Monday, January 08, 2018

Tuesdays Around Town - Stillwater In Winter

After at least two weeks of below-zero temps in the Twin Cities, it was a balmy 34 degrees today. Craig and I took a drive to see the ice castle in Stillwater.

There are set hours and an admission fee. It was too early on a weekday to see the inside, so we walked around the perimeter.

It is amazing how beautiful ice can be when the sun simply shines through it.

We walked back along the St Croix River to the lift bridge that is undergoing renovations to turn it into a pedestrian/bike-only crossing. A new traffic bridge opened last year.

We walked to the north end of downtown and warmed up a bit while we looked around my favorite antique shop. This Johnny Seven OMA was a toy my brothers both received as gifts one Christmas! You never know what bit of your family history you will find in these shops.

A mural painted on one of the buildings...

Then we stopped at a new (to us) place, The Tilted Tiki, for Mai Tais and appetizers...all very tasty!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Barn Quilts Tour

I just returned from a fun day of touring Carver County in search of Barn Quilts. The event was organized by Minneapolis Community Education, but anyone can contact for information on their tours.  

Each barn quilt is painted on a wood panel, usually 8 x 8-feet in size, then hung on a barn that has been approved by the owner. Owners apply to have their barns used as display for the art, and they get to choose the style of the quilt design. This smaller quilt is 4 x 4-feet and is called Log Cabin, so it is appropriate for this log cabin located on the carver County Fairgrounds.

The fall colors were a nice backdrop for our trip. 

This "Edible Garden" design is painted on panels that split in two when the quonset hut door is opened. Our tour guide, Janet Fahey commented that it was unfortunate a maintenance person had left the trailer in front of the quilt, but I thought it was worth a picture anyway. (I have also ordered a book with photos and history of all 25 quilts in the county).

Our large bus was able to pull into several driveways, but many of the quilts were viewed from the road, like this "Hole in the Barn" quilt on the Miller Farm.

The long red barn below (not on the tour) is a commercial operation, but I didn't make a note of it's specific use. It is not for animals.

Janet pointed out some of the fallen barns. Many collapse after years of disuse, but now there is a growing market for barn wood in crafts, furniture and interior design.

This is the tour guide's family barn with its "Triple Tulip" design honoring her Dutch heritage.

We were invited to take a look inside the barn, and she had souvenirs and books for sale. I bought this little screen cleaning cloth.  It's too pretty to use: I think I will frame it!

We stopped at Lola's on Lake Waconia for lunch. We had pre-ordered from a selection of deli sandwiches, so our break was relaxing and not rushed. We sat inside by the fireplace, but there was a long porch overlooking the lake that I had my eye on for a visit next summer.

Then it was on to At The Farm with its "Single Wedding Ring", "Basket", "Diamond Frost" and "Farmer's Pride" barn quilts. The owner is an 85-year-old woman named Donna Frantz. She grows and sells organic produce, collects and sells antiques, and writes a newsletter! She has also written a book about being a woman farmer. Read about her here:

The main level of the building is the produce store.

Up the hill and at the back is the entrance to one of the antique stores...

...with these views of the inside.

More antiques in this building...

...and in this building with its bright "Country Square" panel on the back. 

Next: the Andrew Peterson Farm (below) has a "Swedish Apple Orchard" quilt on their barn.

Just down the road, Deardorff Orchard's barn quilt is "Apple Tree of Life". This was our last stop.

Parley Lake Winery was part of the orchard. Our tour included three tastings plus a full glass of wine.

This is one of the art installations on the property. There wasn't enough time on this trip to see all of them.

It was an eventful day at the orchard, with tractor rides, apples and pumpkins for sale, and a band. I will definitely plan on a return trip.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

End of Summer at Bread and Pickle

When I walk around Lake Harriet with my camera, I always look for the yellow boat because the yellow against the blue water is so striking. There is almost always a yellow boat; sometimes more than one, but this one is close enough to take a photo that includes the bandshell in the background.

I sat on the patio of Bread and Pickle for one last lunch before they close for the season on October first. It was a lovely day.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Octoberfest in Stillwater

Gasthaus Bavarian Hunter in Stillwater is celebrating Octoberfest this weekend and next, so the family and I met there for lunch.

After we ate, some of the group tried Hammerschlagen. Rebecca was doing pretty well, but David ended up with the cowbell prize for first to get the nail flush with the stump. You can see the hammer's narrow side is the one you must use.

We took a little stroll around the edge of the property and came upon this witty sign.

I got them to pose for a photo on this trailer "house".

We ate outside under the tent, but took a peek inside to see the restaurant itself. Some of us, but not all, have eaten here before.

The goatherd next to the building...

getting a hand-out from some of the kids.

Here's the group. Note the green cowbell that David is wearing.