Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Finding more

Like the crashing waves of lake superior... I feel huge waves of gratitude swelling up inside me and spill over onto the rocks of this fricking amazing thing called life.

I spent a weekend with my 2 loves at our favorite place on the Gunflint Trail. Coming home was hard. Hard because of my husband's work schedule, our time together is just too precious. I hated to see it end. I felt like a kid who doesn't want Christmas to be over. The love of family gathering at Christmas is one of my favorite childhood memories, I was always sad when the holiday was over.

Gratitude became crystal clear when I made time and space for it.

Clutter clearing... time away.

The north shore and north woods have a way of soothing the soul.

It moves me.

Captivates me... and draws me in.

This is my getaway.

This is my place of peace.

Where the blue water meets the blue sky.

The distractions melt away.

The stress melts away...

and all I can see is beauty all around me.

It washes over 
and through me.

This is heaven 
here on earth.

I can't get enough of it.

Even just looking at the pictures brings me to tears.

It's home.




There is so much
beauty here.

So, so much.

I see with new eyes.

The sounds are magnified and so close.

And my heart opens up wide.

Here is a peek into the woods (and water) I love so much...

Time to stop, time to slow down, shut off the distractions and 
let in the light!

Time to drift into our own thoughts.

Dream dreams. Remember why we are here. Stop and realize our life here is so precious.
SO important.

My hope and prayer is that everyone would find their place of magic, inspiration and joy and the time and space to find gratitude and beauty.

Because you deserve it. Believe it.

This beautiful world is calling you... to find her-find it, and find yourself while your there. 


Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Girls Weekend on Lake Pepin

A couple of weeks ago I got to go on a girls weekend on Lake Pepin in southern Minnesota!Girls weekends are so needed! We cooked, shopped, talked, drank coffee, shared secrets, watched chick flicks....and relaxed.
What a great weekend! I feel so blessed to work with such amazing girls... here's a peek into the fun from our view on Lake Pepin! I am loving all these fall colors! What are you doing to get out there and enjoy fall?
Maybe you need a girls (or guys) weekend with your friends!?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Documenting Life

Lately I am obsessed with documenting, and getting all my photos in order! Unfortunately with the digital world we live in I have not kept up on all my printing of photos. Do you have this same problem!? Even some of the most organized people I know don't have their pictures in print! I really can't imagine how I will be able to keep up with it all when I have kids! Yikes!

I have given up on scrap booking completely! I realized I don't love scrap booking like I love other things like painting, and illustrating, and taking pictures and cooking...
AND guess what?
There are only so many hours in the day!
It's hard to make time do do the things I love let alone things I just feel obligated to do..
so people...
let me tell you something...
Do what you love... and Love what you do.
Don't waste time on hobbies, activities or people that don't light you up!

My goal for the end of the year is to get all caught up on my photos!
Shutterfly has a free book deal going on until tomorrow! I decided to make a book of all my recent paintings! One of my big ones that sold this year I never got a good picture of it! How sad! Take my advice... Keep up on it so it doesn't become ONE huge task! 
Make it easy and fun! 
For me Just slipping my photos in a "old fashion" photo album is 
AWESOME AND PERFECT! And making books like this one on Shutterfly are fun and easy!

You'll love award-winning Shutterfly photo books. Start your own today.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Camping in the Coon Cove!

Making breakfast with my boys!

Cooking breakfast!

A couple of weekends ago my husband and I went on our first EVER camping trip together. It's hard to believe it was our first time camping because we've talked about going since we got married... three years ago! What a blast we had.... not sure why we've waited so long to go! Camping is just so much fun! 

I have so many fond memories of summer camping trips in my parents pop-up camper! My parents liked to camp at the Minnesota state parks. As a kid I remember earning their Junior Park Naturalist patches/badges. To earn the patch you had to observe, draw, write (fill out little books) attend the naturalist programs, they were really fun for me (DORK ALERT! I know!) By doing that I really learned to appreciate nature. My parents and grandparents loved camping, and wildlife I remember my grandma & grandpa identifying birds, and loving to see deer and other camp critters!

My favorite meal we made - breakfast burritos! YUMO!
Let's just say tent camp is a little different than camping in a pop-up camper! We have a very small tent that JUST fit me, hubby and the golden. The bummer was we had raccoons at our campsite all night, sniffing, scratching, talking, hissing. So needless to say, we didn't get much sleep!

We joked all weekend with our friends that our site was the coon cove and on the second night while making dinner at their campsite (which was across the road from us) we could hear the coons cooing us over! Our site was very wooded - so beware if you head to Sibley state park - campsite #130! You'll be living in the coon cove!!

