Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘wisconsin’

What a different life I have now that I don’t go to the day job every day.  Different, as in better!  I’ve noticed it the most when I’m getting ready to take my wares on the road to craft shows and festivals.

A lot of work goes into making actual products, as any artisan knows.  Then there’s packaging the products.  I spend a huge amount of time getting my candles and drink charms retail ready ~ creating labels, protecting them with shrink wrap (candles) and bags plus hang tags (charms) and putting price tags on each and every item.  After all of the products are made and packaged they have to be displayed within a 10′ X 10′ space as efficiently and pleasingly as possible.  That requires props, tables and shelving.  When it comes time to actually head out to an event the products and displays have to be accounted for in addition to the canopy under which everything is placed.  The canopy requires assembly at every show and won’t be complete without stakes and weights.  So many things to consider and organize…and fit into a standard SUV for transport.

Husby and I have it down.  As my roadie he makes sure all of the displays and canopy are packed, as well as a huge toolbox containing everything (and then some) we’ll need for the structure.  I’m responsible for packing all of the products as efficiently as I can.

Gathering my products and shelving.

Gathering my products, props and shelving.

If I’m lucky, the only thing I have to do at the last minute is pack up my scented candles.  I don’t like to keep them tubbed up for too long for fear the fragrances will bleed together.  I’m paranoid that way.

The autumn and winter candles ready for travel.

The autumn and winter candles ready for travel.

With all it takes not only to create these products but to also take them on the road I’ve never been more grateful for the fact that I don’t have to squeeze it all into little snippets of time like I did when I had a day job.

This weekend I’ll be at the Baker Orchard Art Festival in Centuria, Wisconsin.  It’s just a short and beautiful drive from Minneapolis/Saint Paul and will surely get you excited about the autumn time of year in the midwest.  Plus, I’ll be relaxed as ever as the day job is gone.

Happy Days!

Read Full Post »

Most of us have heard of Paul Bunyan and his buddy Babe, the big blue ox.  Paul is a giant lumberjack, fictional of course, and he’s often accompanied by Babe the ox, also fictional, also a giant, and blue.  Both legends are alive and well in the Midwest United States.  This summer I was very excited to be able to have a hearty lumberjack lunch at Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty in Minocqua, Wisconsin.

Minocqua (better known as Minocqua-town per my Grandpa Joey) isn’t too far away from the family cottage, and Paenney requested a birthday meal at The Shanty.  Who could resist?  The touristy attraction is not only fun to visit, but the food is really good.

A bunch of us were at the cottage that weekend.  We piled into two cars and made our way to Minocqua-town.  The weather was perfect and it was a wonderful day for a drive through the Wisconsin countryside to the Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty, which was everything I thought it would be, and more.

Kitschy and touristy – everything a resort town in Wisconsin requires.  Lots of people who come here are from Milwaukee and Chicago, so the lumberjack theme makes them think they’re really out in the boondocks.

Log cabin decor, vintage accessories, lantern lighting, and red and white checkered tablecloths really get an appetite up.  Anyone who enters will most likely have the appetite of the giant lumberjack for whom the shanty is named.

I love the little raccoon in the rafters.

One of the fun things about this place is that they offer food family-style.  Don’t know what that means?  Well, it’s just like the name suggests.  Food is delivered to the table and everyone serves him/herself as if sitting at the family dinner table.  When ordering in this fashion the restaurant offered hearty, thickly-sliced bread, barbecued ribs, fried chicken, pork chops, mashed potatoes and gravy, and corn-on-the-cob.  Mind you, this is ALL YOU CAN EAT.  Also included in the meal is soup or salad of your choice, as much as you want.  Of course you can order individual meals, like a cheeseburger or chicken nuggets, but why?  Even if you have kids at the table, do you offer them something different from what you’re eating yourself?  No!  Family style.  That’s the way a logging camp shanty should be.

Here’s the wily group I came with. We’re all waiting for the food to fill the table.

