsy shop, and follow Michelle‘s and Frederick‘s individual accounts on Instagram.

HUishungry was a delightful booth to visit. I loved Ding Ding‘s personality, creativity, and the joy she exuded showing us her work and explaining her inspirations. And “Hu” doesn’t love a good pun? (Who is hungry?)



You can check out her website and tumblr page, like her Facebook page, and follow her on Instagram.

We found some more beautiful and kick-ass works in the next booth, Pale Fox Designs. Ashley Davis is the mastermind behind all these cool cards, prints, and mugs. I love the mug I got…such a true and bold statement surrounded with a flowery design. A perfect combination!



You can check out the Pale Fox Designs website, like her on Facebook, follow her on Instagram, and do some shopping on Etsy.

A favorite of mine is Last Craft. I’ve been a fan of their new wave tarot card set, stickers, and alter candles. Recently, I’ve acquired Prince, David Bowie, and Patti Smith. This time I picked up Tori Amos: Our Lady of Earthquakes, and I will proudly wear the awesome Fire Eye Girl enamel pin.



You can check out Last Craft’s website, like them on Facebook, follow them on Instagram, and do some shopping on their website or Etsy.

I was able to pick up the perfect gift for a friend: a glow-in-the-dark Godzilla poster created by the uber-talented Don Picton of Friend Prices.




You can follow Friend Prices on Facebook, and do some shopping on StoreEnvy and Etsy. I may have to pick up the Freaks and Geeks poster some day.

It was a joy to meet Alexz Sandoval of Bird Trouble.  You know when you meet someone and automatically get a cool vibe from them? That’s what I felt when I met Alexz and learned about her art/business. I love that she runs her business out of a 1978 Dodge Sportsman and that Alexz believes in sustainable and handmade fashion, which speaks to my heart.


The bag I bought is reversible, made with two different but equally gorgeous materials. It will be hard to decide which way to use it!



You can visit Bird Trouble’s website, like her on Facebook, follow her on Instagram, and do some shopping on her website and on Etsy.

Our last stop was at Anchal, which was one of the most stunning booths that we visited. Not only are their home goods and accessories colorful and exquisite, the story behind Anchal is equally beautiful.


Anchal is a non-profit social enterprise that empowers exploited women worldwide. Anchal has provided careers in textiles and design to over 150 women, thus far. The products that are created are eco-friendly and made from vintage materials, organic fibers, and low-impact dyes. The throws are made from six layers of vintage cotton sari, and each one bought is giving a woman an opportunity to become an agent of change in their community. And sweetly, “Anchal” means the edge of a sari used to provide comfort and protection to loved ones and shelter.



I am proud to own these two throws, and every time I use them, I will think of the women who created them. Please visit their website, like them on Facebook, and follow them on Instagram. It will do your heart some good.

The length of this post shows you what an awesome show the Renegade Pop-Up was! If you have never been to a Renegade Show, you must. You’ll seem some excellent art and wares, and you’ll feel great supporting indie artists who add so much good to our world.








Hybridity: New Assemblages by Jan Brandt at swell gallery

Artist Jan Brandt and curator-extraordinaire Kim Tibbetts

swell gallery has another beautiful art show that is one you must check out! Jan Brandt’s brightly-colored, soft sculpture assemblages are gorgeous, thought-prevoking, and inviting.







It was wonderful getting to hear Jan talk about the inspiration for her pieces and her use of rich textiles, including some materials that have seen much history and have stories of their own.




Jan‘s sculptures are vibrant, soft, and have an organic feel that make you want to reach out and touch them. As you can see, they are kid-approved, too!













Hybridity‘s last day at swell gallery is this upcoming Saturday, June 25 from 1:00-5:00 pm. swell gallery is located at 123½ West Main St, West Dundee, Illinois 60118. If you can’t make it on Saturday, private viewings can be arranged this week through swell gallery so you can take a closer look. You can email Kim Tibbetts at to set up a time. Kids are always welcome!

You can follow Jan Brandt on Facebook and check out her website.

Plus, you can visit swell gallery’s website and become a follower on Facebook for more information on this show and future ones.


The Animal Soul Show at Swell Gallery

West Dundee’s swell gallery has topped itself with another beautiful show. The Animal Soul features vibrant paintings by the talented Alisa Steady.

