Another item that I donated for our quilt guild's auction was a road trip to Grounds For Sculpture(http://www.groundsforsculpture.org/) in Hamilton, NJ and The Pennington Quilt Works(http://www.penningtonquilts.com/). There were 3 bidders and so off we went. Grounds For Sculpture is a very cool , mostly outdoor museum. It was built in 1992, where the NJ State Fairgrounds used to be, to showcase the sculptures of J. Seward Johnson. His sculptures are of people that are very life-like. Sometimes you can't tell if it's actually a person or a sculpture. In addition to these types of sculptures peppered throughout the park, there are several vignettes that he has adapted from Renoir paintings.
All in all there are over 250 sculptures by many different artists displayed in this amazing botanical setting, with specimen type plantings. Sometimes you round a corner and surprise, there is a piece of art. Sometimes they are in small isolated areas or through a little door. One of my favorite ones was created by Joan Danziger, called October Beginnings. It was maybe 2 feet high - so child-like.
A bonus was the flock of resident peacocks. It must have been mating season. A couple of the males had their feathers arrayed full out. You could hear them shimmying those feathers trying to attract the attention of the uninterested females. It was hard to tear ourselves away from the "show".
We then drove about 20 minutes from the Sculpture Garden to the Pennington Quilt Works. This is one of my favorite quilt shops. They have tons of fabric- most of it very current. Tons of batiks, Amy Butler, Moda and more. I was told that they really try and move their fabric. First it starts out in a collection, then it moves to the color section. As soon as the fabric has been there for a year, it goes into their sale section. Nice.
Another bonus is that in the same strip mall as the quilt shop, there is both a knitting/needlework store and a bead shop. Heaven!