Category Archives: Posts and Pictures

Holy Rollin in Detroit



So, after at least five years away from any biking, I accepted an invitation to take part in a 10 mile bike trip through the city of Detroit on Sunday. (It’s like ‘riding a bike’, right?) What a great day. We began at Ste Anne’s which is situated in the shadow of the Ambassador Bridge. Ste Anne has the distinction of being the second oldest parish in the United States. It was founded in 1701 and built just two days after Cadillac landed of the banks of the Detroit River. I’m sorry to say I did not get a picture while we were there.

Our next stop was at St Aloysius located on Washington. Nestled between two buildings it is almost hidden away. We learned that as the congregation grew, the church was unable to grow sideways due to location, so they added a balcony and also opened the floor to add a lower level.



From there we biked to St Peter and Paul, whose front door faces Jefferson. I must say all the churches we visited were just beautiful and awe inspiring.  St Peter and Paul is a Jesuit parish affiliated with University of Detroit Mercy. While not the oldest parish in Detroit, it is the oldest church building. It piqued my interest to learn the pillars, which looked like marble, are actually tree trunks that came from my Upper Peninsula.  On the front sidewalk a statue of Homeless Jesus.

Just beautiful
Here is my friend Kelly in front of a Yooper tree


We learned so much history! I wish I had a better memory.  Our next stop was at Old St Mary’s in Greektown. (Let me just say this was one of the few times I was that close to the Greektown Casino and didn’t go in.)








Now it’s time for a little switching of activity. As I said, this was my first bike ride in many years. I was prepared with my helmet and my good spirit and did pretty well. Our next leg of the journey brought us to the Dequindre Cut. This is an old railroad route that has been beautifully transformed into a walking/biking area. I’m not sure where it begins, but it does end at the Detroit River. You enter the Cut like driving onto a freeway entrance. Downhill, I gathered speed to the point I started braking. Age has taken away some of my abandon and I feared flying off the bike at 100 miles an hour.  I should have kept up the speed because as we reached the end of our Dequindre Cut experience, I saw the uphill exit. Perhaps the speed might have propelled me to the top.  Recognizing that I no longer need to prove anything to anyone, my bike and I separated and I graciously pushed it up to the top.

Here I am pre-Dequindre Cut

Our last stop was at St Joseph Oratory which is near Gratiot. St Joseph was founded by German immigrants in 1856 and is listed on the national register as a sit of national importance.We were a part Vespers prayer service in Latin sung in a Gregorian chant.  Again, a beautiful and spiritual experience.

After all this we were provided a nice supper with hot dogs and chips and fries and beautiful cold beers of several varieties. There were about 250 of us included in Holy Rollin trip. At this point, we proceeded straight back to Ste Anne’s where our vehicles were parked. So…that would be 4+ miles. By now my banana seat on my borrowed bike had almost become one with my not-banana butt. Have you ever tried to ride with just one cheek on the seat? (Also, did you really think I’d make it through this entire post without a little cheekiness?) Don’t forget, I had to portage the Evil Cut once more.  But I made it and I’m so glad I went. It was a great day with great friends. I highly recommend visiting some of the beautiful spots we have here in Detroit. It was like a museum trip. I saved the pictures below because I didn’t want to incorrectly identify them.

This isn’t punch needle, but I hope you enjoyed your visit.



Sweet Summer

Hello Friends. We have been enjoying a quiet Father’s Day beginning with a little bit of weeding and ending with New York strip steak on the grill.  I will not complain about the heat and humidity. I’ve been waiting is seems forever for summer to arrive. I hope you too are having a relax day.

I am looking forward to being a part of the Eagle Harbor Art Fair on August 12 and 13. (Looking forward and working furiously to prepare.) Eagle Harbor is in the heart of Yooper Country and I’m very excited to be involved. I have several projects in the works and some ready to share. This first picture began in my head as two black bears, but my son-in-law thought of polar bears when he saw my drawing. So, polar bears they are. I think I might do another with black bears too. I’ve also been experimenting with paint. This frame was done with layers of red and black painted on and wiped off. My photography skill aren’t the best. I see this picture is cock-eyed. Oh well..bend your head slightly.


