Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Enger Tower Park

When my husband and I were camping over the three day Labour Day Weekend, we spent one entire day in the city of Duluth, Minnesota.  We crammed so much into that one day it was amazing!  I've already shared with you The Flowers of Enger Tower Park, but for this week's Travel Post, I'd like to show you the Tower itself!

Enger Tower Park is located high on a hill above the city of Duluth.  It's very easy to find, just look up!  We spotted it the minute we drove into the city.  It is located near US Hwy 53 North and Duluth Minnesota Skyline Parkway.  It is quite the scenic drive to get to the tower, albeit a bit nerve-wracking too if your afraid of heights as I am. 

 The tower was built in 1939 and is five stories tall.  It is made of blue stone taken from the region.  It looks out over the Duluth Harbor and the St. Louis Bay.  The very top of the tower is 531 feet above the level of Lake Superior.  At the top is a green beacon that can be seen for miles.

There is no admission or parking fee for this attraction.  Just walk right in, climb a mere 105 steps, and enjoy the view!

Of course we had to take advantage of the iron gate for a fun photo before we walked in!

Each landing on every level has windows to look out.

  Because the tower is shaped like an octagon, you get 360 degree views of Lake Superior,  the city of Duluth and Superior, WI, the Enger Park Golf Course, the park, and hillside.

See the big ship in the photo below?  It's a HUGE ship, and you may have noticed it in my Sunday Garden Photos of Leif Erikson Park.  The bridge is also amazing and huge.  It's a lift bridge, but it goes straight up in the air instead of separating.   I'll have more on that bridge in next week's travel post!

While one side of the tower offers gorgeous views of Lake Superior and the cities of Duluth and Superior, WI, the other side shows the lush greenery of the golf course and surrounding hillside.

We didn't have time to drive down it, but there was a narrow strip of land across the lake that was so interesting.  It reminded me a little bit of the islands in Florida!

It had rained heavily the night before, so when we we arrived at Enger Tower Park the next morning it was quite overcast.  I wasn't too disappointed as Duluth is not too far from where we live, so we can always go back on a sunnier day.  I'm sure it's a gorgeous view in the fall!

The tower is also lit up at night.  We were there during the day, so we never got to see the tower all lit up, but there's some pretty pictures and video for you to see HERE.

Have a great day!  Amy

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

My September Christmas Cards: Snowmen Christmas Cards

I have some cute Snowmen Christmas Cards to share with you today.  As most of you already know, I play the Christmas Card Challenge on Splitcoaststampers where we make Christmas Cards all year long so that were not stressed out during the busy holiday season.  I make about five cards a month so that I'll have over fifty at the end of the year.  These are September Christmas Cards.

I make tall or long cards;  about 4 x 8 so that I can fit a Christmas Photo Card and Christmas Letter inside.

To make my card, I used the retired Stampin' Up! image "It's Snow Time".  And if you like this set, it's for sale HERE.

I first stamped the trees all in a row using a Stamp-a-ma-jig;  being sure to leave some room for the snowman.  I then stamped the snowman, an extra present at his 'feet', a sentiment from my stash, and another cardinal.  I put Stickles on the "I" of the sentiment.

I colored everything in with Copic Markers, then stamped the snowflakes in Versamark, and heat embossed with Clear Embossing Powder.

I finished by putting Liquid Applique wherever I wanted "snow".  I stamped a sentiment on the inside of the card as well.

This card is for sale at my Etsy store HERE.  I've been working really hard adding cards and lots of new stamp sets to the store.  It is so time consuming!  The stamp sets have been selling very well there, so if there's something you'd like, I'd grab it quick before it's gone.  I do combine shipping, just ask when you place your order!

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Fashion Over Fifty: Long Sleeves with Shorts?

We have been experiencing a very unseasonably warm fall here in Northwestern WI.  Normally by this time of the year we are struggling with restraining ourselves from turning on the heat (no one in Wisconsin wants to start paying heating bills before October!),  and instead we are trying to keep ourselves from turning on the air knowing that any day now, it's going to cool off!

