September 7

Quilt Gardens Along The Heritage Trail


Since I participated in a photo challenge called The August Break 2013 during the month of August, I have a few past Artist Dates to tell you about.

Quilt Gardens Tour 1

My girlfriend and I took our moms on a driving tour of the Quilt Gardens along the Heritage Trail.

Quilt Gardens Tour 2

The Quilt Gardens are 19 quilt-inspired gardens.

Quilt Gardens Tour 3

The Heritage Trail begins in Elkhart, Indiana, where we picked up a free audio tour CD that guided us through 7 communities in Elkhart county’s Amish country.

Quilt Gardens Tour 4

The Amish are known for simple living, plain dress and reluctance to adopt many conveniences of modern living.

Quilt Gardens Tour 5

Motor vehicles are one such convenience of modern living. The Amish use horse and buggy.

Quilt Gardens Tour 6

The audio CD tells the area’s history with personal stories and fun-facts. More than once, we all said, “I didn’t know that!”

Quilt Gardens Tour 7

For instance, on roads in Amish country, there is a darkened strip on the edges. This is caused by the horses’ hooves.

Quilt Gardens Tour 8

We took all day visiting the different towns and quilt locations.

Quilt Gardens Tour 9

One of our last stops was super fun…Rocket Science Ice Cream & Coffee Shoppe.

Quilt Gardens Tour 10

They make ice cream from scratch using real cream and freeze it with liquid nitrogen. It was delicious!

Quilt Gardens Tour 11

It was a great day.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 22 Comments

July 27

Krasl Art Fair On The Bluff


Every week, I take you on an Artist Date with me. The Artist Date comes from the book The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Generally, Artist Dates are time alone, but sometimes an opportunity comes along to do something inspirational with a friend.

Krasl Art Fair Sign

My friend, Amy, and I attended the 52nd annual Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff in St. Joseph, Michigan, on July 13. It was awesome!

Krasl Art Center

The Krasl Art Fair on the Bluff is presented by the Krasl Art Center.  The Krasl Art Center was built in 1979-1980 and is owned and operated by the St. Joseph Art Association, Inc.

View From Bluff Park

The Art Association began in 1962 when a group of local artists organized and presented a summer art fair in St. Joseph’s Bluff Park.

Celeste North Glass

Celeste North Glass

This year’s Art Fair featured 216 artists’ booths and draws around 70,000 guests.

Gruchalla Rosetti Pottery

Gruchalla/Rosetti Pottery

Artists from 32 states and 3 countries were represented.

Krasl Art Fair Aisle

It was a gorgeous day to walk around…

Celeste North Booth

Celeste North Glass

…and enjoy the amazing variety of art.

Silver Beach Pizza

We had a tasty lunch at Silver Beach Pizza which is located in a former train depot.

Whirlpool Compass Fountain

From there we had a view of the Whirlpool Compass Fountain. This super cool fountain was donated to the city of St. Joseph by Whirlpool Corporation and has a diameter of 200-feet and shoots water 35-feet in the air.

View of St. Joseph Street

Just an ideal day in every way.

I had another Artist Date in St. Joseph, Michigan, earlier this year when I attended the Magical Ice Fest. What a difference five months makes.

NOTE: The artists whose work is represented above do not have websites, but if you do an internet search of their names, you can find more information.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 18 Comments

July 20

Stone Mountain, Georgia


Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

Stone Mountain 1

For the last few weeks, I’ve been sharing some of the stops we made during the road trip I took with my mom and one of my sisters. This was our final stop…Stone Mountain, Georgia.

Stone Mountain 2

Stone Mountain is a a quartz monzonite dome monadnock. I had to look up those terms…quartz monzonite is the predominant type of rock Stone Mountain is composed of, and a monadnock is an “isolated rock hill, knob, ridge, or small mountain that rises abruptly from a gently sloping or virtually level surrounding plain.” Not only is Stone Mountain known for its geology, it’s also known for the enormous bas-relief (a projecting image with a shallow overall depth) on its north face. In fact, it’s the largest bas-relief in the world. The carving depicts three figures of the Confederate States of America: President Jefferson Davis on Blackjack, General Robert E. Lee on Traveller and General Stonewall Jackson on Little Sorrel. The entire carved surface measures 3 acres.

Stone Mountain 3

During the 1800’s, Stone Mountain, Georgia supported a quarrying industry. Its granite was shipped all over the world and was used in the federal gold depository at Fort Knox, the Panama Canal, the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo, and in the foundation of the Lincoln Memorial. Virtually every state has a building that uses Stone Mountain granite.

Stone Mountain 4

In 1915, Gutzon Borglum, a famous sculptor, drew up the first sketches of the memorial, for Mrs. Helen Plane, a charter member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Borglum envisioned a carving with seven central figures accompanied by “an army of thousands.”

Stone Mountain 5

Lack of funding and World War I delayed the start of the carving until 1923.

Stone Mountain 6

In 1924, Borglum finished the head of Robert E. Lee and unveiled it on the general’s birthday in January. Later that year, the committee overseeing the construction of the Stone Mountain memorial voted to cancel Gutzon Borglum’s contract after a dispute. Borglum went on to carve the figures on Mount Rushmore in South Dakota.