Pictured is curator Kim Tibbetts and artist Alisa Steady standing next to two of my favorite paintings.

Alisa paints with acrylic and incorporates other mediums, like oil pastel and graphite. Alisa is known for capturing the soul of animals on canvas. And as you can see, her paintings are luscious with colors and the beauty of animals, with some playfulness thrown in. The animal’s personalities really shine through and each one tells its own story.









What a perfect day to head outside and stop by swell gallery to see Alisa’s show. And if you would like to chat with Alisa, she will be in the gallery TODAY from 1:00-5:00 p.m. swell gallery is located at 123½ W. Main Street (IL 72/Higgins) in West Dundee, Illinois.





Otherwise, the last day of the show is next Saturday, May 28 from 1:00-5:00 p.m. Private viewings can also be arranged. You can email Kim Tibbetts at to set up a time. Kids are always welcome!

You can follow Alisa Steady of Facebook and Instagram and check out her website.

Plus, you can visit swell gallery’s website and become a follower on Facebook for more information on this show and future ones.

One of a Kind Spring Show!


I am so glad that a spring version of the One of a Kind Show came to Chicago! What a great way to spend a rainy weekend…seeing creative and beautiful art and getting to visit with such lovely people.


I had such a fun time helping one of my favorite artists of all time, Circa Ceramics. It’s a pleasure to spend the day chatting with Nancy and gushing over Nancy’s and Andy’s works with other art show-goers. Their kick-ass and vibrant functional ware is eye-catching and makes any reluctant cook, like yours truly, want to hang out in the kitchen. Check out their Etsy store and follow them on Facebook and Instagram.


One of my favorite new artists is hope + mary! Hope’s sculptures speak to the animal and nature lover in me. Check out Hope’s work on her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

A booth of beauty! Photo by hope + mary
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Beautiful and functional! I would love one of her lamps. Photo by hope + mary
So excited to have taken home this gorgeous butter dish!

A lady near and dear to my heart is Anne Leuck! Anne’s beautiful paintings and pet portraits are comprised of the cutest, furry subjects and the most luscious colors and delightful designs.


It’s always so special to get to connect with Anne and hear about her new adventures, including hosting a workshop called, Draw Your Heart Out: Learn the Art of Keeping a Daily Sketchbook Journal. What a great idea for a group gathering! Check out her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.

Photo of one of the workshops by Anne Leuck
Photo of one of the workshops by Anne Leuck

Rapt in Maille by Melissa Banks is some of my most-loved jewelry. Melissa is so sweet and creates stunning chainmaille pieces that caress your skin with their slinkiness.


I’m going gaga over the new ring that made its way onto my finger and didn’t want to leave. Check out Rapt in Maille’s website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


Speaking of jewelry, Sarah Chapman is another truly talented artist who creates fantastic, wearable pieces of art.



Sarah uses recycled, conflict-free, and SCS certified gold and sterling silver when creating her jewelry and repurposes copper and brass when possible. You can see more of Sarah’s beautiful work on her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


As you can see by my huge, squinty-eyed smile, I love Margie Criner and her art so much! Her paintings and interactive sculptures are just spectacular. Check out Margie’s amazing pieces on her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


Photo by Margie Criner
Photo by Margie Criner

Jill Scales makes the awesome Daisy Bags. Her styles and designs are fun and functional, and she’s another wonderful person to hang out with.  You can check out her website and follow her on Facebook and Instagram.


Photo by Daisy Bags

What I love about art shows is not only seeing beautiful and amazing creations, but also getting to hang out with some of the coolest and funniest people in this world. If you haven’t spent a day perusing an art show, you must. And who knows, maybe I’ll see you at one!




Return of Spring at Swell Gallery


Kim Tibbetts and Nikki Hollander have curated an incredible nature-themed market, Return of Spring, at swell gallery in downtown West Dundee, IL. A must-see show, and your last chance is this weekend, April 22-24.


Kim and Nikki have assembled a wonderful and wide variety of handmade items, all of which celebrate nature in form or function.















