Monday, August 30, 2010

Almost Like Being "Live" on the Set of *DWTS!!!

(* For the non-enlightened this stands for DANCING WITH THE STARS - one of the best shows on TV ever!) Just last night three of my co-workers and I attended a Vegas Headliners show put on by the Fred Astaire Dance Studio. Why? One of our staff, Sue, had decided she wanted to learn ballroom dancing and this was her glitzy recital of sorts. The theme for the show? Dancing to big show numbers by Barry Manilow, Nancy Sinatra, Sammy Davis Jr., Ray Charles, Tom Jones, Bette Midler, Celine Dion, and many more.
The "pros" danced with the students. All ages, all sizes: there was a woman who was 72, a man who was 60. There were dancing mothers and grandmothers. Elvis wanna-be's. Men dressed in black. Women sparkling with diamonds and crystals. Big hair and (almost) no hair.
Our co-worker danced so smoothly and beautifully to Whitney Huston's "I Have Nothing" and told us afterwards that she could hear us cheering her on. Way to dance, Sue!
One of my personal favorite numbers was "Roxie" from the Chicago play/movie.
The woman who was aged 72? This is her performance above.
This man so reminded me of what Wes would dance like shouldst he decide to take up ballroom dancing.
Here we see the 60 year old man dancing to "Copa Cabana" and "American Bandstand" and he was a lot better than the DWTS men Jerry Springer, Buzz Aldrin, and that politician!!
After the show, we got to see our CMPL dancer --- yeah Sue!
Then she cuddled up to the owner/manager of the Fred Astaire studio! Do you recognize Jesse DeSoto from DWTS Season Three? I admit unabashedly that I was swooning on the inside and maybe just a little on the outside! Hmmm...should I consider taking up ballroom dancing, too?

Friday, August 27, 2010

Stockings. One Christmas-y. One Not. (Copycat Challenges #27 and #28)

Time for yet another blog on the ongoing projects using the book Blanket Statement by Vicki Haninger inspired by the book/movie Julie and Julia. I am making the projects and blogging about the entire contents of the book with my own little renditions or tweaks. Of course, my inspiration is our Grand-daughter Ellie! This Christmas stocking will be for her. The book had no actual pattern for the stocking (pages 46- 47) , but called for a sweater cuff around the top. I've got lots of those around here - I have been thrifting sweaters and felting them for the past few years. In fact, Betz White wrote a wonderful book called Warm Fuzzies that provided the pattern for stockings I made for our grown kids a couple of years ago. Now Ellie's will match those.
Vicki's pattern really added shi shi fru fru to the stocking ornamentation. I copied it shamelessly.
I photographed the stockings as they sat on top of our shrubbery. Festive touch, eh? The second stocking was inspired by a nursery rhyme about the Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe. The original words have always disturbed me with the cruel twist of beating those poor kids and sending them to bed hungry!! I searched around and found a much nicer verse:
This stocking is meant for holding a bunch of kids. Alphabet kids. I found the needle pointed alphabet kids at St. Vinny's thrift store in Iron River and they looked so forlorn in the Ziploc bag that I had to take them home!! (Think about all the hours the stitcher took to make these babies and they ended up in a plastic bag? Yipes!)
Vicki included the stocking pattern on pages 36 and 37 in her book. The rest of the design is mine for the window boxes, door, cuff and heel.
Now all those alphabet babies have their own special, happy home! Ellie and I will have games with spelling and putting together simple words with the letters on the baby bellies. That is, when she is ready for them. Now, she will probably just like chewing on them.
With Christmas only 121 days away now, we're getting ready! How F - U - N is it going to be to have our first Christmas with our Grand-daughter?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sleepover at the City Nest!

