Monday, January 30, 2012

Where have all the eagles gone?

We took a ride to Utica, Illinois to Starved Rock State Park to see some eagles.  Last year there were dozens in the trees, this year...we saw one.  There was talk that there were actually 3 eagles hanging around the park this January, but we only saw the one making circles in the sky. 
 We still had a great time. 

We had three generations with us this trip.  Sue and Ron brought their daughter and son in law with their two beautiful grandchildren.  Dot is also pictured, Kev is off somewhere with Ron.  We've all been friends since grade school. 
 This is the river and Plum Island where the eagles usually roost.
 People were pointing their binoculars in this direction, but I didn't see any eagles.
 It is a very pretty place to roost, and right next to the dam where I hear the fishing is great.  This is what usually draws the eagles to this spot.  This year, with our mild winter, the eagles had their choice of open water.
 It was cold and icy walking the trail to Lover's Leap Overlook. Just getting to the stairs was treacherous.
 Here our good friend Ron and my dearest take a breather.
We were rewarded at the top with a fly by of the single eagle we saw.  He is in the upper left hand side of this photo, a third of the way down.  I wasn't sure I captured his photo till I got home and looked on my computer screen.

It was worth the hike to see the beautiful view.

The walk down was equally dangerous...once you get that downward momentum, it's hard to stop! My husband makes me laugh, he's just plain silly sometimes. I love that about him!
A great visit with dear friends.  We spent the evening in front of the fire...I love the contrast of fire and ice! We got very cold and then got cozy warm.  Reminded me of skiing back in the day with these very same friends! On the way home I told my husband that I missed Sue and Laury.  They are the missing couple of this group that's been together for over 40 years.  Sue and Laury live in California... I so wish they were here to enjoy this time in our lives together! (Hope you're reading this Sue!)

I've got some time off from baby wrangling this week, and hope to accomplish much.  Have a great day dear friends!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

With a Little Help from my Friends!

In my last post I asked for some help.  Some great friends and fellow bloggers came to my aid.  With their advice and helpful links, my vision for the baby shower all came together.  Lynne, of  Irish Garden House sent me a link with a vintage baby shower,  then Debby from Cozy Blanket (I just love the name of her blog!) gave me some tips in a comment she left.  These two lovely ladies are the best! I don't want to  show all my cards, but I have so many great ideas now. 
When I took a trip to the local Hallmark to buy invitations, it turned into a little inspirational outing.  I found this wrapping paper and I got an idea.  An then... it all fit together.  For now I'll just share the invites I made.  The Mom to be is not a pink kind of  girl, and I knew the colors were perfect to pull all my ideas together.

I used my die cutter to cut the wrapping paper and xyroned them onto kraft paper cards.  The kraft paper will tie into the be seen at a later date.  I used Snug Hug seam binding in 3 different colors, and a varigated string to tie the tags. The little brown bags hold a tag with the info on where the Mom to be is registered.
 Must get more seam binding!!
With a little help from my friends and some long hours of work, these invites are finished  and off in the mail.
On to my next project...a quilt perhaps?  Have a great weekend, and thanks again Lynne and Debby. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Baby Talk

Back in September when I found out that I was going to be a Grandmother, it seemed an abstract concept. It was something that would happen, but in a very long time. Now that the holidays are over and February is on the horizon, the spring will be here very soon, and so will my grand daughter! How to prepare for this life changing event?

Soon,  I will be hosting a baby shower. I'm the go-to person when anyone of my friends has a shower to plan and favors to make. Now that it is my turn...yikes...what do I do first?
Today, I am going on an inspiration field trip, hoping to jump start some creativity.

If you have any ideas, I'd love to hear them. Wish me luck! Enjoy this beautiful day.

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Seeing Sepia

They say in Chicago, if you don't like the weather, wait five minutes. It has been so true this weekend. Friday we had 9 inches of snow. Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, then turned dark and gray with fog. Sunday was more fog, snow, sleet, rain, thunder and lighting. This morning, instead of seeing the gray outside, I'm seeing sepia. Here are a few photos I took this weekend. Moving things around, playing and puttering. This is my thrifted tray, a fern, some old encyclopedias and a few apothecary bottles I found at the Hob Lob.

I've never found an antique jar that I could afford, so I was really pleased to find these, and on sale.

This large mirror has seen many transformations in it's time. I used the old method of napkin applique, and some of Hallmark's Ivy patterned napkins. The technique is old as the hills...a little white glue and a pretty napkin. You cut around the design and peel off any excess layers. Spread the thinned glue on the surface to be decorated and carefully place the napkin motif. Gently cover with the glue mixture with a soft brush and let dry. The glue dries clear and you can't see that it's a napkin. It really does look hand painted. This was back in my Ivy period. Think Waverly Ivy, another blast from the past that is actually timeless. A fresh look for this gloomy time of year.

It really does look painted!

Here is another tray...These books I bought at the first NaDa Farm sale I attended a couple of years back. The little nest is an ornament I could not put away, given to me by my dear SIL Elizabeth. She also gave me the dried hydrangeas...generous girl!

