Saturday, December 29, 2012

Back in the (Quilting) Saddle

Isn't it funny - how playing with little scraps of fabric can make you so happy?
I have been on vacation for the past week...I usually work TWO jobs, so being off from both of them has been...delicious!
And all of the uninterrupted sewing time has allowed me the chance to get going on a long-neglected project. 

This past summer, I made 16 Color Study blocks over at 15 Minutes Fun.  Each 12" block was a different color, many of them  considered by some to be "uglies", or at least, difficult to work with - like mauve, ochre, or bubblegum pink.
I have been trying to think of a suitable setting---did I want to use sashing? Set it straight, or on point?
Then I decided to use 4 blocks, edge to edge, as a center medallion on point, surrounded by the remaining 12 blocks.
I started by adding a scrappy HST (half square triangle) border.

Here is the quilt so far - I went to the fabric store today, to get some inspiration (and fabric) to use in the open triangles, and the open corner blocks.
Let's see if I can name all of the color studies:  center medallion, top and clockwise:   grass green, grape, ochre, and dusty blue.  The surrounding blocks, starting top left, and clockwise:  mint green, burgundy, bubblegum pink, avocado, bright orange, aqua, rust, lemon yellow, mauve, tomato red, peach, and - my favorite color - lime green.
More later!

Friday, December 21, 2012

I must have been nice! Also, performance #6

Look what was greeting me when I got to work today! I MUST be on Santa's "nice" list! :)

Actually, we have a very nice co-worker who always leaves us each a little something each year.  Looking forward to enjoying this!
I
December Performance #6 - Scott and I attended the Chicago Civic Orchestra - not to be confused the the Chicago Symphony, one of America's top orchestra's...some would argue, it IS the best (I'm in that camp!).  The CCO is the training orchestra for the CSO, and one of the best deals in town is - the tickets to their concerts are FREE.  We were seated in Row 4, saw an excellent concert of Bach and Haydn, conducted by one of the world's top conductors, and all we had to pay was $14 for parking. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Santa's Elves Were Busy Today!

 Busy day at the Hudson house - besides finalizing the outdoor decorations, we were busy making cookies (Swedish spice!) ...
(yes, that's a bottle of wine on the counter - you think elves don't get thirsty?)
 ...preparing packages for shipping (we have many relatives far away) ...
...and one special elf was busy wrapping gifts!

Stepping Back in Time - St. Lucia Day

Uff da, dat's good coffee!  Scott and I went out for breakfast this past Thursday, Dec. 13 - St. Lucia Day.  They serve a traditional Swedish breakfast at my favorite place, Tre Kronor on Foster Ave. in Chicago.  It is a TINY restaurant - we are sitting in the farthest corner from the front door, which you can see behind Scott.
When you eat there, it's like you're at your aunt's house - homey, comfy, and it smells great!
Coffee station and Christmas tree - can you see the hand-painted mural on the wall, complete with gnomes?
This place is one-of-a-kind, and I just love it. Oh, and the food is all homemade and gourmet.
Not many people drive 45-50 minutes each way to go out for breakfast. Oh, and did I mention? We got there at 6:45 in the morning.
The best part is - it's still dark out, and we eat only by candlelight - and of course the lights on the tree.  So nostalgic, and quiet, and sweet.
One of the waitresses, Bridget, made a lovely Lucia girl - she, and two other girls, sang several selections for us, some in Swedish.  This is part of the Lucia tradition.
We had the BEST time!

Channelling My Mom

 I got up super early today (who knows why), and after I wrapped Christmas gifts for like an hour,
I was hungry and decided to make coffee cake.  I LOVE to bake, and Bisquick coffee cake (see the recipe here) is a favorite of mine and my family.  I remember my mom making it when I was a kid - as a special treat, maybe if my dad was working hard around the house on a Saturday, for a coffee break snack.  But for me, today, this was breakfast.
 Coming out of the oven, hot and bubbly - see the little bit of crusted-on brown sugar and butter goo on the edge of the pan? That stuff is delicious!  and the pan? That was one of my mom's layer cake pans - she gave them to me when I set up housekeeping on my own after college.  I wonder how old that pan is - and how many cakes have been baked in it.
As I said, my family enjoys it, too - this is Scott's breakfast:  coffee cake, hot coffee in his favorite mug, and reading the funnies.  And that's my Grandma Johnson's tree on the table - talk about retro! 
Lovely way to start a Sunday morning!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Holiday Mosaic - December Performance #6

 Last night we attended Downers Grove North's Holiday Mosaic concert - so-named as all of the events flow seamlessly, one to the next, without applause until the end. It was fabulous, as usual, and really inspired a holiday mood.  Above:  you gotta love the snow falling during the orchestra's rendition of "Sleigh Ride"!!!
Hannah and her friend, Katie - how did they grow up so fast??? They were just in these concerts, and now they're 22!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Light One Candle - December Performances #4 & 5

This morning was a most joyous experience for me.  Scott, Hannah, and I performed "Light One Candle" by Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary.  It is a powerful song written about the miracle of light that is celebrated at Hanukkah.  Hannah and Scott did an AMAZING job, I was so proud of them both.  If you like, you can give a listen:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=clvvpdlyQHQ&feature=youtu.be


And aren't they cute, too? :)

December holiday performance is this evening - Scott joined some friends at their church's performance of Messiah.  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

It must be December - it's concert time! Performances #1,2,3

Our family has always had a concert-filled December - and this year is no exception!  Between performing and attending, we are on the go most of the month!

This weekend? 3 performances in 2 days!  

#1 - Saturday night, we attended Acapellago's holiday concert - our good friend, Andrew Johnson, is a member of this acapella group.  

#2 - This morning, Scott performed (and I attended) at church.  Our adult church choir performed their Christmas program, which also featured some drama by the children and family ministries.  The entire program was so enjoyable - and featured a classmate of Emily's - Justin Adair, who sings like an angel.

#3 - This afternoon, we attended Messaiah and More, by the Chicago Metropolitan Symphony Orchestra.
Above is Hannah's friend, Katie, who played viola in the orchestra.  The concert featured wonderful soloists, and many enjoyable selections besides the Messaiah.  It was excellent!

Whew! 3 down, I wonder how many before the month is over?

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Weekend fun stuff!

 Elf Hannah visited the kitchen - where she baked delicious Swedish Spice Cookies! (You can find the recipe here.  

She also decorated our house, inside and out, including putting up the tree for us!  She even did the dishes!!!!!!  
She had help from Genevieve, who spent  most of the day here too, and Lindsay, who stopped by for a while, helping to create a lovely chandelier decoration.
 While out on the East Coast, Emily was glamming it up!  She had a gala to attend with Matt for HBS, and she ended up renting a gown!  How gorgeous is she? :)  OK, I might be a little biased...

Here they are at the event - Emily said Matt got almost as many compliments on his "Cary Grant" tux as she did on her dress, haha!  

Hannah and Danny's Engagement Party!

We hosted a small engagement party for Hannah and Danny last night, and it was just so much fun! They are a perfect match, they have so mu...