Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Windy City and a long-winded post

I have a fun trip to tell you about but first I will show you the stitching!
 The house took forever but the 4th part went quickly!
Of course I sat in a hotel room for 3 days and stitched so that might have helped. I almost have the last part done- good thing because I got my traveling pattern yesterday when I got home from Chicago and I bought a pattern while I was away!! So Scott had a truck convention to go to in Chicago and I was able to go along. When we got there we found out that at the same convention center was also having C2E2 which is a comic and entertainment convention. That means that the hotel was always filled with people in costume!!
 I don't know what game these guys are dressed as but I loved them!!
 I don't know what is going on here!
 Han Solo - crazy how much he looks like the actor!!
Scott had to work days and I mostly stayed at the hotel - listened to books, drank tea and stitched. It was good. Scott was free every night except Saturday. The first night we hit a diner (of course) Turfanos Vernon Park Tap - it was wonderful!! The staff was awesome the food was fantastic!! (If you go - it's cash only) We had calamari - best I've ever had. I had the lemon chicken they are famous for and Scott had lasagna and a meatball.

then we went downtown to see the Cloud Gate sculpture aka The Bean

The next night we went downtown to eat - nothing worth mentioning but driving in the city is horrifying - those people are the worst drivers I have ever seen and they honk for NO REASON!! Traffic can not go and they are honking their brains out - a more ridiculous group I have not seen. Parking in the city - un- fricking-beliveable!!!!
Do you see those prices? WOW This particular lot had a sign that said if you bought $10 worth of stuff at Nordstroms then parking was only $15 - well worth it but what can you buy for ten bucks? HAHA not much - Scott found something he wanted though.....
Yeah he did! Plus they let you have sample bottles of cologne so we got two bottles for Scott - mmmm smells soooo goood!!! We walked through the city at night while it poured buckets of rain - we were soaked - so much fun!!!
Not wet yet!

 See the rain - very cool art in the city!
 bottom is parking top is apartments - cool!
 you can tell it's raining in this picture! so pretty.

the "L"
Saturday I decided to brave the streets in the rental - scary!! I went to Country Cupboard a cross stitch store in Orland Park. What a wonderful place!! Sadly, I don't have many stichy friends so I talked the owners ears off - poor Barb!! She was super friendly though and her shop is awesome!!  I bought Threadworks Primitives Beggar's Night - there is one in the shop done in #5 Pearl Cotton and I fell in love with it. I never would have bought the pattern if I hadn't seen hers there at the shop.
I tried another shop but it was closed for some show in another state. It was raining - all day - so I headed back to my room for more stitching and tea! Scott went to dinner with his bosses but between his convention and their dinner reservations we managed to go to C2E2 - what fun! We met two comic artists that my kids love and bought them some autographed stuff
 See that one says Ryder's name!! Invader Zim artist Aaron Alexovich
 Plus we met Chad Coleman from the shows The Walking Dead and The Wire and got his autograph - yay!! Now I have Carol and Tyreese - slowly I will get them all!!
Sunday night we went to Lao Sze Chuan  1331 W Ogden Ave Downers Grove, IL 60515 which I had found on Local Eats. A lot of the reviews say the food is spicy - and we always trust local eats. Well, we loved it! Scott got dry chili shrimp
it was pretty spicy!! We also tried dumplings - which were homemade - yum. I had beef Szechuan it was spicy - I couldn't stop eating it!! We also tried "stewed beef trim flankie noodle soup" yes the names are strange and there are some weird weird things on the menu but the noodles were great! Most of the meat was fatty and inedible but it's used for flavor and like I said the noodles were great!! After eating all that and being stuffed to the gills we stopped for ice cream - unbelievable we could eat any more - at Oberweis and had ice cream. Of course it was good. Monday we went to three restaurants before we found an open one - one off the DDD site - didn't say they would be closed. One Scott saw on TV and wanted to try - a diner that doesn't open until 11am? Doesn't seem smart to me but we finally ended up at White Palace Bar and Grill  - it was on DDD and the food was great!!

We grabbed a letterbox, then over to Rex Italian to get some stuff to take home, also has been on DDD and we have eaten there before - so good that we wanted some to take home for dinner! We get the Aracini - sausage and meatballs! It was a good trip!! Thanks for stopping by - hope you have a good week!!
Here is a picture from our hotel room - 29th floor - at night! 

