NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Annie Get Your Glue Gun?

The recent trip to the upcycling craft fair and getting the house decorated for Christmas got me in a glue gun kind of mood.

I was pondering a giant and very heavy roll of burlap that I bought last year to make bows for the tree, and did a Google search for Christmas and burlap for some ideas.  I found this tutorial that looked simple and used items I already had on hand to complete the above project in half an hour with my handy-dandy glue gun. Even the bow was glue gun friendly and easy to make after I watched this 1 minute video!

I made a few ornament wreaths last year, and had also bought a styrofoam cone to do a tree but ran out of energy before getting around to it.  So the cone and the leftover ornaments became a tree at last yesterday. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube to choose from, but I will add my opinion that gluing the balls to the styrofoam cone without using tinsel garland or some other filler leads to ugly white gapping.  For the star on top I stuck a toothpick in the styrofoam, added a drop of hot glue and then some more hot glue in the opening at the bottom of the star and held it in place for a minute while it set to make sure it came out level. Next up...ornament garland?

Spongebob and the Peanuts gang made it out to the yard before the snow fell the other day but we didn't get the lights or the the flood lamps out yet, hopefully the weather will hold and it will get done this weekend!  It takes more than a glue gun to make the yard decorations, if you missed the post last year and want to know how we make them click this link.

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Wisconsin News

We've been lucky enough lately that there hasn't been much wind, so even with winter temperatures here in Wisconsin I've been able to get outside for a walk a few times a week.

I've heard some interesting stories on WPR while driving around.  There's been a lot of debate about the Foxconn deal that Governor Walker set up here to lure the Taiwanese company to Wisconsin.  The Democratic candidates in our state even mentioned the "bad deal" for Wisconsin taxpayers in their campaigning.

And it turns out that the $3 billion tax breaks and incentives offered to the company were as exorbitant as they sounded.  It's hard to say with numbers that large without something to compare it to.  How does a middle class citizen compare 1 million to 1 billion or even more?  It all sounds crazy to us, right?

Everyone has heard about the recent Amazon announcement, which will provide twice jobs than the Foxconn deal did for less money.  And better paying jobs to boot.

Vitamin D!

The argument is that it is an attempt to attract a specific kind of job development to the state, and I get that, but at what cost?  Will the additional jobs that are secured at businesses that supply Foxconn make up the difference as they claim? If certain conditions aren't met by the technology giant they don't get all of the incentives, so at least there is that safety net.  Only time will tell, but the taxpayers will be paying for it for decades.  I'd rather pay for better schools and better roads, but we all have our priorities.

Plows in use in southeast Wisconsin already

Weather changes quickly in Wisconsin, one day sun, next day snow.  We don't get as much sun here as I would like in winter, and I'm sure Newfoundland won't be much different in that regard.  I'll find out in a few weeks when I go up for a visit!

where did all the birds go?

Speaking of sun, I also found out there is a federal solar tax credit available for 2018 so if you're looking for a Christmas home improvement idea that might be a good one!  Just make sure you get enough sun where you live to make the investment worth it, I guess. The state of Wisconsin is offering a solar rebate, check to see what your state might be offering.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Which Do You Like Best?

I took these photos when Cory and I visited Reno back in 2014.  We saw A LOT of murals in Reno, and here is a link to a map of their Midtown Mural Tour.

Joe C. Rock

These panels were commissioned in 2013 by Nevada Fine Arts and are located on their building.  

Painted by Nanook

That's a lot to contemplate all at once.

Painted by Erik Burke

But I must say that the fox painted by Kelly Peyton is my favorite of the group.

Painted by Kelly Peyton

It's hard to choose though, look at the black and white work in this one.

Painted by Broken Crow

Which do you like best?

Painted by Bryce Chisholm

Linking up to Monday Mural.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Vintage Style and Wise Words

Last weekend I went to Recraft and Relic craft fair which features vintage, upcycled and handmade items for sale.

Readers Digest Condensed books cut into letters-
also available on Etsy

I'm on a spending freeze because we put an offer in on a house in Newfoundland and now I'm pinching every penny for the downpayment I wasn't expecting to have to come up with until we sold our house next spring.

I just walked around seeing if inspiration struck for ideas for our new home.  I was really inspired by the above dresser converted into a bench; if I find a dresser that would work for this project at a garage sale next spring I will be having Wayne help me make one!

And I really enjoyed this trailer converted into a food stand, though not the cookie dough that I bought from them.

Other trailers were turned into little shops featuring handmade soaps or Christmas ornaments.

It would have been so easy to pick up a few things to buy but I restrained myself and just took photographs, telling myself that the pictures would inspire creativity at a later date.

This booth had black and white accents on everything

Here's a great idea, take sawn off wood pieces and toss them on the table as a centerpiece with scraps of paper and pinecones in a glass jar.

I already know that when we build our cabin in St. Leonard's that I want a few Wisconsin themed items to make any friends that come to visit feel at home.  I'm thinking a stencil on a piece of wood would provide all kinds of opportunity for creativity, though this metal cutout was very tempting.

I was also drawn to the booth of ceramic tile art that evoked that Prairie style feeling Frank Lloyd Wright is famous for.

And while I'm happy to be moving to Canada next year, I am still and will still be an American with questions in her heart about the future of democracy in this country.

Here is a quote from Steve Schmidt on the most recent episode of "Real Time with Bill Maher".

"Fascism did not rise in the 30's because it was strong, it rose because democracy was weak."  Wise words from a Republican, folks!

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Milwaukee Gas Light Building

In my draft blog post clean-up efforts I now present Milwaukee's Gas Light Building!  I was holding on to this one because I kept hoping I'd be able to get inside but no luck with that yet, unfortunately.

