Monday, March 27, 2017

Still Waiting For Spring

 There are signs of spring, even a almost eighty degree day.  It rained most of our weekend that we shared with our girl Penny.  These are city flowers that "Mom and Dad planted the seeds for." We had a happy and quiet weekend.  Watching the movie Moana, where the Grandma dies makes me weep.  Moana's Grandmother comes back to guide her, and Penny just hands me Kleenex. (Why do they always kill off the Mother, and now the Grandmother...started with Bambi.   Mike and Amanda came for Sunday breakfast and brought Amanda's childhood favorite movie The Jungle Book.  Penny loved it and  was humming and singing Bare Necessities in the car on the way home.  The power of technology, we watched and listened to clips on the "youby tubey" on my phone.    Our girl gets a little dearer and sweeter with each visit.  
 On the way home from the city, we stopped at the Lake for a walk.  Moody skies and cooler temps kept everyone away from the Lake, except for two old sweethearts.
 There's my sweetheart.
 Usually there are lines of cars, but there was only the "Big Blue Truck."
 So serene in any weather...
 as my favorite cottonwood stands watch.

 Here are my latest finds... a ceramic basket in a soft green...
 These sweet salt and peppers,
 three gorgeous plates,
 a bunch of yellow crocus,
 A Chaplet, a string of beads used by Catholics to pray.  I have lately been collecting orphan Rosaries I find at the thrift stores.  I always admired pretty crystal beads, but as children we often had plastic beads, with our fancy Holy Communion Rosary locked away for safe keeping.  I often find Rosaries for 50 cents, but this is my first Chaplet.  I have to watch a video to see the difference between the two and the prayers involved.  My Catholic youth and sense of tradition still holds a place in my heart.

I cleaned out our linen closet that hasn't had linens in it for years.  I sent a New Kids on the Block sleeping bag home to Kristen and a shopping bag filled with items from the Kristen Willoughby archives.  Diaries, zines...  Things that are too precious to dispose of.  Kris is gonna have a walk down memory lane and I got a clean linen closet that I promptly filled with crafting supplies.
Mike and Amanda took home a couple of large bags of stuff that we have been keeping while they settled in.  I told my sweetheart we lost about 100 lbs of stuff this weekend.  Then I bought...well, how much can a plate weigh?  LOL  Like Mother like children.  

 After seeing some blooming branches online, I picked up a branch from the lawn and made one of my own.
I die cut tissue paper with a scalloped circle die.  A little hot glue and instant Spring.

While writing today I am listening to Pandora.  I haven't used this music service lately, but I used to when I had my computer in my studio.  I have a John Denver station that plays John but so many of my favorite artists.  You can like or dislike songs that come on, and it kind of learns...  Sometimes it's right on, sometimes introducing me to artists I might not ever listen to.  It's certainly not new, probably old fashioned, but such a nice soundtrack to my day.

Thanks so much for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, March 20, 2017

Happy Spring

Today is the first day of Spring.  I'm loving the longer daylight, the little buds on the trees and shrubs and the occasional little sprout.  This little vignette I put together in a crate from Elizabeth with items I've used for years to decorate for Spring.  Using things in a new and different way.
 I can't tell you how long I've had this little piece of stained glass.  It finally went up in the window.  A perfect touch of green and pink for Spring.
 I started on these signs in the summer.  Painted the boards I got three for a dollar at a flea market.  I made a Christmas tree sign that was sold at our auction in December, and now I have almost completed these two.  One for Elizabeth and one for me.  I toy with the idea of selling some of my vintage at one of the summer markets, or even having a sale of my own.  English Valley Vintage has a nice ring to it.  The signs now need to be distressed and sealed.  Hubby will drill some holes for a hanging wire or rope.
 Those flower accents are Wallies.  Wallpaper like additions.  I have a collection and have used them on many surfaces.  I am not sure they still make them.  If you are interested, I will share.  Leave me a comment.

