Further travels of a born-again tourist…

When my brother told me we were going to the Sawdust Festival this past Thursday I thought he said the Sausage Festval and I wasn’t quite sure how to respond.  Fortunately, I misheard my brother and making a decision about whether I wanted to spend a couple of hours celebrating sausages became moot.

The Sawdust Festival is a high-end juried arts and craft show only open to Laguna Beach artists.  The festival runs for about eight weeks during the summer and is built into the lovely area abutting the hills.  The grounds are covered with sawdust – hence the event’s title – and the whole aura of the festival is nature centric (see the no stepping in the flower bed sign below).  It really is a feast for the eyes – although maybe not so much for the pocketbook as we are talking more “art” than “crafts” and hello – it is situated in Laguna Beach, California where some folks have bathroom fixtures that cost more than what regular folks make in a year.

Which reminds me, I had forgotten that California generally, but Orange County more specifically, is the land of expensive and beautiful cars.  Nearly every other car here is a Mercedes, BMW, Lexus or Audi.  I found one outside the festival that I seriously coveted (see it below – is it not the cutest thing?).  Yes, I know – not gonna’ happen…at least not unless I get a sugar daddy and as my brother pointed out – at my age my sugar daddy would need to be about 90 or perhaps dug up (nothing like family to keep you grounded in reality).

The festival had a number of eye-catching booths, one of my favorite visually was the ceramic mushroom booth – it created an Alice in Wonderland type of feel. They also had what Narin and I termed the Mother Cougar who we felt a pacticular closeness to – cool, collected and ready to pounce should a delectable piece of prey come by.

I found two artists’ work that I really loved at the festival (two very different artists) – Karen Petty and Nikolai Erngren. I only have one photo of Karen’s work to share as it was this particular piece that mesmerized me.  Art has a way of speaking to you – Karen’s work spoke to me in a way that tapped into my feelings that we are all connected (which was, I believe, her goal).  Plus it had an organic, nature-intensive feel to it – absolutely beautiful. I love this piece of art (if and when I get that sugar daddy it will be mine).

Nikolai’s work is an exercise in whimsey and it caught my eye because it made me happy just to look at it. Nikolai’s website focuses more on his clocks and furniture pieces, but I was captured by his canvas work.  I so wanted the long canvas with the birds on the wire, but it was $750 (which I acknowledge was relatively inexpensive in the arena it was in) – after an internal dialogue I walked away without it.  Maybe if I can find a saccharin daddy (theoretically, a lower-level substitute for a sugar daddy) I will be able to live in a world populated by Nikolai’s magical creations.  Otherwise, I may be waiting awhile for Nikolai’s art to grace the walls of my home and office. I encourage you to check out Nikolai’s website – he is an interesting character – educated to the doctorate level with no art experience – but an obvious zest for life and expression that evidences the soul of an artist…an enigma to be sure.

Friday we spent the day at Newport Beach.  The day started a bit hazy, but burned off in mid-afternoon. We spent the afternoon chatting and people-watching.  It was wildly relaxing…until a @#!$%#^&!@! bee stung me on the thumb.  I sent my brother over to get the lifeguard to kiss my boo-boo, but oddly that is not a service they offer – can you imagine??  Now my thumb looks like something from a Macy’s parade float…I guess it could have been worse.  All the swelling did make me think though that one could get a temporary breast enlargement by putting a couple of irritated bees in their bra (whoever talked about bees in the bonnet had it all wrong – it’s bees in the bra).

When we got home from the beach we discovered that my brother’s dog Bear had some mad chewing skills and a penchant for my clippity-clop high-heel sandals…who knew?? So with one pair down for the count and another pair worse for the wear I was forced to go out and buy a new pair at Ross (and OMG are they cute!).

Friday eve we met up with my brother’s friend and colleague, Bill, and went out to a restaurant called The Mesa in Costa Mesa. Bill selected the restaurant because it was so unusual and indeed it was – I have never been in a restaurant like it. The decor was amazing and the roof was retractable.  In addition – the ambience, service and menu were out of this world – a great experience and I recommend it highly.  After dinner we went back to Bill’s house to have a drink.  His home, which was designed by architect Joseph Eichler, is unbelievable.

The home has an large open floor plan with the majority of the rooms separated by floor to ceiling glass.  That coupled with an open patio area at the front of the home and a nice floorplan layout, makes it anything but the average home. You have to live in California to live in an original Eichler, but if you are a fan of modern architechure and enjoy light in your living space I would investigate having an Eichler knock-off built.  As soon as I find my saccharin daddy I am going to have one of those Eichler knock-offs built in North Dakota and fill it with Nikolai’s art and maybe a few dozen more pairs of those clippety-clop high heel sandals from Ross. ;-)

Day three hundred and eighty-five of the new forty – obla di obla da

Ms. C

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About Ms. C

I teach at NDSU...but I remain a student of life with all the enthusiasm that entails. My favorite saying is, "Sometimes you have to take the leap and build your wings on the way down." In the new forty that is what I am doing...building my wings.
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One Response to Further travels of a born-again tourist…

  1. RonDee Kelly says:

    What a delightful surprise to come across your blog-mentioning my car! My husband is an artist (29th year 20130 at the Sawdust Art Festival (color film photographer). My Audi TT Roadster is a 2001 and was a gift when our youngest graduated from high school. (No more Mom Jeep!)
    I adore my car and I race it…Solo II Autocross. So it doesn’t only look pretty it moves well too. Enjoyed your blog…the two artists you mentioned are very good and have lovely work. The best to you…
    Cheers, RonDee

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