These past few weeks I have been driving around the county interviewing artisans for the new Nickel Plate Arts Trail. Along my way I have not only discovered some cool places, but I have also met really interesting people. First I traveled to Fishers to learn all about the art of soap making at Herbal Art, then I went up to Tabby Tree Weaver in Arcadia and got a look at how wool becomes cloth. Finally I went north again to Cicero and discovered the cutest coffee shop, complete with a Native American Flutist. Picture 2

In Fishers I stopped by the Wedding Event Design Offices (WE DO) for handmade soaps and lotions at Herbal Art. This complex houses all sorts of wedding-related businesses, from make-up to photography. Convenient, no? The soaps smelled great and, as I found out while talking to the creator, Brian, they're good for the environment and for you. He gave me a little sample and I can't wait to go back and get more. A few weeks later I drove up 31 to Arcadia, expecting Main Street to appear soon after I turned off the highway. Instead I had six miles of winding roads, cornfields, shade trees and quiet before I reached Tabby Tree Weaver on Main Street. Tabby Tree's walls are lined with yarns of all different colors, while the studio itself is scattered with looms of all different shapes and sizes. On them reside unique works of art, all at different stages of completion. As Tabby Tree's owner, Linda, talked me through the weaving process and told me about all the classes she offers, I could tell she had a real passion, both for weaving and for teaching others how to weave. Which, of course, made me want to take one of her beginning weaving classes and learn how to make my own scarf. I'm thinking about taking my mom up there for a girls day sometime. My final stop was a little farther down SR 19, at the Cicero Coffee Company. There I talked to Earl Tharp, a Native American flutist, flute-maker, and overall Native American heritage buff. The coffee shop was the kind of place that makes me, a girl who's always had aspirations to live in an apartment-in-the-city, want to move to a small town and know everybody's name. The walls are lined with quirky local creations and coffee mugs and I felt like an outsider as everyone easily shouted hellos (and food/coffee orders) at one another. It wasn't difficult to picture myself spending a lazy day in there, cozied up with a good book and a vanilla latte. Check out the Nickel Plate Arts Trail online for more information on all of these cool Indiana art spots.