Category Archives: Out and About

In Love with Autumn

Hello!  Hello!  Hello! 🙂  I hope you’ve had a beautiful week and weekend!  I made my week busy by choosing to spend lots of time outside soaking up this autumnal season.  I spent two days at the Chicago Botanic Gardens and one day exploring a new to me forest preserve.  I feel quite rested and rejuvenated.

Below photo is from the “new” forest preserve.

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And the photo below was taken in the Rose Garden at the Chicago Botanic Gardens.

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However, even though I spent so much time outdoors, I did get a bit of knitting done this past week.  I am working on two more sweater dresses for the Little Darlings.  I think I am addicted to sweater dresses for my girls.  Anyone else feel the same about sweater dresses?  I DO LOVE them!  I keep knitting more and more!

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The green one is almost finished–only a few more rows.  I am using my Sweater Dress pattern, but changed it up by making a wide garter neckline to look Santa-like.  The hemline will have a “fur” band also.  A Santa hat will most likely be in order for this one.

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The pretty blue (love this shade of blue) sweater dress has long sleeves (my first for a Little Darling sweater dress) and narrow “fur” trim at the edges.  I blocked the first sleeve right after it was completed, and while it was still flat.

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I am liking these two so much–getting excited for them to be completed.  I hope to soon be rid of the ‘sweater dress making bug’ and do some sewing of Christmas dresses (with cardigans or capes, of course) next.  You’ve seen my pile of Christmas fabrics; they really need some attention.

We have lots of small lakes around here and many of our forest preserves include paths around them.

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This one had a boat launch, fishing pier, and lookout points at different spots around the lake.  There were some lookout areas with large flat rocks that I thought would be nice for taking pictures of my dolls.

I don’t have any little ones, but for those that do the playground here looks like a lot of fun.  I love the super huge frog, turtle, and beaver.  My daughter is taking a herpetology class (study of amphibians) so the frog and turtle are quite timely.  (I sent her photos. 😉 )

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I wonder if at some time lightening hit this tree.  Regardless, it had a nice sculptural quality to it, so I took a photo of it.

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Of course you know I cannot resist photographing mushrooms.

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My two visits to the Chicago Botanic Gardens were a little different.  My first visit on Monday was spent exploring my favorite gardens:  English Walled, Japanese, Rose, Heritage to name a few.  Then, on Thursday I dropped my daughter off for her one class and her choir practice and then drove to the gardens for a few hours.  This time I decided to walk the perimeter of the entire place to go through the prairie, around the test greenhouses and test science center.  I felt like I was ‘behind the scenes’ at some points.

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I discovered the McDonald Woods which are in the process of being restored.  At the entrance is a shelter with a fireplace.  It looked like it had been used and there was a log in it.  So cute!

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While walking around the perimeter, I found myself on the other side of the Japanese Garden islands.  I’ve often seen people sitting on the benches here and wondered how they got over there.  Now I know how.

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Flowers are still blooming here.  Lots of mums and asters everywhere.

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Not sure what the blossoms below are called–do you know?  They seem to be some sort of fall flowering bulb?

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And in my own back yard I still have flowers as the frost stayed away from the house.

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Today, it is sunny and warm–so beautiful!  Even though the temperature is warm the look of the landscape is changing–gone are the deep greens which are being replaced by golds, oranges, reds, and browns.

How is autumn shaping up where you live?

Thank you for stopping by today.  Enjoy the week ahead! ❤

 

A Sweet Reprieve

A lucky girl was I this past weekend.  My nephew got married . . . in Naples, Florida!  I went from this sunrise at O’Hare Airport (Chicago skyline 18 miles away in the background) on Friday morning . . .

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. . . to this sunset on a Naples beach Friday night.