Stone Mountain 7

In 1925, Augustus Lukeman took over the project. He suggested that Stonewall Jackson, Robert E. Lee and Jefferson Davis be enshrined on the face of the mountain.  Gutzon Borglum’s work was blasted off the face of the mountain, and in 1928, Augustus Lukeman unveiled his work. Lukeman was only able to partially complete the figures of Lee and Davis before the owners of Stone Mountain reclaimed their property, ending any attempt to complete the sculpture.

Stone Mountain 8

The State of Georgia purchased Stone Mountain and the surrounding land in 1958 to create a 3,200 acre park.

Stone Mountain 9

During the early 1960’s, attractions opened up and in 1964, carving resumed on the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial under the direction of Walter Hancock.

Stone Mountain 10

The Stone Mountain carving was completed in 1972.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 16 Comments

July 13

Senoia, Georgia


Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

Senoia 1

For the next few weeks, I’m going to share some of the stops we made during the road trip I took with my mom and one of my sisters.

Senoia 2

After our lovely time in Juliette, Georgia, we headed to Senoia, Georgia.

Senoia 3

Senoia is a picturesque small town. Many movies and television series have been filmed in Senoia, including a very popular current television show…

Senoia 4

The Walking Dead. Senoia is Woodbury!

Senoia 5

Although most of the buildings on Main Street house shops, businesses and eateries, a few of the buildings are “sets.” Recognize this?

Senoia 6

Photo Source

The movies and television shows that have been filmed in Senoia are marked by metal plaques set into the sidewalk paving stones.

Senoia 7

Surprised to see Fried Green Tomatoes after my report from Juliette, Georgia? The Threadgoode family home is located in Senoia.

Senoia 8

To see a list of the movies and television shows filmed in Senoia, checkout this link.

Senoia 9

Finally, I spotted a Greyhound cult member…yet one more reason why Senoia is a wonderful place.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 13 Comments

July 6

Juliette, Georgia


Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

Juliette, GA 1

For the next few weeks, I’m going to share some of the stops we made during the road trip I took with my mom and one of my sisters.

Juliette, GA 2

One of my favorite stops was Juliette, Georgia, one of the filming locations for the movie Fried Green Tomatoes.

Fried Green Tomatoes

From the 1880’s to the 1950’s, Juliette was a mill town, but when the mill closed, the town went into decline.

Juliette, GA 3

When the town was scouted for the movie, many of the building were abandoned and covered with kudzu.

Juliette, GA 4

Today, Juliette is a stop for those who love the movie. The buildings now house shops offering souvenirs, gifts and antiques. There is also The Whistle Stop Cafe.

Juliette, GA 5

The Whistle Stop Cafe building was built in 1927 by Edward L. Williams, Sr. He ran a general merchandise store there for 45 years, closing it in 1972.

Juliette, GA 6

After the movie, The Whistle Stop Cafe was made into a real cafe.

Juliette, GA 7

Probably not hard to guess what we ordered…fried green tomatoes.

Juliette, GA 8

I enjoyed Juliette, Georgia, because although it is a tourist attraction, it isn’t “slick.” The shops are unique and quaint.

Juliette, GA 9

While my sister and I ran around, my mom and aunt were welcome to sit and visit outside the shops.

Juliette, GA 10

There was even a stray dog, Shep, who worked her way around town and was allowed to come in one of the shops.

Juliette, GA 11

A wonderful day, filled with wonderful memories.

Juliette, GA 12

I love movies. If you’d like to read about my favorites, I have the posts gather under the category A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou.

Posted by lori . Filed under A Bowl of Popcorn, a Movie and Thou (Movies), Artist Date | 20 Comments

June 29

Shaker Village Of Pleasant Hill


Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

Shaker Village 1

I mentioned last Saturday that I was on a road trip with my mom and one of my sisters. We had a wonderful time, so I’m going to take the next few Saturdays to tell you about some of the places we visited. I decided to write about these stops as Artist Dates because they were very inspiring.

Shaker Village 2

Our first stop was Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill, Kentucky, located less than 30 miles from Lexington, Kentucky.

Shaker Village 3

The United Society of Believers in Christ’s Second Appearing, also known as the Shakers because of their ecstatic worship style, formed in 18th-century England.

Shaker Village 4

In 1774, Ann Lee, a leader in the Shaker movement, and eight other members emigrated to America. The Shakers saw themselves as preparing the way for the new era when God’s will was done on earth. As such, the Shakers believed in no boundaries of gender, social class, or education, Christ-like deportment, simplicity, utility, perfection, communal property and celibacy

Shaker Village 5

The Shakers built 19 settlements in America from Maine to Kentucky and attracted just under 17,000 members. Shakers acquired new members through conversion and the adoption of orphans. Pleasant Hill was the third largest community with 500 members.

Shaker Village 6

The Pleasant Hill settlement began in 1805. Over a 105 year span, the Shakers of Pleasant Hill constructed more than 260 structures and their land holding reached approximately 4500 acres. By 1910, the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill closed its doors as an active religious society. The last Shaker of Pleasant Hill, Sister Mary Settles, died in 1923. Pleasant Hill became a small country town called Shakertown until historic restoration began in 1961. 34 of the original 260 buildings remain.

