February 3, 2015 § 2 Comments



January 27, 2015 § 1 Comment

Stairwell, Rand Tower, Minneapolis


Hat Rack

January 3, 2015 § 1 Comment

Friends let friends take photos of their groovy hat rack:

Hat rack

Seven Bookmarks

February 23, 2014 § 6 Comments

My electronic folders are full of interesting sites or webpages I’ve bookmarked for later reference. Oftentimes, I forget what I’ve saved or where I saved it. By sifting through the clutter and sharing a few favorites, I’m hoping to jumpstart some projects inspired by the following. Take a peek if you’re so inclined, and share a favorite site or page you’ve bookmarked. I’d love suggestions on what to obsess over next:

Party Lights

Image credit: Sarah Rae Trover

Image credit: Sarah Rae Trover

Image credit: Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

Image credit: Jimmy Carter Library and Museum

Image source: POPSUGAR

Image source: POPSUGAR

Image source: Dietland Wolf

Image source: Dietland Wolf


Image credit: Kumi Yamashita

Bear Biking and Shanty Shimmying

February 9, 2014 § 4 Comments

It was cold, but there was a sauna. And a dance shack to boogie away calories. And a giant polar bear we navigated down the ice, so that kept us toasty.

I’m always incredibly impressed with the ingenuity of our local artists, and the Art Shanty Projects never disappoint. This year, White Bear Lake hosted the event and held steady the 21 ice houses that served as stages for artistic interactions with the public.

All ages crammed into the tiny Dance Shanty and got their groove on, including an older woman with a cane. Life doesn’t get happier than that.

Pedal Bear — the pictures don’t do her justice. Ten of us peddled across the ice while a little girl in the back tugged the pulleys to wag the bear’s tail and open her mouth when we emitted a collective ursine roar. A baby bear also made her way across shanty town, sometimes trailing her mother, but she often wandered off alone.

Architecture students built the Curling Clubhouse Ice Shanty, replete with a curling rink, lessons, brooms (well, mops, actually) and stones. Inside is a veritable history of the sport, with old photos and game rules. And a lounge. Forget Sochi. Go to the Curling Shanty instead.

The Elevator Shanty is the most clever, in my opinion. Wait in the office lobby (complete with New Yorker magazines) for the elevator to arrive. When the doors open, step inside, press your floor, and enjoy the ride.

Visitors decorated giant colorful puzzle pieces that made up one wall of the Jigsaw Shanty. As some visitors put pieces in place, others snuggled inside with smaller puzzles and teasers.

And then there were kites. And a giant zoetrope. And a town hall where you could submit a town rule (e.g., everyone should wear skates and take mandatory naps) and vote on one of several artistic town seals. And clay to make little animals to add to the Noah’s Art Shanty menagerie. And so much more.

I can’t say I loved all the shanties. The purpose or message of the Creep Shanty was lost on me, as was my patience waiting for the simulated dawn in the Sunrise Shanty. But I’m sure others loved those.

Hosted on White Bear Lake this year, two weekends of art shantying fun remain. Lace up your boots. Dress warmly. And go pedal that bear.

Kites and shanties and bears, oh my!

Kites and shanties and bears, oh my!

A Hole Where the Light Fell Through

January 16, 2014 § 5 Comments


A hole where the light fell through

* * *

My friends Kris and Craig examine structures, patterns, and details through a different light and lens than most. Eclectic, artsy designers, they have an eye for whimsy and style. They make the functional fun and bold, splashing their playful ideas and amusements onto the walls, floors, and ceilings of their home.

I still remember the day years ago when they shared their plans for the new house they wanted to create. It took time to find a suburb willing to let them build a concrete house with artificial turf wallpaper and a goldfish bowl popping out from a bedroom wall. But they finally did, and it’s a superb fit for them and their daughter.

They and their home recently received a nice write-up in Modern Home Tours’ newsletter. Below is an excerpt from the story along with photos from their house.

Kris and her husband had a strong vision when it came to designing their home in Inver Grove Heights, a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. The husband/wife team came up with the concept of a three-level, precast concrete home and drafted it out on paper themselves. They then handed off their specs to a drafter who helped develop the blueprints. Everything in the home is handpicked by Kris and her husband, who pored over the Internet to find kitchen appliances, plumbing, and light fixtures from all over the world.

* * *

The light was sparse on Lake Calhoun tonight. Using some fancy manipulation, I brightened the image, creating an eerie, yet serene, scene:


December 16, 2013 § 8 Comments


It’s December 16 and I’ve yet to assemble one holiday card. I spent the weekend cutting cardboard and paper, folding and gluing, thinking through color schemes and designs. Every year I say I’m not going to do this again because of the time and cost involved, but it’s a joy for me to create something by hand for those I love most in the world. Although I may not get them all out by Christmas, I think wishing people the best in the new year is appreciated just as much.

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