Friday, July 31, 2009

Making history through art

What I want to share with you today is the gorgeous basketry of local artist Teresa Johnston. I first met Teresa at a gallery opening featuring her mothers work, and then again at the bead shop. I have been so fortunate to get to know her. She is a kind spirit and generous with her knowledge and creativity. Her artistic sensibilities are similar to mine and I feel very connected with her work. Teresa's baskets were recently featured in an exhibit at our library, The Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. Up on white pedestals, each basket was its own complete natural sculpture. And, it was a pleasure to visit them every morning on my way in to work. Here are some photos of her work and her bio, that she graciously gave me permission to publish here.Prairie Basketry by Teresa Johnston Teresa Johnston started making baskets in the autumn of 1984 by chance. Prior to 1984, having done many different things; nothing would spark her imagination like the art of basketry. Teresa is continually inspired by the history of our country and its many basket-makers.Most recently, a shard of pottery was found and sparked her imagination as if she was making her first basket. Each basket made can tell a different story and it is her hopes that her baskets will tell you another story. When Teresa finishes a basket, she is still amazed. It is amazing because it is truly a one of a kind creation.Many of Teresa’s baskets have gone into private collections across the US. Her basketry has been placed as far away as Ireland, Russia, and Honduras. Teresa continues to be involved with her community by giving various baskets to nonprofit organizations to benefit them through auction.Teresa feels the hardest part of basketry is placing a value on making history through basketry. Teresa’s basketry should be viewed as a multicultural art. Born in Salina Kansas; Teresa feels she truly has made a personal connection to these Great Plains through the art of basketry. Member-Lawrence Art GuildMember-Artist Associate of Topeka Teresa’s basketry can be found at the following locations- In Sedan Kansas at the Art of the Prairie Gallery In Kansas City, Kansas at Buttonwood Art Space In Topeka, Kansas at the Phoenix Gallery of Topeka

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Mr. and Mrs.

THEY DID IT! Congratulations to Evan and Kandi. I give you all of my love and best wishes for a beautiful life together. Love, Dawn

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bridal Beauty

In honor of the beautiful bride to be, and her true love....Kandace and Evan, who will be joined in marriage this Sunday. Kandace is my best friend. We met in college 20 years ago, and have virtually nothing in common except our Christian faith. Kandace always makes me laugh, and has been there time and time again through many a tearful event. She is marrying a wonderful man and I could not be more happy for them both. So today I bring you bridal jewelry that I have made and a beautiful bouquet (photo by Jessica Hill Photography).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

On being single, and eating out

This morning, I woke up. It was a beautiful day, and I decided to go get breakfast at a locally owned greasy spoon that serves up a fantastic breakfast with great coffee. Now to tell the story, I need to give some background.

I am a confident single/divorced woman of 38, and because of the fact that most of my friends live in other cities, states, and countries, I dine mostly by myself. I feel perfectly comfortable doing that. I know many other single folks would feel uncomfortable dining alone, and many more say they would never do it because they would feel like they were being stared at or talked about. This is why I felt it was important to bring you this story today. Back to the story. I cheerfully arrived at my favorite dive this morning, ready for some good coffee and a big breakfast. This is a seat yourself type place, so I sat down in the two-person booth where I always sit, by the window where I can watch the other locals roll in. Normally, I am greeted and have a coffee on my table within the first minute I opened the door. It is a small place. Everyone can see everyone else, including the folks in the kitchen cooking up our favorite home-style breakfasts. I have always loved going there because I am always treated with the same amount of care as every other customer there. I never have a complaint and I always tip well. I like to know I am helping the local non-chain businesses and their employees survive and keep going.

The past few times I have been there, the waitress who normally waits on me hasn't been there. I have noticed that I am having to wait longer and longer for my coffee, coffee refills, and to just have my order taken. Because to the fact I can see all of the customers and waitresses, I can see that the couples and groups of people are getting the same outstanding service I have been used to and I am being forgotten. This morning was the deal breaker. It took me over five minutes just to be acknowledged, and given a water and a "I'll be back in a few minutes". No coffee, no menu, and all the while the four people sitting three feet from me were waited on multiple times, coffee refills, and "Can I get you anything else?", "Still doing alright?" for a good ten more minutes. The people next to me I think were uncomfortable because they knew I was being blown off. There were only three other tables with people there, and three waitresses. Finally, I was so angry I just decided to leave......

Ten minutes later, I arrived at IHOP. They were totally swamped. So, I put myself on the list and had a seat in a single chair by the the hostess station. There were so many people waiting that there were people outside. Well, I waited about five minutes, was seated at a table for four, and they took my order right away. I had my coffee quickly, and also my food. As I ate, I watched all the waiters and waitresses hustle to take care of everyone, including myself. I wasn't forgotten, even though there was a party of nine right behind me. My waitress was Alisha, and she couldn't have been nicer. I thanked her and told her I would be blogging about my good experience today.

So my question is why does the single person get blown off and marginalized in restaurants? I don't understand this. If I get the same service as everyone else, and I am happy with that service, I always tip over 20%. I have no problem, as I said, dining alone. But an experience like the one I had at the first restaurant would have probably made a shy person so uncomfortable that they would probably never try eating out alone again. Please, waiters and waitresses of the world, recognize that we are people too, and stop blowing us off.
Annie's famous apple pie
I have to take this opportunity to recommend another Topeka restaurant for their outstanding food and service. Annie's Place. They are awesome and they take care of me. It doesn't matter who is waiting on me. They are wonderful.

The very worst I have experienced, and this is even when I am with friends, is New City Cafe (located directly across from Annie's Place in Gage Center). All of their food is made before the lunch time starts, and it is beautifully displayed in their front glass case. All they have to do is scoop the salad onto a plate and bring it to your table. There can be two people in the restaurant and four staff members, and I will wait and wait, and wait until finally getting up and asking if they remember that we gave them our order. The food is very good. Although, if you order the seafood salad, you can expect to have one or two scallops, maybe a pea sized shrimp, and the shredded tuna-ish and mayonaise cream mixture that binds it together. This last visit, I decided I am never going back. The service is always bad. I gave them four years to change, since I like the food. But now that they are getting stingier with their ingredients, I am done.

So thank you, on behalf of myself and other single folks of the world, if you are one of these restaurants who blows off single people....SHAME ON YOU!

Thank you Alisha at IHOP, for treating me so well that I was promped to write this post. (If I have misspelled your name, please email me and I will change it)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July everyone. I am home updating my blog instead of enjoying my friends and fireworks at the lake because I am not feeling well. But this morning I enjoyed the Collins Park Parade, which I took video of. When I figure out how to edit the video, I'll upload it to this post. This is my 4th of July necklace, made nautical so I can wear it all summer. Made with handmade beads by an artist right here in Topeka. I purchased the beads at The Jewelry Box and Gift store, located at 29th and Oakley.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Buttonwood Art Space 1st Friday

Tonight is the 1st Friday art walk here in Topeka, and also in Kansas City. I am privileged to have been included with the artists at the Buttonwood Art Space in Kansas City. The current show is Drawing the Line, artwork created in pen and ink, charcoal, and other media as drawn works. This is a diverse show featuring comic painting, abstract, nature, nudes, etc. Very interesting and all works are for sale.

Buttonwood Art Space 3013 Main St. Kansas City MO 64108 816-285-9040 / Tonight 5:00 PM- 8:30 PM