Jul 30, 2022

Brushos, Butterflies and Hiking to Black Elk Peak

Hello and welcome! It's time for my weekly Allsorts card share and as menioned last week I am sharing more photos from my recent vacation in the second part of the post. Simply scroll down if you're not interest in the papercraft but would like to see my hiking photos.

This week's Allsorts challenge is hosted by Mervi and she would like to see "Butterflies or Bugs". There are 2 prizes from Craft Stash to win this week so hope you can join us for your chance to win!

I am finally seeing more butterflies around my garden as my seed Zinnias are finally in bloom and Butterflies do love those! 

Here is my card:


Hard to believe I used more dies than stamping today, but I was inspired by my newer  Penny Black die set  Soaring as I totally love these butterflies. 

I started out by creating an inky background with my new Brusho Powders. It's just my second card using them but so far I really like them. It appears that I used more than one color but I only used orange. Each powder includes different colored pigments so you can see some yellows and even pinks mixed in here. This time I sprinked them on dry card stock then spritzed with water. On my last card I first spritzed with water and then sprinkled the powder.

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The butterflies were inked with Peacock Feathers ink and I used my Whimsy Stamps script background  stamp (retired) to add the words. I wanted to add some of the smaller butterflies too (the die set includes 4 different sized butterflies) but the card started to look too "busy" so I left those off. 


The die cut on the bottom portion is part of Penny Black's Diamond Borders die set. I added some tiny rhinestones between each diamond. 

The sentiment is part of Penny Black's set Snippet stamped using Versafine Onyx ink. 

This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!


I'm sharing my card  here:
Penny Black Saturday - PB products // Creative Fingers - AG // Aud Sentiments Challenge - Add a Sentiment // Fab n Funky -AG //Paper Shelter - AG // Simon Says Stamp - AG // The Paper Funday - AG 


Hiking to Black Elk Peak Trail

As mentioned last week, here are more photos from our trip to the Black Hills. If you missed my photos from last week and would like to see them, simply visit this post

My blogging friend Amy inspired me to hike up to Black Elk Peak which is the highest peak east of the Rocky Mountains and west of the Pyrenees. It definitely was the longest and most exhausting hike I have ever done and it took us around 6 hours to complete this loop trail.

The trail was pretty wide and well marked, and not too close to any drop offs (as long as you stayed on the trail) so the hardest part was the steep inclines at times and much of the trail was exposed to the sun on the way up, and some times it did seem like the trail went on forever. So we did frequently run out of breath a bit and somewhere about a mile or so still to the peak I was questioning my decision to do this hike LOL. That last mile up to the peak was also the hardest. But we all managed with plenty of breaks, plenty of water and snacks. 

By the way, this trail is located in Custer State Park and there is a small entry fee to the park per car. It is not a National Park so you cannot use the "America the Beautiful" park pass here. The park entry fee is good for one week so you will have plenty of time to enjoy all the beauty of this park.


I've done lots of research before going as there is more than one way to hike up to this peak. We decided to take trail no. 4 up and trail no. 9 down. You can do it vice versa or you can simply use trail no. 9 both ways which is easier but you won't get a chance to hike the short 1 mile spur trail to see the Cathedral Spires close up. And I really wanted to do that too! Most reviewers said the views on trail 4 are better and I have to agree.

Trail 4 is steeper than 9 and while going uphill seems harder than going downhill, it is actually easier on your joints this way. Yes you run out of breath easier climbing up hill but you're less prone to injuring your knees. There is also more sun exposure on trail no. 4 than trail no. 9 so it made more sense to use this trail in the morning when the sun wasn't at its hottest. 



Seeing wild flowers is always so nice when hiking. There were also lots of wild raspberry bushes but sadly they weren't even close to being ripe! I would have loved to eat a few!




If you look closely in between the trees below, you can see Black Elk Peak where we were heading. There is what used to be a Fire outlook at the top. It's a long way to go still!

We're getting closer to the Cathedral Spires. This was a spur trail off the main trail which added an extra mile to the round trip, but I really wanted to get a closer look.


My husband and son both got pretty sunburned on the back of their legs hiking in the Badlands the day before so they decided to wear long pants. Blue jeans are not really a good choice for hiking but my husband managed. Hiking shoes or trail running shoes of course are a must!


More beautiful views as we continued on.







I'm wearing the same style of hiking shorts that I've worn in the Badlands (by Athleta - the Dipper style) this time in dark olive color. As mentioned last week this style is only available on resale sites like poshmark or eBay. Their new style is the Trekkie made of the same perfect hiking material. 


A group of hikers  took these horses down as they were passing us on the way back down on trail no. 9. 

