Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Tuesdays Around Town - Osaka Hibachi Grill

Last weekend, my brother, sister-in-law, cousins and I had a 3-birthday celebration at Osaka Hibachi Grill in Coon Rapids. It had been a long time since I last had the "dinner performance" experience. Our chef was great, as these photos will attest.

Delicious sushi.

The start of fried rice.

The proteins...shrimp, salmon, chicken.

The "fire" video.

 Saki, anyone?

Our happy group.

Birthday card using "speech bubble" diecut and embossing plate.

Birthday card with an embellishment frame and ribbon. Sentiment is printed from PC.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Slider Car(d)

I haven't been making many cards since I've been back in school, but my friend AJ wanted a birthday card made for her brother, so here it is. It's a slider card, made with a slot and two sets of pennies stuck together to glide along in the slot. The three photos show the movement and the slot.


The slider is not my invention, but I came up with the idea of using a car photo for a card I made for my brother a few years ago. Then, I made another one for AJ, using her late model red Mustang, and she has commissioned me to do two others. The inside sentiment on this reads "but you'll always be a classic".  

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Cozy Time

Just a few weeks ago my yard looked like this. Now all the leaves have fallen, the sun goes down before 5PM, and my furnace has warmed up the house by the time I get home from class. Autumn is my favorite time of year and many people agree with that because of the fall colors and the still-warm days. But, once the cold weather starts, I hear the usual complaints about winter coming and how long it lasts (according to some in Minnesota: 8 months!).
To me it's "cozy time", time to snuggle up with a book and/or my cats, eat hot soup, and relax with some indoor projects. I remember how hard it was to get homework done when the weather was calling me to come outside. That hasn't changed now that I'm in school again. So, I welcome the early sunset and the opportunity to stay inside these last five weeks of Fall Semester. At last count I have 3 papers, 2 quizzes, 2 or 3 smaller assignments and 3 finals left before winter break.
So, before I get back to work, I wanted to share a few very short papers I wrote for my "Learning from the Landscape" class. Landscape is turning out to be a much broader topic than I ever imagined, so it may be surprising that either of these papers has anything to do with it, but they had meaning for me and were fun to write.

What cultural landscape would you preserve?

The neighborhood where my two brothers and I spent our grade-school years is the landscape I would preserve. In Bloomington, Minnesota, our parents bought a corner lot at 83rd and James Avenue and had a house built. It was a story-and-a-half Cape Cod style, painted in tones of light chocolate and turquoise. That color combination is important because it was never painted any other color while we lived there. A detached garage was built several years later.
The whole neighborhood was our playground, so several blocks in every direction would need to be preserved to show our family history. Our friends lived in houses of similar size and style, not exact replicas of ours. The variety of houses would be a significant feature, showing that the neighborhood was not a development, but was built over time.
One block north was Humboldt Heights Elementary School across 82nd street. At that time our road was not paved and I remember the dust that would settle in the kitchen when the windows were open. There were no sidewalks or alleys. The neighborhood was mostly flat land with various trees in every yard. The only trees that had any significance for us were the tall skinny Lombardys at the back of our lot-line. We did not climb those trees; we shinnied up the street sign on our corner.
Another important feature that would need to be reconstructed (since it was lost decades ago), is a group of houses in an area just behind our grade school. We knew some of the kids who lived in this area, but the houses were smaller and older and it was wilder than our street (more trees and overgrowth). We remember it as somewhat scary, although we don’t believe we were ever told we couldn’t go there.
Tell a story that combines a place, sense, and relationship memory
The house where I grew up was a one-and-a-half story Cape Cod style that my parents had built for our family. When we moved in, my brother and I were pre-school age and we shared one of the two bedrooms on the main floor. Soon after, our youngest brother was born and Dad decided it was time to finish off the second floor so that we could each have our own bedroom. Dad wasn’t a carpenter by trade, but he knew how to use all sorts of tools and had all the handyman skills necessary to put up walls and lay flooring. I remember going to the lumberyard with him on many Saturday mornings, and for years, the smell of fresh-cut wood always evoked visions of those days and of him.
My bedroom had a window under one gable and a sloped ceiling. Dad covered the walls and ceiling with horizontal planks of knotty pine. He let me pick out the linoleum tiles for the floor and I chose pink and black that he laid in the classic checkerboard pattern. The upstairs hallway and my brother’s new room were also tiled, but I have no memory of the color or pattern. There was also a bathroom and a long storage room. While the bathroom and storage room were being framed, there was enough space for my brothers and me to sneak between the two spaces and go exploring. The bathroom had an interior window above the staircase. I’m not sure Dad thought ahead to what three children would do with an open window so conveniently located. We used it for dangling toys down over the steps and bombarding each other with non-lethal objects. 
I will always think fondly of my first bedroom that Dad built. For many years, I had plans to finish off a room in my own house with the same materials he used. Our family moved to a new house when I was 12, but the first house still stands. It would surprise me if my old bedroom looked the same, but in my mind, it does

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moxie Fab World Trendy Triangles Challenge

The Moxie Fab World Trendy Triangles Challenge came along at just the right time for me to make a Jamaican-inspired card for a Reggae-loving friend with a birthday. The colors of the triangles in the inspiration photo kickstarted my card.
I punched the triangles out of cardstock, adhered them to the card base, stamped a few extra triangles and then the words.

