Friday, March 20, 2015

Happy Spring Anniversary

 
 

A repost from the archives - updated for the current anniversary











Happy Spring! It's also the anniversary of moving into my house 35 years ago! My brother David 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 one 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! :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Another repost from the archives...



May the Irish hills caress you
May her lakes and rivers bless you
May the luck of the Irish enfold you
May the blessings of St Patrick behold you

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Happy Ides of March

A re-post from the blog archives:

Since we studied the play "Julius Caesar" in high school, I've always been aware of the term "beware the Ides of March". The Ides of March is the name for the date March 15th on the Roman calendar. The term ides was used for the 15th day of the months of MarchMayJuly, and October, and the 13th day of the other eight months. In Roman times, the Ides of March was a festive day dedicated to the god Mars and a military parade was usually held. In modern times, the term Ides of March is best known as the date that Julius Caesar was assassinated, in 44 BC.

I still remember the passage I had to memorize from the play:

Cowards die many times before their deaths

The valiant never taste of death but once

Of all the wonders I yet have heard

It seems to me most strange that men should fear

Seeing that death, a necessary end,

Will come when it will come

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

Tuesdays Around Town - Salsa A La Salsa


With the Oscar Awards coming up, I wanted to be sure to see some of the nominated films last weekend. Craig, David and I saw Nominated Short Animations and enjoyed them a lot. Then David and I ate at a new place on Hennepin Avenue: Salsa A La Salsa.



 The d├ęcor is eclectic with touches of "Day of The Dead".

 
 
 
 
 
 
We split several appetizers. Everything was delicious!








Outside was this gondola-like object...


 ...and other sculptures in a mini art park.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Happy 2015!

H  A  P  P  Y   N  E  W   Y  E  A  R !!!

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.