Tag Archives: Stone Arch Bridge

A New Obsession…

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I’ve never thought of myself as an artistic type.

Never.

Ever.

So I don’t know what encouraged me to buy a Groupon to a Paint and Sip event. Maybe I was intrigued when I first learned about these from Lisa’s post. She lives in the Portland area and when I read/saw her post, I immediately thought, “I wish we had those here!” She said that she wasn’t an artist either. And her painting turned out beautifully!

And every website indicates that there is “no painting experience necessary!” I figured that they wouldn’t say that if they wanted happy customers. And it sounded like a lot of fun. So I bought two different deals to different events led by two different companies without ever having done much more than a paint-by-number as a child.

And now I am obsessed!

Generally, at these events, the cost includes your canvas, the use of brushes and paint and the instruction. Everyone is painting the same thing and you are given step-by-step instructions from an artist, although you can feel free to make your painting your own in any way that you want. The event lasts about three hours.

It’s called a Paint and Sip event because you can also buy beverages (alcoholic or non) to sip on (and/or relax yourself!) while you are painting. Sometimes food is offered, too.

In the Twin Cities metro area, I’ve been to classes run by:

  • Cheers Pablo – Studio in Woodbury
  • Brushes and Brews – Paint & Sip events at restaurants throughout the Twin Cities (generally the south metro)
  • Art and Elixir – Paint & Sip events at restaurants throughout the Twin Cities (generally the north metro)

Here’s what I’ve painted so far…

Table in the Rain

Cheers Pablo – Woodbury, MN

I attended my first event with my husband, not knowing what to expect. We decided to do a Couple’s Painting because why would we need two of the same painting in our house? What this meant is that while every one else was doing their own painting, we’d each be doing one-half of a painting on two separate canvases!

Sample of one canvas painting versus a Couple’s Painting on two canvases:

It’s amazing to think that we started with these canvases with a simple sketch…

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And of course a glass of wine…

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You might be wondering how a painting could look cohesive if you have two different people painting it. The instructor told us that we’d be swapping canvases throughout the night, so the work would be a combination of the two of us!

The process…

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But then Rob went rogue!

He decided that he didn’t want to “conform” and put windy rain on his side and refused to paint his side of the table the same color. At this point, we completely forgot all about swapping!

Here is our finished work:

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It was a ton of fun! It’s a unique piece of work that represents the two of us.

I was hooked.

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Wine & Song

Brushes and Brews – painted at Casper’s in Eagan

My friend and I chose this painting mainly because of location and timing. In the banquet room, the artist had a sample of the work we’d be doing and another canvas he’d be working on himself as he guided us along through the project.

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This time, we started with a blank canvas. Jen and I discussed how relaxing it was to make brushstrokes into these circles to form our background.

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The process:

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And our finished paintings to bring home…

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Owl Always Love You

Cheers Pablo – Woodbury

My friend Kim said she wanted to do this painting for her daughter:

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I agreed, but wasn’t sure those colors would go in my house. {But, duh, you can make the painting any color you want.} Then Rob had the great idea to give the painting to his parents for Christmas! It would be a one-of-a-kind piece of art especially from me.

But there is a little pressure for an inexperienced artist when you know you are giving it as a gift. Plus, I didn’t want them to feel like they’d have to hang up a(n adult) child’s artwork in their home. But I went with it.

When we arrived, they gave us all sorts of options:

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I decided to stick to the winter theme because I loved how the owls were snuggling and wearing scarves and earmuffs! Kim decided to go with the spring version.

This time, we started with a blank canvas. We got to do a swirly circle background again! Here’s how we started out…

Don’t they look creepy without the eyes!?

And the rest of my process…

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And here’s our finished work… success!

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When Kim’s daughter saw the painting, she pointed out that the little owl was her and that the bigger owl was Kim. How cute is that?!

I didn’t like how dark I made the circles around my red owl’s eyes. So I turned them into glasses! I think he looks like a professor. My mother-in-law said that she is going to name them!

