Special Announcement

My dearest Friends,

It is with the heaviest heart that I inform you of the closing of Creative Wings Art Shoppe at the end of September, 2020. This decision was not made lightly, as you can well imagine. The pandemic that has struck us all has done a number not only to our little shoppe, but to my life at home – and it is time for me to help my family in a way that keeping the shoppe open will not offer me. So a very tough decision had to be made.

When Laura and I opened our doors on November 1, 2016 – it was our dream to create a safe, inspiring place where creative souls could gather to make art. And our dream came true. Since the day we opened, 4,384 experiences have done just that – brought creative souls together and provided a safe place where art could be made. When Laura passed, I wasn’t sure how to keep going. ALL of YOU got me through that time. Your strength, your love, your support, your friendship. And I will forever be grateful to each and every one of you for being a part of my journey in this world. Truly.

Our August classes are still being held as planned, so if you have already signed up for something – YAY! We are going to go out with a BANG, for sure. In the month of September, we will be holding weekend sales in the Shoppe where we will be selling EVERYTHING!! (That cute red couch – it can be YOURS! Need an extra chair or a table – I got them! How about a book shelf? I have some of those, too! Want some really reasonable mixed media supplies – I am your girl!!) The Goal will be to spread as much Creative Wings CHEER as we can, so the spirit in which we started our little shoppe can continue to live on with all of you!! We will have packets of vintage sheet music, bags of buttons, ribbons, scrap packs, kits, and even MORE original art to sell. EVERYTHING must go. So please look out for those dates and times of Closing Sales. I will be sharing information with you about them right here on Facebook, and on our website, too.

Friends, please know that I am really ok. I know that we created something amazing at Creative Wings Art Shoppe, and I am so proud of it. We made our dreams come true!!! Who can really say that? I hear my sister’s voice telling me “it is time”. She is with me through this whole process. Do not worry or feel sorry for me. Know that I am going out with a HUGE BANG and am celebrating this time. So, please . . . . CELEBRATE with me. It has been amazing! All of it.

I am going to be off the first week in August, spending some much needed time with my family. Unplugging and focusing. Breathing and BEing. When I return, we will have some amazing last classes in the Shoppe . . . then prepare for closing. I am most grateful to my amazing landlords and building owners (Chris & Ron) who became family through our 4 years here. Their support has been greater than you could even imagine, and I have been blessed. And to my tribe (you know who you are) . . . . I love each and every one of you and can’t wait to continue making art with you in one way or another.

Be well, friends. Keep making art. Keeping sharing joy. And thank you, for being a part of this amazing story. Will be back next week!

Owner, Creative Wings Art Shoppe

We’ve ALMOST made it!

Oh, friends . . . can you believe the past two months?

On Monday, March 16, we held our last class at the shoppe. It was our Journaling Warriors night – and while a lot of our friends had begun social distancing – we had a very small group that joined us for art journaling that night.

I feel like that was about 100 years ago. Had I known it would be over 2 months until I would see everyone again, I would have honestly held on tighter during those good bye hugs.

But here we are, friends . . . I feel like we made it. Almost.

How are you, friends?

I threw myself into making”Covid Doodles” Videos on our facebook page, and shared them throughout this quarantine time. They became my sort of daily art therapy and a creative way to record what I was feeling (both the good and the bad thoughts, I guess . . . lol). I also opened an Etsy shop (selling prints of the doodles, some project kits and handmade journals) to help bring in some funds and help keep things going. The support from all of you has been amazing, and I will never forget the generosity and I received while we all were in quarantine. You are my heros!

I think the best part of this time for me, though, has been the opportunity to just STOP and BE. I have felt burned out for quite a while, if truth be told (probably since my sister passed), and this time has been invaluable.

And now, we are getting ready to open our doors and make art again. And I am ready, dear friends. Ready to welcome you all and ready to laugh. Ready to hear your stories of survival. Ready to reflect. Ready to sit and make art during those quiet moments. Ready to fly.

Who’s with me ?