 Someone was visiting this weekend.  Penny spent the night and we took her and the wagon to the Botanic Garden.  It was cold and windy, but Penny ran like the wind.  She is getting so tall and has so much energy.  We did have to urge her to get out of the wagon, she's a smart cookie and loves a ride.  We took almost 7,000 steps according to my hubby's pedometer.  I bet Penny took twice as many.

Grandpa got tired and sat in the wagon for fun.  The things we do for love!  We don't mind looking foolish to make our girl laugh.  She lights up our lives.
 There is some blooming going on at home...
 The geranium I brought in, in the fall is blooming again.
 also a orchid is sending up a shoot.  This is exciting.  I haven't had a orchid bloom in a couple of years.
 "Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." William Wordsworth

 "When all at once I saw a crowd, A host, of golden daffodils..." William Wordsworth
 I think my sewing machine has sewn it's last pillowcase.  Dear Kristen is letting me use her machine until I decide on a new machine for myself.  Thanks sweetie.
A couple of thrifted pretties.  

"Be a gardener of life.  Lots of what you do doesn't show, like the roots of a tree.  No work is ever wasted if it expresses something important to you." Alexandra Stoddard

Thanks for stopping by and for your friendship.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

A March Snow

 We had almost eight inches of snow fall on the 13th and 14th of March here in Chicagoland. Certainly not as bad as our friends in Sharon Springs, NY who have thirty six inches today and the snow is still falling there.
 I love snow, always have.  I went out to shovel and my sweet neighbor Peggy came by with her snowblower and did the driveway and walk while I did the cleanup.  The cold crisp air, the snow crystals flying from the is awesome.
 I know many dislike the cold, I might be part polar bear. 
 Nothing is as beautiful as freshly fallen snow.
 A bright blue sky, it's the only time we get that high altitude blue 
I saw in Aspen, Colorado in my youth.
 In a few weeks the leaves will pop...
 Tiny green sprouts will shoot up from the ground...
 until then, I will enjoy the beauty, bundle up and walk in this 
winter wonderland because it is fleeting.

 Soon the sound will be of lawn mowers...
 Kids laughing in the yard...
 but today, I love a March snow.

Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny

Monday, March 13, 2017

Winter, Out My Window

We woke up this morning to a beautiful covering of freshly fallen snow.
Since I was a child, March snow is not that unusual in Chicagoland.
Many a Easter Sunday came with snow on the ground and dashed hopes of wearing the new spring coat or sweater without the winter coat over it.
Well, if winter wants to stay outside, I've got a spring vibe going on inside.
 My SIL Elizabeth brought me the little jadeite covered bunny jar, and asked if I had others...
I walked her into the family room to see my mantle already decked out with all my covered
jars and a space, I swear, where her gift fit perfectly...
Elizabeth anticipates my every whim.  It's spooky sometimes, but we know each other so well.
When I bought her an olive bucket for Christmas, Elizabeth said, "How did you know I wanted one?"
I wanted one too, so I knew she would like it.

 A few changes to the buffet.  Some pops of color here and there.
This is DIL Charlotte's pop crate from her Grandparent's farm.  I filled it with all the little ceramic bunnies, birds and a tiny lamb that Penny has been playing with.  At Grandma's house there is a go ahead and touch rule.  Play but be careful, and she is.  I always remember how much I wanted to touch things when I was little.  Especially scissors!  They were off limits, even later as a teen, we had to ask permission.  Buscia's scissors were especially a no no.  I have Mom's scissors and Buscia's too. I cherish then but they are terrible scissors. They don't cut a thing!  It might explain why I have so may pairs of scissors today.  Yes, Penny can use my scissors with supervision, but still NO RUNNING WITH SCISSORS! ;-)
 My dearest was traveling last week, while I stayed home and nursed my cold .  I wasn't alone much.
Elizabeth came to watch Fixer Upper episodes together.  Mike and Amanda came to visit and ate pizza one night.  Doug and Penny visited as they waited for Kristen to land after her trip. Jon kept in touch by phone.   I was so glad to have my guy back home, and for the sleep that only comes when he is close and warm.
 A little something I bought for under the dish drainer at the sink.  Hob Lob, all the Spring is 40% off.
 I walked past this print and went back to buy a yard.  It will lend itself to pockets or small gift bags.
 The prints are so pretty.
Then these little moss covered eggs, also on sale.  I saw similar eggs on pinterest tied with pastel ribbons.  Moss makes such a mess, all I'll have to do is tie some bows for some pretty accents. 