Lucky us! We got to have a sleepover with Miss Ellie this past weekend! Anne brought over things we needed like the pink Bumbo, a Pack 'n Play bed and a stroller base.
Ellie played a little bit, then we whisked her off on a city adventure!
She has a bit of a tight squeeze in our car seat for the stroller base. That girl is getting some serious thighs.
First stop: the swings at Gross Park. Being a concerned Gramma, I used a "protector" on the swing set so her mouth wouldn't get germied up.
Of course Ellie had to go down the slide.
As well as standing up on the playground equipment. (Check out her dimpled knee.)
We then took her to a store in the neighborhood to spoil her a bit. Wes held up various toys for her to respond to and she liked this colorful caterpillar the best.
Dinnertime next. She ate pears and sweet pototoes - a lot of them!
Gramma read her three books.
Following story time, Grandpa gave her walking lessons.
The favorite activity for Miss E the whole sleepover time? Watching her Mom's old wind-up/baton twirling Cabbage Patch doll "strut her stuff" on the living room floor! Ellie laughed, kicked her legs and almost started crawling just to get at this toy.
Seven months ago we were awaiting her birth, and now we simply cannot imagine a life that had no Ellie in it. It's true what they say about being Grandparents: it's the best!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Wedding Weekend in MN (Pink Suitcase Chronicles #29)

Pink made it with us to the site of the wedding reception for Tim and Ali in Minnesota this past weekend! After the church ceremony, we drove to a lovely home for the party. Here, friends and family mingled, sipped and nibbled before heading out to the tent.
One might like to note that the tent was surrounded by fields of green and gold. A dramatic sky above cooperated by opening up with raindrops only during the time of eating and then presented the newlyweds with a lovely rainbow and sunset afterwards.
Here we see the sweet newlyweds cutting the cake that only ended up where it ought to be inside the mouths and not smeared on faces or outfits.
And, here, finally we see my own sweet husband holding my purse while I took tons of pictures that can be found on my Facebook page.
He's a keeper, isn't he?
Congratulations to Tim and Ali...may you have a very long and very happy marriage!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Making the Cut (Copycat Challenge #26)

I got me some Gingher love going on here. If you sew, you know what I am talking about...these are the best scissors ever made (in my opinion). Sure, I've tried Fiskars and they are awfully good cutters, but Gingher rules! For garment sewing I use the full size, but for my small craft projects I use the 5 inch embroidery scissors.
Way in the back of the Blanket Statement book by Vicki Haninger - on page 98 to be precise - is an acknowledgements and inspirations page. No actual patterns are given, but I knew I could figure out how to adapt the Scissors Keeper by Charlotte Lyons to create a custom carrier for my own scissors. Snip, stitch, done.
And now I have a safe way to keep track of my little scissors. I chose to applique a tiny acorn on the flap (pattern provided on pg. 97) because, like the mighty oak tree from which it comes, it represents these mighty fine cutters! Please accept my apologies for photographing the project with a maple leaf background instead of oak leaves...I'm too lazy to go out searching on this beastly hot day and the mosquitoes appear to be on a rampage in these here parts!

Monday, August 09, 2010

The Big Squeeze (Pink Suitcase Chronicles #28)

Why call this post the Big Squeeze? Simply because we squeezed a whole lot of action - and people - into our family cabin in Michigan this past week!
The occasion was Wes' parents 60th anniversary celebration and family came from Texas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota and Illinois. Seeing as the cabin is roughly the size of a double car garage and we totalled 23 people, we opted to slumber in the AmericInn in town.
However, our days were spent at the cabin. The raft on the lake saw much action!
As did the boats.
Just like the old days when Wes was a boy, the younger cousins put on a "show" for the rest of us. What was different this time around? Check out the "tip" cup that we were encouraged to visit after the show. Pretty resourceful, huh?
Performers taking a bow at the end of the show. .. we heard songs and watched dancing moves.
John is the oldest boy cousin; Jackson the youngest at six years of age. Here they pose with their weapons of destruction after the show had concluded.
Ellie is the youngest of the family - and the object of much interaction! She was passed around like a container of popcorn with each holder enjoying her irresistible flavor! Shown below: four girl generations!
The food was consumed with gusto - a whole lot of food and gusto!
Kari is quite a hit with the young cousins.
All of the above activities happened within the span of one day. The next day was the big anniversary party and the order of the morning was making six wild raspberry pies. Paul picked, Lora and Renee constructed and Wes and I were the pie runners as we ran out of propane gas for the stove and had to take the pies next door for baking in their oven. Oops.
The pies were brought to the restaurant. All 10 grandchildren (one texted a message from California) gave little tribute speeches and then helped to hand out the pie slices to the guests.
Their reward? Making goofy faces for the camera!
Here we are. Thank you, Elder and Muriel, for giving us great cause to celebrate! You're the best. And, might I add, the main squeeze of this two-day event!