Next are a couple little pieces The bird is representative of a fraktur and the flowers sit in a blue mason jar.

My little horse heads are inspired by an antique rug. I got the pony shoes from my cousin. This was fun to work on. I found half inch wood and cut the hornbooks. I have carpet tacks holding the shoes on. If I can find some real horseshoe nails I will replace the tacks.


I had fun with this last one also. The yellow background is really far from my norm of colors I use, but I think it works.


Thank you for stopping by.

Barn owl

I met a woman at the Farmers Market Think Spring show who was interested in owls. It was coincidental that I have recently been thinking about doing an owl. So, this is what I came up with.  I strayed from my normal muted tones with his eyes. At first I wasn’t sure I liked the bright yellow, but I think it works.

I tried my hand at frame painting with this one. I used a red undercoat and then sort of smeared the black paint over the top. After it dried I used some tinted BriWax. I enjoyed both processes.


So, what are you working on these days?

Think Spring

Hello to all my punchneedle friends.  I don’t know where the time went since my last post. I hope you missed me during my hibernation.  Here in Michigan we are hoping the few inches of snow that fell on Tuesday will pass for the St. Patrick’s Day storm that we expect every year and the weather will warm and carry us into spring.

I’ve been enjoying a new punching energy as I prepare for a show at our Farmers’ Market this Saturday.  Let me share some pictures with you.

Lori Rippey’s Bunny Basket and Blooms

This is my second time punching Lori’s sweet little piece. I was fairly new to punch needle (as well as new to Valdani) the first time.  It was interesting to see the difference in my punching from the first attempt to the second.

Frolicking Bunny

The above is a little doodle I drew up myself. It is shown with a beeswax lamb.

Kate Gillery’s penguins

One more bunny. This one is mine too.

Thanks for visiting me here at Yooper Trails. Keep on punching.


Autumn Offerings

I have a few Halloween/Autumn punch needle pieces for your consideration. If you would like to purchase something, you can email me at

These silhouettes are from patterns by Rebecca Lindquist at A Simple Quiet.

They are 4.5 by 2.25 and perch on book covers. Both have hangers on the back.

Kindly asking $23 each plus travel fare.


This busy wytch searches for the perfect pumpkin. Sitting in a 6×8″ frame, the piece is punched in  Valdani perle cotton. Whych One comes from a pattern by Rebecca Lindquist. This comes comes with waxed jewelry cord for hanging.

Kindly asking $40.00 plus travel fare.


This whimsical finish is my design. It measures approximately 5×7. Boo brings to mind the primitive rugs done in the 1800s.

Kindly asking $30.00 plus travel fare.


I hope you are enjoying this autumn season with it’s cool mornings and evenings and brilliant color display.

Pull toy pictures

Greetings Yooper Friends. I have succumbed to the dog days of summer and become very lazy. It is just as easy to hibernate from the heat as it is from the cold. I see messages from friends in Vermont experiencing mornings in the 50s.  I’m seeing more and more signs of autumn, so I guess it is time to shake of the laziness and get moving.

I’m never too lazy to be punching, however. These two that I’m showing you today I drew up myself, taking cues from talented punchers that I see ‘out there.’  I’ve completed the G for giraffe and the H for (what else?) horse.  Gee, there is an entire alphabet out there. I could be busy for a long time…as long as I can stay creative. What do you think?


Wow, it is amazing what a picture shows. As I look at the giraffe, it looks stark white to me. I used the Valdani ecru, but I think I might need to back up and do some walnut crystal staining to tone it down.


Mr. Horse is much more to my liking. The variegated Valdani adds so much texture. Well, there is nothing that can’t be fixed. As my brother the carpenter says, “I can fix anything but a broken heart.” Stay tuned for further updates. Same station, not sure about the time.