A beautiful view from one of the fire tower windows.

And here we are with these spectacular views. 

I'm afraid of heights so I didn't really venture out onto these rocks below. It even made me nervous to see some people getting way too close to the edge. If you look closely towards the middle of the photo below you can see someone standing there. When I see that I get so nervous and almost dizzy.



What goes up must come down!

Can you spy the chipmunk? 

Here he is - I cropped the photo! We found a few of these cuties on the way down but forgot the peanuts at the hotel so couldn't feed them. (Which is not really allowed here anyways!)

Some areas were full of broken/ damaged trees from the forest fire here a few years ago. 


And when you finally get to the end of the trail you will see the pretty view of Sylvan Lake. You may recognize this beautiful lake from the Nicholas Cage movie National Treasure - Book of Secrets. 

It took us about 6 hours from the start of the trail until we got back down. It is totally doable as long as you don't have any mobility issues but definitely bring plenty of water (better too much than not enough!!) and snacks, and just take breaks whenever needed. You will also want to start this hike as soon as possible in the morning. We were so sore after this hike but it was so worth  it!


Next week I will share more photos including our more leisurely hike around this beautiful lake. 

Thanks so much for visiting!

I am linking the travel portion of this post up here:

Dare to Share //  Sunday Showcase - First Sunday with Ada and Mireille  //  Inspire Me Monday //  Link Up Potpourri //  Random-osity Good, Random, Fun //  Travel Tuesday. // You're The Star Blog Hop Link Party @Stonecottage Adventures // Anything Goes with Your Hosts @ My Random Musings // Jenerally Informed The Happy Now // Spread the Kindness Linkup @ Shelbee on the Edge //  Wonderful Wednesday // My Corner Of The World //Thursday Favorite Things // Little Things Thursday // Encouraging Heart and Home @ Slices of Life //  Funtastic Friday //   Link Up On The Edge // Friday Favorites

Jul 23, 2022

Nautical Birds, Prairie Dogs, the Badlands and a few Bears

Hello and welcome! 

I'm back from our road trip to the Black Hills (I'm sharing some pictures today and a few more the following weeks as I took too many to squeeze them all in one post.) If you're here here to see some travel photos simply scroll past the card. 

We had a really good time and beautiful weather on our trip but the hiking we did makes me feel like I  need another week to recover LOL. It was hard to get back to the craft room but I managed as I got a chance to use a couple new goodies I treated myself to for my birthday which were perfect for this week's theme at Allsorts challenge which is............Summer chosen by our dear Brenda. We're having 2 fabulous prizes this week, a fun summer themed stamp set by Stampendeous from  Oakwood Direct and a choice of 3 digis from Ruth Hamilton Designs. Hope you'll join in with us!


This post may include some affiliate links, meaning I may earn a small commission if you purchase something through the links. As always, this is at no cost to you. Thank you so much for supporting this blog!



Another blogger (sorry I forgot who) recently introduced me to this gorgeous retired PSX stamp (G2891) and I was lucky enough to find it on eBay at a reasonable price. Then I also finally got a set of Brushos, been admiring work done with them for years so I was really excited to try them.

I started out by spritzing my Bristol Vellum card stock with water then sprinkled some brushos powder onto the paper. (A tip I learned from others: do not open the containers, instead simply poke a few holes into the top (I poked 6) using a paper piecing tool or  needle. You only need a tiny amount of powder on your project. 

I was impatient to wait on it to dry completely so I placed a piece of paper over it to speed up the process and to help the ink distribute too. 

The image was stamped on a separate paper, lightly colored with Zig Clean Color markers and fussy cut. I think cheese cloth fabric is a great accessory for nautical themed cards so I layered a piece under my fussy cut image. I also used Lavinia's Bulrushes stamp around the image for an extra detail. 

The sentiment is from this retired Hero Arts My Monthly Hero stamp kit and it's been cut out using a retired Whimsy Stamps die. natural jute twine was tied around the card. The stamp with the 3 birds are also from the Hero Arts kit, the single small bird close to the image is part of the PSX stamp. 

