Wednesday, November 28, 2007

More from Chicago...La Vache qui Rit and a Titty Lamp

A few pics from Crate and Barrel. First looking down at the escalator from the 4th floor.

Looking up through the ceiling at the building across the street.

The Holiday tree in front of the John Hancock building. Michigan Avenue is so pretty this time of year.

I found two other interesting stores. The first is P.O.S.H at 613 N. State Street. China, dinnerware, silver, glassware, and lots more. I ended up buying some laughing cow plates from France and a couple of glasses with the Eiffel Tower etched on them. I also picked up a box of 35 mini vintage inspired glass ornaments. They will go good on the small tree that I have in the house. Here are a few pics of the store.

The blue bottles are antique seltzer bottles from Argentina.

And sunny yellow La Vache qui Rit ...Laughing Cow plates. These were originally created in 1921 to promote Laughing Cow cheese in France.

But the best find of the entire trip to Chicago is the Titty Lamp. I found it at Jonathan Adler. A very hip upscale store...which makes me wonder what in the world I was doing there. I usually feel very farm girl in stores like this, but I couldn't resist getting a look at the lamp.

Oh my cup runneth over...and over...and over...and over. It's enough to make a grown man and a newborn cry.

I did end up buying a Horse Tray there. I am going to put it on the dinning room table with a candle and ornaments in it for the Holidays. After that I am going to use it to store beads in my workroom.

One last shot before we go walk around all day long in these skyscraper cannons and then you turn the corner and see this....

I don't know what the building is...but I've seen several like it. The property must be worth a fortune...imagine the high-rise that could be put there....but someone had held out and preserved this house. I like that.

Does this picture make my butt look big???

OK..who took my ears??...where are my ears??? Oh My tail...did you take my tail?? Hey...hey...does this picture make my butt look big???

Marshall Fields, Christkindel Market, and the Art Institute

Another must for me is going to Marshall Fields…now Macys…they put out the trumpets and the windows tell the tale of the Nutcracker Suite. Lou and I walked by at 11 at night so we had the whole street to ourselves. During the day the windows are jammed with parents and kids. In one section of the store there is a Tiffany ceiling with 1.6 million pieces of favrile iridescent glass.

Just down the block in Civic Center Plaza is the Christkindel Market. It is a German market. They sell things like nutcrackers, cuckoo clocks, beer steins and ornaments. They also sell traditional food…oh the food. I stopped back the next day for lunch…bratwurst and potato pancakes. Good old fashioned stick to your ribs food that will stop your heart cold. It was so good!!

The same plaza has the Chicago Picasso and across the street is Joan Miros “The Sun, The Moon and One Star”.

Off to the Art Institute to see all my beloved Impressionists. I wandered through the Modern Art section and found a new love….Paul Klee. Here are a few of his paintings that I liked.

I think I have wrinkles that look like this...but the heart is there....a little black one.

They also had a great Asian exhibit with number of statues, vessels, bells, and tombstones. They had great very intricate designs on them. Some of them are reminded me of designs on some of the Mayan artifacts.

I went with Lou to a reception this evening at the University Club. We got up to the 9th floor and enter Cathedral Hall which was at least 3 stories tall. It reminded me of something out of Harry Potter or maybe Harry Potter took a page from construction like this. It was a great opportunity to see it…since the club is private. Down on the 8th floor they had a library that was floor to ceiling books.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Chicago Day 2....Mary Mary Christmas Shopping

I have been here a number of times and Michigan Avenue is wonderful, but the stores get a little old after 5 years. This trip I am on the lookout for something different. Today I wandered down Dearborn in search of a store called Mary Mary Gifts. What a gem!!! Mary and the girls were so nice. And the store is filled to the brim with all kinds of decorative items, purses, chandeliers, and much more. I ended up buying a Mad Hatter lamp, a box with Paris tiles on the front, 2 really cute tree ornaments, and a set of Tibetan rice bowls for Lou…don’t tell him…it’s a present. Check out the pics of the store. You really could spend a couple hours here. It was exactly the type of store I was looking for. Oh…they also sell this toffee that is made here in Chicago. It has been put in the goodie bags for various Hollywood award shows. It was wonderful. Of course I bought a little bag of that too.

Off to Chicago

The drive from Cleveland to Chicago is boring. I love the country. I grew up on a farm. And besides my family, I am one of a few people I know that can find beauty in a field of wheat or corn. But the drive to Chicago is 320 miles of this….

Then you arrive in Chicago. This pic is from the 20th floor of the Westin Hotel.

This is our first time at the Westin... I love it. We are up on the Executive Club Floor. Because Lou travels so much, he gets free upgrades at various places. We weren’t expecting to be on this floor…it was a nice surprise. The Club Room is three doors down from our room and has multiple large screen TV, couches, chairs and tables. There is free breakfast, cookies, fruit and beverages in the afternoon and happy hour with appetizers in the evenings. Plus the views out the windows are breath-taking. I’m sitting here watching the traffic and looking at these buildings. From the ground you don’t get a change to appreciate the tops of these buildings. The older buildings have so much character. The second building from the right has a dome on the top.

This pic is a view out our window. Marina City is reflected in the glass. This is a different kind of beauty from the farm.

This is a pic of Trump Tower which is still under construction.

Although is is sunny up top, it is already getting dark in the skyscraper canyons. This is the Old Water Tower, one of a few buildings that survived the Great Chicago Fire and the John Hancock building (on the right) on Michigan Ave.

Free Hugs.....the free hugs campaign is a worldwide movement. We saw people doing this in Paris also. These are a few advocates in Chicago.

Everything is decorated for the holidays. One of the window displays at Crate and Barrel. I stepped into it to take this pic. There was a chair in front of me. I tried to convince L to sit in the chair and let me take his picture from outside. I even taunted him by calling him “chicken”. He wouldn’t bite. I love Crate and Barrel for the 4 floor escalator that sits in the front of the building. Like a kid, I have to ride up to the fourth floor every year. All the furniture is up on 3 and 4…so I run around and test out the couches and chairs. Once of these years I am going to buy a leather arm chair. I just haven’t found the right one at the right price yet. Most of them here are ~$2000. Ouch.

And I found a long lost love in Chicago...he was so sweet and all decked out for the Holidays with his Santa hat on.

The Word of the Day….HELLO!!!

These are photos of my step-grandson, Mathew..Matty. Is there even such a term…step- grandson? Rachael is my step-daughter…but what do I call Matty? After 20 years with Lou do I just leave the “step” out of it. At what point do I earn the right to just call them sons and daughters…or do I ever have that right. I don’t know. Rachael likes to call me Grandma in reference to Matty. I cringe at that word…am I old enough to be a Grandma….YES.

Matty is so cute and not afraid of anyone. He just took over a room of family and friends. Walked up to people and talked to them is his 18 month old language. He walks…or rather runs everywhere. He was bouncing off countertops. He was the right height to hit one of the countertops right in the head. He ended up with a bruise at the end of the day.

Like most of his parents generation…he is learning to carry a telephone everywhere. This one was actually a refrigerator magnet. He ran around the room with it to his ear and all the adults would yell…..HELLO

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

It can't really be the end of November. There has to be some scientific principle that the older you get the faster time passes. I remember that time seemed to drag was I was a kid. Now the weeks and months fly by.

I did a show at Landerhaven last Saturday. It wasn't bad for my first year. I was hoping for better sales...but I made my costs and then some so I guess I should be grateful. I am hearing from a number of people that sales are down. It's either they don't have money to spend or they drop $300 on me. There seems to be no middle ground. Below is a pic of my booth and my friend Donna from Chelle's Closet

I'm off to Chicago on Saturday. I will be taking the computer along so I can blog. I'm there until Thursday with absolutely nothing to do but roam around the city.

Don't eat too much Turkey!!!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pics of the Month

I started doing a pic of the week....but I'm all caught up in doing shows right here are a few pics of month. First up....Santa Fe. This was taken at the B&B that we usually stay at in Santa Fe...Water Street Inn. The next pic is of a gate in Taos. Both are very typical of the area...adobe, rickety wood painted in bright colors, ristras hanging from the eaves, scruffy plants. The third pic is looking out from a cave in Bandalier National Park. It's earthy, ancient, and raw.

Paris is far from's beautiful, cultured. At the time the Anasazi Indians were living in the caves at Bandelier....Pope Alexander III was laying the first stones of Notre Dame and King Philippe-Auguste constructed the Louvre.

Paris and Santa Fe couldn't be more different. I love both places... How can this be???

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Show Update

Last weeks show was a good one. I have money to pay off my "bead bills". It was sooo much better than the show in October. I get repeat business at Mrs. Claus' Closet. People came back to the both to tell me that they bought from me before and they get lots of compliments on their jewerly. That always feels good. I had one women who couldn't afford to buy a piece because of her personal finances, but she came to the booth 3 times and kept saying... "you're killing me"...which I took as a huge compliment. I had another woman show up 5 minutes before the end of the show (just like she did last year) and bought a necklace and matching bracelet. She told me that my jewelry makes her hyperventilate....and she was :))

I had a chance to visit with Donna Picione from Chelle's Closet. She is always next to me and we get along so well. She told me she only does this show so we can see each other :)) She is part of the reason I keep returning. She makes wonderful jumpers and hats for little girls. Her granddaughter Michaela is featured on her website. Across from us was Annette Corrao who makes stuffed dolls. She made one of Regis Philbin and he had it on his show. She also directs high school plays in Lorain....and in her spare time she "punks up" hair. About 4PM we got bored and the crowd had thinned out at the show....Annette punked up Donna's hair....and boy did the guys like the hairdo. I think she got hit on about a dozen least 10 of those were by the pottery boy who was exhibiting out in the hallway. We had fun.

I don't usually buy things at these shows...primarily because I don't have anyone to cover the booth so I don't get a chance to walk around. This time I breezed around the show before it started Wednesday morning. One of Donna's friends...Judy...make wreathes and trees and I found nice 4ft christmas tree with 2 stacked snowmen. With just the two of us at home, we don't usually set up a Christmas tree anymore. This will be our tree from now on and there's no needles to clean up. I already have it set up in the living room.

I also bought a French Santa (Pere Noel) from Annette. Of course he has a beret, his beard is wrapped around his neck like a scarf, and he's carrying a yule log and a bottle of wine. Pere Noel leaves presents for good little girls and boys and Pere Fouettard gives spankings....hmmm do I want goodies or spankings???? Oh Santa!!!!!

I have another show this Sunday at Landerhaven on the east side of Cleveland. I am hoping this will be a big one. It's the first time I'm exhibiting there. People have been telling me it is a great show...lots of buyers. So I am spending my evenings this week making new designs. Below are a few of the pieces. My photography sucks. After my last show (November 30th) I plan to open an Etsy shop so I need to work on taking better pictures.

It's back to Santa's Workshop for me to make more bangles and baubbles for the holidays.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Mrs. Claus Closet

I have a show on Tuesday and Wednesday so I won't be posting until the weekend. If you live in Cleveland...come to see me at Mrs. Claus Closet in Westake. The show is open to the public on Wednesday from 10AM to 9PM. The address is posted on the right hand side of the blog.