Monday, May 17, 2010

Green Travel Accessories (Copycat Challenge #21 & #22)

The green wooly blanket keeps on giving - this marks the over halfway point of the blogging project using the book Blanket Statement by Vicki Haninger. Two little projects are going to make their way across the ocean with me as we soon travel to China.
For project number 1, I used the Dainty Slippers pattern on pages 76 and 77 - not to make slippers for myself, but to use as a bookmark as I know there's a lot of reading to be done on this trip!
The "tweak" on this pattern was easy! I simply made the two slippers and sewed a ribbon end to each slipper and voila it became a handy bookmark. Little slipper flowers were made by coiling up a leftover scrap of green wool and sewing it to a fringed scrap of rose-colored fabric.
Just for kicks, I thought I'd try to vary the pattern a bit on bookmark number two. This one would be perfect for taking to the beach as it features a pair of flip flops. And what better beach book than The Shell Seekers by one of my favorite authors Rosamunde Pilcher?
For project #2, I was thinking about my travel jewelry. The Valentine Needle Case on pages 30 and 31 would work splendidly to hold onto earrings when stuck through the inner felt heart. Even clip-on earring would work here - not that I wear those.

How well I remember the days when my mom wore those clip-on earrings! Usually they didn't last long on her ears and she'd take them off and place them on a tabletop nearby. Her hands would rub her earlobes as if in discomfort. As a girl, I couldn't understand why she removed this bling ---to me they seemed like the height of glamour! Eventually, though, Mom got her ears pierced.

There you have it. On my wish-list-to-purchase-while-in-China are some more books (children's) and jewelry (pearls or jade) to go with these new green accessories! Wish me luck, please. In reply: m goi or do ze.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Nailing" Melatonin Comparison

Knowing that the temperatures we are soon going to encounter are in the 90's, and knowing that my toesies are sure to be exposed, it was apparent they needed help! The "reverse" French
pedicure I have been sporting was due for an extreme makeover. (Check out the feet on the left.) Do you care to guess who my pedicure partner was on the right? I'll give you a clue: she is tan after only minutes in the sun, she's a Grandma to four (with another "in the oven") and she is my City Nest neighbor. Give up? She's my wonderful sister. I just love how she is up for spur-of-the-moment adventures! And, no this is her present skin tone, not anything from a tube or table!
Here is our before picture.
So many nail polish colors from which to choose...but typical to our sisterhood similarities, we ended up picking almost the same color.
Side by side we sat and chatted while our toenails were pampered.
I'd like to thank Melissa for recommending this place on Peterson Avenue. She was right about how the staff would pamper us, and would give us a back massage as we waiting for the nails to dry.

And here is our after picture.

Funny how a little thing like a pedicure can put you back in a "happy" place as you are forced to sit while the feet are fretted over. Funny how a little thing like sitting side by side with your sister makes you forget all the items on the monumental to-to list. Funny how genetics gave her more melatonin (by far) than me, too!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Thank You Very Much, Mr. JT

Have you ever had a song in your head that just won't let up? You know, where one particular phrase keeps looping through your brain and won't even let you sleep? Especially when you really need to sleep?
My thanks go out to a certain Mr. James Taylor - one of my favorite singers, by the way - for singing the song My Ducks are All in a Row. Here are the lyrics I can't seem to shed at present:
In line, in line, it's all in a line
My ducks are all in a row
They do not shift, they do not move
They have nowhere to go.
Obviously, my ducks-in-a-row on the home front are presently not in a nice line-up formation. My brain is crackling with a lengthy to-do/to-go/to-remember list. Maybe the song playing in the cerebellum is meant as a helpful voice to keep me on task?

What do you do when you can't get a song out of your head?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Most Entertaining Commencement Address to Date

Over the weekend, we hosted the family of a graduate, and attended North Park's 2010 Baccalaureate and Commencement services. Congratulations to Kiera, Laura, Alli and Katie are especially sent out! These young women have worked very hard to come to this point and we salute their many achievements and accomplishments. Check out their cords!!
Here we have our first graduate, Kiera, with her family (minus Sommar) in front of 4th Presbyterian Church where, for the first time, North Park held its Baccalaureate service.
And here we have Alli (with Anne) who went back after her first degree at NPU to earn her Nursing degree. You go, girl!
Next, the Johnson family sisters with the Youngmans - Laura, the world is awaiting your passion for learning and teaching as you go forth to inspire! Katie, the graduate on the far right, is passionate about people and music and will soon marry into the Rholl family, esentially becoming a part of our family, too.
And now we come to what I found to be the most entertaining Commencement Address ever - and I have heard a lot of them in my tenure as the wife of an academic man. This was presented by Kevin Leman and the NPU website had this synopsis of the event:
An honorary Doctor of Humane Letters was presented to psychologist and popular author Kevin Leman. Leman, most famous for his books on the role of birth order in developing personality, humored the audience with comments about his children and his own academic difficulties at North Park. He was admitted to the school on academic probation and expelled after three semesters. He later turned his life around and credits the school with making a significant spiritual difference in his life. Leman also told the graduates that their family and friends who jammed the gymnasium were “really not here to celebrate your accomplishments as much as they’re here to celebrate your life.”
His speech was called The Turtle on the Fencepost and the point was made that, again, we don't get to places in our lives without the help of others. He certainly was challenged in his academic life, but his sense of humor in prevailing until he got it right had the audience in laughter the whole time.
I'm thankful that Kiera, Alli, Laura and Katie had all the support from family, friends and faculty to get them perched on this latest fencepost. And now as they are done with campus life at NPU, I wish them nothing but the best, no matter what is to come. WE CELEBRATE YOUR LIVES!

Friday, May 07, 2010

May Showers Bring May Flowers (Copycat Challenge #20)

Hoo Boy...that was some shower overnight with a thunderstorm to match! Good thing to know that showers always bring flowers, right? In this case, the flowers just happen to be green and filled with beans. In the book BLANKET STATEMENT by Vicki Haninger, the pattern is for a pincushion, but I think that would be far too dangerous for Miss Ellie for now, so we'll have to settle for tossing these flowers at her Grandpa instead - when she gets old enough to toss, of course! A word to Grandpa: RUN! The pattern is found on pages 60-61 of the book I am blogging my way through. It is actually one of the easiest patterns to follow as it is really just three pieces - the two large cirlcles for the top and bottom of the flower, and a smaller stuffed circle for the flower center. I chose to add French knots on the flower center to give added texture to the project. Little chain stitches on the flower petal "lines" further secure the long stitches taken to form the petals. Again, I visited my friendly neighbor's yard for this photo shoot. The little blooming bush appears to be an azalea in my thinking. I thought it would be unkind to place a heavy beanbag on a tender branch --- and my neighbor was looking, so I had to behave. But, I really did want these flowers on that bush branch! Imagine that if you will --- wouldn't a beanbag bush be the coolest thing ever?

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Add Another Great One!

The last week in April we received the happy news that another baby was born into the Nelson family! Welcome little Cecilia Josephine whose weight upon birth was 7 lbs. 9 oz.; height at 19.5 inches. Though we haven't met her yet, her parents have sent pictures via internet and Picassa...what a wonderful, modern way to be
there across the miles, but I sure would like to get my hands on this baby girl and kiss her sweet head and cheeks!
Don't you just love to see her little hand peeking out of the blanket and her rounded cheeks?
And now the Little Man is a big brother and seems ever-so-much the big boy...wasn't it just yesterday he was born?

We sure wish we could be with you as you are now a family of four.

Sending love,

Georgia Deb (the name Cherith gave me)