Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Having Fun Locally: Chalkfest!

I am continuing another "Staycation" travel post with a visit to our local university to see the "Chalkfest" art.  My past two "Staycation" posts involved visits to local parks:  "River Prairie Park" and "Irvine Park".

Every year the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire is taken over by artists of all ages creating works of art in chalk.  Visitors can watch the artists as they create their magnificent art.  They can also vote for their favorites.  In addition to chalk art, there is food, music, and chalk-related games.  There is also an area for younger kids to participate in a chalk mural.

I've never been to Chalkfest before,  I saw the pictures of the event after wards on Facebook.  I was looking for something to do with my daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter and thought this would be a fun, local activity.

We missed the day of the actual event and arrived a few days later.  Even though it rained, and a landscaping tractor ran over some of the designs, we were still able to enjoy the art.  I would however, like to see the chalk art next year, the day it's done, before rain or people ruin it.

Here are some of my favorites.  I took the pictures before I knew which ones won any awards.  I was surprised how many of my favorites were winners.  I must have good taste!  

This one won an "Honorable Mention" and was created by a youth group.

Another youth group winner.  It won an "Honorable Mention" as well.

"Wonder Woman" was voted audience choice.  I can certainly see why!  Such amazing detail!

I just love the vivid color in this one.

 I was surprised to see that this one did not win any awards.  It was one of me and my daughter's personal favorites.  It looked like a painting in person.   So well done.  So beautiful.

So much color and cuteness in this one!

The bird lover in me loved this one!

How fun is this?

 There was more than just "pictures" at the chalk fest.  Many were intricate, geometric designs.  Those seemed really hard to draw to me.  How do the artist's get the dimensions so precise?

This beauty won "Honorable Mention" by an adult individual.

This black and white elephant was amazing to me.  I couldn't believe it was done by a child.  It won Honorable Mention by a youth.

And one for the David Bowie fans!

And the winner I never saw in person so I took this photo from the Chalkfest website.   Is this incredible or what?  I can't believe I missed it in person.  Wow!  It looks so real, it's hard to believe this was made with chalk and not oil paints.  I'm impressed, you?  It won 1st Place and it was created by an adult individual.

Chalkfest is held every year on the Eau Claire campus.  It is open to anyone 12 years of age and older.

So what do you think?  Aren't all these chalk creations amazing?  Which one was your favorite?  I'd love to hear from you.

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

A Handmade Anniversary Card And Our 31st Wedding Celebration

 My husband and I celebrated 31 years of marriage last August.  We celebrated our anniversary by going to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for a romantic getaway.  We went to the Paine Gardens and the Paine Mansion, then spent the evening and following morning at a beautiful hotel in downtown Oshkosh along a river.

I always make my husband a handmade card for our anniversary.  This was the card I made for him.  I cased it from THIS CARD on Pinterest.  I apologize for the bad photography.  For whatever reason, my camera did not like the colors of this card and I could not get a good photo to save my life.

I created the hearts by stamping designs on kraft cart stock with red ink and cutting out heart shapes using dies from Spellbinder's Nestabilties.  The "Love" sentiment was cut from red card stock using my Cricut Expresson machine.  I popped the hearts up using dimensionals and glued the "Love" sentiment directly to the hearts.  I added a wooden button for embellishment tying a bit of red string in a bow into the button.

The sentiment was stamped in red ink directly onto the main panel.

 The bottom half of the card was dry embossed with my Cuttlebug machine and a heart folder.

A red grosgrain ribbon was wrapped around the dry embossed layer before adhering it to the main card stock panel.

And now I'd like to share some personal photos of our anniversary weekend other than the ones you've already seen taken at the Paine Gardens and Mansions. 

After visiting the gardens and mansion we were starving so I googled "best restaurants in Oshkosh" and the "Fox River Brewery" popped up.  So after plugging the location into my GPS off we were!

The ratings and reviews of this restaurant were spot on.  It was located right on the river with indoor and outdoor seating;  both offering beautiful views of the river.  Since it was such a beautiful day, we chose to sit outdoors and watch the boats go by.

Customers could drive their boats right up the restaurant's piers and dock them while they ate.

There was also a draw bridge that was fun to watch go up and down.

The outdoor seating area also had a tiki bar, fire pits, and heat lamps.

I ordered one of my favorite standbys:  a barbecue sandwich and my husband ordered his usual, chicken tenders.  I thought my sandwich was pretty good, but I could have used more barbecue sauce and they did not give me any extra ( I also didn't ask for more sauce as my waitress was super busy).

After lunch we checked into our hotel and then walked a bit downtown.  Most of the stores were closed by now, so we got back into the car and drove to the local park "Menominee Park and Zoo" which in addition to a free zoo, had a beach and gorgeous views of their lake,  Lake Winnebago.   It wasn't a very nice zoo for it wasn't that well maintained, but we still enjoyed visiting the animals. 

The hotel that we stayed in had a restaurant that was also right on the river and provided indoor and outdoor seating.  We had dinner outside along the river again, but this time it was dark and we could enjoy the heat lamps and fire pits.  It was so peaceful and romantic.

The next morning we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel's restaurant so we could enjoy the river view one last time.  Before heading back home, we decided to take a leisurely stroll on their scenic river walk.

On our actual anniversary date,  I woke up to a bouquet of these beautiful red roses and a romantic card.

Yes, were in our mid fifties and married over thirty years, but we still take time from our busy lives to celebrate our anniversary and give each other small, thoughtful gifts.  I think it's so important to never stop doing that.  You don't have to spend a lot of money or go somewhere exotic;  we just went to a small town three hours away.  Not every anniversary has to be celebrated with a lavish vacation to be enjoyed.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, September 17, 2018

How To Wear Two Trends At Once: Pearl Embellished Jeans with an Embroidered Top

A few weeks ago I shared a pair of pom pom jeans and a Calvin Klein top that I picked up at a Yonkers's store closing sale.  I picked up a lot of cute, trendy items at that sale, and I will be sharing them all with you in the weeks/months to come.  This is an outfit I wore to a ladies' bible study, lunch with my husband, and shopping.  It was a warm, 80 degree day in September.  I picked up both this lovely embroidered peplum top and pearl embellished jeans for less than $5.00 each at the Yonkers's store closing sale.  

I mentioned in my pom pom jeans post that I normally don't buy trendy jeans because they get dated quickly, but for less than $5.00 a pair, why not?  I have about three more left of jeans to show you yet, one of them I think is really wild!

I absolutely LOVE this top!  It's so soft and comfy.  I love the length, the peplum bottom, and of course the pretty red embroidery.  It is a little sheer, so I wore a think camisole underneath it.  I actually purchased it to wear with my red pants, but I thought it looked really cute with these pearl embellished jeans as well.

I am wearing two trends at once in this outfit (embroidery and pearl embellishment) which is usually a no-no, but I think it still works because there is so much white to balance everything out and keep it from becoming too busy.

For accessories I chose red and silver earrings, a red and silver bracelet, and a blue and tan straw bag from DSW.

Aren't these jeans fun?  I first saw pearl embellished jeans appear on the scene last year, so I'm probably a little behind on the trend, but so what?  I love the fun released hem that's longer in back than in front too.

Pearl embellished anything has been trending the past few seasons.  I did purchase one pearl embellished sweatshirt last year, remember THIS POST?

Because I had so much going on in the rest of the outfit, I chose nude sandals so my shoes would blend into the skin tone of my feet and barely look like I even had shoes on at all.

I got so many compliments on this top the day I wore it.  I'm so happy I found it, and for such a great price too.  I love the looser fit, yet the peplum gives the top shape and structure so it's not boxy.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!