We have had a couple of cooler days where I could wear jeans and a jacket or sweater, but mostly I've still been wearing summer clothes.   All of these fluctuating temperatures have left me frustrated to no end when trying to put an outfit together.  Will it be cool in the morning and warm up to eighty by afternoon?  Am I going to sweat in this?  Am I going to freeze in this?  What do I wear?  

All summer long I noticed lots of pictures of women in Blogland wearing shorts with long sleeves.  At first I thought it was odd since I feel if it's hot enough to wear shorts, I wouldn't want to wear long sleeves.  But eventually, as all new fashion trends go, the look grew on me.  It does make sense to keep my upper body more covered when I enter air-conditioned buildings.  And it's a good transitional outfit as well.  So I decided to try the look for myself!

I bought my long sleeve shirt from Express years ago.  It's a sheer knit material with a dropped shoulder and tab sleeves.  Because the top is semi-see-thru,  I have to wear a tank top underneath, and I usually go with a flesh tone;  but because the rest of my outfit was black, I went with a black tank top.

For jewelry I wore a triple strand gold stone necklace (Express) and a gold bracelet.

Because it is Fall, I did not want to wear open toe shoes or sandals, but its too hot for me to wear a full bootie,  so I went with my black booties that have the open heel (I've shown these shoes to you before HERE and HERE).   To me they are a mix of both a warm weather and cold weather shoe.  Plus, it won't be too much longer before I can't wear these shoes anymore, so I want to get as much use out of them while I still can!

I just picked up these Liz Claiborne black shorts on clearance for less than $10.00.  I have been looking for black dress shorts all summer, and I finally found a pair now that summer is over.  I almost didn't get them because shorts season was over,  and then I thought "Wait a minute, I'm going to Florida for Thanksgiving and again for two weeks in February….of course I'm gonna wear them!".

Because of the color, the shorts are actually perfect to wear now.  The black color is perfect for fall, and the shorts are perfect for the current summer temperatures we are experiencing.

 I was actually quite pleased with this look.  My upper body is larger than my lower body, so it is more flattering for me to have my legs more exposed than my top.  And, you all know I can't stand heavily air conditioned buildings, so this sheer knit top covering my arms kept me quite comfortable.  If I did get unbearably hot, I could always remove it since I had a tank underneath.  But that's highly unlikely, as I am not comfortable walking around with just a tank on;  so I would have to be pretty miserable to do that (like I was in Duluth over Labour Day Weekend!).

So what about you?  Have you or would you ever wear shorts with long sleeves?  I'd love to hear from you!

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Finding Fall Floral Beauty Everywhere!

The most wonderful thing about warm weather months is the beautiful blooms in gardens other people have put work into that I get to just enjoy.  Since my yard is pretty much done for the year, with the exception of my annuals, I thought I would show you pictures of some other lovely blooms I have found on my adventures this past summer.

This gorgeous bed of cone flowers and petunias I discovered while waiting outside a concert hall for my daughter.  She was performing in Green Lake, WI  and this bed of flowers was sitting right in front of a parking lot, in the middle of a paved sidewalk.  Can it look any healthier or happier here?  I think not.

I just love these white cone flowers.  I have a ton of Purple Coneflowers in my yard, but I do not have any white.  I might have to get some after seeing these beauties.

 My next set of pictures I took when my husband and I went camping over Labor Day weekend.  Our campsite was near Duluth, MN, so we spent one day in the big city seeing as much as we could.  Canal Park had so many pretty flower beds!

Annual Rudbeckias, Ornamental Cabbage, Purple Verbena, and colorful Zinnias were the stars in these garden beds.

I was awestruck by how vibrant the colors were!

I love the red foliage of the Coleus up against the Ornamental Cabbage with the Rudbeckias in the background.  Perfect!

Look at the texture and color of this close up of a Ornamental Cabbage!

The final set of flower pictures I discovered in the most unlikely of places:  outside a Culver's Restaurant in Rice Lake, WI.  We were driving home from our camping trip and decided to stop for a ice cream treat.  As always, it was too cold inside the restaurant due to the air conditioning, so we ate outside on their patio.  And I was so happy we did, or I would have missed these beauties:

The restaurant patio was hemmed in on all four sides with lush plantings of Petunias and Alyssum!

