Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Henry Ford Museum (P*S*C #23)

It seemed like a great idea to have a museum outing for the younger members of the Lindahl family on the morning of December 24th. And it WAS a great idea! We drove in five vehicles to the Henry Ford Museum in nearby Dearborn, Michigan. This museum is truly a must-see if you are in the area with the expected Ford vehicles, of course, but so much, much more. For instance, you can see the chair where Abraham Lincoln was murdered at the Ford Theatre, the vehicle where President Kennedy was shot in Dallas, the bus where Rosa Parks crossed the racial barriers, the prefab Dymaxion House which was supposed to forever change the prospect of housing needs (it didn't work, however, and only two houses were ever constructed) and the amazing Oscar Meyer Weinermobile! And, just in memory of my Dad, I took pictures of the Edsel Ford car because we actually OWNED one when I was a little girl. Enjoy this mini tour of the musuem from the comfort of your own home...
All 10 cousins were present, with the wonderful additions of Jed and Kari. Did you see them all in the sleigh?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Meet "Rusty" (Pink Suitcase Chronicles #23)

Well, it has finally happened after a year and a half of going solo...Pink is in love! Who is the lucky four-wheeled, sleek-handled colorful fella? Why it is Mr. Rusty, or "Rusty" to those of you followers of this blog. Pink and Rusty met on December 21, 2009 as he was introduced to Wes as an early Christmas present thanks to Anne and Jed.
Pink and Rusty immediately took to each other and packed up right away to go on their first road trip together...chaperoned, of course. The destination: Michigan. The Lindahl family was getting together with parents/grandparents, siblings, nieces/nephews and cousins galore at the beautiful home of Renee and Jeff.
Seeing as there were 23 in this house party, Pink, Rusty and our family of six lodged elsewhere. (Kind of reminds one of the Nativity Story where there was no room in the inn, and the Holy Family ended up in the stable.) But, we were all very comfortable in our lodging and a simple breakfast was part of the package deal.
Please visit again to find out more about the trip. There's a visit to the Henry Ford Museum, some holiday merriment and a baby shower Lindahl Style. Meanwhile, there's a courtship going on around here - and it's a courtship where "excess baggage" is more than welcomed!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas Tea Party for Three

Nothing like a Christmas tea party with a four year old and her Grammy and this Grandma-to-Be (still trying to figure out what to be called...I like the name YaYa, but somewho doesn't who is a very important part of the picture). We met at the City Nest. All the best things were pulled out of storage...the pink crepe-paper tree with the words I'm Dreaming of a Pink Christmas on the star on top, two crystal pedestal cake plates, the charming beehive teapot, the glass luncheon plates and teacups. Add to that some muffins, cookies, cheese (in cut-out shapes of snowmen and hearts) and, of course, layered lemon curd cake.
Note that Ava is wearing her best pearls.
Ava learned about the pepparkakor tradition of breaking the cookie with a gentle tap of the index finger on the center of the cookie. If it breaks into three pieces, the wish you make will come true!
Looks like Ava will have her wish granted. As I watch my sister and her Grand-daughter, I think of the one we'll soon have joining our family. I can't wait! We're going to have plenty of tea parties!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Save Those Christmas Cards!

Ever since we got married and started getting Christmas cards, I have been saving them up. That's a LOT of Christmas cards! So, this year I decided it was time to recycle as many as possible and "Go Green" for the decor in our city condo by using these cards as ornaments, garland, stars and swags.
Number One: The Ornaments
For this project I used a 1 1/2 inch scalloped edge circle punch and punched out 8 circles. Sometimes I used one Christmas card for all 8 pieces. Sometimes I mixed and matched card designs and colors. An equilateral triangle was scored inside each circle and then folded outwards. Four circles are glued together to make the top "band" of the ornament, then four more are attached to make the lower band. Top and bottom bands are glued together. A wire about seven inches long is threaded through the middle of the ornament. At the bottom, a bead is poked through the wire, then the wire is curled to secure the bead in place. The top part of the ornament has a bead threaded through the wire as well as small seed beads, then an ornament hook is formed from the remaining wire.

Number Two: The Garland

Two circle punches are needed for this project - one about an inch in diameter and the other about an inch and a half. This is easy! Just punch a big circle and then a smaller circle inside of that. The centers will become the alternating circle on the garland as shown. You will need little jewelry rings to attach the circles together.

Number Three: The Stars
I looked online for this pattern and I enjoyed making these in the large size to hang from the window tops and as the treetop star. I reduced the size via computer and tucked these smaller stars between the tree branches. For every star, you will need 10 cone-shaped pieces as shown below. Five for the front and five for the back. Fold as directed and glue the front to the will get a raised dimensional look when front and back are glued!
For a little extra sparkle, I added a rhinestone sticker dot to the center of the star.

Number Four: The Word Swags

These are the fun ones! Just think of a festive word such as J-O-Y, R-E-J-O-I-C-E, N-O-E-L and use cards to make them for a swag on a fireplace mantel, over a mirror or in a window. Letter stickers form the words. Punch holes in the top of the cards and thread ribbon through the holes. Hang!

This one is "Rejoice"...sorry it is a bit difficult to see.

Here is the word "Noel." Each letter is on a card that is about 4 inches in diameter. Vintage sheet music has been photocopied and is in the background of the letter.

