Thursday, 30 April 2015

May First Friday: An Evening Of Art

May First Friday Event: An Evening Of Art -
Join us between 5pm and 10pm tomorrow!

Trunk show/artist reception featuring the work
of local artist Dennis Christian.

 Beautiful, vibrant, natural scenes painted on glass
candle holders in a variety of sizes and shapes.
The warm glow of a candle inside brings this art to life!

Our First Friday Make & Take will be this decorated picture frame.

For $6/frame you can pop in during the Art Hop First Friday event. 
The frames are pre-painted from our new European inspired 
Botanicals Paint collection in your choice of two colors, Mulberry or Willow. You will decoupage and seal the decorative paper in one step using our sealer. We provide all the materials OR you can bring decorative paper of your own for a personal touch. So easy! -You'll be inspired to use this process on larger pieces of furniture of your own. All Botanical colors and products in stock.

We will be serving our 
Lemon Chiffon Cuppa Cake Tea for this event!

"This herbal green rooibos tea has the decadent flavor of 
light chiffon cake speckled with sweet coconut 
and topped with a creamy lemon icing – 
all the indulgence without the calories. 
This caffeine-free cup is perfect for
 high tea or any time of the day."

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Welcoming A New Shopkeeper

We are excited to announce the partnership between Mary Pierce and Anne Faulkner, Soulful Sparrow's new co-owner.

Anne's high energy, creative eye. and long history of retail experience pair well with the vision Mary has for Soulful Sparrow. We anticipate a fun fresh direction as these two begin collaboration.

Anne is a 30 year resident of Elgin's North East Neighborhood. She cut her teeth in this industry as a Kane County Flea Market vendor. After living the vagabond lifestyle for several years she moved on to a bricks and mortar shop, opening a storefront in West Dundee that eventually evolved into Adornments Boutique.  A unique upscale women's boutique and destination shop that was a mainstay in Downtown West Dundee for 15 successful years.

Anne can also claim founder and former owner of The Midwest Antique Clothing and Jewelry Show/Cat's Pajamas Productions. Having built that franchise from a concept to a highly anticipated renowned regional event.

An early supporter of the Illinois Main Street Program, Anne sat on several committees while active in Dundee, including chair of the promotions committee.

Recently Anne has been busy crafting what she describes as "wabi-sabi inspired wearable art" for her boutique business tangerine magpie, which is sold (coincidentally, wink*wink) exclusively at Soulful Sparrow!

Other creative involvements include founder of The Elgin Poetry Box Project, and co-publisher of elginMUSE (with another member of the Pierce family).

Anne's passion (bordering on obsession) for genealogy has led her to blog on the subject as Ancestor Archaeology.

We hope that you will welcome her to the Soulful Sparrow family. As Mary and Anne begin to put their heads together for the future direction of the shop plan to see lots of what you already love about Soulful Sparrow plus some fresh, new surprises to delight and entertain.

Stay tuned .......

Sunday, 22 February 2015

Announcing Judy's Retirement

Judy Walsberg and Mary Pierce met in 2010 when Judy owned Tapestries of Nature in Century Corners of St. Charles. Their common interest in art and vintage style led them down a path as store owners together when they created a co-op in the St. Charles location. Within two years the building they were in was sold and the partnership was born when they relocated to Elgin and named the new shop Soulful Sparrow in June of 2012.

It is with mixed emotions that we say a fond farewell as Judy retires at the end of February 2015. Judy's creative flair and business sensibilities have helped Soulful Sparrow make a mark on the Douglas Avenue shopping district in Downtown Elgin. Her artistic, repurposed, handmade merchandise for sale in the shop has been an added attraction that set the shop apart from any other.

Judy will be taking care of her husband in the final stages of a long term illness. She will continue pursuing the arts and showcasing her creations in selected venues as her schedule will allow. Our thoughts and prayers will be with her.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Get Ready! The Vintage Shop Hop Is Almost Here!

We will be participating in the Vintage Shop Hop
this year! Two full days of wonderfulness!
Grab your friends and shop hard!
Watch our Facebook page for frequent updates
and a schedule of events

Never shop hopped? Well, get ready!
This is the mother load of all road trips!

It's a self-guided day of vintage shopping.
A gathering of 200+ vintage shops
and antique stores in northern Illinois
and southern Wisconsin rolling out the red carpet
for you on March 6 & 7, 2015.
You just have to gather your friends and head out!

