Paper Project: Heart Mobile!

Our friend Evelyn (and her sister Hazel along with Roxie) helped make this paper project for the Summer Inspire(d). It’s fun because you get to forage for the perfect sticks first, then put the rest of the project together. Check out our how-to here, and have fun!

Supplies:

• Paper of whatever color you’d like
• Paper trimmer (optional – it works great for even sized strips of paper)
• Foraged sticks (cut down to size for the mobile size you’d like)
• Branch cutter for cutting said sticks (the big one was the best for this)
• Stapler
• Scissors
• Yarn, string, or similar

Cut your paper into strips – I had 12 x 12 paper, but you could use 8.5 x 11, and just cut the strips the long way. I cut mine into 1.5-inch strips. The smaller you cut your strips, the smaller your hearts can be.

Once you’ve cut a good number of strips, fold them directly in half, and cut on the fold. (The pieces at the top of the paper trimmer have been cut, the bottom papers have not been cut.)

Now it’s time to make your hearts! Take one of your cut strips, and fold it in half.

Round the top parts and bring the two edges together to form the heart.

Grab the bottom of the heart, and make a good crease. Open the top, rounded part of the heart, and put a piece of string in the middle, and hold that part again. (Evelyn and I discovered it’s best to cut your strings long enough to tie to the mobile, but not too long that it’s hard to know which string is which. The length of the string will depend on your mobile size.)

The goal is to staple the heart so the staple also holds the string in place.

Slide the inside top of the heart out (while the string is still in place) to staple.

Once it’s stapled, roll it back into a heart form. You can adjust the heart a fair amount to your liking.

It should look like the above photo!

Now it’s time to set up your mobile! Play with your sticks ’til it looks how you want it to. Make sure you have enough hearts to balance the mobile out. Tie the top string on with a loop so you can hang the mobile.

Tie the rest of the strings to attach the sticks to each other and form the mobile base.

Lay out the hearts and play with how you’d like them to look. (See what we mean about the strings being too long? Next time we’d trim them while they’re on the ground.)

Hang the mobile up so you can start balancing your hearts. We clipped ours to the bottom of our deck! It might take some doing to get it balanced – move the hearts from the inside to the outside of the sticks, or make the strings shorter, etc, to get the balance just right.

Here it is before we trimmed the strings!

And here it is all done! Thanks to Evelyn, Hazel, and Roxie for the help on this! Hang yours up to twirl slightly in the breeze, or in the window to brighten a gloomy day! Enjoy!

Read Summer 2019 Inspire(d) Online!

The Summer 2019 Inspire(d) is here to help you Find the Magic! Inside, you’ll find:

Summer Theatre / Storytelling • Highlandville Dances + Foot-Notes • Peak Peaks in the Driftless • Foraging • Glamping • How to Make a Heart Mobile • Summer Music & More!

A note from Aryn:

I still get excited about summer. The many years of childhood anticipation have instilled a sense of hope about this fleeting season, even as a – somewhat– adult 38-year-old.

I grew up in the country just outside of Frankville, Iowa (population 300ish). We had 20 acres of woods that I would run around all season long – I remember hearing the trees creak and groan while exploring on windy days, or flattening a blanket on the ground so I could sit and read by a stream. It all felt pretty magical.

My goal with this Inspire(d) is to bring those vibes to your (and our) lives this summer!

You can start off at a Highlandville Dance with Foot-Notes, a Decorah-based band that has been playing Scandinavian tunes (and more) across the area for nearly 30 years, especially for Highlandville Dances. A true summer institution here in Northeast Iowa, it is virtually impossible to leave a Highlandville Dance with a frown on your face! Read the history of how it all got started in Kristine Jepsen’s story on page 16.

After that, you might want to sit for a bit! There are few things more magical than being transported to another time/place/moment through storytelling. Check out Sara Walters piece on page 34 to learn about some excellent opportunities to hear stories and see shows at world-class theatres and events in the Driftless this summer. P.S. That amazing cover image? It’s from American Players Theatre in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and we are definitely putting it on our to-do list this summer!

Looking for a more in-depth adventure? How about glamping? We love how area entrepreneurs are thinking outside the box…er…walls to making some really fun and eclectic spots for folks to stay for the night (or longer!). Maggie Sonnek shares some options on page 54.

