Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!!!!!!!!
May 2010 bring good health, loving family and friends, healthy routines, renewed passions for the things you love, and the feeling of wonderful connections you can find with the ones you love and who love you!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Annual Christmas Mood Setting Day

Every year my Mom and I spend a day around Christmas going somewhere to browse, ooh and ahhh over Christmas decorations and cute shops.
This year as we are both broke we went to Jackson Square Antique Mall in La Grange, IL. We reined ourselves in to just a very few purchases; but we took lots of pictures of things we would buy if we were really going to town!
I definitely would have bought this little Santa doo-hickey. I would have said "oh, this is very Mary Englebreit" and away we would go!
There was lots of fun Christmas jewelry.
Fun threads!
I thought this was a great idea. Frame a piece of old Christmas wrapping paper in a clear simple frame.
If you know me, you know that I could not pass this up! It is a cut out from an old magazine. It was only $2. Had to have it.
Same story, second verse!
This is one we left behind but I really liked it.
Love vintage graphics!
This lady would have definitely gone home with me. Isn't she gorgeous? They were selling her with an expensive frame though.
Gather round all of you nostalgic Chicago Christmas shoppers, here are some boxes from Marshall Field's. Nothing says Christmas shopping like these do! If I was still in my hoarding stage I would have bought these and then wrapped my Mom's Christmas present in them every year.
Here I am with some flashbulbs. Another great memory!
Fake fur wreath with pheasant feathers. Who would have thought that this was cool? Not me, until I saw it.
Here is the "My Grandma had that" portion of your visit. So cute!
Lastly, here is my other minimal purchase. I am going to turn this book into a journal. (I finally sent some books off to my Dad so he can start on the project!)

I might not be back here until after Christmas, if that is the case I am wishing you all of a very Merry Christmas!!!!!


Sunday, December 13, 2009

Best Christmas Album ever!

Would you like to listen to the most glorious and beautiful Christmas music around? Well, here is the album (it is also on CD for you newfangled folks). More than anything, this music reminds me of being a kid at Christmas. It encompasses all of the many themes of Christmas; the glorious birth of Jesus, the feeling of family traditions, and the excitement of a child on Christmas morning to see what Santa has brought. Check out your local libraries or; I am sure you can find a copy. Let me know what you think!

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


I have been fiddling around with a second blog for some time now but just couldn't get it quite right. It started out as a cross-stitch trade blog; but I decided to just have giveaways for those charts.

Then I saw some other blogs with these newfangled backgrounds and found out they were free??? So, I was playing around with those and that is a ton of fun. I really wanted to use them on a real live blog (and do not want to change the classic look of Maude and Mozart) so I came up with an idea.

Every year since 2000 I have been making a Top 10 List of the books I have read that year. I figured that this new blog would be a good way to keep track of all those book lists and I can even put up bookish information any old time. So........announcing the start of the LET'S READ blog. Hope to see you over there!

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Today I had an ice cream sundae with coffee ice cream!!!! Need I say more?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

COMING AND GOING by Norman Rockwell

Thanksgiving travel.
Whether in years past on drives to Grandma's house
or in the college years to my Dad's house
or in the working years to the hospital to work on Thanksgiving
in the now years to Mike's Mom's house, or my Dad's on Bainbridge Island, or my Mom's in South Holland.......

so lucky to be able to get to where there is warmth, food, love, relaxation, and laughter.


Thankful for all my blog buddies!
I could never imagine the wonderful friends I would make through blogging!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Thankful Give-Away

I have had such great good fortune in my life. I have been blessed with a wonderful husband, family and friends. Sometimes when I really think about it I get all choked up. Then add to that my passions in life (music, reading, stamping and cross-stitching); I know I really am one lucky gal.
In honor of those thoughts and because I am a hoarder and am now going into therapy for the same (not formally; just on my own) I have some cross-stitch charts to give away. Here is the first set.........

So, if you would like these charts (all four) to be sent to you.....please leave me a comment with something that you are thankful for. You will be entered into the "contest." I will pick a name this Friday and send the package out next Saturday.

EDITED TO ADD WINNER: CINDY!!!! YOU WON. PLEASE SEND ME YOUR ADDRESS. I had Mike pick a number and then the person with the corresponding number in leaving a comment was the winner. Stay tuned for some more giveaways in the near future. Cindy, please email me your address. My email is

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Hepped Up

These are the things I am currently excited about.....time to start listening to The Nutcracker!! I think I will bring the CD to work tomorrow and listen.....or maybe not. It touches a really tender spot in my heart and sometimes I get emotional. Better save it for home listening.
Loving the TV show Glee!!!! I bought the album too!
Looking forward to reading this book. I was lucky enough to meet the author, Jim Kokoris, once. He is a really nice guy and a great writer. Run, don't walk, to get a copy of his first novel, The Rich Part of Life, one of my all time favorite books.
You know how I have not been stamping in a while....that means that I have not been scouring stamping sites on a daily basis. Today I stumbled across some stamps that inspire me to clear a path into my stamping room.
Last night at the stitch night at Inspired Needle my friend Karin was working on the above. It is Finch Song by Shepard's Bush. It is one million times more lovely in person. I hope to stitch it someday.
Above is Christmas at Hawk Run Hollow. I will be working on this one next year. It will be so much fun because several stitching friends will be working on it and we are going to meet once a month to sit and stitch on this project. Last night at stitch night I had a blast just stitching and listening to all the conversations around me. I love to hear people talk passionately about their hobbies and things they love.
Above is a piece of Christmas art that got my heart racing. This ATC is from the Red Lead Paperworks blog and is by a really great gal, Linda Freeman. If you want Christmas inspiration get over to their website. It is a treasure trove.
Lastly, above and below, two new stamps from Magenta. They are so dear!

