Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cairo Time . . . Life on the Nile

My photos from my trip to Egypt :-) I'm not sure how this will work - Shutterfly just had this option so I'm trying it. Probably best to click to view it larger anyway :-)

Click here to view this photo book larger

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

179:365 April in June

A fabulous belated birthday gift from a friend of mine and his girls - all thoughtful gifts, all stuff I love, and all wrapped up in a fabulous heavy rattan/woven box to hold some of my knitting.

How fun to have another piece of my April birthday in June :-) Such a welcome treat since I spent another day at home - it's back to work for me tomorrow for sure! This being sick is really boring.

In case you're wondering the pink note paper says, "All I want is World Peace and a Pedicure." :-D

Monday, June 27, 2011

178:365 Bits and Pieces

Another day spent pretty much horizontal - this virus is just pounding me . . . some bits and pieces from my ledge - a bowl from Fes in Morocco, a stone from Columba's Bay on the Isle of Iona, a decorated domino with some Klimt (a favorite), some baby skeins of sock club yarns, and a braid of fibers that holds great personal meaning.

Sunday, June 26, 2011


So - my friends Tammy, Christa and Karen are coming in August for Stitches, and Tammy is bring her friend Ginger. Everyone is staying at my house. I'm really looking forward to it :-)

I was reminded a few days ago that we had decided we all wanted to make the Shipwreck Shawl, a free pattern on, out of Wollmeise lace. I have to get 5,000 beads :-D And I have to decide which of my laces I'm going to use.

I got the blue lace (a "we're different" skein of My Old Blue Jeans) with the intent of the Shipwreck, but I pulled them all out in the sun today - the color representations are pretty good - and they all have their own allure. L to R, My Old Blue Jeans (WD), Granatapfel, Vamp (WD), Fliederbusch, and Spice Market. That photo will biggify substantially if you click on it. I think I might not wear the Vamp - but I would wear all the other colors. I'm trying to figure out which I would wear the most. Surprisingly I don't have any green lace - which of course I would probably wear.

Had I not pulled them all out today, I wouldn't be having this problem :-D I think it's between the My Old Blue Jeans and the Granatapfel. I've got to decide soon - I need to buy the beads, and since all the bead places near me have shut down, I'm going to go with eBay. I've had good luck there before for beads . . . blue or red? Should I try to trade for a green? What to do?!

177:365 In the Sunroom

Still pretty much down for the count from this virus, so not very many photos taken today. These things are in the corner of my sunroom. I really like them all - I put the stars there for Christmas, and I liked them so well that I left them :-D If I could find some blue ones, I would switch them off because the rest of the room is blue.

The lantern hangs there - I've never lit the candle and I always think I'm going to change it all around seasonally as well . . . so far, I just leave it the way I purchased it.

A Virus . . .

That's what they told me at Urgent Care on Friday night . . . I went because my fever spiked close to 102. Never a good thing.

This is truly the No-Fun Plan :-(

I can't remember when I've been so ill. I'm better now, but I'm still on mostly clear liquids with the occasional dispensation for saltines. And I'm not very hungry, so I KNOW I'm sick. At least the fever is gone, and that's a relief - and I managed to take a shower this morning (another good thing ;-D), but man, I am wiped out. There is question about my being able to go to work tomorrow - guess I'll see how I feel in the a.m.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

176:365 Tour de Fleece

I'm getting ready to participate in something called the "Tour de Fleece." It's where spinners form teams and spin every day of the Tour de France. Sounds silly, but it's a lot of fun. I'm a member of an online knitting and fiber arts community called Ravelry, and that's where I heard about it.

This fiber is Blue Faced Leister. It's top (I think - it might be roving) and it's really, really beautiful, and wonderful to spin. It's from Miss Babs, and I think the colorway is Deep Forest Green. I've got a pound of it and have spun up a quarter. I hope to spin the rest during the Tour.

175:365 The Don King Viburnum

I have no recollection ot taking this photo yesterday. It was the only photo I took. I think I took it in the a.m. on my way to the train, stopping at the end of the driveway to take it. By the end of the day I was laid low with a virus of epic proportions.

I call it the Don King Viburnum because it grows like Don King's hair.

And yes, my neighbors really did paint their house "swimming pool blue." :-S

174:365 Another Storm

We've had our share in Chicagoland this spring - and now summer. I always find it interesting that the leaves turn over when it's about to storm. I'm sure there's a good scientific explanation . . .

I took this from the train platform on my way home from work.

173:365 Dinner!

