Monday, November 19, 2018

A Crafty Weekend


Just a week after the Bittersweet Stitching Sisters trip, 
I was off for a weekend at my niece's new house.
A crafting weekend with my mom, sister and niece.


It was fun spending time with their two cats as well.
They are so much fun to watch and so different than my pups!


Wesson is sweet, social and so funny!
This could hardly be comfortable?!


Wesson was happy to help Mom with her wool applique :)


When I got up to take a few pictures, he decided my chair was the most comfy spot ;)


Nash aka Nashville came out to see what was going on once we had been there a bit.


They both get along so well despite being rescued several years apart.


We were so lucky! My niece, Angela, made each of us the sweet pumpkin sign on top! Isn't it darling?! And my sister knitted and felted us each an awesome pumpkin!
Angela's sign even has a little secret....


Flip it over and you have a Christmas tree for display!
I love it!


And I now have quite a collection of knitted pumpkins from my sister.
I'm a lucky gal!!!


While there, I stitched on "Grateful, Thankful, Blessed" 
by With Thy Needle and Thread.


Angela created an amazing advent calendar from a print she bought on a  trip to Nashville.


My sister knit a baby sweater for a shower later in the month.


And Mom finished this lovely piece from Buttermilk Basin.

Unfortunately, we had to leave first thing in the morning...


So that my husband and I could head over to Brushwood Center at Ryerson Woods.
My husband's sister is exhibiting her art at the 
If you live near Riverwoods, Illinois, it is definitely worth the drive!
Not only is the Art Exhibit amazing, the historic Ryerson home is lovely.


And the pristine woodlands are beautiful.


If it hadn't been such a rainy day, we definitely would have gone for a hike.

Thank you so much for participating in my little giveaway! I am so happy to hear that so many of you are traditionalists like me, enjoying Thanksgiving in all its glory, before decorating for Christmas. I know that some decorate early as they need lots of time to get it all set up! I would love to see all of your decorations! There were 51 entries in my little giveaway. Using random.org, the winner is #31 Barb. Barb, I have sent you an email. Send me your mailing address and it will be on its way...
I'll be having some more giveaways soon!

All this is for your sake so that, as his grace spreads, 
more and more people will give thanks and glorify God.
~2 Corinthians 4:15

Blessings, Patti

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Playing tourist in my own hometown


The weekend before I met the Bittersweet Stitching Sisters, 
my husband and I played tourist in downtown Chicago.


We went to see "Hamilton" and it was absolutely amazing!
I bought the soundtrack before we went and we read the book several years ago, 
so we could really enjoy all of the nuances of this remarkable show.
I highly recommend it!


We decided to make a weekend of it,
so we spent the night at the Chicago Athletic Association.
(The elevators are lined with the wood floors of the original fencing studio.)


This amazing club was built in 1893 and was a private club until 2007.
It was reopened a few years ago as a hotel.
I attended several professional events here during my career when it was a private club 
and I was anxious to see how much of the original club remained.


I was delightfully surprised to see that most of it remains original.
The library is as beautiful as I remembered.
With all the original windows overlooking Michigan Avenue and Millenium Park.


A wonderful place to relax on a cold and rainy afternoon.


This mosaic above the elevators was stunning.


Another delightful surprise was finding two of Henry Kupjack's miniature rooms on display in the Drawing Room! Henry and his father Eugene are world-renowned miniaturists - their works are on display in many museums around the world including the Art Institute of Chicago. 
(We have one of their rooms in our local library as I live the same neighborhood 
where Eugene and Henry lived.)  


While not as opulent as the first room, I really love this miniature room as well.


The details are absolutely amazing!
Do you see the face jug next to the three barrels?

Later in the evening, we went up to Cindy's - the rooftop bar.


The glass and iron roof was lovely,


but the view really stole the show!
Do you see Skygate (aka The Bean?) and the ice rink starting to be set up?
Such a great view of Millenium Park and the skyline.


Here is a closer view and the red structure is Pritzker Pavillion - the site of many outdoor summer concerts.


and here is the modern wing of The Art Institute of Chicago. 
We could even see a few twinkling lights from Indiana - around the bend of lake Michigan.

