Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last of July. C and I took a walk around the lake last night and I snapped this sunset scene. (Click on the picture - it's a lot clearer in larger view). Dusk is my favorite time of day. I worked 4PM to midnight for 15 years and missed a lot of twilight time outdoors, so I still appreciate being on my own at that time of the day. In a way, the sunsets seen from the 8th floor of the building where I worked were better than the ones seen from the ground. The colors are better at that angle, but there's nothing like sitting on a deck or in a beach chair just enjoying the sun going down.
The canoe photo was taken earlier this month. I could never post all the photos I take. I figured month-end was a good time to catch up.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Summer Walk. I'm a bit slow to blog these days. After a wonderfully cool start to summer, the heat has returned. Although it's not much to complain about compared to other years and other spots in the U.S. this year, it means I finally will have to put my AC unit in the window of my studio.

The tiger lilies in my yard bloomed last week and are still opening every day. I like a flower that needs no care, but I guess I should water them - this one looks a bit dry!

The other photos were taken on a walk with Aunt C, starting in her neighborhood and continuing close to mine. This front yard garden is well-tended by a man who added the deer sculpture/containers. There were seashells in one of them. The house is the one next door to the garden, not the owner's.

And take a look at this art-chimney. It reminds me of art-cars, on which every conceivable surface is covered by corks or toys or whatever the designer collects! This chimney has a swimming pool ladder at the top, chains, patio blocks, etc. (Click on the photo for a larger view).

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Aunt C! I found this little house stamp at Norway Day two weekends ago. I thought it would make a great card for my aunt, since she is studying Norwegian - and our family is part Norwegian. I colored the stamped house 3 different ways, added a bit of grass at the bottom (the grass on the roof is part of the stamp), matted them on 3 colors of scallop-punched cardstock, and attached to the card. The sentiment is "Happy Birthday"...I translated it to Norwegian online. The green paper was scalloped with a Martha Stewart edge punch.

Stockholm, Wisconsin. Brother C and I took a Sunday drive down the Minnesota side of the Mississippi River, crossed over at Wabasha, and drove north through some quaint little towns on the Wisconsin side. The town we stopped in was Stockholm, where there was an art fair and music in the park by Lake Pepin. Gelly's is where we ate lunch before we realized there was some interesting - and cheap - food for sale in the park, but I had no complaints with my tuna salad sandwich and gazpacho. It was a warm - uh hot - day, except near the lake, where it was nice and breezy.
It was a trip we'll want to repeat in the fall, so we can try out some of the other restaurants we passed by, and perhaps spot some eagles soaring over Lake Pepin. Oh, by the way, one town on the lake, Lake City, Minnesota, is the home of the invention of waterskiing! Minnesota is also where rollerblading began, so I guess there are a lot of ideas brewing over our long winters that take shape during our short summers!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Sunday In The Park, Part 3. After my tour through Stevens House, I headed for my car and snapped these pics on the way. This is the Minnehaha Train Depot on the west side of the park. It's one of my favorite little buildings and I'm so glad it has been spared from demolition all these years. According to what I read inside, it saw a lot of activity during WWII, when troops were shipping out, and was closed in the 60's.

Nice details and colors. I don't know if they followed the original color scheme.

The photo below shows the new and the old - see the roof of the depot on the far left as the Light Rail train comes flying past on the right. [On a side note, the Minneapolis Star Tribune held a naming contest when Light Rail was getting ready to open. I thought they were going to pick a nickname like San Francisco's BART, or even the Tube in London. Whatever happened to that?)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Danyelle, who frequently comments on my blog, honored me in her blog,

Hangnailz n' Papercutz

So here's an award for you, D! You make me laugh, and inspire me with your card creations and all you do for your family!

And here's the link to a card she made, inspired by my Minnehaha Park photos:

Something a Little Different
Sunday Afternoon, Part 2. After I checked out the Norway Day festivities, I wandered over to the Stevens House on the south end of Minnehaha Park. It was moved there many years ago from its original site where Minneapolis began. I don't remember ever taking a tour of the inside, so I did that.
This photo (displayed inside the house) was taken at its original location. As the tour guide pointed out, it must have seemed very strange/exciting to wake up to this scene outside your door. Do you see the peak of the house just to the left of the far right teepee?

