Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Time Again For Sailing Ships ~

This past weekend provided another opportunity to view,
closer this time,
those beautiful sailing ships from times past.

Duluth hosted once more a Tall Ships Festival.
Nine amazing tall masted ships sailed into Minnesota's Duluth harbor, 
attracting attention wherever their masts could be seen.

The first to arrive were the Pride of Baltimore II, a 157' two masted schooner, 
the Norwegian white SS Sorlandet, a fully rigged 210' three masted ship built in 1927,
and the Privateer Lynx, a 122' two masted schooner.

~ SS Sorlandet ~

This ship is the oldest fully rigged ship in the world still in operation.
Built as a training vessel, she helped represent Norway at the 1933 World's Fair in Chicago.
During World War II the ship became damaged, but was restored and read to sail again in 1948.
Her first engine was installed in 1958. 

~ U.S. Brig Niagara ~
198' two masted brig.

This ship is a reconstruction of the brig used by
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry to win victory in the
1813 Battle of Lake Erie. 

~ The two masted 79' Schooner Hindu shares the water with boats and ships from a more modern era. ~

Trying to capture images of sailing ships only was not easy in the Duluth harbor
busy with ore ships, cruise ships, and various boats large and small.


Friday, April 26, 2013

Iris of Whimsy...Part 2

Spring has finally decided to arrive here at the Whimsy Gardens!!!
The temperature today just may reach into the lower 60's,
and water is pouring off of the roofs from the melting snow.
Soon, I hope, I will be able to see the earth
and the emerging leaves of my gardens!
Traveling a bit back in time to March of 2012, it was then I created a post showing some
of the Iris of Whimsy Gardens.
Today I thought I would show a few more images I have taken in my gardens of one of my
favorite garden flowers...
the iris.

~ Cracklin Burgundy ~
Tall bearded
 Year registered 1981

This is one of the first iris I introduced into my gardens in the mid 80's (after my grandmother's heirloom blue), and is a gorgeous deep red!

~ Unknown Heirloom ~
Tall bearded

The Wabash iris I showed in March 2012 was found growing in the middle of
a clump of this iris's rhizomes, which was given to me by a friend
who had found them growing wild on an abandoned site.

~ Unknown Heirloom ~
Standard dwarf bearded

This very hardy iris which grows no larger than 11 inches tall was found growing
in an old farmstead garden.

~ Unknown ~
Miniature dwarf bearded

Who knows what one will find at a yard sale!
A few years back this little iris was one of those finds.
It is short on height but still produces good sized blossoms.

 ~ Appleblossom Pink ~
Intermediate bearded

This is one of 5 new iris I added to the Whimsy Gardens last year.
The blooms are gorgeous and smell a little like grape pop!

I can't wait for the snow to go, the earth to thaw, and my gardens to come alive again!

~ A wonderful whimsy day to you! ~

Friday, April 19, 2013


~ Minnesota April 19, 2013 Snowstorm ~
Many of you are probably enjoying warm spring breezes, the joyful sounds of birds singing,
 the sight of green blades of grass and spring flowers, possibly even a chance to
dig in the earth of a garden or two...
for those that live in northern Minnesota, winter has chosen to be stubborn this year.
We should be able to hear the joyful sounds of birds singing, feel some warm spring breezes,
possibly even see a few blades of green grass and a spring flower here and there.
Alas, instead we have had 3 major snowstorms
here in the last 2 1/2 weeks, with snow flurries many of the days in between
and winter cold temperatures to go with.
Yesterday's predicted snowstorm began as a storm with 4-6 inches,
as it got closer it became 8-10 inches,
but it was never predicted as 16-20 inches which is what this area received!
The above image is what I saw as I looked out the bedroom window this morning!
(The blotches on the image are wind splattered snow spots clinging to the window.)
~ Snowstorm at Gardens' Keep April 19, 2013 ~
I grabbed the camera and headed to our front door.
When I opened it, this is what greeted me...17+ inches of fresh snow!
(DH had already made a trail to the firewood pile.)
The Duluth airport has now recorded 115.3 inches of snowfall for this season,
and since our snowfall has been a bit greater than theirs
that means...
we have more than our share of snow for this season!
Winter push up and move on!
It's time for Spring!!!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


