Orphaned Elephants

Do you subscribe to National Geographic? The latest issue has a story about elephants that have been orphaned because of poaching. There is a group that cares for the little ones. This elephant is wearing a raincoat. They typically wear blankets to comfort them. They are very sweet.


Pottery Barn Organic Bedding

Pottery Barn has had some beautiful organic bedding options lately. Have you seen them?


Sea-Glass Bracelet

This beautiful sea-glass bracelet was Martha's craft of the day a week or two ago. I have a turquoise bracelet almost just like this that was my grandma's in the late '60s. This could be a fun project with a variety of materials.


Friday Featured Art: Japanese Kimono

One of the Art Institute's current exhibitions is on the Japanese Kimono. It's clear down in the basement, but I was glad that I found it - it is a fascinating exhibit. The kimonos are so beautiful. It was interesting to learn about the purposes and patterns.


Thursday Tunes: Fantasia on Dives and Lazarus

We heard a song on our classical radio station the other night, and it was so pretty. It was Ralph Vaughan Williams' Fantasia on Dives and Lazarus. It was a beautiful string version, but it reminded me of the version by the 5 Browns. Sample it here.


Henri Bendel Candles

There's a C.O. Bigelow shop at Water Tower Place in Chicago, and it has lots of fabulous stuff. One thing that I thought was pretty ingenious was this travel candle by Henri Bendel. The scents are really fabulous, and they seem like a handy idea.


Adjustable Curtain

Our TV room upstairs is on the southwest corner of the house and has no shade. So it gets really hot in the sunny afternoons. So I made a curtain to keep out some of the hot sun. Since we're renting I couldn't fasten the curtain permanently to the wall, so I used 3M hooks. I bought some upholstery fabric and backed it with muslin. I sewed twill tape hooks along the top and bottom edges of the curtain and then sewed buttons along the middle of the back. So I can hook it up in half like this or button it only part way up or leave it all the way down.


Hotel Frederick

A couple of weeks ago we spent some time in mid-Missouri. We stayed at the Hotel Frederick in Boonville. It's a lovely early 1900s hotel that's been renovated. They did a great job. I really loved these light fixtures in the lobby. They came from a hotel in Kansas City.


Friday Featured Etsy Seller: Cowgirl Snaps

Today's featured Etsy shop is Cowgirl Snaps. Sara told me about this one. I really love pearl snaps, and this is even more exciting because they come in so many fabulous colors. Time to sew something that calls for snaps!


Thursday Text: Jane Austen

I signed up to take a class this fall called "Jane Austen's World in Film and Literature." I'm really excited. These are our two textbooks. The second one is a collection of short stories from a Jane Austen competition. I'll let you know how it goes...


Handcrafted at Wit's End

I'm going to feature two Etsy shops this week. I read about this one in a newspaper that my husband gets from Missouri. These are cute bags made from old feed sacks. The store is called Handcrafted at Wit's End, and you can find it at ginnymae.etsy.com.


Silver Laced Wyandotte

It's state fair time again, and I've been thinking about agriculture. I think if I kept chickens I would have silver laced Wyandottes. They are pretty.

{photo from Inside Storey}



My last set of coasters was from IKEA, and they were very thin cork that ended up getting soaked all the way through. So I found some thicker ones that I had lying around and stamped them with a cute doily stamp. These should do the trick!


Friday Featured Art: Love's Melancholy

Here's another painting at the Art Institute that I like. It's an 1866 work titled Love's Melancholy, by Constant Mayer.


Thursday Text: Randolph Caldecott's Picture Books

When I visited the bookstore at the Newberry Library, I thought that this looked like an interesting book. Randolph Caldecott's Picture Books includes nine of the best stories illustrated by Caldecott, after whom the book award is named.


Amy Butler Makeup Bags

I made a couple of little makeup bags using an Amy Butler pattern last week. I really love this squirrel fabric. The inside is a brown, kind of Western-looking star pattern. The blue fabric on the bottom is a sample of Ralph Lauren fabric that I've had forever. The inside of that one has a cowboy fabric, complete with bucking broncos. I'm not sure what I'll use them for yet, but the size is great, and the zippers are handy!


Tupperware Pie Press

We were at a little county fair the other day, and there was a Tupperware lady there. It's fun to see that they still make some of the old classics. I was interested in this little pie press - it would be great for making little pasties!


Bird Embroidery

I just made this little pillow for my husband's grandma. Using a pillow form makes it a cinch! I embroidered the fabric using a mountain bluebird pattern from Martha Stewart and then sewed it into an envelope cover. I just used a backstitch because I cannot figure out the chain stitch - can anyone teach me?


Friday Featured Art: Counterbalanced Candlesticks

I really love looking at decorative arts when I'm at the Art Institute. The last time I was there, I saw these counterbalanced candlesticks designed by William Arthur Smith Benson. They are very beautiful.


Thursday Text: John 3:30

I really like this short verse from John, uttered by John the Baptist in reference to Christ:

He must increase, but I must decrease.


Cricut on sale!

If you don't have a Cricut yet, head to your local JoAnn's - they're on sale for $60! I couldn't pass up such a great deal. Time to get cutting!


A Quilt

Thanks to a lot of help from Sara, I've finally finished a quilt that I started 9 years ago! It's made up of my late husband's golf shirts. Sara helped me with the piecing, and then I quilted and finished it. It was a really fun project - I especially liked showing it to my sisters and having them recognize some of the old shirts. The rows and binding are chambray, and the back is a cute, tiny blue diamond pattern. I'm excited to do more quilting!



Shopping in Chicago was especially fascinating to me because of the great storefronts and window displays that I saw. This is the door to the Anthropologie store on Chicago Ave. The door handles are big and heavy, and the tile in front of the shop is beautiful.

The next three pictures are of the new AllSaints. It's a British shop that's new to Chicago. It's kind of hard to see, but the windows on both sides of the door (pic. 1) and the window above the door (pic. 2) are full of old Singer sewing machines. The third picture is from the inside looking back toward the entry. The whole setup is very industrial, and the store is often described as "edgy." (It's also expensive!)