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Once More Down the Rabbit Hole

Photo by DK Photography, Model Gretchen Schrock, Makeup Jenny Harris, Hair Morgan Danielson, Costume Design Jessica Kettler

Once More Down the Rabbit Hole, words provided by Morgan Malloy Danielson of The Spindle and The Rose and video interview with Jess Kettler of Windy Goat Acres, are a correction and expansion piece from the Creating Wonderland article featured in AMIDST Print Issue One. Key members of the Wonderland Festival were unintentionally omitted and/or not properly credited, including festival director and owner of Windy Goat Acres, Jess Kettler. Please see an inclusive list of the participating creatives, performing artists and vendors, provided by the festival director, following the video interview. We sincerely apologize for this oversight and any offense that may have occurred. We truly appreciate these corrections being brought to our attention and an opportunity to share a more complete story.

- AMIDST Editor, Jessica Pfohl Paisley


Models (not listed in order) - Jenny Chambers, Gretchen Schrock, Olivia Keller, Marly Mae Bright, Olivia Rose, Lorde Bailey, Hunter Brook, Lexie Thompson

Photos by DK Photography, Makeup Jenny Harris, Hair Morgan Malloy Danielson, Costume Design by Jessica Kettler and The Spindle and The Rose



Words by Morgan Malloy Danielson

Alice had once described Wonderland as a place, but she was wrong. Wonderland was a feeling. A feeling that The Queen of Hearts Festival, an event and artistic community, played host to.

Sprawling acres of land were filled with crooked paths into woods filled with dazzling creatures. Acrobats swinging from trees and disappearing in puffs of smoke from nearby fire jugglers. Flowers come to life and tittered about carrying fizzy drinks and tiny cakes. Artists and musicians mingled with guests to delight every sense with childlike euphoria. A community of imagination brought to life.

Tucked away in a forgotten corner of rural Iowa is an emerald paradise of rolling hills and sparkling ponds. The jewel of this oasis is Windy Goat Acres. The peaceful setting is home to a lively farm of animals. Your paths are sure to cross with a furry friend be it horse or cat, goat or peacock. These acres offer guests a chance to enjoy a getaway in a cabin or yurt and offers groups a perfect setting for a retreat. However the real magic of this place is the community that has built up around it. The owner, Jess Kettler, holds her little piece of paradise with an open hand. An artist and creator in her own right, she wanted to create a space for artists to meet challenges together.

It's... difficult for someone just to rise on their own... so when you bring so many creative minds together, something magical happens. - Jess Kettler

Jess Kettler wanted to create the Queen of Hearts Festival as a way to bring creatives together. The Wonderland theme allowed for talent and art that felt truly otherworldly. Kettler shares, "It's beyond reality, it's a manifested expression of who we are, and what we think about and create. It's really neat to see it come to life and that vision just play itself out because of so many people that were involved."

In order to draw even more inspiration from Wonderland, Kettler designed costumes that were worn by models who interacted with festival guests. "I started envisioning the designs I had for some of the characters like the White Queen and some of the flower characters. We made, these flower skirts and just some whimsical costumes. I'm a designer myself, I do textiles and I design costumes and like I used to do Renaissance fairs and so we made all sorts of fun fantasy themed costuming. Then I invited Morgan (Spindle and Rose) and invited her to bring her take on some of the characters. What she brought with was incredible, she brought the Red Queen and then she did the Mad Hatter. It was just like, I didn't know what to expect when she came and she just blew my mind with what she created to fit in with my characters and it all made this scene with all of Alice characters." The sheer amount of artists coming together could have been daunting for some event coordinators, but Kettler took it all in stride and it played off, "It was incredible just to, to witness it back and witness everybody coming together." Down the rabbit hole and a true reflection of Wonderland. [ See the complete list of Wonderland Festival Participating Creatives, Performing Artists and Vendors below. ]

Words by Morgan Malloy Danielson. Danielson is a costumer designer and owner of The Spindle and The Rose, she attended The Queens of Hearts Festival as a participant. The words reflect her shared experience of the festival and included excerpts from the AMIDST interview with Jess Kettler.

Jess Kettler is the owner of Windy Goats Acres, where she regularly plans and coordinates workshops, events, and festivals on-site including the Wonderland Festival, featured in Issue One of AMIDST magazine.Kettler, as owner, festival director and creative, is responsible for inviting artists, makers and creators from across the Midwest to participate in events hosted on her property, and make the theme come to life. For this particular event [Creating Wonderland], costume designers Jess Kettler, of JessKettler Art and Windy Goat Acres, and Morgan Malloy Danielson, of The Spindle and the Rose, showcased their original designs and works, highlighted by the models below. To watch the full interview with Jess Kettler, play the video below (transcript provided).

Press play for video interview, complete interview transcript above.

Images provided by Windy Goat Acres, photo credit to Louis Collins


Models (not listed in order) - Jenny Chambers, Gretchen Schrock, Olivia Keller, Marly Mae Bright, Olivia Rose, Lorde Bailey, Hunter Brook, Lexie Thompson

Photos by DK Photography, Makeup Jenny Harris, Hair Morgan Danielson, Costume Design by Jessica Kettler and Morgan Danielson

Creating Wonderland Participating Creatives, Performing Artists and Vendors

  • Norsefyre Circus Troupe -Aerial, Fire art

  • Melissa Marie Collins Design Studio - Melissa Marie Collins, creative painting workshops, flower crowns

  • Louis Collins - Musician

  • Threads Cedar Rapids - Painting pouring, tarot, Alice in Wonderland art

  • Jason Brommel - Live Painting

  • Psycho Delicacies Art/Bunga Vinanna - Interactive art, DJ, and art vendor

  • Linda Nahra/Lady L Accessories - Strolling Queen of Hearts Entertainer/Vendor

  • The Spindle and The Rose - Morgan Malloy Danielson

  • Luna Creations - Ben Luna

  • Bright Eyed with Wonder - Marly Mae Bright

  • Jill Estelle Art - Jill Estelle

  • Iowa Henna - Divya Bahdr

  • Gears of Time Designs - Danielle Nahra

  • Burpers Beads - Jennifer Kucera

  • Thymelyglass Studio - Mika M Sorak-Weirback

  • Dark Phoenix Designs - Sara Carlson

  • JessKettler Art - Jess Kettler

  • Brook.creates - Brook Peterson

  • Near Misses Band

  • Vimka

  • DaeOne

  • Sadboi Samarai

  • DJ Joe P the Maestro

  • Pura Fiya

  • Silo Sound

  • Yurt Yoga - Danielle Nahra

  • Breathwork workshops (janbulance) - Jana Ferguson

  • Banzai Festival Food - Matt Smith

  • Caribbean Kitchen - Jamaican Pat

  • Frightful Fun and Folly - Courtney Norman

  • Gala Models

  • Alina Bender - model

  • Olivia Smith - model

  • Kaitlyn Smith - model

  • Jana Ferguson - model

  • Kynlee Beau - model

  • Special Mention - Jim Carney, strolling Mad Hatter entertainer


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