Sunday, September 20, 2009

Ahoy Mateys!

Ahoy! Yesterday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. My neighbors, John & Nancy, had a party to celebrate it. We were broken up into teams for a treasure hunt around Mosinee. Everyone was dressed like pirates and we had a list of about 10 bajillion things that we had to take photos of, beg, borrow or steal items, ask questions of people (mostly strangers, well actually we were the strangers- a bunch of goofballs dressed up like pirates! The other people were just everyday, normally dressed citizens.) and odd things we just had to do. Everything was worth different points and bonus points were rewarded under special circumstances. Also the 5 page list of items was NOT neatly arranged. No, there were several things at certain bars and other places along the highways that were strewn about throughout the list to make it harder. I went by myself since Steve was at the Badger game in Madison and I didn't know anyone there. Even the hosts I didn't know too well. But I had an absolute blast and guess what? My team took the booty back to our vessel! That's right. My team won. Shiver me timbers! Here are some funny photos throughout the day...

My team consisted of Rob (Captain Bob Greasypalms), Linda (I can't remember her pirate name but it had Lindsey in it) & me (Helga the Well Tanned). We had to have our flag in every picture. Here we are riding a Harley for sale at some random person's house. Then we made her walk the plank (in her garden...)!

I think this picture of Rob behind the tree is so funny. I kept telling him that he didn't need to get right next to the items... I have a mega zoom on my lens. We needed a brush pile and oh look, there's a big one!

Find the place that has a metal pole, a strobe light and is not a strip club then get a stranger to get in the picture of your entire crew wearing a piece of pirate garb. I'm glad Rob & Linda knew where these places were and had been to them because I hadn't even heard of them! There were several items at Half Moon Bar like what root beer is on tap (1919) and take a photo of the fly deterrent (a Ziploc bag of pennies in water hanging above the door- I have no idea what the heck that means but I know it doesn't work!).

At Hammer Down we met up with our hosts and freaked out all the people in the bar as 3 crews of pirates came in... We had to test our wisdom (a puzzle) and strength (the beanbag game Criss Cross from our youth although you didn't have to be very strong...) and find some more things here- the above pic is: Have one crew member get down on all fours and have another sit on their back in front of a fan blowing the wind in their hair... The fan is on but you can't really tell that it is blowing. Some other things in there were a photo of an elk, Brett Farve in a Camo hat and to get a aerial photo with a 'good for a free drink' on it (their business card...). Arrrrrgh. On the list was a photo of someone getting a body shot (extra points for a stranger) but I am not posting that picture on here (although it is funny!).

Entire crew in a cornfield

Round hay bales. We were walking around this guy's property (ok, trespassing) just hoping we wouldn't get shot.

All the crew members sitting on a tractor. We were sitting on the wheel and I am in the picture if only it is the side of my face! Same farm as above.

Linda rockin' some 3D glasses at Shang Garden. These were planted there.

All crew members and owner on a Harley. He was so sweet! Can I just say that my camera is not the best for taking pictures at arm length since it is so big and heavy!

One of about 10 picture attempts of us getting a picture of all 3 of our faces and roadkill (a raccoon). Got the three faces but where is the raccoon? Plus, it is 8 PM, pitch black and we are on the side of a rural highway with cars speeding past... probably not so smart. That thing REEKED! Some women in Shang Garden told us exactly where this raccoon was (turn left out of the bar and it is on the left after the 2nd hill). Are you kidding me? You remember where this stuff is? We drove past and came back again and I just happened to spot it. We were using the flash on the camera to light the way out there since we pulled off like 100 yards away from it. John & Nancy saw the car on the side of the road with the headlights and flashers on and wondered what was wrong with the people then saw a few pirates on the side of the road and just laughed. The only other crew that got that one (worth 500 points) got it of a coyote! What are the chances.

