Friday, November 29, 2013

My Sister Day

Last Saturday my sister and I got together for a fun 'sister day'. Other than a few hours here and there, it had been way to long since we spent almost an entire day together (without kids). We had so much fun! We did a little shopping, lunch, and CRAFTING while watching one of our favorite movies from when we were kids. 

I had been so depressed after loosing Gunnar, and the grey dismal November weather didn't help. A sister day was just what I needed to get out of my funk and recharge the creativity!

After finding this cute vintage reindeer on Thrift Store Crafter  we decided to do some felt crafting. You should check out her five days of felt and sequin ornaments, super cute stuff!

My finished reindeer

We also got creative and made our own pattern for these adorable Santa's. Message me if you would like the pattern. 

My finished Santa's

A successful, very fun, sister day! Can't wait to do it again. If you want to see how my sister's crafts turned out check them out at Look at the Birdie.

Now it's time to get busy making my Christmas gifts. Stay tuned for photos!Probably after Christmas... I don't want to ruin any surprises.

I hope you all have a wonderful, safe, holiday season.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

Giving Thanks

Seven months ago I started The Looney. I started my blog more for me than anything. I wanted a journal to track my creative endeavors and vacations and any other memorable moments. I never expected anybody outside my family to read it. Then I had a couple people start following me which I thought was pretty cool. Then last week something happened that I never expected! I received an email from Heather. 

Heather is an 8-year survivor of mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. At the time of Heather's diagnosis she had just given birth to a baby girl. The Dr's told Heather she only had 15 months to live. Heather beat the odds and is one of few long-term mesothelioma survivors.

Heather received her diagnosis in November and every year she gets what she calls the "November Blues". In an effort to stay focused on the value of life and the value of gratitude she created "30 Days of Thankfulness" where she acknowledges something in her life that she is thankful for every day throughout the month. 

This year Heather decided to take her idea to the blogosphere. This November, she is asking bloggers to post about something that they are thankful for, along with sharing a little bit of her story.  When I got Heather's email asking if I would help spread the word of mesothelioma I read her story and read her blog.  I was so inspired by her strength and the support and love from her family. I was honored that she would ask me to help her. I'm not sure exactly how she found me, but I believe things happen for a reason and her request came at the perfect time.

I'm thankful for so many things, thousands of things!! But I'm going to focus on one...this year I turned 40. Turning 40 was something I was looking forward to. I know most people meet 40 with dread and thoughts of mortality. I felt like turning 40 was a new start. I'm thankful that I got to turn 40, I've lost many friends that never got the opportunity. I'm thankful that my birthday is in January so I got to start the new year with a celebration of me. I'm thankful for the awesome 40th birthday party my wonderful sister organized. I'm thankful to all my amazing friends that attended and contributed to my 40th birthday party. I'm thankful for the many vacations I was able to take this year. I'm thankful for my independence which allowed me to pack up my 10 year old and two dogs and take a road trip around Lake Superior. I'm thankful to have had my dear dog Gunnar for 13 (almost 14) wonderful years. I'm thankful that Heather found me at the time she did. 

I hope you will take some time to reflect on your year and the things you are thankful for. I also hope you will read Heather's story and help spread her word.

To read more about Heather please go to

I hope you all have a safe and happy Thanksgiving. 



Wednesday, November 6, 2013


I lost one of my best friends yesterday. He was by my side through thick and thin for almost 14 years. What a blessing it was to have him in my life. I will miss him every day!

2/1/2000 - 11/5/2013
Rest in peace, my dear sweet friend

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Pillows for The Looney

My bench seat in The Looney is in desperate need of some pillows!! Not only will they look cute, they will make sitting there much more comfortable. 

When we were on the Circle Tour I started making all these little hexies. I had no plan for the little things when I was done with them. But by the time I finished I knew they would make a perfect pillow top, so that is what they have become.

As I was thinking about what to do for my next pillow I came across this adorable 'Pugly' pattern from Sublime Stitching. As a pug owner I understand the whole 'ugly and cute at the same time' deal... I couldn't resist, so I whipped this up last weekend. 

I will need to make one more pillow and I'm thinking it might be crocheted, we'll see. I've got all winter now to finish these up so it might be spring before you see the final product. I have a tendency to not finish something until I need it.... hence the stack of UFO's in my sewing room closet!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fall Wall Hanging

Happy Fall!!! I'm making progress on my fall wall hanging. I started the embridery this summer on our trip to Huddles. I just got the top finished and am preping it for quilting. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Last camping trip for the year

We had some very special guests with us for the final trip of the year. My sister and two adorable nephews, Lucas and Nolan. Unfortunately The Looney isn't big enough for all of us so the guests pitched a tent. My oldest nephew Lucas started Cub Scouts this year so he was happy to be sleeping in the tent, cause that's what cub scouts do!

