Saturday, March 29, 2008

Missing post. I just got back from vacation (4/8/08) and found a nice comment on my blog asking for more Bungalowdays news. But this post seemed to have no readable photo or even words, so I'm inserting this card design from earlier just to clean up loose ends. Not much to say about it except it was done for an SCS challenge and uses Hero Arts stamps on scalloped squares of cardstock. I scalloped the actual card layer and addded some glitter glue to the flower centers.

Friday, March 28, 2008

2007 Como Conservatory. See next post. I uploaded this photo to share, but also to test my internet connections. I have both DSL and wireless connections because there was a package deal that was too good to pass up even though my first contract was not up yet. My DSL is fast enough for me and reliable, but the wireless gives me endless problems. Today it was working fine, but would not allow an upload. I will have to document my problems and call the company if the problems continue; I've paid for 2 years in advance!
Como Conservatory Spring Flower Show. Wednesday, I visited with a friend. I knew my camera battery was in need of a charge, but I totally forgot until I was just about to enter the sunken garden. This is one of the few photos I took before the battery gave out. The show runs until the end of April, so I'll make another visit and take the photos I missed. I was happy to see the color scheme had changed from last year, so it won't look like just more (pretty) photos of the same thing. This orchid in one of the other rooms fits the pink/purple/magenta theme. Last year it was blue and yellow - my favorite!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Last Friday's Limited Supplies challenge at Splitcoaststampers was to design several cards with the same set of stamps, designer paper and color scheme. The layout (sketch) and embellishments could change. I forgot to use patterned paper, so this card doesn't meet the guidelines, but it turned into a nice card anyway. This was one I didn't envision first. Sometimes, that's less frustrating then working on a design that's beautiful in my head only to end up with disappointing results. I may design a few more of these and post them, but I'm getting ready to go on vacation and wanted to post this before the week flies by! Have a good one.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter Flowers and Snow

Happy Easter! Before I showed you one more snow photo, I had to post this pic I took at the Como Park Conservatory last Spring. Easter in Minnesota is never going to look quite like this, but it gives us hope. This is the earliest Easter in 95 years, but I remember plenty of times as a child wearing a cute little dress with nothing on my legs and being chilly! It was a small sacrifice for the chance to wear a new Easter outfit!

I believe we have had fresh snow every morning for three days now, and yesterday's was especially beautiful. I took the "tree canopy" photo through my car window as I was headed out to see "Horton Hears A Who". The other photo is of my 10-year old maple tree in the front yard. It looks like every branch has started to sprout new growth, which gives the snow even more to cling to.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Day 2 Spring. They said it was coming and it came - a blanket of snow! I haven't been outside yet to take the 'natural beauty' photos, but these pics show you what I see from my front door and back window. A March snow can be irritating when you start to feel spring coming, but anyone who's lived in Minnesota for a few winters knows it can happen. The way I look at it: it's not going to last. But I don't think this one's going to melt before I get out to shovel, so I'll be getting a bit of exercise and fresh air today. Maybe Zane will come out on his leash with me - if I shovel a bit first so he doesn't get his feet wet :)

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring Anniversary

Happy Spring! It's also the anniversary of moving into my house 28 years ago! Brother D and I bought the house together and he lived here for the first 7 years. We rarely saw each other, though. He worked normal day shift hours and I was studying interior design by day and working in bank processing by night. We still had our adventures: the locust that got into his bedroom one night and was so huge he didn't know what it was without his glasses; the huge thump in the attic when I was home alone that I had him investigate...turned out to be a mirror left hanging on the wall that had broken off its twine hanger and crashed to the floor. I could have sworn the chimney had fallen, that's how loud it was!