We had to get our entire crew by 79 Rescue 1 with 1 fireman. Bonus points were rewarded for each additional fireperson. The fire department was awesome! They were finding all sorts of stuff on our list. We even got a naked mannequin (well, dummy) there! They brought out the dummy (175 lbs) they use to practice rescues and took his shirt off (it was too hard to get his pants off but they wondered if this was the anatomically correct one...) and then we just threw our flag over his pants. I think we made their night! There aren't too many fires in Rib Mountain. They were having fun. As were we. :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Fairies, fairies and more fairies!

So here are a few of my favorite fairy finds!

Halloween 2000. I went as a forest fairy to bartend at the restaurant that my family used to own and run. Halloween was big there. Very big. Of course the costume was handmade! My mom and I whipped this up!

I bought these wings on etsy a couple of weeks ago. Aren't they gorgeous?? They are made by Chase at Dual Fantasy Studios. She has tons of beautiful wings in her shop!

These are some fairy friends that were purchased from Princess Nimble Thimble on etsy. I could not resist these adorable little bendy dolls! The fairies left them for AJ (the brown shirt), my niece, Adreanna (purple dress), moi (pink dress) and my nephew, Parker (blue shirt). Boy, those fairies sure are sweet! Darling!
This is a fairy garden made in a whiskey barrel planter by the lovely lady over at The Magic Onions. So cute (although she was complaining that it was mostly dead! There's a better picture on her blog.)! I have to make one of these pronto! My fairy garden is for big people... She also has a very cute blog and etsy shop. Lots of fairies there!

The flash caught this girlie! A to-die-for die for the fairy lover from QuicKutz!

This was the fairy that I bought a couple of years ago and looked for the woman on Saturday at the art fair that no longer makes them. :( Glad I got one when I did! :)

My mom is the talented woman behind this snow fairy! She has even taught a class in how-to make them.

This fairy is similar to my Halloween costume... Again, my mom! She is so talented!

A petal fairy that I made. These were the fairies that we made at the fairy party in August.

And the fairy house at my parents house that my brother made. You can see that the fairies left some friends for the kids as well as some notes & dust. I didn't get a chance to make mine this summer but I have time yet! Summer isn't officially over until next week!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Artrageous Weekend in Wausau

I love the second weekend in September in Wausau! It is Artrageous! We kicked off the weekend at Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum on Friday night with the annual Birds in Art reception and dinner. This is such an exciting event!! About 110 artists are chosen each year to be represented in the BIA exhibit. And most of the artists come from all over the world to meet and greet with the museum members this weekend. The reception is held at the museum so we got a chance to see the exhibit and talk to people in the community and the artists. After there is a dinner for the 'friends' of the museum and the artists featured. We hosted a table this year and we were very fortunate to have 2 artists at our table as well as another couple that we knew. Erin works at the museum in art education and helped me with the Fairy & Gnome Scavenger Hunt so it was fun to sit with her and her husband, Nick. Our first artist was Larry Barth, a talented and accomplished carver from Pennsylvania. This is Larry's 30th year in BIA! His piece was so life like it was as if we were looking at the actual birds. He also recently built his own canoe which he does use. Our second artist was Esther van Hulsen who did a watercolor & gouache painting of a great cormorant that looked like a photograph from 2 feet away. That is how detailed it is! She is a lovely young woman from Oslo, Norway and was so interesting to talk to. This was both her first time in BIA and in the US. I wish she would have been able to see some more of our great country while she was here but she and her boyfriend didn't have time to travel elsewhere. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't feeling well during dinner so I wasn't on my A game.

Saturday, my mom and I started off the morning early and went to the Farmer's Market and bought some delicious treats (like a new apple variety that I had not tried- Wealthy- very good!). We then went to Art in the Park in Marathon Park which we were there for a total of 30 mins. I don't like this part of it, personally, which is more of a craft fair. There are too many people and it is not things that I particularly like. I looked for one woman who sold these adorable fairies a couple of years ago- I found her but she doesn't make the fairies anymore because they are too much work. I left bummed. But we headed over to Festival of Arts downtown next which is the part that I really like. I regularly buy from these artists! It's kind of funny that I can point out all the tents that I have purchased from. There are that many.

