Artprize 2014

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Artprize 2014

Our amazing little big city of Grand Rapids, Michigan plays host to Artprize every year for the last 5 years. It’s open for 19 days and covers the downtown area with art from around the world. If you’re interested in more facts than that check out http://www.artprize.org because that’s about all the facts you’ll be getting from me, all I know is that I love it. I’ve been down to check it out twice and I’m heading back tomorrow night as well.

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To all my out of state friends living in fun, new and exciting cities feel free to live vicariously through me.

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These are raindrops carved out of wood. You can see the wood drops ‘falling’ in the image on the right, and the left is a close up of the spash. This one is a serious contender as my favorite because of the amazing detail.

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(Sorry for the glare) this drawing is done completely in pencil.

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He was big and muscly and I’m sure he had something important he represented, but not my favorite.

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How many garage sales must one shop to acquire this many clocks…?

(sidebar: I swear this guy was trying to block my shot, I moved like 8 times and he was the only person blocking me in every pic)

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These fierce little knights are also in my top picks. (I named the dragon Trogdor, “burnanating all the people“)

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This piece is by Carole Roeda, who makes the magnetic photo frames and has a studio in Breton Village. It was playing the most calming music.

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WAR, Women At Risk International http://www.warinternational.org, aimed to raise attention and funds to combat human trafficking. Incredible stories thoughout the piece, this is just one small part of a trucking container you walked though filled with battered doors that told the stories of too many women and children sold into sex slavery.

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This is a huge photograph from a man who traveled to Iraq and followed this group of soldiers through 3 months of their deployment. One of the most moving pictures was a soldier seeing his child born via skype. I cannot even imagine.

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These bottom two pictures are from a series at the Grand Rapids Art Museum called Shattered. They are made with a hot glue gun. Talk about up-ing my Halloween decor this year.

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Also felt like being in a Halloween fun house, a very pretty one.

I love everything about Artprize, mostly seeing people travel into Grand Rapids as a destination! Because I love this city and its good to see others fall in love with her too. If I were pressed to pick a favorite, and I am because you can only vote for one more day, I am torn between the silverware knights and wooden raindrops for no other reason than they make me happy.

Which is your favorite entry?

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24 Hours in Chicago

Chicago Bike

I spent a glorious 24 hours in Chicago last week, kid free and husband free. Just me and my tour guide Kate, who happens to also be by sister in law. I was in Chicago Thursday night for a Stella & Dot party I was doing for one of the most amazing women I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, Randi if you read this, you are awesome 🙂

I spent the night at Kate’s and then we got to explore all day Friday before both of us heading back to Grand Rapids, MI.

Woke up and headed out to do real city girl work, ie using our computers at a coffee shop. (not prostituting, just to be clear)

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Kate took me to the Blue Door Farmstand http://www.bluedoorfarmstand.com, I highly recommend finding this place. The atmosphere is cozy and friendly, and the food is delicious. Kate and I both had the Sunrise BLT, it was served with greens and I have to say I’ve never had a salad for breakfast, but it was awesome. If you’ve ever had Garlic Expressions salad dressing (which is all we eat in our house) the Blue Door’s homemade salad dressing tastes amazingly similar! photo 1 (2)

I blogged, Kate actually worked, and we were just a super impressive power couple in the corner booth.

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After we finished up the necessities of the day and were well amp-ed up on coffee, we rented some bikes and headed down to the lake shore. I’m pretty sure I had permagrin all day from our touristy adventures. We took our bikes to the Magnificent Mile and hit up the American Girl store to bring home some goodies for my girls. We walked down to TJMaxx, because lets be serious, its my favorite and the Chicago store did not disappoint.

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so sparkly.

Our final stop in our day was Eataly http://www.eataly.com

An Italian market, like I’ve never seen before, probably because I’ve never been to Italy…regardless, it was beautiful. Every backdrop is white, and all the food jumps right out at you. We grabbed a cappuccino and walked around, I started drooling when I saw the Nutella bar.

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I was a good girl and just kept walking, but I was insanely jealous of the people enjoying their grilled croissants covered in nutella.

Then there was the desert case…

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I decided it was time to try out a new floor.

Upstairs were people sitting a little cafe tables, or standing a tall tables eating a variety of foods and drinking wine and beer. I saw quite a few delicious looking meat and cheese trays go by.

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Hanging cheese might be my new favorite thing.

There was a fish cooler, one for meat, one for pasta, and olives had their very own counter as well.

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The quarter of the second floor was wine, there was a market for fresh produce, and they were even brewing beer.

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Kate and I bought some jars of sauce, noodles, a sandwich to share, and I found Brandon, the hot sauce connoisseur, a new bottle to try.

We carted all our belongings to the ‘L’ and rode back to Kate’s apartment.

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Like I said, it was honestly a perfect 24 hours. Thank you Kate for showing me how awesome your city is and being super touristy with me. I loved every second.

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Kate the tour guide