Saturday, June 11, 2016

My May-Session Architecture Workshop

I just finished a 3-week class at the University of Minnesota as part of my Bachelor of Design Architecture (BDA) degree. Those of us in the program have our choice of many 2, 3-, or 4-credit workshops to fulfill our requirements. Some are classroom/computer/research and others are design/build. This class was the latter type, and even though I could have had the summer off after Spring semester ended, I thought three weeks would go by fast. It did. But, this was the most physically demanding course I have taken so far. 
We spent one week in the classroom, learning about brick and concrete, presenting some research we did and taking a field trip to Lakewood Cemetery to sketch.

From their website: "The Memorial Chapel at Lakewood is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and serves as the architectural focal point of the cemetery. The building was designed by prominent Minneapolis architect Harry Wild Jones and was modeled after the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey." It was completed in 1910. I didn't take any outside photos because there was a repair man in the front door.

Inside, tens of thousands of tiles (my hand for scale) were used to create the beautiful mosaics.

The newer mausoleum and columbarium was "constructed in 1965, and is a Modernist style structure designed by Detroit architects Harley, Ellington, Cowan and Stirton".

This is the chapel. I did most of the drawing below during class time.

The last two weeks of the class were spent at the BAC: Bricklayer and Allied Craftsworkers training center in New Hope. Our first assignment was to design our own concrete block. Since the theme of our project was a ruins park, we decided to design an old-looking block, like those limestone bases of Minneapolis mill buildings from 100 years ago.

I measured 1.5-inch intervals across a 4-foot piece of Masonite and snapped chalk lines. Korynn is clamping a straightedge to the board so we can guide a circular saw every 3". The other lines were randomly cut with a jigsaw. I did cut at least one wavy line myself. Then we clamped the pieces and cut the 8' lengths down to match our block size.

We made one long form with 4 sections so that we could try an 18" block and three other standard lengths. Below - the Masonite strips fitted into our form very tightly. No need to glue them together: just a top strip of plywood to keep them in place.

Korynn and Zong brushing all surfaces of our form with a "bond break" solution so that the concrete will not stick to the plywood or the Masonite. I did some of this as well.

The form with the third side attached (below). Joe, our BAC instructor, helped us scoop the concrete into the form and showed us how to use the vibrator to eliminate air bubbles.

Our four block sizes almost ready to set overnight.

The next day, I was the first one to check on our block, and saw it had set and had pulled away from the Masonite. Good! That means it isn't sticking.

But, there was some sticking, and the loose strips of Masonite were a bit hard to pull out. We know this is an experiment. 

The final result was actually quite beautiful, appearing more like old limestone than it would have if the Masonite had made an impression with every 3/16" layer! 


And here are the new-old blocks at the base of our mock-up as Zong and Alyssia begin the first course of block.

More tomorrow.

Monday, June 06, 2016

Two Butterfly Dream Cards

These cards were both made for graduating family members. Card #1 features a die cut window with a flurry of butterflies in rainbow colors and a printed sentiment.

I used the same die cut window on Card #2, but started with a base of designer cardstock from DCWV. The butterflies were punched in two sizes and hand colored just a bit.

In both cards, I adhered the butterflies on one side only - to give dimension.

Sunday, May 08, 2016

Happy 75, Joanne

My friend, Joanne, celebrated her 75th birthday by throwing a picnic/party yesterday at Como Park in St. Paul. I made her a card using my number dies for the first time. The design is based on one I saw recently. I changed the cardstock color and the colors behind the "75".

The "happy" is printed (not stamped), and the design behind the "75" is Washi tape. The whole card front is raised up on dimensional double-stick tape.
I got a photo of the cake before it was cut, but not before the wind tried to lift it and it cracked!

That's Joanne in the tan/orange flowered top.

And there are Joanne's son, Greg and daughter, Jacqueline (above), and daughter-in-law, Sarah (below).

Monday, April 04, 2016

Happy Birthday, Neph

For my oldest nephew, who turns 32 today, I made this shaker card with DCWV flocked card stock. There are many ways to make a shaker. This one works with the whole front of the card raised up on mounting tape and the confetti sealed inside a cut-out window.

The sentiment is computer-printed.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Happy St Patrick's Day!

One piece of patterned cardstock, one piece of ribbon, a stamped sentiment, and one metallic embellishment. That's what went into these small thank you cards with a St Patrick's Day theme.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Square Cards Sketch

Continuing my square-card layout, I created these two birthday cards.
The first includes a 3-D styrene sticker and a label-maker sentiment on cardstock.

The second one was made with the "Tide" embossing folder by Lifestyle, a metal sentiment sticker and a purse sticker. Easy, but elegant.


Wednesday, March 02, 2016

Coloring Book Card

For a cousin's wedding anniversary, I layered a small page that I had colored over black paper.

The sentiment is a diecut over vellum.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Winter Cards

For a December birthday and a January birthday, I used the same sketch with different embellishments on these cards.
Both cards have a panel of embossed cardstock in the center. The embossing folder is one of the Tide set by Life Style. I just love the wave/wind effect.

I added a little jewel to the metal embellishment above.

The second card features a metal star with a sentiment printed on vellum.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Tuesdays Around Town - Christmas at Galleria

Fall semester was over for me the week before Christmas, so I took a trip to the Galleria in Edina to walk and window-shop and take photos of their decorations.
This year's theme was silver and gold.

Pottery Barn Kids had a beautiful fairyland scene.

The two windows below were at Tiffany. I believe the bridges and gates were paper cutouts. I may take them as inspiration for a card.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

October Anniversary and Light Art

I pulled out my various leaf punches to create this anniversary card for my brother and sis-in-law. The frame and most of the leaves are attached with foam tape to add dimension.

I cut out the frame first and then pulled out coordinating cardstock scraps for the leaves. Happy 21st Anniversary, David and Kim!

Last weekend, Craig and I went to an Art Crawl in St Paul. This display was made entirely from "Lite Brite" pieces. Impressive!