It's too early for any real Spring-in-Minnesota photos, but I will keep my eyes open. In the meantime, this little chick bowl is something I bought at Hallmark last year after Easter. It was too cute to resist and I've put it to good use in my studio. As much as I'd like, I can't buy decorations and dishes for every occasion. Living in a 1000-square foot bungalow is actually a blessing more times than not. It's one way to live the simple life. There's simply no room for clutter - not that I haven't tried! :)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

King For A Day. My oldest nephew turns 25 in two weeks. This is his card, featuring a clipart crown with tiny plastic jewels glued to the top, Rockstar cardstock (DCWV brand), an oval punched through the front, and metallic cardstock (also DCWV) inside. I inked the card edges and inside the oval with purple ink to cover up any white c/s. The PC-generated caption inside says: "Happy 25th Birthday, GR. May You Be...King For A Day". I wasn't sure the metallic cardstock would take the printer ink, and it did look wet coming out if the printer, but I fired up the heat gun and dried it in a second. A very easy card; the hardest part was lining up the caption inside with the oval window.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hello, snow! I guess I'll be shoveling after all. Yesterday's light snow was just enough to cover the sidewalks, and I noticed all my neighbors had the same thought: why shovel when it will be melted tomorrow? But I woke this morning to a beautiful fluffy coating on the trees, the kind that makes a great calendar photo, especially when the sun shines through. However, this pic was taken just outside my front door and the sky is still overcast. If the sun comes out, I'll try to take another photo.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day! The green grass that I just photographed yesterday is being rapidly covered up by a gently-falling snow. It wouldn't be March without a snowstorm, but this one is pretty mild (spoken by someone who doesn't have to drive home tonight in rush hour traffic :) I brought my potted shamrock outside to take a picture in the snow, but this one taken inside worked out better with the light filtering through.
I've always thought I was a little Irish because Dad used to whistle and sing many Irish tunes. He also called us a Duke's mixture, which I understood to mean English/Irish/Scottish. But, having learned more and more of my Scandinavian roots, and less - none at all - of my English, I can't be sure. Anyway, isn't there a saying about everyone being Irish on St.Patrick's Day? Here's one of my favorite Irish blessings:

May the road rise up to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
And rains fall soft upon your fields
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the small of His hand.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Bunny and Chick Salt and Pepper Shakers. We had 40-degree temps several days this past week, and I saw something I haven't seen in months - green grass! I mean, I was prepared to finally see the brown grass as the snow slowly receded, but when I looked out and saw green, I was excited. But as I said in an earlier post, it won't really feel like Spring until that warm-breeze day arrives, grass or no grass. Another sign, though - as I pulled out of my driveway this morning, two cardinals were frolicking nearby and one of them flew at my car! In fact he landed in front of me and I had to stop the car briefly to make sure he hadn't gotten hit. Spring fever for sure.

Anyway, the Hallmark salt and pepper shakers were on clearance after last Easter, so I added them to my collection. I thought they'd be a cute way to photograph the snow-to-grass scene.

Endless Bridge. That's what this cantilevered platform at the Guthrie is called. Inside the building, it looks like a windowed hallway and you don't realize you are walking on a huge balcony. The left side (with the angle) is the outside portion, complete with places to sit and enjoy the view and - someday - summer breezes :). The photo I posted of the river a couple weeks ago was taken from this 'bridge'. (I will have to learn how to link to past posts). I joked with the family about why it is called "Endless Bridge" sure seems to end to me - in midair!
Progress on the new 35W bridge over the Mississippi River as of Saturday, March 15th. I took this photo from the Guthrie, where family and I saw "Jane Eyre". What you are looking at is the arched 10th Avenue bridge in the background, with the concrete supports for the new bridge right in front of that - they are partially covered in white and black plastic at the moment. The span closest to the camera is not a bridge. It's part of the St.Anthony Falls dam. The bridge is scheduled for December 2008 completion. You may recall it was August 1, 2007 that the 40-year-old highway bridge collapsed during the evening rush hour.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Did you remember to Spring Ahead? Yes, by now you would've noticed being an hour late everywhere :) As I write this, the sun is still high in the sky, slanting in my western studio window - at 6:15 PM! Such a glorious feeling to have light so late in the day. The temp is supposed to reach 40 tomorrow and maybe the next day, so major melting will take place. This hasn't been a very snowy winter, but we haven't seen bare ground since our big snowfall last December. This is the first time in many many years that this has happened. We've either had such light snow-cover or such warm temps, that the brown grass was fully exposed. As a winter-lover, I'm all for a snow-covered landscape. It makes it so much more exciting to see and hear the melting! Temperatures rise and fall, but there comes a day when even the breeze feels warm, and there's an earthy smell in the air...and that is when Spring begins.

