Monday, August 15, 2016

Our daughters - Hannah (25), Emily (30), and Genevieve (29). 

So - if you are on facebook, you might have seen a recent "challenge", where people challenge their happily married friends to post 7 days of photos about how you love your spouse.  When Scott and I were challenged to do so, I jumped at the chance.  My husband it the best! What follows is my fb post, and some of the photos I included in the post. 
Scott and Emily

Day 5 - Love Your Spouse Photo Challenge! Anyone who has met Scott Hudson knows that he has 3 daughters, and that he is crazy about them! He is the best possible father to our lovely daughters Emily HudsonHannah Hudson, and Geneviève García

Scott and Emily, dancing on Emily's wedding day.  What a joyous occasion! 

Genevieve, Hannah, and Scott at Emily's wedding.  Gorgeous bridesmaids, handsome father of the bride! :)

Our happy family!
Newest member of the family - Scott and our son-in-law, Matt! 

He has taught them - just by being who he is - what's important in life: the importance of being honest, and trustworthy, and working hard, and loving each other. It has been said that we don't have to like everyone, but we do have to love everyone - and Scott Hudson does that. Thank you, Scott Hudson, for all you have done, and continue to do, to be such a wonderful dad to our girls. Love you dear!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

"Fun" Pillow!

We took a car trip to Minnesota over Memorial Day weekend, and I wanted a hand-sewing project to work on in the car.  What to do? While I enjoy hand work, I just don't do it that often - so I had to dream up a "fun" (you'll get the meaning later) project.
I ended up with this charming pillow, inspired by two wonderful bloggers.  

This fabulous quilt, Spring Shoots, is by the creative and talented quilter, Lou Ann at Nifty Quilts.  If you have never visited her blog, you really should!  Her quilts boost scrap quilts to an art form.  And this quilt has been up on my inspiration board for a while!

Then this lovely bounty of scraps landed in my lap from another quiltland blogger, Barb of Fun with Barb (hence the "fun" reference).  Hers is another great blog, not to be missed! Barb has excellent workmanship as well as design, creating some knockout handcrafted beauties. 

I won the fabrics from a feature on her blog, and after spreading them out to admire them, I started wondering what I would use them for...until I got the idea to make a pillow, inspired by Lee Ann's quilt!

I brought along a picture of the quilt to inspire me, plus some hand drawn leaf patterns to use for patterns, and went to town creating leaf after lovely leaf.  I cut out the leaf patterns from paper, and then wrapped the fabric over the edges and hand sewed to secure. 

This was a perfect passenger seat, or hotel room at night, project.  I even had the idea I would continue the hand work and actually hand-applique the leaves onto the background after we got back home.

Then the reality of my busy life, and other quilting projects in the queue, suggested that I use machine applique.  And voila! I guess I should call it a fun & nifty pillow! 

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Nothing like old friends!

There is nothing like old friends! People who already know your "back story" - even after long absences, you can just jump right in and resume your relationship, as though no time has passed.  

We recently spent a weekend hosting our dear friends, Dave and Denise, from Indianapolis.  Scott and Dave were high school  friends.  Dave stood up for Scott at our wedding, and Scott sang at their wedding.  We were all married in 1978, they in June, and Scott and I in September.  Still going strong!

Scott and Dave - the hombres! 

Denise and myself.  We were about to head into Chicago for a day full of sightseeing and fun activities - and eating and drinking, of course! I told them to wear comfortable shoes! We had breakfast at home, and then we headed out!
This is our reflection in a VERY large artwork in Millenium Park, called Cloudgate - but lovingly referred to by nearly everyone as "the bean".  It's a fun gathering spot for tourists and locals alike.  I love hearing all the different languages spoken here.
Here you see one of the amazing fountains in the park.  There are multiple images projected from inside the fountain, and the images move, too! There is a splash pool down below - very popular on warm Chicago days.
This is "the bean" - not my photo, but you get the idea - this is huge!
While at Millenium Park, we toured the fountains, gardens, artwork, and the fantastic Pritzker Pavillion, shown here.  There are dozens of free, outdoor concerts here every summer, which we love to attend.
Then we toured the Chicago Cultural Center - originally, the Chicago Public Library.  It is a stunning architectural example in Chicago, full of amazing Tiffany glass mosaics.  
You can see all of the Tiffany glass work on the wall and ceilings  everywhere in this ballroom!  There were setting up for an event.  This is one of  the most sought-after locations for weddings in Chicago.
After a stop for a snack, we headed to Chicago Distilling Company.  We got to see how they create spirits, like gin and bourbon, and they gave out samples! We each tried one of their cocktail creations, too.

We finished the day with dinner at my favorite spot, Tre Kronor, in the Albany Park neighborhood of Chicago.  Chicago is a city of neighborhoods - over 200, I think - and we drove through lots of them on our little tour of the city.  Cheers to old friends!

Monday, May 23, 2016

New beginnings!

Design wall progress - hourglass blocks from "Cultural Fusion Quilts" (book by Sujata Shaw, see her blog here) + hand-dyed fabrics by Vicki Welsh (see her etsy shop here) = fun baby quilt! Fabrics on the right side are being auditioned for border and binding/backing. 

