Remember Rumpelstiltskin, that funny little fairy-tale guy who taught the miller's daughter to spin gold from straw? Well, Rumpel's not the only one with those powers. Dumpster-diving sisters Kathleen Hackett and Mary Ann Young didn't get an assist from a tiny man, but they did have a remarkable mother who showed them tricks to turn the mundane into something fabulous.
As adults, the siblings employed this magic to decorate their own homes and closets with unexpected whimsies created from everyday items. Whether it's a Gap raincoat lined with plastic roses, old oars doubling as stair rails, a dressing table skirted with a discarded tulle ball gown or an IKEA chest of drawers raised on stacked stones, they transform the obvious into the unique. From their point of view, this is less a miracle than a simple matter of looking at something and having what both call a "Eureka!" moment.
It was one of those moments -- a joint one -- that led Hackett and Young to collaborate on a book titled The Salvage Sisters...Guide to Finding Style in the Street and Inspiration in the Attic. The tome features a treasure trove of their "go-with-your-gut" creations, with instructions. The two will sign copies of the book tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Tattered Cover Cherry Creek, 2955 East First Avenue. For information, call 303-322-7727. -- Susan Froyd
Drop those kayaks and hiking boots for a couple of hours this evening, and come explore the artsy side of Colorado. Enjoy music, drinks and hors d'oeuvre while mingling with musicians, artists and Shakespearean characters at Hot SummerSCool Arts, sponsored by local civic and arts organizations. The party, which showcases works of the Colorado Music Festival and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival, among others, goes from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the St. Julien Hotel & Spa, 900 Walnut Street, Boulder, then winds its way to the Pearl Street Mall to catch the Fab Four at the kickoff of this year's Bands on the Bricks concert series. For tickets, $20 to $50, or more information, visit www.coloradomusicfest.org. -- Amelia Langer
A Paris Street Market opens in Lakewood.
A Paris Street Market at Belmar? Mais oui!
No wonder the folks who run the popular Littleton open-air flea market jumped at the chance to start a second location at Lakewood's new urban shopping and cultural center. This is where lecture series and art openings take place among the complex's numerous retail shops and restaurants -- which means a diverse clientele ready to peruse the wares of the more than forty Paris Street vendors hawking their goods, starting today, along Teller Street at Alaska Drive.
In addition to the folksy antique shopping, Matt Estrada, a local jack-of-all-refurbishing-trades whose specialty is turning old pieces into something new, will lead hourly Retro Revamp 101 demonstrations from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Spokeswoman Kim Dahlquist says the informal workshops will focus on five or six projects monthly: "For instance, he might go to Kansas to find a bunch of tractor parts and then show how to turn them into candlesticks or a chandelier."
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Browse A Paris Street Market from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. every third Saturday through September 17 at Belmar, Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue in Lakewood; call 303-795-7149 or visit www.aparisstreetmarket.com for details. -- Susan Froyd
Stairway to Heaven
St. Barnabas lets walkers take a spiritual stroll.
Most religions encourage believers to follow the straight and narrow. But a couple of times a year, St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 1280 Vine Street, invites the faithful -- and the general public -- to walk a more circular path. Today at 4 p.m., the Capitol Hill congregation hosts its seasonal Labyrinth Walk, a silent stroll through a concentric stone pathway on the church's leafy grounds.
St. Barnabas's labyrinth recalls a Celtic cross, a Buddhist sand painting -- and a spiritual corn maze. As a physical meditation, like yoga or tai chi, labyrinth walking is believed to gradually move the walker into a heightened state of awareness and spiritual receptiveness: There's just something within the rhythm, the slowness, the repetitive bends in the circular path that has the power to alter consciousness. Carl Jung believed that round mandalas are a universal guide to the subconscious; labyrinth walkers believe that the unconscious can be reached by moving through an actual mandala. It's an idea that's recently caught on in churches across the world, though it's not a new practice: The labyrinth at St. Barnabas is modeled after a pattern discovered at Chartes Cathedral in France, where pilgrims have been making the rounds for more than a thousand years. Today's walk will be preceded by a blessing and followed by a prayer, but the event is open to both sinners and saints. For information, go to www.saintb.com. -- Laura Bond