You Want Me To Stop For Sticks? You Betcha!


Would you stop on the way to your destination to look at a bunch of sticks? If you’re traveling along I-94 in Central Minnesota, I sure hope so! Just off the freeway near St. John’s University, there is an amazing outdoor art installation. Think of it as fiber art on steroids!

Better yet, think about the cool quilts that could be created from these photos. You wouldn’t even have to decide how to quilt them — the photos of these nifty structures tell you everything you need to know!


Lean On Me is an installation dreamed up by Patrick Dourghety and put up by more than 300 people in 2012. It’s temporary and will be taken down sometime in 2014, probably because it becomes a safety hazard when it all dries out. (Yes, there is a No Smoking sign right below the information sign.)


I love the kittywampus nature of the little huts. They lean every which direction and remind me of the illustrations of Whoville in that timeless classic The Grinch Who Stole Christmas. Not that I’ve actually sat down and looked at that book recently…


I visited with my friend Deb Mohr on a quick shopping trip to St. Cloud. Anyone for some hide and seek? I can only imagine how much fun young children have running around and through these structures. We had a pretty good time too!


Deb is a pretty darn good photographer, so we hunted around to find a spot with decent light. That’s rather challenging in the middle of the day, but we did get a few fun photos. Best of all, we gave ourselves permission to stop, play, and enjoy these magnificent works of art. Yes, it was a great diversion — and the best part of our day.

What about you? Have you made an unexpected stop along the way lately? Chime in below. I’d love to hear about your adventures.


  1. janice/Houston on August 22, 2013 at 10:48 am

    Good for y’all!!!! We should all take more time to smell the roses!!!!

    • Shelly on August 23, 2013 at 11:11 am

      Oh yes… those little stops are precious. Not to mention lots of fun!

  2. Susan on August 22, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    I love your articles/blogs/info…..everything AND I wish I could meet you in person! From everything about your website and your personal stories, you are a beautiful person. Your zest for life is contagious. I love your playfulness.

    I live in, Peachland, British Columbia, Canada, a small community of 5,000 and I, in the third quarter of my life, starting to “play” as well. Thank you for shining some light on my days.

    • Shelly on August 23, 2013 at 11:14 am

      Thank you for sharing your lovely thoughts, Susan. Messages like this really make my day. I’m thrilled to know that you find my musings to be a bright spot in your life. 🙂

  3. Irena Mickunas on August 24, 2013 at 1:22 pm

    Thank you, Shelly, I love these beautiful Stick houses,a wonderful Art Form.To the endless Creativity and Love, Irena.

  4. Sue O. on August 24, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    What a shame to destroy these beautiful works of art! I think the school should sell or auction them off at the end of the public display to fund a new project or whatever they like. Can you imagine having one of these in your back yard???? I can!!!