I like Jay Nielsen's jewelry. He does some very cool pieces!

I bought a purse from Helen's Daughters last year that I use all the time. My mom bought one last year and this year! I may order another one from her...

Andy Hall is a photographer from St. Paul, MN and I especially like the purple crocus popping through the snow. I talked to him about that picture and he said it was just after an April morning snowstorm and that the snow melted later that morning- but he still got the shot! I think it is gorgeous and so representative of spring in the Midwest!

(The 4 above photos were taken from Festival of Arts Facebook page from 2008's show)

A pendant I bought from Michelle Moss of The Sterling Flower in Plover, WI. I couldn't resist it- those are my colors!

I am a repeat customer of Adrienne Brebrick of Wausau. A couple of years ago I bought a vase for a friend of mine getting married and this year I bought this bowl for my hubby's office for candy. He broke the last one I gave him. He better not break this one!

I just love the green!! It is so pretty! :)

This raku vase I also bought from Adrienne. She lives just down the hill from me. In her tent I saw some pictures of her firing bowls in what looked like garbage cans in her driveway in the winter! I told her I was going to come over sometime just to watch her (I'd help if she needed it) and she said, 'Sure! Come on over!' I have a serious weakness for raku. I love, love, love the colors the heat produces. But, alas, I bought this for a co-worker of Steve's who is doing our will for us. I'll just have to keep my eyes peeled for another just for me to add to all my other ones I have bought!
I really didn't buy as much as I usually do. I wanted to buy another turtle to add to my collection in the yard but I just couldn't pull out the credit card. Last Wednesday we spent a small fortune taking down two ginormous dead trees in our yard so my turtle will have to wait. Oh! And we went to Red Eye Brewing Company for lunch which I don't go to nearly enough but it is SO good! The Chicken Soprano panini is one of the best sandwiches (the chicken was absolutely perfect) and my mom had a salad with spiced candied pecans that I could've eaten all day long!!

How I know I live with a toddler (Part 6)...

* When we don't want to be in the dark we are or ALL the lights in the house are on! Oh, the joys of discovering he can flip a light switch whenever he wants...
* Another thing he has now discovered is the door locks... uh-oh. If he doesn't want us in the bathroom we don't get to go in the bathroom.
* He can now get into all the upper drawers. I am going to have to install some more drawer locks.
* He gave up on the toilets for a long time but now that he is starting to get interested in potty training the obsession is back. This time it is just toilet paper or tissues however they can cause a BIG mess if too much is put in the toilet! Luckily, he can't push down the flusher!!
* He's got a mouth like a sailor... clock drops the L, shirt drops the R, frog comes out sounding like the F-bomb a lot. Thank goodness he doesn't actually say any swear words intentionally!
* I am afraid he is going to flood the kitchen using the refrigerator water dispenser! My inlaws have a lock on theirs- they all really should (how smart is that) but ours doesn't. I am trying to remember to turn it to ice cube so if he does push it (often) an ice cube will come out, maybe bonk him on the head and then he'll learn not to push that button!
* He always wants to help water the plants which really involves him getting soaked.
* We have discovererd him eating his toothpaste twice. It is now in our bathroom on a high shelf. Thank goodness it wasn't ours or they would know us personally at Poison Control.
* I have walked into a mountain of wipes or tissues in his room more than a handful of times.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


I love looking at cool photography. It is even better when you know the photographer or the subject! I happen to know these 3 extremely talented people who also take pictures for a living. Now I do know a number of other photographers but these 3 are my favorites lately. They take pictures of families and weddings and one is a fashion photog as well. I have their links on the sidebar so maybe you've already checked them out but if you haven't yet... do!

