Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Summer Arrives

 The first holiday weekend of Summer, and the garden is flourishing.
 The peonies have popped and smell like heaven. (Cloudy day photos)
 All this beauty hidden in a little bud.
 All the memories the flower invokes... my youth, my parents and now my own home.
 Puttered around the kitchen, cleaning and arranging.
Made a small improvement on my old and ugly dishwasher with a little scrapbook paper, my zyron and clear matt sealer.  A little shabby, right? A big improvement. (no before photo, imagine a big black dented eyesore.) It got the babygrand's seal of approval. ;-)
 These are the clouds that kept us close to home on Saturday.
 Beautiful in their own way.
Capped off the Memorial Day weekend with a cookout and water fight with the family.   Just us, (missing Mike) a picture perfect day, a wading pool and some dollar store toys... all topped off with s'mores.  A great time was had by all, and our 22nd summer here in English Valley begins. Where does the time go?

Enjoy this beautiful day.

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Welcome to the Thrift

Good morning friends. Just wanted to show you a couple of bargains I found at the thrift.  I purchased this in the very early spring when we still had snow on the ground.  It was sitting on a shelf at a thrift we like to go to in Wisconsin.  I know how much faux flowers are,  and I've seen white sunflowers for $20 a stem.  I snatched up this wreath and almost danced to the check out. It looks so great on my front door, but alas, the storm door squished it.
 So I got out my rusty old hanger and hung it on the storm door.
 So pretty.  A little different with sunflowers, daisies and hydrangea.  The plaid bow is a great addition.
 I get a little giddy when I see a deal like this one!
This is a little gift I got from my dear SIL Elizabeth.  A ceramic bird wind chime.  The little wire feet make a tinkling sound.  Thanks so much.  Now to get the "tall one" (my dearest) to hang this for me.
 This was also a thrifted find.  Love the color and the carving.
 Anyone recognize the makers mark?
I found two of these buckets,  brand new, Pottery Barn Children's.  One went to Elizabeth who loved it.  This silly little towel was in a basket on my table. (found at a rummage sale) Elizabeth suggested that I hang it over my bucket... Then she said, "If only you had a red handled rolling pin to put in the bucket".  Sure enough, I reached into a drawer and pulled out my Buscia's rolling pin with red handles!  Silly and fun and in no way trying to incite violence at home. (The towel looks to be commercially made, not by a angry homemaker;-)
Another wash pan.  I use the couple I already have often, and used this one for cold drinks at Penny's party.

'Tis the season for rummage sales, flea markets and bargains of all kinds.  I'll show more as the summer gets underway.  Getting used to posting without waiting and frustration.  Makes a world of difference. It definitely makes blogging more fun.

Thanks for stopping by and for your kind comments and especially your friendship.

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Party for a Princess

We had a garden party for our babygrand Penny.  Notice the vintage children's table and chairs.  We found them  at Urban Farmgirl's Main Street Market in Rockford on Saturday.   It was through a comedy of errors that it was the ONLY thing we purchased at the sale, but it was THE perfect thing for our girl, and this vintage loving grandma.  To make a long story short, we found it at the second booth, used all the cash we had, and spent the rest of our time looking for a ATM.  We found one that was out in the middle of the road, connected by an extension cord.  Throwing caution to the wind, honey put his card in...and we waited...and waited...the sun was so bright we could not read the screen.  A line started forming behind us...waiting...waiting...Someone behind us gave us a shirt to use as a cover, over my honey's head like the old time photographers used to use...waiting, waiting. Finally, ERROR!  We never did get any additional cash, ended up leaving the sale with our one and only purchase.  (It was so crowded that we were parked  at the very last row of cars in the parking FIELD. The entire field was full. There was no way of coming back after leaving.) There is more to the story, as we tried to go to another sale, but had no luck there.  Oh well, maybe a story for another day...
Back to the party... I saw the balloon idea on Pinterest.  Though it was so romantic.  Penny thought so too.
 I had pink roses on the tables, to remind us of the day Penny was born, and the roses everywhere in Manhattan.
 I did regular balloons, not helium like on pinterest, and hung them from the tree with thread.
We also hung the garland and I wrote a colorful message on the blackboard.  I set Penny's table with crowns and roses. We had a table for snacks and lemonade.  The food was indoors,
 This was at 8am.  I wasn't sure what time Penny would arrive and I wanted it to be magical.
The yard looked so fresh and green, even my potting barn (broken down, crumbling shed that it is) looked charming.
 A vintage embroidered tablecloth covered the princess'  table.
 We put the playhouse on the deck. When it's on the lawn it becomes a place for spiders to live and the girls freak out.
Penny's cake was chocolate as per her request with peanut butter cream cheese frosting. I found the figures as a string of lights at the thrift.  A soapy wash and they made the cake.  It was one of the best cakes I ever made...seriously, there are leftovers calling to me from the refrigerator downstairs.;-)
On a picture perfect spring day, with the family, a brand new baby, crazy cousins, we had a birthday party as special as the girl we were celebrating, our four year old grand daughter Penny.