One Lovely Blog Award

Thanks to Kim at Wisdom with Needle and Thread for nominating me for the "One Lovely Blog Award"
The purpose of this award is for bloggers to nominate fellow, mostly newer, bloggers that they wish to recognize. The goal is to bring attention to blogs that we think are "lovely" and enjoy reading. We hope others will enjoy reading these blogs also.
In order to accept the award, the nominated blogger must follow these rules:
  • Thank the person who nominated you & link back to them in your post
  • Share seven facts about yourself
  • Nominate 10 other bloggers for the award
 My seven facts -
1. I have been stitching since 1990.
2. I have lived in Georgia, Germany, Kansas, Colorado, Alaska, and Indiana.
3. I used to work for directory assistance in Colorado, the public defender's office in Kenai Alaska, and as a police dispatcher in Boulder Colorado.
4. I am married to my best friend - I have been married to him for more than half my life!!
5. Both of my kids and myself are enrolled in college!!
6. I love to travel, stitch, letterbox and visit places that have been on Diners Drive ins and Dives.
7. I hope to live near the ocean someday.

 I don't know any newer bloggers so I will have to nominate blogs I follow.

Lisa - How's Robb
Mii - Mii Stitch

Thanks for visiting!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

I WON!!!

Woo hoo!! I won the traveling Shakespeare Peddler pattern that Kim over at Wisdom with Needle and Thread gave away. It's a super cute pattern you can see on her page - here. When I get it I will stitch it up quick and offer it to you guys. Looks like there are only two stipulations - you must pass it on when you are done and you have to have an active blog. I am still working on the mystery sampler by Black Bird Designs - I'm on the third part and the house is taking me forever - no, really - forever!! I will have a picture on the next post. Today I finished the rest of my homework in my classes for the semester - what a relief. I cmplained to Scott about how much I hated math - I didn't need to know how much cement it took to fill a basement - until we opened the door to the basement and saw this
It was HUGE!! Now I know why I need to know how much cement it takes to fill a basement....
I just have to study for finals and correct my rough draft in English once the teacher returns it. I am still holding on to a straight A semester - I hope it stays that way for the next three weeks! More exciting news - we finally have all the curtains up in our house - What? I know, it only took a year and a half but those things are expensive - I think it was $200 a window and we have five windows sooooo - you can see why it would take so long. Lucky for us several people helped out with 20% off coupons to Bed Bath and Beyond - Heather, Dixie, my mom and Scott's mom (hope I didn't miss anybody) curtain pictures are hard to take
The shelf is new too - it lights up and looks like a Tiffany lamp. I also have some more fun home improvement pictures

fun bracelet holder Scott got for me

Taylor bought that chicken chime years ago - finally found a good spot for it! Yes, that says squash-iladas They are delicious.

Scott hung some rope lights (can't see them from the road) on the porch and this picture doesn't do it justice - it's a soft glow you can see from the street - the picture makes it look really bright  - those are candles in all the windows and they are not that bright either.
Scott framed another picture

Scott distressed it - painted it blue and then handpainted the gold trim  - looks very pretty! He repinned an old picture because it was getting saggy
It's a picture I made for Ryder - years ago!!
It would appear that I need to find a group called
 "coconut-aholics anonymous" I am in love with coconut - I use coconut shampoo, conditioner, hair serum (to keep my curls from being frizzy and dry), baby oil, lotion, chap stick, and I love coconut cake, Noosa coconut yogurt, and coconut/almond chai pudding. I even have coconut tea! I'm addicted!! A few posts ago I told you of my love for panna cotta so I had to try Skinnytaste's coconut panna cotta recipe from her cookbook - it's OK. It is nowhere as creamy as panna cotta but it is tasty and I guess if you don't need all that fat - and I don't- then it's a good replacement. She also has a macaroon recipe that is delicious! I made her Lomo Saltado which is Peruvian stir fry - it might be my new favorite dish! Next time I am adding more jalapenos though - ours were not hot at all.

Look at that strange bird - this raccoon is really cute - it pats the ground while looking around - adorable!

