Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Preview (Pink Suitcase Chronicles #30)

FYI - it is peak color time in the North Woods of Michigan! Pink happily perched on the old carriage on the cabin grounds this past weekend. Although there has been heavy rain here lately, we were able to enjoy our last two days once it dried out a bit. Some color spectrum, huh? This picture was taken as we did the final stretch around the lake ---yes, we made it all the six miles around again this year! Thank you, feet.
On Saturday we woke up to this dreamy view of the lake.
Sunday already? Time flew by too quickly and we packed up, closed up for another year. Halfway home, we made it to the pumpkin farm.
And treated ourselves to a DQ pumpkin pie Blizzard. You really must try one, too.
Fall isn't so bad now, is it?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The REAL Reason I Went to a White Sox Game

It wasn't because the weather was perfect for sitting out in the bleachers for several hours. It was cold and gray. Fleece, hoods and blankets kind of weather.
It wasn't to see the famous new White Sox player, Manny. (It did help, though, to see Wes in a uniform all "buffed" up!)
It's wasn't to see the fireworks exploding out of the scoreboard - but that might've been fun.
It wasn't to sit near some VIP's from NPU, although they are very, very nice.
It wasn't even for the melt-in-your-mouth funnel cake - although I might have to rethink that one as it was soooooo good.
It WAS to get my very own Nancy Faust bobble-head figurine! She was honored at the Ballpark for her 41 years of service as the official White Sox organist! She is a North Park alumni with a major in Psychology who actually started playing the organ as a wee lass. She joins the group of
famous North Parkers including Dr. G. Timothy Johnson, Kevin Leman, and Governor Jim Thompson.
You are hereby invited to the City Nest to make her acquaintance. The price of admitance is certainly more affordable than a game at the stadium - even with the reduced rate. She may not be able to play this organ, but her head can keep the beat going! Nah, nah, nah, nah - nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, hey now....Goodbye! Thanks for the memories, Nancy Faust!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Speaking of Dresses (Baptism)

What a special day we have had today as we watched Ellie's baptism take place.
In preparation, Anne and I went fabric shopping a few weeks ago. She selected the simple pattern (McCalls 6015) and we hunted the aisles for the perfect white fabric. Finally, we found the soft cotton with pin tucks and appliqued lace. I practiced the "fit" on a green dress first for Ellie (she wore it to the "after" party.
During the baptism service, Ellie looked out at the congregation and showed them her cheerful nature and her latest tricks of waving, clapping, tongue rolling, jabbering and such...she's really engaging these days and it is a joy to watch all of the connections she is making.
Before returning Ellie to her parents, the minister walked her up and down the aisle.
Indeed, we all know how blessed we are to have this child of God in our lives.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Speaking of Wedding (Dresses)

This past week Marti and I had a BIG city adventure going to the ultimate in thrift stores: The Brown Elephant. We went to the one in Lakeview (there are two others in Chicagoland; Andersonville and Oak Park).
This place has it all for all kinds of people.
But what really got me was the wedding dress rack tucked away in the "higher end" section. There were vintage wedding dresses in really good condition at prices well under $100.00. Yes, I know I am not ever going to be a young bride again nor are my daughter or daughter-in-law, but I had to look them over carefully! Memories of decades past, you know?
This one had pearls top to bottom. It was lovely and had classic lines to it. Something that hip Mary Tyler Moore might have chosen when she was back living in Minnesota - if she decided she wanted to get married, that is.
Don't you just love that vertical bow on the vintage 50s dress? This was my favorite dress so far for a peanut of a girl with a 20 inch waist. Maybe Audrey Hepburn?
An 80s dress here for sure - you know when the decade fashions meant more is more? I think Julia Roberts could have worn this in the movie with the Mystic Pizza restaurant.
Then there was this dress from the 70s. How do I know its time period? Because it was during the Laura Ashley times when high necks, empire waists and long, puffed sleeves were the choice for modest brides such as myself and Marti...we both were wedded in dresses like these...and Marti even had daisies on hers!
Even though these dresses will probably last a long time on these racks, it was a delight to discover them. As was this perfect vintage hat discovered in a hatbox nearby. I LOVED THIS HAT!! Wouldn't it be perfect for the three weddings we are planning on attending in the month of October? Sadly, I left it behind, too...you just don't see many hats worn to weddings these days - at least in our "circle" of attendees. Would you wear it if you were me?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