I couldn't resist taking a photo of the original bed from the house. The saying, "sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite" refers to getting a more comfortable rest by tightening the ropes that held up the stuffed mattress - and of course to the bugs that were lurking IN the stuffing!

The tour made no mention of this outhouse, so I don't know if it's original, but I thought it made a cute photo.

Monday, July 14, 2008

[Edit: When I first posted this, the statue photo was after the Falls, and later it was missing. So, I've reposted the photo, but I can't get it back in order. Just so you know... :)]
Norway Day at Minnehaha Park. I hope everyone had a great weekend. Sunday I went to Minnehaha Park to check out Norway Day, a small festival of music, food and crafts for sale. The park has long been a family destination. In fact, we'll be back here in a few weeks for our annual summer picnic. Despite our somewhat dry summer, you can see the water over the falls is flowing forcefully. Just upstream, this statue sits in a secluded spot, with the plaque that shows it's been there almost 100 years! I had thought there was another plaque with the Longfellow poem, "Song of Hiawatha", but I didn't see it. Here is the familiar part of it:

By the shores of Gitche Gumee*,
By the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood the wigwam of Nokomis,
Daughter of the Moon, Nokomis.
Dark behind it rose the forest,
Rose the black and gloomy pine-trees,
Rose the firs with cones upon them;
Bright before it beat the water,
Beat the clear and sunny water,
Beat the shining Big-Sea-Water.

*Gitche-Gumee refers to Lake Superior

The pavilion has been here for ages, but the Sea Salt restaurant on the east end is a recent addition. The other side is an indoor picnic area.

It was a beautiful day to sit outside and listen to some Norwegian music, although I don't speak a word of the language. The MC told a few Lena and Ole' jokes, and informed us that North Dakota has the largest Norwegian population in the country. I had always heard it was Minnesota, but I wonder if it's still true that there are more Norwegians in MN than in Norway!? It took me several tries to take a photo that included both flags, because it was so breezy. As I walked away, I saw 2 women holding the U.S. flag, so it wouldn't hit the choir, so that explains why the Norwegian flag was the only one flapping wildly!

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Sun and Sea. I have to admit this card evolved from an idea I saw in a book - "Hidden Treasures". Nevertheless, it took me a couple of days to finalize my own version of the design, based on stamps and materials on hand. I made 7 of these - 6 to swap, and one for myself. The sun (by All Night Media) is silver-embossed on purple textured cardstock and attached with foam tape. "Treasure" (by Inkadinkado) is stamped in silver ink on blue patterned paper and mounted over a thin piece of cardboard. The wavy pattern in purple over light blue is a stamp from the same set as the sun. There are 3 fibers knotted at each end and attached with glue dots. Dark green mulberry cardstock (not paper) was torn and layered over the teal card base.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Freedom From Nine-To-Five. Nine years ago, I started my company called Clee' (rhymes with play) and started selling my greeting cards to a few stores around town. It was exciting to make my first sale and receive several repeat orders, but eventually I had to return to working full time in a non-design-field office, and making cards as a hobby. Now, I'm back at my first-love (art, in any permutation!) and, as of last month, am selling cards through a wonderful website called The name of my store there is still called Clee', and I have only three card designs for sale so far, but more are on the way! Please take a look and tell me what you think...and pass this info along to your friends and family. Thanks!
[Edit - Thanks, SM, for buying my first 2 cards!!]

Clee' -
Happy Independence Day, Everyone! Nephew B and I got a headstart on the holiday festivities by going to see fireworks last night! The City of Bloomington is celebrating its Sesquicentennial - along with Minnesota - this year, and put on a mini-festival as part of it. We sat on the grass without getting bittten by mosquitoes (as far as we know), and oohed and aahed at some new displays such as a smiley face and a muticolored cube shape in the sky. They keep coming up with ways to make an impression on us, and it's working!
I hope all of you enjoy your day off or picnic or fireworks or just relaxing. I remembered to put my flag out this morning. As you can see, it's a beautiful day here, so I think a walk or a bike ride is in order.