Plus: Colorful air conditioners
The first weekend in August is one of the best times to find one-of-a-kind art for your yard and home. That's when three Minneapolis art fairs, all of which draw big crowds, are held in the urban streets of Uptown and along the tree-lined paths and ponds of Loring and Powderhorn Parks.
This year, more than 680 artists will offer sculptures, paintings, photography, ceramics, woodworking, clay and mixed-media artwork. The fairs also feature live music and kids' activities, including a workshop by the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
On Saturday and Sunday, you can ride the free Metro Transit Art Hop buses from fair to fair. (They start and end at Lake St. and Hiawatha Av. S.)
Uptown Art Fair, noon-8 p.m. Fri.; 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun.; Lake St. and Hennepin Av. S.; www. uptownartfair.com, 612-823-4581.
Loring Park Art Festival, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.; Oak Grove St. and Hennepin Av. S.; www.loringparkartfestival. com, 612-203-9911.
Powderhorn Art Fair, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat.; 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun.; 35th St. and 15th Av. S., www.powderhornartfair.com, 612-722-4817.
By now, you may have decided to let your garden go a bit, but don't let the weeds go. Continue pulling or cutting back weeds to prevent their seeds from maturing and dropping into your garden. Come next year, you'll be glad you did.
Is your AC clashing with your decor? Let's face it, window air-conditioning units aren't known for their aesthetic qualities. But a new line, featuring interchangeable interior panels in six designer hues, will help keep you cool without disrupting your room's color palette. The Kühl line from Friedrich Air Conditioning features a sleek design and Energy Star certification. The panels, at $49.99 each, come in Deep Red, Cobalt Blue, Designer White, Black Onyx, Classic Beige and Pink Diamond, as well as the standard Satin Silver. For more information, visit www.friedrich.com.
Looking for a unique chandelier, coffee table or stained-glass window? Browse the artisans at CustomMade (www.custommade.com), a marketplace for custom home furnishings ranging from small accessories to complete custom homes. You can search by category, such as "wine-room design" or "custom tile mosaics," or by location, to find artisans in your area. And if your project falls outside the listed categories, there's an in-house interior designer available to match you with the right artisans for your project.
KIM PALMER, LYNN UNDERWOOD, CONNIE NELSON