5 Things I Love – Aug 8

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. Nintendo Cartridge Clocks

Nostalgia meets utility in these re-purposed bits of childhood memories. Of course, choosing your game may be as difficult as beating that final level was back when Nintendo was the latest and greatest in technology ;)

2. Sara Bareilles Kaleidoscope Heart

I may have mentioned ‘King of Anything’ in a previous post, but really I love the whole album. It’s got a great jazzy feel and lyrics that surprise you from time to time. I enjoy the inclusion of songs that are just bit different like ‘Not Alone’ with it’s darker, more bluesy tone.

3. Raspberry Pretzel Cheesecake Fudge

Yes, this oh so succulent item does exist. I came across it while at Cabelas this past weekend and one bite had me hooked. I don’t know who thought of it, but the layers of raspberry syrup, salty pretzels and cheesecake fudge are scrumptious.

4. Porcelain Berry Basket

I suppose it only makes sense with my love of fresh food from the farmer’s market that I would have an affinity for these basket/dishes. They’re simple, fun, functional and the artist makes them in several glazes for those who may want something a little off from white.

5. Chick-fil-a

Considering that this was listed among my top want-to-dos for my fam’s trip down to Pennsylvania this past weekend, it just seemed wrong not to include Chick-fil-a on the list today. We don’t have any in Michigan, but my friends got my hooked in college and now it’s only rarely (usually on trips to visit my brother) that I get the opportunity to enjoy one of their original chicken sandwiches, waffles fries and a sweet carrot & raisin salad.

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Four Michigan Artists Exhibit at SAC

At some point during my time here in Owosso I ended up on the email list for the Shiawassee Arts Center, which means that periodically I receive invites to opening receptions to their current show. I enjoy art exhibits and it is literally just across the river from me, so I try and make opening receptions as often as I’m able.

Tonight was one of those nights. Now, in the past I’ve never written on here about any of them. I really never thought to, but as I was walking back over the bridge sipping my punch I couldn’t help but think how much I enjoyed this particular show and, that being the case, I really should say something about it.

As you may have caught with the post title, the current show features the work of four pretty local Michigan artists including Rosita Gendernalick, David Giordan, Karan Pinkston and David Raber.

The first artist whose work I encountered was David Raber whose pieces are a mixture of hand-cut paper and painting. They were actually much more intricate than I might have expected reading a description such as the one I just wrote and with the religious/saint oriented theme put me in mind of the icons of the early Byzantine church. Apparently he calls them icons too, so we’re on the same page. Of course, it was also obvious to me that memorizing the saints had not been a part of my religious education. Most of them I recognized as big players but there were a few I had no familiarity with.

In the same room as Raber were the ceramic craftings of Rosita Gendernalik. They were actually spread throughout the exhibit. That just happened to be the first room I saw them in. Her pieces are a type of pottery known as petal pots. Instead of being thrown on a wheel as would be expected of pottery they are made by assembling by hand many, many little petals of clay. They’re quite detailed. Her little bugs are fabulous.

Next, I headed over to the other side where the hour-devours were and there found Karan Pinkston’s work. She paints in a variety of formats, but the pieces I enjoyed most were all done in oil including a great pair of NFS pieces featuring a jaguar and an ocelot. I don’t blame her for wanting to keep them for herself.

The last artist whose work I saw was actually the one who made me get on here and write about the show. I enjoyed the others, but David Giordan’s watercolors are amazing. From afar I thought they were photographs instead of paintings. Oftentimes when I go to an exhibit and see flowers or a botanical theme there is a part of me that goes ‘It’s pretty. I like flowers, but give me something more’. That is not to say that I haven’t photographed my fair share of plants, but it takes a lot to stand out with that material. Girodan does that. He also knows his flowers and it shows.

So, if you happen to be in the area at all now through the end of July and enjoy art I encourage you to stop in and see the show. The Shiawassee Arts Center is located at 206 Curwood Castle Drive in Owosso and is open Tuesday through Sunday, 1-5pm. For more information click the postcard below.

5 Things I Love – May 30

image for weekly list of five things I'm currently loving in life, music, art, etc.

1. Our Armed Forces

It may come off as sappy to have this on a post entitled ‘5 Things I Love’, but I come from a long line of servicemen and women who sacrificed for or freedom. The purpose of Memorial Day tends to get lost in the celebration of a three day weekend leading into summer that it has become, but we only have that freedom because of those who came before us willing to stand up and fight for that. We’re only keeping it because of those who are still doing that today, so the next time you see one of these men or women – a veteran or someone currently serving – take the opportunity to thank them for the time they have dedicated to protecting and preserving our country and our freedom.

2. Katsushika Hokusai

Outside of a very small number of you, this name probably doesn’t mean much, but I’m pretty sure you’ve seen this Japanese artist’s most famous print at least once in your life. That would be the The Great Wave off Kanagawa or that tidal wave woodblock print that seems to pop up all over the place. If you’ve any fondness this style I would recommend going and checking him out :)

3. Bora Bora Wild Pomegranate Pecan Bars

I realized while researching this that it seems I’ve almost always got some sort of new food I love and this week is not different. All natural, organic, full of flavor and wonderfully moist I could several in one sitting easily. Also, much to my personal happiness, they actually list potassium on the label. Friends will back up that I’ve been on a whole ‘why isn’t potassium ever listed on the label’ kick since I started using Calorie Counter, so this is beautamous (as well as being very, very tasty).