Linking my card up here:
The Four Seasons Challenge - Summer // A Gem of a Challenge - AG // Crafty Catz - AG // Creative Fingers - AG // Cut It Up - Summer Loving and a die cut // Aud Sentiments Challenge - AG with sentiment // Cardz 4 Galz - Get Inky // Craft Rocket Challenges - Summertime // Moving along with the Times - Inky Background // Crafty Animals - AG with Animals // Daisy Chain Challenges - No Design Paper // Dies R Us Challenge - AG with Dies // DL.Art Linky Challenge - AG // Happy Little Stampers - Dies // Mix It Up Challenge - AG // Mixed Media Lovers - AG // Fab n Funky - AG // Paper Shelter - AG // The Paper Funday - AG // Paper Minutes - Maritim // A Place To Start - AG // Crafting Happiness Challenges - AG // Get Creative Challenges - Red, White and Blue // Pammie's Inky Pinkies Challenges - AG // Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge - Let's go on vacation // 

Always Anything Goes:

The Badlands National Park, South Dakota and Bear Country USA

Below are some pictures taken at the Badlands National Park. If you are ever in the area or drive through the area I hope you make time to visit. There is a small fee per vehicle to enter the park. If you or your significant other are a US veteran or active Military member be sure to get the annual America the Beautiful annual park pass which is free for Veterans and Military members and all those in the same vehicle, and good at any National Park within the US for one year.  

We drove into the park from the east and entered via the town of Interior entry. Before we even got to the park we stopped at the Ranch store to buy food for these cute prairie dogs that live right next to the Ranch store. They were plain peanuts and very inexpensive. We spent a little time here and fed these cuties and watched the run around. They surely look like they enjoyed posing for pictures.




And into the Badlands...
You don't even need to get out of your car to enjoy these amazing views as there is the Badlands Loop Road that will take you all around the Badlands, and there are plenty of scenic overlooks where you can stop to get a closer view.




These below were taken by the Window and Door Trails. Both are fairly easy to begin with but you can hike further into the Badlands and that's what we did this time. Last time my dad was visiting with us who has bad knees so we mainly stayed on the boardwalks which gives you beautiful views just the same. 


If you look really closely at the photo below, you can see a hiker all the way up there. I'm not sure that there is a trail leading up there or if this person just made their own trail...


Believe it or not but on our last visit I never noticed any Cacti. But this time I found plenty!


This trail below - Cliff Shelf - was my favorite on our last visit and I wanted to be sure to check it out again. It is a moderate trail that includes quite a few steep wooden steps. (My dad was waiting for us down below when we hiked this in 2016 so it may not be for everyone). The park is full of Rattlesnake warning signs. This was the only area in this park where I heard one but luckily never saw one!!

Amazing views once again!




Below we stopped at the Yellow Mounds Overlook. We missed this area last time. I love the various layers of colors found on these mounds! I really wanted to get down to the trails a bit but my husband and son somehow got sunburned on the back of their legs on the  other trails so we skipped hiking here and only just enjoyed the views from a nearby hill we climbed.




We originally thought about hiking the Notch trail too but then we (I) decided to skip it once again as it's classified as strenuous and we aren't really seasoned hikers... plus how much better can the views really be??? Maybe there will be a next time at this park!


We did stop for a visit at Bear Country USA in Rapid City which is partly a drive through nature park where you are surrounded by bears, wolves, local wildcats, Bighorn Sheep, Elk, etc.  Then there is an area where they keep the young animals and the only area where you can get out of your car. They had about a dozen baby bears and they really kept us entertained. 

In the "drive through" part you had to keep all windows rolled up so these aren't the best pictures but I still managed to take a few...





And this is the area where you can walk around to see the young animals too young for the main drive through park.
 

It may look like they are dancing but these young bears were constantly wresting and fighting with each other. 

Pool time :)


They loved climbing up here!! 
The cost to this park is a bit higher than National or State Parks. We had to pay around $75 for the 4 of us but that is the maximum they charge even if more people are in the vehicle. It's a cute and unique park to visit though I just wish there was a way to drive another loop around it. 

By the way if you are looking for some very comfortable hiking shorts, I found mine at Poshmark by Athleta. I actually purchased 2 pairs. This exact style is an older style (The Dipper). Their current style is the "Trekkie" and they look equally comfortable made with the same great hiking type material. 



Next Saturday I'm sharing more photos from our trip along with my weekly Allsorts card, hope you'll stop by again!


I am linking the travel portion of this post up here:

Dare to Share //  Sunday Showcase - First Sunday with Ada and Mireille  //  Inspire Me Monday //  Link Up Potpourri //  Random-osity Good, Random, Fun //  Travel Tuesday. // You're The Star Blog Hop Link Party @Stonecottage Adventures // Anything Goes with Your Hosts @ My Random Musings // Jenerally Informed The Happy Now // Spread the Kindness Linkup @ Shelbee on the Edge //  Wonderful Wednesday // My Corner Of The World //Thursday Favorite Things // Little Things Thursday // Encouraging Heart and Home @ Slices of Life //  Funtastic Friday //   Link Up On The Edge // Friday Favorites