Still in the wilderness mood? Try foraging! I’ve pretty much only foraged for morel mushrooms, personally (and I bet I’m not the only one), so I especially loved Sara Friedl-Putnam’s interesting story about foraging in the region. You get to follow along on a walk with Elsa McCargar and Conor Murphy, who run the local business, The Wilder’s Way, plus hear about Decorah’s Peter Kraus’ approach to native plants and Driftless cuisine. Oh, and there’s a recipe for a Wild Salad! Fun!

Now this is the place where I write about how you’ve gotta to make time to stop and find the magic this summer. That is the goal, for sure – but life is busy! Remember, though: You’re making the story of your summer – and your life – right now. Today! Do your best to slow it down and enjoy it! You can find some tips for doing that in my infographic, “Find the Magic,” on page 25.

We’ve filled this Inspire(d) with fun and love and magic so hopefully you can fill your summer with the same.

Big thanks to all of our amazing readers and advertisers – now get out there!

Looking forward,

Aryn Henning Nichols

Click here to read the Summer 2019 Inspire(d) online!

June 2019 Calendar!

It’s June! Helllooooo, summer! You know there’s lots of fun on the docket – start your planning with this handy-dandy June 2019 calendar (you can download the pdf here).  XO, Inspire(d)

LOOKING FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT EVENTS ON THE CALENDARS?
Check out these great June 2019 activities! In chronological order, each event’s number coincides with its number on the calendar!

1. June 1: The Hanson Family Show @ DPL! Kick off summer at the Library with a high-energy family show featuring storytelling, juggling, and unicycling. Juggling lessons and super-cool skill toys! 11am, www.decorah.lib.ia.us

2. June 1 – Fossil Hunting in Fillmore County! Collect fossils older than dinosaurs! Located at Whispering Winds, Spring Valley. Sponsored by Eagle Bluff. Register under “Events” at eaglebluffmn.org.

3. June 2: Register now to Run Iowa’s Most Scenic Half Marathon in Lansing, IA. Takes place on Great River Road National Scenic Byway, October 12, 2019. Relay and 5k options. www.thedriftlesshalfmarathon.com

4. June 7: Come enjoy Guttenberg’s River of Music (ROM), EVERY Friday evening, 6-8 pm, Ingleside Park Bandstand, along the Mississippi River. www.guttenbergiowa.net

5. June 12: Ocean Odyssey: Sharks! Learn about these astonishing creatures and get your hands wet! The National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium is bringing its traveling touch tank to the Decorah library. 11 am & 1 pm. PreReg @ www.decorah.lib.ia.us

6. June 15-16: Becoming an Outdoors Family Weekend at Eagle Bluff! A weekend camp of memories exploring the outdoors and learning hands-on skills. Register at eaglebluffmn.org

7. June 15: Oneota Co-op Grand Re-opening Celebration! 11 am to 6 pm. Food. Fun. Music. Demos. Kids activities 11-2. Giveaways. And check out our remodeled store! www.oneotacoop.com

8. June 15: Art in the Park festival in Lanesboro! 90+ artist booths, live music, craft beer, food vendors & art activities! Saturday, June 15, 10am – 5 pm. LanesboroArts.org

9. June 16: Father’s Day Pizza! Celebrate the fathers in your life with wood fired pizza at Luna Valley Farm. (P.S. we also serve wine, beer and cider!) Open 11:30am-2pm, www.lunavalleyfarm.com

10. June 18: Absolute Science @ DPL! Explore the world of science through amazingly fun demonstrations and awesome experiments! This is a Decorah Library program for the whole family. 1pm – www.decorah.lib.ia.us

11. June 21–22: 60-Mile Garage Sale – Multi Community Garage Sales in Preston, Harmony, Fountain, Lanesboro, Peterson, Whalan, Rushford, Rushford Village & Houston. More Info at rootrivertrail.org

12. June 22: The Dead Horses are returning to Luna Valley Farm on Saturday, June 22nd for an evening of music under the summer solstice moon. Info/Tickets: www.lunavalleyfarm.com/events

13. June 29 – Group bike ride at 10am in Lanesboro with musician & outdoor advocate Ben Weaver, followed by a screening of his new documentary adventure film at 7pm. LanesboroArts.org