~ Baby Sparrows ~
~ Newly Hatched Robins ~
( This nest was built on top of our 3 foot high phone box!) 
~ Baby Robins ~
Nature always seems to balance itself out somehow. If Spring comes early one year,
it seems to come later the next.
Last year Spring came very early to northern Minnesota, one of the earliest on record.
In contrast, this Spring is taking its time, peaking its head out ever so slowly.
One day it snows giant sticky snow clumps that cling heavily to branches, weighing them nearly to the ground. The next day the sun shyly peaks out from great gray clouds,
just enough to slowly melt the heavy white covering deposited on roof tops,
vehicles, trees, and anything else that stood out under the early Spring sky.
Nothing can be done to speed the coming of Spring,
but oh how I long for its warmth, the smells of the earth coming alive,
the beautiful singing of birds that have returned to raise their young,
and the sight of lakes shimmering, reflecting the beautiful blues of warming skies.
Nothing can hurry Spring,
but to remind me of what awaits when it arrives, I look back on images captured last year.
Gardens' Keep flourishes with life, and the cedars I planted years ago
are favorite nesting spots for both Sparrows and Robins.
Above are images of baby birds in three of the eleven nests I discovered last year! 
I wonder, how many will I discover this year? 

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Early Spring in Minnesota

~ Early Spring Snowstorm ~
This is what I see outside today...5 inches of new snow from an early Spring snowstorm
(and still it's snowing).
The snowflakes are so large,
and on closer view I see what looks to be more than 50 snowflakes clinging to each other.
Spring 2013 seems to be coming very slowly to northern Minnesota.
Many are anxious for warmer weather,
as am I.
Upon looking back into my diary
 it is surprising to see that Spring 2012 had made its appearance to us
by the middle of March.
On St. Patrick's Day we were spoiled with temperatures in the middle 70's
no snow on the ground, frog croaking, butterflies fluttering past,
 and Spring birds singing. 
The ice on local lakes had all but melted away 10 days later. 
Spring 2013 appears to be weeks away from the sightings written above!
Thankfully, even though this winter still persists
the Gardens' Keep greenroom has burst into welcoming shades of green.
Potted geraniums, daylilies, and heirloom iris
have joined the resident sage and primrose plants with blooms
in blues, purples, pinks, red, wine, and yellow,
their sweet scents wafting throughout Dragonfly Cottage.
~ Gardens' Keep Greenroom ~
The plants in the greenroom are such a welcome sight to eyes weary
of barren trees and winter snow,
and provide reassurance that as the days lengthen and the sun strengthens,
Spring truly is on its way!
~ Wishing you sunny, warm, whimsical days ahead! ~

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's Birthday Giveaway Time!

It's getting very close to my birthday again!
~ And that means it's time for a gift giveaway,
because I LOVE to give! ~
This year I have prepared a special package
with a little of this and a bit of that.
Some items in the package contain a wee bit of my artwork,
and maybe even some of my photography!
A few items have never been available in my shop!
Once again I would love for you to come celebrate with me!!!
So...whether you are young or old, and live near or far,
if you would like to participate in this year's Birthday Giveaway, just leave a comment below this post from now until March 6th, 2013 before the clock strikes 9 P.M. Chronicles of Whimsy time.
Please, don't forget to include a link or email address so that I can be sure to contact you
if you are the lucky winner of the special gift package!
The winner of this giveaway will be drawn from the Great White vessel
by Mr. Whimsy on Thursday the evening of March 7th, 2013,
and will be announced on this post.
~ Good Luck Everyone! ~
I wish you a wonderfully whimsical day!

This year's birthday has come and gone

and now

it's time to announce

the winner

of this year's Birthday Giveaway!!!


... the winner is ...

Tammie Lee!!!

Congratulations Tammie!

And I want to thank you all for the wonderful birthday wishes!!!

~ Thank you so much!!! ~


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Star Showers ~

~ Star Showers ~
Little Pegasus sits high atop a mountain cliff,
watching the stars shoot through the night sky.
"Star Showers" is the newest ACEO (2 1/2" x 3 1/2")  print addition to my Etsy shop.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Waiting for Spring ~

~ Spring Nest ~
Oh how I long for warmer days,
the return of summer birds singing sweet songs,
and sounds of frogs peeping in nearby ponds.
The smell of fresh earth,
scents of flower blossoms opening in the apple trees,
and newly fallen rain.
I love all of the seasons
but Spring is my favorite,
watching for signs of renewal and rebirth
after short winter days of cold and darkness.
Last year Spring arrived to northern Minnesota very early
giving warmth with the sounds and scents I love
to us in middle March.
We wonder, when will it appear this year.
When does your Spring arrive?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

A Valentine for You!