One of the very talented artists, Sally Tibbetts, with one of her collage pieces.IMG_6840








I hope you can make it out this weekend to see this beautiful show. swell gallery is located at 123 1/2 W. Main Street, and you can follow the gallery on Facebook.

There are more than 25 artists participating, including:

Abby Mielke / Sunny Hill Craft Co.
handpainted cast leaves

Amanda Dell’Aringa 
original watercolor paintings

Ania Perrone
paintings & jewelry 

Anna Fredrick
felt succulents

Barb Kirpluk
paintings & illustrations

Barbara Turcan

Carole Lockerbie
leaf art

Claire Fredrick / Wax & Wane Fiber Studio
naturally dyed wearables

Cherylyn Gnadt / c-lyn designs 
greeting cards, printmaking, paintings

Christian Chlebek

Cindy Kennedy

Douglas Center “Art from the Heart” Program
artwork created by adults with developmental or physical disabilities

Erin Cramer
vegan taxidermy

Ginny DaValle
handfelted fiber art

Jenni Tamburrino 
fabric home decor

Kari McDonald / Lemuette 
prints, greeting cards, gift tags

Kay Vucsko / Garden Glimmer
dishware flowers

Kim Granstrom / made by kim
botanical paintings & prints

Kim Zoph
illustrations & prints

Madeline Canmann / High Tower Jewelry
sea glass jewelry

Mark Pawl
wildlife painting on reclaimed wood

Matt Varchmin / Green Roots 
hand built/carved functional wooden items

Nikki Hollander / Duck and Cover / Jet Set Vintage  (co-owner of swell gallery)
vintage-inspired jewelry, ornaments & paintings, vintage resale

Robyn & Christopher Bernd / Lickabee
hand drawn whimsical illustrations & felt flowers

Sally Tibbetts
handmade paper collage

Trephina Bedell / The Laughing Dog 
amazing smelling soaps & other body products

Vincent DeBartolo
faux finish fine art


Art Adventure at Campfire Gallery in San Fran Featuring Nate Otto


I was so excited to hear that our friend from high school, Nate Otto, had his work on display in San Francisco, and fortuitously, I had a trip planned out there! So on a Tuesday, my brother and I hit the Mission District and headed straight to Campfire Gallery to check out the City Pastoral exhibit, an urban landscape themed group exhibition of paintings by Ian “HYDEON” Ferguson of Brooklyn, Heidi McDowell of San Francisco, and Nate Otto of Chicago.



Nate‘s drawings and paintings look incredible in this venue. The colors are so vibrant, and the details that go into each of Nate‘s pieces are mind-blowing and beautiful.




Campfire Gallery‘s space is very warm and inviting and has a chill vibe. The gallery showcases many beautiful works, jewelry, books, prints, and more. With records spinning in the background, I had the pleasure of meeting and chatting with Craig Zaretsky half of the husband and wife team who opened the gallery in 2012, and I learned it was Rachel Ybarra who discovered Nate‘s work.



In every nook and cranny, there are so many beautiful and quite affordable pieces.



And there was a sweet little puppy giving out free kisses. 🙂



Because I’m such a fan of Nate‘s art and collect his work, I will definitely have to post more about him in the near future, but for now you can check out Nate’s website and his shop.

You can catch City Pastoral exhibit until April 2, 2016 at Campfire Gallery located at 3344 24th Street, San Francisco, CA 94110. Also you can contact them by calling 415.800.7319 or email them at

Last Art Adventures of 2015- Renegade Craft Fair and Made in Chicago Holiday Market


I had the pleasure of helping Circa Ceramics, hanging out with Nancy, and getting to shop at two other art fairs this month. It was awesome to see artists and their wares and getting a lot of holiday shopping done for others (and me!)


And speaking of…Circa Ceramics is one of my all-time favorites! Highlighted in a previous artgrrrl post, Nancy and Andy are the awesome people who create highly-functional porcelain pieces that pop with luscious colors. Their vases, tumblers, magnets, mugs, trivets, spoon rests, and bowls make wonderful gifts for your loved ones and will make your kitchen the coolest. Check out their Etsy shop and follow them on Facebook.