Constructed in 1929, the Gas Light Building is a 20 floor Art Deco building designed by architects Eschweiler & Eschweiler.  Known for its flame on top, the Gas Light Building was used as a navigational tool by ships traveling along Lake Michigan, but is most recognized as a featured icon in weather forecasts

When the flame is red, it's warm weather ahead. 
When the flame is gold, watch out for cold. 
When the flame is blue, there's no change in view. 
When there's a flickering flame, expect snow or rain. 

They updated to LED lights 2 years ago, but it is costly to light the flame so it is only in operation for a few hours each evening.

It was also renovated in 2002, including this great reproduction of the original bronze sunburst above the entryway.

The flame was added in 1956 during a different renovation, meant tosymbolize a blue natural gas flame it was an effort to promote the expansion of natural gas for cooking, heating and industrial uses. It was designed with neon and argon gas tubing.

Monogram MGL for Milwaukee Gas Light etched in bronze

When the energy crisis hit in 1978, the government called for the curtailment of all non-essential lighting uses for conservation purposes. That included extinguishing of the weather flame atop the building.

Selfie alert!

The interior features intricate bronze metal work and green colored marble, which I was not able to view for myself.  Gotta get inside! Maybe next year or the year after I plan a return visit to Wisconsin during the week they do Doors Open Milwaukee, right?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Peeking Through the Gate of the Cable House

The Cable House is a Richardsonian Romanesque-style house built in 1886 for  Ransom Cable who was the president of the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company.  It's one of the few mansions I stumbled across on my walk in Chicago last June.

Triple arch continues around the side of the entrance

The Cable House is currently occupied by the offices of Driehaus Capital Management, which is operated by Chicago financier, preservationist and philanthropist Richard H. Driehaus. I'll get into that a bit more at the end.

The exterior is constructed of  peach-pink Kasota stone, a sedimentary rock from the upper Midwest which glows warmly when lit by the sun. It's steep gabled roof sure wouldn't have had a problem with snow build-up!

A hundred years ago this mansion was surrounded by other mansions and not skyscrapers.  Ransom was the son of one wealthy man, Hiram C. Cable, and the nephew of another, Philander Cable, yet he started his working life as a railroad conductor. By the way, the word "philanderer" is a popular name for a lover in stories, drama, and poetry - it comes from the Greek adjective philandros.  You learn something new every day!

You can really see the pink tones in the stone above the fountain...if you can take your eyes off the lion heads long enough.

I got these photographs by sticking my iPhone through the bars of the gate that surrounds the property.  No visitors allowed, unfortunately.  Look at the lion head in the metal surrounding the window of the coach house and those gorgeous statues in the courtyard!

As I mentioned it is owned now by Driehaus Capital Management. The Richard H. Driehaus Museum is located across the intersection in the historic Edward J. Burling-designed Samuel M. Nickerson House at 40 E. Erie Street.  I'm hoping to go to Chicago soon to take a tour of this museum that explores the art, architecture, and design of the late 19th and early 20th centuries with a focus on the Gilded Age.  They currently have an exhibit relating to the World's Fair of 1893...a passion of mine as you know if you've been following along for awhile!

Dickerson Mansion, home to the Driehaus Museum

I doubt the sun will be shining though, and the temperatures will be quite different as we are seeing winter weather here in the Midwest these days...

Back in Time

So take me away... I don't mind...

But you better promise me I'll be back in time!

See in Fond du Lac

And if that isn't a fun enough sighting for you, head over to the John Michael Kohler Center for the Arts in Sheboygan.  Exhibits are always changing, and their latest is colorful to say the least.

While in Plymouth I spotted a mural I hadn't seen before, taking me back in time in a different way.

Painted by FranCisco Vargas

There are 25 murals to find, so not a surprise I may have missed a few. I see in the photo that there is a photograph of the original building front featuring the Plymouth Bottling Works sign. I didn't notice if the signage was still there, I'll have to look when I go through town again!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Tacoma Art Museum and Legendary Doughnuts

This post is from a trip to Seattle that I took with Cory last spring.

It used to be cupcakes and cookies but now I find myself searching out donut shops while on the road.  There were a few recommended for the Seattle/Tacoma area, but I chose Legendary Donuts in Tacoma.

It was a bit off the beaten path, but worth the journey.  Legendary donuts indeed!

From there it was on to the Tacoma Art Museum where I saw the coolest moose ever.

Eternal Vigilance, Sherry Markovitch

I really liked the space in this art museum, there were a lot of windows and I prefer natural light.

The painting below was done by Melissa Weinman and is titled Patron Saint of Vision.  At the time she was intrigued by the stories of the saints and how the gory forms of their martyrdom became the basis for their spiritual responsibilities.

Known as the patron saint of vision, part of Saint Lucy's torture was to have her eyes plucked out.  Yuck! Disturbing as the topic is, I did enjoy the painting with my long history of work in the optical field.

And it wouldn't be an art museum in Tacoma if it didn't include some work by Dale Chihuly, right?

Blown glass is one medium that actually benefits from a darker room with the objects spotlighted.

The museum has a good representation of Native art, and for me it's always interesting to contrast the Native work of the Pacific Northwest with the work of the Southwest or the Midwest.

Gregg Deal's painting Childlike Identity is a commentary on how the racist names of sports teams misrepresent native people.  There was a whole series on this topic that was very thought provoking.

Not all the art in Tacoma is indoors, keep your eyes open for the outdoor art as well.

Welcome Figure

This work above was done by Shaun Peterson, follow the link to read a great interview conducted by the art museum.  No more hidden posts about my trip to Seattle!