Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Crafting With The Grandboys!

When I have the grandboys I love to craft with them. This time I decided they would make a scrapbook page for their mama. She works in an office and loves to decorate the walls with artwork from her boys. Scrapbooking is one of the few crafts I didn't fall in love with but that doesn't mean we can't scrapbook once in a while.
Noah was excited to make his page and Ezra needed a little encouragement. It's all about temperament when you are 5.

Noah found some Korean hangul stickers and wanted grandpa to help him spell "gamer" in Korean. It was very important to him to get it exactly right and it was equally important to grandpa.
I made Judah's page. I printed out the photos on my home printer.
Noah's page. It was 100% done by him and he loved how it turned out. 
Ezra's page and I could not get it to rotate the correct way. He also did this page completely by himself.

It is so much fun to see the creativity in my grandchildren. They are such a joy to us and we love them so very much. My daughter loved the pages and they are proudly displayed in her office.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Trader's Market - Elko, Minnesota

Yesterday we went to the Trader's Market in Elko, Minnesota. It's a big flea market. It was a chilly day but perfect weather to step back in time at least for me. We met our daughter and grandboys there and spent the morning exploring and of course, eating. The boys are like their grandpa, hungry all the time.


I spotted this milk box. I remember we had one sitting out on our front porch when I was little and once a week the milkman stopped by and filled it with glass bottles of milk. 
                                                    The first stop was mini donuts!

 
This vendor took old propane tanks and turned them into darling pumpkins. I really wanted to buy one but I feared it would be stolen if I displayed it on my front porch. The times we are living in.
 Little Judah found Santa and ran to him to have a little chat. It's never too early for Christmas wishes.
 Grandma and the oldest. He still reaches for my hand and I treasure these precious moments.
Brothers! They found some guys to buy.
I only recently remembered the Playskool wooden puzzles I played with so very much as a little girl in the 1960's and got a yearning to see if I could find any.  
I was lucky and found three that I remember from my childhood. They were in excellent condition and $6.00 apiece. So I've started a new collection. The flea market costs $6.00 to enter but if you go to their website and print out tickets you can get in for $5.00 which is what we did. It's one of the most favorites things that my daughter and I like to do together. It's times like these that make the bitter times a little less bitter and a lot more sweet.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Maedeup Monday!

The old say "two heads are better than one" is definitely the way our house runs. I was cleaning and organizing my craft room when I found a box of forgotten chilbo (Korean pendants) made by my chilbo teacher Kim Nan-Young and myself. I had thought over the years to add maedeup to them and wear them as necklaces and I did manage to do that to many. But how many necklaces can a girl wear?

So my next thought was to display them so I could enjoy them whenever I wanted to. Thoughts then went to how to display them and I came up with using maedeup as the way to display the pendants. The only thing I forgot was that the chilbo pieces are not light and they ended up stretching the maedeup.

Step in Rocketman who came up with the wooden dowel idea. The maedeup is tied onto the wooden dowel and he added hooks for the dowels to rest on. He also was the one who decided how to place the dowels on the wall. He did a great job and I love it!
                                                       Here are closeups of all the pendants.










I am feverishly working on my latest children's book while the next is brewing in my head. I start by writing down a synopsis of the story. Then comes the words to each page. I follow with a quick sketch of each page. When that is finished I start to draw the actual pages. But during each step the story may go in a different direction or I feel I need to add a page or remove one. After everything is drawn, I paint. Rocketman adds the text after he scans the pages. It sounds like a lot of work and it is but I'm loving it. It feels so good to have my creativity back.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

New Direction

I have been in a state of unrest (craft wise) for the last couple of years after moving back home from South Korea. While living there I immersed myself in many Korean crafts and my days were spent in classes. I brought polymer clay with me but did not touch it once. So I knew the day was coming when I would decide to move in a different direction.

I started taking watercolor and sumi-e classes at a local art center. I also signed up for classes online both in watercolor and mixed media. I fell in love with the medium and learned to overcome my fear of not being good enough. Sometimes you can be your own worst enemy.
I have been throwing around an idea for a children's book for over a year without diving in. A few months ago I put the story to paper and then began to draw and paint the illustrations myself. It took a long time and many times I would make an excuse to not work on it. But once I really dug in I couldn't stop. I have been having so much fun and yesterday I completed the book.

I still need Rocketman to scan the pages and add the text but I am in no hurry because as soon as this book finished the idea for a sequel came to me and today I am starting the second book in the series. So I am in the process of writing the story for the sequel. Then I will sketch the illustrations and after I review and make any changes, I will draw and paint the illustrations. As in the first book, the story may change and that's the fun part of the process.

I have signed up for some fall painting classes and will enjoy getting out and meeting new people. It has been a long time. I still have my Korean crafts that I enjoy working on so life is very full on the crafty front. I also have a few quilt kits to be made and a couple of knitting projects but they will be complete in time. I think I went crazy (in a good way) last year with all the quilts I made.

If you are wondering the online classes I have been taking here they are:
1. Wyanne Thompson
2. Tracy Verdugo
3. Life Book with Tam Laporte

I love that the classes are downloadable and you go at your own pace.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Bayfield Festival of Arts 2016

The Bayfield Festival of Arts is held every summer in Memorial Park in Bayfield, Wisconsin. The park is located on the shores of Lake Superior. The juried show showcases about 60 artists from all over the country. This was my first year attending and it did not disappoint.
                                                               The weather was perfect!
 I fell in love with the jewelry of Candy McFall. I came home with this beautiful bracelet but it was hard to choose a piece. Each piece was truly a work of art.

