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A Potpourri ...
Of shopping activities and adventures.

While I certainly enjoy visiting stores to check out what’s going on around town. I especially love getting the chance to participate in shopping opportunities that toss a little extra somethin’ somethin’ into the mix. Fortunately this week promises quite a few of them.

Beulah Brinton House.
How about sauntering over to hunt down bargains at the mega yard sale going on at the Beulah Brinton House Saturday May 21 (9 a.m.-3 p.m.)? Held to raise money for the Bay View Historical Society whose archives are housed in the building, this much anticipated sale is sure to be loaded with all sorts of furniture, antiques, collectibles, books, toys and household items. In addition, shoppers can purchase Bay View-related merchandise in the society’s gift shop and will find refreshments readily available. Free admission. 2590 S. Superior St. 414-324-5690, bayviewhistoricalsociety.org.

Or why not head out to New Berlin’s Hawthorne Hill Farm May 20, 21 or 22 (10 a.m.- 5 p.m.) for a Beyond the Garden Gate! weekend, just one of several specially themed shopping events that artist owner Bonnie Lynn Loduha stages throughout the year on her two-acre restored 1874 farm. You just never know what you’ll find among all the home decor items, vintage treasures, pottery and hand-crafted accessories she’s gathered from more than 40 local artisans and vendors as you shop the barn. And if you’re ready to unleash the inner artist in you, be sure to inquire about all the creative workshops and retreats Hawthorne Hill Farm offers. 16370 W. Small Road, south of I-43 and just west of The Ridge Cinema, New Berlin, 414-688-5854, hawthornehillfarm.com.

You could even take to the water as Laacke & Joys’ Downtown store hosts Paddlefest 2011 on the Milwaukee River May 21-22. Along with being Southeastern Wisconsin’s largest test paddling event, this is one shopping event I try never to miss (it’s where I got my first taste of kayaking and found out I loved it). Free and open to the public, in addition to the store’s expert staff, there’ll be plenty of representatives on hand to explain the features of more than 100 different canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards available to sit in, test paddle and purchase. But wait there’s more - like special prices, seminars on finding the correct gear and learning how to use it, plus Guided River Paddles and Paddler mini-clinics for first-time rowers. Whether you’re in the market for some new equipment, interested in finding out more about the store’s rental program or like me, just want to see if propelling yourself through water is your cup of tea, I can’t think of a better place to do it. Just be sure to dress appropriately (think quick-drying synthetics in case you get wet) and ditch the leather shoes, OK? Free and open to the public. For schedules and seminar sign-up, please visit laackeandjoys.com. 1433 N. Water St., 414-271-7878.

Agave sportswear.
Or perhaps feeling the wind in your hair is more your speed? If so, hop on your favorite set of wheels and take a spin out to Mark Pasch Ltd. for the store’s Bikers Cyclists & Denim event May 21 (9 a.m.-3 p.m.). Not only can you shop a trunk show offering special pricing on summer and fall preview easy-fitting, American-made premier denim and sportswear fashions from Agave, you can also check out lots of bikes from Wheel & Sprocket, enjoy complimentary Starbucks coffee and nibbles, and vie for prizes awarded for fun cycle and bike competitions, including best-dressed rider. 333 W. Brown Deer Rd., Bayside, 414-351-5634.


Steph Davies's "Artful Owl."
Congrats to Sparrow Collective. The small shop filled with lots of handmade items by local indie designers celebrates its second anniversary with a festive Birthday Party Friday May 20 (5-10 p.m.). Shoppers are invited to stop by and enjoy the spin of guest DJ’s Exist Naught and Strait Hustle, nosh on cake, enter to win a $50 gift card and take in a show of owl-inspired artwork by Steph Davies. Can’t make it to the party? Stop in during the day to enter a drawing for a $25 gift card. 2224 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., 414-747-9229, fastencollective.blogspot.com.

FYI for ladies walking around with size 10 shoes and over, Boutique Larrieux has recently partnered with Big Soul Shoes to bring in more than 15 styles of shoes and flip-flops from designers such as Corso Como, Moda Spana, Barefoot Tess and Vaneli. And yup you guessed it, just like everything else at this plus-size boutique, all of ’em are chic and colorful. 717 N. Milwaukee St., 414-278-0000, boutiquelarrieux.com.

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