Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Tile Stove

The Turnblad Mansion, now converted to the American Swedish Institute, has 11 tiled stoves.

The Turnblad family purchased eleven tile stoves, or kakelugnar, in Sweden. Two were made by the Rörstrand Porcelain Company in Stockholm; seven at the Uppsala-Ekeby Porcelain Factory in Uppsala and two are unidentified. No two are alike. Since central heating had been installed in the mansion, they were probably purchased mainly for decorative purposes.


The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Monday, December 30, 2013

New Mexico in Minnesota!

Much to my delight I saw an Alan Houser sculpture in one of the North American galleries at the Minneapolis Art Institute.  New Mexico in Minnesota. . .GREAT!

The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Contemporary Bamboo Art

"Lively Motion of Lines" by Sugiura Noriyoshi, b. 1964

"Butterfly" 1998
Uematsu  Chikuyu b.1947

Although the ancient objects of art in the Japanese exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts were treasures to see, I also loved the contemporary pieces.  If you missed the two previous posts about the Clark Collections, go here and here.

The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Black Bull

Japanese art from the Clark Collections, now on exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts is called The Audacious Eye.

Mochizuki Gyokusen’s almost life-size “Black Bull, ” a 19th-century screen painting, is an idiosyncratic choice­ — a fierce, muscular beast that looks ready to charge out of a modern stockade.

Bill and Libby Clark amassed one of the world’s finest collections of Japanese art according to their own finely honed interests, instincts, and idiosyncrasies. Not trends. Not markets. Not a particular time, place, or medium. They collected what they liked—what drew their audacious eyes.
This exhibition hints at the stunning variety and bold taste that accorded the Clarks’ endeavor, begun in the late 1970s, a kind of legendary status. Tucked in the agricultural valley of central California, their collections grew from frequent trips to Japan, stoking their enthusiasm for Japanese aesthetics—their home is a blend of Japanese and California Arts and Crafts styles. The collections’ 1,700 objects now range across 10 centuries and from paintings to sculpture, ceramics to textiles, woodblock prints to bamboo baskets. They include important examples from every school of painting in Japan since the 16th century and from some of its most acclaimed living artists, including 80 pieces by ceramist Fukami Sueharu—the largest assembly of his sleek bluish-white porcelain in the world.
The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Friday, December 27, 2013

Demon and Monk

An outstanding collection of Japanese prints, scrolls, screens, and sculptures have been on exhibit at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts for the past several months.  DH and I recently went to the museum to see the collection before it ends in January.  

Collector Bill Clark and his wife, Libby, built an internationally acclaimed collection of Japanese art valued at an estimated $25 million. Acquired in June, the Clark Collections make the MIA one of the country’s largest and most comprehensive centers of Japanese art. A sampling of about 120 of the Clarks’ 1,700 works will be shown in “The Audacious Eye,” running  through Jan. 12.

The Demon on the left is done with ink and color on satin.

A 6th Century drawing on the right is of an Indian Monk in ink and color on paper.

Thursday, December 26, 2013


Keep the home fires burning

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

eXcellent Tree-ABC WEDNESDAY "X"


The Minneapolis Institute of Arts also is in the holiday spirit!

Linking to ABC Wednesday

The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

X-cellent Kokboks

Here are more holiday gifts available at the American Swedish Institute's gift shop!
You might have to make a quick visit to pick up some last minute gifts or to find some recipes to finish your holiday menu.


The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Monday, December 23, 2013

Smile, please!

While waiting to be seated at The Big Bowl restaurant at Rosedale Shopping Center, I wandered around, looking for interesting photo ops.  On the floor below me, I noticed these two beautifully dressed girls with the man of the hour, Santa Claus.  I laughed as I listened to and watched all the antics of the photographer who was trying to coax smiles from these girls.  No dice; they weren't having any part of it.  Lovely to look at, but decidedly stoic throughout the session.

The January theme for City Daily Photo bloggers is "Photo of the Year."

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Chihuly Chandelier

Because Sharon at Phoenix Daily Photo makes me green with envy whenever she posts Chihuly's glass works at The Desert Botanical Garden, I thought it was about time to get a Chihuly fix at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts.  This gorgeous chandelier with neon interior lights hangs from the ceiling in the foyer. Years ago, I watched Chihuly's  worker bees installing it in its present location, piece by beautiful curling glass piece removed from dozens of boxes spread across the floor below. Best show I've witnessed.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Santa Lawn Decoration

My neighbors definitely go all out for holidays with outdoor lights and decorations.  Every year this Santa works diligently before the holidays, making toys for good neighborhood boys and girls.

PS.  Enjoy the first day of winter!! This Saturday is the winter solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, marking our shortest daylight period and longest night of the year.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Busy Santa

On our recent trip to the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis to view the decorations, visit the gift shop and enjoy a meal in the new Cafe, I noticed this woman bustling about the lobby and gift shop. Despite the fact that there were no children (a school day), she turned heads and generated smiles among the patrons and visitors. After I stopped Denise, she readily agreed to pose for a photo, and gave me her card. Turns out she is Facilities Manager for the Institute, a position that is quite busy during the holiday and year-long functions, of which there are many at this place, which is a beautifully converted former Turnblad mansion, originally a private residence.

Reminder:  CDP January theme is "Photo of the Year."

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday Gifts

If you need some more holiday gifts, visit the American Swedish Institute's gift shop.  These dolls would make any child happy!!

