Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Magic

Well, everyone has gone home...everything that was leftover is in the freezer (deserts) or in the trash...everything else.  Every slice of bread was enjoyed and every dish came out of the oven done and timed right.  It's a minor miracle every year.  I have two burns that I must have got in the last minute frenzy to get everything out before we gathered to say grace.  Once the food is on the table and everyone sits down to eat, I breathe a sigh of relief.  I'm sure that sigh is heard in kitchens all across the US.  It's also a sigh of thankfulness.  Look at all we have...not the food,  but the people.  My brothers and their wives.  My nieces and nephews. Our little bird, so much love and fun!  My husband, the best... a seasoned pro with his electric knife. (The first year I thought we'd
never eat;-) Our children, kids no more.
Our daughter, a Mom to be, and Doug, her partner and dad to be... our sons, good, kind hearts and Jon's Charlotte, a sweetheart.  It's worth all the work and worry, the time and the money spent, just to be together.  It's such a gift!

I took about 5 photos, a few more than I took last year...just too much to do to remember!

I'm  finding some serenity in my new role as a Grandma to be.  I can't change the fact that this baby will be born in NY and not here in Chicagoland.  I never strayed from home or my family. When we married we lived across the street from my parents...but that is not the reality of Kristen's life. We'll stay close with the technology available to us.  I saw her belly bump first on face time, and we are a phone call away.  While Kris was here I shared with her a record album called...Relax, Here's Your Baby. (Anyone go to class with Margaret Gamper, back in the day?) I used it when I was pregnant with Kristen.  I bought the baby it's first gifts.  The book, Grateful, that I featured on my Thanksgiving post and a Charlie Brown Thanksgiving, one of Kris' favorites.  Along with it, I gave Kris a tag that says...  "Making the decision to have a child is momentous.  It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body." I'll have to be a traveling granny, which is fine with grandpa, as long as he can drive.  I still get to be a hands on great-aunt to our little bird and her little sister to be born in January.  That's a comfort to me, to be needed by the small ones in our family. I'll have to learn to deal with NY, and hope to be there for Kris when she needs us.  Just when I was getting the hang of our new reality (of grown up children), now we have the newest reality, Grandparent hood!

I wanted to tell you how we found out that Kristen was pregnant...  We were at the Country Living Fair in Ohio, and it was a Sunday morning.  The  hotel dining room was filled with travelers  like us, having breakfast.  My phone rang and it was Kristen...and with no warning she says, I'm pregnant.  Well, my reaction was to cry, and cry and cry some more while my husband, after informed that he was to be a grandpa, continued to eat.  I had to leave the table and walk outside, where a woman was sitting near the pool.  I could not stop crying and this dear woman, thinking I was receiving horrible news came and wrapped her arms around me.  It was the sweetest kindest thing.  Then my husband came out, (with my breakfast plate, as if...) and held me till I calmed down.  I was in SHOCK!  When we checked out it seemed everyone knew about the crying lady...including the front desk.  We went on to the fair and had the best day, telling everyone that we were going to be grandparents.  We could tell everyone because we knew no one, until I saw Carrie, from Hot House Market.  My husband drunk with being a Grandpa almost spilled the beans, so Carrie, if you're reading this, that's the big news!  We were under orders to keep things quiet for a few months!

November is just a blur, and December will come and go in a blink.  I'll be taking time to enjoy it all.  Thanks for all your kind words, and congratulations.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Just Call Me Grandma!

The house is still full of guests, the fridge is filled with leftovers and there's a bun in the oven! Our Kristen and her Doug are expecting!!!
I'm in a "glass case of emotions", to quote Ron Burgundy from Anchorman. Our world will never be the same. "Grandpa" couldn't be calmer or more proud. A baby... I've known for a while, but was asked not to share the news till now. A baby grows in Brooklyn, and I am here. Wonder why I was crafting like a fiend? It's how I work out my anxiety. So much is going on in my head and in my heart. Kristen is feeling better, after a few rough months...she is going to be the best Mom ever, no doubt there. Doug has been so good, and taken such good care of Kris... More soon. Take care my friends!

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Monday, November 21, 2011

At Church with Josh & Brent

This Sunday we went to one of our very favorite places, Mequon, Wisconsin.  The funny thing was, that though we also went to see our dear old friend Lake Michigan, at our favorite spot along the beautiful coastline, we really went to see our favorite gentlemen farmers, Josh and Brent, The Beekman Boys!

Whitecaps coming from the east...
The Lake was at least six different shades of blue.
I've photographed this spot so many times, but it never looks the same.
My honey taking pictures of me taking pictures...

