Marjolein Bastin's art might be a little too, shall we say, Hallmarky, but there's no denying she has an awesome life. She divides her time among her prairie ranch here in Missouri, her country home in Holland and a tropical retreat in the Cayman Islands. At each spot, she takes long walks, draws and paints. We should all be so lucky. Bastin's latest offering, View From a Sketchbook, is a chronicle of her time spent with nature. The images span a year, beginning green in spring and ending with the bare brambles of winter. Much of her work here takes a "world in a blade of grass" approach, focusing on small arrangements of flora and fauna -- cute, precious stuff in the Hallmark tradition: a tiny ladybug, a family of chicks, a bunny.
Still, it's fun to daydream, which is why we're heading to the Discovery Center (4750 Troost) at 7 p.m. Thursday to hear her talk about her to-die-for life (and her charity work to preserve the tall-grass prairie). Call 913-384-3126 for details. -- Joe Miller
My Fair Lady
In terms of fashion, propriety and decorum are ... well, hot. Barely-there minis are beyond gone, and midriffs are a mere memory. And though it takes more than reading a book to achieve excellence in etiquette, How To Be Lovely offers timely advice on how to mimic the classic Audrey Hepburn. Author Melissa Hellstern (a University of Missouri-Columbia grad) fuses snippets from Hepburn interviews, behind-the-scenes accounts from friends and colleagues, and rarely seen photographs to present a view of the style icon that encompasses much more than her clothing choices, though that's the best part. Hellstern comes to Borders (9108 Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, 913-642-3642) at 7 p.m. Wednesday for a reading and book signing. --Annie Fischer
TV Dinners heat up at the Nelson.
7/16 & 7/18
Combining the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art's dramatic photo exhibit Black and White in America: Photography of the Civil Rights Era with a cooking class seems problematic. But Rozzelle Court's executive chef, Dwight Hawkins, is headlining such an effort from 5:30 to 9:00 p.m. Friday and from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday with a class called TV Dinners at the Nelson (4525 Oak). Following a 30-minute tour of the exhibit, Hawkins goes retro with a salute to those nuclear-age convenience meals of the '50s. Menu items include fried chicken and mashed potatoes (deceptively difficult to perfect) and apple brown betty. The cost for museum members is $40; nonmembers pay $60. Reservations are required; call 816-751-1278.-- Steve Walker