A visit to The Original Print Shop
"It’s coming on Christmas
They’re cutting down trees
Putting up reindeer
And singing songs of joy and peace.”-Joni Mitchell.
If you’re a Joni fan you know the song referenced above turns into one of her episodic offerings of angst driven laments to love lost.
But the part we quoted from the start of the song rings true because yes it is indeed ‘coming on Christmas’ and if you are like many out there who eschew Black Friday and barely log on during cyber Monday, you my friend, likely have some serious shopping to do.
We at SWK perceive your present pursuing perturbation and will take a stab at helping by stopping into a few places and hopefully delivering the skinny on some novel gifting opportunities.
Perplexed about presents? Today’s visit may be right up the proverbial personal alley.
A bit over a year ago Steve and Genji LeClair launched The Original Print Shop in downtown Fremont by hosting an epic inaugural peek attended by dozens of community and business leaders and following up with the grandest of grand openings.
Since that time the ‘user-friendly’ enterprise has made its mark in our parts for their exceptional customer service to be sure but most of all for their ability to innovate.
“If you have a vision, we can put it into place.”
Those were the words of Emily Anson who kindly showed us around a bit while patiently answering our queries.
While they are adept at business cards, banners and the usual printing needs , TOPS offers a slew of gifting ideas and the crew who ply their craft at the shop embrace any challenges that come their way.
“We specialize in unique and there are few things we can’t reproduce.”
The shop is loaded with idea items as custom ornaments, shirts, aprons, wine sets, coffee mugs combine with little surprises at every turn. Each item begs to be personalized for the kind of gift that reaches beyond the item and into a heartfelt memory.
We pressed Emily for her favorite among the items and she revealed her attraction to the comfortable looking sweater blankets while of course pointing out the ability of the shop to personalize these and adding “as we can any item.”
But let’s just say you have an idea. A concept, really.
Maybe an old family photo that might bring a laugh when on a shirt or stein, or perhaps an image that bears reproducing in a different format like in a jigsaw puzzle or a Christmas stocking.
“If you don’t know if it can be done, we can do it,” was the phrase Ms. Anson employed.
So, those of you out there who might be weighing a few ideas, contemplating some concepts or nudging along a notion or two?
Here’s your shot at finally bringing to fruition the great idea that most years comes to mind too late to do anything about it. Turning "what I should have done.." into a premier presenting production.
Embrace it! This is your year!
And the kind and clever creators at The Original Print Shop?
They are there for you.
Beginning Monday the store will be presenting the 12 Sweet Deals of Christmas, a candy inspired initiative offering new daily deals a dozen days in a row.
The Original Print Shop is located at 29 West Main Street. They are open 8:30am-5:30pm Monday through Friday and from 10am-2pm Saturdays.
Tell them Ken sent you and you will likely hear that familiar refrain…
Authors Market-What’s that?
By Marsha Reeves
Most everyone has heard of a Farmer’s Market, and we have several good ones in our area. But you may not have heard of an AUTHOR’S MARKET. On Saturday, November 30th (Small Business Saturday) Flying Bear Books and Studio 37 Gallery in Newaygo are teaming up to host one from 10 AM to 4 PM.
Eleven local authors will be set up with their books to sell (and sign) at both Flying Bear Books and Studio 37, downtown on State Road in Newaygo. You get to talk to them, ask them about their books and writing, visit about whatever you’d like and check out the books written by our impressive LOCAL AUTHORS! Who knew so much talent has been lurking in the woods around here?
Featured Authors are:
Nan Pokerwinski, Gabe Schillman, Sandy Bernard, Susan King, Tim Hawkins, KL Stedman, Joan Young, Joseph Sparga, Wendy Kok, Ron Robotham, and Ken Ra. Five of the authors are from Newaygo County and six are within a 50 mile radius of Newaygo. Their books are about all kinds of things: Childrens Books (including a delightful mystery), Poetry, The Supernatural, Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction, Nonfiction/Memoir, and Sci/Fi Fantasy. The books these authors are offering have titles like “The Snitch, The Witch, and The One Who Was Rich”, “Autumn’s Moon: The Beast Within Saga, “Mango Rash” and “Gabriel and the Woodlings”
This is a rare opportunity to find out what’s going on in the local literary scene as well as to find some very special holiday gifts. Come check it out!
“A Flair for the Wild and Unexpected”
Take 3 "Together for the Holidays" at Dogwood on December 12
Featuring vocalist Lauren Jelencovich with musical trio Take 3, the program “Together for the Holidays” features a variety of holiday favorites including "O Holy Night", "The First Noel", "Silent Night", "White Christmas", "Let it Snow" and many more. This unbeatable collaboration of holiday tunes is a perfect way to usher in the holidays! Join us at the Dogwood Center on Thursday, December 12, 7:30 p.m. for a wonderful performance!
