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LP council member discovers hidden talent
July 15, 2013

By Starrla Cray
Staff Writer

LESTER PRAIRIE, MN – During a snowstorm in March, Lester Prairie City Council Member Sandie Adams-Bruins decided that since she was stuck inside, she’d try drawing something.

First, it was a pencil sketch of her dog, Bleu. Next, a close-up of an eagle.

One thing led to another, and pretty soon, Sandie was creating life-like nature scenes like a true artist.

“I looked up acrylic painting techniques on YouTube, and that helped a lot,” she said.

Sandie’s never taken an art class, and until now, her days have been too busy to pursue painting.

“I raised nine kids – two biological, three step, and four adopted,” she said. “Many years ago, when my kids were little, I tried oil painting for a couple weeks. But who has time for that?”

Sandie still has a full schedule, between her career setting up businesses for credit card processing, spending time with her grandchildren, playing in a softball league two nights a week, and serving on the city council – but lately she’s been using every spare minute for painting.

“I’m just enjoying it so much,” she said. “I love nature scenes, and it’s exciting to stand back and look at it through each little phase, watching it unfold.”

The painting Sandie is currently working on is called “Mabel,” after a baby goose she found injured on the road a few weeks ago.

“I was on my way to a work appointment,” she said. The gosling didn’t look like it would survive on its own, so Sandie rescued it.

On her way home, she called her husband, Bob, asking if he could meet her in the garage with a pan of water. After getting some food, water, and a safe place to rest, the young goose (which Sandie named Mabel) began to show signs of improvement.

Soon after, Sandie and Bob were able to reunite Mabel with her family. They took her to the gravel pit near where she had been found, and a flock of geese came over and brought Mabel back with them. At that moment, Sandie looked up and saw a rainbow.

“I decided I had to have a ‘Mabel’ painting,” she said.

Her other paintings also have names, such as “Just Before Dawn,” “Silent Hunter,” and “Serenity.”

Although Sandie doesn’t have professional art training, creativity does run in her family. Her mother, Dawn, paints with watercolor, and also does photography. As a minister and foreign missionary, Dawn’s artwork is often inspired by African wildlife.

Sandie said she might have some of her mother’s photography for sale on bookmarks at the Prairie Days craft show, Saturday, July 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Mainly, Sandie’s booth will feature her own artwork, with 11-by-14-inch signed prints available on heavy linen paper.

Want to see more?
The artwork of Sandie Adams-Bruins is for sale on Etsy.com, under the shop name “SandieABruins.” She can also be reached at (320) 469-4405.

A sneak peek at Prairie Days, July 26-27
Sandie Adams-Bruins is one of several talented people planning to be at a craft show and farmers market in downtown Lester Prairie from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, July 27, during Prairie Days.

Prairie Days starts Friday, July 26, and organizer Melissa Williams has several new events for families to enjoy.

Free swimming at the Lester Prairie pool (sponsored by the Lester Prairie Lions Club) will take place that afternoon, along with disc golf, open archery, a raptor show, a frozen T-shirt contest, a National Guard obstacle course, and much more.

Saturday’s highlights include a 5k run/walk, farm animals (sponsored by area 4-H clubs), an art tent, and coffee and sweets served by Winsted’s Roadhouse Coffee Shop – and that’s just a sampling of the morning activities.

Lester’s Got Talent, sponsored by the youth task force and Methamphetamine Education and Drug Awareness (MEADA), will also take place downtown Saturday morning, with a chance to win Lester Prairie Bucks. To sign up, stop by Lester Prairie High School.

“We have prizes for three age groups,” Williams noted.

Ages 11 and under will receive $30 for first place, $20 for second place, and $10 for third place.

Twelve to 18-year-olds will receive $50 for first, $40 for second, and $30 for third.

Prizes for ages 19 and older will be $75, $50, and $40.

“Food, beanbags, and bingo will all begin Saturday morning, too,” Williams noted.

A car show will begin at noon. To learn more, contact Larry Hoof at (320) 395-2604.

Crops permitting, a free sweet corn feed might take place from noon to 1:30 p.m. A new game, “Minute to Win it,” will be played from 1 to 3 p.m.

“It’s a competitive game for teams of four,” Williams noted. “The first place team wins $80 in Lester Prairie Bucks, which can be used in any store in Lester Prairie. The games are silly, but different. You don’t have to know your teammates, so just show up and we will plug you in!”

A parade, coronation, music, and fireworks are also planned for Saturday night. Sunday morning, there will be a community church service, followed by breakfast at Lester Prairie High School.

Look for a more detailed schedule of events in next week’s edition of the Herald Journal.

To register for events or to volunteer, contact Melissa Williams at (320) 395-8433. For more information, go to http://prairiedaysfestival.webs.com/

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