Public Art: Minneapolis the City of Art

Downtown Minneapolis Public Art Mural Truman

Yes lots of cities say they have art but most are tucked away inside buildings, require special lighting, glass and temperature and can only be admired by those with bucks in their pockets. What if you could walk a city, a city like downtown Minneapolis and be surrounded by a city of art!

I feel fairly well-traveled but I don’t think I’ve visited a city with such great public art! So much public art you don’t need a map because there’s something on every block – or at least it seems like it to a visitor like me.  Minneapolis definitely celebrates what appears to be a vibrant art community and a luv for their city! Everything from the amazing mural above by Adam Turman and his iconic Minnesota girl doing what she luv’s every season to the 70 manhole covers with local flora and fauna. Yes, there’s poetry too and bronze shadows in the sidewalk.  If you’re nearby at the Convention center, you can’t miss what I call the river float bench with a bronze version of an inflatable raft for a bench seat and fish beneath.

In case you’re wondering how I find this fab public art? I do my usual bit getting the most out of my time in a new city which means, getting up a bit earlier (30 minutes) for a short run to check the sites and getting out to walk after a working day to grab a bite.  Yes you could sleep more and I’ll sleep more when I’m dead, but for now I’m planning to get the most out of any new city I visit even if I’m there to work!

P.S. After a walk for dinner, I’d definitely suggest a walk to the local handmade ice cream shop Sebastian Joe’s.  You feel a bit better eating their amazing small batch ice cream if you can walk it off heading back to your hotel or your home!  They also have local art for sale on their walls too!

Enjoy your time exploring a new city even if it’s your own!

You might like these public art explorations too…

Seattle, WA Public Transporation Art

Duvall, WA Public Transportation Art

Santa Barbara, CA Funk Zone Mural

Repurposed Wooden Legs

Wood chair leg art display


I’m always on the look out for new ways to repurposed old things. I’ve seen a million ways to use old chair backs and seats and old table tops..but what about repurposing old chair and table LEGS? Yep this is it – a great use of old wooden chair and table legs, pops of color (although this set has less pop for me but I do like the mix of stained and painted, mix of styles, heights and widths!)

This would be great as a display on the fireplace mantle or a buffet table. Getting more ambitious? Transform the wooden chair and table legs into candle holders like these or you can save yourself time and just buy them too!

Spindleabra repurposed Table and Chair legs

Source: Hipcycle














Have a few broken chair parts? How about the spindles and legs as a magazine rack or basket. Painted and distressed all one color would be a great rustic option!

Old chair spindles upcycled into a magazine holder

Source: dishfunctionaldesigns









Enjoy taking time to repurpose those chair and table legs into something fabulous!

Public Art: Minneapolis Utility Box Art

Minneapolis Utility Box Public Art Wine

You likely know from my blog I’m a fan of public art and that includes utility boxes. I try to hunt it down or just be surprised whenever I find it! Recently in Minneapolis, Minnesota I stumbled on a series of utility box public art along Hennepin Avenue. Forgive the quality of the photos since I was only armed with my phone camera on this walk.

Fabulous art based on interpreting the famous speech on the Seven Ages of Man from Shakespeare’s “As You Like It” .  No I didn’t know this speech already either, but once you read it or hear it the utility box public art takes on a whole new meaning besides just great art! This was a joint project between the Hennepin Theatre and City of Minneapolis.

Always great to see a city bring color and imagination to what would normally be unattractive boxes just begging for random graffiti.  I have to say I was pretty impressed with downtown Minneapolis. It has an amazing amount of public art, great outdoor dining, fabulous local farm foods and a walking friendly downtown! Luv it -except that living in Southern California I’m not sure I’d survive the winter weather – heck I barely survive Pacific Northwest weather.

If you get a chance to visit well worth staying in downtown!  