So, that is the stuff that is on my mind tonight. Dreaming of reading, stamping, stitching, and music. If only I was so taken by cleaning and cooking!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

I have been very neglectful of my blog of late. The main reason is that we have a new computer. We went from a PC to a Mac. I love this new computer. It is completely amazing and gorgeous, but there is a bit of a learning curve. So, I have been acclimating myself and moving slowly.

Last Sunday my Mom and I went up to Woodstock, Illinois to hang out with our friend Dorothy and her brother John. Dorothy sent me pictures of the day in a program that I cannot download right now. We had a wonderful day though. John is a bookmaker, among other things, and it was a treat to look at his artwork. We all brought things to work on, we laughed a lot, and Dorothy made some wonderful pumpkin soup for lunch.

Today, Sunday, is going to be devoted to the usual (reading, napping, and thinking about cross-stitching and/or organizing. I will try to get into the blogging habit again because I love all of the wonderful friends and ideas it brings into my life.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Early Works

Here are a few of my "early works." These are three of the pieces I made for my Dad and Mary. They still have them hanging in places of honor; isn't that sweet? Above is a Prairie Schooler I did for my Dad. He was in the Navy and now has a sailboat. He loves the sea. I still love this piece very much. I think it is one of my favorites.

This is a sampler I made for Mary. I guess I have loved samplers for a very long time as this was made in 1990.
I believe this is one of the very first pieces I did. At the time my Dad and Mary had a sheep ranch near Mt. Shasta in California.

While on vacation with my Iphone I thought that my new Sony Cybershot had become obsolete. So, while these pictures taken with the Iphone are serviceable, I am glad to see that I still need my new digital camera for pictures of needlework.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Book Project

Ingredients: Tab, old books, adoring and smart father, Zutter Bind-it-All Version 2.0, time, patience (provided by said father), inspiration, and love of ephemera.
Several years ago I ran across an old book that had been turned into a journal. Ever since, I have been on the quest to make my own. Research was done, time passed, interesting books were gathered, conversations were had, and finally it was the right place and time to proceed.
Let me say at the outset that this project would have never come to fruition without my Dad. He is a genius at measuring, spatial thinking, and craftmanship.
My Dad deconstructed the books in a manner that preserved the entire book.
He made sure that the pages came out so that they could be used.
I brought four books for our trial run and they turned out fantastically. Above is the book my friend Noreen picked. These are our prototypes. Eventually what I want to do is add blank pages (using plain paper, patterned paper, old maps, etc.) and then use my stamp collection to add journal prompts. There are so many old books out there with great covers!
My Dad and I are going to try to work out a system whereby I send him the books, he does the hard work, and then I decorate them up. I do believe that I will always leave the covers as they are orginally; they just look great exactly as is.
Here is the team; Jacobs and Daughter. We had a great time and I can't wait to keep working on this project. Thanks Dad!!!!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Cut up Apples????

I know, I know! I have been gone for weeks only to return with a picture of cut up apple pieces???? What kind of return from vacation post is this? Well, we only have my PC to blame. It is running at the speed of a person entrenched in quicksand....very slowly in other words. I only have the patience for one picture to upload because they are all turned this way and that and straightening them out would take hours!

So, here is a picture that was right side up. It is a good picture of my vacation to Bainbridge Island because I never ate so many apples in my life! You must know that I do not like to eat fruit. Yuch. Boring. Anyway, out in Washington my Dad's wife, Mary, cut up apples in these little pieces and low and behold, they were really tasty. I don't know if it was the shape or the type of apples, but it was really fun to eat apples this way. We had "john-a-golds" or something like that. I came home and tried to recreate this great snack with a Gala apple; and yuch. It was not good at all. I am going to have to go to the grocery store and really look at the names of the apples.

I had a really wonderful trip. I would like to show you a day by day picture-log; but that does not seem possible with the computer issues. I will try to catch you up with a random picture or two a day.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Wahooo! Tomorrow I leave for a vacation on Bainbridge Island! That is where my Dad, and his wife, Mary live! Their house is not as grand as those pictured below; but it is wonderful and I love this area. I don't know why, but I feel totally at home there. If someone told me I had to move there tomorrow I really wouldn't mind!

The other excitement stems from my new Iphone!!! This is truly the greatest invention known to mankind! I am in love with it! I can do everything with it; talk on the phone, listen to podcasts, watch videos, check email and about a billion other things. It is a wonder.
I am excited to get on this ferry tomorrow afternoon. It is one of my most favorite things to do! So relaxing! I fly to Seattle and then take this ferry over to Bainbridge Island.
This is the cross-stitch project I am going to bring along with me. It is called "Colonial Gardner" and is by Annie Beez Folk Art. Love it!
While hanging out with my Dad we are going to work on some special projects, one of which I have been thinking about for two years. I want to take old books and turn them into journals. I will be sure to post pictures of what happens. This is a perfect father/daughter project; especially because I am finally going to use my Bind-it-All for the first time!!! Yes, I am hauling it and my portable Ott light with me.

One of the days that I am out there I will get to have lunch with my friend Carolyn! She is a total stitch and a total sweetie all wrapped up in one person. She started out as my Mom's friend, but now she is a great friend to both of us.
Then, towards the end of my stay, my best friend, Noreen, is going to come to visit! She lives in the L.A. area so often times when I go see my Dad she comes up for several days. We have known each other since 1977; so she knows me inside and out.