Posts Tagged: magazine

Paper Project: Homemade Envelopes

Homemade envelopes

Everybody loves receiving something special in the mail, but with the convenience of text and email, a lot of us have let the handwritten letter fall by the wayside. Send some inspiration this winter! Homemade envelopes are an easy and fun way to add a personal touch to snail mail and give your favorite magazine pages new life. Download and print this template to get started!

What You’ll Need:

Scissors, glue stick, pen/pencil, a variety of magazine pages with images that you like, and our envelope template.

Materials for Homemade Envelopes

We chose some of our favorite pages from past issues.

Magazine Pages

Trace the template on the backside of the magazine page.

Trace Template

Cut out the envelope.

Cutout Envelope

Crease the side flaps and the top triangular flap of your envelope.

Fold Side Panels        Fold Top Triangle

Glue time!

Glue time

Place some glue on the side flaps and fold the bottom square portion of the envelope over them. Press and hold until the glue dries.

glue side flaps

Once the glue dries completely, your envelope is ready to be filled with holiday cheer!

Finished Envelope

These envelopes are a perfect fit for 3×5 index cards so you can send a letter or your favorite recipe! The standard size means that your envelope can be processed by the postal service without any additional stamps, but we recommend writing  address information on a white background (white sticker labels work great) so that they can be read easily by the USPS machines.

We promise, you can’t make just one of these. Make envelopes for all occasions!

Perfect Fit for Index Cards   Make more envelopes   Envelopes
Kristin AndersonKristin Anderson had a blast putting this winter’s paper project together! She is a Luther Grad from Des Moines where she designs graphics, paints, eats, and dreams of owning a vegetable farm. To see more of her work check out her webpage!

Driftless Art Tours + More!


Driftless Art Tours and Festivals are coming up!

By Sara Friedl-Putnam • Originally published in the Fall 2013 issue of Inspire(d)


For some it means once again watching football Friday nights and sending kids off to school in the mornings…seeing leaves change color on the trees and pumpkins ripen on the vine.

But the season also signals the start of a whole OTHER season – art tour season! Area residents and visitors alike get the opportunity to experience behind-the-scenes magic of many talented artists in the Driftless Region.

“It’s fun to see how artists work,” says Darla Ellickson, an accomplished Decorah-based jewelry-maker and the cofounder of the Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour (NIAST), the largest and longest-running artist studio tour in the state. “NIAST and other area studio tours present great opportunities to see not only what’s involved in the creative process but also how accessible making art really is.”

Curious how Ellickson crafts her stylish, metal, no-piercings-required “ear loops”? Wondering what constitutes a “fiber farm”? Seeking to purchase a one-of-a-kind gift for a family member or friend – or treat yourself to something funky and fun? Looking for that perfect excuse to head “over the river”? Or perhaps just itching to take in the natural beauty that defines fall in the Driftless Region while traversing roads less traveled?

Then you’re in luck.

The fun starts with the Driftless Area Art Festival (Sept 19-20) in Soldiers Grove, WI. And the first weekend of October – which just happens to be national arts and humanities month – kicks off three straight weekends of Driftless Region art tours. Artists open their studio doors to visitors just for these events. (Cameras strongly recommended – all tours showcase some of the most stunningly scenic areas the region has to offer!)

“One of the great things about NIAST and other studio tours is that they feature artists in their working environments,” says Ellickson, herself one of the 50+ artists who will take part in NIAST 2015. “There’s really no substitute for that.”

Curiosity piqued? Then plan for a peek into area artists’ creative worlds on these tours this fall.


Driftless Area Art Festival
Where: Beauford T. Anderson Park, Soldiers Grove, Wisconsin
When: Saturday, September 19 10:00-5:00
Sunday, September 20 10:00-4:00

DriftlessAreaArt Festival Logo_Web“Celebrating the visual, performing, and culinary arts of the Driftless Area”. From painters and potters to musicians and brewmasters – Soldiers Grove comes alive each fall with big tents and beautiful art. The offerings are as exquisite as they are varied, and all in a setting replete with the hills and valleys that define the Driftless Region. Soldiers Grove, in Crawford County, WI, hosts the eleventh annual Driftless Area Art Festival. No matter what direction you are coming from, you’ll enjoy a scenic, meandering journey through wooded hills and deep valleys of the region to arrive at the inspirational setting of Beauford T. Anderson Park and the Soldiers Grove community. Kick off “Art Season” with this great FREE festival!

Admission and parking are free. Handicap parking is available, and entrances have curb ramps. Socialized dogs on leashes are permitted.


Bonus! If you’re looking for more fun – also check out the Taste of NE Iowa Farm Crawl Sept. 26-27!
Taste of NE Iowa Farm Crawl
Where: 6 communities in NE Iowa
When: September 26-27, 2015

BuyFreshBuyLocalHow do local farmers successfully grow fruits and vegetables, produce flowers and herbs, make ice cream and butter, and even bottle wine? Find out during this great event, which offers a glimpse of the day-to-day workings of several Northeast Iowa farms.


Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour
Where: Decorah, Iowa, and 35-mile surrounding region
When: October 2-4, 2015

2015 niast poster.inddThey may be conveniently clustered within a 35-mile radius of small-town Decorah, but many of the dozens of artists taking part in the 2015 Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour (NIAST) have long traveled throughout (and well beyond) the United States to exhibit their works.

“There were so many artists doing high-caliber shows throughout the country, but people in and around Decorah didn’t know that they were here,” says Ellickson of the main reason she and Margaret Davis of the Decorah Regional Arts Council (now Driftless Art Collective) decided to launch the first Northeast Iowa Artists’ Studio Tour in 1998. “We honestly didn’t know how that first tour was going to turn out, but it was well enough attended that we decided to keep on going.”

And going. And going.

This year will mark NIAST’s 17th tour. Sculptors? Yep. Oil painters? They’re on the tour too. So are jewelry-makers, ceramicists, potters, fiber artists, wood-workers, basket-makers, silk painters, photographers, quilters, and, yes, even kaleidoscope-makers. Where will you find them all come the second weekend of October? Nestled in and around the lush hills and vales of Decorah and its environs, of course!

Fresh Art Tour
Where: Lake Pepin and the Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin
When: October 2-4, 2015

FreshArt15Never heard of “fresh art”? Broaden your artistic boundaries as you learn why Wisconsin has much more to offer than dairy farms, cheese curds, and Badgers and Packers games. Witness art-in-the-making during discussions and demonstrations by the varied artists (more than two dozen in all) taking part in this year’s Fresh Art Tour, a unique opportunity to experience the eclectic galleries and studios sprawled throughout the Mississippi River town of Lake Pepin and its surrounds. Marvel at the rich colors of autumn in Wisconsin (not to mention the Chippewa Valley’s rolling hills) while witnessing the diverse talents of painters, potters, scultors, and other skilled artists at work.


Sheep and Fiber Farm Tour
Where: Southeast Minnesota
When: October 10–11, 2015
or (Facebook has the 2015 latest info!)

FarmFiber15What’s a “fiber farm”? Find out as you spend a weekend exploring four scenic farms in Southeast Minnesota. All are dedicated to promoting the fiber arts and raising animals that produce yarn (think yaks, alpacas, and Shetland sheep) and other materials used in fiber-art products. Discover what’s involved in raising “fiber” animals. View the fiber-milling process in action. Be inspired by the softness and intricate textures of homespun yarn and other items crafted by local artists.

“Visitors will gain a better understanding of how ‘fiber’ animals – including wool-breed sheep, yaks, and alpacas – are raised and why natural fiber is good for ourselves, our children, and the world we want to leave behind,” promises Jean Mueller, tour director. “They will also see firsthand how fiber is transformed into a medium artists have used for centuries to make blankets, throws, and various other items.” Cool! Er…warm!



Fall Art Tour
Southwest Wisconsin (Baraboo, Dodgeville, Mineral Point, and Spring Green)
When: October 16–18, 2015

More than 50 artist studios in unique locations ranging from restored breweries to one-room brick schoolhouses. Rolling hills spruced with trees in vibrant fall foliage. And the distinct friendly flavor of small-town Wisconsin. Once again this fall, painters, sculptors, potters, weavers, jewelers, woodworkers, and mixed-media artists in four small Wisconsin towns will open their studios to offer a behind-the-scenes look at how (and why) they create their art.

