If you're looking for a one-of-a-kind piece of artwork, visit the fifth annual Expressions of Freedom Art Show and Sale on Sunday at Trinity Services in Mascoutah. Admission is free to the event, which runs from 1 to 5 p.m.
The 700 to 800 works of art were created by adults who are developmentally challenged. They worked under the guidance of O'Fallon artist Alicia Scolarici and volunteers. I got a tiny preview last week: paintings, jewelry, dyed scarves, pottery, stepping stones. The talent is amazing and so is the demand. Last year, the art students made 60 beautiful scarves and sold out of them at $15 each. This year they're ready with double that number. With a wide variety of art available, prices range from $5 up to as much as $300.
Browse, buy and enjoy the refreshments, appetizers and music. Trinity Services' new location is 973 N. Sixth St., just north of Scheve Park. Proceeds benefit the Trinity Services Art Center Program.
The 10th annual indoor Spring Indian Market at Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site in Collinsville continues from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and Sunday. Admission and parking are free. More than 26 artists will be represented. Among the creations will be weavings, paintings, jewelry, dolls, drums, woodworking crafts, pottery, baskets, flutes and dream catchers.
I finally got to check out the new Menard's location on Central Park Drive in O'Fallon. It's a huge store with everything from dog food to lumber.
I went home with a $5.99 dark-green square seat cushion made of some kind of memory foam made by Guidesman. It's meant for boating, camping and sporting events, but I'm going to use it when I sit on the ground and pull weeds and clean up my garden after all this wet weather.
Menard's has a couple events going on to celebrate its opening: From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. today through Tuesday, watch chainsaw carver John Gage at work. Then check out two St. Louis Cardinals autograph opportunities: former Cards closer Todd Worrell on Monday and Cards hitting coach John Mabry on Thursday. Both events run from 6 to 8 p.m.
Whether you're a crafter, scrapbooker or someone who sews, lighting is very important. Today is the final day to purchase specialty floor and table lamps, bulbs and tubes from OttLite and Mighty Bright at half the regular price from Jo-Ann Fabrics in Fairview Heights. Plus, it's buy one craft class and get the second free through today.
Garden Ridge in O'Fallon has colorful kid-size cartoon character garden gloves and spade ($4.99 each) and watering cans ($7.99).
All kinds of free gardening events are taking place this weekend:
Vegetable Gardening 101 -- At 11 a.m. Sunday, veggie guru Hugh Maine, Dave Chouinard and Rick Effinger will talk about soil preparation, pests, problems and growing veggies, berries and all things edible at Effinger Garden Center in Belleville.
Container Gardening -- Today at 1 and 3 p.m., Angie Eckert will share the fun on how to have color on your doorstep year-round with her secrets to fertilizing and soil maintenance. It's part of the Spring Fling festival at Eckert's Garden Center in Belleville.
Terry's Home & Garden Center on Illinois 15 west of Our Lady of the Snows Shrine is holding its annual Spring Open House today and Sunday with 20 percent off a wide range of plants, pottery and garden gifts. Free advice from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday from Country Club Lawn & Tree Specialists about how to get a green, weed-free lawn. At 1 p.m. Saturday, there will be a talk on the importance of soil testing, and at 9 a.m. Sunday, learn to make a fairy garden. (Buy your own supplies.) For the kids, make sure to visit the resident goats and baby chicks.
The really, really big Millstadt Gardens nursery in Millstadt has its retail operation open for the season and offers a wide variety of annuals and perennials plants. I like the greenhouse's catchphrase: We're so excited, we wet our plants!