Take A Hike – Christmas Eve

I went for a hike on Christmas Eve with my parents. It was wonderful to try out a trail new to me and so close to my parent’s house.

I was in awe that these great trails and woods are right in the city. What a reprieve and escape from the daily grind.

We saw a few tress that the beavers have been working on. I’ve never seen that before so it was a cool sight to see first-hand. Too bad we never saw any beavers though.I spotted this little bit of lichen which looked like foam – a cool find and great inspiration for a future sketchbook illustration.

The Milwaukee River was starting to freeze so it was mesmerizing to watch the ice dams flowing.

Hiking is a wonderful way to spend time on a quiet holiday. And always one of my favorite things to do, no matter what day it is. I savor these moments of solitude in the peaceful woods.

Take A Hike – Thanksgiving Day

I went for a hike on Thanksgiving day, before the food fest. I have been going to the same trail that’s close to my house because it’s so convenient. I always try to notice different things, such as animals or birds on the move gathering their supplies for the upcoming winter weather, or interesting trees, shrubs and vegetation.

It’s been such a great stress reliever and way to relax and clear my head these days. I’m hoping to continue getting out there at least once a week as we move into colder winter weather.

Take A Hike

I left work a little early on my birthday to go for a hike before it got dark. It was wonderful to get out there!

One of my favorite things to do is hiking, especially in the woods, so I’m grateful to have a trail so close to my house. It’s always fun to see nature change through the seasons.

Thrifty Thursday – Outdoor Gear

The thrift store near my house had a sale on wilderness gear last week, which meant lots and lots of racks of outdoor gear and backpacks on sale.

I found an REI rain jacket for $30 which is regularly about $110 brand new.

I also found a black Marmot puffy jacket for $30 which is regularly $200 brand new in the stores.

And I found an REI fleece jacket on sale that I couldn’t resist.

I wondered if there was something wrong with these items, like a hole in the lining or pockets, but they are all in perfect condition.

I was so excited to come home with an armload full of deals!

Colorful Hiking Adventures

It was a beautiful Fall weekend around here, so we took advantage of the sunshine and went hiking.

We went to one of my favorite places to hike, which you’ll see why in a minute.

We were pleasantly surprised to see how far along our fall colors are.

When you drive into the parking lot, you are greeted by rows of these beautiful sweet gum trees, which glow in the sunlight, and look so beautiful against the blue September sky.

Their leaves look similar to maple leaves, but they are even more colorful.

Of course, I had to pick up few to take home and press for future inspiration. There may be some screen printed leaves in my future!

We also found some leaves that looked like they were tie-dyed.

I’m usually a little anxious until we come upon this particular tree.

Surely you’ve seen me show it before around here.

My husband thinks I’m goofy because I always have to climb inside it and pretend it’s my little hideout. I think the hollow has gotten bigger over the years because I don’t remember being able to fit so well inside it. (Or maybe I’m shrinking.) I wish I could take it home and put it in my backyard!

There are about 4-5 nature-related poems on sign posts throughout these trails. I’ve never seen this on any other hiking trail, and I think it’s such a wonderful idea.

The trail we take ends at this cool cabin in the woods. It has an outhouse next door and a great big fire pit where you could warm up during a day of cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Such a wonderful way to spend a Fall day! I’m already looking forward to our next hiking adventure. I hope the fall colors last a little longer. Hope you enjoyed your weekend too. Thank you for stopping by!

Open For Business!

I would like to introduce you to my new Etsy shop now open for business. Please stop by to check it out! (www.patchworktrails.etsy.com)

Patchwork Trails Logo

I have been brainstorming and sketching ideas since spring, and spent the summer working on prototypes to list in the shop. I sketched the logo design several months ago, and I worked with a graphic designer to computerize it.

Patchwork Trails BANNER

I will be offering handmade patchwork gear for a day on the trails. I love to be outdoors, whether it’s hiking, skiing, kayaking, gardening or just hanging out in the backyard. That was my inspiration – the outdoors and the gear I use on my adventures.

My signature piece is the Stuff Sack.

Stuff Sacks

Use these unique Sacks to carry your stuff! Bring a snack on the hiking trail, protect your camera from sand while at the beach, store your camping utensils, or pack your camp slippers in your backpack. Also great for gathering treasures you find along the trail, fallen leaves, pinecones, acorns, a piece of sea glass, or a unique fossil. Sizes will include Small at 12″ high with a 5″ base, Medium at 12″ high with a 7″ base, and Large at 12″ high with a 9″ base, big enough to fit a pair of men’s shoes.

Next up are my Checkerboard Sets. These Checkerboards are the standard 8 squares by 8 squares and come with 24 chips and a postcard to remind you of the rules of the game.

Checkerboard set in Park Slope

Neatly tucks into a lined drawstring bag. Dimensions on the checkerboard are 16.5″ square, and the drawstring bag is 11.5″ square with a smaller 6″ drawstring bag to hold your checkers.

Checkerboard set tucks into bag

Here come the Techie Bags.

Techie Bag in Hello Betty

Use these Techie bags to carry your camera, phone or music player, with an inside pocket to hold an extra memory card or a charger cord.

Inside of Techie Bag in Hello Betty

You can’t tell me you would go hiking without your camera or phone! Zipper closure and a handle for easy carrying. Dimensions are 9″ wide x 8″ tall x 1″ deep with a 15″ handle.

Next up are Chair Pads.

Chair Pad in Blue Good Folks

Chair Pads could be handy to soften the hard seats on a picnic table at the park or the stadium seats at a game.

Rolled up chair pad

Rolls up with ties for easy carrying. This chair pad measures 17″ square.

Finally, check out my Patchwork Mat!

The Mat in Good Folks

This Patchwork Mat is great for portable napping after a day of hiking or swimming at the beach. A family of four could sit on this Mat for concerts in the park or fireworks (my sister tried it). Can also be used as yoga mat. Talk about versatile, you could even use this mat as a table runner!

The Mat all rolled up

Rolls up with ties for easy carrying. (book and snacks not included) Dimensions are 26″ wide by 66″ long.

I have four more new products in the works, so stay tuned for more on those updates.

Everything is functional and versatile, with a modern yet whimsical style. Great for any trail you take in life.

For now, everything is made out of the designer fabrics I have in my stash. I will definitely accept custom orders if you want a different color scheme. My long-term goal with this adventure is to design my own fabric to make this entire collection out of. The ideas just won’t fit in my head anymore!