Monday, August 28, 2017

Quiet Weekend

Every weekend this summer we've been out and about.  This weekend my dearest needed some
fun time of his own, which means computer stuff.  So as he was upgrading his computer, I puttered.
Checking on the garden, in it's last hurrah. 
 Still a few blooms on the Hollyhocks.
 Several hydrangeas on the Endless Summer, much better that last year.
 Bee Balm, one last bloom.
 This was the year of the geranium.  So full of flowers with no end in sight.
 The herbs still producing.
 The very last of the cherry tomatoes.  A burst of sunshine in your mouth!

Spiders taking over as I lose interest in the garden around this time each year.
It's just about time to feather the nest.
Remember the chairs I bought at a rummage sale.

They have classed up the living room.  
 We did go out early on Saturday and I found this Fisher Price record player. .  It was one of our favorite toys when my kids were little.  The new version is not the same as the one my children had, but this one is.  The same mechanical music box. Bargains on half price Saturday at the little German Schoolhouse thrift in Algonquin.
 Some other thrifting finds... pillowcases and velum leaves.  I've purchased these leaves from SurLaTable, but never for .99 for 24 leaves.
 I love beautiful eyelet.  These are king sized for $1.99.
 This is a skirt, linen and a delicious print.  I have already disassembled it, it might be a pillow by this evening.

 And, because I need another baby quilt, (NOT!)
 So pretty.
It's something I could never afford new.  My babygrand already whispered, "That's for me, right Grandma?"  She's a natural born bargain hunter and lover of beautiful things.

Speaking of Penny, she had her last day of preschool.  She gave her teachers cards and gifts and had a good day.  Later that evening Kristen called and we Face Timed.  Penny was crying so hard, she was already missing her teachers and friends.  I'd never seen her cry like that, and I know that cry well.  Having that lonely ache in your heart.  Nothing I said to her helped. 
Then both Kris and I were crying too.
We hung up feeling so bad.  This was the first time we couldn't console our girl.  We waited a while then called back.  This time Grandpa had the Allie the Alligator hand puppet,(the same puppet he entertained Kristen with when she was just a baby, and is much loved by Penny) but Allie was in disguise.  He had on glasses, a bonnet and a clown nose. That was just what the doctor ordered.  Kristen laughed just as hard as Penny, and soon after, she felt better. Later they watched some parts of a funny movie together, and she quoted lines from the movie to me the next day.
Penny has the softest heart, just like a marshmallow... She comes from a long line of softies.
In a few days Kindergarten.  I'm so hoping for an easy transition.  She's so bright and funny and I love her so very much.

 There is even a little Autumn going on around the house.  I dried some oranges in the oven, and refilled my stock of cinnamon sticks, cloves and allspice for simmering potpourri sachets.
Too soon?  Not after Labor Day...just getting a little head start on the season.
I won't mention the Christmas music playing in the background.

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

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

As Summer Winds Down

 We had another beautiful visitor to our garden.  He's got one tattered wing, but moved with grace from flower to flower.  
We had a great evening at the Chicago Botanic Garden last Thursday.  Here are some lovely dancers.  The music was great and the crowd danced.  It was one of those horrible news days, where everyone needed an escape.

 This big old rain cloud has followed us all summer, 
whenever we tried to go to one of these concerts.

 The wind blew and the trees swayed but the families came.  
Babies, lots of babies and children so excited to see the band and the dancers.

 Young and old, everyone had a great time, and it never rained.

 Maybe a hundred or more people got up to learn a dance.

So wonderful to see everyone getting along, sharing smiles, dancing in their seats and on the lawn.
The sun set before it was over.  I hate to see the light go.  It's getting dark before 8:00.  Oh how I love those long summer evenings, it's the only thing I dislike about the Autumn when the days get short.

On Sunday, we went to Long Grove for their Vintage Days event.  Mike and Amanda met us there.  I forgot my camera but took some photos with my phone...
and that  is where they will stay until I get some help.
I know how to get them on my computer, but they go to some drop box that I can never find...  
It was so hot that we only stayed for a couple of hours.  I'll try to post the photos, there were some great booths and wonderful artisans.

Monday was the Eclipse.
 We had an accidental Eclipse Party.  My dearest took the day off,  we picked up Kristen and Penny, Amanda and Elizabeth, Lizz and her boys all came by. I made a big bowl of pasta salad, cut up a watermelon, we had cherries and grapes.  Some made sandwiches.  Very casual.  We were going to meet at the park, but the skies were so cloudy we gave up that plan. I stepped out onto the deck and there was a break in the clouds at the perfect time.  Kristen brought some  eclipse glasses and we all took turns seeing the amazing sight. The light was different, and the crickets started singing.  Birds took of to roost.
Nature is miraculous, science is amazing.  What a rush!

 Amanda took some time to snuggle with Henry.
Taken from the TV, we did not have the full eclipse in Chicagoland.
 We also watched all the moments from Oregon to Florida on the news.  I cried so hard after seeing the first eclipse, it was so emotional.  Many others, including my daughter Kris got emotional too.  Penny was awed by what she saw on TV and then by what she saw right outside Grandma and Grandpa's back door.
I had cupcakes that needed frosting and sprinkles.  These two did a great job.
We all had a great time, visiting, talking and laughing. 
 I had some baby time with Henry and fun time with the kids.  
We took Kris and Penny home late in the evening, laughed some more,
 and ended our day with
 a quiet ride home and
some very happy memories.

