Hi everyone!! Sorry for the break from blogging. These days I tend to post on Instagram and Facebook and have let the blog go. I still find so much joy in crafting but I also love to read. I have always loved books but I found the last few years I've been reading less and less so I changed that up this year with making more time to read.
I also decided to get a head start on Christmas and wanted to make everyone homemade Christmas ornaments. I found this darling felted Christmas pattern by Gingermelon. You can find the pattern here. Although, I hadn't worked with felt since the 70's or 80's, I didn't let that deter me. Shelly's patterns were so easy to follow and she also sells the felt which made it even better. The above photo is her Christmas tree pattern.
And these are the houses. I am so happy with how they turned out. It is definitely slow stitching since everything is hand stitched. My stitches aren't perfect but everyone will know that they were made with love. I ended up enlarging the pattern by 130% which was a size I was comfortable working on. I am waiting for more felt from Gingermelon so I can make these Snowbies. You can check out all of her patterns in her Etsy store.
I have taken a long break from working on my children's books but I'm ready to get that going. I have two books completed with illustrations. I'm just waiting for Rocketman to have time to scan the pages and add the text. Work is keeping him swamped right now. I have an additional two books sketched out waiting for me to paint and a couple more written but waiting for me to sketch.
So a lot going on along with spending time with the kids and all the grandboys. They are growing so fast and we love and appreciate every minute we have with family.
This was another Christmas present the grandboys made for their momma. I already had everything required in my craft supplies. What you need to make one is: wooden bracelet, pencil, sharpies and Mod Podge. Bracelets above from left to right: Noah's, Ezra's and Judah's.
Noah wanted to freeform it so he skipped this step. Judah did too because he wasn't quite 3 so I had to really keep an eye on him when he used the Sharpies. This is Ezra's bracelet design. First I had him sketch his drawing in case he made a mistake it would be easy to erase.
I then traced his design with a black Sharpie.
Then I gave him the colored Sharpies and let him color in his design.
He did an incredible job on it and was so patient.
Then I had the two older boys sign their name on the inside of the bracelet. I coated the bracelets with two coats of Mod Podge. On Christmas day, momma opened their gifts and loved them. It was a really fun way to wear a piece of art.
I was trying to think of a crafty project the grandboys could make for their momma for Christmas. Their momma loves to journal. It's something she has been doing since she was 10 years old and so she is always in need of journals. She loves to use spiral notebooks but I had a hard time finding them with paper not plastic covers. I did finally find some at Office Depot.
I pulled out my box of stickers to use to decorate the notebooks. But it turned out the only one interested was Ezra so he was the one to decorate all the notebooks.
He had a definite plan for each one and carefully went through all my stickers looking for the perfect ones. He also wrote "Mommy" on each notebook so she would know that these were hers.
Here are the finished notebooks. If you noticed, he also wanted his name on each one. But we ran into a big problem. The alphabet stickers we were using only had two "Z"s and he needed three to get his name onto each notebook. What to do?
I was totally shocked when Ezra solved the problem by taken an "N" and turning it sideways to make it a "Z." This kid truly is amazing. Here is a video a took of him explaining his process.
I'm sure you have noticed I haven't blogged for a few months. Our family has been dealing with a lot of heartbreaking family matters. Our daughter left her husband in January and the divorce which just became final last Friday has been devastating on our entire family. My emotions throughout the year have been all over the place and I have learned tremendous lessons about myself this year.
We just want our daughter and grandsons to be safe, happy and that the grandboys have a wonderful loving and nurturing relationship with both of their parents. Children need both of their parents along with grandparents. I have hope that someday we can all be friends again and that we can all watch these precious grandchildren grow and thrive in this new normal.
This year has also been a year of honing my psychic skills. I saw things coming and was able to warn my daughter so she was prepared. We all are here on earth to learn lessons but you have the choice whether you want to do the hard work or not. The future is also not set in stone.
So for now, I am happy for my daughter and her new life that it will be full of joy. What she has been through the last 14 years is not my story to tell but I am encouraging her to write a book on her experiences. It will empower many, many woman in difficult relationships.
Last Thursday I went with a couple of my besties to the Palmer Hotel in Sauk Centre, Minnesota to spend a night. It is the most poplar place in Minnesota for ghost sightings. It was also featured on an episode of The Travel Channel's "Ghost Hunters." The owner, Kelley, has an amazing story where she dug up human remains in the basement of the hotel based on a random phone call from a stranger.
The hotel is located in downtown Sauk Centre in a beautiful brick building built in 1901.
This is the entrance of the hotel and it was like stepping back in time. The ceiling tiles were so cool too.
We arrived about an hour early for check in and spent time in the attached bar eating delicious appetizers. We also decided to take the hotel tour of the basement which started at 7 pm and ended at 9 pm.
The first hour of the tour was a history of the hotel. Kelley, the owner of the hotel also participated in the talk and shared a lot of amazing stories of ghostly encounters and strange happenings. The very first thing I noticed during the talk was this ceramic ghost. My late mother-in-law was into ceramics in the 1980's and made me this exact ghost as a gift one year. A few years ago it fell and broke but I always loved it. When I saw this, the first thing I thought of was my mother-in-law and this was a sign to me.
We carefully made our way into the basement into one of the many rooms down there. They told us that we may see, hear, feel or even smell paranormal activity and to be sensitive to all of our senses. They turned out the lights and we went around the room introducing ourselves and what we wished to experience.