So, save those cards! I'm guessing my decorating the City Nest used up around 100 cards. Now what to do with those coming in this year...hmm. I still have lots left from previous years. Being a saver has its challenges.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A Visit to St. Nick and his Two Sidekicks

When my out-of-town (Maine!) friend Carol came to Chicago this week for a visit, I knew we had to have an outing to the Marshall Field/Macy's Walnut Room for lunch near the famous tree. We arrived early - or so we thought - but upon signing in were given a pager and told to come back to line up in an hour and 15 minutes. What to do? We thought about going outside to look at the windows, but when we came upon the sign pointing to Santa, we headed there. We lined up with the other families (with their children, of course) and planned what our wishes would be to tell Santa...mine would have to do with a certain little one soon to enter our lives and Carol had a wish for one of her sons. This was all in fun, mind you, we know what we know. We made some new friends in the line and they were younger and older in age. As we neared Santa, we met a tall and handsome elf; I'll call him Sidekick #1. He was great with the kids! And he was great with us, too! He ushered us into the Throne Room of Santa with this introduction, "Santa, this is Carol and Deb. They have been VERY good girls this year!" Santa was a bit on the quiet side, but listened carefully to our wishes...we'll have to wait now to see if the man can deliver! But, we must dash away as our pager has gone off, and we are needed to get in line for the Walnut Room lunch experience. Once seated, we placed our menu order and the next vistor - I'll call her Sidekick #2 - visited our table. She was attired in a shimmering gown, held a long glittery stick and sprinkled silver on our heads as we told her our Christmas wishes. They were pretty much a repeat of what we had just shared with Santa. Here's to wishing you and yours some holiday cheer in this time of hustle and bustle...and don't forget to enjoy the magic of the season!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Measure and Yuletide Treasure (Copycat Challenge #3 and #4)

The Christmas song, "Deck the Halls" is the inspiration for this pair of challenges using the book Blanket Statement by Vicki Haninger (and my recycled green wool blanket). You know the part where the lyrics are:
Follow me in merry measure, Fa la la la la, la la la la.
While I tell of Yuletide treasure, Fa la la la la, la la la la.
The merry measure had to include a hidden measuring tape, and the Yuletide treasure had to involve currency of some type as my personal challenge.
Project Merry Measure was to be found on pages 38-39 of the book as Snow Cone Trees. The author intended the tree to be stuffed and displayed, no measuring tape inside. However, in my Mom's sewing box there was a sweet little measuring tape encased in a plastic disc. A red button on the underside of the disc allowed the tape to be retracted after it was pulled out to use. And, it was just the perfect size to slip into the base of the tree!
The tree was decorated with small seed beads and glittering crystal beads. I cut out a little hole in the bottom felt base of the tree, allowing the button retractor feature to work more readily.
About a day after the tree was completed, I added more ornament beads to further jazz up the little project.
In the background of the little Merry Measure tree you
can see some of the many cone trees I stumbled upon at the
Dollar Tree store near our City Nest. They had an amazing selection there...and I went a bit crazy with my purchases of them. But, hey...they were only $1.00 a piece!
Project Yuletide Treasure was found on pages 42-43 of the book. Vicki Haninger called this the Pine Tree Sachet and stuffed the little conifer with pine needles to make a scented project. I noticed the tree had an opening in the tree center perfect for adding a little "greenery" that someone might enjoy at the holidays --- I chose to put a five dollar bill with Lincoln's face inside because, after all, this is officially the Land of Lincoln Illinois.
I folded the bill into a triangular shape to fit inside the opening of the tree. This could make a nice gift for a babysitter or caregiver, a senior resident who likes a little bit of cash for purchases or snacks, a college student who needs "greenery" in their diet, or someone who is just hard to make purchases for.
Once again, thank you Vicki for this book inspiring creativity with your clever patterns and projects!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

He's No Angel, But...

Presently, we have an added house guest...his name is Oliver. Our Grandkitty.
He tries to sleep on your face when you are really really tired. He takes ornaments off the tree and leaves them on the living room floor...with a tiny trail of silver glitter on the way. He is quick as lightening as he escapes out of the front door and into the neighbor's bushes near by. He jumps up on the tables - a big no-no in this house. He sneaks his face into your water glass hoping for a little drink. He plops on top of the clean laundry pile - just as you are folding it. The list goes on.
We love him none-the-less! He entertains us with his antics. He is the family clown. He showers us with love when we least expect it. He indulges me in my love of dressing him up. The latest "costume" is the one pictured above and I think it captures his essence after all. He's a dear.
Do you like to dress up your pets, too?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Smorgasbord Times Two

Let the Swedish Meatball season begin!! Over the weekend, we had two - count 'em two - holiday gatherings where the meatballs and lingonberries reigned supreme. Add in the herring, potatoes, limpa bread and hard tack. Plus salmon, pickled beets, cucumbers and cheeses. Top it off with pepperkakor. What does this mean? It must be December!
(I have to admit that this salmon head kind of creeped me out, but the presentation of it was pretty artfully done. This was served at the pre-dinner for the Rejoice concert on Friday night.) Yes, these Jul cakes were as good as they looked! On Saturday, we attended the North Park University Lucia Pageant. Another Smorgasbord followed this program. And this time we were dining with our children! Isn't it wonderful to have special foods at certain times of the year to share with others? It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! Bring on the Meatballs!