With a flair for the wild and unexpected Take 3, brings the refinement of a rigorous classical music background and infuses it with rock-star charisma. Whether performing their take on pop, jazz, movie themes, or classical tunes, they bring roof-raising energy to their performances and have been exhilarating audiences across the country. No strangers to the stage as individuals, they have made an impact on the music scene as soloists, touring the world with Yanni, recording tracks for film and television, and as soloists in front of symphony orchestras.
With her limitless enthusiasm and vast gifts as a performer and entertainer, violinist Lindsay Deutsch, is a charismatic and captivating presence on today’s music scene. She has thrilled audiences world-wide with her passion for music and brilliant display of technique and musicianship. She has toured as a solo violinist with Yanni.
Vocalist Lauren Jelencovich has garnered great acclaim for her affecting and sparkling portrayals of opera and musical theater roles throughout the United States and abroad. She has performed at venues including Radio City Music Hall, Carnegie Hall, Red Rocks Amphitheatre, the Santa Barbara Bowl, and toured extensively with Yanni.
Born and raised in Southern California, cellist Lila Yang is passionate about promoting classical music to the younger generation of listeners as well as bringing it to less-reached communities throughout the world. Ms.Yang serves as faculty at Cal State Music Clinic.
Pianist Irene Kim's performances have been heard across North America and Europe in recitals, chamber ensembles, and as a soloist with top orchestras around the globe. Irene’s professional training has been centered at the Peabody Conservatory, where she recently received her Doctorate in Musical Arts.
The presenting sponsors of Take 3 with Lauren Jelencovich at the Dogwood Center are HS&C Wealth Management - a financial advisory practice of Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc. and H&S Companies. Tickets are $25.00 for adults and $10 for children 18 and under, and are available through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
Lots of pre Holiday doings on tap
Ok, so when the Board of Public Works decided to move recycling in White Cloud to alleviate the ongoing problem of unwanted and illegal dumping of non recyclables. (Really? You think a toilet or a chair or paint cans are recyclable? Sheesh) they wanted some signage so they sent off an order for a brand spanking new one.
Uh oh. Apparently sign folks don’t have access to spellcheck because the sign came back spelled Recyclying. BPW Chair Dale Twing has sent the sign back with detailed instructions as to the correct spelling.
And he didn’t need spellcheck.
Things at the North Pole apparently haven’t heated up to the point of needing the boss around so Santa is making an early appearance at Havemens Hometown Pharmacy in Newaygo from 1-3pm Saturday.
Rumors surrounding the possible appearance of HHP front liner Melissa Bergsma as Mrs. Claus have not been substantiated.
Who doesn’t love a parade? And how about fireworks? There’s a lotta love out there for fireworks given the incredible half-life on fb when it comes to comments on our local ‘works store.
Well, in Sparta Friday night you can get both with a parade beginning at 545pm and fireworks starting at 7pm.
Check out the Sparta Today site for more info.
Saturday’s Drop-In Art at the NCCA Artsplace features feather design from 11am-noon details at
Got Music? We do.
Friday brings the Denise Anderson Connection to the RiverStop Saloon starting at 830pm.
New Brew Co Acoustic Lunch series features Coty Bouchard Saturday Noon-4pm.
Saturday night at the 7 Mile Inn fans of Backwoods Express can get their fill Saturday starting at 9pm.
And next Wednesday, incidentally one of the biggest bar days of the year (go figure, day before a family holiday). If you’ve got someone heading home for a visit who would like to reconnect with friends and maybe explore the possibility of relocating back here in this vibrant and versatile slice of bi-peninsular living have them pre register (free drink ticket) for the doings put on by The Right Place at Lakes 23 or even just show up.
La Paloma, Ole!
New eatery bridges the distance in time, space between Newaygo and central Mexico
An offering from: The Clandestine Culinarian
On M-37, during a late November lunch hour, La Paloma was a beacon in the cold. Barely two weeks open, the restaurant attracted a steady stream of diners that picked up as noon approached. In the spare yet spacious dining room, Spanish mingled with English. The menu, still in its infancy, didn’t stray far from the standbys. Tacos. Burritos. Tortas.
La Paloma and its food, however, owes its soul and its inspiration to San Luis Potosí, 2,026 miles south of its current home in Newaygo, in the modest space that used to be River City Pizza.
That’s where the sign just inside La Paloma’s front door, under the counter, comes from. The weathered marquee once graced a taco stand there, an enterprise of the family two generations earlier, announcing its barbacoa and gorditas. Today, the matriarch behind the stove prepares her comida as they would in central Mexico.
La Paloma’s tacos reminded my dining companion of the ones he used to get in west Grand Rapids 40 years ago when Central American migrants first put down roots along the Grandville Avenue corridor and made their tacos the only way tacos should be made: meat nestled in two fluffy soft corn tortillas, studded with chopped onions and cilantro.
