I am so excited to report that The Husband and I actually got out this weekend! And for dinner! It seems like it's been ages and I have been climbing the walls. There's a busy street not too far from us comprised mostly of Irish bars (we live in a predominantly Irish Catholic neighborhood). And these little pubs have been here for ages. Every now and then something new springs up and the kids told us great things about this place, Horse Thief Hollow, so we gave it a shot. Apparently back in the 1850's, horses stolen from Missouri brought for market in Chicago were hidden in the dense forests and woods that were once here. A little bit of lively history for you! Very neat place...industrial like with very high ceilings and exposed duct work, concrete floors and lots of metal along with polished wood. We LOVED it. I had the Flat Iron Steak with root veggies and The Husband had an Autumn Turkey sandwich with cranberry chutney and cream cheese. Yum! They also brew their own handcrafted beer, The husband sipped on The Kitchen Sink . I don't have that list but I think it has something to do with all the ingredients. :)
After that we went up the street to the little Irish pub Abigail works at (sorry, this picture was taken with my IPhone in a very dark place). We've never seen her at it in two years!! She not only waitresses but makes her own drinks if she has to. It was early so she wasn't busy and could stand and talk with us. Have I ever told you how proud I am of my little caboose? She has been student teaching this last semester of school and the privilege she feels for this opportunity and attachment to these high school children is more than I imagined. She teaches English in a predominantly Hispanic school. Not an easy task. I worried, how will a young girl, just barely older than her students and tiny, tiny, tiny...be accepted? They love her! One boy calls her Mona Lisa because she is "so pretty". The girls think she dresses "swag", which for this generation (and Abby had to ask!) means "cool". She finishes up at Thanksgiving, it makes her sad but I now know that she chose the right studies. She is going to be wonderful in her career and she's going to be happy and that's all that matters to me. You Rock, Abby!!!
And while this was going on, my other daughter, Emily, and son, Kevin, along with their spouses were enjoying Cedarburg, Wisconsin. Yes, that's where we were a couple of weekends ago. Last December when we went for the first time, we got it in our heads that the kids might like it and got them gift certificates for rooms at the inn we stayed at. They went up Saturday but not before I could send them off with a little spending dough and a few bottles of Cabernet! They loved it. Emily said if it weren't for stopping for food and drinks, she could have shopped the whole time (the apple doesn't fall far from the tree)! She made this little collage for Facebook and I stole it! Center picture. L to R: Mike, Em, Kevin and Mary Clare.
Like a lot of you, we had snow yesterday. I took this about 5:00 p.m. It rained most of the day and then finally turned into big wet flakes...I'm surprised it stuck. Milo loved romping around in it. It was cold (30ish) today and sunny, so it melted. Did you know today is 11-12-13? Seems like something magical could happen. Or not.
Okay, on to my first project. I'm doing a little step by step thing here because not only does it make me feel really crafty (!!), but I really didn't have a clue what I was doing the first time I stenciled anything. Now that was back in the dinosaur age when I had a little toddler and well, 2 more under the age of 7. I decided to do a border along the ceiling of Emily's room, pink bunnies. The stencil itself was quite large, the bunny the size of a dinner plate. Well, doing a ceiling border is no fun...constantly moving the ladder and re-taping the stencil, the pain in your arms from reaching up high. I worked a little on it every day. My problem is I never read directions. I didn't know you "dabbed" the paint on a stencil. I layered it on THICK!!! I think people were too polite to tell me what I did wrong. Eventually, when we re-painted that room, the bunnies had to be sanded down! lol! I did however go on to stencil around doors and windows and everything I could...ivy, flowers vines, you name it! The right way!
So, I've always wanted to make a banner. So, make a template out of heavy paper, like card stock or even cardboard. Trace that on your burlap or whatever fabric you like and cut them out. I folded over a small flap at the wide edge and ironed it to give it a strong crease. Flip it open and make a line of glue (I used fabric glue found at any craft store) along the very edge. Lay your twine or jute or whatever you're using in the crease of the flap and then seal it like an envelope.
