Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Art Festival Surprise

My brother was in town from St. Louis this past weekend. Jeff and I spent most of our weekend with my brother and my parents, visiting and catching up. I don't get to see my brother nearly enough and it was wonderful to spend some good quality time with him. We had dinner with them on Friday and Saturday. On Sunday we caravaned down to Kansas City with my brother to watch the St. Louis Cardinals take on the Royals. The stadium was 60% red at the game. No one can ever say that Cards fans don't travel well.

On Saturday though, Jeff and I started the morning with an indulgence. We picked up cupcakes from a cute little place in Valley Junction, the historic shopping district in West Des Moines. With cupcakes like Peanut Butter Double Chocolate and Fizzy Mai Tai it was tough to pick just one. I ended up with a raspberry cupcake with a lemonade based frosting that was incredible. We ate out on the covered patio while watching the rain come down.

In the afternoon, the rain cleared up. The boys (my dad, my brother, and Jeff) went out golfing. My mom and I headed downtown to check out the Art Festival. Each year the Des Moines Art Festival includes some really fantastic artists, some good food, and a wonderful atmosphere. It takes place in the downtown sculpture garden so if you're not checking out the art, you can walk through some very unique sculptures.

As we were walking through, my mother found a woman who creates butterflies out of paper. They look incredibly realistic. We had to peer really close to the glass before we could tell that they weren't real butterflies and were just made out of paper. The artist even sticks each sculpture with a pin to make it more realistic. Since my mother collects butterflies (real ones) she bought a small Blue Morph Butterfly sculpture to hang next to the real one she has at home.

Then we walked past a mixed media artist that had my attention. She had a number of painting which were lovely but it was the journals that caught my eye. Gena Ollendieck (from Cresco, IA) creates wonderful pictures, leather bound journals, and photo-albums that are covered with found objects that tell a story or evoke a mood. Here's some information about her. Her pieces are unique and each one is lovely. I found at least six or seven journals alone that I would love to own. I was oohing and ahhing to my mother about one of the journals when she declared that she would buy it for me. I argued with her, a bit. They were not cheap journals. But she kept telling me how beautiful they were and how wonderful it was to support artists, something I believed as well. I have to admit that I only half-heartedly argued. This was one of the most beautiful journals I'd ever seen. And when the artist wrapped the journal in brown paper and handed it to me, I couldn't stop holding it. I brought it home and showed everyone there. It's now sitting on a table in my library. I'm not sure if I'll write in it or use it as a photo-album. I do know that I feel incredibly lucky to have such a beautiful piece of art. Thanks Mom!

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