Friday night by the fire

We had a beautiful weekend! A little drizzly Friday night but Saturday and Sunday were perfect! We hiked to geological potholes which are an amazing site! My sister surprised us with a couple stunts... not on purpose! Man did we laugh!! We played on the river banks, painted rocks, and made s'mores.

Kids playing in one of the pothole
Me and Eleanor hiking along the St. Croix
Eleanor and Nolan on the hike
I'm glad I could get my sister out at least once this year, it's not her thing  but I think she had fun. 

The Looney is getting cleaned up and ready to go into storage for the winter. We sure did have a fun summer, lots of great adventures and memories to last a lifetime. I'm already planning trips for next year!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A little Saturday Stitching

For me back to school means busy evenings and busy weekends; home work, reading, play dates, and after school activities. All this running around has not left much ME time. But, I actually don't mind. I love being so involved with my daughter and her friends. I'm afraid it's not going to last much longer so I'm trying to enjoy every moment, even the ones when she acts like she is 16 instead of 10!

I did recently take a Saturday evening to relax, watch a movie and whip up these beauties. I've been wanting to make them for a while and this was the perfect evening to do something super girly and fun. 

Wig Wonderful pattern from September House

I bought this pattern online from September House. They sell unique contemporary embroidery patterns. They also happen to be a local company which makes me happy!

I have the perfect spot for these beautiful ladies in my new sewing room, that's right, new sewing room! Yippee.  I'm still getting things set up so stay tuned for photos soon. 

Have a wonderful week!!


Monday, September 2, 2013

Huddles Resort

What an amazing summer! I've had so much fun with friends, family and especially my daughter. We always end the summer with a family trip up to Walker, MN. We rent cabins at Huddles Resort on Leech Lake. My mom and Carl, my sister Harriette and two nephews, and me and Eleanor. This year my brother-in-law was able to join us for a couple days too.

Every year we have had amazing weather and this year was no exception. I was worried the lake would be really cold due to the chilly spring, but it was actually just as cold as it has been every year. The lake is so large it never really gets that warm. The cold water doesn't stop us from swimming, water skiing and tubing though.

Eleanor swimming in Leech Lake

Eleanor and Lucas on the tube

Huddles is an amazing family resort. The owners Kay and Roy are so kind and generous. Roy pulls the kids on the tube and skis until everybody has had their chance to go. He has taught hundreds of kids how to water ski, his patience is unbelievable. They have events every day for the kids and families; fishing contests, turtle races, scavenger hunt, talent show, family dance, etc... 

Eleanor and Lucas won the scavenger hunt

Roy MC'ing the turtle races

Eleanor with her turtle. She won $2.35!

Eleanor, Lucas and Nolan cheering on their turtles
Eleanor and Lucas at the fishing contest

Harriette with her fish

Eleanor with her fish

Since we go the same week every year we are starting to see the same families and getting to know them and their children. Eleanor had a great time with three other girls that are her same age. I'm so happy for her meeting new people, but I miss having her hang out with me all day... I guess I better get use to it.

Kids in the pool

One of the few times I got to swim with Eleanor

In the evening we sit on the porch and stitch, crochet or quilt. Sometimes we will watch a movie and other times we just visit. The cousins play and fight, typical family time. My porch project this year was this adorable Halloween embroidery. There is a fourth one that I finished up this weekend. Stay tuned for the finished product.

We all look forward to this trip every year and just can't wait to get back there!! Such a fun week. 

When we got back from Huddles Eleanor started school. She is in 5th grade this year and that is middle school for us. Big changes!!

Eleanor 1st day of 5th Grade 8/26/13

Now that school is back in session and we are on a normal schedule, I hope to be able to post on a more regular basis. I hope you all had a wonderful summer!


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Circle Tour - Part 2

Day 6 - July 17, 2013
Paradise, MI to Munsing, MI - 96 Miles
This morning we drove out to Whitefish Point to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. This is such a great little museum, worth the stop if you're in the area. Whitefish Point is the site of the Edmund Fitzgerald wreckage, along with many others. The "Fitz" is the largest ship to go down in Lake Superior, all 29 crew members were lost with the ship.

