Thursday, May 28, 2009

Dancing in the Street!

Thank you Joni and the staff of "Oh So Pretty!" for the amazing customer appreciation party! What a wonderful evening. Fabulous food, great conversation, tremendous sale items... oh, and did I mention salsa dancing lessons right in the middle of Broadway? Joni knows how to throw a party like no one else.

In case you weren't able to experience this stellar event, don't despair. The "Oh So Pretty!" sale will continue while supplies last. Of course, you won't get to do the "electric slide" while purchasing your items (as many did this evening!), but getting a great deal and looking "Oh So Pretty!" will ease the regret.

Here are some of the amazing sales taking place:
  • 30% off most clothing
  • 40% off select bags
  • 25%-40% off select jewelry
  • 25% off TokyoMilk perfumes
I was also blown away by these great deals:
  • 40% off large Lollia Imagine foaming bubble bath (originally $45)
  • 50% off oversized faux alligator getaway totes in several colors (originally $55)

You won't want to miss out on these exceptional savings!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

News from The Cafe on Broadway

Photo by Kirk Demarais

Breaking News: The Cafe on Broadway has a new website! Designed by local designer and downtown Siloam Springs resident Vance Reeser
, the site offers any and all cafe information you could possibly need. The site is welcoming, charming and user-friendly, not unlike the cafe itself!

Harmony Johnstone, the cafe manager and chef extraordinaire, said that in the future, there will also be fun new features on the site, such as "Now Serving"- where photos of daily specials and baked goods, fresh from the oven, will be displayed. Just think, the next time Shelby, one of the cafe's incredible bakers, places a mango-ginger pie in the case, you can be first in line for a slice. Delightful!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Second Saturday Festivities

What a lovely evening! Kudos to all who contributed to the Second Saturday Music and downtown events. I am looking forward to a summer of Second Saturday enjoyment. It was such fun to see the charming horse and carriage clip-clopping its way through the downtown area. Rides were just $5 per person, kids under ten were free.

Many downtown businesses were open late, and I stopped by the Balloon Closet where there were beautiful Mother’s Day balloon bouquets on display. I also stopped by “Oh So Pretty.” The shop was gorgeous, as always, and Joni Peterson, the owner, pointed out some new merchandise. There was a beautiful line of jewelry by Elizabeth Jane, a JBU student. Joni said the line has been very popular, and I can see why- the pieces are special and unique. She also showed me some brightly colored hand-painted bracelets, Tokyo Milk perfumes, and several new inspirational books. The Cafe on Broadway was hopping, and people were visiting other participating businesses as well- Books on Broadway, Jolly Roger Sweet Shoppe, the Baby Habit, Broadway Flowers, II Gals Junk, Local Flair, and Amandromeda. There was even face painting sponsored by the Baby Habit. It was quite an event!

At 7:30, the amazing folk music began at the Sager Creek Arts Center. Usually the Second Saturday music event takes place in the Twin Springs Gazebo, but they wisely moved it indoors after all the rain we’ve had. The concert opened with some lively tunes by Bill & Deanna Lisk, the organizers, and their musical friends. Feet were tapping, hands were clapping… you just can’t sit still during great folk and bluegrass music!

The headliners, Shout Lulu Stringband, performed next, and they were a real treat. Apparently, they often perform at the Fayetteville Farmer’s Market, and it would be worth the drive over to see them. I was enchanted by their obvious love of old-time music. They even looked the part, with Skye wearing a lovely white dress that seemed straight out of the 1920’s. The men also wore vintage-inspired clothing and charming hats. I just love attention to detail.

The music was fabulous! I’m not very knowledgeable about this kind of music, but they performed with such joy that you couldn’t help but be swept up in the magic of it all. They played “Little Moses” by the Carter Family, and also a few songs by a 1920’s group, Pope’s Arkansas Mountaineers, among other tunes. Seth can play two harmonicas at once, and Pete plays a variety of instruments, including bones from a horse! Trust me, you won't want to miss the next Second Saturday music and downtown festivities on June 13th.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rotarians from Thailand visit Siloam Springs

Here is yet another example of why downtown Siloam Springs is such a unique and interesting place: I was having lunch at the Cafe on Broadway, enjoying delicious Moroccan chicken, when I noticed a large group of people walking by. They seemed to be visitors, because they were taking photos and commenting on points of interest.