And the artists aren’t the only draw of this popular tour. Visitors also have the opportunity to soak in the sites of Mineral Point, the first Wisconsin city placed on the National Register of Historic Places; visit Taliesin, the Spring Green-area home and studio of renowned architect Frank Lloyd Wright; and experience the dramatic natural beauty (500-foot cliffs, anyone?) of the Baraboo-area Devil’s Lake State Park.

Now get out there and enjoy these amazing beautiful fall weekends!


Author Sara Friedl-Putnam has thoroughly enjoyed learning about the artistic endeavors of some of the region’s most talented individuals during past NIAST events and looks forward to experiencing even more tour stops this fall!

Looking for some tips to get the most out of your tour? Check out our handy self-guided art tour infographic for ideas!

Making A Scene Pt. 5 – Bob Holtan and KDEC Radio

Bob Holtan – KDEC Radio

This is Part 5 of a series on inspiring individuals who help bring live entertainment to NE Iowa and the Driftless Region. Read the other interviews by clicking here.

BobHoltanKDEC FM 100.5 and KDEC AM 1240 have long been a part of the Decorah Community. Since the mid-90s, the stations have been run by Bob & Colleen Holtan, along with their daughter Jeni (and David) Grouws. KDEC was inducted to the 2014 Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and will be throwing a Wink-I Pepsi Party and sock hop with Mike Munson and The Old Fashioneds on Saturday, March 28 at the Hotel Winneshiek. Bob Holtan’s roots in helping make shows happen runs deep in the upper Midwest, and more than a bit of that has rubbed off on daughter / KDEC Morning show host / talented performer Jeni Grouws who has spun the pieces together for the March 28 party! Bob was also responsible for the ever famous Menard’s Jingle – but that’s a whole other story!

I(d): How long have you been involved in helping present events? How did you get into it?

BH: I got into show promotion as a radio station manager at WAXX in Eau Claire Wisconsin in 1976. I promoted Country music shows mainly (the list of artists runs about 100) in Eau Claire, Marshalltown & Fargo for our FM Country stations, but in addition also promoted several oldies shows in Marshalltown for KFJB AM and Standards shows (Glen Miller Band, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey Band, Buddy Rich Big Band, etc) in Eau Claire and Fargo.
I began with a Conway Twitty, Barbara Mandrell and Waylon Jennings Show in Eau Claire in 1976, when my then-boss, who had been promoting the station shows, moved to a new TV job in Austin Texas and I had to pick up the pieces. It was a great success, and I was hooked.

I(d): Do you have a most “exciting” live moment from an event?

BH: Lots and lots of them. Maybe the best moment was 1991 when I booked Brooks & Dunn in Fargo. I contracted them for $3500 in the spring, and when they got to the show in the fall they were on their third #1 Country song and were commanding a price of over $50,000. The Civic Center held 3000, and we fudged a bit so nearly 3400 fans could get in. The atmosphere was electric! It was the first time I found scalpers at one of our shows.
Maybe the worst moment was when I had to come out on stage in the middle of his performance to tell Country singer Johnny Rodriguez to quit singing to his piano player and turn around to face the audience or he wouldn’t be getting paid. It worked. He got his money and I never booked him again.
Another good & bad moment: I came out on the stage at UW-Eau Claire to introduce Johnny Cash. I was blinded by the spotlight and decided to walk directly out on a proscenium stage to the microphone, taking the shortest direct route. I stepped out onto thin air, dropped 6 feet, but landed right and bounced back up onto the stage before the audience quit gasping.

I(d): If you could present 1 show with anyone in the world, past or present, whom would it be andBobH_Colleen why?

BH: Tough question. Probably ABBA, since my wife continues to play their greatest hits cd after 20 years of it. We saw them on their final U.S. Tour in, I think 1979 at the St. Paul Civic Center. Of today’s artists, maybe Van Morrison. He’s still making great music 47 years after Brown Eyed Girl.

I(d): What are you most excited about in the near future?

BH: The KDEC Sock Hop will be a really fun night. It’ll be a thank you show for fans, particularly of our AM station, following the station’s induction in the Iowa Rock & Roll Hall of Fame over the 2014 Labor Day Weekend.

I(d): You’re at the show! Front Row, or standing in the wings?

BH: I always stood in the wings at my shows. The fans deserve all the best seats. It’s also a great way to see the artists perform: from the side, close by. I especially recall the show in Eau Claire when Dolly Parton was on-stage…