April 30, 2009

Denton Arts and Jazz Fest

I want to apologize for being gone so long. I’ve been a bit under the weather. Actually, more like under the duvet and propped up with pillows, thank you for asking, but I’m on the mend.

And, to celebrate my return to the living, I ventured out this weekend, with one of my favorite women (never a Dentonista, damn it, but a life long sister) to the Arts and Jazz Fest. Now, I’m sure you already know, without your friendly neighborhood Dentonista telling you, that the Arts & Jazz Fest is one of the things that makes Denton the best. Of course you know it! People come from far and wide, not just to check it out, but to perform and show their beautiful wares.

(I should apologize here for not having pictures for you. I can only say that being out of it for so long has left me weak-limbed and twitter-pated, and I did not think to schlep along my camera.)

However, I found no shortage of goods tempting me to schlep them home, and the soaps from Fleegal Farms won out. Up from Austin, the lovely proprietress was selling huge, handmade bars of super-fatted and super-yummy-smelling soaps, scrubs, and lip balms. I snagged Mexican Chocolate Spice, Peppermint Chocolate, and Lemon Smack soaps.
This soap is all natural as well as so creamy and luscious, that when I got home I was able to easily cut the lemon bar in half, to fit my weirdly small kitchen soap dish. And now I’m treating my butter-coated baker’s fingers to lemon-riffic cleanliness!
Happily my shower soap dish is normal size, so I can embrace the full delicious-ness of that Mexican Chocolate Spice bar. Words can hardly describe how good it smells. Seriously, I’m hoping these amazing soaps inspire me to learn to make my own…
My sister? Took one sniff of the Melalueca Mint bar and was hooked.
You think mint soap sounds weird? Let me tell you, it is the most refreshing yet delicious smell you can sport.

Of course there was no shortage of beautiful jewelry there either. Several artisans had gorgeous displays that sorely tempted me. But, since my days as a gainfully employed office drone are numbered, I womanfully resisted.

I had to resist the really wonderful varieties of pottery available too. I was happy to see two vendors again, whom I recall from last year. (Whose names and businesses I did not record… Again, I’ve been out of it. Sorry.) Both were located in the Civic Center pavilion, and both are older gentlemen.
One, down from Oklahoma, makes the most beautiful vases with what looks to me like kingfishers on them, and this year he also had small covered dishes with chipmunks for handles. That sounds insipid, but they were just perfect. Almost an Arts and Crafts feel to them. The other gentleman is more local, if I recall, and he uses an Indian horse-hair technique on some of his pieces. When fired the horse hair ‘melts’ into the most unusual and visually arresting designs. I also saw a truly local (Dentonisto) potter whose large display included cherry blossom and koi motifs. Really gorgeous. And all these potters? Well priced. Seriously, if you were there, you could have scored some awesome gifties.

Now, I could go on about all the things to tempt the kiddies, but I think I’ll concentrate on the freaks instead. While chowing down on a sausage-on-a-stick (natch), I turned to my sister J and remarked, “It’s nice to see the uniform of teenage rebellion hasn’t really changed since I was in high school.” And my dears, it hasn’t. I was watching a group of teens go by kitted out for a Smiths concert. Or reunion. So perhaps, it would be more correct to say that everything old is new again… Certainly the neo 70s surfer look so many other boys were sporting that day (in land-locked North Texas) pre-dates my teen years… And don’t even get me started on the senior citizens rocking full Highland regalia; they made my day. I admit, I was a tad disappointed to find they were actually a dance group. None the less, they were a joy to behold. The lady in leather pants, though, was a real head scratcher for me…

What else can I say about this fantastic, annual shin dig? Did I mention it’s free? Yup, 100% free. How often does that happen? You can shop, eat, and gawk to your heart’s content, as is my want, or you can kick back and listen to any or all of the roughly gazillion bands and musical performers. This year? The Arc Angels were here! And, of course, those perennial Dentonistos Brave Combo performed.

Please don’t let my weak coverage of this marvelous event be your only impression. Mark your calendars for next year, and get here and do it yourself. I also want to invite anyone who was there to comment and tell me what your favorite part was.


Maxine from Texas said...

I'm sorry you were under the weather! You didn't have the pig flu, did you? ;)

We went Sunday afternoon. As always it was fun, although the littlest man wasn't as easily moved away from the pricey bounce houses as in past years.
I scored a great small hanging pot that a certain mom-in-law will be receiving soon. I can't remember the vendor name, but I believe it was a group of students. Very nice prices! We also bought a handmade race car for an upcoming boys birthday, also a great price - much less than you would pay for something less original at the local discount stores.

You're completely right about the jewelry! Gorgeous!

-Your Friendly Neighborhood Dentonista said...

See folks? It really does pay to shop locally.