For the inside of the card, I printed the Jamaican birthday song using the CK Yah Mon font. 

Now dis is de birthday sang
Fah JoEtta fram me
Enjoy your special day
Mek sure ave some fun
Suh gadah roun right now
Cum an sing alang
Appy Birthday
To yuh now JoEtta
Appy Birthday

Monday, August 18, 2014

Happy Birthday, Mom

Today is Mom's birthday - she would have been 86. I gathered a few photos mostly from this blog to re-post as a remembrance. At a later time, my brothers and I can put together a longer version as we go through the family photos and letters.
Mom and Dad in the 1950s.
Hawaii in 2008 (with Craig).
Her 2010 birthday.

With me at Fort Snelling park in 2011.
2012 with Craig in New Ulm at Schmitt Brewery gardens.

2012 birthday at Lake Minnetonka.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Tuesdays Around Town - The Landing, Shakopee, MN

Last Saturday, I took a little drive to Shakopee, MN to see some fine art at The Landing. It's a history village set along the Minnesota River, and there is usually admission charged to cover the cost of keeping up the buildings. Costumed volunteers lead tours. 
Because of the fine arts fair, admission was free last weekend, but I had gotten there only an hour before closing, so I skipped the tours and concentrated on the booths and the outsides of the buildings.

The top two photos show the scenic overlook above the Minnesota River. With all our heavy rain last month, the river is still quite high, but I saw no evidence that any flooding had occurred here as it had just down the highway at Valley Fair.
(Above) Live music at the town square. (Below) Several of the authentic 19th-century buildings on the site.




Two photos of the chickens and coop. These are a huge breed of chicken (not sure what breed).

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Tuesdays Around Town - Water Tower Painting

Quite a few years ago, I noticed a water tower being painted and that it was entirely covered with a giant tarp to contain the paint from splattering the surrounding grass and buildings. It looked like something very alien and I have been taking photos of "shrouded" water towers ever since.
The painting on this water tower in Bloomington was just being started when I drove by. The tarp had not been dropped down yet and looks like an exotic cap worn by a strange creature. 

Here's a close-up.
I was in the neighborhood several more times and hoped to see the tarp covering the whole thing, but I was told the painting had already been done and the material rolled back up the same day. So, I missed this photo-op, but I may be able to find some of my old pics of other "encased" water towers.

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Picket Picnic Invitations

Our annual family picnic is next month, so I made a batch of invitations. The picket-fence design took shape as I was wondering how to use the little phrases from a sheet of Jillibean Soup cardstock.

I cut out all the "remember this" and "good days" captions I could find from the cardstock sheet, then arranged them on a standard card, but they just seemed to fit better on something tall and skinny. I had the wood-patterned paper, so I adhered that over plain cardstock and snipped the top into a point.

I also stamped the bottom with a leafy vegetable. The actual invitation is on the back, printed on my computer before I did any cutting. I also attached small magnets to the backs, so people could stick them in a prominent location.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Moxie Fab Over-The-Door Storage

One more (for now) storage idea to share with Moxie Fab World Creative Spaces Link Party - Show Me Your Storage Ideas. This over-the-door shelf unit fits on a closet door in my studio and holds some of the most-used paper punches: squares, circles, ovals, etc. Looks like I have room to add a few more wire shelves.

Moxie Fab Paper Punch Storage

Here's another storage idea to share with Moxie Fab World Creative Spaces Link Party - Show Me Your Storage Ideas. This time I've used the thread spool holder to hold Fiskars edge punches. They fit just perfectly in between the "slats". I've also used each peg on the right side for a few handle-punches.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Moxie Fab Desk

My studio/office has been in need of a thorough cleaning/downsizing for a long time, and I now have a little more incentive to get the job done. Moxie Fab World is hosting a Creative Spaces Link Party - Show Me Your Desk. So, here's the drafting table that I use for all my card-making (and homework when I am in school). The wall hanging is from Peru, brought back by my mom from one of her many trips.

My favorite craft item - the cutting board that always stays sharp and never needs replacement blades - is at one end. The little acrylic unit to the left of it holds just the essentials like a glue stick, scissors and a few blank notecards. It is a cosmetics organizer.  

Another view of the cutter and organizer (with containers of paper packs in the background). It's nice to be able to work from two sides of my desk, and I can stand or sit in my tall drafting chair.

The items at the other end of the desk include an old DVD organizer that I now use for ribbon. I had originally hung it on a wall vertically, and tacked fishing line across the bottom of each "shelf" so the ribbon wouldn't roll out. My pencils, pens, scissors and much-used punches are contained in a teapot and mug set, and a big "chick" mug I found after an Easter sale years ago. On the far left you can see my first camera from the '60s.

I'll be back soon with more views of the studio and organization ideas.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Moxie Fab World Edge-Punch Storage

I'm sharing a photo of my studio with Moxie Fab World's "Creative Spaces Link Party - Show Me Your Storage Ideas."

These are Martha Stewart edge paper punches stored in a former thread spool rack. Each punch can be taken down without disturbing the others, and it's so nice to be able to see them displayed rather than hidden in a drawer.