Saturday, July 30, 2011

After the Rain

As if in a dream, the rain arrived one night.
We awoke to a world of glitter and sparkle -
with water droplets clinging to every plant, leaf, and flower.

I hurried to the garden with camera and tripod in hand.
This is what I found.....

Later, the sun blazed, the temperature rose,
and rose some more -
welcome to Mother Nature's sauna!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Museum Tour

Today, let's take a tour of the Milwaukee Art Museum.
It's an amazing museum where architecture and art 
come together in an impressive, seamless manner.

The Burke Brise Soleill, exterior view -
the "wings" open at 10am and close at 5pm.
They have a wingspan comparable to that of a Boeing 747-400!

The Quadracci Pavilion is the first Santiago Calatrava-designed 
building completed in the United States (2001).

The museum's collection includes 40 galleries
 and nearly 20,000 works of art.

When your feet get tired and your mind is overwhelmed by all the beauty, 
relax and check out Chihuly's blown-glass sculpture.

If you're ever in Milwaukee,WI, 
you really need to see the museum for yourself!

The Creative Exchange
Exploring with a Camera

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Surprise Visitor

Beauty from the woods is spreading to the garden.

It's here...


and everywhere!

Happy weekend to you ~

Monday, July 18, 2011

Marbled Afternoon

In the summer, we kick-back a bit and do things at a more relaxed pace.
In that spirit, my daughter and I decided to do some fancy sugar cookie decorating.
Inspired by the July issue of Martha Stewart Living, we tried our hand at marbled frosting.

We used Wilton's Meringue Powder (available at Walmart) and 
the Royal Icing recipe (with a touch more water) ~
adding 1/2 tsp. vanilla and 1/2 tsp. almond extract, for better flavor
 (suggestion from Barb, the Cookie Queen).

How to:
1) Flood cookies with frosting, then w/ a contrasting color (in pastry tube) 
draw concentric circles (starting w/ a dot) or arcs.
2) While still wet, drag a skewer through the frosting at a 90% angle to the colored lines
 - either all one direction, or in alternating directions.
3) Let dry and enjoy!

You can see my Valentine's cookies here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Beauty for a Day

My daylilies are in full bloom!
So, I've been enjoying their exuberant color and bold form.
My husband asked me, "Do they really only last a day?" which
prompted me to look up some daylily facts.
Did you know?

* Daylilies are part of the genus Hemerocallis, which is a Greek word (hemera)
meaning day and kallos (beauty).  That's where we get "beauty for a day".
* There are over 35,000 named and registered daylilies.
* The flowers do only last for a day, but mature plants may carry between 10-40 stems,
with numerous buds per stem.
* Many parts of the daylily are edible - flower buds can be fried or used in soups,
eat the roots as a vegetable - they have an asparagus-like taste,
and flower segments (take light colored segments) give a bitter sweet taste to salads.
sources: and

Budding beauty...

Delightful details...

 Form without color...


Monday, July 11, 2011

Summer Idyll

With the holiday weekend over, 
all the lake cabin owners departed for home in the big city.
That left the lake quiet and peaceful.
Now, we are greeted in the morning with loon calls, 
an eagle gliding low along the lake,
 and turtles lingering in the shallows.

I decided to wander over to our neighbor's property
 to capture their funky colored rowboat and its interesting details.

Next, I stopped to study the design of cattails and their meandering reflections -
experimenting with different aperture and shutter speed combinations.

As the sun sank lower on the horizon,
wave and lily pad patterns demanded attention.

And finally, an impressionist vision of the day.  
This is more about memory and imagination than reality!


Saturday, July 9, 2011

Daisy Delight

I grow the stately Shasta Daisy in my flower garden,
but it is this lyrical version that captures my imagination.
These daisies carpet our lakeside yard,
and anywhere else they can get a foothold!
They charm the eye with their abundance, dance, and delicacy.

And a couple black and whites.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Lake View

Happy July 4th to you!!!
We're kayaking on the lake, reading in the hammock,
 playing with our new puppy, and 
trying to keep the deer out of the flower garden!