DIY Day: DIY Frame for Rotating Art Gallery

DIY Rotating Art frame


Just like mason jars there are more than 100 ideas for reusing and repurposing picture frames! I’m always looking for a great way to make a rotating art galley that is easy to change and has some style. My take on a DIY picture frame …

  • Any size wood frame – a wide frame works best and I’d suggest nothing smaller than 2×3 feet!  Easy to find at thrift stores and flea markets and no need to worry about the picture inside the frame
  • A light sand and your fav paint – spray or latex (I used my Krylon spray paint in a lime green)
  • Chicken mesh wire is stapled to the back – you can find pre-cut rolled wire at your home store. It can be cut with wire cutters or tin snips and if you have neither a heavy duty pair of scissors that you don’t mind getting a bit dull.
  • Tip: Make sure you know the width of your frame so you get wire that is wide enough to fit across the opening.
  • Once you cut the wire then it’s just a quick staple job.  I found that stapling the wire at an angle where the circles connected helped keep it from slipping.  The ends that I cut were folded in.
  • You can add picture hanging sawtooth hanger to the backside of the frame (which you can find at your local craft store) or just hang the frame directly on a couple large nail heads.
  • Wooden clothespins for hanging the art or photos.  If I had more spare time I’d consider decorating the clothespins too!

Here’s the inspiration frame

DIY ideas for picture frames













Here’s a few OTHER great ideas for DIY picture frames in case you have a few frames stashed away that need inspiration or are on the hunt for a few…

Burlap pocket frames for holding treasures or supplies

Hang frames backwards and staple a burlap pocket.
















Flower vase frames

 Flower vase DIY picture frames


Or how about 3-D DIY Picture frames with cut branches

Branches DIY Picture frame


Enjoy making your own rotating art or photo galley with a DIY picture frame!

Public Art: Sidewalk Chalk Art

Delphine Anaya & Melissa Abrams Sidewalk Chalk Art 3D


I admit it I have a thing for chalk and spray paint where art is concerned! I’m always amazed how simple they are in everyday use and what can be done in the hands of an artist! I’m a big fan of Mary Poppins and the sidewalk chalk art scene so maybe it’s just keeping my childhood fantasy alive!

In my you never know where you’ll run across great public art search, a local church celebration included sidewalk chalk artists. The sidewalk chalk panels included professional artists, art teachers and local students and I’d happily have any of them create something on my sidewalk to save forever!  Luv this Sidewalk Chalk art above with the 2-D and 3-D mix.

Here’s a few others that caught my eye…

Enjoy finding public art where it lands!

DIY Day: Chalk Design Wallpaper

Chalkboard wallpaper

Visiting Anthropologie is always eye candy for me – they have great displays, lots of DIY and fab ideas for the everyday decor! What caught my eye this time was this great use of a chalkboard wall reinvented as DIY chalkboard wallpaper! Luv the idea of a simple repeating chalk design as wallpaper.  You can recreate this look with chalkboard paint or with rolls of chalkboard contact paper. Either way you can redesign your room on a whim with colored chalk and a new design!

DIY Chalk design wallpaper with home decor pieces built into the design which gives it a  3-D effect…luv it!

DIY Chalk design wallpaper

Source: houseofchicandpenoche

Looking for the empty wall? Great idea for chalk board wall in the bathroom to capture your friends creativity when they take a p-break…beware this may make for a long bathroom line!

Bathroom DIY Chalkboard wall

Source: bexcetera

Have a favorite city? A great idea for a DIY Chalk Wall Map …patience is a must with this one!

DIY Chalkboard wall map

Source: Dismountcreative

Enjoy your spare time creating a fabulous DIY Chalk wallpaper design and then redesigning!

Unplugged Vacation

WIFI downtime Yoga on the Dock at the Lake

I’m baaack and recharged from my WIFI free and unplugged vacation week! Who knew I’d survive since my family only knows me by the glow of the screen.  Time for a vacation- even a day unplugged keeps you healthy and the imagination fresh! When was the last time you had to figure out out a day of fun without driving anywhere and being completely unplugged…no TV, movies, video games, computer and all that.

Hopefully you’ll end up happily exhausted at the end of the day wishing you could do it more often! Where was the unplugged vacation? In Washington State at Lake Roesiger which was about an hour from most family members.  Renting a lake house so close, meant most people didn’t have to spend their vacation time traveling, but instead lakeside…plus those that still had to work could drop in for the evening swim, BBQ and late night game of cards. Yes, we got lucky too and it was one of those fabulous weather weeks earlier than usual!

