Monday, December 23, 2013

Minnie's Christmas

Minnie has been celebrating Christmas with me for the last couple of days with rides and wrapping paper.  Today I decided to give her presents from Santa as the next couple of days will be a quiet time for her while I'm out and about.

She got excited when  the red bow  came out but when I showed her the Duck Dynasty toy, it scared her.

It's a talking toy and I think what Robertson said was offensive to her.  (I didn't buy this, by the way.)  She's one smart Doxy.

Then she got her favorite toy.  Something soft that she can gut.


I've done my job.  Now, for a nap with my ner-ner.




Wednesday, December 4, 2013

New Bears

Finished five bears and sent them off to Michigan in time for Christmas.

These two were made from a curly lamb coat.
The bow ties were made out of a masculine hanky
(you can't see the stripes) and the buttons were
from the coat.

Black bears don't photograph very well, sorry.  
These were made from an unidentified fur coat.
The critter was large because the hide was somewhat
thick and the skins of the coat were large.  The aprons on
these bears were made from the pockets of
the white church apron that was sent along.

This is made from mink.  The lace collar and
ear lace is from the wedding dress of the

With bear orders complete I can now focus on Christmas card making and quilty projects.  

It's snowing in Minnesota so I'm just going to


Sunday, October 6, 2013


I've been creating Shari bears in memory of my sister who passed away in June.  Her children found her wedding dress and considered throwing it out as the white satin had turned a lovely shade of yellow from being packed away for 50+ years.  But the reuse/recycle  gene that I inherited from either my German grandmother or perhaps further back from the Native culture said, "Wait, I think I can use that."

I soaked the fabric in an equal solution of hot water, OxyClean and Biz for 24 hours and I was pleased with the results.  Tell me what you think.

 This beaded "wing" was a design on one of Shari's sweaters.

Another version

And, another
This is a close-up of the head.  Again, the beaded motif was rescued from the sweater.

Making these bears are always a challenge to my creativity as well as being therapeutic.  It is my hope that the story of these bears are told to future generations.   

Friday, July 26, 2013

A History Walk

Today was a free day with nothing planned and the temps were cool and comfortable so I decided to take a drive to St. Peter, Minn. and visit the Traverse des Sioux History Center and Treaty Site.  This was where the Sisseton and Wahpeton bands of the Dakota Sioux signed away 21 million acres of land, roughly half of the state of Minnesota, to the government in 1851 with the promise of  cash, goods, education and a reservation.   Long before that, it was where fur traders stopped and traded with the Dakotas and European immigrants settled and farmed the fertile land along the Minnesota River.  In 1853 the village of Traverse de Sioux was established with a hotel, livery, saloon, church, a gathering place busy with commerce from the fur traders and immigrants.

There's a self-guided trail down to the Minnesota River with informative stops along the way.  Here are some images I took.

 This is the start of the trail which is approximately 2 miles or so round trip.  You start off walking through prairie grasses and wild flowers.

 The view to the west

The view to the north.  Just beyond the trees is the river.

There was a bench to sit and rest and enjoy the view

 For centuries animals and people used the solid footing and shallow waters at Traverse des Sioux as a natural river crossing.  The crossing became a place for people to meet and trade goods.  European fur traders were quick to see the advantages of the location and set up trading houses.

 The river didn't look all that shallow to me.  I don't think I wanted to test it.  With all the rain we've had this year, the current is pretty fast.  But it still looks pristine, doesn't it?

There were signs like this on the trail indicating where buildings were located in the village.
The walk was beautiful and serene.  I tried to imagine what life was like in 1851 in this place.  I'm sure, for the most part, it was very harsh. Even though the surroundings were woodsy and prairie-like, there was no getting away from the noise of traffic on Highway 169. 

 Once the Treaty was signed, the Dakota were moved to a ten-mile tract of land along the Minnesota River.  There was a lot of skulduggery after the Treaty was signed and the Dakota didn't get what was promised.  Thus the cause of the 1862 Sioux Uprising  and the ultimate demise of the Dakota 38 in Mankato, Minnesota. 

When I finished the hike I visited the museum.

I have just recently learned that I have an ancestor that was a member of the Dakota tribe and was on one of the raids around Fort Ridgely in 1862.  I guess that must be where my interest of the Native culture comes from.  This Treaty site is only 15 miles from where I live.  Why wasn't this piece of local history taught when I went to school?  Look around, there is history all around us if we take the time to learn.

He sei ci nihi

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


I thought this was going to be a productive day.  Why do I expect every day to be productive?  Well, why shouldn't I?  My frustration stems from wanting to get a painting project finished.  I wanted to paint the area leading downstairs.  I could manage the bottom portion but not the upper.

I considered it but remembered I'm not as good as I once was.  I asked around about a reasonable professional painter with the proper ladder to do high places in stairways.  I called him 10 days ago and it took him six days to look at the job with the start day 3 days later.  Now, his kids have the flu and so does he.  Nothing will happen until next week...maybe.

Royalty Free Clipart Image of a Woman Pulling Out Her Hair
I know he can't help it but my frustration is that I can't do this job myself.   

The turkeys are getting bolder.  Not only are they in the back yard everyday but now they have ventured in the front yard, too.  This is what I saw in the driveway when I came home from the gym this morning.

This is practically at my front door.  Yes, that is fresh snow and it's coming down pretty good this afternoon.  A fresh coating is needed to cover all the Minnie poops.

Two more sister bears are finished.

 The red and black was from a tank top and there wasn't enough material to do the entire bear.  I had to borrow from another garment. 

  This was made from her white sweater and the "dress" is from a pink camisole.  The outfit was ordered by her 9 year old granddaughter.  She was very specific about what she wanted and how she wanted it.

It's still snowing big white flakes so I guess I won't venture down the road too far as planned.  I'll make some tea and go to the sewing room and see what I can accomplish.  Hope your frustrations are minimal.