The food was delicious, our service was wonderful, and pretending to be in a logging shanty was a lot of fun.  Licking fingers isn’t frowned upon and asking for more and more food isn’t judged.  But we can’t forget, we visited the shanty for Paenney’s birthday.  His 24th birthday.  I can’t believe he’s a grown-ass man, mostly because he keeps his child-like enthusiasm.  That’s something I really admire in a person.

Because it was his birthday he was presented with a lovely, paper ox-horn headpiece and a special birthday button the size of which is fit for a giant like Paul Bunyan.

The little fella is twenty-four years old! I’m such a proud auntie.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood of Minocqua(town) or Wisconsin Dells, be sure to check out Paul Bunyan’s Cook Shanty.  You’ll leave satiated with good grub.  Really good grub.  And by grub I mean food.  Please don’t mistake the word grub for icky food.

*Here’s a little aside:  The shanty we visited also had a huge gift shop attached to it which was filled with fun, rustic, lumberjack stuff, and stuff that’s relevant to woodsy living.  I purchased something for Husby and myself that might or might not be featured on another blog post.  I’ll just say this…we named him Barney.*

Read Full Post »

Read Full Post »

Hello again!

I just returned from a relaxing and rejuvenating getaway to Door County, Wisconsin.  I don’t know how many years Husby and I have been going there, but it never disappoints.  The tiny motel in which we stay is tidy, clean and unpretentious, but offers a most spectacular view of Lake Michigan.   Not only that, the house which inspired my novel-in-progress is right across the street, so I get more writing inspiration every time we visit.

*Insert House Picture Here…When you find it amid the thousands of Door County pictures you’ve taken throughout the years…I know it’s somewhere…Now I wish I’d taken another one this week…*

Speaking of writing, I tried something novel and daring while we were on our retreat.  I didn’t take my laptop with me, and when I wanted to write I did it by hand.  Yep, I took a note book with me and put my cursive writing to action instead of tapping away on a keyboard.  I must say it was refreshing, and I was surprised at how the process of writing is different when doing it by hand.  I felt like things flowed from my mind through my arm and out the pen in a more thoughtful way.  Also, I didn’t feel so detached from what was going on around me.  I may begin a practice of writing by hand every day, even if it’s just a stream-of-consciousness thing.  I really enjoyed it.

I’m sure I’ll be writing more about the peninsula soon as its abundance is all I can think about right now.  Here’s to the strength and peace of big water…

 

Read Full Post »

The autumn season has begun here in Minnesota, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  August and September were such busy months for me, and now I look at the calendar and see October is more than half over!  Here’s what I’ve been up to…

1.  The Minnesota State Fair was the highlight of August.  One special thing Husby and I had the opportunity to do, in recognition of our contributions to the Minnesota State Fair Foundation, was dedicate a bench.  (Benches are a necessity at the fair ~ I’m finding that out the older I get.)  We dedicated it to Dad and my brother Diggy, who died just before his 26th year of working at the fair with Dad.

The small plaque on the back of a bench dedicated to Dad and Diggy and twenty-five years of working at the fair (and taking bench breaks) together.

2.  September was full of craft shows.  I was at the Dancing Dragonfly Winery, the Chateau St. Croix Winery, and the Baker Orchard, all in Wisconsin.  I love Wisconsin.  I went into each of these shows with doubts of one kind or another, but they all turned out to be fabulous.  The organizers of the shows did a tremendous job, it was a blast to spend weekends with my fellow artisans, and of course the food and music at all of these events were wonderful.  Husby and I have a special place in our hearts for Dave Ybarra and the Northside Dukes, who have twice invited us up to the stage to do the Hand Jive.  They played at both winery festivals, so we got our share of the blues.

Dave Ybarra (center) and the Northside Dukes. Premium blues band.

Husby and I aren’t the only ones who like to dance to the music at the festivals…

Four ladies dancing it up in front of Auntie B’s Wax’s canopy.

