2 Chairs Waiting for You!
Fish Creek Sunset
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Kid-friendly on the Door Peninsula
By Donna Marie Pocius
Special to DoorCountyNavigator.com
The Door Peninsula has a lot of kid-friendly places to visit. Two of the many popular sites for families are The Farm and Hands On Art Studio.
Get a feeling of rural history at The Farm, 4285 Hwy. 57, Sturgeon Bay. This family-owned business is an outdoor museum about farm life.
Kids meet cows, horses, goats, lambs, as well as peacocks, rabbits and kittens. And they can even hold and feed some of them.
Buy a bottle of goat's milk or a pack of corn in the milk house. Goats are milked every hour on the hour in one of the red outbuildings, and it's easier than you think to feed a cow.
"The big cow will open her mouth, just wait for that corn, and that big tongue comes out. And you put the corn on the tongue," says Shirley Tanck, co-owner.
A self-guided path circles the cow pasture and takes you past wooded hiking trails and a pond swimming with ducks and geese. Along the way, enter old log buildings and a machine shed, relocated and converted to museum exhibits here.
Check out the Sugar Shack. It shares how syrup is made by tapping maple trees. Don't miss the Nature Cabin and an opportunity to see a chicken hatch before your eyes. A renovation this year makes some of the building entrances handicapped accessible.
Mom may take a break and check out The Farm's gift shop. The loft area has home accents such as dishware and garden accessories. The pottery by Alex Majeski, of northeast Wisconsin, is reasonably priced and eye-catching.
A creative place for kids, as well as adults, is Hands On Art Studio, 3655 Peninsula Players Rd., Fish Creek.
During the peak of the Door Peninsula season, 300 to 400 people make their way to Hands On daily. Here, people get an opportunity to roll up their sleeves and get a sense of what the Door Peninsula's artistic and rural lifestyle is all about.
Hands On sits on a 65-acre farm, owned by Cy Turnbladh, an artist who transitioned from solely making art to also sharing his passion for creativity with others. The rambling complex has diverse studios including the Art Barn, the focal point. People come here to work and play with clay, glass, metal and wood.
In addition to the studio space, Hands On provides staff assistance. People pay a fee for studio time and select materials and get to keep their creations.
"People leave with their projects, but I also hope they take away a confidence that they can make something they wanted to make and that they are proud of it and really enjoyed the process," Turnbladh said.
"That is really important-that you enjoy being here."
Experiment with glass blowing, fused glass or make a mosaic. Throw pots on a wheel or paint on ceramics, glassware and wood.
Families walk in and stay according to their own schedules. Turnbladh is on a mission to create an atmosphere that loosens people up, no matter their age.
"Every child who comes in here says, 'I'm creative.' And every adult says, 'I'm not.' What's wrong? Let us wake the child and discover the creativity within," Turnbladh said.
People may also wander the grounds and pet the animals-goats, llamas as well as chickens and ducks. "We are an absolutely one-of-a kind-destination," Turnbladh said. "Once people come in, they want to come back every time they come to Door County."
Fallen twigs stand again as furniture
By Donna Marie Pocius
Special to DoorCountyNavigator.com
Fallen twigs are reclaimed by Jim Hoyer of Sturgeon Bay and transformed into furniture to suit a wide array of decorating styles.
He picks up most of the twiggy material in the lakeside Lily Bay area, where he lives with his wife, Earlene. His neighbors give him a lot of material, as well. So Hoyer named the business Lily Bay Originals.
The furnishings available include tables, benches and chairs. Each piece, functional as well as decorative, is handcrafted by Hoyer in his home workshop.
"There may be some of similar sizes, but never exactly the same. They can't be the same because each twig is different," Hoyer said.
One of the popular designs is a pedestal-style table about 36-inches high, which can hold a plant or vase. Hoyer also makes coffee tables, side tables and sofa tables in various heights and widths. The twigs serve as functional table legs and are also decoratively intertwined under the tabletop.
Lily Bay Originals are displayed at the Sturgeon Bay Farm Market, which begins on Saturdays in June. The furnishings are also sold at Door County Interiors and Design, Egg Harbor, and Northern Territory and the Essence Gift Shop (at Stone Harbor Resort), both in Sturgeon Bay. Custom orders are filled for people, who may have special sizes in mind.
A Special Place: Monticello On Jefferson
What's it about: Monticello is an intimate boutique in a repurposed vintage house on charming Jefferson Street in Sturgeon Bay. The shop carries clothing, handbags, scarves, books, jewelry and more.
Why it's special: About 99% of the clothing and accessories displayed and sold here are U.S. made. Many pieces are relished by women who travel. And the books, handbags and earrings are truly unique and rare finds. One handbag line in the store is made by a man who grew up in the upholstery fabric business with his dad. An earring collection by Alexis Bittar is popular in the Hamptons, Upstate New York and here in Door County. As Monticello owner Diane Magolan puts it, "I think we classically have some incredible stuff and a lot of things we don't change."
Quick facts: Monticello, 715 Jefferson St., Sturgeon Bay, 920-746-4100.
-Donna Marie Pocius