The card pictured is an SCS challenge card, using the Faux Cloissone' technique: embossing powder (gold on this card) is used with a stamp on a glossy magazine page. When I first heard of this, I couldn't stop myself from saving every interesting pattern from all the magazines I was trying to recycle! Now, I'm a bit more picky, but once a saver, always a saver :). I used a heart stamp to create the shamrock for a St. Patrick's Day card. The patterned paper and the dry-embossed paper both have a diamond design. I inked and gold-embossed the edges of the circle and the white rectangle. The gold edge on the base card was created with a metallic pen.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

An update on my "March Forth" progress. I designed a card to sell - that was one of my goals. But I can't show it to you yet. As soon as I make a few more and post them in my Etsy shop, I'll let you know.

This card was another SCS challenge, a triple challenge! I used the sketch from a couple weeks ago, paper I'd designed on the PC, and scraps. The chipboard flower and leaf were sent to me on another card. I removed them and added the stamped design as well as the 'happy' sticker. It was a fun and easy card!

The PC-paper was designed in Word. Each leaf is actually a Wingding in a large font size. They can be inserted onto the page in 4 different orientations, so I positioned them to appear as if they form little circles across 2 rows. The color is what completes the pattern. Once a few rows are done, copy and paste really speeds up the process.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

A view of the Mississippi River from the 'endless bridge' at the Guthrie Theater. Look below the iron bridge section and you'll see large ice rafts. But the rest of the river is free-flowing. This is St. Anthony Falls, where Minneapolis began. I have seen the river frozen below this area, and I would assume it is frozen further north. I will have to investigate this.
MARCH FORTH! You see, it is the only date that is also a sentence or command. When I worked in an office, back in the days when there wasn't much choice in screen savers, I'd try to change my 'crawling sentence' screen saver frequently. March Forth was one of those, as was 'Beware the Ides of March' (from Julius Caesar). Of course, March Forth is a play on words, since the date is spelled 'fourth' (just didn't want anyone thinking I couldn't spell).
So, what will you do today that would be considered Marching Forth? Last year, I started this blog and started taking down my wallpaper. Today, although I'm starting slowly, I have one big project planned. Whenever I get a late start on a busy day, I'm always reminded of one of my childhood cartoon characters, Yogi Bear. The song went "he can sleep 'til noon, but before it's dark, he'll have every picnic basket that's in Jellystone Park". I'll keep you posted on how it goes.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Today is crisp (20 degrees) and sunny, a good day for a drive downtown to pick up some tickets at the Guthrie Theater. It's been nearly 2 years since the new building opened on the Mississippi and this month will be the first time I've gone to a play there. The grand opening in the summer of 2006 was a fun event to attend, but a little crowded for picture-taking, so today seemed a perfect opportunity. It was open, but deserted! I had an hour on the parking meter and went in for a look around. These two pics are of the front entrance with Sir Tyrone Guthrie portrayed on one wall. There are other Guthrie alumni on walls around the building.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Spring is just around the corner, so the latest SCS challenges inspired me to recreate a Christmas "door" card I'd designed a year ago (see link below). This one is a door that opens to the sentiment inside (the door on the original card was just for looks). In fact, I had a hard time coming up with a way to keep it closed for the photo! I settled on a piece of sticky note folded back on itself. The wreath is an old (1994) Stampin' Up stamp I bought at a garage sale. It is embossed in silver, colored with markers, cut out and layered over a thin piece of cardboard for depth. The door handle is a snap embellishment. I think next time I design a door like this, I will use an actual snap. That way, the door will stay closed. A cousin who turned 50 last year will receive this. I forgot her big 5-0, so I'm wishing her a Happy Spring, Happy Easter, Happy St Patrick's Day, and a Happy Birthday!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Loon Call

This video was taken last summer on a small lake near Lake Superior in Wisconsin. I've tried to upload it several times and it's never worked. So, it's here for no other reason than to share it with you and maybe give you a little taste of our summer to come. The quality isn't as good as it looks on my camera, and you'll hear my companion's voices since they didn't know I was filming and that their voices would be picked up. Still, the sound of a loon just can't be beat!