Welcome to a Corner of My World
Ann Karen Gronbeck-Peterson

Because my husband, Dan, has paid for the entire Gallery La Crosse website (every month of it since we opened in August 2008), I am making this page of it to serve as my personal website.

Thank you for taking the time to visit here.

Out & About

Enjoyed so much doing a Demonstration of Viking Knit techniques, in late Viking Era style attire, at the Bluff Country Artists Gallery in Spring Grove, MN on May 19, 2012 as part of their Syttende Mai event...

about 300 feet from the stone monument in the park, recognizing my Norwegian immigrant Grandfather, Ragnar, and the rest of the young men of Spring Grove who served in WWI...

that I am delighted to continue the tradition again almost every year, for the Westby Syttende Mai celebration, & for the Spring Grove Syttende Mai celebration.

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Exhibited at the Norskedalen Art & Wine event in Coon Valley, WI

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Now pending several events on my calendar ~> check back later for more details &/or follow me on Facebook.

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Regularly offering for sale at the Bluff Country Gallery in Spring Grove:

Viking Knit Bracelets & Necklaces in Copper, Bronze, Sterling-filled, Sterling Silver, and Gold-filled

Penannular Brooches in both Viking & Celtic Inspired Styles

Earth Inspired Hand-Hammered Jewelry in Copper & Brass

Netted Stone Amulets

Fine Silver Pendants

A variety of unique Artisan Earrings

Window-mount Hummingbird Feeding Stations

Just over 60 years on the journey...

A child of the 50's & 60's, I am drawn to working with materials gathered from the Natural world, and adore exploring the technology & tools of our ancestors.

Currently, I am strongly pulled to Celtic & Viking styles, along with my perennial favorite, Rustics.

Many of my creative endeavors originate in the obtaining of something that has passed it's intended use, and often these materials were prematurely destined for the landfill.

A lifelong ethic of recycling and "making-do" combined with outdoors & workshop skills honed over the decades lead me to some very unusual results.

Exploring my Norwegian, Saami, & Swiss heritage is very important to me, recognizing that we live only about two generations removed from methods for doing many things which were essentially unchanged for hundreds or thousands of years.   Many of the daily routine tasks of the past are skills well worth preserving for our future generations.

I have long considered myself a modern Renaissance woman.

My parents instilled in me the ideal that one must do whatever it is that one does in the very best manner that one can possibly do it. Also, that when it is time to move on to doing something else, one must learn what is needed to do that new thing as well as it can possibly be done, and to not be afraid to make the leap into essential changes.  This has led me to aquire a very broad and unique range of experiences & skills, and into the struggle of overcoming the crippling effects of perfectionism & "just do it".

Contributing much to who I am and how I function in life, my prior life & employment experiences include: Girl Scouts camp staff, Lifeguard, retail management, fast food counter help, horse-drawn carriage tour driver, Motor Vehicle Inspector & State Trooper, Carpenter, Registered Nurse (now 26 years) & formerly 5 years as a volunteer EMT, Gallery owner/manager, long-time volunteer Naturalist, downhill Ski Instructor, dog racetrack Asst. Chief of Security & then Mutuals Clerk, licensed Private Investigator in WI & IA, retail theft prevention specialist, DMV files clerk/researcher, ski lift operator, floral designer, and I've even shoveled much manure out of horse barns and hired out for a fair amount of yard-work to earn my way in this world.

My hobbies include: fly tying, fishing, canoeing, woodworking, jewelry making, reading, martial arts, bird watching & bird feeding, whittling (aspiring to be a woodcarver), snowshoeing, gardening, writing poetry, hunting, hiking & exploring, archery, skiing, & creating gear for the Rendezvous & SCA activities that I wish to take up in a more serious manner in the future.  Though not yet really good at it, I am learning to spin wool roving into yarn, both with an antique spinning wheel & by use of a drop spindle.   In 2014, I taught myself to do Tablet Weaving, which I hope to eventually be able to claim as one of my skills.

When my son was younger, I was a Cub Scouts Den Leader for 5 years, and later took a Boundary Waters Canoe trip with his Boy Scouts Troop.   Having experienced three Boundary Waters canoe trips thus far in life, I feel the need to return for perhaps a dozen more before advancing years put a stop to the practice.   Closer to home, have paddled the Wisconsin River from Portage to Wyalusing, and have covered many hundreds of miles in Wisconsin's beautiful Vilas & Oneida counties by canoe.

