The Beach

When I was a kid, my family used to go to the sandy beaches on Lake Michigan for the day to picnic, swim and play in the sand and waves.

the beach at Lake Michigan the beach at Lake Michigan

I thought it would be great fun to show this beautiful area to my husband so we made the two-hour drive this weekend to one of these beaches called Kohler-Andrae State Park.

the beach at Lake Michigan the beach at Lake Michigan

the beach at Lake Michigan

It turned out to be a nice windy day with lots of puffy clouds in the sky and big waves that crashed onto the beach. We walked and walked and walked, soaking up the fresh air, watching the waves and looking for beach artifacts.

the beach at Lake Michigan

the beach at Lake Michigan the beach at Lake Michigan

This beach has some really cool dunes and lots of beach grass to help keep the shoreline intact.dunes at the beach at Lake Michigan

It also has really fine, soft, powdery sand so it was fun to walk barefoot on the beach and try to avoid getting soaked by the crashing waves.
feather on the beach at Lake Michigan

the beach at Lake MichiganI wish we lived closer to these sandy beaches along Lake Michigan so we could go there more often. It’s a great place to escape the rat-race and get some R&R.

Hope you’re making time for fresh air, field trips and adventures these days as summer transitions to fall.


Farmers Market – Fall Harvest

We got up early on Saturday morning and ventured to the farmers market, where we found a wonderful fall harvest of goodies. We really lucked out with gorgeous fall weather too.

capital at farmers marketThere were so many colorful varieties of crops.

colorful tomatoes

colorful peppers

colorful carrots

colorful pumpkins

colorful gourds

We saw lots of fingerling potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, sweet corn, apples, and watermelon.

sunflower bouquets

We also saw the usual: cheese, bakery, honey, and flowers. The dahlias were stunning!


dahlia bouquets

red dahlia

I saw a couple new ways people are displaying their crops at the market, from this giant basket of lettuce,

lettuce basket

to these silver platters to show apples.silver platter of apples

My favorite finds were pumpkin scones, pumpkin cookies, apple cider donuts and applesauce.

This particular market really got me in the mood for the fall season, and some fall cooking and baking, which I haven’t been doing much lately. Thanks for stopping by!


Field Trip to Farmers Market

We got up early on Saturday morning to get to the farmers market before it got too crowded. It turned out to be a perfect trip. Luckily, we got there in time to get a breakfast teddywedger (a cornish pasty or meat pie) before they sold out. They have other combinations, but the breakfast version with eggs, cheese and Canadian bacon is THE best!

breakfast teddywedger

It was great to see the community vegetable garden has been plotted out and planted.

community vegetable garden

There was an abundance of fresh-cut spring flowers.

another bucket of tulips

more tulips

bucket of tulips

There are always lots of gorgeous plants to put in your own garden.

purple geraniums

hanging plants

gorgeous begonias

We don’t usually buy much to carry home, and just enjoy eating our way around and people watching. We always buy 2 monster cookies from the Amish farmers, and our new discovery is the Chicago Mix of caramel and cheese kettle corn from Ernie’s Kettle Corn food cart. It’s so good, we have to buy our own bags so we don’t have to share!

I don’t know exactly what it is about farmers markets that we all love so much. Fresh air. Fresh produce and bakery. Outdoor shopping. Dining al fresco. Bringing city peeps and farmers together in an urban scene. Makes me feel like doing a whimsical illustrated map of our favorite stops along the farmers market (similar to the set I did last year).

Thanks for stopping by!


Field Trip: Botanical Gardens in Winter

It’s been 4-5 months since I’ve seen green leaves, so our field trip to the botanical gardens last weekend was just the ticket to get a boost of nature, a taste for spring and a rejuvenated perspective.

Olbrich palms

I haven’t been drawing or painting much lately, or spending any time in my sketchbook, which kinda makes me sad. One of my favorite things to draw is leaves, so it was especially wonderful to see all sorts of different hues of green, different sizes and shapes of leaves, and lots of tropical plants in the middle of winter.

Olbrich green leaves

I was off to such a good start with my sketchbook this time last year. I was experimenting at least once a week, and bursting with ideas. I guess inspiration strikes when it strikes.

Olbrich furry leaves

Last semester, I spent so much of my free time working on design projects and illustrations for class that I didn’t make much time for personal exploration. And now I’m having a hard time getting back to that zone.

Olbrich ruffly leaf

It’s a difficult time of year to find inspiration in nature because the first place I would normally go, our backyard, is covered in snow. Most of our vegetation is dormant, and it’s cold and windy outside. It’s that time of year when cabin fever starts to set in and spring fever starts to creep up. I’ve been searching so hard lately to spot my first robin. I did spot a flock of young cardinals this morning, which was a great sign.

Olbrich wrinkly leaf

Because I spend a good part of my week in class, another part immersed in design projects, and another part researching, brainstorming and concepting ideas for projects, I’m finding that I don’t have a lot of creative energy left.

Olbrich chenelle tree

I really miss my sketchbook and my sewing machine. I think they are both creative outlets that help feed my primary creative focus these days – design school.

Olbrich white flowers

This might sound crazy, but I’m hoping to make a little less time for homework in order to make a little more time for my other creative outlets, illustrating and sewing. There’s plenty of inspiration right here in these pictures to get me started.

Olbrich coffee plant

I think most people might call it balance. Hope you’re having a good week so far.