At La Paloma, the tacos come three to an order, at $9. The meat options, for now, are steak, pork and chicken. Somewhere down the road, more exotic cuts but wholly appropriate to tacos from central Mexico could be added to the starting lineup. Lengua, or beef tongue, most likely. Tripe is already making a cameo at La Paloma, in its Sunday menudo, the bright restorative soup of cow stomach cooked for hours until meltingly soft, adding an unctuous silky beefiness to the caldo and swimming together in red broth with other good things, like onions and corn.
When the stars align, that tripe might someday jump from caldo to tacos.
For today, we feasted on steak tacos and steak torta.
First, the tacos.
La Paloma piles generous heapings of chopped, tender steak, perfectly seasoned and seared. The trouble with many places that claim to put steak in their tacos is the sad mistreatment of the steak itself. Too many places throw a hunk of meat into a tepid pan. The pan eventually musters the energy to come to heat. The meat slowly turns grey. Water seeps out of the beef, which is effectively boiled. Adding insult to injured beef, these places also tend to skimp on the salt and pepper. The result is bland, wet and leathery beef, disintegrating the corn or flour vessel in which it rides.
Not so at La Paloma.
The steak is briskly cooked on a scorchingly hot surface. Salt, the unifying spice, is generously added. The matriarch in the back robustly seasons the steak. Fond and microscopically crispy bits of charred beef cling to the steak, even after it is chopped and ladled into the double blanket of corn taco.
In the torta, for $7, that same sliced and chopped steak reclines on a bed of creamy beans, diced tomatoes and shredded lettuce. Sliced avocado and cheese straddle the steak. Everything goes between a bolillo (BOW-lee-yo) bun, the slightly sweet, sturdy plate-sized bun that is toasted just before serving, glistening, and the only bread any self-respecting torta should ever be made from.
And because half the fun of eating most foods is the saucing, La Paloma conveniently leaves squeeze bottles of green and red salsa out for anyone to grab, whenever they want to, however often. Tomatillos undergird the salsa verde. Chile de arbol provide the foundation for the salsa roja. The green salsa packs a gentle heat that dances among the slight tanginess of the tomatillos. For the red salsa, heat lingered under the smokiness and sugar of the chile de arbol. Do you need either salsa? Should anyone watch a movie on mute?
The wind outside may have been howling, and old snow still crusted the side of M-37. But with that torta and those tacos in hand, a glass of horchata – sweet rice milk laced with cinnamon – to wash everything down, everyone in La Paloma’s dining room should be forgiven if they felt, through the magic of food and however fleetingly, as though they were in San Luis Potosi.
Join us this holiday season for the heart-warming and much-loved classic story about a very shy toy rabbit who longs for nothing more than to become real. Bright Star Touring Theater will present "Velveteen Rabbit" in the Dogwood Center Black Box on Sunday, December 8 at 3:00 p.m.
The Velveteen Rabbit is the story of a toy rabbit who is loved so much that he becomes real. In this live action play, you will get a taste of the wonder, the heartbreak, and the magic of Margery Williams' tale of love between a child and his favorite toy. It is a wonderful tale for young audiences, or for anyone who is young at heart.
Bright Star Touring Theater performs nationally with theatrical productions comprised of literary and education based classics that are as entertaining as they are educational. The company has grown into being one of the largest professional touring theater companies in the country. In their 16th year of touring, they travel and perform to bring the magic of theater to young people.
The performance is geared toward pre-K to 5th graders, but the classic tale is entertaining for all ages.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 18 and under. Purchase your tickets through the Dogwood Center Box Office, NCCA-Artsplace in downtown Fremont, or on-line at www.dogwoodcenter.com. For information, phone 231.924.8885. The Dogwood Center is located one mile east of downtown Fremont.
It’s that time again! Time to visit NCCA-Artsplace to shop for great personal holiday gifts! The Holiday Artist Market opens on Saturday, November 16 from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Make your selections from handmade functional or decorative pottery, unique paintings, prints, textiles, candles, photography, wood turning, sculpture and jewelry. Decorate your tree this year with a variety of handmade ornaments or give them as the perfect holiday gift!
Whether you’re looking for fine hand made jewelry for the special someone, new ornaments for the tree or an original painting, you’ll find it all at NCCA-Artsplace Holiday Artist Market! And you can give the gift of creativity this holiday season with NCCA-Artsplace’s gift cards available in any denomination and can be used towards original art and classes.
The NCCA-Holiday Artist Market will be open through December 28. Regular hours are Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
For more information stop by or call NCCA-Artsplace, 13 E. Main, Fremont, 231.924.4022. www.ncca-artsplace.org
Review: Mama Mia, Don’t Miss It!
