Young Artists are the Key To Summer Art Festivals

Young Artists are the Key To Summer Art Festivals

ButterflyWe need your help supporting a young artist selling her dynamic photos at at a summer art festival, the Port Clinton Art Festival.   It started as a means to teach Lulu about economics and the difficulty that artists face when trying to sell their work.  But now our little “Kayla Keats Photography” initiative has morphed into so much more.  What started out as taking some pictures at the Chicago Botanic Garden, developing them at Costco and then selling them at the Port Clinton Art Festival in Highland Park on August 23rd and 24th has become a family affair. Flower2 In May, Adam and Lulu decided that they wanted to spend an afternoon together.  (I was all for some Daddy-Daughter bonding time.) So, they grabbed their cameras and took off.  A few hours later, Lulu shot over 200 photos with her Nikon D70.  It took a few weeks but Lulu edited her remarkable photos and dwindled the collection to 12 AMAZING shots.   She decided that she wanted to sell her photos and, hopefully, make enough money to buy herself a new computer for school.  (She starts 6th grade on Thursday, August 21st – just a few days short of Lulu’s 11th birthday.) So, with our encouragement, our young artist paid the entrance fee and became an official exhibitor at the Port Clinton Art Festival. kayla-portclinton-9 As her biggest supporters (and pseudo-benefactors), Adam and I purchased matting and plastic bags.  We helped her price her work so she could recoup our expenses and still make a profit.  And lastly, Adam created a website where she can sell her photos (in addition to the Port Clinton Art Festival) to friends and family who aren’t able to make the event.

www.kaylakeats.com  

So, now we are asking for your support and help.  Lulu is so excited to exhibit her work and hopes that her friends and local family will attend the fair and support her.  But she is also at an age where she is skeptical that people will actually purchase her art.  Sure, she figures, her parents and grandparents HAVE TO LIKE her photos—we’re related to her.  But Lulu has confessed to me that she isn’t sure that others will feel as excited by her art.  We disagree and hope that you will too. kayla-portclinton-11 Won’t you please log onto www.kaylakeats.com and purchase at least 1 or 2 of her pictures? As an added incentive, we have created a promotion that will take 20% off the total cost of your purchase.   Please use PORTCLINTON14 for a 20% coupon.   Please help us support a young artist and her passion for seeing the world through the lens of her camera.   Adam and I appreciate your help and hope that you love her pictures as much as we do!

A Dream Comes True at Fantasy Costumes

A Dream Comes True at Fantasy Costumes

 

Keats Haunted Home_2010

Keats Haunted Home_2010

I like to celebrate the “secular” side of Christmas and the Winter Solstice.  Adam is a lifelong celebrant of Hanukkah.  Yet despite Adam and my differences, when it comes to Halloween, we agree: It’s our favorite holiday!

Going all out for Halloween is nothing new for our family.  Anyone who has seen my office knows that I am “obsessed” with Mexican sugar skulls from the Mexican celebration of  Dia de Muertes.  So, between the inflatable cat, hearse, witch and the spiders crawling up our house, our house is usually pretty decked out. Enter the costume question: Do we dress up as a family or go our separate ways?  In the past Lulu, Adam and I have coordinated our outfits.  One year we were pirates and another we dressed as Neptune, Athena and Medusa.  Can you guess who was who?  (Hint:  I was not the lucky gal to wear a snake headdress.)

Two Pirates & A Ghoul!

Two Pirates & A Ghoul!

Guess who got to be Medusa?

Guess who got to be Medusa?

But this year things are a little different.  Lulu has decided to embrace her inner geek and decided to be “Enderman” from the video game, Minecraft.

Steve & Enderman

Steve & Enderman

One of her besties is going as “Steve” from the same game.  Adam and I have decided to blend our pirate costumes with something a little edgier (and in my opinion, sexier):  We are going as Steam Punk Pirates complete with top hats, feathers, awesome chunky jewelry and, of course, driving glasses!

Top hat + Glasses + Suit = Steampunk

Top hat + Glasses + Suit = Steampunk

Here she is in all of her steampunk glory!

Here she is in all of her steampunk glory!

 

 

 

So where can one go to find a video game costume, a pirate and a steam punk get up? 

 

 

 

 

 

When in doubt, we have always turned to Fantasy Costumes, the largest square-footage and costume selection store in the Midwest. Owned by George Garcia since 1965, the 4065 N. Milwaukee main stay has been costuming Chicago natives (and some visitors) for Halloween and Masquerade parties for almost 50 years!  In fact, my parents even shop there in preparation for their Mardi Gras parties. (Yes, they fly in from Maryland just to check out the awesome (and unique) costume options.)

fantasy_costumes_store_front

That's my mom with her Medusa wig from Fantasy Costumes.

That’s my mom with her Medusa wig from Fantasy Costumes.

Mr. Garcia has seen it all and consistently stocks his shelves with over 20,000 wigs, 30,000 children’s costumes, and 15,000 adult costumes. Last year, Adam and I took a “field trip” to Fantasy Costumes and bought, among other things, a yellow Angry Bird “head.” And yes, if you happened to been driving down the Edens Expressway and spotted the yellow Angry Bird sitting shotgun in a yellow convertible Porsche Boxster around noon, that was me.  (I wish that I had a camera to catch the hilarious facial expressions of the people who spotted me.)

Amid a sea of pop-up Halloween shops, Fantasy Costumes has been the go-to for everything from classic pirate looks and superhero getups, to the necessary accessories to deck your kids out as the year’s hottest costumes. If you haven’t visited this super store of gore and greatness, it’s worth the field trip!

 

And….if you happen to mention A Windy City Momma when you visit Fantasy Costumes, Mr. Garcia and his crew will give you a coupon for 20% off of that day’s purchase.