Much love, and see you all soon.

xoxo – Leanne

A Pretty Awesome Year . . . so far

Sometimes in the midst of running the shoppe (planning classes, making samples, running private parties, ordering retail and supplies, developing retreats, paying bills, sweeping floors, laughing and loving and living a creative life), I forget about this little ol’blog on our website. (Uh-Oh!) 

I am constantly moved deeply by the awesome people who come into our shoppe. I am touched by the friendships I have made, and the friendships I see being created within our walls. I am in awe of the trust so many people have when coming to a class – people who walk in not knowing a thing about art or what they have ahead of them, and leaving proudly with their heads held high and their awesome art piece in hand.  

Most importantly, I am proud of what we have done in 2019. Those who know the story of Creative Wings Art Shoppe know that this year has been one of healing. When I look back, I think we have done an amazing job – together – towards healing. And I am forever grateful to each of you for being here. 

2019 . . . you’ve been pretty good to us, so far (and we are not done yet!) 



An Art Journaling Retrospect


    There is something absolutely beautiful that happens when you make art. It’s like you get pulled into some alternate universe, and nothing around you matters. At least, that is what happens to me. I feel it . . . internally . . . the moment when I am checking out from where I am and who I am with, and am about to get lost in the canvas, the journal, the paper – whatever it is. Sometimes I do not come “out” from that fog until the project is complete. Only then do I stop and look around and think to myself, “Oh – I’m back.” Like a Dr. Who episode, or something like that. 

    (Side note to myself: I need to create a Dr. Who art piece. Side note to the reader: many of you ask how I come up with my classes – this is exactly it. In the middle of one thing, like this blog post, an art piece will come to mind, and then before I know it – I am creating it. The mind is a terrible thing to waste, so I take that inspiration wherever and whenever I can take it.) 


    I often wonder what I look like when I am in that zone – is my tongue hanging out? do I drool? look dazed and totally confused? I wonder. (And I hope not . . . but I would not be surprised.) It is when I am Art journaling that I am most pulled into that alternate place – where I can truly lose myself in creative thought, and spend hour after hour creating art. 


    What is Art Journaling? Simply put, Art Journaling is a visual diary – it’s record keeping combined with creativity. It’s a place to record your thoughts, memories, and emotions through images, art and words. It allows us to record, through art, a specific time or feeling in our life. I often say it is either something you get, or something you don’t (and it is OK if you don’t get it – I swear!) But if you do get it – it is something magical.


    I spent some time this past week going through some old art journals- and got lost in pages of works I created long ago – works I had long forgotten.  Some of them were created 3 years ago, some 5 or older. It was amazing to see how much life has changed since then. 


When I look back at these journals, I am immediately pulled back to a particular place and time in my life. Each page tells a story.


    What I also love about this form of art – is that these journals are for me (and for whoever I want to share them with). Often we hang our finished art pieces on our walls for all to enjoy – but in Art Journaling, these journals and pages and thoughts can be just for the creator. I like that. These are created by me, for me. It also takes the pressure off of me – and that feeling that everything, every page, has to be perfect. When I know that I am creating for myself – it is ok if I am not 100% happy with it. Looking back at the growth from journal to journal is exciting, too. I can see how my work, my style, my life has changed. All from an art journal. 


    We have a number of Art Journaling classes and opportunties here at the Creative Wings Art Shoppe. If you are interested in any of them, please join us. Call the shoppe for more information (815-905-3068). 

  • Women Warriors Art Journaling Group – Monday Evenings from 6:30PM to 8:30PM – usually the 2nd and 4th Monday of the Month
  • Bible Journaling – Monday Evenings from 6PM to 8PM – usually the 3rd Monday of the month
  • Open Art Nights – schedule varies month to month – but is a great opportunity to art journal – check the calendar for the next gathering

    If you’d like to talk art or art journaling, I am here. And I thank you, dear friends, for being here, too. 