This booth had me at this ring. I have a Campbell's soup kid spoon that my mother gave me from my childhood. The silverware jewelry of The New Homestead Silvery Artistry takes antique silverware and gives it a contemporary spin.
 I also bought this smart phone stand. Who would have thought an old fork could turn into something so useful. I love it!

We also met this amazing fiber artist that blew us away with her talent. Painting with felt and thread, could there be anything more beautiful? Her name is Julie Crabtree. I just couldn't decide what to buy so Rocketman made it easy for me by saying "get it all!"
 
It is hard to capture the beautify of her work in a photograph. 

On  our drive to Bayfield, we stopped at a little restaurant for lunch which also happened to sell the work of local artists. I picked up this little watercolor while there.
 
Each artist that we met we felt their joy as they shared their work with us. There is no bigger thrill to me than to meet people doing what they love to do. I left the show with my purchases and a huge smile on my face. As I wear and display the items I bought, I will think of the artist and all the passion they put into their work. What a fantastic weekend!
 
 

Monday, August 1, 2016

Vacation in Bayfield, Wisconsin! The Apostle Islands!


I had never heard of Bayfield, Wisconsin until the news coverage several years ago of the huge storm that took out the vendors that were participating in the Bayfield Festival of Arts. Here is a blog post and photos of the catastrophe. I had always wanted to visit the annual art fair and this turned out to be the year we went. It was a win win for us, art for me and photography for Rocketman.

If you know me, you know I am a huge fan of bed and breakfast establishments and found a beautiful one in Bayfield. It was called the Old Rittenhouse Inn. It was conveniently located to downtown Bayfield so we didn't need to drive at all. The building was beautiful with plenty of parking in the rear.
The first thing we saw as we exited our car was this. It always reminds us of South Korea.
There were lots of steps to get to our room. The steps to our room are on the left of this picture. It was worth the climb.
             Here are some photos of our room. As you can see, we like to "rough it" when traveling.





The first stop after checking in and getting settled was feeding Rocketman. We chose Maggie's which was just a couple blocks away. They say you just have to try the white fish livers but I was too scared. Instead I had the kimchi burger. The kimchi turned out to be more like sauerkraut but I still liked it a lot.
We saw this bicycle at the side of a bicycle repair shop as we made our way to Maggie's. We had to eat dinner quickly because I had booked a boat tour of the Apostle Islands which started at 5:30 pm. I booked through Apostle Island Cruises. We arrived at the dock about five to ten minutes before 5:30 to find a huge line of people. We were the last to board when the ship arrived.

As the line started to board, Rocketman found an IPhone someone had left on the dock. We found the owner, a gentleman who's wife let him know what she thought of his forgetfulness. She also was surprised that he got the phone back. She said that a lost phone would have never been returned in St. Louis where they were from. I hope that isn't true but she now is a firm believer in "Minnesota Nice."

The boat held about 100 people and there was 50 to 60 in our group. The top of the boat quickly filled so we made our way into the lower level. It turned out to be the best choice. It was a pretty warm day but I know how cold Lake Superior is so I had layers just in case.
We had a quick introduction by our captain, "Frosty" and a safety demonstration much like you would find on an airplane and off we went. Captain Frosty spent his whole life on the islands and was very knowledgeable sharing many stories. I'm a history buff so I loved every minute of it. 
      They also had a couple of co-captains who offered snacks during the 3 1/2 hour tour.
        Bayfield is such a beautiful town. It reminded me a lot of Duluth with it's hills and old homes.
                  We did the Grand Tour which took you to the main or most interesting islands.
The remains of a homestead. The Apostle Island is now a national park but at one time families owned several islands. There was quite a dispute at the time when the government made good on their "eminent domain" policy. Captain Frosty also told us that at one time the islands had no trees as the trees were cut down for commerce.
 
 
This was the Manitou Fishing Camp where in the 1930's - 1950's you could come and learn the art of fishing from the masters.  
 The most popular island for the photographer is Devil's Island. It is the northernmost point of land in Wisconsin. It's sandstone cliffs are just beautiful.
                       Then add the sea caves and it is no wonder this island is such a draw.
 


 



  
                                                      Yes, I took about a bazillion photos. 
 

 

 
 
 
 
  

 
 
  
                                      Captain Frosty also came around answering questions. 
                                             Raspberry Island Lighthouse. Built in 1863.
 I highly recommend this tour if you want to see the islands. I also suggest that you dress appropriately meaning lots of layers. Most of the upper deck ended up with us in the lower deck due to the cold temperatures. Lake Superior is 32 degrees and even the air is chilly especially as the sun goes down. We got in at 9 pm which was dusk and it was cold. I even ended up with Rocketman's jacket on.
            he Creamery - Beer, Wine and Spirits. Here I thought it was milk and cheese products.
                             We also had a meal at this wonderful restaurant called The Fat Radish.

                                         We got our lunch to go and ate it in our room.

                  This was a turkey and bacon wrap. I only managed to eat half. It was delicious.
                        Rocketman had the Cuban and said it was the best he had ever eaten.
                                                    A view out of one of our windows.
My choice for breakfast at the Old Rittenhouse was the herbed eggs. It was so good.
 
Rocketman had the French toast.
The dining room is so lovely. Tomorrow I'll share the Art Fair with you.

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