A booth I stumbled upon at Renegade had the beautiful blankets of Maya Mueble. I instantly loved their work but also their mission. Maya Mueble is a socially-conscious line of modern furniture and textiles. They work directly with artisans in Guatemala and El Salvador and provide them with an opportunity for economic empowerment. Beautiful business concept and works that you can follow on Facebook.


Another happy discovery was Couch because I was in desperate need of a new wallet. Their vegan line of wallets, guitar straps, belts, bags, and camera straps are environmentally-friendly, made from up-cycled materials including automotive and upholstery vinyl. Check out their site and follow them on Facebook.

I apologize for the poor lighting, but trust me, their work is really cool.
I apologize for the poor lighting, but trust me, their work is really cool.

Another new artist I discovered is hope + mary. I fell in love with her one-of-a-kind ceramic pieces. The subjects on her pieces reflect the beauty that can be found in nature. I could have walked away with her whole booth! Check out hope + mary’s website and follow her on Facebook.

I apologize for the poor lighting again. Please check out her website to see how really beautiful her work really is.

I was able to find another Christmas present at Collin Garrity‘s booth. He’s an excellent woodworker, who uses a variety of woods including reclaimed wood to make beautiful pieces. Besides checking out his website, you can see his work and follow him on Facebook and Etsy.



A few presents were bought from Ayurveda Alchemists. Botanicals and natural oils and ingredients are used to make bath salts, soaps, laundry detergents, sachets, candles and more. Wonderful gift ideas!


Another new discovery Elika’s Designs. Her handmade scarves, hats, ponchos, and accessories are so stylish and unique. I really love her work! Check out her Etsy shop and follow her on Facebook.



Highlighted before but worth repeating, Kiku Handmade makes cool screen printed, fused glass pieces with beautiful and awesome imagery, including serving dishes, coasters, ornaments, bowls, and cutting boards. You can check out Kiku’s website and follow her on Etsy and Facebook.


And Last Craft has kick-ass work, including new wave-related items, like their tarot card set, stickers, and alter candles. You can find Last Craft on Etsy and Facebook.


What an amazing holiday art fair season! It really is an awesome thing to see so many people showcasing their incredible art and wares. It warms my heart to see the crowds at these fairs supporting artists by shopping local and/or buying from independent makers. I heard many people repeat the words that I find myself saying all of the time: I really want to buy handmade gifts and support independent artists this year. I felt the indie love all over Chicago this season. Looking forward to next year’s art adventures. See you again in 2016!


Art Adventure at One of the Kind in Chicago!

The One of a Kind Show has become a fun, yearly tradition. My partner in crime for the past few years has been one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jeannine.


What’s so awesome about OOAK is you can spend the whole day leisurely go up and down aisles and aisles of amazing art and fashion. Discovering new artists and getting to see some of your favorites is a wonderful way to get some holiday shopping done and pick up some goodies for yourself.


One artist who I look forward to seeing every year is Ashley Benton.


Not only is Ashley a really nice person, but I absolutely love her pieces, which include these emotionally-packed sculptures and beautiful encaustic artwork:

Meet Walter and Betsy.
Meet “She longs to be a poet.”

One of my new favorites is Miss Millie, which is a vintage-inspired porcelain line of functional wares, jewelry, and sculptural ornaments created by the wonderful Millie Crotty. You can follow Miss Millie on instagram, too!

And I got to meet the very nice lead singer of heart harbor music, Kerry Hallett. I love what I hear so far!



It’s impossible to walk by the Jodi Rae Designs booth without stopping.


Jodi’s jewelry sparkles and is stunning. After years of drooling over her work, I walked away with these gems:


I did find some presents for family, too. 😉 My nephew Joseph is really into monsters right now. I found this creature created by jelly koe, which I know he’ll love! Not only is he cute, but “Gillbert” has glow-in-the-dark eyes and a tongue that can be pulled out. jelly koe specializes in handmade designer plush and custom vinyl, resin, and hand-sculpted action figures. Also, Kelly and J. Spencer Shull create awesome original artwork and illustration.


Another wonderful artist is Kiku Handmade. Laurie “Glasskicker” Freivogel , who is also a Chicago Art Girl, creates kick-ass screen-printed glass objects, including jewelry and accessories, coasters and platters, ornaments, and custom pieces.


