Monthly Archives: January 2013

Mardi Gras

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This is my vintage reverse painting on glass that I pulled out of the basement for Mardi Grass and Valentines Day.  I’m just finally getting around to putting away all the Christmas decor today.  Not one of my favorite jobs so anything to delay (like taking this picture and posting) works.

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Road Trip: Urban Farmgirl

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Erin from Just Grand and I decided we needed a road trip on Saturday and headed to Rockford, IL to visit the Urban Farmgirl in her newly opened store.  It is a quaint setting and the window display is a pretty good reflection of her vibe;  vintage shabby chic furniture painted white, not unlike what she sells at the Kane County Flea Market.  Erin picked up a few blue Ball jars and I just enjoyed the day.  As we know, I don’t do white, though I do appreciate “vintage goods and pretty things” and wish her well with the new venture.

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Catholic in Chicago: St. Hyacinth

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Despite the winter weather warning today of freezing rain and icy roads, we ventured into the city this morning to attend mass at St. Hyacinth Basilica located in the Avondale neighborhood.  Upon entering the church, the dome overhead with the painting of over hundreds of  saints, clergy and laity, commands your gaze upward throughout the service.  This Polish Catholic church is also a spin off from St. Stanislaus Kostka.  Construction began in 1917 and finished in 1921.  It is very hard to imagine and visualize all of these enormous Catholic churches within blocks of each other filled to the rafters every Sunday.  We were again in awe of all the architectural details of the the structure itself and of the beautiful paintings and figurines.  The bronze doors at the entrance of the church are fantastic.  A pleasant surprise was the lively folk blue grass guitar music that accompanied the mass which was not at all what we expected.  We also felt that the priest delivered a well intended and very inclusive homily of helping others in need.  We appreciated the message.

Afterwards, we enjoyed a delightful brunch at Jam, a vibrant young restaurant open for breakfast and lunch located in Logan Square.  You would have never guessed it was such a gray day.  As for the ice storm, we are still waiting.

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Antiques Destination: Vail

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I know, I was suppose to be skiing, but you couldn’t be on the slopes all the time.  Vail had adorable shops to visit and my vintage eye found these to die for asparagus tongs at Annie’s.  They appeared to have English Hallmarks from the 1800’s made from sterling silver with ivory carved handles.  Just divine.  And once again proving to my husband, you can antique anywhere.

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Skiing in Vail

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We could not have asked for better weather for our Vail ski trip.  It was warm, sunny and there was plenty of snow.  The slopes were never too crowded even though it was a holiday weekend and most importantly,  we had a blast.  I finally got to use my new Kate Spade ski tote bag a very thoughtful Christmas gift from my Univ. of Michigan daughter.  Ski school, which made all the difference in the world, was great fun.  It was heaven on earth and we cannot wait to go back.

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Road Trip: Vail

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This past weekend we had a chance to fly out to Colorado for a quick ski trip.  Our first night in Vail we walked around the ice sculptures that were on display in Vail Village.  It finally felt like Winter strolling through the snow and ice.  Lovely.  Who would ever have thought that you would have to leave Chicago to find snow?

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What I’m Knitting Now

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Vintage Lamp Finials

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A well dressed lamp is reflected in the details:  base, shade and finial.  I have always had a passion for vintage lighting which is seen throughout our home.  Some have come with an interesting finial and others have not.  Frederick Cooper a local lamp manufacturer understood this concept.  You can usually identify their vintage lamps just by looking at the finials.  They were distinct.   If it is lacking, I usually try to find one that is more fitting for the style.  Below is a picture from one of the auctions I am watching on eBay.  Aren’t they fabulous?

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Victorian Needlework

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The collection of antique needlework at the Art Institute of Chicago is small, but interesting.  The stitching of the trees on this unique Victorian Mourning Sampler was wonderful and much better seen in person.

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Vintage Flower Basket Pin

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Erin, from Just Grand, and I always ring in the New Year with a trip to our favorite antique mall.  I believe it may be the only mall open New Year’s Day in Illinois.  We usually manage to come home with a few treasures and this year was no exception.  My buy of the day was this shadow box framed vintage flower basket pin.  Actually, I think it has been embellished a little bit and can no longer be used as a pin, but it is totally me.  Erin was collecting vintage earrings to create a new bracelet.  I can’t wait to see her post once it is made.  It’s such a happy fun day and a great way to bring in the year with a good friend.   Here is my basket pin collection.

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Catholic in Chicago: St. Mary of the Angels

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Since the Catholic Church implemented their new media campaign, Catholics Come Home, I’ve decided to join them in that journey.  My husband has reluctantly agreed to participate in my Sunday visitations to the Polish Catholic Cathedrals and Churches throughout Chicago.  He is viewing this as a sociocultural and architectural adventure over a religious quest.  I am a wandering Catholic.  In my twenties living in downtown Chicago, I went to St. Peter’s on Ash Wednesday because it was right next door to my office.  During Lent I loved Old St. Pat’s Lenten speaker series and to this day still remember Father Andrew Greeley’s Lenten comparison about what Madonna (the singer) and Jesus had in common.  One of my first “dates” with my husband was where I finally convinced him to attend Mass at Holy Name and lo and behold, it happened to be the same day that Cardinal Bernardin and all the bishops were in attendance.  Our Pre-Cana sessions were held at St. Clements and we were finally married in my home church at Sacred Heart.    In the summers, I attended St. Joseph’s in Traverse City on the Old Mission Peninsula where Father Fred was the driving force.  And for now, after living in Chicagoland for the past 30 years and driving past all of these historical and monumental places of worship, I am just curious.  Being both Polish and Catholic, I just feel it is something I need to do at this point in time.

So, today we attended St. Mary of the Angels in Bucktown one of the seven Polish Catholic churches that were spawned from St. Stanislaus Kostka.  This church is staffed by the priests of the Opus Dei who welcomed us into their stunningly beautiful church still decorated for Christmas.  The service itself was lovely with the magnificent pipe organ filling the church with holiday hymns.  We chose the English service though mass is said in both Polish and Spanish as well.  Afterwards, we met our eldest daughter for brunch at Jane’s two blocks from the church which was an added bonus to our visit.  A perfect Sunday.

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New Year’s Resolutions

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I started my New Year’s off by reading the first book, What The Most Successful People Do On The Weekend at 6:30am because I just couldn’t sleep.  Now, I just need to read the next two books and I am off to a flying start for 2013.  I have two trips scheduled and am in the process of making my reservations NOW for Brimfield in May.  I realize that at my new age, time is ticking and I for one, plan to make the most of it this year.

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