July and August in Keweenaw

We are back home after a wonderful four-week visit to Mohawk. We were able to visit with many old friends at my husband’s class reunion. We also enjoyed having our children and their spouses join us for a week.


I was also pleased to do two classes at the Copper Country Artist Association Gallery in Calumet. We met for three hours on two Tuesdays.  The staff at the gallery were welcoming. It was a pleasure to hold classes there. And I love sharing punch needle.


Donna, Stephanie, Mary and Debra joined the class. Stephanie (our little over-achiever) finished her project and by the time we met for our second class she had drawn her own design on a new project and almost completed that.  She did an unbelievable job on the lettering. I think by next summer she will be teaching me!


As I sit here feeling the heat and humidity it is hard to think that fall is so close. But a trip to a local store yesterday shows that to be true. Pumpkins and Halloween candy and orange and gold everywhere… I’m still waiting for our neighbors’ tomatoes to turn red.

I hope you enjoyed your visit to Yoopertrails. Thanks for stopping by.

More finishes (Subtitle: And that’s why we never throw anything away!)

I know it has only been a day since my last post, but I’m excited to display these finishes. I drew up a Santa gnome at Christmas time last year and since then I’ve been thinking a Lady Liberty might be fun.  Here she stands on her tinker toy pedestal amid her Lady’s Mantle.



I have had this next one punched but still on its frame for months. I finally decided it was time to quit stalling. I used a blue ticking fabric on the back and very carefully turned it right side out. The tail was a bit of a challenge, but he survived the surgery. I suggested to my husband that we might find some driftwood when we become yoopers for the summer. He reminded me that I have a basket of it stuffed above a storage cupboard in the basement. This provided me with the most excellent opportunity to say to him, (repeat after me)….And that’s why we never throw anything away.


It has been a year since the Punch Needle Primitive Stitcher magazine published its first issue. I found  ‘Colonial Tulips’ in the anniversary issue. This pattern is by Doreen Frost at Vermont Harvest Folk Art.  This was a fun, quick punch project. I couldn’t wait to order her suggested colors so I improvised with Valdani I already had. The colors are close. Here it is, sitting next to a sewing basket that my dad made about 75 years ago. As I look more closely at the picture, I’m thinking I should perhaps use some walnut crystal stain to further antique the box.


Now I need to get a new project started before I go into punch needle withdrawal. How are you keeping busy during these beautiful summer days?

Redware Picture

Good morning Friends. Here is a little note for the day. My good friend Kathie gave me a book of pictures from a primitive collection at the American Folk Art Museum in New York. It is a lovely collection which I am truly enjoying. This piece is my re-creation of a picture by an unidentified artist, probably from Pennsylvania.


I have done a lot of punching lately and also some ‘finishing.’ I’m really close to sharing my Lady Liberty and my patriotic whale as well as my colonial tulips from the latest Punch Needle Primitive Stitcher magazine. Stay tuned for more to come.

Summer Greetings!

Good morning to my YooperTrails followers. I’m pleased to share some time with you.

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. I’m sure we all have stories to share and special moments to remember. I’m sitting on the deck with my children’s father enjoying the heat and the sun (and a chocolate croissant) before it becomes too hot.

I have a few finishes to share.  They are of a patriotic theme. Polly’s Parade is a pattern from Polly Minick. The marching chicken is a variation of one of Polly’s creation. The Yankee Doodle is mine. I am a bit late for Flag Day and a bit early for July 4th, but here they are. I truly enjoyed working the parade. It reminds me of celebrating as a child in Mohawk.

WP_fourth of july solo

WP_fourth of july trio


I had the privilege of conducting another little class with Kathie and Lee. We had two official classes and now continue to meet occasionally to punch together. It is always fun to introduce new people to the punching world. We chose a cardinal for our beginning project. Here is Kathie with her finish.


After that first project Kathie was hooked. She drew up her own pattern and made the pillow below. Very impressive, is it not?  Kathie is now working on a companion piece.


Thank you for stopping by.