I bought a half share in a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). That means that one of my friends and I split a delivery every week of organic produce, fresh from a farm in Wisconsin. They deliver the boxes to our OFFICE! How cool is that?!

I made a wish because I've never eaten Swiss Chard before. I cooked it like spinach. Onions, some garlic scapes (never had them before either), a little bit of olive oil. This photo was taken before I added a little bit of seasoned bread crumbs, some grated fresh parmesan and the juice of half a fresh lemon. (I think my friend, Michelle at Boulderneigh might like this one - it's vegetarian :-))

I have a goal to eat more vegetables . . . wish me luck! If all my concoctions taste as good as this one did, I should have no trouble at all :-D

172:365 City Flowers

One of the things our former mayor did really well, was to beautify the city streets. These planters, complete with seats, are found up and down Wacker Drive. This one is outside my office building. A fitting image for the first day of Summer :-)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

171:365 It's Gold

This is the tower of the beautiful Carbide & Carbon Building, now home to the Hard Rock Hotel.

Built in in 1929, and designed by the sons of Daniel Burnham, urban legend has it that it was designed to look like a champagne bottle - the lower facade is polished black granite, with green terra cotta and 24-karat gold leaf on the tower. It's a Chicago landmark - there is nothing else like it in the City.

It became the Hard Rock Hotel in 2004.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

170:365 The Sundial

For reasons known only to her, the woman who lived in my house before I did, put a sundial in the totally wrong spot in the backyard.

It was in the first photo I took, back in January, but now that summer is nearly here, it is buried in the buckthorn and underbrush. Probably means that I need to do some major trimming in the yard, but even so, it should have been pointing to celestial North, and it's pointing East . . .

I'm thinking about moving it. :-)

169:365 Oh, Dear . . .

These exceptionally unflattering photos of myself have got to stop! However, I managed to get the Webcam set up yesterday, and this is the photo I took of myself with it.

Unfortunately, it's the only photo I took all day :-S So, also unfortunately it has to be my photo for this day.

That's me - no makeup, my ruddy Irish skin in all its glory, and apparently I slept on my left side last night.

Oh well, perhaps this will teach me to make SURE that I upload my photos daily instead of in a bunch like I just did. Had I done that last night, I would not be stuck with this crappy, low-res photo of me looking distinctly otherworldly . . . at least I'm smiling :-)

168:365 Formerly Known as Carson's. . .

Once a mecca for shoppers both near and far, Chicago's State Street has lost it's greatest retailers - first, the store formerly known as Marshall Field's (if you're local, you'll know why I won't even say the name of the current store in its place).

Then, Carson Pirie Scott - it used to live in this magnificent structure at 1 South State. The building was designed by Louis Sullivan to be the department store it was, and is a National Historic Landmark. The building is now called the Sullivan Center and is slated to become the latest craze, a "multi-use building."

The building itself is an excellent example of what came to be known as the "Chicago School" of architecture. This decorative iron scrollwork is generally credited to George Grant Elmslie, who was Sullivan's chief draftsman after Frank Lloyd Wright left the firm.

The building has stood empty since Carson's left it in 2007. The ironwork was renovated in late 2010. It really is magnificent, isn't it? They say a Target might occupy the lower floors . . . to me it's quite a comedown from Carson's.

"Bitter, Party of One, your table is ready!"

Change is hard . . .

167:365 No Pesto Yet

There are weekly farmers markets throughout downtown Chicago. The one that is closest to me is the one in Daley Plaza. This year it's on Thursdays.

Every year, I wait for the fresh basil to come in at Smits Farms. When it does, I buy two big bunches, and call my cousins for my annual Pesto night. I think the pesto is best if the basil is young at the beginning of the season. If they are free, they come over, and I open a bottle of red wine, put Puccini on the stereo, and make a huge batch of pesto. We have an awesome dinner, and they get pesto to take home. I freeze the rest to enjoy for the next year.

Smits must have got tired of people asking constantly if the basil is in yet, because this chalk board is new this year :-D

I can hardly wait . . . :-)

166:365 Green, Green . . .

It's been raining alot here - hence the number of very green photos lately. These are the leaves on one of the trees in front of my house, still wet from the morning's thunderstorm.

I've also been very lax in posting, even though I have been taking photos. Seems like time is compressing on my again lately - that always means that I need to take a look at my calendar and see if I'm doing too much.