Despite the raccoons dampering our sleep we sure did have fun, hiking, cooking, having campfires, laying out at the beach, fishing, boating and hanging out with our friends. The weather was perfect... we couldn't have asked for better weather! We only went for a weekend... it was way too short! It really gave me the itch to camp more, and of course now I really want that pop-up camper! I always have wanted one, but even more so now! What's so fun about camping is that their are so many different places you can go & see!

One of the many critters that visited our camp site!

Sunset hike up to Mount Tom!

Hanging out on the lake fishing & exploring!
Flowers on our hike!

Where's your favorite place to camp? I'd love to know! I hope we can plan at least one more camping weekend before the summer disappears!


Friday, July 26, 2013

The Cabin - CAPTURED!

Where has the summer gone? Somehow July is almost over! These pictures were taken over the Forth of July up north near Itasca State Park and at my in-laws cabin. Such a beautiful place. With only 3 short months of summer I treasure every weekend I get to sneak away to Duluth or the north woods - thought I would share with you a few of my favorites! 

Fishing on the lake as the sunset, doesn't get any better!

There is beauty everywhere... even the old Evinrude, and boat with moss growing on the side is perfect to me!

I typically wake up early before anyone else... go on walks, take pictures, paint and finding stunning little masterpieces like this one! WOW!
The call of the loon is just so beautiful, growing up going camping this sound is like the most soothing sound to my ears - magic I tell ya! The colors on these birds are just stunning! I took a million photos of loons - I think I know what my next painting will be!

 Where do you go to get inspired this time of year?

Monday, April 22, 2013

Adventures on the Gunflint!

My 2 loves and I had the chance to escape to the edge of Minnesota, the Gunflint Trail which borders Canada. Each trip... we fall more and more in love. Each trip we contemplate buying land, a little cottage in woods were we could escape to! It breaks your heart to leave, it's just so beautiful. It's magical, there's no other way to describe it! I'm excited... we actually book a fall trip before leaving so that made we feel a little better about leaving! The well is overflowing with inspiration from this trip!

This picture below was taken from inside our cabin. Although you don't really need to be inside your cabin as you can see they will eat right out of your hand! The resort has corn and black sunflower seed for you to feed the deer, so cool! By the end of the trip buddy was  used to them just coming right up to the window! 

The trails even in winter offer beauty and surprises! Birds, deer, squirrels, eagles, and lots of fresh prints in the white snow from rabbits, foxes and we even got to see a fresh kill (a big bloody spot along the river where some animal just had lunch!! We think an eagle or fox) We were expecting the trip to be a muddy one, but it was a winter wonderland. This year spring just won't come! We actually drove up in a blizzard. It snowed every day we were there except the for one day were we had aqua blue skies!

Loving this moment I captured of my 2 loves! Both love to go to the V E R Y edge of of the trial, the edge of the mountain, and sit to look over... I'm the cautious one! 

On our way home we stopped at one of our favorite beaches... it was a beautiful day and we picked tons of rocks and tried to soak up as much of Lake Superior as we could!
While on our rock picking excursion I captured this shot. We were each just in our own worlds... and I looked up to see where they were and this just made me smile.
Filling the inspiration well!

And of course I had to share this one... I got a few of these shots where Buddy is just LEAPING in the air!
Pure Joy.
Pure Happiness.
He was getting energy out... and loving all the fresh powder up there... he was SO HAPPY!
The Gunflint Lodge is a dog's dream resort really!
If you ever have a chance to head that far north, the resort is a treat and completely geared towards tree-huggers!

It's April 22nd - Earth Day and it's snowing tonight... they think 3-6 inches overnight here! 

Up north the snow was so beautiful... but now that I'm back to reality in the city... I'd like spring to come!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Winter at the cabin

We had a weekend away and although it was a very short weekend, the views were inspiring and revitalizing. I think nature has a way of doing that. I'm not sure how you could look be surrounded by this kind of beauty and not relax a little more and have that beauty seep into your spirit and soul.

We visited Itasca State Park, where we drove around and explored... saw about 20 deer. We went right at sunset so it was perfect.We took the snowmobile for a couple of rides, cooked and just relaxed...winter at our cabin is winter camping! No water and outhouse!

I hope some of these shots will inspire some new paintings!

How do you you stay inspired in the winter?

Buddy watching his dad take off on the snowmobile!

One of grandpa's 
MANY bird houses!

Get outside even in the winter!

You never know what beautiful things out in nature you might find!