My parents had me out canoe camping before I could walk, and the first photos of me hunting with Mom & Dad were taken in the fall of 1957.   Like so very many modern Midwestern women, I am fully capable of seeking & obtaining nourishment in the wild & from the garden, rather than being completely dependent upon the local grocery.

Being a Volunteer Naturalist since the late 1960's (except for the 1980 thru 1992) and a Master Gardener since 1995, keeps me in contact with our Natural world, and conscious of the need for humans to have contact & touch daily those things that are of the Natural world.

One of my life's most wonderful experiences was a trip to Norway for 24 days in 2005, getting to meet many cousins, and exploring the places where my father lived for several years of his youth. Backpacking somewhat solo around what must be the most beautiful place in the entire world, and being so very blessed to be invited into the homes of so many amazing people who are my extended family, was life-changing.   Perhaps someday I may be able to return, though since my heart-attack probably won't go solo backpacking again.

My husband, Dan, and my son, Peder complete my life in so very many soul-deep ways.   Combining mutual adoration & tolerance for & of one-another, we go through life's adventures great & small together.

The most amazing parents one could ever hope to have, raised me up to do good in this life; and to rise above the decades of abuses which we all endured and survived, inflicted by the sibling who should have returned of the love of her family.

And, I am blessed to have been given the most amazing relatives; Grandparents, Godparents, Cousins, Uncles, Aunts, Nieces, & Nephews; all in my heart & memories forever.

Have to stop rambling on sometime, so I'll not list my dear friends here individually, you know who you are, and how very much you have meant to me in this life... My friends and I have helped to sustain one another through the many joys and sorrows which the years have sent our way.

Greatly blessed am I to enjoy the loving friendship of several people whom I consider to be among the finest folks alive in this world today !!

And, of course, there were the pups... Prince, the pup of my youth, Princess the momma who at the age of 15 years left us in May of 2012, and her babies Duchess (Lymphoma in 2016) & Bubba (old age in 2017)... black Labs with boundless energy & unconditional love.

Examples of Ann's creative works

Two of my hand-hewn Rustic Benches

Layered Leaf Painting on Vintage Plywood

(note the fabulous effect of the wood grain pattern)

A bracelet done in the Viking Knit technique,

9th Century technology in a 21st Century adaptation.

At work & at play

Woodlanders Gathering 2009

Shake Rag Alley, Mineral Point, Wisconsin

Yes, the heart attack of 2007 has slowed me down...

and it taught me to live fully & cherish deeply

every moment of every day which has been given to me.

Still using that wonderfully versatile Mora knife given to me

by my father, Snorre Gronbeck, when I was about 10 years old.

My first box-style Turkey Call...

Detailed handwork, using reclaimed Chestnut, Cedar, & Butternut

And, it really does work

AAUW Art Fair on the Green 2009,

at UW - La Crosse, Odin Arts Co-op Booth

Hammering out a Celtic-style Penannular Brooch,

2nd Century BC technology still useful in the 21st Century AD.

Yes, I do sometimes use both my hands & my feet when doing this,  all those years of Martial Arts training pays off in unexpected ways.

Ready for the party...

Celebrating the close of our first year & beginning of our second year of Gallery La Crosse.

We are now in our 9th year of providing a wonderfully cooperative & autonomous retail location for exhibitors to manage their own little shops & utilize shared Marketing within our Gallery La Crosse project...

in the heart of Historic Downtown La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Artist's Statement for our family's Deciduous  Designs  Studio

Deciduous Designs Studio Of La Crosse, Wisconsin

The formal entity of this Studio was founded and is owned by Ann Karen Gronbeck-Peterson and Daniel J. Peterson, in their home since 1999.   Son, Peder Dohve-Peterson, now assists with some of the works and creates works entirely of his own designs, so this truly is a family studio.

Raised in Madison, Wisconsin, a child of the 1960’s, Ann’s artwork stems from her strong connection with Earth’s environmental status.   Her lifelong commitment to our environment is reflected in her frequent use of found and recycled materials.   Most often, the material inspires the design, resulting in ‘one-of-a-kind’ creations.

Ann has a very different way of looking at things…  thus, glass, copper, leather, assorted metals, and ceramics are often utilized in very unconventional ways.   She enjoys using her personal energy to bring new life to "obsolete" objects which could have been lost forever to a landfill.

As a child, Ann’s father placed into her hands more tools than dolls.   Later, she was one of the first girls to take Woodshop class in her high school.   Now experienced in home construction and remodeling, she brings these skills to the studio, as well as to our family's Hire-A-Hubby™ business.   Most of her works are functional art for home and garden, her favorite forms are Rustic furnishings, freeform birdhomes, and an unusual variety of birdfeeders.   Ann has dabbled in wood-carving, and does often incorporate some hand-carved details into her pieces.

