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Michigan Trip to Art Prize!

I'm back from Michigan!

This will be a really photo-heavy post. We decided on Wednesday to head out since we needed to escape Chicago for a bit. Our neighborhood has mostly been ok (knock on wood) but you know how Chicago is... wild west out here sometimes. Yikes.

It's nice to get out in the country!

 We set out to my first time at Art Prize which is an art competition held for 2 weeks in Grand Rapids, Michigan. It's essentially a vote-your-favorite-piece sort of contest with artists all around the world but many are from Michigan and surrounding Midwestern areas.

As the week goes on, voting is limited to a few best and you only get one vote. The first round (which is what we were there for) you can vote people as many times as you want for as many people. The winner gets a $200,000 cash prize and runners up get some money too.

I spent a bit of time in Grand Rapids during high school since it was the nearest big city to where I was living for 7 years, Fruitport, MI. It's a teeny tiny town with not much to do except go to the lake and for me really, escape! I'm from a much bigger area - New Haven, CT - and moving to Michigan was reverse culture shock for me. But it's awesome to visit! I got to grow up in the woods with no worry of anything bad happening.  I hadn't been to Grand Rapids now in almost a decade!

That aside, here are some of my favorites from Art Prize: 

As far as I could tell, this one should win! It was amazing. So much detail.

 This one is all scrap metal/parts. So awesome.

 And you know I have my eye on making some of those glass mushrooms for my backyard, right?!

 Yup. Wore my Castle Dress again.

 This one.... oh wow. This lady finished this piece when she was 96, died shortly after, months before she could even enter it into Art Prize. It's there as encouragement for young artists that you're never too old to keep creating. I'm not sure how she used the textiles to create this, but it's amazing work.
 I loved these giant Jetson-like TVs downtown. 

Some more photos from our visit:
 Local favorite ice cream place, Whippi Dip. I've been coming here since I was maybe 8 years old!

 Look how they spelled "Los Angeles"!

On our way home, we stopped at Green Acres, a farm produce/homemade canned goods place for some pumpkins!
 Here's Max getting excited.

Gigantic pumpkins!

Max loves the gourds.

We finally settled on 2 Cinderella variety pumpkins and one of another variety called Knucklehead.

While we were there, we also were able to take photos of the last dress for my collection as well as another garment I had finished in July.

I thought I would have the grand opening of my Etsy store tomorrow, but it's going to have to wait at least a few more days.

Even though I will be taking custom orders, for now I actually want to focus moreso on fashion as an art form for these next few months. I had big plans such as to grow my Etsy store, but perhaps I am (yet again) biting off more than I can chew. I still also want to release a PDF pattern, but I'm putting that on the back burner for now.

All in due time.

My patterns are going to be becoming increasingly complicated and/or sort of strange designs and there are sophisticated techniques I've been wanting to try out. I want to be really perfecting fit on everything.

I'm more excited than anything to be going in this direction!


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