Posts Tagged ‘chicago’

Writing for GeekMom

DIY pillow | Julie Tiu | GeekMom

I made this pillow as a gift for my nephew, and shared my how-to on GeekMom. Link here for the tutorial for this Power Button Pillow project.

11th Annual Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier

And last month, my family and I visited the Chicago Toy and Game Fair at Navy Pier. Check out the fair through my first-timer eyes at GeekMom.

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First Visit to a Bed and Breakfast

Our friend turned innkeeper - perusing a cookbook

What would you say if your friends called and said, “Hey! We bought a bed and breakfast! Who wants to come for a working weekend to help us get ready?”

We said, “Of course!” We had never been to a bed and breakfast before, but mostly because of accessibility issues. Luckily, there was a ramped entrance and we had a ground floor room. Perfect.

So two weekends ago, we packed up our bags, brought an air mattress, blankets and headed two hours out of Chicago to their bed and breakfast in Michigan. A possible snow advisory didn’t stop us either.

Doors and walls in the innkeepers home needed painting, furniture had to be moved, kitchen cabinets and appliances were waiting to be cleaned… and there were over ten adults (along with at least fifteen children – I lost count) willing and able to do jobs. Talk about a great greeting – having friends come out to your car with big hugs.

I stayed in the B&B where all the kids were. (Couldn’t leave them to their own devices.) Spent most of my time in the B&B kitchen catching up with other friends who had come to help. Oh, and I contributed – scrubbing out cabinets, finding miscellaneous kitchen gadgets and glassware left behind by the previous owners. Not your typical weekend activity but I loved it. The evening ended with wine, guitar playing, kids in the basement complete with pillow fights, and prepping for the next morning’s breakfast… awesome.

What a truly exciting adventure ahead – so proud of our friends, Julie and Eric.

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On Spring Break

We’re back home and ready for school and work again…

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To Do Around Town this Weekend

There’s so much I could do IN my house… so much I’d like to do OUT of my house. How do you choose?! Fortunately, some of these “things-to-do” are in town for a while.

Tonight, have fun with make-and-takes at Chicago Craft Social.

I SO want to see Jim Henson’s Fantastic World at the Museum of Science and Industry! I don’t mind admitting I’m a big Muppets fan, and love the Jim Henson empire. I remember when he passed away, and feeling like a part of my childhood went too. The exhibit runs from Sept. 24 (today!) through January 23, 2011.

If you’re around Millenium Park, this gastronomic event might be something to check out. Chicago Gourmet runs Sept. 25-26. Food. Wine. Tastings. Celebrity chef demos. Wheee!!! It would certainly be delicious and fun for me, and what I’d give to meet Rick Bayless. Don’t know what I’d say to him, but I’d love a chance.

There’s a jazz festival in Hyde Park this weekend, too, and closer to home, the Polish Art Festival in Park Ridge.

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Busy February

Picture by G. Feiereisel

Wow, it’s been a while… let’s update.

Holiday/birthday season is over for me (husband’s, father’s, daughter’s and numerous friends), and tomorrow our party-hosting blackout month starts. We may be taking a hosting hiatus, but that doesn’t mean we’re not thinking about it. Amidst the celebrating, we started looking for Holy Communion dresses for Abby and planning a lunch reception. We have a little less than two months, which really translates to, I have a little less than two months to reorganize and pull my house back together again.

In the next month, I’ll begin reporting for Craft Critique where I will rediscover and review some of my own crafting supplies and equipment, and be introduced to new and exciting products in the crafting world. I can’t wait! You might imagine I have quite the array of products, but my craft shed is fairly minimal. You’ll see. To jump start my creative juices and “research” current products, I’ve been visiting the local Archiver’s over the last few weekends to see the “make-and-take” projects and see product demos.

Another love of mine is Chicago history and architecture, so to celebrate that my husband and I attended “Chicago in History and Mystery” at our local library. Fabulous guest speakers, wine and hors d’ouevres, too. (Can I tell you how weird it was eating and walking around the library with a glass of chardonnay? God forbid I spill anything!) Back to the speakers: Authors JA Konrath, Gillian Flynn and Henry Perez; Rick Kogan and Charles Osgood from the Chicago Tribune and WTTW personality, Geoffrey Baer.

I’ve never been to an author panel discussion before; it was eye-opening and fun! These authors write mysteries, and being able to hear them speak about their inspirations, how they got started, how they approach their character development was so fascinating. We came home with Afraid by Konrath, who also writes under Jack Kilborn, but I’m definitely looking forward to reading the others. Have to get through my stack of books by my bed first.

It’s amazing enough to watch Geoffrey Baer’s tours of Chicago on tv, read Rick Kogan’s articles and see Charles’s photography, but listening to them when they’re a few feet away from you… incredibly captivating and entertaining personal stories. Sorry to say I didn’t bring my camera, but then again, not many people did. I might be able to link to the library website if they update their event photos. I wanted to tuck every anecdote away in my head to share with friends, but by the time we left (about 4 hours) I was so overwhelmed with factoids and fun stories. I’ll end with a few Chicago tidbits that stuck.

  • Louis “Studs” Terkel (Chicagoan author, broadcaster, historian) was one of the oldest people to undergo open-heart surgery at the age of 93. In his own words through Rick Kogan, “I’m a medical miracle!”
  • Caldwell Avenue is named for “Billy” Caldwell whose American Indian name was Sauganash which is also the name of the neighborhood that the avenue runs through. I had no idea…
  • Park Ridge is not the highest point in Cook County which many Park Ridgians believe. High point is somewhere around Barrington.
  • Park Ridge was home to many artisans and craftspeople, and included a workshop called Kalo Arts Crafts Community House where many silversmiths and jewelers started their trade.

Such a rich history in the arts… is it a wonder I feel at home here? We’ll see what happens in the next month since I also applied for a seat on the newly formed “Historic Preservation Commission” in town.

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Crafting again at the Chicago Craft Social

This past summer, I attended the second Chicago Craft Social and led a table with this craft, Beaded Book Marks (a.k.a. Book Thongs or Book Wedgies). I had no idea how busy I would be at the table, but it was a great showing. I took no other pictures that evening. I wish I did; it was tons of fun. I really ought to post a tutorial on these, eh?

Ribbon and bead book thongs or bookmarks

So, I’m leading a table at this Friday’s Craft Social (Holiday version)! I’m going to tailor my latest obsession, scribble art (or doodling), into something people can learn and take home. From this…

A magenta design

… I started documenting the different patterns I use. Sort of backwards, but that’s okay. Work in progress.

Doodling notes

Tonight I took my notes, made a one page dictionary that I can hand out, and I’m planning on demonstrating the more complicated or complex designs on my daughter’s white board. None of them are really that difficult, but they might look incredibly intricate. Makes me feel like I’m brilliant.

Doodle dictionary

From twenty different patterns, you can mix and match (I’m bringing multi-sided dice, more than six sides), do little variations on them, and voila, you too can doodle crazy little things and maybe make a holiday card, gift tags, an iron-on t-shirt applique… the possibilities are endless. I’m working on our family Christmas card in black and white. This picture was a first attempt.

Christmas card idea

Hope to see you at my table!

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