Craig Stodola of Craig John Photography is out of Milwaukee, WI and shoots weddings and families all over Wisconsin and in Chicago. His blog is amazing but only shows his awesome wedding and engagement photos. He is very personable which I love. The way I found him was when he took a picture of my family without us knowing it. We were at the UW Madison Spring Football Game. He was asked to take pictures at the game. His perception of the game from a wedding photographer pov was very interesting- family centered. Someone recognized my husband on a Badger fansite that he had posted the pictures to and pointed us in the direction of his blog. Since then I am a regular visitor to his blog, Facebook friends with him (I thought maybe he'd have a fan site on FB but he doesn't) and sometime soon he's going to really take picures of my family while we are paying attention! Look at his blog though- it is fabulous!

Micheael Creagh is the man behind New York based Michael Creagh Photography and High Art Wedding Photography. He is a fashion photographer and wedding photographer. His work is SO creative and artistic. He is also a high school friend. He took some amazing photos of another high school friend who may be familiar to other people, Emily Bergl. Emily starred in ABC's Men in Trees as Annie before it was cut. I loved that show. Now she is on NBC's Southland as a jealous wife or girlfriend. Anyway, check him out he is fantastic!!

Serena Boggs is the lovely lady behind Serena Dawn Boggs Photography in Wake Forest, NC. Also, a high school friend, Serena takes these magical photos that inspire the imagination. She mostly takes family photos. I wish that you could see some of the photos on her FB page of her own kids and family. They are so spectacular. There is one particular picture of her 3 girls from the knees down sitting on a bed with these colorful socks- it is so cool! Her photos though are fun and amazing and I wish she lived closer so that I could hire her to do her magic on my family!

So I strongly encourage you to check out these photogs and if you live in their area- hire them! :)

Side note: I did an entire post about photographers and there are no photos! I didn't want to copy them off their sites because that is their artwork...

Fairy Party!

Before school started I had my niece, Adreanna, her friend, Reilly, and my friend Olivia, over for a fairy party. We made fairy crafts, searched for fairy notes and treasures and ate fairy food of course! It was cold and rainy outside (I was so bummed) so it was inside but we all still had fun. The girls all had on their fairy wings when they arrived but mine were the only ones that stayed on through the whole party. I have since gotten a new pair (they are gorgeous!) that I will post about later. Shine some light on an etsy artist!

The invitation... This is a matchbook style card. The toadstool mushroom and the itty bitty fairy both have glitter embellishment.

Adreanna made all sorts of posters for the fairy party throughout the summer. This one is my favorite- of course- because of the stars.

The hostess. :) I didn't get as many pictures throughout the day as I would have liked. Especially since I am taking this picture of myself!

The magic star wands the fairies left for the girls during their scavenger hunt. The fairies are always stealing my supplies- they have a field day in my studio. It is always a mess after they leave too. I need the clean up fairies to come with the crafty fairies. ;)

These signs hung on the back of the girls chairs. I made them with double sided sticky letters that you pour glitter on and fairy stickers. Not too hard...

The banister was decorated with all different sized tissue paper flowers that Adreanna and I made other times she visited during the summer.

The toadstool cupcakes that I made. Nothing fancy- box cake mix and canned frosting tinted pink. To make the spots I used white chocolate chips. The fairies added some pink sparkles into the cake and fairy dust to the top before they were served.

The girls making petal fairies. I wish I would have taken a picture of all the finished fairies... Boo! They also made fairy boxes. We didn't get to the fairy ornaments. Bummer!

The girls saw the camera coming this time... being goofy!

Adreanna and Reilly loaded with all their fairy goodness!

Book Review: Immoral by Brian Freeman

So I finally read the first one after I read the third one (Stalked) in the Jonny Stride/Serena Dial series. It was good. As with Stalked, I knew who was involved as soon as the character was introduced but didn't know how. There were a few curve balls thrown in there as well. All in all I thought it was pretty good and I look forward to reading the second book, Stripped, as well as the fourth book that's name is escaping me right now (Brian is a FB friend and he keeps posting about his books being published in other countries under different names and he is writing the 6th book but I don't know what happened to the 5th??? Brian- you are confusing me!). That is if I can ever keep my eyes open during The Likeness long enough to finish it! It is really good but I just keep falling asleep!