4. Apples to Apples

I was very first introduced to this game at an SAI lock-in in college and to this day it remains a favorite of mine at group gatherings, like the Memorial Day party today. Not only is it fun and good for larger groups of people, but you learn a lot about the other players through their choices as well.

5. Jonah Lehrer’s ‘How We Decide’

I have not yet had the opportunity to read his book, but while studying up on the psychology of decision making for our May design workshop I came across this recording of him speaking to the Commonwealth Club and it’s a great talk. He’s also got an interesting variety of articles on Wired.

Adventures at Arts, Beats & Eats

This past Monday my mum and I trekked down to Royal Oak to partake of Arts, Beats and Eats. For those who are unfamiliar, its an annual festival that brings in concerts, restaurants and artists both from the local area and other parts of the United States.

This is actually the first year that the festival has been held in Royal Oak. Previous it’s been in Pontiac, so the flavor was a bit different this year from when we went last year.

We chose to attend on Monday for a variety of reasons, the largest being that we were otherwise occupied on Saturday and Sunday, but we also wanted to catch the Kansas concert. It really ended up working out in our favor, because while it was crowded on Monday it was nothing compared to the crowds earlier in the weekend.

Now, I’ve read a lot of complaints about the crowds and the parking and such, but I guess my mum and I tend to expect such things and view it all as an adventure. It also was a bit dreary Monday deterring some and we employ such techniques as walking behind the stalls on the sidewalk to skip large sections of crowd which definitely helps.

People waiting for food at Arts, Beats and Eats

I’m not going to say the crowds weren’t bad at points, but what I found more frustrating than the crowds were actually the stroller jams. I know I don’t have any kids of my own, but I’ve worked with them in one form or another for a good portion of my life and a festival like this is not the place to bring your two year old. There was a kids area, but it really was set up more for older children who can greatly benefit from being exposed to all of the different art, music and culture.

Back to us, Mum and I decided to park at the high school because it was $5 cheaper and a whole lot less crazy than trying to park in town. Much to my delight, the shuttle service was being run by Indian Trails which is actually based about 5 minutes from my apartment so I was also supporting my peeps parking there. It was also great because they dropped and picked us up at the gate.

We found the stage we sought with only one stop for directions and, being a bit early, jaunted off again in search of liquid refreshment. We didn’t really want to spend our food tickets on water, so we were quite pleased to find a little ice cream shop with a vending machine. I’m certain they made a killing last weekend from folks like us.Kansas live performance at Arts, Beats and Eats

When we arrived back for the concert the area was packed with people. I grew up listening to Kansas, but I find it’s always interesting to hear bands I grew up on now that I’m an adult. I know their hits, of course, and we actually heard them perform ‘Dust in the Wind’ but I never realized they had as much instrumental music as they performed. Not that I minded. I’m a bit of a fangirl when it comes to electric violins and one of their guys was definitely rocking his out.

We listened for the better part of their set, slowly working our way back into the less compact crowd before decided to make our way over to the art section of the festival. We’re both fascinated to see what types of artists are there, especially being a juried show. Some of the artists we love, others, well, we’re just not their audience.

Last year when we attended we were introduced to the artwork of Laura Lee Junge, who is now located at the Jackson Junge Gallery in Chicago and we were quite excited to find them at Arts, Beats and Eats once more. Her work is full of whimsy and bright, beautiful color.

While Angels Sleep by L Lee Junge

This year I gave into temptation and purchased a small version of While Angels Sleep, Your Love Shall Keep to add to my home collection of as yet un-hung artwork. I almost purchased Out of the Sounds of Silence He Summons the Symphony but there is such glorious detail in it I’m going to save up to buy a larger print. What I really want is the $500 large framed copy that they had at the festival, but it’s a little out of my price range at the moment.

In a lovely bit of happenstance, we ran into Gwen – my sister from another mother – and her husband wandering an art cul-de-sac. They had to depart for evening plans so we couldn’t talk long, but it was a fun and unexpected occurrence. Now, some of my friends are shaking their heads reading this and saying that I’m always running into people I know, but that didn’t make it any less wonderful when it happens.

As for the eats, that was our last stop. After much perusal we settled on farm cheese pierogis and fried pickles. I know it’s an odd combination, but I love pierogis and mum’s been wanting to try fried pickles for awhile. Both were excellent. Just thinking about them makes my mouth water.

Cafe Muse grilled cheese is a must go back and try

Last year we hit the festival and then left, but this year our explorations expanded to the stores that had stayed open in the midst of festivities. A pair of shoes and purse wishlist later, we decided that we’d have to come back and shop Royal Oak again, which is really what they hope to get out of such events.

My friend Becks over at Detroit Moxie posed the question of whether or not people thought the festival was a success at its new location and while I can’t speak for the festival as a whole, for us it was great day. There are definitely kinks that need to be worked out before next year’s festival, but overall we had fun and came out with a list of restaurants we want to try out, stores we wish to shop at and a gallery we really want to visit.