By Megan Wirts
LionHeart Productions has done it again! Their take on the classic disco delight Mama Mia is a must see! Even if you aren't a disco fan, you will love this show filled with talented people from all around this great community. There are new faces, LionHeart stage staples and lots of sequins.
Under the direction of Dana McKnight, the cast comes to life at the Grant Fine Arts Center stage set on a quaint island in Greece to celebrate a wedding. Sophie, played by the magnificent Meghan McKnight who’s voice shines in this role, is about to be married and she longs to be walked down the aisle by her father. The only trouble is, she doesn’t know who her father is! Here mother Donna, played by LionHeart newcomer Mandy Casebolt, has kept the secret from her daughter for 20 years and thanks to Sophie’s meddling the three possible papas show up to attend the wedding festivities causing much chaos and shenanigans to ensue. All of this is set to the classic sounds of ABBA and there is plenty of disco dancing!
The stage, designed by Mike Gesler, is set to look like a beautiful Taverna on a small Greek island. Even with snow on the ground outside, it felt like a warm summer day by the ocean on stage. You are immediately are met with the beautiful voice of Meghan McKnight as Sophie singing I Have A Dream and the wild ride begins. This show left me laughing and wanting to get up and dance, which I did by the end! Mandy Casebolt is an excellent Donna, the tough single mother with a wild past, she really shows us her power in solo The Winner Takes it All. She is joined by her two best friends and former band members of Donna and the Dynamos played by Julia Scarlett Cole as Tanya and Cammie Hollinger as Rosie. Julia and Cammie play the feisty, fun and flirty besties. Julia will have you cracking up during her number Does Your Mother Know? and Cammie will make you want to get up and wiggle your disco booty in her take on Take a Chance on Me! Individually all three ladies have strong vocals and when all are together they knock it out of the park! Dancing Queen’s indeed!!
Then there are the three disco dads, Jamie Evans as Harry, Nick Koogler as Bill and David Hatter as Sam. All three are LionHeart veterans and are always a pleasure to watch! Jamie is great as Harry, the former headbanger that has only ever loved one woman. Nick shines as Bill, the traveling author and has great comedic timing. David is fantastic as Sam, the architect that is reluctant at first to be on the island again after 20 years. You will love their excellent dance moves in the number Gimme Gimme Gimme!
The cast also includes Jarod Howel as Sky, the love of Sophie’s life. He has an excellent voice and is perfectly cast as Sky. Raymond Gardner as one of Sky’s groomsmen Eddie, adds some great comedic relief. Then there is Graydon Gesler as Pepper. Pepper is definitely a scene stealer and will have you roaring with laughter.
Rounding out the cast are the vivacious and fabulous Anya VanderMeulen and Gabby Horrisberger as Lisa and Ali, Sophie’s bridesmaids and best friends. They both have lovely vocals and their bubbly personalities light up the stage during their scenes. The strong ensemble is filled with many members of the community, from highschool students, college students, stay at home moms and retirees. It was a joy to watch!
LionHeart Productions is comprised entirely of volunteers. From the board members to the set builders and costume designers, the musicians in the pit and the actors on the stage, all of it is done simply because of the love of theater and wanting to share it with our community. The people on stage and behind the scenes work at your local schools, churches and banks. You might see them in line at the local grocery store or supporting their own children at sporting events. In a small community like Grant and all over Newaygo County, we are so incredibly lucky to have such phenomenal entertainment provided by LionHeart Productions. Countless hours are put into shows like this behind the scenes and I want to personally thank you for putting in the time, effort and sacrifices to bring shows like Mama Mia to us!
Don’t miss your chance to see this amazing show!
Show dates and times: November 9 at 7:30pm, 10 at 2:00, 15 at 7:30pm, & 16 2:00pm & 7:30pm
Tickets: $15 for adults, $10 for Seniors (60+) and students. Groups of 10+ receive the 10th ticket free.
Get your tickets online at Grant Fine Arts Center
Tickets are also available in person or via phone at the Fine Arts Center Box Office. Hours are 3-6 pm Monday through Friday during the weeks of the performances, and one hour prior to performance. The Box Office can be contacted directly at (231) 834-5630.
The NCCA-Artsplace Winter Community Photography Contest is an event that anyone can enter and showcases the season as we turn toward the winter months. Entry deadline is Tuesday, December 10 by 5:30 p.m.
This free contest is for all ages and all levels of skill. All entries will have “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!” as the theme. Participants may submit up to two entries. Each entry must be an 8”x10” unframed photograph.
All entries will be on display December 13 through December 30 in the corridor gallery at NCCA-Artsplace. First, second and third place ribbons will be awarded on December 13 at 5:30 p.m. just prior to Fremont’s Holiday Parade.
Registration forms for the competition are available at NCCA-Artsplace, 13 East Main Street, downtown Fremont or call 231.924.4022. The guidelines and forms may also be printed from www.ncca-artsplace.org or click here!
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