June 3, 2014
Bird & Bear sells handmade pipes and other products.

Man Crafts 

By Kellye Crocker


Just in time for Father's Day (June 15), the Market Day crew presents Mancraft--billed as Des Moines' first "dude-friendly" pop-up arts, crafts and vintage market--June 12, 4-9 p.m., at 515 Brewing Co. in Clive. With seven local vendors, it's also Market Day's first mini-market, first weeknight event and first trek into the 'burbs, says Cat Rocketship, Market Day producer. "We wanted to plan a market specifically for buying Father's Day gifts and highlight crafts made for and by men (and) shake the image of craft as only of interest to women," she says. "We selected a group of crafters that will bring gifts for cool dads, weird dads, young dads, queer dads, old dads, substitute dads."

Dani Ausen, Market Day director, gave us the lowdown on the lineup: Danny Vasquez of Bird & Bear, handmade pipes, knives and beard products; Tony Streeter of Cicada Grove, screen-printed items; Andrew Kingsbury of Decadence, cuffs and other manly accessories; Scott Bents of Des Moines Bike Works, custom-built bicycles; Scott Kubie of Harford & Union, vintage clothes and accessories; John Ausen of the Hickory Golf Association, restored vintage golf clubs made of hickory; and The Sara Initiative, geek-chic housewares.

Of course, shopping builds an appetite. Fortunately, the Melts Without Borders guys will drop by to sling their gooey, grilled-cheese magic. You can browse, buy, grab a bite and then kick back with a cold brew while everyone else scrambles to get ready for Father's Day. For more info, visit the Market Day website.


Supporting the Arts by Creating Art
Silent Rivers is creating custom furniture for the Des Moines Arts Festival. It is early June and Silent Rivers artisans... 

The Parranderos Latin Combo performs at last year's
Des Moines Arts Festival.

Latin Jams


Get ready for una fiesta grande when Des Moines-based Parranderos Latin Combo (PLC) releases its first album June 13 at 9 p.m. at The Gas Lamp. The self-titled CD of original music--featuring an array of styles such as salsa, cumbia, merengue and samba/bossa nova--was recorded in Puerto Rico with Grammy Award-winning sound engineers Ramon Martinez and Carlos Velazquez. Financed in part by the Iowa Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts--as well as a Kickstarter campaign--the PLC2PR project took 14 musicians, two filmmakers and three multimedia producers to San Juan.

The band members are as eclectic as the music they play, hailing originally from Puerto Rico, Colombia, Ecuador, Chile, Peru--and the Hawkeye State. (Four members had moved from Iowa but reunited for the sessions.) Working with music legends Martinez and Velazquez at Playbach Studio was akin to a Beatles' fan recording at Abbey Road studios, PLC Leader Ryan Mullin says. "Ramon and Carlos did an amazing job recording and mixing the album, which wasn't a simple task with all of the different styles and instrumentations," he says.

Get a behind-the-scenes peek at the band in Puerto Rico in these short videos produced by Bruce Bales. Tickets for the CD release party, with special guest Banda Perla del Sur, are $10 from MidwestTix here. (Sorry, kids, the show is for those age 21 and over.) The digital version is expected to hit iTunes July 1. -K.C.
Photo by Garrett Cornelison.
Bathing Suit Brigade


You're smart, creative and hardworking. Why, then, is it so hard to find a flattering bathing suit? Emily Christensen, retail manager at Action Accents, which carries more than 8,000 suits, offers this swimsuit shopping advice:  

  • Focus on fit. Forget your usual size. Swimsuit sizing is "very weird," Christensen says. In fact, many women go too big, she says. Sometimes they need a longer--not larger--suit or a bigger cup size, she says. Others fear shrinkage, but Christensen warns, "If anything, it's going to grow." And that can lead to unsightly "wardrobe malfunctions" and "droopy drawers."
  • Don't discriminate. Forget what you think you know, whether it's the magical properties of black, the evils of horizontal stripes or what looks best on apple-shaped bodies vs. pears. "Colors and patterns in swimsuits are way different" from other clothes, Christensen says. "Have an open mind. Try it on, and you might be surprised."
  • Find perspective. "It's not brain surgery. It's not cancer. It's swimsuits," Christensen reminds us. "Almost every woman has something negative to say about her body, and that's our society. Don't get me started." Show compassion to yourself (and others). Have a little fun. If all else fails, Christensen says, "We have people who drink before they come in." -K.C.
Sheree Clark

Heeeere's Sheree!  

By Wini Moranville


I must admit that the raw food movement is not a parade that I march in. However, I'll gladly cheer from the sidelines, especially when we have a great local foodie in the fight.

Last year, holistic health and nutrition counselor and raw foodist Sheree Clark debuted her health-and nutrition-focused television show, "Fork in the Road," on KCCI; this year, the second season continues on KCWI-23, where you can tune in Sundays from 11 to 11:30 a.m. through Aug. 24. 

Although Clark is a raw foodist, her goal is not to drive all cooking appliances into the sea. Rather, she helps viewers make good decisions at their own "forks in the road"--those moments in life where you can make a choice that's healthful versus one that's not.

In the second season, Clark takes viewers to a local urban farm (yes, an urban farm), a holistic veterinarian and a chiropractor; she also interviews a hypnotist. Throughout the show, Clark offers healthful living tips, and each show ends with a recipe, which you can also view on her website.

If you missed the first season, the show is now available on DVD through Clark's website,, where you can also subscribe to her inspiring newsletter.

Small Bite:
As of this writing, there are still tickets available to the Winefest Des Moines' Grand Tasting. Bring a notebook! Amid all that swirling and sipping and style, you'll discover great wine finds that will help you pick winners at the wine shop for a long time to come. For tickets and info, click here.
Zane Gedler

Cool Combo


You're hip to the jive, so don't miss your chance to hear four of Iowa's finest young jazz musicians--trumpeter Nate Sparks, pianist Jon Snell, drummer Zane Gedler and bassist Hannah Marks--June 9 at The Ritual Café.

Sparks returns to Des Moines after finishing his freshman year at The Juilliard School in New York City. Snell, who graduated from the University of Northern Iowa, will soon join Sparks in "The Apple" (as they say in the scene) for graduate work at Queens College. Gedler heads to Boston this fall for his first year at Berklee College of Music. And Marks will attend the Centrum Jazz Workshop in Port Townsend, Wash., and the Brubeck Summer Jazz Colony at Lake Tahoe before returning to Des Moines for her senior year at Roosevelt High School.

The gig is part of the monthly "Jazz @ The Ritual Café" series, presented every second Monday from 7 to 9 p.m. and sponsored by the swinging folks at Synergy Jazz Foundation. -K.C.

Kellye Crocker

Kellye Crocker lives in Clive and writes fiction for teens and nonfiction for adults. A former Des Moines Register senior reporter and current dsm contributing writer, she's also written for Parents, Better Homes and Gardens and Glamour, among other national publications. Connect with her on Twitter: @kelcrocker.
Wini Moranville

Wini Moranville, author of "The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day," is a food, wine and travel writer who covers the dining scene for dsm magazine. Follow her at All Things Food DSM - Wini Moranville and catch her food segment on Fridays at 6:40 a.m. on KCWI-23's "Great Day" morning show.

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