When it came to my turn after I introduced myself I said that I wouldn't mind if Prince stopped by and played a few bars of "Little Red Corvette." The room filled with laughter and Kelley said that my request for Prince was a first for the tour. They also had a small mag flashlight that they placed on the floor and it would occasionally flick off and on. They said that spirits were making the flashlight come on and off. My friend Lynn and I did not feel it was spirit at all and when I returned home I did find this on the internet. We did have one participant that felt a lot of spirits but the rest of us did not.
We went into a second room and sat down. Again as in the previous room, Lynn and I didn't feel there were any spirits there. We had preordered our dinner since the kitchen closed at 9 pm earlier and I was surprised when we were told the food was ready and it was 9:20. We left at that time to eat but the rest of the group continued.
Steps for deliveries into the basement.
I had a Reuben and it was amazing. Lynn and JoAnn both had a pasta dish and they were equally impressed with the cooking. Remember what I mentioned above about Prince? There was music playing in the bar as we were eating and what song came on but "When Dove Flies" by Prince. Lynn and I looked at each other with our mouths wide open. How about that! I thanked Prince for stopping by.
Lynn in all of her kindness also bought us a goodie bag from the hotel.
It came with slippers.
Palmer House water
Lovely smelling soap
And some sage.
Lynn, myself and JoAnn, GHOSTBUSTERS!
While we didn't encounter any spirits, I cannot deny what others have experienced. I do believe and have experiences lots of spirit encounters. I've honed my psychic abilities in the last few years and it has thinned the veil for me to be able to communicate with those that have passed on.
I personally do not believe that you can "call" on spirits (ghosts) to come and perform. Whenever I've had an encounter, it's been out of my control and they have almost always come with a message for me or one of my loved ones. But I know a lot of people especially with all the television shows on ghosts are very interested in the subject. I also feel if people pay hoping to have an encounter like at the Palmer Hotel, they expect to have one and therefore I can understand the use of the flashlight trick.
I had a strange kitty encounter while at the Palmer Hotel. Lynn and I were in the parking lot getting our things out of my car when a black and white kitten came running up to me and rubbing all over my legs. There were kitchen workers that happen to be out back on a little deck and they said they had never seen this kitten before but they were feeding it chicken from the kitchen. Yet, the kitten left the food to snuggle up to me. When I bent down to pet her, she seems so very light although she didn't seem like a stray. Definitely not a feral kitten.
Lynn was telling me I had to take her home. Rocketman would have killed me and Louie would have too. He does not like other cats and in the past has refused to eat and gotten very sick if we babysat someone's kitty. But I agreed if the kitty was still the next morning when we left, I would take her home. Luckily, the kitten never appeared. But we heard about a kitty ghost that people have seen and that walks on your bed at night in the hotel. I'm wondering now if maybe we saw the ghost kitty. We will never know.
We had such a great time and I would highly recommend a visit to the Palmer House. The stories and the history are so fascinating. The food was also fantastic!
On the subject of spirits, I will share an encounter I had with an orb last November. Rocketman was out of town and I was trying to sleep when it appeared in our bedroom. We have darkening shades which were down and there was no light anywhere in the room. It was the first time I had seen an orb in person and I grabbed my IPhone to video it.
There is a small lighthouse in Grand Marais and it is located downtown. It was great that our hotel was close enough that everything in downtown was a quick walk.
The scenery was beautiful.
The rock formations were very beautiful.
This is the shoreline at Grand Marais.
The walkway to the lighthouse was very narrow in places so when you met others going the opposite way it was a little scary getting around each other.
The Coast Guard station's roof reminded me of the movie "The Birds" only instead of crows it was seagulls. It was the perfect weekend and the weather could not have been better. We definitely want to visit again.
On our drive up we came upon a driver weaving between the shoulder and the lane. In the old days I would have thought the driver was drunk but these days I always assume they are texting or looking at their phone. As we passed the car, we were shocked to find the driver reading a paperback book as he drove. I hit the gas to get far away from him.
I've been spending my days and nights working on bojagi (Korean quilting) table runners. I've also been raking lots of leaves and that is only from one tree. I still have two maple trees to go but they are just starting to change colors so it will be a while yet before the leaves fall. It's snow season here in Minnesota and Rocketman has the snow blower in the garage and ready to go.
Judge C.R. Magney State Park is located 14 miles north of Grand Marais, MN on Highway 61. When I plan a vacation I try to also pick a place where Rocketman can take pictures which a passion of his. We left Grand Marais to arrive at the park when it opened which was 9 am. It was $5.00 a car to enter the park.
We were going to walk the Devil's Kettle Trail. It was 1 mile and took us about an hour with lots of stops for photos.
Paper birch are one of my absolute favorite trees because I find the bark so intriguing. You can find a lot of paper birches up the North Shore.
It was so beautiful and it wasn't quite peak Fall colors.
I had never heard of this before.
Oh my, the mushrooms we saw. I had no idea mushrooms could be so beautiful. I have no idea what kind this is.
This paper birch trunk looked like a painting to me.
Mushrooms growing on a tree trunk.
Watch your step while hiking.
We had read online that there were quite a few steps and there were.
The steps were easy going down but going up was brutal. There were many, many steps.
I found myself taking pictures of Rocketman taking pictures.
Devil's Kettle. They say the left side of the falls goes into a hole and they have never discovered where that water goes.
We kept walking beyond the falls and found a beautiful area.
On our way back, we found a guy fly-fishing. When we started around 9 am there were only a couple cars in the parking lot. But as we made our way back, we passed lots of people. The parking lot was pretty full upon our return.
We saw this cutie on the way back.
Here are more pictures of the house the had their front yard filled with cairns.
The entire front yard is filled.
I also made a video which is upstream from the falls. It was so peaceful.