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More Holiday Wreaths ABC WEDNESDAY 'W'

More holiday wreaths
They don't seem to fare too well when outdoors during typical Minnesota weather!


Tuesday, December 17, 2013


It's sometimes hard to choose just the right wreath!


Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Elves-Monday Murals

After we were married in the '60's, Jim and I returned to his hometown, St. Paul, Mn, but during this entire time we never visited The American Swedish Institute.  Last week we went to the mansion for our weekly Friday Field Trip, a plan we have to visit something "cultural" in the metropolitan area once a week, usually on Fridays.  I cannot imagine what took us so long!  The new addition with its wonderful cafe and the stunning mansion was a perfect delight!  Go visit!

This large mural is on the wall of the Gallery gift shop.

Linking to Monday Murals

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Stay Warm!

Stay Warm, Folks!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Holiday Horse

A Swedish Holiday Horse for Good Girls and Boys!

More horses!

Linking to Camera Critters

Friday, December 13, 2013

My Holiday Mischief!

Christmas, 2013

Christmas, 2011
Although most of our neighbors are friendly, helpful and considerate of one another, we have a next-door-neighbor family who are quite reserved and keep to themselves to a high degree. This baffles those of us who are more gregarious,  but we respect their privacy.  At the bottom of their porch steps they have two lion statues, which I amusingly consider a bit ostentatious for our neighborhood.  Six years ago, in the dead of night,  I tied two huge red ribbons around the lions' necks.  The year after that I placed two green Christmas wreaths over the lions' heads and around their necks.  Not a word was said to us but to their credit, the middle-of-the-night secret offerings remained for the season.  Another year I hung red garlands around the lions' necks. One year I waited too long so they attached the green wreaths before I had a chance to devise something new.  But, AHA, the next year I visited Goodwill where  I found two red Santa Claus hats that I attached at 4 am--a very late night is necessary to avoid detection because of their very bright yard light.  I thought the red antlers were particularly fetching this season.  Don't you?! Perhaps I'll add another season. . .Easter maybe?

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Visible voltage-ABC WEDNESDAY 'V'

I thought it was interesting to see how the heat from the holiday lights under the snow made a pattern on this perfect conical-shaped tree.  


Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Monday, December 09, 2013

A cheerful light!

 For as long as we have lived in Highland (since 1976) the owners of this house on the corner of Wellesley Street and Fairview Avenue have lighted their chimney wreath during the holiday season.  It is a welcome beacon when coming home after dark. 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

Outdoor Holiday Tree

Our outdoor holiday tree

The birds like the berries that still cling to  the tree, and the squirrels enjoy batting around the balls.  Greedy little demons must think that they are giant berries.

It's interesting to see that the red color is chipping off some of the balls whereas on others the paint remains intact.  I wonder if moisture affects some of them but not others.  A mystery!

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Holiday baking?

Ready for a little holiday baking. . . Stollen, Cranberry/Nutbread, Crusty Baquettes??

Friday, December 06, 2013

Thank you, Madiba!

"He was a man, take him for all in all, I shall not look upon his like again." 

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Michael Connelly

 Michael Connelly and Kerri Miller on the stage at the Fitzgerald Theatre

Another hit interview with Talking Volumes!  Connelly spent the evening discussing his craft and his development as a writer.  The author of 26 novels he had plenty to say,  and it was all interesting!

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

Another birthday!

A little treat for Jim's birthday!

Birthdays and holiday desserts in December are plentiful in our household!

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Unique Chicago Memorabilia - ABC Wednesday "U"

Last Sunday I introduced you to a restaurant located in a Pullman car.  Above is a small sampling of the memorabilia decorating the interior of this neighborhood restaurant serving some authentic Chicago dishes!

Linking to ABC Wednesday

Monday, December 02, 2013

Happy Birthday, Olivia!!

Happy Birthday, Olivia!

Darlin' Grandaughter's 12th Birthday today!!

Added later:  We attended a Middle School winter concert at Olivia's school the evening of her birthday.  The music teacher (God love him!) had the entire auditorium sing "Happy Birthday" to her before the program began.  I doubt that she will again have that many people serenade here on her special day anytime in the future!!

Linking to ABC WEDNESDAY-"U": (Unique and Unparalleled Lovely Grandchild!)

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Theme Day, December 1, 2013 "Looking Out"

This photo was taken in 2007 of my granddaughter, Olivia, who was just 5-years-old.  When I brought the ceramic mask home for México and she first saw it, she excitedly said, "Put it on, Nana, put it on!!"  It didn't take long for Olivia to decide to do it herself.  "Looking out," I wonder what she thought?

"God hath given you one face, and you make yourselves another."  William Shakespeare

Today is the monthly theme for December.  Go here to see the many ways bloggers interpret the theme on City Daily Photos.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Chris and Rob's Pullman Restaurant

Although I ordinarily do not eat  hot dogs, several days ago I mentioned to my son that I was hungry for a real traditional Chicago Hot Dog that I used to enjoy when living in Hyde Park, Illinois, during my single days. Son pointed me to this little gem of a neighborhood restaurant on west 7th Street in St. Paul. In 1949 an authentic pullman train was brought to this very spot and the first of many subsequent restaurants to follow was named "The Diner."  Two brothers from Chicago now own this popular neighborhood restaurant, which is filled with sports memorabilia from the Windy City.  Come back Tuesday, December 3rd, and I'll show you some of the decorations.