Monday, January 23, 2017

January Thaw

 We were blessed with the most beautiful January Saturday.  The temperature was in the fifties with bright sunshine and a beautiful clear sky.  This is my Christmas gift from my hubby...a membership to the Chicago Botanic Gardens.  We have visited once this year with our babygrand to see the Holiday Wonderland Express exhibit.   Since we had a day with our girl, we headed back to the gardens.
 We brought the stroller in case of tired legs...mostly Grandma and Grandpa's.  Sometimes our girl is so tired, she can't walk another step...and we are too old to carry 40+lbs around the gardens.;-) The truth is this was the last time she sat in the stroller, she ran for our whole visit.
 After a cloudy and rainy week this day was truly a gift.

 We visited all the greenhouses.  So sweet to see flowers blooming...
 and topiary bears, a big gummy bear is what Penny thought of this guy.
 Spots of color...
 dappled sunlight...
 tropical trees and flowers.
 Delicate orchids and
 sturdy leaves...

 ...proud grandparents.  Yes, Penny took this photo.  Our girl is amazing...and almost five.
 These were Penny's favorite find of the day, Snowball Cactus.  They looked almost cuddly.
 Grandma and Grandpa have a soft spot for bonsai.  I photographed these before, outside in the summer.  They live in a light filled hall during the winter.
 So elegant. They are living works of art.
 Some might walk past a pile of sand and gravel, but not our girl.  She saw it as a opportunity to make sand castles.
My daughters Kris and Charlotte were marching in the Women's March in downtown Chicago.
I am so proud that they represented all the women in our family.  Kristen carried tokens of her grandmother, best friends and a penny for Penny and me. Chicago's march had 250,000 marchers.

At one point during the march, Kris looked over to see a man with a name tag she recognized.  It was our old and dear friend named Floyd. Floyd was marching with the Sierra Club.  She introduced herself as Penny's daughter... I am sure that Floyd was amazed to see Kristen, now a beautiful grown woman.  It has been such a long time since we had last seen Floyd.  Kristen never forgets a face, and a happy reunion ensued. What are the odds?  They left me a message on my answering machine at home.  It was so sweet.
That daughter of mine is amazing. It was a significant day for all women, made more so by Kristen's fierce determination to make the world a more tolerant, inclusive and peaceful place to raise her daughter.  Charlotte walked on a painful foot determined to have her feelings known.  I am so proud of my girls.

Later on Saturday evening Penny got to visit with her cousins, well, cousin cats.  Mike and Amanda invited us over for dessert and some cat cuddling.  Penny is a cat whisperer and loves Henry( the cutest cat ever )and Oden and Luna.  We had such a nice visit and Penny was in cat heaven.  Mike and Amanda have settled into life back home.  They have a cozy and welcoming home, and we are so glad to have them close.

 Silly that I need to share,  but I got a delivery from Pottery Barn!  I received gift cards for Christmas and after not finding anything at my local store, started searching the web.
 I choose this wire hamper.
It is so cool.  One other gift will arrive next month.  Thanks to my generous hubby and kids I got to shop PB, just for fun.  Of course I got sale prices and free shipping. 

I have Valentine's to craft, crocheting to do, laundry awaits.  Another gloomy day, but memories of our happy weekend will warm my heart and get me through.

Thanks so much for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.

Love, Penny 

Monday, January 16, 2017

January Crafting.

 As soon as the guests leave at Christmas, I get the crafting bug.  Little projects, big projects...  Like this heart wreath.  Tie some strips of fabric to a wire wreath form.  These were very popular back in the 80's/
I love the combo of teal and pink.  It looks pretty on my Tiffany box blue door.
(photographs green on a gloomy day.)
 Have you seen the tutorial going around for this vintage looking mirror project?  They are replicating a mirror sold at Anthropology.  I thought I'd try. I found this stamp at HobLob.  I took it off it's wood mount and put it onto a clear acrylic mount.  So much easier to place the stamp correctly..
 I pulled out my brayer.  Haven't used it in years. .Never get rid of your tools.
Found this chalk paint at the Walmart.  I used the brayer on a glass tile to spread the paint evenly on the stamp.

 Stamped on the wrong side of the glass...
 even mitered the corners.
 After the stamping dries you spray a light misting of water, then apply a coat of mirror glass spray paint. This helps you get the mercury glass look. I had to wait for a day that was at least 40 degrees.  My first attempt went very badly!  It was just too cold.  I scrubbed off all the paint and had to start over.

 After a couple of coats of the mirror finish, you can distress the paint to make it look like an ancient mirror. I used a green scotch-brite  pot scrubber. Then you coat the back of the mirror with black spray paint. When it's all dry, pop it back into the frame.
 Very hard to photograph, but the results are lovely.  The frame was a thrift store find.
 My glass is non glare, which I would avoid if I make another...and I will.
 Makes a pretty tray.

Now I.m working on a few fabric Valentines.
 I have these Tim Holtz tags with inspirational sayings on them.  Now to stitch them all around with some floss and a blanket stitch.
Or maybe a ribbon rose and a crocheted leaf...
Hope to have a finished product to show you next time.

As we celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Day, I am remembering his quote that says, "I have decided to stick with Love. Hate is too great a burden to bear." I have been dreading this week since the November election.  I will try to remember how brave Dr. King was in the face of adversity. How he spent his life working to overcome challenges that I can't even imagine. I pray that we can have peace, equality and especially love, in all of our lives.  America! America! God mend thine ev'ry flaw, confirm thy soul in self control, Thy liberty in Law! Amen.

Thank you for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

This and That... On a gloomy Day in January

Oh the gloom, after the lights of Christmas.  Filling my home with equally bright Valentine decorations seems to be the only way to go. These little cherub topiaries have graced my home each February for almost 30 years.  I saw them on the cover of the Spiegel catalog and had to have them.
Mom shopped the Spiegel catalog, and I remember many a birthday waiting for the UPS man who was bringing my gift.
 Gifts are here and there. A painted gingerbread house from my baby bug and a ornament from the little bird and from their Grandma Elizabeth the cute vintage looking box filled with treasures.
 Like this roll of tinsel and the glittered nest.  Too pretty to put away just yet.

 Collections...These hobnail vases, for any occasion.  I've found them for as little as a quarter.  We have another wedding next year and all the festivities that require flowers.
 Small changes, a little greenery...
 moss balls and some shiny ones.  That seems to be a new collection in the making.
 Snowflakes are winter, right? ...Love this mobile, and hate to put it away.
 Changed up some of the clipboards.
 I plan on keeping this globe up all year.
 A new rug in the family room.  It's from the Home Depo.  It's vintage worn look is perfect with my fireplace update.
 My Valentine mantle, a mix of what was already there for Christmas...
 a couple of rose bowls with silk roses...
 Mercury glass candle holder and votives.
 It's all about Love,
Sweet Love.

Working on a project and taking some photos as I go along.  Waited for some mild temps so I can spray paint.  January is the time for reading books, starting new projects and relaxing after the marathon that is the holiday season.  Take some time for yourself my friends!

Enjoy this beautiful day!

Love, Penny