Unable to contain my curiosity, I stepped outside to find out more. I met Richard Hudson, a Rotarian from Fayetteville, and he explained that the group consisted of Rotarians from Fayetteville, and their guests from a Rotary club in Chiang Mai, Thailand. These Rotary members were participating in a Friendship Exchange, with the Fayetteville Rotarians having recently visited Thailand, and now hosting the Chaing Mai Rotarians.

The visitors are in Arkansas for the week, and they had been to Branson the previous day. The group had chosen a gorgeous day for visiting Siloam, to stroll downtown and take in the sights. They kindly agreed to a photo shoot in front of Siloam's iconic gazebo, and at one point, one of our friendly ducks joined in the fun.
I had the pleasure of meeting the current Chiang Mai Rotary Club President, Siriluck Chaiyawong. She was very friendly and said that they were all having a wonderful time. This was her first visit to Arkansas. I am so glad that I was able to meet these unique visitors. Downtown Siloam Springs is always full of fun surprises!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Dogwood Literacy Council Announcement

The Dogwood Literacy Council is in urgent need of volunteer tutors. A large percentage of their current volunteers will be leaving for the summer, yet the need for tutors remains. An orientation will be held May 12 from 6 to 7 pm, and tutor training will take place on May 18 and 20 from 6 to 8 pm. Please consider giving your time to this worthy cause. Tutors typically volunteer two to three hours per week. For more information, call 524-4009.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

The Balloon Closet

I stopped by to visit Kelly Williams, the owner of The Balloon Closet, and came away with a new found appreciation for that timeless classic- the balloon. Kelly's enthusiasm for his work is infectious, and his face was alight with glee as he showed me all of the creative wonders that his company can accomplish. What began as a fundraiser at JBU is now a "happy occupation," according to Kelly.
"How could it not be?" I wondered aloud as he batted an enormous red three foot balloon around the shop.

While we visited, Kelly and employee Coleen Huebert assembled a giant balloon cube in minutes for a child's first communion celebration. Customers can purchase larger decorative balloon sculptures like the giant cube, or even single helium-filled balloons in a wide variety of colors and patterns for as little as $1.50. Balloon bouquets start at $7.50.

The most popular item, the signature spiral (a standing balloon sculpture), sells for $24 and has a three month "float time." Kelly originates some of the more advanced designs he sells, and he also attends balloon conferences and shares ideas with other professionals. Clearly, it's a business that knows no creative limitations. The biggest hazard I can see in this line of work is the untimely end every balloon must experience- the loud "pop!" Kelly and Coleen assure me that they are pretty desensitized at this point.

I learned that all balloons sold by the Balloon Closet are 100% biodegradable and made from rubber tree sap. Kelly demonstrated how a released balloon will pop once it reaches 30,000 feet. It actually comes apart in shreds and the shreds are scattered over several miles. There is no documented case of an animal or human being harmed by this process.

Kelly purchases balloons from three different companies. One of them, Rifco, is based in Italy. Another company, Tilly Balloons of New Hampshire, produces hand painted balloons and the owners are third generation, their grandfather being the inventor of the latex balloon. Isn't that cool?
We also talked about the spectacular Balloon Closet presentation in the 2008 Christmas Parade. For those of you who missed it, there were around forty Balloon Closet customers decked out in wildly elaborate balloon costumes, with long, tentacle-like balloons protruding from their backs. It was quite a sight! Kelly says he plans to be a part of the parade again this year.

As I left the shop, with my adorable orange and yellow floating fish balloon, I was reminded of an episode of "Seinfeld." Kramer brings some really fun striped and polka dotted balloons to Jerry's house. He says, "Those aren't for New Year's, those are my everyday balloons." I remember thinking, "Those are so neat looking! Where can you buy balloons like that?" Well, last year, on my first visit to The Balloon Closet, I saw that they sell those exact balloons- and I happily purchased some. So, make sure to visit the Balloon Closet soon and get yourself some everyday balloons... or party balloons... or wedding balloons... or "get well" balloons... the list is endless.