Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The world has turned and lead me here...

IF I ever got a tatoo...I thought I'd have this saying wrapped around my wrist in a courier font.  I never did it.  A couple of weeks ago I was flipping through the CB2 catalog and saw an art piece that I liked.  I showed it to John and said, you can do something like this, right?  We'll tweek it a bit...make it bigger...use reclaimed wood, make the edges uneven...and use this saying, the world has turned and lead me here.

   I can't believe how amazing it turned out.  SO KEWL!!  I love it.  
I feel like I have to share in the fun we had texting eachother different quotes we thought would be hilarious to use.







ANYWAY, we thought we were hilarious...oh the fun!  I'm reliving the night...laughing out loud right here...right now. 

You want to try it...don't you?!  You can leave me a comment with the one you come up with!  I would love that!

Moving on.

WOW -- right?  That is exactly what I said when John put this together and helped me get everything in place.  I can't believe it's mine...and that light he added...it's perfect!

I bought these two posters on our Europe trip in this amazing town, Cesky Krumlove located in the Czech Republic.  They were odd sizes and I searched high and low looking for frames. With no luck, I decided to have John make them.  You can't see the back but it's all fancy...so professional...just like all of his work.  

I can't say enough about John and all of the amazing furniture pieces he has made me.  He exceeded my expectations.  He is so professional, timely, does amazing craftsmanship and to boot...I have a wonderful new friend. Which, means more to me than any of the awesome new furniture I have for my apartment.   

Although my place is a small John Madaras showroom he has moved on to bigger and better adventures.  You can find his pieces at Sojourn in Sawyer, MI!  You know the place!  


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Urbs in horto movement

Chicago Avenue has been the site of this urban farm since 2010.  This Cabrini-green neighborhood garden empowers youth and community residents to have increased economic opportunities through access to organic produce. 

Chicago Lights Urban Farm not only provides organic produce...this sancutary offers educational programs for youth to learn about urban agriculture, nutritional education as well as work force training. 

Planting high quality, organic, safe, healthy and affordable food.

I love this collage.

I thought it looked so clean and organized...very impressive.

G R O W and buy locally...it's the way people! 

Urbs in horto means city in a garden. 

This urban farm community even thrives in the winter months offering cooking classes and other programming. 


It seems to me, that not only flowers bloom here, but also lives..fulfilling programs that enrich people with a purpose and teaching how to always give back...

This place made me smile. 

I was intrigued by what all this urban oasis had to offer.  While I was digging into their website for information, I noticed they had volunteer opportunities.  I will admit, I have a black thumb and while I may not be able to plant, fertilize or grow vegetables...they did solicit help for some of their signature events...and that is right up my alley.  


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Take your time...

The world these days is moving at a seemingly alarming pace.  Do you feel it? 

After work I went for a run.  I saw this sticker.  

Take your time. 

I liked it.  It made me think...take your time...for what? 

Here was another one...another reminder.

Take your time when making important decisions? 
Take your time and become aware of the beauty surrounding us?
Or simplify it...and just take your time with everything...everyday?

What does this sticker mean? 
Maybe it means something different to everyone?

I got home and Googled it.  It looks like it could be an image from the third and final album by Scatman John.  Released six months before he died on December 3rd.  I've never heard of Scatman John...but I did Google the lyrics and this is my favorite line:

"Take it easy now, you can slow down the pace.  Nobody has ever won the human race."

And there you have it. 
Slow down the pace.  Make time for yourself.  Make time for others.  Your family.  Your friends.  For strangers. Enjoy this short life. 

Take your time.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Body in motion

I woke up early on Sunday and decided to get up and go.   
I love the cooler temperature...quiet streets...the serene lake and just taking in what's around.

I thought I'd share what I saw.

The flight of a feather...who knows where all they've been?

A craftsman instructions...looks like colorful chaulk art.

I wonder what he came to think about....

Go this way...go that way...what way does it really matter...as long as you just go? 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Exploring Michigan

If I've mentioned it once, I've mentioned it a million times...go see my friend Stacia's fabulous junk shop, Sojourn, in Sawyer, MI. 


I took my own advice and brought my friend John (who made all my amazing new furniture) along to see her place and hang in Michigan for the day.  We had a blast.

Here are a few things I found in her shop that I loved.

Unique lamp with burlap shade

How KEWL is this orange dresser?  I was even thinking it would be fun to put in my living room and set my telly on...

A girl can never have too much jewelry...especially dainty necklaces...

Amy and Katie...thought of you both when I saw this artist's interpretation of lakes.  How kewl for your lake cottages?  She offers them framed and unframed! 

Next stop, Marco Polo.
 I may have to go get these two things...

I want to put this over-sized metal star on my brick wall...I just love it.

John said he could make some wood slabs to create shelves...bar cart perhaps?  Now, where to put it?

One place I really like to go while in Sawyer is this Antique Mall.  It's a total bin-diggers paradise.

We popped into The Whiskey Stop deli to grab sandwiches and take them to the beach.



I've got my toes in the water...my ass in the sand...my favorite pair of sandals on dry land...

We headed back to the city and decided to hit up an antique shop in the Ravenswood District.  Do you remember the coffee table I mentioned I wanted John to make?  Here is the pattern weave I was talking about.  This is a primitive bed and the weave is made from actual cow hide...it was really cool and would only set you back $1800.

What a great day shared with my friend John.  Now for a glass of wine and a movie on my fabulous...still fairly new to me, couch!  Cheers!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Lunch time splendor...

Most days I spend my lunch in the gym...today, however, I decided to blow it off and sit out back near the water's edge.

It was 80...felt like 70 with a bit of a breeze...perfect to sit and watch the happenings and be peaceful for awhile.

