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!

Friday, August 10, 2018

Some Of My "Instastories" Outfits

My daughter and granddaughter have been staying with me the past two weeks, along with other family members popping in and out plus I have a good friend's sons wedding to help decorate for and attend, so I have been super busy and very over-whelmed.  It's been a fun two weeks that I wouldn't trade for anything, but I've really been struggling keeping up with everything, especially my blog.  I've had no time to take and edit professional photos of outfits, so I decided to do a "Instastory Round-up" post instead.

These are all outfits I wore out for lunch, shopping, running errands, or to church.  I took selfies and posted them in my Instastories on Instagram, but I never did a formal fashion post on these outfits;  mostly because they are old outfits that I probably showed you before.

This is a Liz Claiborne dress I wore on a hot day to meet my husband for lunch and shopping.

I wore this pretty bird print dress from Francesca's to church.  I added a coordinating blush headband and blush jewelry.

Another outfit to wear shopping and lunch with hubby.  It's a denim pencil skirt with a plaid, sleeveless gauze top.

The weather cooled down a bit for awhile, so I pulled out my white jeans when I went shopping.  My mint cold shoulder top is from Ross.  I wore my comfy, silver athletic sandals for a long day of walking!

And finally, this is an outfit I wore when we took my granddaughter Alethea to a local park.

IF I remember, I try to post my daily outfits on Instagram in my Instastories every Wednesday and Sunday.  Unfortunately, most of the time I'm in a hurry to get out of the house and I forget...haha!  If you're interested in my daily outfits, you can follow me on Instagram HERE!

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Time For Some Pie At Stockholm Pie!

 In last week's travel post I wrapped up our spring vacation to Savannah and mentioned I would be doing a few "Staycation" posts before I have a new travel series to share.  In May, we planned to vacation with the kids to see the Columbus Zoo, the Creation Museum, and the Ark Encounter.  BUT, as usual, we ended up having to cancel that vacation because my husband had to fix the roof on our house.   Grrrr.  So we stayed home but tried to make the make the best of it by having some fun days locally.  One of these fun days we went to Stockholm, Wisconsin.  It is so tiny if you blink while driving through it, you will miss it.  But if you're ever in the area you must stop and visit because it is adorable!

The main reason we went to Stockholm was to eat lunch at the Stockholm Pie and General Store.  One of my dear friends told me about this place, and I've been wanting to get there ever I finally had my chance!

The building has a cute vintage charm inside and out.

The inside is decorated SO CUTE!!!!  The colors were blue, red, black and a creamy white.  All the tables had that vintage ice cream parlor feel and were covered in red gingham table cloths.

 The restaurant was filled with cute pie sign decor.

Stockholm Pie is more than just a restaurant, you can also buy food items like pure maple syrup, jams, jellies, coffee grounds, wines, chocolates and other sweets, to name just a few.  In their General Store are fun gifts like T-shirts, aprons, cards, home decor, and so much more!

We placed our order at the counter and then chose this cute little window seat overlooking an old Texaco station (now converted into a restaurant) to wait for our meal.

 I ordered the "Capri" sandwich and my husband ordered the Chicken Pot Pie.  I absolutely LOVED my sandwich;  so much so, I might have to try making one myself at home!  The ingredients were fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, tomato, balsamic vinaigrette, and "Joe's special 4 cheese garlic sauce on  spinach mozzarella bread".  I won't be able to mimic the sauce or the bread, but I'm sure I can find a suitable alternative.

My husband liked his pie, but wasn't thrilled with it.  He felt the ration of peas in comparison with the other vegetables was too much:  and he does not like peas!  haha!

 For pies, we both chose a cream pie and neither one of us thought we made the right decision.  I chose this chocolate cream pie which looks delicious (and why I chose it), but it was so rich one or two bites, and I was done!  Plus it was very dense, like hard to put my fork through dense.  I would have preferred something more fluffy for the filling.

Hubby chose Coconut Cream Pie and thought it was o.k. but wasn't quite in love with the taste.  Next time we go back, we will skip the creamed pies and try a fruit pie.  I have the feeling we will be happier with those!

After we were done eating, we walked about town and visited some of the gift shops.  Here is a better look at the Texaco Filling Station converted into a restaurant.

This is a view of one of the side streets in Stockholm.  I told you it was small...blink and you miss it.

This is the Historic Stockholm Hotel...still open for business!

A house turned into a fun business.

This is the main street in Stockholm where the majority of businesses are located.  I found a great pair of flip flops ( shoes previously shown here) and some jewelry at one of the stores here.

My husband had me put one of the necklaces I bought at the gift shop in Stockholm on right away, so you can see one of the them in the pictures below.  The other one I wore in my Stitch Fix Jumpsuit post.  I LOVE looking in gift shops for unique fashion accessories.

The last thing we did before leaving town was check out Stockholm Gardens.  They sell annuals, perennials, garden furniture, garden accessories, etc.  But they also have beautiful display gardens which I always love to stroll through.  It was late May, so there was not much in bloom but lilacs and iris, but it was still lovely.

I absolutely loved this historic building filled with fun garden accessories.

It started to rain, so our day ended more quickly than planned.  I didn't get to visit all the shops I wanted nor take a walk along the great Mississippi River, but it was still such a fun date and I look forward to going back in the fall.

Have a Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!