As an avid amateur Naturalist, Ann has an excellent understanding of the nesting preferences of many bird species. Special concerns such as ventilation, drainage, nestling safety, predator exclusion, and hygiene are satisfied by her unique and often subtle design details.   Every style of feeder that she designs is tested by birds in her own yard, before that design is used to create other feeders of the same type.    Any paints, stains, or other wood treatments used by Ann are selected to compliment the design without endangering wildlife.

A number of factors came together in recent years, leading her to open Gallery La Crosse on August 30, 2008.

A native of Holmen, Wisconsin, Dan supports (& enjoys & tolerates) Ann in the workshop, as well as in life.   He enjoys building custom cabinets, especially when the piece involves dovetail joinery.   Dan’s favored materials are exotic combinations of various woods in contrasting natural colors.

His creative time in the studio is often limited by being the sole proprietor since 1999 of our family business, “Hire-A-Hubby™” - a home maintenance, construction, remodeling, and handyman service.   Skilled in the soldering of copper pipe joints, it is Dan who assembles many of Ann’s copper trellis and fountain projects.

Peder has been ‘tooling around’ the workshop with Mom and Dan all of his life, gradually gaining knowledge and skill in the use of tools.   Now in College and continuing his studies in the direction of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, his most recent works have been creating geometric sculptural pieces from vintage glass tube beads, Egyptian crystals & fine copper wire (he has taken a break from the creation of his own Rustic & Primitive furniture).   He is also the main technical support crew for our Gallery La Crosse website, and an occasional skilled helper on some of our Hire-A-Hubby™ projects in the La Crosse area.

Our studio’s name reflects both our use of the very renewable resource of wood, and our belief that, as stewards of the Earth, we should emulate the cycle of renewal demonstrated by deciduous trees.

We often carry over materials from our Hire-A-Hubby™ work to new life in our Deciduous Designs Studio creations ~ recycling them to unique new uses rather than sending them to the landfill.

Inquiries for custom works may be made through this gallery.

Follow the Link below for Dan Peterson & our Hire-A-Hubby™ services.

Find  Ann's  Artwork
Currently On Exhibit At...

Bluff Country Artists Gallery in Spring Grove, MN

Please, find link on our Favorite Links page.


 Main Street Station Public Market in Viroqua, WI

Please, find link on our Favorite Links page.


Nisse House of Art in Westby, WI

Please, find link on our Favorite Links page.


 Handmade Natural Beauty Boutique in La Crosse, WI

Please, find link on our Favorite Links page.


Pearl Street Books in La Crosse, WI

323 Pearl Street


Gallery La Crosse

320 Main Street, La Crosse, WI

Occasionally Exhibiting At

Longbranch Gallery in Mineral Point, WI

Several years in the Woodlander's Showcase,

and occasionally otherwise


(will be posted to our Favorite Links page very soon)

(sorry, not able to attend the 2017 Woodlanders Gathering)

Previously At

Cabin Coffee in La Crosse, WI

Please, find link on our Favorite Links page.


Salon Medusa in La Crosse, WI

Please, find link on our Favorite Links page.


~ April 30, 2011

The "Cabin Fever Art Show & Sale"

At the UW - La Crosse Cleary Center,

presenting "History, Heritage, & Habitat"


Every June for 9 years, the YWCA GardenFest in La Crosse, WI


The Pump House Regional Arts Center

2009 Wisconsin Regional Arts Program show &

for three years in their 6 week-long Holiday Show, &

featured demonstrator of Hammered Metal Jewelry during Artspire 2016.

Please, find link on our Favorite Links page.


Every July in the AAUW Art Fair On the Green in La Crosse, WI

In the Odin Arts Co-op's group booth. (2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009)


 The Odin Arts Cooperative Gallery in La Crosse, WI

No longer in business, though our Co-op members still meet to share arts experiences with this wonderful group of Arts friends.


Sugar Loaf Antiques & Crafts Mall in Winona, MN

(business has closed)


Hixon Forest Nature Center's Gift Shop

(business has closed)


Wisconsin Regional Arts Program exhibits

(the 2009-2011 Show & the 2013-2014 Show)

(Sorry, due to her continuing Heart health issues, and multiple respiratory complications during & after treatment for Breast Cancer, Ann now limits her portable show dates.)


Our Gallery's Facebook Page

Ann's Facebook Page

Hire-A-Hubby™ Facebook Page