Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Made in Michigan

This is so very cool! Thanks to my friend Kim, whose Bearden Soap Shoppe is located in these stores. What a fantastic idea! (BTW, there is a quick commercial before the story starts. Sorry!)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Ten years and twenty pounds ago...

...this was us, taking off from our reception, headed to a honeymoon on the shores of South Carolina. Ten years later, here we are on the shores of Lake Michigan.

I love auto timers. Even if I do forget to put my camera closer to the edge of the table. At least I remembered to use manual focus. Man, we had a gorgeous day on Friday (our actual anniversary date...not that either one of us is good at remembering it, but 10 years needs a little extra attention, no?)...

After a walk and lunch along Navy Pier, I had the Next Big Tourist Attraction to check off my list. I'm so glad I thought to get an overall photo of The Bean, since every picture I took in its reflection didn't really give you the proper perspective. It is a highly polished reflective surface, after all ;)
We walked up Michigan Ave (E was intent on getting me to Tiffany's, per a friend's advice, but he chickened out when I refused to go in. I am the gal, after all, who requested (1) a new computer when our first child was born and (2) a new camera when the second one came along...I'm just not a diamond kinda gal!)...We took a break at the top of the Golden Mile and had hot cocoas at Ghiardelli's (mmm...sea salt caramel...), then I managed to get E in the door (barely) at American Girl headquarters. Here I posed with my personal favorite character, Julie (because I, too, was 8 years old in 1974. Go ahead, do the math.)
Our first night (Thursday) we had dinner at Gejas, a romantic fondue place in Lincoln Park my sister had suggested (when I called her to thank her for the recommendation, she said, "really? you're at the most romantic restaurant in all of Chicago, and you call your sister?!" to which I gave her a good Bronx cheer. Because we really do love each other). On Friday, we took the recommendation of our B&B owner, who is married to a Mexican, has been to Mexico, and "knows regional cooking, and Frontera Grill is NOT regional," la di dah, so we ended up at the very charming Salpicon, just blocks from the evening's entertainment, Second City ("etc."...not the main stage but still a very good show, called The Absolute Best Friggin' Time of Your Life).

Chilies Rellenos. I probably massacre the spelling of that. This was E's dinner, I also had stuffed chilies, but for some reason my photo was not as appetizing, although I assure you, both meals were incredible. Also, two words: Sipping. Tequila. Mmm...

The blonde kept cracking herself up, which made me laugh. "Bitches and Gravy," hilarious.
Saturday morning we woke up to rain, which did not deter me from walking about 3 blocks down from where we were staying, into the heart of Wicker Park to the Renegade Craft Fair. Handmade goodness = major eye candy. Soooo lucky we got to go!

E stuck around long enough to get a picture of me & Jen at her booth before he took off in search of tennis as the skies cleared.

I bought a super-cute hat from Jen that matches the color of the sweater I'm wearing (what can I say, it's my current fave color). I also swung back around to the beginning of the fair once E took off, and picked up a great collage set from The Found, as well as a clever little teacup necklace from Robo Roku.
Famished, I headed downtown, hoping to visit the Art Institute (I have yet to stand in front of Sunday in the Park like Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off...my sister has lived in Chicago for over 20 years, and each time I visit, either the painting is on loan, or I just. don't. make. it. Lame.) This time my sorry excuse was that my cell phone never changed over to Chicago time, and, thinking it was 2:30p, I thought I'd only have an hour at the AI -- including lunch. Instead I went just down Adams to Russian Tea Time , a place E stubbornly refused to go...he says his mother's cooking is better, and after seeing "Welcome Comrades!" on the front of the menu, I can understand his aversion. Still, someday I'd like a set of teacups like this...

One more go-round at Renegade and I had to head back to meet E at our B&B to pick up our luggage. We were early for the train, but better early than rushing to catch it as it leaves the station. Even one as beautiful as Union Station.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

ATC #3 - The Red Queen

I had most of this done within three days of the challenge going up; between school starting, taking over Ways & Means for the Co-op, and going on our 10th anniversary trip, I almost forgot to finish and post it before the 15th!

I got a gift card for Joann's Crafts for my birthday, and did some shopping earlier this month. One of my best finds was the remnant bin at 50% off. I had really wanted some tulle for the first ATC challenge, and found some, as well as TONS of other small pieces of fabric that will work fantastic for ATCs. The red "scrubbie" background and white gauze (it's actually called "papyrus" fabric) were two of my remnant scores.

I spattered Maya Road's Cherry Red mist on the gauze; it's a bit gorey but so is Alice in Wonderland, when you get right down to it :D

I will post more soon: photos and stories from our trip to Chicago, and a report on the Renegade Craft Fair, which was super-cool, as expected ;)