Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The Paine Gardens

If you saw Monday's Fashion Post you already got a hint of these beautiful gardens where my fashion photos were taken.  I promised in that post to do a travel post of this magical place, so here it is!  To keep the post from getting too lengthy I will split it into two parts:  The Paine Gardens and The Paine Art Center and Mansion.  Today, I will cover these amazing, gorgeous gardens!

The mansion sits on a large estate in the middle of downtown Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  My husband and I have lived in Wisconsin almost all of our lives and one time we even lived very close to Oshkosh, and yet, we never knew this place existed.  They really need to up their advertising because I've talked to many Wisconsinites since, and no one has ever heard of this place.  And it's a shame, because it is a not-to-be-missed Wisconsin tourist attraction!

Lets begin our tour with a brief history.  The home was the dream of Nathan and Jessie Kimberly Paine.  Nathan's wealth was from the lumber industry.  They wanted to created a place that would reflect their English heritage:  so they designed an estate with exceptional architecture, furnishings, art and nature.  They planned to have this estate open to he public for education and cultural purposes.  Construction began in 1927 but when the Great Depression occurred it came to a halt in 1932.  The Paine's NEVER lived in the home.  In 1948, after Nathan's death, the estate was established as a museum.

Originally the grounds was a cow pasture with beautiful oak trees.  Over many decades the gardens evolved:  some very new;   like the "Formal Garden".  There are many display gardens in various historical and contemporary styles featuring thousands of plants.  These "rooms" show perennials, trees, and shrubs that are hardy in Wisconsin as well as annuals and bulbs.  I was actually surprised to see some trees growing there that I didn't even know we could go grow in Wisconsin.

The front of the mansion held my favorite flowering beds.  I absolutely loved the mix of orange and red annuals up against the terra cotta stone of the mansion.  I took plenty of pictures and made mental notes to try this color combo in my garden next year.  I especially loved the dark maroon grass in the background.  Isn't it fabulous?

What a gorgeous home, eh?  Don't worry, you will see pictures of the inside next week's travel post!

A corner street view of the estate.

This is a lovely patio seating area outside the breakfast nook.  It's called "The Morning Terrace".  I just loved the iron table and chairs.  Such a pretty patina color.

My birds grew tall sunflowers in my garden this year, of which I have been very grateful because they planted them outside my kitchen window.  Every time I am cooking and cleaning I see their blooms smiling at me.  Now I get to see the goldfinches enjoying their bounty!  It's so pretty watching them eating the seeds from the blooms.  So when I saw this display garden, I made another mental note to watch for these sunflower seeds next spring.  It was a low growing, bushy sunflower, bordered with a dark red plant like coleus.  Another color/plant combination I absolutely love!

A "Limousine Garage" on the side of the property.  It looks so old-world European doesn't it?

This is a side view of the estate.  I love the old world brick siding.  The stonework is Kasota limestone, quarried in Minnesota.

The "Great Lawn" behind the house.

There was a lot of architecture in this garden to create the "rooms" and special interest.  I loved the ironwork and all the fountains...who wouldn't?

This is the "Rose Garden", but my favorite feature in this garden wasn't the roses but the Russian Sage. Oh, I just love this beautiful plant.  I tried so many times to grow it my garden but it doesn't like my yard and always dies out.

I loved the contrast between the red barberry bushes and the lavender blooms of the Russian sage.
The building in the background is the Carriage House.

They had two statues greeting guests at the entry of this garden.  This is one of them, the other you can see in the distance in the photo below.

This is the carriage house which is now used as office space and also for special events.  They were having an art class in the conservatory when we visited.

The "Herb Garden" is on the side of the carriage house.

Street view of the Carriage House.  They already were getting ready for fall in this garden.

The newest garden at The Paine is the "Formal Garden".  This is architecturally the most spectacular garden of them all, but my husband and I felt the bedding areas were not as full and nice as the annual beds in the gardens at the front of the mansion.

A manicured lawn is at the center of this garden with annual beds on either side.  On one end is a stunning Romanesque statue and at the other end is a fountain.

A natural cedar fence borders the entire garden with more Russian Sage planted in front of it.

The beautiful fountain is highlighted with arborvitaes and hydrangea on either side.

My husband and I really admired the trellis's and garden benches.

The Conservatory, which is on the far left of the picture, has a great view of this garden.

This is the "Birch Grove" where I saw the interesting trees I never knew we could grow in Wisconsin.  My only complaint is I wish the trees were marked so I knew what they were.

This is where they hold outdoor weddings. It's called "The Oshkosh Area Community Foundation Ceremony Garden"...quite a mouthful, eh?   For weddings, they set chairs up on the lawn on either side of the aisle. The bride and groom get married under the trellis at the end of the aisle behind me.  The flowers are always pastel in this garden so that they coordinate with most weddings.

There were a few more gardens I did not feature like a "Children's Garden",  the "Secret Garden", a "Contemporary Garden" and will have to visit to discover these gardens for yourself! 😊

The Paine Art Center and Gardens is open Monday through Sunday 10 to 4 and the admission price of only $12.00 covers the gardens and a self tour of the mansion!  What a bargain, eh?

Come back next week Wednesday to see the inside of this beautiful're not going to believe it!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these fabulous blogs HERE!

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

30th Birthday Cards

My daughter and son-in-law both turned thirty this summer and these are the cards I made for them.  But first let me say, I can't believe I have a thirty year old kid!  Geez, I'm old.  Anyway, onto the cards!

This is the card I made for my daughter.  I used an old retired Stampin' Up! set called "Girlfriends" for the stamped image.  I thought her body expression expressed my feelings exactly.  haha!   I personalized the card using my Cricut Expression machine to cut out the "30".  The "Happy Birthday" sentiment is a MFT die, and the black circle is a Spellbinder's die.

 I added a few sequins for sparkle!

For my son-in-law's card I used the same dies and Cricuit cartridge to make the sentiment.  The balloons are a stamp.   

  I stamped the balloon image directly on the white card stock, then stamped one balloon separately, colored, cut it out, and popped it up on dimensionals.  I put "Crystal Effects" on all of them.  Also added some yellow glitter glue randomly in little dots in the background.

We had a little party for the kids at my house.  I hung a banner, cut some fresh flowers from my garden, and cut more balloon shapes and signs with my Cricut.  Of course, I forgot to take pictures.  haha!  I'm such a bad blogger.  In my defense, the party didn't quite turn out the way I planned because it interfered with Alethea's bedtime schedule, so that's probably why I wasn't in picture-taking-mode.  The kids seemed to appreciate it though.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, August 13, 2018

A Garden Outfit

Last weekend my husband and I went to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for a romantic weekend getaway.   One of the places we visited was the Paine Art Center and Gardens.  A travel post is coming soon of this beautiful place!  Oh my gosh, jaw dropping gorgeous...all of it!  But today, we will talk about fashion.

I can't even begin to tell you how I agonized over what to wear this day.  I saw the photographs on the Paine website, so I knew how beautiful it was.  The blogger in me wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous surroundings and do some fashion photography.  But the practical side of me was worried about the high temperatures and wearing suitable footwear for a long day of walking.  So after hours of trying on multiple outfits, I finally settled on this one.  It ended up being perfect because it matched the orange flowers and terra cotta color of the stone house.  Even people passing by commented on how my skirt matched the flowers.  I just laughed because I did not plan to color coordinate and it turned out so perfectly!

The heat has returned to Wisconsin, along with the humidity.  It's August's way of saying "Farewell!" I guess.  To beat the heat I chose a simple white tee shirt and I tied it in a knot.  I wore a very old orange/coral cotton skirt and added a hat for sun protection.  For footwear, I chose my comfortable new Franco Sarto silver athletic sandals.

I carried a straw handbag so my water bottle would fit inside.  But I tried to keep the weight as light as possible since I would be walking all day.  I put only the bare essentials inside the bag.

For jewelry, I chose a simple beaded coral and white bracelet but then I added a diamond statement necklace to dress up the simple tee shirt.

I loved these Franco Sarto Olsen Wedge Sandals I bought another pair in black!  They are so comfortable!

Well my hours of agonizing over "What To Wear" ended up being all worth it because I was cool and comfortable all day, plus I matched my surroundings!  haha!  I can't wait to do a travel post on this beautiful place!  It was amazing!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!