Spring piano recital was awesome!  I had a movie theme - all the students performed music taken from the movies, from Harry Potter to Mission Impossible to Star Wars! They all got fresh popcorn from our local theater to take home and enjoy.

It was a cold and windy Saturday, but we were all glowing inside with happiness over Danny's (my daughter, Hannah's boyfriend) graduation from Illinois Benedictine University!  He got a degree in Business Administration/Accounting WITH HONORS.  He finished his degree in night school while working full time.  So proud of this boy! 

Speaking of proud, I am so proud of Hannah, buying her first house (with Danny) at the age of 25!  They found a cute 3-bedroom house just 15 minutes from our house, which is great!  So excited for them as they make this house their home!

Emily and Matthew were here over Mother's Day (yay!), so we went over and walked the property of Hannah's house (we couldn't go inside, they haven't closed on it yet).  Such a cute house, and it's all landscaped!  All she has to do it hang up her American flag and move in!

I LOVE spring! Bought all of my annuals for my pots and window boxes, potting soil, a new clematis, and a hydrangea for Hannah and Danny's house.  Happy spring!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day! I remember the first Earth Day, back in the 70s - I think I was in the 9th grade, full of hope and optimism.  Funny, that's still me!  One week of warm weather, and my tulips are groovin'!

Some more of the purple tulips are out - along with the dandelions, of course! Looks like I need to get a new clematis - it's usually climbing up the mesh around my gaslight.  I trimmed it back last fall, but I don't see it coming back this spring.

Our flowing crab is starting to burst forth as well!  We keep babying this tree, trimming it and keeping it going.  I had a tree guy want to take this tree out, maybe ten years ago! I just love it, and it adds a nice softness, and old-fashioned charm, to the front corner of our cute little house.  When this tree is in full bloom, it is spectacular! But then one big rain, or wind, and poof! It's over.  Garrison Keillor once spoke of the tremulous beauty of spring - I think that's what he meant:  lovely, sweet, but fragile.

I saw this beautiful sunrise as I was pulling into my office's parking garage this Earth Day morning.  It was even more beautiful as I backed out of my driveway, with the luminescence surrounding the sun, but I didn't stop to grab a picture.

And there is the moon, so creamy and white, low in the western sky.  What a lovely way to start my morning!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring has sprung!

Spring is here, time to get back to blogging!  We have been really busy around here, getting ready for a garage sale among other things.  The house is a mess - I can't wait for the sale to be over in two weeks! 
This weekend was absolutely glorious weather! Two solid days of high 70 degree temps, and poof! The garden flowers are popping out!
I have just a few hyacinths, nestled in with one of my favorite hydrangeas - which is budding out nicely.  The pink flamingoes, Emily and Hannah, keep watch.  

My favorite giant, lime green and gold hostas are spiraling out of the ground. 

These aliums have gone from tiny spouts to foot-tall plants in about a week! And if you look in the center, near the bottom, there is a bud! These are the giant aliums - my husband had renamed them "aliens" - are about 3 feet tall when blooming, with giant purple blossoms.

Tulips!  Scott and I both LOVE tulips, and are so excited when they start blooming.  I love these purple ones, alongside the sweet yellow iris, and my deep purple clematis (out of the picture to the right, climbing up my gaslight).
Back to garage sale sorting and pricing!

Saturday, February 13, 2016

One shopping trip = 3 baby quilts, second finish of 2016

Meet sweet baby girl Larkin! 
Isn't she adorable? My co-worker is her mother, so I wanted to make this special girl a quilt.  I used my same group of baby quilt fabrics, purchased two years ago for one quilt, and they keep turning into one more quilt! 

Gretchen (my friend, Larkin's mom) had picked gray as her favorite color for the nursery, so I picked fabrics from my bin to complement her theme (and I did add a solid gray from my stash).  I love the butterfly fabric in the border, with just a hint of my favorite color, lime green!

I settled on a simple meander for the quilting, using a variegated pastel thread.  I topstitched the binding in lime green. 

Sorry the light isn't very good, but I snapped these early in the morning before dashing off to work.  I wanted to bring the quilt to work with me, and present it to Gretchen.

Originally thought I'd just make a dolly quilt for Larkin, but ended up adding borders to make it baby-size.
Hudson's quilt - a much larger quilt! Made for our great nephew, Hudson, who is named for us! What an honor! This is the quilt that started this string of baby quilts.  I shopped for a nice variety of bright, modern prints and made these fun tumblers. 
This is Hudson with his mother, Miranda, at our daughter's wedding.
Simple quilting completed the quilt. 

Second quilt made from my baby quilt bin - for little baby Lena! Love those butterflies in the border, too! Kristin, the baby's mother (special friend of the family), chose cute pastels like aqua, orange, and yellow for her theme, so I tried to skew the color scheme in that direction.

Kristin holding the quilt at her baby shower.  We've know Kristin since she met our daughter, Emily, when they were in the 7th grade.  Best friends ever since.

Baby Lena with her snuggle quilt.  I think she likes it.