Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Open House Chicago 2013 part 2

Chicago is a beautiful city! Look at that gorgeous skyline, from Lake Shore Drive! Lake Michigan, our "ocean", is just to the left of the road (past the beach). 

We chose to visit the historic Green Mill Lounge, in the Uptown area.  It is still used as one of the premier jazz performance venues in the city - and it popular with many of the mob figures back in the 1930s. 

Even though they will use this night club, it still looks much the same as it did 80 years ago.  
There are now modern townhouses in the Prairie Avenue neighborhood, but they are built in period style.  It was a beautiful, sunny day - perfect to appreciate the autumn colors.

Next, we were excited to visit the Prairie Avenue district, which is just south of The Loop (downtown Chicago).  Above is the Wheeler Mansion, one of the oldest homes in all of Chicago. It is now a boutique hotel.

You would certainly have sweet dreams in a room like this! The down comforter was so fluffy soft and thick, and every bedroom had a fireplace.  So peaceful and lovely!

Open House Chicago 2013

Scott and I had a great weekend exploring different neighborhoods of Chicago as part of Open House Chicago. Over 150 locations were open to visit, free of charge, so of course we said "let's go!"  Our first stop was the KAM Israel synagogue in the Hyde Park neighborhood.  And right across the street - is the family home of Barack Obama!  It would have been even more exciting if we could actually see it!  It is heavily landscaped, and - of course - had lots of security. (no picture taking allowed, for example)

Then we headed further south to the Pullman neighborhood.  This was a planned community from the 1800s, for the employees of the Pullman train car factory.  Those homes are now attractive townhomes. 

Also in the Pullman neighborhood - the Greenstone Methodist church. 

We resumed our touring on Sunday, in the Uptown area, at the Broadway Bank.  It had the most amazing, elegant lobby.  Look at the detail on those lamps!

And look at the size of that safe! You have to go inside to access your safe deposit box.  And - this safe was used in the 2009 movie "Public Enemies" with Johnny Depp.

Although touring Chicago was fun, the real highlight of the weekend was having Emily and Matt home (from Boston) for the weekend! They came home not just to see us, but also to attend the Notre Dame football game (Matt is an alum).  Love those cuties!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Hexies can be fun?

I don't do handwork.  Oh, I know how to do handwork...I can hand piece, hand quilt, embroider, I can do all of that.  But - for the most part, I don't do any of that anymore.
So why now, am I paper-piecing hexagons?

Well - we took a looong (did I say, long? about 1200 miles!) car trip this month - and I needed a car project!
I didn't have any quilts needing binding, nothing ready to hand quilt (I DO know how to do that!) - so I gathered some scraps, assembled a quick sewing kit, printed out some sheets of hexagons (thank you google) - and voila, instant car sewing project!

Simple, really...cut a squarish scrap, trim to a hex shape leaving about 1/4" margins.  Fold edges around the hexie paper, and thread baste the edges around, folding the corners neatly as you go. 

What will I use them for? A pillow? Small quilt? Or something else? Truth is, I have no idea.  But, it's fun!

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Autumn on the farm!

Autumn on the farm! Just took a quick trip home to Minnesota, and stopped at the family farm (my grandparents used to live there, and now my aunt and uncle live there) in Wisconsin on the way home.  How picturesque is this? The sky was so blue and clear, and the air smelled so good!

My aunt Marilyn is an excellent cook, and she made us a scrumptious lunch - all homemade:  pulled pork sandwiches, cole slaw, tuna macaroni salad, sliced tomatoes from the garden, and...

...the world's best apple pie for dessert.  I make pies, so I am picky - and this was tremendous!  She used apples from their tree (see above, aren't they beautiful?), and a new recipe to me - you can find it here.  You make it in a skillet, and it has a caramel-like layer under this heavenly pie.  Yummmm!

Nobody uses the farm buildings anymore, except for storage.  They rent out the pastures to other farmers in the area.

Hard to see here, but we enjoyed seeing a variety of songbirds eating at their bird feeder.  Gordy had to repair the feeder a couple of times, due to damage from the bears!  This is the view from their window, so beautiful.

So glad we were able to stop for a visit:  Gordy (my dad's brother), Marilyn, and me.   Autumn in Wisconsin is beautiful!

Mother's Day and Blogger Woes

Wow I have no idea why my banner looks so strange all of a sudden.  If anyone could enlighten me on this, I would be so grateful! Now read ...