Remember that "someone" who was stuck out west? Well, that was my dearest. After a week that included a total of 24 hours in airports, 8 hours or so in the sky, he arrived safely home at 2am on Saturday. After a white knuckled ride on the still uncleared roads and highways, our son Mike was the hero who got us to the airport in one piece... Needless to say, my house is very clean (I used my anxiety last week for good not evil;-) and the baby's afghan is getting big.  I am so grateful to have my guy HOME!  Even a gray day can be beautiful. Have a good one!

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Friday, January 20, 2012

Stuff and Such

I found this beautifully illustrated scrapbook at the local thrift store. It's like a modern cabinet card book, with flowers on each page.

It would be perfect for altering, and I think that's what I'll do with the individual pages.

This bark cloth wanna be is upholstery weight, and at 60 inches wide and 2 yards long plenty for several projects.

Have you seen this free booklet from Hobby Lobby? So many really nice things to do with burlap, or dropcloth or canvas. It reminded me of when Hobby Lobby would have a spot on the Aleene's crafting show, Creative Living. Patty and Darcee, always demonstrated such great ideas, and back then visiting a Hobby Lobby was only a dream. I think they were just in the south back then.

Really cool placemats.  Now Hobby Lobby is close by and is my favorite crafting store.  Go check it out, you might see me there! 

Here in Chicagoland we are on STORMWATCH!  It's gonna be a long day.  Remember my shout out to a person visiting the west coast...he's stuck there.  Flights have been cancelled in anticipation of the storm.  Tom Skilling the weatherman at WGN is usually right on the money in his forecast, but this storm had so many "models" (predictions by the National Weather Service) that we may have 3 inches or as many as 9.  This is one day I'm not wishing for the maximum snowfall.

Thanks for the sweet comments on my last post. I so appreciate your friendship, and your comments always make me smile. Thank you.  Stay safe my friends.  Have a great weekend!

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Thursday, January 19, 2012

It's a Girl!

We just found out that my new grand baby to be, is a Granddaughter!  This photo is just for the amusement of the Mom to be!  So many thoughts and memories are in my head and heart today.  Remembering how sweet and happy Kristen was when she was a baby, and still is today.  Imagining all the wonderful things awaiting Kris and Doug, watching this sweet baby girl grow.  Hoping that I'll be a good grandma... I'm a good auntie, but that is just a supporting player.  The pressure is off, and I can just be my crazy self.  Being a Grandma has responsibilities.  I hope I'm up to the task.  I know that my dearest will be the best Grandpa.  Amazingly, he never had a Grandparent in his life...not even a Father as an example.  Somehow, he is the best Dad, a cherished Uncle and a calm, wise and loving Grandpa to be.  Even his silver hair and beard give him that kindly and benevolent air of "Grandfather".   I'll be a long distance Grandma, with the technology to be a daily presence to my Granddaughter.  I've had the "Grandma" look for years now...not the hip, blond, is that the Mom or Grandma kind of Grandma... but the bun and apron wearing, cookie baker, rosy cheeked, sewing and crocheting Grandma, with a ample bosom for cuddling.  A baby girl, sigh... She is  already rocking my world!
Thanks for your indulgence on this topic.  Enjoy this beautiful day.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Winter Crafting

You can tell a real artist by how well they do faces. LOL

Suzy Snowflake is a winter favorite around here.  Our little bird is crazy for the old standbys, including Hardrock, Coco and Joe. (If your from the Chicago area, these were a annual favorite of kids young and old.) While enjoying my craft room and all the tools...(she is handy with the paper trimmer and the hole punch!) she came across a small paper doll I cut from a manila folder.  I knew this doll had the potential to be Suzy Snowflake. Using all manner of snowflakes, glitter and glue, Voila! I think she will love her. I hung her on some clear thread and attached it to a dowel, so the little one can make Suzy dance just like the video. 
I am working on the first of my crafty projects for the grandbaby.  I love this pattern, that is actually for a washcloth.  I just increased it 4 times, and am using a yarn from the Hob Lob called I Love This Yarn!.  It had a very soft feel and is a pleasure to crochet.  It is white with the tiniest flecks of blue and rose.  I'm making it toddler sized, they grow so fast and it will be a few months until  baby needs a cozy blanket!
I'm including the pattern here, since I couldn't find the link from Lion Brand Yarn.  It's stitch is so simple but the results are lovely.  More crafts to come.  The Sun is shining, enjoy this beautiful day.

Chain 33.
Row 1: Skip 2 chains (counts as single crochet), work 2 double crochet in next chain, *skip 2 chains, work (single crochet, 2 double crochet) in next chain; repeat from * to last 3 chains, skip 2 chains, single crochet in last chain – 10 (single crochet, 2 double crochet) pattern repeats.

Row 2: Chain 1 (counts as single crochet), turn, 2 double crochet in first single crochet, *skip 2 double crochet, (single crochet, 2 double crochet) in next single crochet; repeat from * across, single crochet in turning chain.

Repeat Row 2 until piece measures 10½ in. [26.5 cm] from beginning. Fasten off.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

California Dreaming

Sing along!  A wink to someone special,  who is spending some time on the coast!  Come back tomorrow, I'll have some craft projects, really! 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Have you noticed,
 the geese seem confused
by our change in the weather.

When it snows, ain't it thrillin,
though our nose gets a chillin,
to frolic and play the Eskimo way...
...Walking in a winter wonderland. 
Really enjoying the snow and cold temps. 
 Especially enjoying the warm arms of my dearest. 
 Enjoy this beautiful day.