Then put something heavy and useless on it, like Almond Bark, which is the first thing I grabbed, to hold it down while the glue dried.
These stencils are from Hobby Lobby, around $7.00 for the whole alphabet. You can wipe them off and use them countless times. I also used fabric paint, just put it in an old bowl (you can even use a paper plate, much more sensible), and then just dip a small round, cheap brush in the paint and dab lightly. I go around the edges of the letter first to make sure it's nice and crisp. I've seen bloggers use all sorts ofideas for this type of project; downloading templates and transferring letters and words and embellishments with all sorts of methods. I guess this is the old fashion way, but I love it and it's simple.
Ta Da! Obviously I'm not going to leave this up right now...in fact it fell down right after this picture. I was using my handy dandy Scotch tape. So, for some of you banner aficionados, what do you use to hold those banners up with? Nothing seems to stick to that twine. Nails, thumbtacks...The Husband would croak!
Moving on. Blondie was really getting her groove on. I remembered Thanksgiving comes before Christmas! lol! I showed you these pre-made little flags last week, all nicely stitched around the edges with little grommets to make a simple job of threading the twine. I stenciled these, too. Did I tell you that Emily had a baby shower for a friend and they had a project of making onesies for the baby with fabric paint? She brought over the leftover paint the other day, about ten plastic bottles. God love her, I'm set for life.
So that was my crafty little week. I had fun. I think I'm ready to start going around doors and windows again. Look out.
How are all of you doing with your Thanksgiving plans? We are having two of the kid's cousins coming as their parent have to work...two big guys in their twenties. In recent years I have gone down to a 12 pound turkey from 22 pounds. The Husband always insists on a huge one for the leftovers. Well, you can only eat turkey sandwiches for a few days and then they get old and personally, I feel that turkey is very bland and I have little desire to make up a recipe for the leftovers. So last week I picked up an 18 pounder. And a brining kit full of the required spices. Emily made the brine last year for the first time with the help of a friend who had the extra spices and her own method. In spite of the fact that I cannot even change the way I make sweet potatoes without protest that I'm deviating from tradition, everyone loved this turkey, surely because it was brined. And this was the year that The Husband also admitted he didn't like Brussels sprouts...after 28 years might I say. I couldn't win for losing. So I have to trot over to Home Depot and get a big drywall bucket to brine my turkey in, which will be in the trunk of my car so that every raccoon, squirrel and opossum in the near vicinity is not hanging out in my garage. Monster Turkey will also require me to get up much earlier than the 12 pound one did, Errrrrr...
Now, I'm not going to say that I am at work on another project (although I am) because when I say that, even put it in the title of my post, what I think I'm seeing is some very DIY loving people coming to see what it is...don't see it and high tail it away. Nothing wrong with scanning. I had page views that exceeded comments (by you lovely loyal friends) ten fold. Not to sound like a saint, I am first of all a lover of writing, sharing my goofy life and times, giving you something to chuckle about, maybe a little inspiration here and there that if Blondie can do it, you can, too. And then the fun of visiting your blogs. Ladies I have known for 5 years or 5 months, if I follow you, I hold you close to my heart. So stats mean very little, the NUMBER of followers mean very little although I am so flattered and chuffed that any of you have chosen to follow my blog. There will always be some of you that look but don't comment...I don't bite and I'm always looking for new blogs to follow and inspire. Secondly...I mentioned a few weeks ago that I have been falling off some of your Followers Lists. I am trying to get back on them...so puleeeeeze, if you haven't heard from me lately, let me know and I'll pop over and Re-Follow.
Sorry for such a long post. Your head is probably spinning. Just feel free to comment on what turned your crank. I'll try to be back soon. :)
Joining Jennifer Rizzo at Fabulously Creative Friday
Courtney at Feathered Nest Friday