Saturday, April 18, 2009
ending up at "sisters"
My friend Deb from church offered to have Janie and Sam, along with Lizzie and Sarah Masterson, over to her house for a series of art classes. Most folks may know Deb by her beautiful and whimsical cakes, cupcakes, cookies, cream eggs....many a wedding has boasted a Deb Kroeger cake! But her artistic flair doesn't stop with sweet treats. Oh no....a visit to Deb's house is a treat because you get to sit in her hot pink kitchen with black and white checkered floor, go upstairs to see the gallery of her son's many drawings, enjoy the sparkle of an entire wall of cake plates, glass domes, and teacups backlit with twinkling white lights, peruse through the stacks and stacks and stacks of fun art books and various magazines...all marked with circles and comments of Deb's about ideas and inspirations...you get to study the six (going on twenty) doors in her house that she has completely covered with glass mosaic in the most wonderfully creative expression of her faith in God. I would try to explain them or post a picture, but it wouldn't do them justice. You need to just call her and ask if you can come over and see them. Seriously. Do it. Anyway, the kids met at her house once a week for about six weeks. She shared ideas about "found art" and examples of artists who work outside the box with them, provided all kinds of materials, but mostly poured inspiration into them and encouragement to be who God created them to be and not worry about trying to be like everyone else. It was great. Not your everyday art class. Deb told us about a place outside of Iowa City that she loves to visit just to be refreshed, get ideas, and just enjoy....so on Friday we all headed out to "Sisters". I think it's near Kalona...I don't know, I didn't drive. I just talked. No surprise. The place is two old houses off of Hwy 1....full to the roof of antiques, vintage stuff..but it's not just an antique store. The way these ladies use old and broken stuff to make beautiful creations is so great! Broken dishes mortared onto a wall....a "chandelier" of a cluster of old goblets and white lights...lines of verse written on the walls....you could get lost looking at all the nooks and crannies of treasures and found art and the appreciation of creativity for the sake of being creative. The kids really enjoyed it. Even Sam, whom I'm sure would have much rather been playing baseball or Star Wars, found some fun treasures..not to mention the free cookies. He wisely steered clear of the room full of old clothes which, as you can see, the girls delighted in! It was a wonderful culmination of our art class/mentorship experience with Deb. That may seem silly....just a trip to an old vintage place. But it's the example, the inspiration, the conversations, the encouragement, the relationships. What blesses me most about it is the willingness of one person to pour her unique gifts and passions and faith into a handful of kids and expect nothing in return. A reminder of the many other people who pour themselves into our kids' lives and our lives. Isn't this what true wealth really is? I think so.