Valentine's Day Offerings From Your Favorite Shop!

Show your love has wings
with these heart shaped frames
elevated on a stand.

The key to my heart

The bearer of one of these tickets
is entitled to one of these fabulous treats.

"Being a valentine"

Tokens of love

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Summer shop decorations!

Sparrow summer journal of photos

We've redecorated the store for the summer, so we thought we'd share some photos with all of you!

The North Window

More of the North Window

The South Window

More details from the South Window

A repurposed flower

Our garden collage - it looks great sitting by the door!

A celebration of home and garden

Bud vase and pokes

Home collage

Vintage Religion

Nature collage

Collectible lead figurines

Art collage

Public art bench, a part of Where's Aldo

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Summer news around Elgin

A sparrow celebrating fun and freedom!

There's been a lot happening around Elgin this summer, so we wanted to take a minute to discuss some of the recent developments that have taken place...

4th of July fun!

The outside of the store, all dressed up for the holiday weekend

We had a lovely Fourth of July this year! As usual, Elgin's Fourth of July parade was a lot of fun to watch, and the shop opened to welcome any shoppers who stayed downtown afterwards.

This year, the Fourth of July also happened to be First Fridays, so we had all kinds of tasty snacks on hand.

Lemonade - perfect for a summer's day!

Check out our festive jars - you can drink out of them!

And of course, there were fireworks downtown that night! We watched them from the new Promenade this year - more on that in a bit.

What a view!
Hopefully, you all were able to enjoy the festivities this year in downtown Elgin, too!

Revitalization Progress in Downtown Elgin

This summer has been one of growth and renewal for downtown Elgin, as a number of projects designed to revitalize the downtown area have continued to develop and flourish. Some of these projects are more established and well-known, like the continuing success of the Downtown Harvest Market, but this summer has seen some new projects take shape as well. 

One of the most intriguing ideas so far is the movement to have downtown Elgin listed as a historic district on the National Register of Historic Places. The district would include about 102 properties, and could be a powerful marketing and tourism tour, as well as as tax credits and incentives for participating districts.

According to a Daily Herald article, historic preservation tax credits could be as much as 45 percent, with 20 percent in federal tax credits and 25 percent in state tax credits.

There are still questions of potential drawbacks, including the possibility of more rules and regulations, but experts have said that there are no drawbacks to being listed on the registry and all tax incentives are voluntary. Ultimately, at least fifty percent of downtown property owners will have to eventually approve the plan in order to become a listed district.

Right now, the Downtown Neighborhood Association of Elgin is working on the application, which is expected to be submitted later this summer. We're looking forward to seeing what happens next!

In addition to the National Registry, the Riverside Drive Promenade has finally opened. The Riverside Drive Promenade is the the last 1500 feet of downtown riverfront to be redeveloped. Some of its features include permeable pavers, bio-swales, traffic calming devices, and bicycle paths.

On the Fourth of July, Riverside Drive could be seen lit up in full patriotic red, white, and blue colored lights - the Promenade's Facebook page has some great photos that really showcase the lighting system and how great the set-up looks.

We watched the fireworks from the Promenade - check out those lights! Very patriotic!

(This photo is from the Riverside Drive Promenade Facebook page - check it out for more great photos!)

In addition to the Promenade, there has been recent discussions about other elements that could be featured along the riverfront as well. As noted in this Daily Herald article, ideas range from popcorn stalls and ice cream carts to street performers and buskers, and even food carts operated by existing downtown restaurants. 

The Tower Building

The Elgin Tower Building
In less positive news, the fate of the beleaguered Tower Building is still murky following the May 11 fire.

The fire had been purposefully set in one of the building's elevator cars, and burned for about fifteen minutes. A Courier News article reports that "Fire Chief John Fahy said the flames were “rolling” enough that the lobby ceiling sustained fire damage. No one was inside the building at the time of the blaze." At this time, a 58-year-old man,Tommy McBurney, who is homeless, has been charged, according to the Daily Herald.

Following the fire, the Tower Building was condemned, forcing the three tenants to move out. According to a recent Daily Herald article, "In order to reopen, the lobby and the elevators must undergo repairs and pass an inspection."

There is a pending contract to sell the building to Wisconsin-based Gorman & Co., but the Tower Building's fate is still up in the air for now. Hopefully, the historic building will make it through this tough situation.

This is the view of the Tower Building from outside the shop - you can see it's been cordoned off for safety. Hopefully things will be better soon...