Friday, June 16, 2017

Natural Beauties and a Bloom Brigade trip to St. Louis ~ Power Poppy

Happy Friday my dear creative friends!!  This is a special post for me today.  I traditionally post a Power Poppy card on Fridays, and today is no exception.  But I have something extra special ~ to me ~ to share too.  

Last week, 7 out of the 8 Bloom Brigaders (being that Kathy lives in Australia, St. Louis was a bit too far for her to come for a long weekend unfortunately.) met in St. Louis to spend time with Marcella and her family, as well as see some of the places that give her inspiration.  But I'll get to that in a bit.  My card for today, was inspired by the leaves below. 

We had the opportunity to walk through St. Louis' Botanical Gardens, and it was an absolute delight. There were so many different, colors and textures, as well as incredible architecture.  I never really thought so much about leaves (over flowers) before, but there was a plethora of varieties with different shapes and patterns.

I wanted to make a card for our special young hosts, and the sweet little mushroom and leaf image from Natural Beauties was perfect to color the leaves the way I wanted.  My leaves look very little like these for one main reason I believe...I have the hardest time leaving white space.  It's a big struggle.

Anyway, I colored them with Copics and burnished and layered them for some depth and texture.  I added the sentiment by using my Misti. (Love that tool!!)  Below is a close up so you can see the layers.

Have you seen Power Poppy's Hues to Use for this week?  I think my colors are pretty close, so I'm including my card.

If you'd like, continue on to see some of the St. Louis highlights that we were blessed to see while visiting.

First up is Steve and Susan's home (Marcella's step-dad and mom).  They designed the most tranquil yard I've ever had the pleasure of spending time in.  I have two photos to share: my favorite spot in the garden, and my favorite spot of their home

Their front porch below, reminded me of the home I grew up in.  
We would sit on our porch swing in the summer and hull strawberries, snap beans, husk corn, and often visit with people who just happened to be walking or biking by.  
Treasured memories, as I'm sure Steve and Marcy have of this very spot.

Next up are photos of a rare treat I'm sure.  Marcella used to work for Mary Engelbreit, and arranged for us to meet her in her studio while we were all in town.  She is such a warm, unassuming, creative woman who openly shared her space, memories and mementos.  I will never forget the treasured time there.

The following photos are just a few that I took at Missouri's Botanical Gardens.  It was so hard to pick and choose.

The Japanese Garden

Ox-Eyed Daisies

They had a Glass Sculpture display around the rose garden that I thought was incredibly creative and striking!


We spent a delightful afternoon at Forest Park which has quite a number of things to do.  We ate lunch at the Boat House and went Paddle Boating.  Below is a picture of our lovely hosts:  Marcella, Finn, Sylvia and Lulu...the most charming and delightful family!!!

Just a velvety leaf outside the Boat House Restaurant in Forest Park.  I have never seen anything like it. 

The Nathan Frank Bandstand in Forest Park.  Beautiful!

Cindy and I had time to kill before catching our plane the last day, so we visited the Art Museum in Forest Park.

We also visited a charming Nursery/Gift Shop, called Bowood, with a beautiful Restaurant inside.  A must stop if you're in the area.

Hydrangeas are quite prominent all around St. Louis.  The most common variety I saw was Oak leaf, but I was partial to this soft colored variety.  They had a lovely Victorian feel to me.

I just had to include this Hibiscus because of its ruffly petals and rich coral color. 

More leaf patterns and shapes.  Don't they look hand-painted?

We also had an opportunity to see a Cardinals game.  This photo was taken at the very top.  What an incredible view with the Arch in the background!

Lastly is a photo taken of a few of the Bloomies in Marcella's backyard.  I didn't include group photos of us in other places because the others had so many photos that I figured they would share those.  The one below is a good representation of how serene Marcy's backyard is.  It also is a lovely reminder of what a wonderful time I had spending time with these incredible ladies.

If you've made it this far, I applaud you!!  St. Louis is quite the city.  I really had no idea.  We sure packed a lot in a couple of days and thoroughly enjoyed getting to know each other on a more personal level.  And Marcy was just the sweetest, most kind host!!

For some more inspiration, check out the following Bloom Brigade Blogs:

Thanks for dropping by today.  
Happy Stamping!!

StampsNatural Beauties (Power Poppy)
Paper:  Take Me Away (Pink Paislee), X-Press It
Ink:  Tuxedo Black (Memento)
Dies:  Stitched Rectangles (Waltzingmouse), 
Accessories:  Copics, Border Punch (Martha Stewart), Enamel Dots (Prima and Teresa Colins) 


Leslie Miller said...

Wow, oh WOW! What a fantastic post, Tosh! First, your beautiful card -- love the simplicity and you're amazing with the white space. Then all those incredible, fabulous photos from your trip! I can't even... ohhhh, the gardens! I especially love seeing Marcy's own back yard and the garden Steve and her mom created. And, of course, all you BEAUTIFUL Bloomies! Love! I can't get over those "hand painted" leaves. What???? Oh, I want to color them just like that! Thanks for this. It was a treat!

Stacy Morgan said...

beautiful card Tosh. I like the simplicity and the crisp and clean feeling.
Look at you miss artist with the camera... sheessh... I will have mine ready for tomorrow but not nearly as cool as your post. :-)

Jerri Jimenez said...

Oh my gosh, it was all so lovely Tosh, the gardens and parks are spectacular! What an opportunity for all of you to meet up and enjoy such a beautiful botanical environment, as well as each other's company. Your card is gorgeous, as always, love seeing your beautiful designs!

irishgreensue said...

Have not been online as much, but sure glad I did not miss this splendid post - your card design is positively beautiful, especially how you completed your leaves with the extra layer! You are quite the fantastic photographer, and got fabulous shots of the gardens, the flowers and sights of St Louis! So happy that you got to take this "bonding" trip with the other ladies on the team. Blessed to know you and all you share!!

ChristineCreations said...

You picked such great pictures to showcase St. Louis Tosh! Thanks for such a fun time! And that sweet leafy celebration of a card is so great! The dimension and colour on the leaves is really awesome!

Conniecrafter said...

I have a real hard time with white space too, you have done such a pretty job on the leaves!!
I live about 30 minute drive from there, we go to the garden and Forest park quite a bit, glad you had a good time.

CherylQuilts said...

Oh, I'm with Leslie with the WOW's! I LOVED reading this entire post and seeing the beautiful photos of you all and the amazing places you visited. You are quite the photographer, and I love your photos of the gardens and the flowers. What a precious time that you will cherish always. And your card is simply amazing with coloring that is perfection. I also have problems with leaving white space, but your coloring of the leaves is fabulous, and what a lovely layout! Stunning! Sigh! Now back to regular life, but you will always have your trip to remember and have the photos to bring back such fond memories! Hugs and love! xoxo

Jean said...

Simply stunning cards! And such beautiful photographs too!

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