When we  finally sat down  at 8 p.m,  we were exhausted but happy.  My honey and I  throw a nice party.

One more thing...My Guild was visited by a rep from Ryan's Case for Smiles last week, the group we support as one of our service projects.  Vicky took this photo of us, and posted it on their facebook page.  We have made 2,410 pillowcases for  sick children in 6 area hospitals.  I couldn't be prouder of this wonderful, generous group of ladies.  That's my SIL Elizabeth next to me on the  right..  I'm holding a stack of pillowcases. Love you guys,(left to right) Mary, Shirley, Karen, Jean,  Diane, Carmella, Donna, Kathy, Elizabeth, Susan, Jane (hiding) and Theresa.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day

Monday, May 23, 2016

As Four Years Fly Past

Seems like yesterday that on a sparkling May day in Manhattan,  a magical little girl was born named Penny, making me a grandmother.   That was 4 years ago.  To see this girl grow to be a extraordinary person has been my joy.  
This is what we always say about this photo, our very first together...  I say, "I looked at you, and you looked at me, and then, Penny says, "We fell in love!"  No explaining it, the connection was immediate and even during the first three years when she lived in NY and I was here in Chicagoland,  we bonded and became close. (Everyday on Facetime helped, sometimes twice a day.

 Manhattan was filled with pink roses the day Penny was born.
 Not that you could ever imagine
such beauty in a crowded busy place like it is.

Today my girl is an artist, a dancer, a princess, a romantic.  She is sweet and silly, compassionate and kind.
We dance at the grocery store in front of the piano player, pretend at the grove that we are at a ball and dance and twirl in our beautiful pretend gowns.  We have coronations where we play Pomp and Circumstance on the iphone and march around the living room while I carry her train. We cook and clean
together, tea parties are the norm.  Penny lets me hold her for quiet time, no naps for a big girl, but she manages to fall asleep in my arms.  She imitates the way I walk, which is hysterical, and has a big crush on Grandpa.  Penny fills our lives with pure love and joy.
To Penny's Mom and Dad, thank you for sharing your wonderful child with us, for making us grandparents and for the time we spend together.  You'll never know how much we love having you all close, and appreciate being a part of Penny's life.  Love you guys.

Happy Birthday Penny, with all our love forever.


Friday, May 20, 2016

The Trouble with Glasses

Since I broke my glasses, seems I'm having trouble with other glass objects.  (By the way, the reason my glasses had to go to Denmark to be repaired was that they are discontinued and the manufacturer agreed to make me a new pair with the template they kept on file.  Pretty cool.)   Anyway, I had all of this vintage sewing stuff in a glass cloche.  I moved it so it wouldn't get broken by my baby grand and her friend Guy who were visiting.  When I went to put it back, of course, I broke it.  Then, while sitting in this very chair ,I glanced over to see this box on a shelf in my office. This is perfect.  It has a soft back so I pinned the sewing items securely to the back and stacked the thread and wrapped several measuring tapes here and there.   Thanks to my friend Jean who always thinks of me when we get donated items that are vintage.  (We, as in my Guild) The box was thrifted a while back and we had the glass replaced because it was etched with a family name.  I am very pleased with how it turned out.  Safer too.

 Out and about...A walk a few minutes from home, flying fish!

 I often photograph this pretty place,

 Appreciating nature in all seasons.

 We walked the neighborhood with Penny last weekend.  She tripped and fell.  When she saw this bench, she found the perfect spot to recover.  Luckily, it's in the yard of a neighbor I know.
 The kiwi vine on our arbor has not a bit of pink this year.

My front yard is overrun with Queen Anne's Lace, with a spattering of Hostas. I can't wait to see them all in bloom.  I was thrilled when some volunteers took root,

In a neighbors garden, silvery Lamb's-ear.  Of course you have to stop and touch,

So many wonderful things to see.

Looking forward to a beautiful weekend.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.