3.  Then came October, and Husby and I went to our beloved Door County for a bit of R&R after three consecutive weekends of craft shows.  Our trip this fall seemed to be much more relaxing than the visit we paid in the spring.  We managed to see a bunch of stuff we hadn’t seen before, and plus discovered some new restaurants that will surely become favorites for us.  Not only that, we got to lounge around and do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted, which no one can do unless one is on a true vacation.  *deep sigh*

A lovely autumn in the County of Door.

4. There was also a trip to the family cabin to close it up for the winter. There was much raking and other miscellaneous chores to be done before the cozy little cottage is left to weather the forthcoming winter on its own. One never knows how it will fare, as it was built in 1950 by Grandpa Mike…from scraps.

Work gloves and rakes were the tools du jour at the family cottage.

One leaf of millions.

What now?  There’s still a lot to do, but the chaos of deadlines is behind me for the moment.  This is the time of year I cherish and I plan to enjoy it to the hilt.  I have lots of projects in store for our home and a list of hot, comforting food to make during the chilly and downright cold months to come.

I also hope to visit this site more often too, documenting happenings at the Auntie B’s Wax World Headquarters.  I’ve been away too long.

Here’s to a bright autumn and a peaceful season of dormancy.  *squeal*

Read Full Post »

An exciting weekend awaits many people as it will be a first for a bunch of us.  This weekend is the First Annual Grape Stomp and Rib Fest at the Dancing Dragonfly Winery in St. Croix Falls, WI.  I’m a little nervous because the events page says nothing about there being art/craft vendors at the event.  I’m almost positive I got a confirmation to attend, so I’m pretty sure I’m supposed to be there.

The Dancing Dragonfly Winery is brand new and had its grand opening this spring.  Husby and I went and checked it out, finding a beautiful vineyard surrounding an equallly beautiful building.  It’s enormous!

Can you imagine sitting on this balcony with a refreshing glass of wine? *Squeal*

The tasting room. It’s gorgeous!

There will be all sorts of live music throughout the two days of the event, as well as some barbecued ribs which will most likely result in a lot of finger licking. 

There’s going to be some grape stomping going on too.  For $15 you get to stomp those grapes like crazy and you’ll also get a t-shirt out of the deal. 

Admission to the event is free.  I’ll be there, whether I’m supposed to be or not.  If I’m not selling my wares on the beautiful grounds of the Dancing Dragonfly Winery I’ll be sipping wine, eating ribs, and listening to music.  Oh, who am I kidding – I’ll be doing all that if I’m selling too! 

St. Croix Falls is only an hour from the Twin Cities, so all you city slickers can come out and spend the day in the countryside.  You won’t regret it! 

Waiting for you.

See my Events Page for festival days and times.

* All photos are via Dancing Dragonfly Winery website

Read Full Post »

See this guy?  When I saw him I wished I could do what he was doing, though what he was doing specifically I couldn’t tell you.

I like to imagine he’s working on writing a piece of historical fiction.  He looks like a historical fiction kind of guy.  Of course he could be doing the paperwork for his construction business or something, but in my mind he’s an author.  Probably because I fantasize about being an author.

The best thing about historical fiction guy is the fact that he’s having a glass of wine while he works.  What a perfectly wonderful place to work, up in the trees, and with a glass of wine.  Wine and trees can be found at Cooper’s Corner in Fish Creek, WI.

That’s exactly where this guy was when I saw him.  The bar area of Cooper’s Corner is practically en plein aire on the second floor.  Husby and I spend a little time here when we visit Door County.  We sit and talk about our dreams and aspirations over a glass of wine or two while we enjoy the cool breeze blowing through.

The last time we were there I saw historical fiction guy.  It’s pretty unlikely that I’ll be buying a get-away writing abode anytime soon, so I decided I’m going to pack up the laptop and spend my summers writing at Cooper’s Corner with an endless glass of Pinot Grigio within reaching distance.

Cooper’s Corner.  All about dreams and aspirations.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: