Wednesday, April 29, 2009

New Book!

My favorite author has a new book out! I just picked it up on my way home from work. While I was waiting at the train station for Mike I started reading. Only got 3 pages in and I am hooked!! I will put aside my current book so that I can read the new Elizabeth Berg. If you have not read a book by her; do yourself a favor and do so. She is a wonderful storyteller and has a way of putting into words your most soulful thoughts. She is starting a book tour for this book. This Sunday she will be at the Orland Park, Illinois library. My Mom and some of our friends are planning on going. By the way, my Mom is doing much better. She is recovering her strength a bit slowly; but all in all she is doing great. Here is a link to Elizabeth Berg's website; her book tour is quite extensive. She might be coming to a town near you. If you get a chance to attend one of her readings; try to go because she is just wonderful!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Artful Blogging

I had a lovely surprise last week when I found the latest issue of Artful Blogging in my mailbox. They have a feature in each issue called "Banners We Love." Guess what??? They love my banner!!

I came up with my blog name, Maude and Mozart, because I love stories. I made up this lady named Maude (I really love that name) and she was a woman who loved the music of Mozart (so do I, imagine that?). I really can't explain it more than that. I just liked it. Later I found the picture of Maude you see in the banner. The photograph was in an antique shop and it just screamed out to me that this was The Maude! I plan on framing that picture and putting it in my craft room someday.

The most important thing you need to know about my banner is that it was designed by Heather Simpson-Bluhm. She is simply a genius in the world of banner design. If I was wealthy I would have her come up with banners every month for me. You just tell her what you like and BAMM she comes up with something beautiful. Here is a link to Heather's designs business in case you want to work with her. She has very reasonable prices!
In honor of my good fortune at having my banner selected; I would love to have a giveaway of the previous issue of Artful Blogging. The extra special part of this magazine is that Diane Duda's blog is featured in this magazine! I tell you I almost cried when I read the article. I have been a big fan of Diane's for years and it great to see her flying high! Here is a link to Diane's blog, Duda Daze. If you have not seen her art; don't wait; go look at it now!

I will draw a name on Friday night after work. This will give me something to look forward to all week. Just leave me a comment on this post to enter.

EDITED TO ADD THE NAME OF THE WINNER: I had Mike pick a number between 1 and 15 and the winner is........CATHY R.!!!!!!!!!! Sorry it took past Friday night to post the winner; I should know to never commit to anything on a Friday night as I am always pooped!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Mrs. Lincoln

I love this picture of Mary Todd Lincoln. She was reported to be such a beauty in her youth, yet all I had ever seen were pictures of her in her later years where she seemed so unhappy. What a vision of loveliness she is in this photograph. It is hard to believe that photographs that old are in existence.

I am still reading the book Mary by Janis Cooke Newman. I am getting more and more enthralled with Mrs. Lincoln as I go along. This book is a novel; so I am hoping that what I am reading is mostly true. I will have to do some non-fiction reading about Mrs. Lincoln soon. As far as I can tell from the novel, we have Mary Todd Lincoln to thank for urging her husband to run for President. She really motivated and pushed him forward.

"The marriage was one of mutual support and affection yet was always rocky. Both considered it a partnership of equals ... Had Mary not encouraged Lincoln in his quest for the presidency, he would almost certainly never have achieved the office." Source: Doranne Jacobson. Presidents & First Ladies of the United States.

I discovered that there is a cross-stitch pattern with a theme of Mrs. Lincoln. It is Mrs. Lincoln's Sampler by The Sampler Girl. I have that on my to do list now! Luckily, my local cross-stitch shop, Inspired Needle, has the pattern!! Will have to get that one soon.
Guess what? I feel light of spirit as I explore the world of Mrs. Lincoln! Who would of thunk it??

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Seeking Lightness of Spirit

Over the past several weeks it seems that I have had very little "me" time. My job has been very demanding of late and that combined with all of the TV shows that Mike and I watch has left very little time in the evenings for reading books, cross-stitching or stamping. Frankly, I really need a day in the woods somewhere to recharge my batteries.

I need to go somewhere that is inspiring! I think the ladies in these pictures taken on March 3, 1950 by photographer Gordon Parks look inspired by something. They look thoughtful. I need to get in touch with my inner spirit. Maybe I should listen to the music of Bach as that always brings me closer to my spirit.
Other spirit boosters:

*an art museum
*listening to a symphony concert
*taking a drive in the country
*spending a day with wonderful friends
*reading a good book all day long
*walking through Bainbridge Gardens
*listening to the ocean waves
*feeling a soft breeze

I will be working on getting inspired this week!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

April 11, 2009

Yesterday was Mike's birthday. He is now 46! Wow, we are getting up there people. Anyway, we did not have a specific plan of what we were going to do to celebrate (you know where this is leading, don't you???). So we had some choices (Museum of Science and Industry, Art Institute, lunch and a movie, or BOOKSTORES!!!). Well, bookstores won out, of course. I googled used book stores in Chicago and found one we had never been to. We drove into the city and located said bookstore and it was awful!!! So we whisked ourselves off to the North side of the city and went to our beautiful old standby Half-Price Books. And then to Barnes and Noble. and prior to the book store stops we had lunch at Steak and Shake. By the time we got there I was having some serious low blood sugar issues and needed food STAT! I ordered a strawberry/banana milkshake and a salad to start with! Interesting juxtoposition! Anyway, we had a high old time together and got some great books.

Last week I went to the stitching session at the wonderful new cross-stitch shop I discovered, Inspired Needle, in Lemont, IL. The ladies were just lovely and so friendly!!! So, this Tuesday I am going to a meeting of the Embroidery Guild of America where so many of these great gals met. It should be lots of fun!!!!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Out of Order

I wanted to do a post with an update of what I have been up to lately. I wanted it to be in chronological order with gorgeous pictures. I can't get it together though; so I am doing a post right this minute and will let it go where it wants to!

The project pictured above is my next cross-stitch project. Since I have renewed my love of stitching I have started about 5 projects and finished none! Naughty. This one I am going to start and finish! I got the linen and thread this past Saturday at the lovely Country Cupboard in Orland Park, IL. My friend Patti (her blog is
Creative Cottage Dreamer) and I met there on Saturday morning for a spin around the shop and lunch at Panera. Needless to say we had fun!

I also scored the new Somerset Studio publication, Marie. Run, don't walk, to get your copy!!!! It is sumptuous.

On my way home on Saturday I remembered that I had read about a new cross-stitch shop opening in Lemont, IL which is not far from where I live. I drove around and around their little downtown until I found it. (I will not be denied more stash looking and obtaining when it is my blood!) Well, I found it and it is wonderful!!!!! Here is a link; Inspired Needle. If you are nearby get over there! If you are not close; make a road trip. There are tons of patterns, all of which are right up my alley. Tomorrow the shop is having a stitching get together and I plan on going to sit, stitch, and talk about stitching with other people.

Okay, next post I will try to be more organized. But I just had to chime in about all of the excitement about finding the new shop!

Friday, April 03, 2009

Day Off

I took the day off work so as to clear my head and my house of clutter. I probably did 35% of the housework I intended to do. The good news is that I started this book today and got to page 75 in one sitting. I can tell this book is going to be a winner. It is a novel and told from the point of view of Mrs. Lincoln. I don't know how accurate it is because I don't know much about her; but after I finish this book I will start researching her. It might even spur me to take a road trip to Springfield with Mike to go to the new Lincoln museum. So, if you are looking for a good book to read, get this one~!