I love the flowered pots they have hanging and that may be the prettiest big top I've ever seen...wonder  what goes on under there? 

I've been wanting to take this architectural tour by boat...maybe Vee will want to go when she visits next month?

Then I stretched out my legs and rang up Katie to see what she was up to today. 

 What a great break inbetween work...a little sunshine...some peace and quiet near the water...and a fun chat with my girl...

Have a great weekend everyone! 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Something unexpected...

I like suprises.  I like the wonder of, 'what could this be?'  I like the way sometimes, something unexpected can change everything about your day.

I just landed at home and I opened my mailbox. Letters, magazines and a small box fell out.  Oh my!  What's this? (There's that wonder) A package from my dear friend, Shelley...all the way from Seattle. 

KEWL.  I ran up three flights and tore it open.  The box was small...and what I saw inside was silk and made of beautiful watercolors that reminded me of the ocean.  Immediately, it seemed just like her...Shel and I lived together in Laguna Beach...literally, next to the ocean. 

Writing about a friend seems like one of the hardest things to explain sometimes.  But, for me, I've come to find, it's important to stay connected...even if it's just every once in awhile.  Be in touch.  Don't ever be too busy and when you do connect...tolerate not knowing all the details you once knew...because life is different.  The beauty about our friendship is just that..miles truly have seperated us and we've traveled different paths, however, if I've ever needed something, she has been there...and fast.  I love that about her. 

The awkward bathroom photo....
I slipped it on and fell in love with it.  The colors, the fit, the draping material and the way it hung. 

The janky full-length shot...

Thank you, my friend!!  What a wonderful suprise!  

Sunday, July 15, 2012

I soared like an Eagle...

This weekend I went on a real adventure with my friend, Pete.  He took me on a sailplane ride in Beloit, WI.  For those of you who know me, I am not a 'flyer'.  I am typically uncomfortable on planes and mention this often throughout the flight.  Nonetheless, I decided this would be an opportunity to do something I otherwise wouldn't seek out to do by myself. 

A sailplane is a type of glider aircraft used for soaring and gliding.  There is no engine and performance is measured by the glide ratio and experienced glider pilots, who know how to read thermals can stay soaring for hours.

The instruments:  Altimeter, compass, airspeed indicator, variometer and sometimes, an emergency postion-radio beacon to aid in search and rescue (gulp).  I was to sit in the front.  I should mention Pete bought this adventure as a lesson.  I was being taught how to fly this thing.  I didn't have the heart to tell him that the simple fact I was even getting into this tiny aircraft was going to have to be good enough.  Baby steps to attacking fear in the face.  

We spent some time in the 'classroom' and then Scott, our instructor (white hat), spent time showing us the controls and all the instruments we would need to use to fly.  Pete was so excited...I, on the other hand, was trying to figure out the best time to tell Scott...he would be flying while I repeated a silent prayer of sorts until we got back on the ground.

One of the most common methods of launching sailplanes is by aerotow. That is correct.  The sailplane is towed by a powered aircraft, seen above, by using a rope (not a strong, unbreakable cable as one might think) but a rope about 60 meters long...which appeard to be unraveling.  That was my observation and I may have suggested to one of the handlers they should consider an alternative tow chord...even if it was to simply put over-active minds at ease.  The glider pilot releases the rope after reaching the desired altitude. 

Pete and Scott are ready to go.  They are about to attach the rope and take off.

And this is how you get in the air.  

That is Pete being towed by the tow plane.  I will apologize now for the poor quality of photos.  I will blame my nerves on not being able to focus on the camera settings and just taking pictures to get my mind off of the fact, I was next.

Back on the ground and he loved it!  

My turn and here I am getting the instrument walk-through.  I have not told Scott yet, that I am really hoping he isn't planning on letting me take the stick.  

I'm about to tell Scott...and he takes it well.  He says I can still pull the release chord once we get to altitude...at the last minute I decline...as you probably knew I would.  
Here is a shot from inside the cockpit (although terrible) of us getting towed.  I was actually doing okay until the tow plane started to corkscrew us up towards one of the darker clouds.  I might have started to panic and told Scott to cut us loose as fast as possible.  It felt wrong.  I wasn't ready for acrobatics and so we cut ties and soared left while he went right.   

Without a motor you can imagine the silence and peacefulness that followed.  We were soaring...gliding!  Then we hit a little pocket and as calmly as I could, I asked how soon until we were headed back to base? I lasted about 30 minutes.  The landing was my favorite part!  Not because I was about to be back on the ground but it was amazing to see the runway coming at me.  It's different being on a commercial aircraft looking out the side window.  Right in front of me, there we were chasing pavement.
The final approach... feels indescribable.   My once in a lifetime, front seat view from the cockpit landing an aircraft. 

Here is my log book.  I earned hours, or minutes in my case, towards my pilot license.  This is not a joke.  I plan on keeping this treasure...never forgetting this adventure...and reminding myself to do things that scare me.  

We grabbed frosty's at Wendy's (D E L I C O U S) and dipped fries (A W E S O M E combo) in it as we told eachother how we felt about the experience.  I admitted to being more of a passenger than a student and he told me how he may look into more lessons! 

We headed back to Chicago and stopped for dinner at Bob Chinn's seafood house and had crab and oysters.  As we wandered back, we toured through Wilmette and Kensington and dreamed about all of the amazing homes on Lake Michigan and which ones we were planning on buying...someday.  We saw the Ba'hai Temple where I would really like to go back and spend some time. 

It was a wonderful day.

Sometimes.  You need to step outside.  Get some air, and remind yourself of who you are and who you want to be. 

Thank you Pete for sharing your day with me...for offering me an unforgettable experience and for challenging me to get outside of my comfort zone.  I won't ever forget it.