Festival Highlights

Green Day at Sawdust

Celebrate being "green" Saturday at the Sawdust Festival, when local artists and organizations host a variety of activities focused on eco-friendliness and sustainability.

Learn about gardening from Transition Laguna, participate in a Laguna Beach Garden Club or eco-book exchange, or make fun crafts out of recycled objects. Wyland will also hold a group mural project to benefit ocean preservation, a fun and charitable activity for patrons of all ages to enjoy.

The Sawdust Saloon will also participate by offering "earth-friendly" wines throughout the day at 950 Laguna Canyon Road. For more information, visit http://www.sawdustartfestival.org.

Art of Cooking at Festival of Arts

The Festival of Arts weekly Art of Cooking series will feature food columnist, author and on-air host Cathy Thomas from 1 to 2 p.m. Sunday, when she will share her secrets to creating delectable dishes without spending hours in the kitchen.

Patrons will learn the art of quick-to-prepare recipes that contain flavorful ingredients, fresh fruits and vegetables that make each of her dishes colorful, healthy and delicious.

In addition to her food column for the OC Register, Thomas conducts international and domestic culinary tours on a regular basis, where she seeks new ingredients, techniques and ideas as she explores world cuisine.

Voted the best food columnist in the nation from the Assn. of Food Journalists in the large newspaper division, she also pioneered the use of culinary-based flash videos on the internet, in which she filmed hundreds of cooking "how-to's" and celebrity interviews for the newspaper's website.

Thomas also recently published her second Book, "Melissa's Everyday Cooking with Organic Produce: A Guide to Easy-to-Make Dishes with Fresh Organic Fruits and Vegetables," in which she proceeds alphabetically through 56 popular fruits and vegetables, offering tips on varieties, buying year-round, and proper prep and storage.

Her first book, "Melissa's Great Book of Produce" (2006) is a manual that explains how to find, store, prepare and serve fruits and vegetables.

Cost is $7 for admission.

Standring comes to Festival of Arts

Contemporary jazz artist Chris Standring will perform works from his new album, Blue Bolero, at the Summer Smooth Jazz Concert Series from 1 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the Festival of Arts.

The album, which includes the hit single Bossa Blue, continues in the "Top 10" on the Billboard Charts, keeping Standring as one of the most in demand and dynamic contemporary jazz performers of our time.

"Working in my home studio [on Blue Bolero] gave me the luxury of taking my time to create what I believe is my best, most mature work to date," Standring said.

The artist released his solo debut Velvet in 1999, from which the single "Cool Shades" was a top 10 song for more than three months on Gavin/Radio & Records' airplay charts.

Other prior albums include "Love and Paragraphs" (2008), "Soul Express" (2006), "Groovalicious" (2003) and "Hip Sway" (2000).

His 2006 record also produced a hit radio single " I Can't Help Myself," which was in collaboration with Grammy-winning guitarist/producer Paul Brown.

Sawdust music entertainment

The Sawdust Festival will feature variety of musical talent throughout the week, including a snazzy performance by Danny D and the Rockabilly Rebels from noon to 4:30 p.m. today on the Main Deck; singer-songwriter Sasha Evans will play from 5:30 to 9:45 p.m. Saturday on the Main Deck; there will be a Juke Box Scandal on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tavern; Michelle Mangione will perform from 5 to 9:30 p.m. Monday at the Tavern; get bluesy with Toni Dodd and Southbound Blues from 5:30 to 9:45 p.m. Tuesday at the Main Deck; Paul Pederson puts a new spin on old classics from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Tavern on Wednesday; enjoy more classics with the Jason Feddy Band on Thursday from noon to 4:30 p.m. on the Main Deck

For a complete list of performances, visit http://www.sawdustartfestival.org.

Art-A-Fair music performances

Art-A-Fair will host an eclectic mix of performers, including a pop-rock performance by Bob Johnson from 5 to 8 p.m. today; a Jazz Attack from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday; Sunday will deliver blues and bluegrass with a performance from Satin Blues from noon to 3 p.m. followed by Timbre Line from 4 to 7 p.m.; Saxomania will get saxy from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

Art-A-Fair workshops

New to Art-A-Fair this year are daily workshops, including Chinese Brush Painting with K.C. Horng today; Classic Beading with Janeen Shagman on Sunday; Watercolor with Barbara Kimmel-Palmer on Monday; Oil and Palette Knife with Elaine Hughes on Tuesday; Acrylic painting with Carol Heiman-Greene on Wednesday; and Drawing with Sharon Cannon on Thursday.

For more information about the workshops, including agendas and costs, visit http://www.art-a-fair.com/workshops.

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