When we came back down, we had to take a peek at


the bocce ball court in the original game room


and the staircase to the original swimming pool is stunning as well.
All too soon it was time to head home


But first we stopped at the Pittsfield Cafe for some breakfast.
It is a traditional diner, but my favorite is the cafe seating in the atrium of the historic Pittsfield Building - the tallest building in Chicago when completed in 1927.


So many lovely details.

Before taking the short "L" (elevated train and subway) ride home, 
we made one last stop in one of my favorite buildings.


The Chicago Cultural Center - always open to the public.
This building opened in 1897 and was originally the City's replacement library  - built after the great Chicago fire.
It is the home of the largest Tiffany glass dome in the world.


Pretty details and a view of Millenium Park.


Wonderful quotes remain in the walls from its days as a library.


One more lovely than the next.


The tilework is absolutely stunning!


Here is a close up to see the luminosity and details of the tiny pieces.


The names of great authors etched in the very ceiling.
And in about 40 minutes, we were home sweet home :)

Thanks for letting me share some of my Sweet Home Chicago!
I hope that you have a chance to visit and experience it as well!

There is still time to enter my little giveaway - be sure to comment here.

For the Lord is good and his love endures forever;
    his faithfulness continues through all generations.
~Psalm 100:5

Blessings, Patti

Monday, November 12, 2018

Bittersweet Sisters 2018 Trip ~ Part 6


The final part of the Bittersweet Stitching Sisters annual trip!
Be sure to read through to the end, it will be worth it ;)

I bought several kits at Country Sampler - two cross stitch and the fabric kit for the star that I shared on an earlier post.


At JJ Stitches, I bought these two patterns along with the kit for "So Beholden". 
I'm thinking of doing a mash-up of both patterns...


At JJ Stitches, I also bought these three wools - thought they would make great evergreen trees 
and this pattern that I haven't seen before.


At Lynn's, I increased my Hands On Design stash with a few patterns.


 And a sweet kit (Autumn Skies) that is currently exclusive to Lynn's of Madison.
And Plum Street Samplers' "Scary Two" is all  kitted and ready to go!


I forgot to share this sweet gift from Carla!
She is a lace maker and actually made lace for each of us! 
Isn't the entire display lovely with the antique buttons and bobbins?!
She also created some wonderful daily kits for us!
I'll share once I make some progress on them!

Finally what you have been waiting for: 


A little giveaway!
I'm sharing some of the wool that I purchased.
In addition, each year we bring patterns and supplies that we no longer need and share with the rest of our Bittersweet Stitching Sisters. This year we agreed to share some with you. So we're including two Blackbird Design charts for the November and December stockings.

Simply leave a comment on this post and tell me: do you decorate for Thanksgiving?
You can also email me at pgagliardi9@hotmail.com with "Thankful" in the subject line.
I'll pick a winner using random.org on Monday, November 19.

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: 
be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
~Psalm 100:4

Blessings, Patti

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Bittersweet Sisters 2018 Trip ~ Part 5


So what did we work on during our week at the Second Story?
Linda, Carla and I worked on our "Bountiful" - a 2016 Boxwood & Berries class project
 from Maggie Bonanomi.


Linda and I finished ours.
Carla was amazing and ironed, cut, placed and stapled all of her pieces in less than a week!


Linda and Wendy attended a Maine cruise with Maggie Bonanomi in September and worked on Maggie's "Book of Days". Carla and I were inspired and brought our supplies so that the "experts" could help us. I was happy to just get my blank book put together (on the right), 
but Carla even put together and finished her cover (on the left)!


Linda also worked on this gorgeous table mat and just about completed it!


Nicki worked on this lovely penny flag.


And worked on "Step into my Garden" by Maggie Bonanomi.


And worked on knitting a pair of socks!


Kim worked on this Tim Holtz quilt - she has a lot more completed, 
but these squares are the highlights ;)


She also worked on a cheddar quilt.


Wendy finished this sweet cross stitch piece - right on time!


And started towards the next holiday season.


She also made progress on this piece.
(I think I may have to stitch this!)


And you have already seen these, but I fully finished these with their hexies during our week.
It was a productive week for all!

I'll have one more post along with my traditional travelogue giveaway - coming soon!

 Know that the Lord is God.
    It is he who made us, and we are his;
    we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
~Psalm 100:3

 Blessings, Patti