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It was pretty chilly (sweater weather) when we arrived, but compared to the temperature we left behind I was not complaining one bit.  By the time we left on Sunday it felt like beach weather. 😮

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The wedding reception was held at The Naples Beach Hotel.  Before the reception we had hors d’oeuvres on the lawn, which was right next to the beach.  Yes, the view was amazing!  We had a view of the Gulf of Mexico during the indoor reception, too, but I must admit I didn’t notice; the reception was that much fun.  We stayed until the very end; all the guests that were still around sent the bride and groom off through a pathway of glittering sparklers.

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We didn’t spend much time in the hotel room, but this was the view we had.

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This was early Sunday morning on the beach; it was still cool.

We arrived back home on Sunday night.  Weather delayed our flight so I didn’t get to bed until after 1:00 am on Monday morning.  Yesterday was a day of recovering from all of the excitement,  and catching up on lost sleep.  (At my age, it takes extra time.)

Another week of holiday break with my college student, then everyone is back to work.

FYI, we’ve warmed up here in northern Illinois.  I got a brisk walk in yesterday, and will get another one in today.  The temperature is already above freezing and the sun is shining.  Yay!

Have a wonderful day, my friends. ❤

 

 

 

It’s Been a Co-o-o-ld Holiday Week

Oh boy, is it ever cold!  I miss going out for my daily walk so much!  I think my soul is suffering from the lack of fresh air and sunshine, but it’s just been way, way too cold.  This morning might be the worst yet—a minus 20 windchill!  And, I know some of you are lots worse off than that. *sigh*

Anyway, we’ve been hibernating and keeping busy inside with puzzles, games, crafty projects, cooking, eating, eating, eating (too much).

On Christmas Eve, I received an order of yarn for some “human makes” and a set of Hiyahiya interchangeable circular knitting needles.  My yarn and needle stash is all geared towards dolly makes (skinny yarn and skinny needles), so I took the plunge and ordered an entire set of larger needles and enough yarn for at least 6 human-sized projects.

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Hiyahiya Sharps are my new favorite needles.  They ARE sharp and make it so much easier to execute K2togs, SSKs, and for knitting lace.  I’ve been using the 8-inch sharp steel DPNs for quite a few months now for my doll knitting and do not want to go back to my other basic tipped needles.  The 8-inch DPNs seem to be the perfect length for all of my dolly items.

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My set of interchangeables was a bit pricey, but if I purchased the needles separately I’d easily spend more than this.  And, I am enjoying knitting with them so much.

My daughter wanted a super bulky and cabled headband to keep her ears warm while walking to her classes.  I found the perfect pattern while perusing Ravelry.  Within one day I completed it!  Seriously, who knew knitting for humans could go so quickly.  I used 2 strands of Knit Picks bulky Swish merino, so soft.  The pattern is from Posh Patterns and is simply called the Cable Knit Headband.

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On Thursday, my daughter wanted to make some delicate beaded necklaces.  I showed her how to work with decorative bead cord which has the flexible needle integrated into one end, bead tips to hide the knots, and my jewelry tools to add jump rings and clasps.  She had so much fun—she made 5 necklaces.  It makes my heart sing to see her make things. ❤

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Here are a few more photos from the Pabst Mansion when we visited last week.  In case you missed those posts and would like to see the other photos you can find them here and here.

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The conservatory is a smallish room that faces south and east.  It was chilly the night we visited, but I cannot help but think about how COLD it is in here today!  On warmer days, though, what a wonderful place to enjoy breakfast.

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The walls and floor and all tiled with very old looking ceramic tiles.  I think the designer decorated it for Christmas very prettily.

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The phone room is so tiny and cozy.  It’s located on the first floor off of the staircase area.  There is a door to close for those private conversations they must have had.

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I haven’t been doing any dolly creating this week, and I really haven’t spent any time at all in my sewing room.  I’ll go in to get something and that’s the extent of it.  We all need a break from “work”, don’t we?

So, that’s some of the recent news from COLD Illinois.  I hope you, too, are staying warm if you are in the frigid zone.

Thanks so much for visiting with me today, and for your support all through 2017, my friends.

❤ ❤ ❤

 

 

 

 

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