Saturday, September 22, 2018

Card Craft

It's time for another card update. The first four cards were designed or finished for a family birthday party celebrating some summer and early fall dates. 

This one is a variation on an idea I created using a patterned cardstock background, a vellum circle printed (on my PC) with the word "birthday" (I have done others that say "anniversary"), a circular frame die cut from metallic cardstock, and a "happy" die cut to top it off. To neatly adhere the slim lettering, I have found it's best to run a small piece of cardstock through a Xyron machine, burnish, then peel off the plastic layer. After I die cut the word from the sticker, the back can be peeled off, making the word easy to attach.


The next card started with some Hong Kong postage stamps I received on letters from a cousin when she was there 30 years ago. In the process of decluttering/downsizing, it's great to come across ephemera that inspires a project: in this case a card for that very same cousin. I mounted the stamps on a die cut tag.

The flowers on the stamp were a close match to an embossing plate I had, so that became the pink layer. The bottom layer is a leafy patterned cardstock, and I made a flower embellishment from the two colors. 

A faux Chinese coin, a couple of brads, a bit of gold cord and some chipboard letters were the finishing touches.

The next card started with one of the card fronts I made many, many years ago when I first tried rubber stamping. The flowers are stamped and the sentiment is PC-printed, then die cut.

Buttons and ribbon are the embellishments.


The mini card below was another project that started years ago. The technique is called Iris Folding. I folded and taped the layers of origami paper into this design, then set it aside until a later time. Now it is finally finished into a small die-cut window card.

Lastly, I made a card for DCWV's Stack-a-holic challenge on Facebook. I have many stacks of that company's paper, and this one was made entirely from the Taj Mahal stack, with the exception of the die cut and the vellum. 

I cut the flowers from one of the cardstock sheets and added tiny beads to the centers.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Tuesdays Around Town - Bayfield, Wisconsin

My nephew and niece and I took a quick trip up north to Duluth and Bayfield last weekend. The three of us had taken this trip in the Fall two years ago and stayed in Duluth. This time I found a place right in Bayfield across the street from the ferry dock.

Our room was a suite - there is a bedroom around the corner - with all this cabin-y furniture and a little kitchen (sink and microwave, toaster, real glasses).

We had stopped for lunch in Duluth and looked at some shops, but didn't stay too long. It was as hot there as it was at home. As soon as we got to Bayfield, we unloaded our bags, then headed for Madeline Island on the next ferry.

I love this photo (above).

On our way to Tom's Burned Down Café, we saw this art car with the wave design on the side, and boat on top.  

I knew about the burned down café from a previous visit and wanted to show it to G and R, but they only serve drinks, so we decided to find another place to eat.

We ended up at The Beach Club near the ferry boat landing. It was still warm, and the a/c didn't feel that cool, so we ate outside in the shade...

...with this gull to watch over us.

One of the colorful shops in La Pointe (the town).

As we left on the return ferry, I got this shot of the town and ferry dock.

Monday morning, we ate at Gruenke's Inn restaurant. It is a movie/music memorabilia trove. While we ate, one of the employees regaled us with stories of the Gruenke's ghost. I had actually stayed at the Inn five years ago with a friend, and neither one of us experienced any ghost "sightings", but the locals love their haunted history.

On the way home, we stopped at White Winter Winery in Iron River, Wisconsin to stock up on mead. This was the main reason for our trip - although we were told we can finally purchase it in the Twin Cities. The mead-tasting and brief tour were added bonuses.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Tuesdays Around Town - Tangletown Gardens 2018 Garden Tour

Last Saturday, my Aunt C and I took part in the Tangletown Gardens Garden Tour. It was our second year and their 13th year of organizing it. We started out in the morning picking up our buttons to identify us as visitors to the private gardens. After a light snack at Wise Acre Eatery across the street, we made a loop around the restaurant's own planting beds (below) before driving to our next spot on the map.

Our first stop was at a home next to Diamond Lake. Each house/garden featured an artist of jewelry or sculpture or yard art who displayed and sold their wares. The metal orbs in this front yard were done by a welder.

The side path hinted at surprises to come...

The back of the house was quite different in style from the brick front.

Phlox just visible in the background matched the color of this Adirondack chair.

And then the view opened up onto Diamond Lake! This has always been just a city lake that I drive by (Portland Ave is across from where I'm standing). How wonderful to be invited into a stranger's backyard for just the price of the tour!

We were able to walk on a path down to the water's edge - or, more accurately, the edge of the wetlands.

A little bit of Japanese garden, then back up to the colorful rear of the house.

On to the next garden, where the owner (below) greeted us with a brief explanation of how their yard became a Monarch Waystation and National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat.

The front entrance featured one of Richard Bonk's mandala photographs (in the streaks of sunlight). More of his artworks were displayed around the yard.

Some of the plants in all of the gardens were labeled; some were not. I will have to refer to my photos for identification later.

The installation above is another kind of mandala done with mirrors and plants facing four directions. The monarch butterfly below is resting on one of several types of milkweed in the yard.

A koi pond in the backyard.

More of the owner's mandala art on the garage wall.

Below is the Nokomis East Gateway Garden, close to the 50th Street Light Rail Station (where I caught the train to the U of M for several years). It is a "native plant demonstration garden" and "monarch magnet, especially during migration", a "community collaborative effort between the Nokomis East Neighborhood Association, Metro Transit, the City of Minneapolis and local residents" (from the brochure).

Over in St Paul, we stopped at two gardens in the Highland neighborhood. The first one was "laid out 16 years ago by Scott Endres and Dean Englemann, owners of Tangletown Gardens". It is described as more of a foliage than a flower garden, which is evident at the front of the house.

Of course, I am interested in the buildings also, so I took this photo of the area between the garage and the house with its California-style courtyard and fountain.

Around the back, there is a "Japanese style garden with rain chains and a river of stone". Aunt C remarked on the unique way the stones were laid vertically.

 The Minnesota River Valley is in the distant view.

 The art was a temporary display for the tour.

Just down the street was our sixth stop. The owners removed the front yard driveway and replaced it with plant beds and crabapple trees.

The backyard featured raised beds...

...some frog garden art...

...and another unusual leaf arrangement. 

Our last stop (we didn't get to all the of them) was at the garden of Scott Endres, co-owner of Tangletown Gardens and Wise Acre Eatery. The 1889 Victorian home is surrounded by plants, starting with the raised front yard.

There were beautiful, enormous koi in this shaded pond.

There were also sunny spots to sit....

...and a moat! It was small enough to step over as we made our way to the other side of the house.

The side yard (below) included another artist's framed works.

Looking forward to next year!