The Whitefish Point lighthouse was not operating the night of the storm that sank the Fitz, of all the nights to be closed! To this day they still don't know what caused the Fitz to sink. In 1995 they raised the bell from the Fitzgerald and replaced it with a new one engraved with the names of the 29 crew members that were lost. 

Whitefish Point Lighthouse
Bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald

Beach at Whitefish Point - Right
Beach at Whitefish Point - Left
Makeshift memorial on the beach for three of the crew

Me and Eleanor on the beach at Whitefish Point

After the museum we headed to our next destination in Munsing, MI. There are no state parks in this part of the Hiawatha National Forest so we stayed at a private camp ground on Otter Lake. I was a little nervous about the campground but it turned out to be a  nice spot. We got another pull through site (yeah! no backing in) and once again, as soon as we got settled it started to rain. Luckily we had a break in the clouds around dinner time. We took a paddle boat out for a spin around Otter Lake, and we also played a couple games of tether ball before it started to rain again.
Day 7 - July 18, 2013
Munsing, MI to Copper Harbor, MI - 189 Miles
In Copper Harbor we stayed at Ft. Wilkins State Park. The park is situated between Lake Superior and Lake Fannie Hooe. Our camp site was right on Lake Fannie Hooe and it was another drive thru site!! Yeah for me. The lake is beautiful, surrounded by trees so thick you couldn't see anything else.

Lake Fannie Hooe
Eleanor and Eliza swimming in Lake Fannie Hooe
Lake Fannie Hooe

Fort Wilkins was once an active U.S. Army post built to keep peace in Michigan's Copper Country. It was built in 1844 and abandoned just two years later. The fort has been well preserved and is open to the public. It sits in the middle of the camp ground and was a quick walk from our site. All the building are open and have been restored.

Living quarters for the married soldiers at Ft. Wilkins
Bakery building and the back of the black smith shop
This building is used for educational programs
Hospital, Officer quarters, soldier housing

I loved this park and the little town of Copper Harbor was adorable. There is a lot to do and see here; Copper Harbor Lighthouse, Copper mines, golf course, museums, shopping and all sorts of activities.

This is definitely a spot I will visit again and stay for more than one night.

Our campsite over looking Lake Fannie Hooe

Day 8 - July 19, 2013
Copper Harbor, MI to Silver City , MI - 114 Miles
The drive along the Michigan shore line is all sand,it's beautiful. We were excited to get to the camp ground so we could hang out on the beach. We stayed at Porcupine Mtn Wilderness State Park.

Lake Superior Michigan shore line

Eleanor running down the beach
This park was a total disappointment. The campground was only wooded around the perimeter so the interior sites had no privacy. The site we were on was so small my tiny camper barely fit. The campground staff was not helpful, and they had no fresh drinking water due to a water main leak. I lost $2 in the vending machine trying to get a bottle of water and they wouldn't refund my money. The beach was full of debris from what looked like hundreds of trees that had washed up on shore. Of course the cruddy shoreline didn't keep Eleanor and the dog from swimming.

On the bright side, it wasn't raining! We finally got to have a camp fire and s'mores! I couldn't wait to go to bed so we could get up and leave this park. This is one I will not visit again.
Day 9 - July 20, 2013
Silver City, MI to Bayfield, WI - 114 Miles
Our last day of the trip and it was a good one! Bayfield, WI is a sweet little town with lots of activity. Many boats on the lake; sailboats, fishing boats, and kayaks. We were able to get another camp site right on Lake Superior looking across at Madeline Island. It was a gorgeous day and we took advantage of it! We sat outside and I worked on a little project. Eleanor and the dog swam, it was only 65 degrees but there's no keeping those swimming buddies out of the water!

View from our camp site in Bayfield, WI

Swimming at the camp ground in Bayfield, WI
I'm having a little electrical issue with The Looney, I hope it's nothing major!! Just want to make it home safe and sound. To date we have traveled 1,401 miles. 

Day 10 - July 21, 2013
Bayfield, WI to , Minneapolis, MN - 224 Miles
Time to head home. I must admit that taking a 1,625 mile journey with a 10 year old and two dogs might have been a little ambitious. It was a ton of work being the only adult. There were some not so pleasant moments, but over all we had an awesome time. Eleanor got to see and experience things I never had in 40 years. I'm really proud of myself for heading out on this journey alone. It's something I've always wanted to do and I did it! It was an amazing trip, something we will remember always.