This is a quiet weekend for me, and I'm grateful. My dad died when I was two and half, so Father's Day has never held as much meaning for me as it does to most. I will likely spend the day here at home, although I could go out. I have some Netflix, and a number of knitting projects to work on . . . and I think it's going to be a nice day - maybe a nap in the hammock :-)

165:365 World in a Globe

I was walking home from work, and, as I do every day, I looked at my neighbor's garden. She has the best garden on the block. This "Victorian Gazing Ball" is one of a number that she has scattered throughout.

This was actually a photo of the blue hostas she has in this particular garden, but when I looked at it, the photo was really of the globe . . .

That's my local world in a globe. If you look closely, you can see me in the center, shooting the photo from the sidewalk, and the blue hostas are clearly visible in the globe :-)

Monday, June 13, 2011

164:365 Talismans

They live on my desk at home. I like the grain of the wood, the stone and carving of the scarab and the weightlessness of the turkey feather.

And it's probably best to push that wild self-portrait down on the page ;-D

Sunday, June 12, 2011

163:365 The Year of Living Dangerously

Yikes! I say that, because I seem to have lost all reason, uploading photos of myself that are exceptionally natural . . . although I'm bearing a striking resemblance to the Bride of Frankenstein here . . . and looking pretty tired . . .That's what I get for taking my own photo :-D

Actually, I was taking a picture of the sweater - I just finished blocking it. The yarn is Berrocco Remix. It's a very simple raglan pullover. It's called the Banstead Pullover. I'm in love with it - the perfect summer sweater. There's no wool at all in the yarn - Remix is completely recycled fiber, with acrylic, linen, silk and cotton. Awesome stuff!

This yarn was in the photo I took on May 1st. Here's a view of the whole sweater. It's charcoal gray so it's sort of tough to see it clearly. But it's great. I put it on to take the photos, and ended up wearing it all afternoon - it's in the 50's again here . . .

162:365 Mama in the Road

Her nest must have been nearby - she was hanging out in the hotel parking lot.

161:365 Retro

My fascination with light fixtures continues. This was in one of the ballrooms at the hotel I was in this weekend.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

160:365 City in the Rain

And FINALLY the heat wave has broken - from the high 90's yesterday to 51 degrees today, and violent thunderstorms and flash flooding . . . One extreme to another. This is on Randolph Street, just as I was leaving the train station.

159:365 Do You Have a Flag?

City of Chicago, State of Illinois, and Old Glory. Another brutally hot day in Chicagoland. Had I not had an important errand to run, I would not have gone out at all. The heat index was in the three figures.

He is SO hilarious . . .

158:365 The Yews

This is the yew shrub outside my front door. It was a blisteringly hot day for early June . . . I didn't have the energy for much else. Kinda looks like Christmas, doesn't it? :-)

157:365 The Last of the First

This is one of the first day lilies to open up in the garden by the train station near my home. It's already a bit past itself. Still, it's beautiful :-)

156:365 They are Each their Own

This is a Russian African violet. Hybridized in the former Soviet Union. It's name, in English is Ian-Persik, pronounced Yahn-Persik. It's a stupendous show plant when it's really in full bloom. Not too bad here, though :-)

155:365 Fly Away Home

Hard to believe the baby birds are this big already - but about 2 hours or so after I shot this, those two stepped up and flew out of the nest! At last check, there is still one baby left in the nest.

This was taken on Saturday the 4th.

I came home from the Jewel to find the one on the left standing on the edge of the nest - I ran for the camera, but I wasn't quick enough - he flew right out, and on to my driveway - his sibling followed shortly thereafter.

I was out later in the day, and found one of them hanging out in the grass - he must have eventually gotten up the gumption to fly, because I haven't seen him - or any of the three of them - since.

154:365 A Cityscape

A view of the back side of the Thompson Center. I like how it reflects the buildings across from it. In the distance you can see the Two Prudential Tower (the pointy one) and the old Standard Oil Building (now the Aon Tower). That's the elevated train and tracks running by on Lake Street.

153:365 A Different Viewpoint

This is one of the revolving doors of my building - if you look closely, you can see a cab and part of LaSalle Street through the glass.

152:365 Stonework

Sorry I'm so behind - been a bit crazy lately :-)

This is some of the stonework at 211 West Wacker. The building was built in 1927 as the headquarters of the Chicago Evening Post, which merged into The Chicago Times and then again with The Chicago Sun. Around 1958 the newspaper sold the building the to the YMCA College. In 1983 it was sold to investors. Now it's something called "office condominiums," where people buy their offices instead of renting them. It's just up the street from where I work.