When your in the
kitchen frying meat
think of me and my
great big feet
James Abel

                                            March 11, 1942
Dear Mary Ellen,
It's fun to be a little
girl, to be fun and happy.
Always think happy
and lovely thoughts and
you will grow more
lovely each day
                     Irene Truesdell
                    1912 e 5th

Thanks for stopping by - hope you have a lovely day!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

frames, curtains and recipes - oh my

Happy Easter,
We have had a few decoration changes on the house that I am excited about. We had not put curtains in the kitchen or laundry room yet. I want to buy  Park Designs curtains but I wanted to wait until we redid the kitchen. Well, that is still a year or two away because we are a little busy at the moment soooo the sun was shining in every day when I try and make dinner and it was blinding me! Scott put up blinds in the two kitchen windows and one in the laundry room. Wow what a difference!! It makes the rooms look different - and great! Of course for two days after he installed them - no sun! On the back door we hung the curtains I had embroidered for the kitchen in our Colorado home

I love metal stars - there is an abandoned sugar factory in Longmont Colorado that has them on the outside of the building and I always wanted some in my house! Scott bought some for the fireplace

Also hung some in the study - looks great! He bought a row of stars for the bathroom in our bedroom because the hooks that are there now are gorgeous leaves but they attach in such a way that when I lift my towel the leaves come off the wall - grrrr. He hasn't hung them up yet so that will be another post.
Scott also framed a picture - he bought the frame at Goodwill and stained it.
 My Gram loved Santa and my uncle worked for the post office  so I made this for her. That was a long time ago (stitched in 1992) and the framing didn't look so great anymore. Last July we stayed at my uncle's house and we told him we wanted to take it and re-frame it. Wouldn't you know I DID NOT take a before picture - damn it, but I do still have the frame it was in. It took awhile to find the right frame but here it is - ready to go back to my uncle!
this is the frame the postal Santa used to be in and no that wall is not green
   Last year I made the Blackbird Designs Casting a Spell Box but I had tried to save money by just using the fabric needed for the stitched pieces - not thinking that they had to be big enough to cover jello boxes - grr. So mine never looked very good because I had just put some stuffing in the box and tucked the pictures in there. This weekend I decided to fix them - I turned them all into little pillows - looks much better. I used bat fabric on the back hee hee

Remember las week I said I had been making flavored water. I have some tips. The strawberry lime or strawberry mint is very good. However, you can't eat the fruit after. My favorite is orange peel (be sure to wash them well first of course) I peel an orange for my snack and then slice some of the peel and put it in the water - save the rest of the peel in the fridge for the next day. You need to make it fresh every day - and don't use cutie peels - weird and icky.
One of my friends post The Splendid Table's 20 best recipeson her facebook page. there are some fun recipes on that link. I tried the gougeres because I have never seen a recipe that you partially cook the dough on the stove - they were pretty good, kind of eggy like an eclair. I used sharp cheddar,

 I saw the panna cotta - we used to get Russian Cream at a restaurant in Kenai AK called Charlotte's. I loved that stuff. When we moved back I tried to find a recipe for Russian Cream and the one I found was disappointing so I didn't try it again. This recipe is it - so delicious (and super dooper fattening)
I used the Bonne Mamon (best jelly ever you can buy at Kroger or Walmart) jars Scott ha sbeen saving. Next time I make it I am putting a half a cup of the cream in the jar instead of a cup - too much! It's easy and fun to make.
Scott and I decided about 8 years ago to go through the GIANT box of pictures we have been hauling around for 24 years (yep next Sunday is our 24th anniversary!!) All these years every time we would get a pack of photos from the developer or pictures from family and friends we would just toss them in this box. We bought photo boxes and then never did it - it's a daunting project and life got in the way. Well, we started the project a few weeks ago. It's kind of a hard project. It's sad to see people you have lost through the years because of death or time. It's hard to see that your time with your kids is already gone. It really has been hard on us. So, we are sorting them into boxes that are labeled with years - and how frustrating is it to find stacks of pictures with no dates or names. We have thrown some pictures out. We plan on writing on the backs of all of them - year and names so that our kids don't ever have to go through them and wonder who those people are. We only work on it a few hours on the weekend, so it's taking forever. One neat thing is I came across the picture of my best friend from grade school - Staci - looked her up on facebook and there she was!! How fun is that!!
Well I didn't mean to chatter on so long. Here are two more entries from Gram's autograph book.
 Ill be polite and use white
and save the yellow
for your fellow

When you and Herby get married
don't come to me for safety pins
                                    Bobby Stanton
Hope you have a great week and thanks for stopping by!