Look how happy these little guys are growing here!  I don't know what they are feeding them, but whatever it is, it's working.

A close up of these happy, healthy Petunias.

Culver's also had big, full, Petunia hanging baskets, that were just dripping with flowers.  I loved how the colors coordinated with the colors of the restaurant too!

Being engulfed by these beautiful flowers while enjoying our custard treat made it oh, so much more enjoyable!

And finally, I leave you with a little critter I discovered while cleaning up my garden beds.  There is an old wives tale that these fuzzy little caterpillars are the first sign of fall.  I guess I believe it, since I always see them this time of year.  I love how they curl up into a ball when you first pick them up.  I had to wait a few minutes for him to relax and unwind on my hand, then he started moving so fast I could barely get a clear picture in time!  So cute!

I hope you enjoyed these last flower pictures. I plan to have lots of pictures of fall foliage to share with you in the next few weeks.  I'm also planning a couple of trips to Florida this fall and winter, so I will definitely have more flower stories to share from those trips!

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

A Masculine Elk Card

Today's card is for the man or nature lover in your life.  It uses an image from the retired Stampin' Up! set "Wildlife Reserve".  The sentiment is from retired Stampin' Up! "Always on my Mind".

The sketch is from Splitcoaststampers (SC378).   The image is colored with pencils.

I used Spellbinder's Nestabilities to cut the oval, and added some simple brown hemp for embellishment.

The paper is from Prima "Moulin Rouge".  Pretty ironic that I used that paper for a hunter's card eh?

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Friday, September 25, 2015

Fashion Over Fifty: Wearing My Flares

After years of wearing skinny jeans, flares are back in style!  Only, I don't think the stores where I live know that yet, as I had a hard time finding them.  Thankfully, American Eagle had a pair that was just the right length for me.  But even they only had two pairs of flares in the entire store, and the young store associates seemed clueless to know what a flare jean even was or they told me skinny jeans were the style to own now.  Silly kids!  Didn't they know skinnies are on the way out and flares are back in?

To be honest, even I'm getting confused as to what jean style is 'in' and what is 'out' right now.  I think the designers and stylists are trying to push the public out of their skinnies and into flares, but I think the public is resisting.  For now, it's still o.k. to wear both.  I welcome the freedom of being able to wear a different style of jean other than skinny or boyfriend.  But, I still love my skinnies and boyfriend jeans too!  I love skinnies because they really show off all my cute shoes and boots, and I love my boyfriend jeans because they are oh so comfortable.

And now I have a new style to love, FLARES!

I wore my flares on a cool fall day with a black camisole from Old Navy (old), an eggplant waterfall cardigan (old, Macys') and my new Liz Claiborne boots that I showed you on Monday's fashion post.  Yes, even though I love the flare cut, it's a bummer that the jeans hide my shoes.  It's the only drawback to them that I can see.

For jewelry I wore my Jalissa Beaded Triangle Necklace from Bay to Baubles that I received from Stitch Fix, and a solid gold bracelet.

I carried my black bucket bag from Express (old).

Flares are available in many different widths.  I chose this width because it was one I was most comfortable wearing.  It still quite wide at the foot, but I can still see a bit of shoe.

I really love my new flares, and I'm hoping they'll stick around for awhile so I can get a lot of wear out of them.

Have a great day!  Amy

Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Love Bird Anniversary Card

Today's I have a card to share with you that is very easy to make, has a clean and simple design, yet still has a lot of interesting detail.  The card was made with a sticker from Studio G, a tag from Martha Stewart, and some unknown designer paper from my stash.

I simply took the sticker and attached it to the pre-bought tag.  The sticker has a bit of dimension to it to make it more interesting.  I added another button and some ribbon to the tag.

The card stock colors are Blushing Bride, Kraft,  and Rose Red.

It is a very clean and simple, quick and easy card, yet it still has a lot of interest due to the tag, dimension, and embellishments.

Have a great day!  Amy