September 12 Then and Now

The chapel. The candles and flowers.
The pianist.
The white roses and the newly wedded couple - then.
The ring bearer and flower girl(s).
The kiss.
The cake with the 40 year old swans supporting the two tiers. And two grandchildren highly anticipating the cake frosting.
The family resulting from the union 40 years ago.
Congratulations, Diann and Larry on this 40th wedding anniversary milestone!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Busy Book for a Busy Girl (Copycat Challenge #29)

When I saw the adorable needle case in the book Blanket Statement by Vicki Haninger, I wasn't quite sure how to tweak it to meet the challenge of creating her project with my twist on it. Then, when I was reading a pop-up type of book to Ellie recently, I noticed just how busy she was with grasping dimensional parts and had my own "light bulb" moment (better than the "senior moment" I might add) and thought of creating an interactive book for her out of the green woolly blanket. Because the needle case on page 10 had a house, I thought I would create items that belong in a house, such as a bed, a chair, etc. I made up the designs. Oh, and I also enlarged the pattern of the house.
***Please note: I know this little book should be used with supervision as it has buttons, beads and other swallowable items. ***
Regular felt was used in addition to the green blanket. The pink background page has an operable door on the wardrobe closet...inside is a cat. Lift up the lampshade on the lamp to find a dimensional smiling light bulb. The hands on the clock really move. The mirror on the chest of drawers reveals a smiling picture of Ellie on her seven month milestone.
Two bubbles in the tub are attached to ribbons and can be pulled out. Under the bed is a hiding alligator.
The book closes with two ribbons for Ellie to play with as well.
Yesterday was the day for Ellie to get her hands on the book. She seemed to love it! Our busy girl was having so much fun with it that Wes took a little video of our "reading"
together. Sigh.
video

Monday, September 06, 2010

Apples Make it a Bit Better

Okay, I admit it - I am not going easily into the new season of Fall. I love summer, not so much due to the heat, but due to all the things one might do to fill in a day. Walks, parks, outdoor concerts, dining al fresco, dipping toes in bodies of water, opening windows, watering flowers, ice cream stands, trips to the cabin, summer weddings...and so on. Whenever Labor Day comes around, I feel a bit sad. However, today turned out to be a great kick-off for the Fall season when we had spur-of-the-moment outing with Anne, Jed and Ellie to a nearby apple orchard. The weather was warm enough, but not too hot. The McIntosh apples were ready for picking!
Ellie thoroughly enjoyed the experience as well. The apples were just right for her little hands to grasp, and she loved (of course) putting them in her mouth. With no teeth, she really didn't have a chance to choke on anything.
Once we got back home, it was time to make the Apple Crisp. This recipe was provided by Joan G. in our LCC cookbook (don't you just love church cookbooks?).
APPLE CRISP
6 peeled, cored and sliced apples (or more if small apples)
1 c. sugar
2 T. flour
cinnamon
Place sliced apples in a 9 x 9 pan. Cover with sugar and flour, sprinkle with cinnamon. Mix together topping ingredients and sprinkle on top of apples. Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.
TOPPING:
1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. butter or margarine
1/2 -3/4 c. oatmeal
1/2 c. brown sugar
I think I'm feeling better already!

Friday, September 03, 2010

Walking Frank

This summer we have so enjoyed our CITY WALKS: CHICAGO touring cards! Recently we went to Oak Park on walk #33 which featured many (inhabited) homes Frank Lloyd Wright built in his neighborhood, as well as his own home and studio.
Below is the Unity Temple which was FLW's first public commission. I can only imagine how the public reacted to this building when it was built in the early 1900's.
Since our walking tour, I have really been craving learning more about FLW and his life and turbulent times. We are in the process of watching the Ken Burns/Lynn Novick DVD.
An excellent novel about the love affair between FLW and Mamah Cheney is Loving Frank by
Nancy Horan. I devoured that book in less than 24 hours.
Another book on my list to read (there are over 70 titles pertaining to FLW in my library) is a non-fiction children's book recommended by a co-worker.
Through the years we have toured FLW homes in Springfield and Hyde Park here in Illinois. Now, after reading the Horan novel, I have a hankering to go to Taliesin in Wisconsin. Have any of you readers been there? Can you recommend any other FLW architectural "works" you have visited that we should not miss?
I find FLW to be quite an interesting study. He was a genius, to be sure,
but his personal life had many disastrous and unfortunate twists and turns.
However, he made his mark in the world that will assuredly never be forgotten.