Shaker Village 7

We started by touring the Centre Family Dwelling. Guides and craftsmen and craftswomen are available all over the village to tell you about the Shakers, the village and Shaker life.

Shaker Village 8

We saw demonstrations of weaving, woodworking and broommaking.

Shaker Village 9

We had lunch at the Trustees’ Office Dining Room. It was elegant, beautiful and delicious.

Shaker Village 10

Our visit was a short one, so we just got a taste of Shaker Village. I would love to go back and spend a few days there.

Shaker Village 11

Today, only one community exists with Shakers in residence. It is near Lewiston, Maine, at Sabbathday Lake and has four remaining residents.

Shaker Village 12

If you’d like to read more about the Shakers, the Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill website has some great reading.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 15 Comments

June 22

Road Trip


Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

Road Trip 1

This past week, I’ve been on a road trip with my mom and sister.

Road Trip 2

We’ve had a great time seeing and doing so many different things.

Road Trip 3

It’s been a special time together.

Road Trip 4

I’ll share details on future posts.

Road Trip 5

For now…a few pictures from the road.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 13 Comments

June 15

Copshaholm Gardens – Spring


Spring Garden 1

Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

Spring Garden 2

I volunteer at the Center for History and give tours at Copshaholm (The Oliver Mansion).

Spring Garden 3

Copshaholm’s gardens are the perfect place for an Artist Date.

Spring Garden 4

This year, I’m going to document four Artist Dates in the Copshaholm gardens…one for every season.  In March, I posted about my Winter Artist Date.

Spring Garden 5

The centerpiece of the grounds is the sunken garden which is representative of Edwardian period gardens with their rigid formality in overall design and the use of classical design elements.

Spring Garden 6

Alice E. Neale was hired to plan the original garden design. Neale’s design was informed by Charles Adams Platt’s 1894 book Italian Gardens which had a major influence on American garden design.

Spring Garden 7

Platt’s influence can be seen in the abundance of classical elements found in the Italianate gardens which sprung up across the country in the early 1900s.

Spring Garden 8

At Copshaholm, the pergola, the jardinières which grace the garden steps, the fountain, the well and the sundial are all classical element.

Spring Garden 9

The meticulous design for each planting bed and the limited number of plant varieties used reflected the discipline, reserve, understatement and clarity of structure that were hallmarks of Edwardian gardens.

Spring Garden 10

The Center for History is built on the back of the Oliver property, and the spirit of beautiful garden design continues.

Spring Garden 11

The Copshaholm gardens are one of my favorite places for an Artist Date.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 12 Comments

June 8

Ginger Valley


Ginger Valley Sign

Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

Ginger Valley Front

This week’s Artist Date is appropriate to the season…a visit to a nursery.

Ginger Valley Fountain

I went to a local nursery, Ginger Valley. We’re fortunate to have many fabulous independent garden centers in our area.

Ginger Valley Water Feature

Whether you garden or not, nurseries, particularly this time of year, are beautiful and inspiring.

Ginger Valley Pond

Ginger Valley has many different areas…indoor plants, outdoor plants, ponds, gardening tools, decorations, bird feeding supplies and on and on.

Ginger Valley Bright Flowers

The color is incredible.

Ginger Valley Butterfly Garden

You could wander around for hours.

Ginger Valley Outside

I can’t even imagine how crazed I would be if I had a green thumb.

Ginger Valley Bench

Fortunately, since I’m not much of a gardener, I was able to keep my wits about me…but just barely.

Porch Pot

I had an ulterior motive for taking my Artist Date at a nursery. I wanted to put together a porch pot.

Porch Pot Detail

As I’ve mentioned many times, I’m not a gardener, so I was incredibly pleased with myself for putting this together. I used Hort Couture Under The Sea ‘Electric Coral’ Coleus in the back, Hort Couture ‘Gold Nuggets’ Lamium in the front, two Kimono Red Celosia one on either side of the coleus and four Bravo White Petunias running through the center of the pot. I will probably have killed it this three or four weeks time, but today, it looks stunning.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 11 Comments

June 1

Volunteer Gardening


Every Saturday, I share my weekly Artist Date.

I’ve volunteered in my church’s bookstore for years. Now that I work on staff in that department, I wanted to find a new place to serve. This is my new place to volunteer.

South End West Bed

I joined our landscape team…the Green Thumb team. A friend and I will tend to the perennial bed on the west side of campus.

North End West Bed

It’s really unexpected that this would be my choice, because I’m not a gardener by inclination.


I picked this team because there’s great flexibility when it comes to the time you serve.

Yellow Iris

I also thought it would be a very calming and reflective place to volunteer. A great place to take a little Artist Date.

Russian Sage

Oh…and because my friend asked me, “Hey, do you want to be on the Green Thumb team this year?” Sometimes a good choice isn’t obvious until someone brings it to your attention.

Posted by lori . Filed under Artist Date | 18 Comments