Wednesday, February 21, 2024

The Hidden Gardens of Madison Wisconsin

Two weeks ago, in THIS POST I shared that for our anniversary we went to Madison, Wisconsin for the weekend.  In that post, I only showed the Olbrich Botanical Gardens because I had so many photos it was already too long for most readers.  We did however, visit three other smaller gardens in the city of Madison that I wanted to talk about; so this week's travel post will show the rest of the garden hopping we did in Madison Wisconsin.

Period Garden Park

Period Garden park is a small garden open to the public in downtown Madison.  It was so hard for us to find because it's not that visible from the street. Even with GPS we couldn't see it from our vehicle.  We finally decided to park the car and get out and walk and it was then we discovered "the park" was actually the front lawn of an old home.  In 1972 the owner of the property wanted to build an apartment complex on the lot, but a group of private citizens felt it would have ruined the aesthetics of the Victorian neighborhood so they purchased the property and turned it into a public park/garden.  I didn't take any photos except the one above as it was so small (.235 acres) but I thought it was cool that a group of citizens and volunteers have purchased the property to keep the historic significance and also made it accessible to everyone to enjoy.

You can see more photos of Period Garden Park HERE.

University of Wisconsin - Madison Botany Garden

Next we went to the University of Wisconsin - Madison campus to enjoy their Botany Garden.  A pond filled with koi and a pretty gazebo was its star attraction.

Allen Centennial Garden

Our last stop was the Allen Centennial Garden, and this garden is really worth the stop if you're ever in the Madison area.

This garden is also free and open to the public from dawn to dusk for everyone to enjoy. 

According to its website:  

"Allen Centennial Garden is the artful living laboratory and public botanical garden of the Horticulture Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Garden serves as an outdoor classroom for UW-Madison students and the surrounding communities, providing meaningful learning opportunities for visitors of all ages."

This beautiful garden is the backyard of another historic home.  The home isn't occupied now, but it once served as the Agricultural Dean's Residence.  The ground breaking of the garden was in 1985.  The garden is two and half acres.

There is lots of architectural interest in the garden such as the gazebo above and the stunning red bridge below.  

There are six different gardens at the Allen Centennial Garden:  Japanese/Cottage Garden, New American Garden, French & Italian Garden, English Garden, Rock Garden, and a Woodland Garden.

It seemed odd to see modern university buildings in the background of the garden.  It's like a small spot of Eden in the midst of an urban jungle.

The pond was filled with lily pads and koi.  

I just loved the red bridge.  The color really popped in the sea of green.  

The house was closed up tight when we were there.  I have no idea if the home is ever open for tours, but I would have loved to have seen the inside.

This is the front of the house and what it would like from the street if you were just pulling up in your car.

There are so many meandering paths leading to different styles of gardens.  This inviting path pictured below led to the shade garden on the side of the house.  I gathered lots of ideas for my home garden.  I loved the idea of creating lots of different styles of garden in your own yard while considering all the different ecoclimates one could have in a large space.  My yard for example has hot dry spots but also moist cool areas.  Different types of gardens could be created that thrive in those areas of my yard.

There were multiple gazebos and spots to sit and just enjoy the view.

The area in the front of the house opposite of the shade garden was very sunny so a nice circular front lawn was put in bordered by sun perennials.

There were even gardens up against the foundation of the house.

We really enjoyed finding and exploring all the hidden gardens of Madison Wisconsin.  It was like being on an adventurous quest!

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Tuesday, February 20, 2024

Two Heartfelt Handmade Cards

When I started this blog, it began as solely a card-making blog.  But as the years went on I have been making cards less and less and my blog has transitioned into a lifestyle blog.  Now I mainly make cards just for my grand babies or special events.  Unfortunately this past month I had to make two cards for more serious reasons:  one a sympathy card and the other an encouragement card.

My first card was for an older gentleman who lost his wife.  I always keep sympathy cards simple, because I think that is more appropriate for the solemn occasion.  And for this one, I kept it extra simple because it was for a male.  I also used a more masculine image.

To make my card I first sponged a sky background with blue ink, then I stamped a trio of trees (retired Papertrey Ink) over the sponged background.  I then cut the main image card and a blue background frame using Spellbinders Nestabilities then I glued it all together on a white card base.  I stamped a sentiment in the same ink as the trees.

My second card is for a woman who just received some bad medical news.  I wasn't that familiar with the situation as I heard it second hand, but I wanted her to know that I care and that I was thinking and praying for her.  The inside of the cards reads "Whatever happens, God is there to keep you safely in His care".

To make this card, I first stamped, colored, and cut out the Morning Glory image.  Then I cut a white large oval followed by a blue scalloped oval using Spellbinder's Nestabilities.  I glued all three pieces onto a white card stock base then stamped a sentiment onto the white oval.  I finished the card with three clear crystals.  All the images in this card are retired Stampin' Up!.

Handmade cards are always special, but I think they have extra meaning when given for more serious reasons. It really shows how much you care when you take the time to make it yourself.

Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


Thursday, February 15, 2024

How to Style Maxi Skirts with Ageless Style

Ageless Style is a monthly style challenge and link up for women of all ages.   Each month we pick a different theme and style an outfit based on that theme.  This month's theme is "Maxi Skirts" and was picked by me!

It was my turn to pick the theme for this month's Ageless Style Link Up and I chose "Maxi Skirts".  Yes, maxi skirts are back in style!  Not the jersey maxi skirts of the early 2000's (although I still use one of those as a bathing suit coverup) but those made with lightweight, flowy fabrics like cotton, rayon, chiffon, or linen.  But perhaps the biggest maxi skirt trend right now is the denim maxi skirt!

Denim maxi skirts are hot, hot, hot right now.  If you don't already have one in your closet, I say go out and buy one!  Even though they are great to wear in winter because they keep your legs covered and warm, you can also wear them in the summer with a tank and sandals.

I had some rewards money after all my Christmas shopping, so I treated myself to a FREE denim maxi skirt from JCPenney.  It is still available HERE!

I styled my maxi skirt with a newer cropped cardigan that I previously showed you in THIS POST.  Cropped cardigans go great with maxi skirts because they stop at the waist.  You really need to avoid anything too long or bulky when wearing a long, heavy skirt like a denim maxi skirt or you will disappear under all that fabric.  Tighter fitting tops, crop tops, and/or tanks work best with maxi skirts.

For shoes, I chose a pair of tall brown boots because it is still winter after all and I want to keep my legs warm.  Other shoes you can wear depending on the time of year would be sneakers, ballet flats, sandals..heck, just about anything!

I felt I had a boho look going here even if I wasn't aiming for one, so I accessorized with some fun boho jewelry, a brown felt hat,  and a boho style handbag.

I really enjoyed wearing this outfit and it shows in the photos. I felt confident and comfortable.  I love fashion that is easy to wear, yet stylish at the same time.

So what about you?  Have you purchased a denim maxi skirt or any other type of maxi skirt yet, or is this a trend you will be skipping?  I'd love to hear from you.

And now,  be sure to check out what how the rest of the ladies in our group are styling their maxi skirts and link up with us as well.

Amy ~ Amy’s Creative Pursuits

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Bo ~ Bo's Bodacious Blog

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Joanna ~ My Slice of Life


Jodie ~ Jodie’s Touch of Style

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Marsha~ Marsha in the Middle

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Mireille ~ Chez Mireille Fashion Travel Mom

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Rosemary ~ Distinctly Southern Style

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Have A Great Day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!


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