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Stone Arch Bridge

Cheers Pablo – Woodbury

I told the girls that I really wanted to paint the Stone Arch Bridge in Minneapolis because it kind of holds a special place in my heart because Rob and I have had some of my favorite dates walking that area of town like this time and this time.

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We all felt like this was the most difficult one we had done yet. We had a hard time looking past the painting itself and looking at it in terms of shapes instead. As usual, we started with the background.

I was having a hard time creating the colors I wanted to. In the photo below, where we began to sketch in the buildings, you can see the bridge that we are trying to paint on the screen on the wall. Those are the colors I wanted.

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We were all confused on how this could possibly turn out like that painting. But then I realized we needed to relax and just have fun. That’s when, out of nowhere, I said,

“Just Trust the Process.”

Kim just about fell over laughing. And it became our quote of the afternoon. And it was fun. Here are some photos of what I painted while I was trusting the process…

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And our final masterpieces!

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Jen and I are signed up for another class with Brushes and Brews in February. Let me know if you want to join us!

Come back tomorrow to see what Rob and I painted at Art and Elixir – our pooches!!!

What is the most artistic thing you’ve made?

Cheers~
Carrie

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Getting LOST in Nordeast Minneapolis

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Sunday was my attempt to complete Station #4 in the Get LOST in Running Virtual Race Series, something I’ve taken up to keep my walking program going until I can start running again. It’s been fun because it has made my husband and I find trails and routes in Minneapolis which we may never had otherwise!

Station 1 – Hydra 4k – This station started it all and got me moving from short walks around the block to following an actual walking schedule.

Station 2 – Arrow 8k – My husband and I made our way to the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes on a beautiful Sunday. We completed a walk around Lake Calhoun (5k) and then got LOST trying to add part of Lake of the Isles in the mix!

Station 3 – Swan 15k – We went back to the lakes and made our way around both Lake of the Isles and Cedar Lake (which has since became our favorite), finding paths and trails in the wilderness that we never knew existed in Minneapolis proper. It was absolutely beautiful.

When I inquired what area we should cover for Station 4, my husband wondered why we weren’t just doing the lakes again since we liked them so much. I wanted to do something different. This race series has really pushed us to get, explore and be adventurous  rather than just sitting at home or hanging out in the ‘burbs. Besides, most of the lakes in the Chain are about two to three miles around. So they’ll be perfect when I get back to the Couch to 5k again anyway.

Station 4 – Flame 16k

This time, I chose a walk along the Mississippi River. I tried to map out a route beforehand, but my distance calculations weren’t really working out because I didn’t know how the trails curved around. And I wasn’t sure which bridges I would want to cross with my fear of heights. Instead, I drove us to the St. Anthony Main area of Minneapolis, parked and decided we would just walk wherever we wanted along the water, crossing bridges where it felt right. I wanted to enjoy every moment. I mean, just a month ago it was still snowing in Minnesota!

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Stone Arch Bridge – Minneapolis

Parking near St. Anthony Main on Father’s Day read “Event Parking – $10.” We had no idea what event was going on. I thought it might be the Mill City Farmers’ Market. I had been there twice before and knew that Food Trucks parked out there. I thought that it might be a welcome stop since we failed to eat breakfast before our trek. {Whoops!} As we made our way to the Stone Arch Bridge {pedestrian only} to cross the river, we saw a bunch of vendors in white tents setting up everywhere along Main Street. We had no idea why, but later learned…

I was wrong about the Mill City Farmers’ Market. When we discovered that area vacant, I remembered that I had gone there last when a friend was in town, which meant that it was a Saturday morning because she would have left on Sunday. Whoops. #EpicFoodSearchFail

But we found the trails again along the Mississippi, where I feverishly began taking photos of a few Minneapolis Landmarks.

35W Bridge Memorial

35W Bridge Memorial – You can read more about it here.

Guthrie Theater

Guthrie Theater

Hennepin Ave Bridge with Grain Belt Beer Sign

Hennepin Ave Bridge – Notice the Grain Belt Beer sign?

Nicollet Island Bridge

Nicollet Island Bridge

I guess I handled walking across more bridges that I had expected. Once we crossed the Nicollet Island Bridge back to St. Anthony Main, more vendors had set up… And the street was lined with mint condition classic cars! Unbeknownst to us, it was the Stone Arch Bridge Art Festival.

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We admired the art and vehicles while snaking our way through the crowds.

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We had no specific plans or routes in mind. We came across this Segway Tour.

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It is then that our walk became even more enjoyable. I found this narrow path through the trees leading closer to the water. We started down some steps and before I knew it, I realized that they were quite high and steep. But I kept going! Many who know me will be surprised that I made it down these…

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It was there where I had the opportunity for a great shot of the Stone Arch Bridge.

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And although it was a beautiful day, we suddenly had these beautiful, rugged paths all to ourselves! It was hard to believe that we were so close to a grand festival taking place not far above us!

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We traversed cute bridges, watched geese, and enjoyed the nature.

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I photographed some historic buildings above us.

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As it grew hotter, we started to feel like we were getting bit by bugs. We made our way back up some more Carrie-friendly stairs further down the river and in no time, were back up amidst the festival where now hundreds of people now gatherered!

At this point, we began to get hungry and decided we’d check out the menus of all of the restaurants along Main to see which one spoke to us. {By doing this, we would also rack up some more distance because we weren’t quite done, yet!} We were getting close to 15k when I told Rob to walk past the edge of the festival down to the end of the block. Then we could turn around and walk back to make it to 16k on the way back.

At the end of the block Rob looked right and his eyes lit up. Why? He saw Nye’s Polanaise Room!

Call us silly or oblivious, but we had no idea St. Anthony Main was this close to all of our favorite restaurants in Nordeast Minneapolis! It was at that moment, it was decided. We didn’t care what we looked like or that we should probably change first, we were going to end our trek at the Bulldog NE {post to come!} with brunch and brews. And after passing the establishment and going around the block, that’s when we hit 16k.

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We celebrated with a lot of water, a little beer and filled our bellies with a more than enjoyable lunch. It was perfect. And while on that secluded trail near the river, Rob had picked up a coin. After further research, we discovered that it is a 1905 Liberty Nickel! We wonder how long it had been there…

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This walk seemed easier than the 15k the previous weekend. And my RunKeeper shows that we shaved off a whole half hour. I don’t think the GPS was quite accurate this time. Looking back at our splits, about 9km seemed realistic. And by adding up the rest of the time, we probably got 3 or 4 more additional kilometers in there. So chances are that we probably didn’t complete a full 16k that day. 😦

But you know what? I’m counting it! Here’s why:

  • We would have never done this if it weren’t for the Get LOST in Running race series.
  • The intent was there. If my GPS had told me to go further, we would have.
  • Between the other four 30-minute walks I did during the week, I’m sure I covered more than enough kilometers to complete the entire 16k.

Station 4 – Flame 16k?

DONE.

Next up – Stations 5 & 6 a 23k and 42k respectively. “As the distances get bigger, they can be split in any way you would like and then combined.”

I already have a plan to complete them. I have a busy next couple of weeks coming up, so I’m planning to combine walks to make sure I keep moving and so that I don’t use being busy as an excuse not to do so! Normally, I’d try to get some workouts in, but would probably skip it most of the time and then hold off until returning from vacation.

So, I’m splitting each station up over a course of 10 days so that I can make sure to fit it in between company visiting and travel. I have a plan and I think it’ll work. And after I complete the series, it’ll be time to slowly get back into running again – with the Couch to 5k program. Thanks again, Joe, for the inspiration!

My GPS running apps have been inconsistent. I’ve tried both MapMyRun and RunKeeper.

Do you use a GPS-style app on your phone for your workouts?

If so, what do you use?

What do you find to be most accurate?

Cheers~
Carrie