Another Chicago Art Girl is Nancy Gardner. I’ve been admiring Nancy’s beautiful work for years, and I finally can say that I’m a lucky to have one of her vases:


Sarah Chapman is such a talented jeweler. Sarah’s use of materials, including sterling silver, copper, and other recycled and conflict-free materials.

Sarah’s nice to participate in my art show selfies. :)

Last, but not least, another artist whose collection I love is Amelia Kieras.


Amelia’s work is beautiful, dream-like, and imaginative. The creatures and scenes she creates transport you to new worlds. You can find her pop-up cards, prints, books, shadow boxes and more in her etsy shop.



I highly recommend these artists and The One of a Kind Show. Although you have already missed the Holiday show, you can mark your calendars for the new Spring One of a Kind Show, which will be held from April 29th – May 1st. I guarantee you’ll have an inspiring, art-filled day. Enjoy!


Art Adventure at The Chicago Art Girls Holiday Pop-Up Shop


THIS is the show you need to get yourself to THIS weekend! The Chicago Art Girls is a group of independent women artists who met while exhibiting at various art fairs in the Chicago area over the years. This awesome support group formed and wisely decided to promote local, handmade work, and to show off their talents by hosting these eclectic Pop-Up Shops. Here are just some of the kick-ass artists you’ll find at the show this weekend…

I have fallen in love with Red-Belly‘s work, created by the amazing artist Margie Criner.


Her current work includes sculptures within sculptures made of a variety of textiles, such as wood, wool, vintage toys, and found objects. Some of the pieces have an interior narrative, which is lit with LEDs and can be seen through a viewing portal. The following piece, Exodus, is so incredible that it just had to go home with me:



And this other Chicago Art Girls-inspired piece was just too awesome to leave behind. It’s called Another Ordinary Day (for an Art Girl). So good.



Kiku Handmade by Laurie Freivogel creates beautiful and functional screen-printed glass work. Presents for all your loved ones can be found in this colorful booth:



Another glass artist exhibiting is Sharon Sears, who creates unique pieces of functional stained glass art which include jewelry, lamps, candle holders and mirrors. I picked up one of her ornaments that will look beautiful on our tree.


Soap Happy! makes my favorite bar soap. Not only are their skin products vegan, but they are made with natural ingredients with no “dubious chemicals.” And the scents are so wonderful, you’ll have to remind yourself not to eat them! Such a great gift idea for your loved ones and don’t forget to treat yourself!


Fellow shopper, Gina, is a HUGE fan of Daisy Bags. IMG_5126

You can find a bag or purse for any occasion made with beautiful fabric. We all ended up leaving with at least one goodie:


I always find something fantastic in Eva May‘s booth. Eva creates marvelous hats, clothing, scarves, and bags. Everyone agreed that this newly-designed hat was pretty cute. Plus, it’ll protect my ears this winter:


Rapt in Maille‘s incredible chainmaille jewelry created by Melissa Banks was looking gorgeous today! I especially love her rings and bracelets which have a wonderful slinky feel on your skin:


Another jeweler you must check out is Marstinia Enamel Designs. I seem to find a ring or two calling my name whenever I’m in Mary Lasky’s booth. Today was no exception:


If you’re into mosaic pieces, you’ll love the work of Staci Sterenberg. Her designs are out of sight, and one of her “Hooters” flew home with me. See if you can spot it:


Anne Leuck Feldhaus is one of those kindred spirits, so much so, that we end up laughing and crying during every visit. Besides having a beautiful and hilarious soul, Anne specializes in colorful pet portraits and murals. Her creations are a mix of contemporary folk and urban pop art, and Anne’s animal-themed art shows her support of animal welfare and shelter organizations.


Megan Lee Designs  creates handmade goodness. So many pretty and cool designs in her clothing line. Jeannine found the perfect kitty shirt for her niece:


And to end on a sweet note, Puffs of Doom was selling their delicious fudge and caramel sauces that are to die for:


You will find these and many other great artists in this show! Do yourself a favor and head out to The Chicago Art Girls Holiday Pop-Up Show tomorrow! It’s located in Alexander Graham Bell Elementary School at 3730 N Oakley Ave, Chicago, IL 60618 from 11am-5pm. You will love it and yourself for supporting local, independent artists.