Saturday, December 26, 2009

Snowmen About Town!

This has been a very good year for snowmen as you can see

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas to Everyone!


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Times Change?

My husband used to play Santa on Christmas Eve at my Mom's house. He was a hit all around! His career was cut short when my son told me after looking at the Christmas pictures that "Santa looks just like my Daddy".
Today he resurrected the role when he played Santa for the children of the members of my Brother-in-law's club. Needless to say, he still has it. The Santa suit was way better than the original, and the beard and wig were also nicer looking in my opinion. What do you think? He needed a little less padding, but he is great.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

A View From My Kitchen Window

I lived in the city most of my life and we moved to the suburbs 15 years ago. But it was just yesterday that I looked outside while having my coffee and really appreciated the view. You can teach an old dog new tricks! Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


John and I were married on November 3, 1984. We had planned the wedding for a very long time. I made my dress and the dress for my bridesmaid, Kathy. My other friend Carol made her own. The pattern for both my dress and theirs was actually the same. I made mine longer without the cowl and added the sash. Theirs was shorter with a cowl and sash. The mother of another friend of mine did my flowers as a wedding present. Lilies of the Valley and Violets. My favorites.
The ceremony was going to be at St. Vincent of DePaul church which was down the street from our house on Webster. We had the organist booked for November 4.
The reception would be at The Parthenon in Greek town. We chose that venue because not only was John friends with Johnny, who owned the restaurant, but we always left there happy and had never had an argument or disagreement there.
The invitations were out when John's back went out. He came home from work one day and said his back hurt. I told him to lay on the floor thinking that the firm surface would straighten things out. Three hours later, he couldn't get up! I called an ambulance and he went to the hospital. He was in the hospital for two weeks before the wedding. I don't know if it was just how they treated back pain in 1984, or Grant Hospital was just a crappy hospital, but their treatment plan was ' when you can walk to the bathroom by yourself, you can go home'. Some Tylenol 3, no physical therapy.
After about a week, he asked if there was something else that they could do, and they sent someone to put ice/heat on his back. Then they sent someone in to massage the area. One week later, he could walk to the bathroom and was released.
Meanwhile, I had to call everyone on the guest list to cancel the wedding. I had no idea when he would be released from the hospital, we had missed our pre-cana meetings and couldn't count on him getting well on time.
He was released on time, but everything was already cancelled.
We decided that we would get married at City Hall, but had to change the date from Sunday, November 4th to Saturday, November 3rd. City Hall isn't open on Sunday. To this day, I have to think twice about our anniversary!
We had no trouble changing the date with Johnny at The Parthenon, but we invited fewer people, just immediate family and our closest friends. I just didn't want to go into everything on the phone over and over again.
Because it was an afternoon wedding, we thought that we could have a party Saturday night for all our other friends and invited them by word of mouth. Nobody we knew could resist one of our parties. As it turned out, John's friend Paulie owned a bakery and made the wedding cake. He also catered the party for our wedding present.
As luck would have it, we had wonderful weather, got to drive around in a white '57 Bel Air,
had two great parties and just one sore back!
My sister took our photos in the Lincoln Park Conservatory and those all turned out beautifully.
And 25 years we are!


Isn't this a lovely color? Now that I'm used to it, I think so. I used to think that colors like this "just aren't natural". Evidently, I was mistaken.
Merriam-Webster defines natural as "
2 a : being in accordance with or determined by nature b : having or constituting a classification based on features existing in nature".
Well, maybe not 2a, but 2b, YES!

Fall has always been my favorite time of year and Sarah has always been my favorite daughter. Put the two together and you get very lovely colors.

Love ya bears!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

I am a Bluebell. What are you? (great idea from

You have a classic style, are a romantic, easy to love, and people find you appealing. Some may think of you as quiet, but you are really thinking deeply about what is going on around you, and then coming up with the perfect solution.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A Cushy Job Done!

I love my kitchen chairs. My husband says that they are uncomfortable. The compromise is "the cushions". I found some really nice fabric on clearance at Joann Fabrics. It was on a holiday Sunday and it was 50% off the reduced price. So it was $2.50 a yard. I bought all that they had of three coordinating prints. One print was kind of a Mexican oilcloth print. The one with fruit, not the one with the flowers. The second print was a smaller version of the fruit, outlined in red rickrack squares. The third print was a kind of rickrack plaid. I wasn't that crazy about the plaid, but you can always use the coordinating fabrics in areas that you can't see, so you can save the fabric you like. I thought that I could use the plaid for the reverse side of the cushion. Nobody would see it anyway. Well, I made a pattern of the round seat and cut The outlined fabric so that the center of the seat would be an intersection of the rickrack border. I thought that I would put a button in the center to give it a neater look. I wanted to make it a puffier, more comfortable cushion and raise the chair height just a little bit. I bought buttons to cover for the side I liked and some some primary colored, four hole, plastic buttons for the side I didn't. My plan was to use a different color button for each chair. I didn't know if I wanted to make a piped edge or a rickrack edge. The cushion just looked too busy piped with either of the two fabrics and I didn't want to waste the third fabric making wide bias
tape, so I decided to use red rickrack. The only
problem with that is that the rickrack I could buy

by the yard was too small or too large. I needed
six yards, and the package of rickrack in the
correct size was a running 2
1/2 yards. Because
I needed 54 inches running for each cushion,
I had to buy four packages.
I covered the buttons with only the apples from the fruit print.
Instead of sandwiching the trim between the the two sides of fabric, I sewed it on the plaid side after the construction and stuffing. So that on the fruit side it showed just as a border and on the plaid side it showed as a larger rickrack trim, mirroring the red rickrack in the plaid.

It was a lucky break that I had an upholstery needle to sew the buttons on, because I don't think that I would have been able to tighten them enough without one.
Another thing that I have discovered is there is such a thing as CHEAP safety pins. I wanted to fasten the cushions to the chairs with ties. I remembered from my childhood sewing classes that you could sew strips of fabric outside in and turn them inside out to hide the seams. This is done by attaching a safety pin to one end and sliding it through the strip, pulling the strip through itself. Great idea, always worked when I did it before. Not this time! First the fabric
frayed and then the pin broke, so it didn't slide through. I went looking in my old trusty button box for a "vintage" safety pin. No luck, but I did find my handy dandy bias tape folder! It is a great little machine! You just feed the strip of fabric through and then iron. I didn't cut the strips on the bias, but it worked like a charm. Et Voila! I made the tape, folded it in half and sewed it
All in all it was a satisfying project. My kitchen looks cuter. My husband is sitting pretty. I found that thing out about safety pins.
And we are all happy campers. I'm about to get started on my next project...what will it be? Can I top this? Probably!

Here are the cushions on the chairs ready for approval...Do you approve?