Wondering what you can do on an unplugged vacation to make the most of it?

  • Yoga by the lake
  • Crawfish hunting – only found a couple
  • Lots of paddle boating and raft rowing – which means you go in circles A LOT!
  • Cannonballing the nearest boater…family members only of course
  • As many meals as possible by BBQ or fingerfood only makes for easy dining
  • A great lake book (aka a beach read)
  • Morning walks around the lake…checking to find lake cabins for sale
  • Bring on the card games….a battle of 31 for the whole family and Cards Against Humanity for the adults only had a few crying tears of laughter!  P.S. You’ll need the Urban Dictionary or a few college age kids

Enjoy some time unplugged!

Life is a Voyage Mural

Public Art Life is a Voyage mural

Artist: Chadillac Green

Life is a Voyage and I’ll be taking one to Seattle, WA this week for a little lake-side vacation with the family and I’m laptop free for the week – which will be weird! Wierd and  hitting the pause button on the posts (I know total sadness, but I will come back with good stuff to share!)

You can find Life is a Voyage mural in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone! Yep, it’s another one of the fab public art murals decorating this bohemian spot in the city.  Luv this mural since it gives the flash back thought to an old sea captain- crusty and salty is the vibe –  sitting down and start telling you how it was and how it’s gotten out of hand and thing used to be simpler. I’ll be doing the same and flashing back to how it was without a TV and a laptop and likely no WIFI…Yikes! What will I do in my spare time – catch up with me next week and I’ll share the unplugged edition!

Enjoy your spare time plugged in or maybe your unplugged too!

DIY Handpainted Mirror

DIY handpainted mirror

Have an old mirror that needs a facelift? Or maybe one that just doesn’t is looking a little blah and could have a better life with a little pop!  This was a former Homegoods mirror that lead a blah life over the fireplace. Going through a living room redo lately this mirror needed a new life and ended up as a DIY handpainted mirror for a teen bedroom.  Luv circular mirrors especially with the fab detailed cutout design around it!

Below is the original color of the mirror …

chalk vase


Steps to making the DIY Handpainted mirror – no art experience required!

  • Prep the mirror for painting by taping and covering the mirror with paper (newspaper, paperbag or anything will do). If you can easily remove the mirror from the frame itself that works too!
  • Paint the base color of your mirror – I used Krylon Black Semi-Gloss spray paint to reach all the edges of the cutout area. Flip it and paint from the backside if you have a cutout design like this to cover well

DIY spraypainted mirror

  • The next step is the most fun! Pick your paint colors to handpaint. I know you’re thinking it looks like a lot of work but here are the easy ways to make it “no art experience needed”.
  • Use paint pens! They give you great edges and control and come in a ton of colors. I used the DecoColor opaque paint markers – basically they work like a permanent marker! I did try using a fine brush with acrylic craft paint and for me I didn’t give the look I wanted (too transparent and too many brush strokes visible)
  • I used just 2 colors for the handpainting (purple and neon pink) and basically followed the curves of the cutouts.  Decided I liked just a few areas handpainted with black areas still unpainted.
  • I didn’t clear coat the top since this piece wouldn’t be handled once it was hung and it was out of the sunlight.  Clear coating with a sealer if you’re prefer

DIY Painted mirror


Enjoy giving an old mirror new life with DIY handpainting!

DIY Wine Box Shelves

Wine box shelves


Looking for an easy shelf display option? DIY Wine Box display shelves are inexpensive (if not free depending on the friends you can make at the wine shop!) look fabulous au natural and are light enough to mount easily!

What’s makes a great wine box display wall?

  • Just like flower arranging and everything else displayed – odd number of boxes works best
  • Varying the orientation of the boxes give a wall display balance plus it allows you options for displaying different sized items – best of both worlds!
  • Common spots of color used throughout the display…red and white is the theme here!

Wine box display shelves


What kinds of things look great displayed in these fab DIY Wine Box shelves? Adorable toy dinosaurs painted white for that surprise element! Even the flowerless orchid becomes a great sculptural element – no water required!

Wine box wall shelves


Enjoy finding a wine box friend and thanks to my fabulous sister Kat for sharing her DIY decor..luv it!