Sunday morning we had breakfast with Mike and Amanda and Amanda's sister Desi.  
It was a pleasure to meet and visit with these wonderful young people.  Desi has a inspirational life story, she has overcome much and is now a teacher. I encouraged her to write about her life and learned that  Amanda and Desi want to write a children's book.  Amanda is a talented artist and Desi tells a important story about children in foster care.  It was so good to get to spend some time to talk with Mike and Amanda and meet Desi.  I will always be grateful to have them close.  
The Sun will set at 6:57 tonight.  I love daylight savings time.  I love winter but not the darkness that comes with it.  We will enjoy walking in the light again, seeing our neighborhood and our neighbors again.  Checking out the progress of the plants and trees as we slide into Spring.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for your kindness.
Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny  

Monday, March 6, 2017

Long Grove Revisited

The last time we were in Long Grove was for Vintage Days last August.  On Robert Parker Coffin Road the storefront that used to house Mangel was empty.  It was my favorite store in Long Grove. I recently started following the Long Grove Face book page and they mentioned Mangel.  I was very happy to find that the store had relocated, just around the corner and across the street on Old McHenry Road.  The next day at lunch I asked my dearest if he'd like to take a little ride. We visited Mangel. and from the moment I walked into the door, it was like the old days.  It smelled like spring, and looked beautiful.  

 Mangel was always the place to find the most beautiful and unique things.  Back in the day the designer named Doug held seminars and taught techniques to make your home beautiful for the seasons. ( They still have wreath making classes).  Though Doug has since retired, the owner (I'm sorry but don't remember his name.) has kept the ambience the same soothing, playful and beautiful place I remembered.

 It's where our tradition of growing wheat grass for Easter started.  So many of the beautiful items I use throughout the year came from this store.
My friend Laura and I would visit every fall, and she would always end up buying a hat, or two.  I didn't notice any hats, but Laura would find many things she would love here.
I found a few.  A spring candle and melts for a candle warmer.  I have a candle holder in my foyer, that I am pretty sure came from Mangel.  I always have a candle burning there for the holidays to welcome the family.  I also found a butterfly themed gift for my little gardener to put in her Easter basket.
We had a interesting and informative conversation with the owner.  He's hoping for a revival of the Long Grove of days past.  My favorite time to go was always on a Tuesday when I would have the whole town ( it seemed)  to myself.  

I hope any local girls who remember Long Grove and haven't been lately to come visit.
Long Grove has many festivals throughout the year, check out their face book page or Mangel's face book page for more info. 

 Our find of the weekend.  Some cubbies for a small girl with a large library.  It's really sturdy and  we thought of our girl. It was $9.99 at the thrift.
 Speaking of being thrifty, they recently opened a Aldi store near home.  Near the door they often have plants, flowers and on the day I visited, bulbs in bulb glasses.  While Penny was visiting she kept on petting, talking to and watering the plants.  I guess it worked for now I have this lovely looking and smelling hyacinth in full bloom.
 This little miracle...a coleus that I sprouted in water before the first frost is flowering.  It is tiny but oh so lovely.
 A little under the weather I cheered myself up with some  roses.  Got a cold from someone...I wonder who would give a cold to a kind old grandma?  She is worth every cough and sneeze.
I added a few springy touches to the buffet.  Just a few weeks till Easter.

Thank you so much for stopping by and for all your kind comments and good wishes for my daughter Kris.  Everything went very well, the surgery was uneventful and her recovery is going well.  My good friend Melanie from Comfy House is also recovering from surgery.  Wishing her well. We need to thrift together soon my friend. 

Have a great week, maybe I'll post before, I'm feeling crafty! 

Enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny