Friday, June 24, 2016

Lighthouses - Five on Friday

I'm joining in with Amy over at Love Made My Home for Five on Friday.

With our trip coming up tomorrow I thought I'd share a little about the lighthouses of Michigan. If you've visited my blog before you've seen pictures of lighthouses here. Since leaving work last year hubby and I have been visiting them. I really love history. In England it's really easy to find historic places, turn around and you bump into one. Here in America, not so much. It's a much younger country and Michigan became a state in 1837. It's not so easy to find history. But Michigan does have lighthouses. In abundance.

There are 129 lighthouses in Michigan - more lighthouses than any other state. Four of the Great Lakes border Michigan - Huron, Superior, Erie and Michigan. I think it's going to take us quite a while to see them but we are determined to do as many as we can.

I'm not going to overload - just share five. Four of them we've visited and I had a lot of fun taking pictures of them. The fifth is one of those we hope to visit on our way up north.

South Haven Lighthouse. This is one of the closes to us. It was built in 1872. The picture above was taken in the summer.

I love these views of this lighthouse. We visited again in the dead of winter. You can see how in the winter the lake is all frozen over and even the back of the lighthouse had ice on it. This was my first visit to Lake Michigan when the lake was frozen.

You can almost see the frozen waves. Or is it just my imagination?

St. Joseph Lighthouse

This is another one we visited in the winter. We have yet to visit in the summer yet. It's on our list. Our son lives really close to it so no excuses!

It was built in 1832.

Grand Island East Channel Lighthouse

I think it's the romantic in me that likes this one. It is (apparently) privately owned though I think it is by more than one person. I like the thought of being able to live in the lighthouse though it needs a lot of restoration! It is quite remote though.

We saw it when we took a trip on the Pictured Rocks tour.

Au Sable Point Lighthouse

This was one we visited in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. There was quite a walk along a mosquito-laden path before we reached it. Luckily we had plenty of spray. You could see swarms of mosquitoes follow as we walked along.

The view from this one was so beautiful. It seemed like the very edge of the world. I imagine having to stay here in a harsh Michigan winter with the bitter cold and snow blowing off the lake.

Point Betsie Lighthouse

This is one we hope to visit on our way up north. This is not a picture I took. 

This picture is taken from a really cool lighthouse website that shows you all the lighthouses in Michigan. Map of Michigan Lighthouses  .  You can click on different parts of the map to see lighthouses in different parts of the state. It's a really great website for anything Michigan Lighthouse.

 We have so many more to visit. We have done a lot along this side of the state and some up in the Upper Peninsula but only one on the other side of the state. Next year we hope to take a trip over that side of the state to do some more. There are also some that you can only see from the water so it sounds like a few boat trips are in our future!

Thanks for looking. I love reading comments.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Card Finish

Just a quick post. I should be thinking about getting stuff around for our trip but took time out to make this card for my friend for her birthday. She works as a Wine Specialist so it seemed perfect for her!

No excuses now - will get back to sorting out clothes!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wednesday Again - What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday June 22nd

 It's Wednesday and it time for What's On Your Workdesk Wednesday. We're still joining with Jan while Julia is recovering. It's great to see her posting again!

Another week has rolled around. Time is just flying by - we leave on our holiday Saturday morning so I won't be around next Wednesday. We are taking a trip up north first to Traverse City and then up further to Munising in the Upper Peninsula and then back down to St. Ignace. We are doing three nights camping in a tent and two nights in a hotel. The hotel stay is in the middle of the camping. We shall see how it goes! LisaDV I think I will be travelling through your small town (no time to stop though) as we are going to stop at a couple of lighthouses on our way up to Traverse City.

Anyway, on to my desk. There really isn't a lot of change.

A work-in-progress mini-album is on there but not much otherwise. We were quite busy over the weekend and the weather was gorgeous so we spent quite a bit of time outside.

I spent some of my birthday GC that my friend got me and bought this Dylusions stamp/stencil set from Michael's. I used a 50% coupon with it too.

I have been working on my stitching. Not as much as I wanted to, but I am getting it done. I won't be taking it with me. Knowing me I would get something on it or ruin it. I probably wouldn't work on it anyway so no point carrying it along with me.  I am on the countdown - I will only have three weeks to get it done when I get back. It will be crunch time. I need to have all gifts done by the time I leave for England on July 22nd.

It's quite difficult to see from the picture but I have stitched a whole chunk of white. It goes right from the brown stitching on the left (taller than the top row) and right along to the brown just above the girl's head. I'm hoping to have most of the stitching on the right hand side done before we leave on Saturday.

I'm off to hop around the other blogs and see what people are up to!

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Love is....

...going to a garage sale for your Mum because you know she loves crafts and can't go because she lives too far away.

A few weeks ago my daughter saw a garage sale listing on Craigslist in her area (about 75m from me) that she knew I'd love. She went to it and bought me a whole bunch of stuff that she knew I'd like. They had a LOT of English card making magazines for 50cents each. When she came down on Saturday she brought it with her.

Love my girl!

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Scenic Sunday

It was a beautiful day today, hot and sunny. It was also Father's Day. It's a strange sort of day for me. My husband is a father to our three kids so a good day to celebrate. Husband still has his dad around. I don't post a lot of personal business, but I'll just say this -  my dad isn't around. I haven't seen him since he walked out on us (Mum, me & three siblings) when I was eleven. I was the youngest of us. I was very lucky to have Mum around and what a great job she did too!

Because it was Father's Day and the weather was nice hubby and I decided to take a trip to another lighthouse on our list. This was was White River Light Station in Whitehall, Michigan. It's about 113 miles away so quite a trip.

It was quite a surprise. There was a walkway down from the car park and we followed along expecting a little walk along a concrete walkway. We found something far different.

There was a beautiful, secluded beach. The sand was just gorgeous and the watering sparkling blue.

We couldn't believe our luck finding this beautiful place. There were only two other couples there! The rest of the beach was deserted.

We ended up walking along the walkway. The views were lovely.

We took the scenic route home and ended up driving along the lakeshore back down to a familiar lighthouse - Muskegon. We've been there before in April Muskegon Lights. This time we ended up on the other side of the lighthouses to get another view.

 Great day out!

Saturday, June 18, 2016


It was a hot one again today even from early in the morning. I'm writing this is in the evening (10.30pm) when it has cooled down a little but is still a pretty warm 23C (75F). We actually made it to the Farmer's Market in the morning. It has grown since we first started going there and now offers some handmade crafts as well as fruits, veggies and bakery items. It was quite nice. There was even a live band playing. It was quite busy even at quarter to nine in the morning.

We picked up lots of fresh veggies, a loaf of cheese bread and a Rhubarb Crisp (I couldn't resist). I think it's basically what Americans call a crumble. It looks like one. I even went to pick up some custard to go with it.

My daughter, her boyfriend and her dog ended up coming up later in the afternoon as well as my other son who lives out of town. My other son still lives with us. It was nice having them all around.

Shasta found a chipmunk hole in the garden and couldn't resist sticking her head in to see if she could find the chipmunk.

Later in the evening we lit a fire in the fire pit and made s'mores. Had to laugh as the marshmallows ended up a little burnt. It's been a while since we made them! It was the perfect end to a nice day!

Friday, June 17, 2016

Mackinac Island - Five on Friday

It's Friday again and I'm joining in Five on Friday again with Amy over at Love Made My Home .

I finished a fun, light mystery this week. It was  Geared for the Grave by Duffy Brown. It is set on Mackinac (pronounced Mackinaw) Island which is up north from us about five hours car ride. I've been there a couple of times and might go in a couple of weeks when we are on holiday up that way. It's an interesting place to visit so I thought I'd share.

Five Fun Facts

1. There are no cars on Mackinac Island.

2. Tourists (and there are a LOT of them) are called Fudgies.

3. Nearly 1 million people visit a year but there are only about 600 year round residents.

4. The 1980 film Somewhere in Time staring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer was filmed at The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island.

5. In the winter there is an 'ice bridge' from St. Ignace over to the Island - basically the water in Lake Huron freezes solid and the residents use it to travel back and forth.

You can get to the island by ferry or by plane. The ferries run quite regularly in the summertime and the views are quite spectacular.

Our ferry took us close to Mackinac bridge and underneath it!

You can see the cars traveling over it to the Upper Peninsula.

I wouldn't want to be that man working on the bridge!

Grand Hotel from the boat. The front porch is 660 feet (201metres) the world's largest.

People get around on the island on bikes, horse and carriage or on foot. The book I mentioned above is set in a bike shop. We opted to use our feet. The town is quite touristy and well worth a visit but I find it's always the out-of-the way things that are more interesting.

As you walk around there are lots of small piles of rocks on the side of the roads and beaches that are called Mackinac Cairns. They are small piles of stones that visitors are supposed to add a stone to mark your journey.

There is a fort on the island called Fort Mackinac. It was built by the British during the American Revolution. It's quite a walk up that hill!

There's also a beautiful rock formation on the island called Arch Rock that's well worth a visit.

The view from below. Another long walk up....

It's well worth the steps when you reach the top. The view is spectacular!

There is a reason why the tourists are called 'Fudgies'. Mackinac Island is known for its fudge. There are lots of places that sell it and the tourists come away with it in bagfuls. It IS really nice!

It's a great place to visit - better to stay away from the tourist town and go exploring whether it be by foot or by bike but be sure to take some of the fudge back home with you!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Crafty Finishes

I just wanted to share a couple of mini-album projects I've finished. These are the blank books that I have to fill. I can't stop making them. They are fun and easy projects and a great way to use up leftovers. Also, if I ever do get organised with my photos I'll have something to put them in. I am thinking I might give a couple as gifts with photos or sayings people will like.

For a while, when I first started making mini-albums I was using cereal boxes for covers. I have since bought chipboard (fairly cheap) and I like how it works a lot better. The covers are certainly more sturdy!

I really enjoy working with this darker paper. I think I've been watching too much Bitten!

And then, because I wanted something a little lighter

Hopefully my next crafty makes will be those Unity Stamps I showed on my Wednesday post!