~ Wishing you a most deliciously sweet
or whatever's your treat
Happy Valentine's Day! ~

Friday, February 8, 2013


~ Great Winged Cloud ~
As I was working in the vegetable garden last summer at the end of July I happened to look up at the sky as I quite often do, because one never knows what amazing whimsical sights might be seen up above.
This particular July day I was not disappointed! There floating above me was a beautiful great wing. At a loss for not having my camera at hand, I quickly dashed into the house to retrieve it, hoping the winged cloud would stay just as it was.
Upon my return the cloud still remained...hovering in place as if waiting. In fact, it hovered quite long, changing very little, as I clicked image after image until I was quite satisfied there were enough good images to capture its amazing and unusual beauty!
Later that evening the images were downloaded and stored for future viewing. Then, last night as I began to sift through my collection, the great winged cloud came onto the screen, its beauty as striking as I had remembered it.
Now, its not the first time I have been captivated by an unusual or stunning cloud. Nor the first time I had totally missed other "hidden" elements in its beauty. Somehow, focusing only on the giant wing that had been floating above me, I completely missed that this wing was part of...
...a flying cat!
~ Flying Cat's Head ~
I give you my word that this is the exact cloud image I took! When finally seeing the cat's face I was stunned by its eye!
I wonder...
what other cloud images have I stored that hide creatures floating in them? 

Monday, January 28, 2013

Arab Filly Illustration

~ Arab Filly in Graphite ~

The weather the last few days have been rather mild for a January in northern Minnesota
with temperatures reaching into the low to mid 30's.
Weather that has been tempting me to spend a much longer time than usual outdoors.

But, I am trying to discipline myself at least a little to sit at the drawing table and create.
So despite warm temps, yesterday evening this little ACEO graphite drawing appeared.
"Arab Filly in Graphite" is the newest illustration off the drawing table.


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Little Foal Illustration

~ Little Foal in Graphite ~

I know I need to get back to art in color,
but right now I am thoroughly enjoying the pencil!

"Little Foal in Graphite" is an ACEO 2 1/2" x 3 1/2" graphite pencil illustration on Strathmore bristol paper.

~ Wishing you a wonderful whimsy day! ~


Friday, January 18, 2013

ACEO Illustration

~ Egyptian Stallion ~

Before I had to put the pencils aside to attend an opening reception for the Duluth Art Institute's member's show where one of my art pieces was being exhibited, I was able to finish one more graphite drawing.

"Egyptian Stallion" is a redesigned drawing from a much larger India Ink line illustration I had completed in the '80's. This little drawing may be quite a bit smaller but still contains a bit of the fine details I love to include in my work.

What's next on the drawing table? Hmmmmm :0)



Thursday, January 17, 2013

Dappled Arabian

~ Dappled Arabian ~

Fresh off of the drawing table.

I wonder if other artists have the same issue? I've come to realize if I take a "short" break from creating art, that short break may become quite long!

This sketch had been sitting on paper as a line form drawing for more than two years, waiting to become a color painting. I finally put myself into the chair at the drawing table to take a break from my "break", and work on some graphite aceo's (2 1/2" x 3 1/2" art cards, editions, and originals). To limber up I decided to work on this little piece in graphite first.

There are times I have a very clear picture of what the art will look as when complete, then there are times I let the piece create itself. Other than the line form that lay dormant for over two years, "Dappled Arabian" was the art that created itself.

~ Wishing you a wonderful day! ~



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Finger Puppets

~ White Arabian Finger Puppet ~

~ Grey Arabian Finger Puppet ~

Creating my version of a horse finger puppet had been tossing around in my head for some time.
So...after the hussle and bussle of the Holidays passed, I decided it was time to cut and sew.
What appeared were these white and grey Arabians.
The grey's body was cut of heavy weight synthetic felt I had purchased many years ago.
The white's body was cut from beautiful wool felt.
Their eyes and nostrils I sewed in freehand, then stitched on their ears, and carefully sewed up the body with needle and thread, leaving a finger hole at the base of each.

I finished both by hand sewing in their mane and forelock of pure wool yarn, then untwisted and combed them out with a needle.

~ White and Grey Arabians ~

What a relaxing project these two were, and they now appear in my shop. I may need to try a few more in black, bay...
maybe even a Friesian or a Fjord horse?