I got an email saying that the "Beekman Boys" would be in  Chicago on Saturday and  in Mequon on Sunday.  We don't really need a reason to go up north on a Sunday drive, but since we missed the "Boys" at the Country Living Fair in September, we especially hoped to be able to go, and have them sign their new cookbook.  So go we did...
My husband made a friend.  He recognized Josh's Dad, Dave.  It's funny that at first, I did not know who he was, but my dearest did.  They had a good laugh, and talked for a while.  Josh and Brent were at Josh's parent's Church in Mequon.  They were signing their cookbook, and raising funds for the Parish.
The whole community was so warm and welcoming.  We also met Jackie, Josh's lovely Mom.  Everyone was so kind.  It was a great event with Josh and Brent so sweet and friendly, and generously donating their time and many of their Beekman 1802 products for a raffle extraordinaire.  I greeted them with a friendly, "Hi Guys" and  I admit I hugged them more times than prudent.   I have such admiration and affection for them. 
Josh and Brent were in turn so sweet to me and my hubby...hugs, smiles and handshakes all around.  They make everyone they meet feel special and appreciated.  I love that about them.

It was a great time, and a it's a beautiful cookbook.  When Thanksgiving dinner is over and all our guests depart...I'll get a chance to sit down and leisurely enjoy it's beautiful photography and delicious recipes.
We hope to see Josh and Brent in their hometown of Sharon Springs, New York next year for their fall festival.  Our daughter and a Very Special Guest are planning on a visit there with us. 
So I leave you with this bountiful harvest photo from the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook, and with happy memories of a couple of amazing guys.  I'm just about ready for Thanksgiving and our first guests arrive tomorrow night.  Grateful Grateful, truly blessed and duly grateful!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Sachet hearts for the Hospital, check!


Have I mentioned how grateful I am for all of you who visit me here?  I sincerely am!  Back to work.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Tufett Reborn

Here is my old tufett, (tufett is more elegant than stool) glorious in it's rosy fabric.  It was a garbage picked find, that I lovingly covered in roses.
 It's long  been overdue for a restyle, so that's what I did.  Out with the roses, in with the bird!

I love this transfer, and thought it would be perfect for the seat.  I found it here at Cottage Charm and Family Inspiration. Thank you girls!
This would have been an inexpensive redo, except for the fact that they stopped making the staples for the small electric staple gun I have, and haven't used for years.  My old hands can still use the manual stapler, but I'd pay the price with an aching hand for days.  Watch out, as I am armed and dangerous with a new staple gun.;-)
I hand gathered the skirt.  I used the Lenda curtain fabric (from Ikea) for the skirt and some onasburg muslin for the seat.  The Lenda fabric has a thread line through it, which would make centering the top tricky.  The muslin and the Lenda are a very close match in color and texture.
To cover the staples I used some burlap ribbon I bought  in Tipton in the spring.  I folded it in half and used upholstery tacks to hold it on. I love the look of burlap, but I hate to work with it.  It makes me itchy.
 There she is, the belle of the ball.

Feels good to turn something old and dusty new again.

This cool vintage Christmas advertisement came from the Graphics Fairy.   I made an envelope back but kept the salvage edge that was fringed.  Now,  I have a few vintage buttons to sew on the back.
I made a pillow to match the tufett.  The script fabric I've been saving for something special matches the transfer perfectly.
Another transfer project.  This image is from Dawn at The Feathered Nest.  These will be sachets, of lavender, of course.  I have a stash of  lavender Kristen got me from a farm in NY state.  Smells like heaven.

This concludes this installment of  "Procrastinating...Thanksgiving Edition!"

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Crafting...Like Crazy

I'm Penny and I have a problem...too much to do, so little time until Thanksgiving. My office/studio will be needed for guests during the Thanksgiving festivities. I need to clean all surfaces, including the floor (you can't really see the floor right now...) before Tuesday!

Problem is, I'm in a tizzy...a full blown crafting binge. I'm making tags, and cards...fabric transfers...sewing pillows...upholstering a footstool, spray painting glass...crocheting, and I still have sewing to do for Guild! The good news is all my Thanksgiving shopping is finished except for the fresh fruits and vegetables. The house is in good order...New bed in guest bedroom, check...master bathroom, foo fooed and functioning, check. Patio cleaned and items storeddddd....well, not everything is done...we still have a weekend, well, a Saturday for that!

This is the faux mercury glass technique I learned on youtube. I said I was spray painting! This is how you do it. Glass vessel, small amount of water in the bottom. Spray silver spray paint onto the surface of the water. Swish the water around so it covers the sides of the glass. Empty the water. While the glass was still wet, I sprayed some paint inside the top edges to cover.

Isn't it cool. This was just metallic silver, but there is also a mirror silver spray paint. This is a chunky piece of glass, but I think on something more delicate it would look even more like real mercury glass.
How about those clear glass ornaments...

Did I mention we could have up to thirty people for dinner on Thanksgiving? Oh no, I was too busy crafting;-) More to show you soon! Have a great day!

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Sunday, November 13, 2011

The Garden's Last Flower

Survivors of the frost and cold,
they wave their colorful blooms
like banners of victory
reminding us of friends
who weather the years,
flying flags of cheer.
Betty Rivera

Resting, nesting, cooking, baking, loving and ever grateful.

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