Saturday, May 29, 2010

Mackinac Island

Yesterday was spent exploring Mackinac Island, only part of it as we discovered you really need a lot more time than one afternoon to truly appreciate it! Seeing the Grand Hotel appear out of the trees as the ferry neared the island was spectacular. It was lovely to walk down lush greenery surrounding streets free of autos. Discovering secret gardens tucked away was also a wonderful treat.

The beauty was almost overwhelming as was the scent of lilacs which were everywhere! Though I did not take any pics of them, I did capture these lovely apple blossoms on Mission Point.

This was the little sign found on the gate to the private garden we passed by which made it that much harder to resist peering through the dense trees!

Crossing the Mackinac Bridge came after our return the U.P. My husband was so excited for this part of our day as he's a fanatic about bridges! I am far less fanatical about them as I sometimes get nervous crossing our bridge from Duluth to Superior and it's not five miles long. I'm much happier admiring the bridges from the land on either side!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Michigan Munchies

My husband and I are spending an extended Memorial holiday weekend in Michigan and at the end of our first full day with our friends here in Sault Ste. Marie we headed out for burgers at an institution here - West Pier. They have ginormous burgers which are great, not great for you, but great nonetheless. I ended with a wicked stomach ache that evening, not because the burgers weren't good but as they were so good I kept eating long past the the point at which I should have stopped! West Pier is even mentioned as one of the best burger joints around Lake Superior in the current issue of Lake Superior Magazine.

I took this pic as I immediately noticed the imaginative spelling of burger in a few different ways on the same sign. My friends said they had never noticed it before!

Fast forward to the next day and our visit to Mackinac Island and an entirely different culinary experience. Following a couple of hours of exploring the island and feeling the need for some sustenance, we stumbled upon Bistro on the Greens on Mission Point as we were searching for another restaurant entirely. We were so happy we did! It was the cherry on top of an exceedingly beautiful and perfectly relaxing day. My husband laughed at me taking photos of our food, but they were so beautiful in their simplicity and presentation that the experience had to be recorded! Taste did not disappoint either and I made the decision right there that from now on, at least once a week I was going to prepare only grilled bread with feta and roasted garlic for dinner. The staff and service there was fantastic as well along with the fabulous view of the great lake on a gorgeous summer day!

Our visit here certainly consists of more than great food, but for today I wanted to make sure to remember these memorable food moments.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hostess Gift

I am visiting one of my very best friends over this Memorial Day weekend. We've been friends since grad school days and though we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like, I'm so happy when we do! A couple years ago, she came to stay with us for a week and now we're seeing her - on the other side of the great lake that we have in common! It's fun to have another perspective of Lake Superior that we look out on every day! We're going to spend time exploring Sault Ste. Marie as well as taking drives (and ferries) down to Mackinac Island, quilt shops (as her partner and I have that in common) and just general relaxing!

I wanted to share one of the little hostess gifts that I brought along for our wonderful hostesses. I baked some slightly healthier shortbread cookies and wanted to package them in an attractive way in some container that I wouldn't need back. My mom sells Tastefully Simple products, so I find that I always have lots of jars and containers from them that I like to find other uses for. I found that one of the drink mix containers is the perfect size to hold a couple dozen of the petite treats. Then I scoured my recycled papers boxes and covered the container, added a little label from JSIM, and it was ready to go!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

New Color Chart

After many, many, many hours I finally finished my newest color chart! I should have kept track of all the hours but after about two weeks of putting this together with every spare moment I had, I just gave up on keeping count. As soon as it was finished I sent if off to Spoonflower and patiently waited for it to arrive last week. Now I can reference over 1,000 more colors in addition to my first chart with over 1,400 colors. These charts have been so helpful in putting my designs together as even if the colors look good on screen, they don't come out as hoped when the printed version arrives. I've discovered, along with a few other Spoonflower designers, that reds, greens, and yellows can be really problematic. Red was the biggest frustration for me in putting together one design in particular so these charts are helping to save me lots of time and lots of money on printing multiple swatches of the same design just to get to the correct color!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Imagine my excitement when I was checking out Facebook earlier today and saw in my daily update from The Creative Connection Event to see that I won a prize!!!! And a beautiful one at that. This gorgeous piece was created Debbie Murray and Shea Fragoso, a mother-daughter design team who will be teaching a couple of fantastic classes at The Creative Connection Event. I can't wait until this lovely pendant arrives at my doorstep as a most beautiful and unexpected birthday present - the best kind!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Vintage Workshop Contest

The Vintage Workshop is having a fantastic contest for their blog readers and I'm so excited! All you have to do is post a comment to their blog post answering the question, "What are you growing in your garden this year?" You can enter through Sunday, May 16 and you might just win one of two wonderful garden-themed prize packages of their products! I love so many of the Vintage Workshop products and patterns! I was giddy when I saw this contest as I just got my herbs planted for the season and am hoping to grow some tomatoes as well. I'm also so excited to get to meet the founder, Amy Barickman when I'm at The Creative Connection Event this September!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I am probably the last person on earth who knew about Google Analytics, but having just discovered it, I am so excited! It's so much fun to look at the results and see the real numbers of people who "visit" each day and where they're "visiting" from. It's amazing to see people stopping by from all over the world from places like Germany, Spain and Australia - all places I want to visit but haven't just yet. I wish it was so easy to transport myself to any of those places as it is to click a button and be there. I really wish I had that ability today as my mom is back in the hospital after surgery fighting an infection and is so down about it as everything following this hip replacement surgery was going so much better than her last one. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers, if you are the praying sort.