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

Monday, August 14, 2017

A Fit of Creativity

 Roses, roses roses were drying all over my kitchen the last year.  Every time I'd buy the $5 bunch at the grocery, I'd try to remember to hang them to dry before all the petals fell off.    While giving my kitchen the deep clean, I put them all in one place and decided that today was the day.  They go as trash or stay as something pretty. Glad I choose pretty.

These spray roses dry very easily, and are so pretty and shabby chic.
I had everything at home.  I used this fabric since it was in the laundry room and I didn't have to go searching for fabric, upstairs or down in the basement.  Mind you, I have just really cleaned the kitchen...junk drawer, refrigerator top, cabinet filled with candle stubs, you get the picture. ;-)
 I was already tired.
 I wrapped the fabric around the Styrofoam wreath,
 then found this moss in my stash.
 a perfect base for roses. Just glued it on.
 Then it was as easy as hot glue.
 Some of the larger roses were from dear Elizabeth, who will be celebrating a birthday this week.
If I haven't said so before, let me tell you, I am blessed to have this wonderful woman as my SIL and
dearest sister and friend.  She will read this...Happy Birthday Betty.  Love you!
 It was that simple.  A little of the moss shows on the side, which is charming.
 So much better than the fate they might have had on another day.
Thank God for creativity.

Spent the weekend with a small wonder, our baby grand.  
 We brought her along for a concert.  She was so good, clapping and cheering Wooo!
All along she was eyeing a little girl on the next blanket.  All along that little girl was eyeing Penny.
The parents of the little girl named Grace, came over and introduced themselves.
It was a match made in heaven.  Best friends made during a two hour concert.
Penny and Grace played with their toys, shared snacks.  Grace shared a glow bracelet.
By the end of the concert they were running together and we left the field with them hand in hand.
It was a beautiful thing, balm for the terrible events in the news of this weekend.
I smiled watching them, and so did other around us.

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

Monday, August 7, 2017

This and That


If you saw my last post I featured a photo from a shop in Galena of a beautifully simple pillow with a big price tag.  So I made my own, for a few dollars.

  I headed to the thrift and I found this square pillow with a pillow form for $1.99 . I washed and dried the pillowcase and traced the largest heart I could and sewed along the line.

 The coolest part of the pillow in Galena was it's weight and feel.  It was filled with feathers.
 I made a liner of muslin for the inside.  I never worked with feathers before.  This was a learning experience.  I had another pillow, filled with feathers.
also thrifted a while back for $1.99
 I work with stuffing all the time.  How hard could working with feathers be?...
 Well, my deck looked like a chicken exploded.  Feathers were flying everywhere.  The muslin liner is not ticking, so feathers sometimes poke through.  Like I said, a learning experience.
 In the end the pillow looked really good, and has the same heavy feel of the one I saw.
 The back has buttons and looks cool that way too.
So here is my feather heart, smaller but just as sweet.  
With the same shabby edge as the one I saw and for about $5.00.

Check out the fancy legs on this one!
 Here's another bargain I found.  I walked in the door of the Goodwill and this table was there with a $1.99 price tag.  My dearest and I looked it over, and except for a wobbly leg it looked great.  Some of the staff came out and and helped us turn it over.  I knew I could fix it, so we took it home.
 With a bit of Aleene's Tacky Glue and some weight on the top overnight, no more wobble, and I got this great table.  Inside it has a Tommy Bahama, Lexington label.  I could not find anything online about it, but it's a quality piece.
 I've had this lamp for at least 30 years.  It's been in our bedroom forever. I recently moved it to the family room, but the table it was on just wasn't right.

I think this one is perfect.  Can you imagine $1.99?
Happy Dance! 
Do you see where this is going? The honey pine armoire needs a little paint.
I swear it's the cooler temps we've been having...I am starting my fall nesting early!

When one thing leads to another...
I moved the two parsons chairs to the dining room with two black chairs .

Now that I am using the parsons chairs in the dining room, I needed a couple of additional chairs for company.  I found two of these chairs at our parish rummage sale. I am in the process of recovering the seats and will paint and distress the wood. 

We had a great weekend,
 That included a trip to see my future DIL in Roller Derby!  I did not know what to expect.  I remember seeing Roller Derby on TV when we were kids.  It was totally different.  Much more a sport, and not the mayhem we used to see on the banked course.  We had a really good time.  People were friendly and our girl Amanda was amazing.  Amanda's team won the match.  Good sportsmanship is the rule, and strategy is how the game is played.  Amanda just flies on those skates.  It was so cool, so glad we finally saw her in action.
Father and Son.  They take sports seriously.

 Also on Saturday we stopped at the fancy pants mall to hear some Jazz.  A local personality Wayne Messmer sang with the band.  The music was good, and as you can see, the place was packed.

On Sunday in Long Grove, a neighboring community, has a afternoon concert series.  A good bluegrass band from California played.  The weather looked threatening, but it turned out to be a lovely afternoon. 

Another beautiful summer week.  
We have packed every fun thing we can into this summer
 and we still have several weeks to go.  Thanks for stopping by and enjoy this beautiful day.
Love, Penny