Sisterhood & Art Retreat 2019

Sisterhood and artOh, dear friends, we have something SO REMARKABLE planned for our FIRST EVER “SISTERHOOD & ART” RETREAT here at Creative Wings Art Shoppe, that just typing this has me beaming with excitement!! I want you to know that it has been a long time dream of mine to offer a retreat in our shoppe – a whole day of art and inspiration and creativity and friendship. The idea just fills my soul with joy! 

We have three wonderful ART projects planned, and a few other surprises that will surely make this day a rewarding and enriching experience for us all.  Breakfast and Lunch are included in your Retreat fee, along with all supplies and materials for all of the art projects. AND . . . (drum roll) . . . an AWESOME “Happy Bag” of GIFTS from us (Creative Wings Art Shoppe) and local businesses. We’re talking – GIFTS (inspiring and awesome and delicious . . . yes, there maybe sweets inside, as well) with a retail value of $100!! (I am not kidding!)

Here is the timeframe and agenda for the day: WELCOME LETTER-page-001A little more info on our plans for the day: 

First, after a light breakfast of fruit and bagels (perhaps a sweet roll or two), we will start the retreat by making our very own “Sisterhood Crown!” Whether it is a mermaid crown, a creative crown, a “divine secrets of the Yaya sisterhood” crown . . . whatever your idea or wish is, we will have a variety of materials available for you (and by “variety” . . . I mean a HUGE amount!!) I will be making my crown within the next week and will share photos as soon as I am finished. 

After our crowns, we will take a little bit of a break from the art to fill our bodies and minds with all things good. We’ll have lunch and a brief motivation chat, then be lead through Guided Meditiation and a wonderful Energy Clearing experience with our dear shoppe friend Amanda Clark Reed, owner of White Light Project (a wonderful Lockport business, too!) We are so grateful and blessed to have Amanda spend some time with us this afternoon – and I know you will feel such a sense of calmness and peace during this reflective time. It will be perfect to prepare us for the next project . . . 

. . . which is, our second project.  A deck of 25 Affirmation Cards. Our Affirmation cards will be made from heavy stock paper that we will decorate with positive thoughts, images, and art and can be used daily (or whenever you want) and help bring a little positivity to your life. Each attendee will receive a personalized kit for their cards . . . in addition to a wide variety of unique and creative materials to create the cards. Affirmation cards can pull you out of a funk, inspire and instill a sense of joy in your day. I truly believe you will LOVE this project.

Our third project is a really cool “Self-Love” block with a photo of each attendee (1/2 of your face, black & White only) surrounded by positive words. With a cool mixed media technique, we will end our day with this really awesome art of US to help us reflect on our experience and celebrate the amazing person that we are. 

The price for the retreat is $175. *

The retreat price covers your breakfast and lunch, beverages (coffee, tea, juice, water) and snacks throughout the day, all art supplies and guided instructions for all three art projects discussed, a guided meditation and energy clearing experience, and a “Happy Bag” of awesome and inspiring gifts.

*$175 Retreat Fee is due at the time of registration. Reservation for the retreat is non-refundable. If you are unable to attend your spot can be transferred to a friend or bought by another student on the waiting list. Limited seating is available. 

Call 815-905-3068 with ANY QUESTIONS or to register for this amazing experience!

Women Warriors Art Journaling


Start by listening to your spirit . . .

I love that statement.

I love everything about it.

How do you begin something new? A new hobby or activity in your life? You start . . . by listening to your spirit.

We are starting a new Art Journaling Group in the shoppe this week, friends. We are calling it “Women Warriors Art Journaling”, and I am so extremely excited for it. Art Journaling is a wonderful creative process combining written words with visual art and gathering those things in a journal or sketchbook. What I love most about the idea of Art Journaling is that it really is a process and way of making art that YOU control. You can share (or not share) your pages with whomever you wish. It is a free form of creating that really is just for you. Because I often find myself making art for others, I like the idea of art journaling strictly for myself.

Here is our plan for our Women Warriors Journaling Group: Each time we gather, you will receive a “packet” of goodies following the theme of Women Warriors. (Images, words, quotes, papers, ribbons, stickers, embellishments, etc..) that you can use for making a few art journaling pages – all following in the theme of strong, powerful Women Warriors. We will be celebrating and recognizing women from ALL different walks of life. Political, religious, entertainment, or none of the above. We wish to recognize ALL WOMEN for who they are and what they do (or have done) in their lives.

When you join us for a class, we’ll chat a bit about that sessions packet, I will share MY pages made with the images and items, and then you can feel free to start working on your journaling pages. We will have lots of variety of supplies and goodies on the table to use in our journals. If you are stuck, talk to others around you. We will share ideas, techniques, and inspiration. This is your time to sit with like minded creative souls and do something for your creative spirit. Let us build each other up, my friends.

Be the woman who fixes another woman’s crown without telling the world that it was crooked.

If you are interested in joining our group, call us to get on the list for each session . . . and join us! Right now, class is $25 for each session. If we increase gathering to twice a month, I will adjust the pricing to make it more affordable for you.

I am looking forward to this so very much, friends.

See you then!

Our Little Shoppe


I just love this place, the minute I walked in . . . it felt like that movie. What was that Meg Ryan movie from the 90’s? With the little shop?” she asked. 

“You’ve Got Mail,” I answered. 

“Yes!!” she exclaimed, “and what was the name of her shop in the movie?” 

“The Shop Around the Corner” I said. 

“Yes!!” she agreed, “that is EXACTLY what this shop feels like to me. I just love it!” 

It was our last class of 2018, a birthday party for a young artist named Mia and her friends – and this was the conversation I had with Mia’s Mom, Lisa, when she arrived to the shoppe that evening.

Our co-owner (and my sister), Laura, had passed away 10 days before. My heart was struggling to be in the shoppe and conduct class that evening, but I didn’t have the heart to cancel on Mia and her friends – so I came in and gave it my best shot. The party was a success and each of the girls who attended did a great job on their projects. I was so glad that I kept the party as scheduled. I needed it. 

Not only because of Mia . . .  but for that conversation with Lisa. 

You’ve Got Mail is a long time favorite movie of my sister and mine. It was always my wish to make our little Creative Wings Art Shoppe as magical as “The Shop Around the Corner.” How incredible for Lisa to mention that specific movie to me on that very night – the night I needed to hear it most. 

After locking up that night, I stood outside for a while and just looked at what Laura and I created. My heart hurts deeply for the passing of my sister, but is warmed by the joy that our little shoppe has brought to all of those who pass by. I took this photo with lights twinkling and glowing, so I would never forget the magic within the walls of 1011 South State Street. 

Lisa, if you are reading this . . . thank you for saying that to me. You have no idea how badly I needed to hear that. I am so incredibly grateful to you for hanging in with me that night. 

And to all other friends of ours, thank you for your love and support of our little shoppe. Laura and I are forever blessed to have you in our lives. 

Sister, thank you for believing in us. And for jumping with me. 





Things are just booming over here in the shoppe, friends. TODAY we are celebrating our 2nd Anniversary at Creative Wings Art Shoppe! (Can you believe it?) The year has FLOWN by, and we are so incredibly grateful to all of you for being a part of this journey with us. 

But there is NO TIME to celebrate . . . for we are up to our elbows in Holiday Open House preparations!!! We are creating and making and cataloging and decking the halls with boughs of holly . . . and all that good stuff! Join us on Saturday, November 17th, for our Annual Holiday Open House, friends. We would love to see you here! 

Holiday Open House 2018 Invite

We’ll share more photos of some of the awesome retails items we will be selling in the coming days. Until then – we hope you are enjoying some of this wonderful Fall season, and of course . . . we hope you are making LOTS of ART during your days! 


The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Oh, friends . . . . I love FALL!!! and WINTER!!

(There, I said it . . . I love WINTER, too!)

We are about to enter my absolute favorite time of the year – with Pumpkin spice and everything nice, sweater weather, Halloween and Thanksgiving . . . and then CHRISTMAS!!! (Oh, I can hardly stand it!!) The ART is just FLYING in the shoppe, as well! We can’t even begin to tell you how excited we are for the awesome projects we have coming up. We hope that you will allow yourself sometime to create this Fall – there is nothing better than spending some time with friends doing something to fill your creative soul. If you can’t spend time with us here, consider doing something somewhere that allows you time to create.

Much love, dear friends. Thanks for being a part of our creative stories!


Encourage their he-ARTs!

1 kids blog postOh, friends . . . We just finished up an awesome summer of our Creative Wings 2018 Summer Craft Camp for kids – six awesome sessions of creative projects from collaging, painting, basket making, journal making, and block painting. We had a great group of  kids again this year, and are so grateful to have had them with us creating this summer. (Thanks to all who joined us!!)

Following the session, I received a message from one of the moms sharing how much her daughter enjoyed the classes, and how her daughter has started drawing more often at home. This mom asked if I had any tips on how to keep her daughters artistic momentum going . . . and that made me SO EXCITED!!! Always one to “art talk”, I thought I would share some of my ideas for encouraging our kids in ART here on our blog: 

  • One of the biggest things we can do in continuing their momentum in art – is to continue making their experiences SPECIAL.
  • Exposing kids to art materials is another great way to encourage their interests.  Giving them access to different supplies, and allowing them time to FREELY create (no matter what their final projects look like) is huge. They do not have to be a prodigy. Let them explore and create on their own. Michael’s Stores has a wonderful, relatively inexpensive line of art materials called “Artist Loft®”. From paints, brushes, sketchbooks and colored pencils, you can pick up a variety of things for your young artist to begin using – without breaking the bank.
  • After a little bit of time, take them on a field trip to a “REAL” Art Store – like Blick (www.dickblick.com). Michael’s is awesome for nearby shopping. But to make it really ‘special’, tell them you want to take them somewhere “professional artists” or “real artists” shop. Pick up something for them there – maybe a higher quality sketchbook or pencils. Nothing too expensive, again. But exposing him/her to a new store with art materials is super exciting.
  • Along the field trip lines – be sure to bring your young artist to The Art Institute of Chicago. (Oh, we are SO lucky to have this museum in our city!!) Take them on a little tour to see some classic works. Ask them questions along the visit – What do they think the artist was painting? What is the setting of the subject of work? What colors do they like in the particular piece? How does the painting or art piece make them feel? Letting them look, feel, and express what they see in art is a wonderful habit to start. It will teach them that art MOVES us. What a wonderful thing to learn!! 
  • YouTube it! I must start by saying – I am not a huge viewer of YouTube. However, there is a WEALTH of information at our fingertips – and it CAN be used to strengthen and keep that momentum going for our kids! There are SO MANY videos about ART online – from actual instructional videos to art eduction. I love to tell people that when I was a child (long before the YouTube age), I would sit and watch artist William Alexander every single Saturday on Channel 11, our local PBS station. With a lined notebook and a box of crayons, I followed along what he did with oil paints and tried to reproduce his work in my notebook. Set time every week for your child to practice their craft. Make it “ART TIME” in your home. 
  • That being said . . . make time for them to “ART”. When your child has that art bug (and you will know it when you see it), allow them time to nurture it. Our kids are often involved in SO much – that leaves them with little time to Create. It really doesn’t come naturally . . . although many people think that it does. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Van Gogh was said to produce more than 2,000 works of art in his 10 year career, and there are over 2,500 paintings and drawings attributed to Claude Monet.  An artist friend shared this on Facebook a while ago, and I think it is a brilliant . . . (Thank you, artist Sarah Anderson, for pointing out that PRACTICE is really what it is all about.)

comic strip

That is about it, dear friends. My “2 cents worth” about keeping the art momentum going for our kids. 🙂 We are so grateful at Creative Wings Art Shoppe for being able to do a small part in sharing art with so many great young artists (and ADULT artists, too)! If you have any questions or want to talk more about this subject, feel free to reach out via email or by calling the shoppe. Or . . . stop by and see us. SHARING ART is our joy, and enhancing lives through inspiration and creativity in our shoppe is our mission!

Thanks for being a part of our dreams! 



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