Category Archives: Friends

DioramaRama: A Diorama Making Party

I’ve been talking about hosting a crafting party for about five years. So I decided to have a few friends over to create dioramas! I LOVE dioramas and I am lucky to know some very smart and creative gals so I combined my insane stash of ephemera with some wine and snacks and friends and this was the result:

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One of the most challenging aspects of DioramaRama was gathering supplies. I have scads of ephemera tucked away all over our house. And as I set about gathering up supplies, I told Dale, “I feel like I’ve been preparing for this party my whole life!” And he basically said: “You totally have.” 1509325_10152383149141667_5495587624112844417_n

So it was a flurry of a week’s worth of gathering up the glitter and the glue and the old magazines and the mason jars, and the tiny clothespins and the bitty rocks and old jewelry and Birchboxes and cigar boxes and sooo much more…(My friend Jeannine took the above pic and posted it on Facebook–I stole it–thanks Jeannine!)

IMG_2734I put out my finest pink plastic tablecloth and set everything up!

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You can’t craft without wine and snacks, obviously.
1982123_10152383153831667_5217586680409379609_nAnd I finally used the Paris-themed cupcake set I have been hanging on to for two years. I KNEW I would use it someday! (I also swiped this pic from Jeannine–please don’t sue.)

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Crafters very busy at work (while I’m busy drinking–typical). IMG_2738

I was amazed at how enthusiastically everyone took to the crafting and how most people came with a plan. They didn’t even use a fraction of the supplies I put out (damn them!). Half of the table is up eating or using the hot glue gun station (in the kitchen). I love hot glue, for real.
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Painting! Gluing! Texting! Posting to social media with the hashtag #dioramarama! It was madness. Remember how cute my table started above? Ha!IMG_2753

Maureen, working out the fine details of her project. She came with a serious plan and executed it beautifully!

10014675_10152297834247480_256116679_nIt was pretty much a madhouse of glitter and glue, which means it was glorious.

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Lara made an adorable Easter-themed decorative box! I LOVE the little chicks floating on the roof! But I LOVE those little fluffy chicks anyway. The little sheep and bunny were little items I got in my Easter basket as a kid. Have I mentioned I hoard weird objects? IMG_2748

Carlen made a tiny tribute to Ravinia with little bottles and wine corks and roses. She lined her box with lovely paper! It’s so adorable! And, happily, she used all my supplies so it meant I had less to pack away. Ha!

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Jeannine made a little galaxy diorama. And, happily, she used some of my supplies! Ha! I love the black glitter framing around the image and the floating clouds. IMG_2756

Anne came with a plan! I supplied the cigar box and she went to town! How lovely is this!? IMG_2758

The inside is whimsical and feline–much like Anne herself! IMG_2757

She photoshopped her cat Gimlet’s head onto a Victorian photo and printed it out. I love it. It cracked me up!IMG_2754

Hether made a collage tribute to her trip to Japan! So she used some elements of her trip with some of my greeting cards and a box I had that used to house a Bible. She put a collage right over a weird Jesus painting! Ha!IMG_2755

She even had a page that lifted up to reveal a second page! Neat!
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I wanted to use an antique pop-up Valentine I picked up a million years ago. So I covered a box in fabric, included a copy of a real love letter from a book of famous love letters I had, and I embellished with glitter and little keys. IMG_2765

I put this lovely lady on the back and embellished her with glitter. She was from a book of greeting cards from the 1940s that belonged to my grandmother! Neat!IMG_2767

Maureen made a tiny hat shop because she is a milliner! IMG_2770

There were lots of lovely little details in the shop! She used a mix of her own stuff and threw in a few goodies of mine as well (including the little wooden thimble that belonged to Dale’s grandmother repurposed as a hat). 

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Jennifer’s collage cigar box has a water feature! It’s SO cute. And anything with a tiny feather bird is basically the best.  IMG_2775

Rebecca had a VISION and she came prepared! This is a detail of her daughter during ballet–turned into a little fairy! IMG_2778How adorable is this?! A little lunchbox converted into a stage in the middle of a little French garden!

A Trip to Hawaii

Going for a walk to see a waterfall.

Going for a walk to see a waterfall. The gorgeous, lush greenery is on the Hilo side of the Big Island.

We went to Hawaii at the end of January and while we took a ton of photos I thought I’d share my favorites with you!

The amazing banyon trees on the Hilo side of the island are amazing!

The banyan trees on the Hilo side of the island are amazing! That’s Lara, Tony and Me at the bottom of the tree.

All along the water there is a rich and vibrant world in every nook and cranny.

All along the water there is a rich and vibrant world in every nook and cranny. Dale was quite taken with the tiny world in the rocks along the shore.

Once it's dark you can see the glow of the caldera. During the day it just looks like steam.

Once it’s dark you can see the glow of the caldera. During the day it just looks like steam! We were about a mile away from the volcano when this photo was taken.

The weird mix of lush tropical life in the shadow of a volcano.

The weird mix of lush tropical life in the shadow of a volcano.

Shut up! A double rainbow!

Shut up! A double rainbow! We sobbed about it, obviously.

I loved the luau! It was a really great show!

I loved the luau! It was a really great show! I was actually quite surprised. I expected it to be totally cheesy! But it was awesome!

Jumping gentlemen at the luau.

Jumping gentlemen at the luau!

The luau included fire!

The luau included fire! And this fire dude was super duper happy about it.

We spent one evening up on top of Mauna Kea, seeing the incredible huge observatories. Quite cold at the top!

We spent one evening up on top of Mauna Kea, seeing the incredible huge observatories. Quite cold at the top!

We watched the sunset from above the clouds, which was pretty amazing.

We watched the sunset from above the clouds, which was pretty amazing.

After the sunset, we enjoyed a gorgeous view of the stars.

After the sunset, we enjoyed a gorgeous view of the stars.

A strange little oasis in the midst of a hike across lava rocks.

A strange little oasis in the midst of a hike across lava rocks. I was pretty much melting and sunburned like a freak in this picture (and for most of the trip).

The ocean crashing up against the lava rocks.

The ocean crashing up against the lava rock shore.

The Big Island is a volcano--and much of it is barren!

The Big Island is a volcano–and much of it is barren!

Inside a lava tube.

Inside a lava tube. It’s a lot like a cave.

A gorgeous tree.

A gorgeous tree in Volcanoes National Park.

Some lovely lush plant life.

Some lovely lush plant life.

A lone turtle on the black sand beach.

A lone turtle on the black sand beach. I loved her.

Our wonderful hosts, Lara and Tony.

Our wonderful hosts, Lara and Tony. Would not have been possible without them! They are such lovely people! <3

Worst Blogger Ever?

That’s me. Last year I was…not into blogging, I guess! So I thought I’d put up a few photos Dale gave me that I never got around to posting so I can move forward as a better blogger post graduate school!

Last year…

Dale’s cousin Erin came to visit with her whole family–husband Jerry, and sons Connor and Logan. We had a lovely visit!

Dale and I made quick trip to Minnesota’s North Shore in July! It was lovely. We stayed in Grand Marais, Minnesota. It was during a pretty serious heat wave in Chicago. We lucked out and enjoyed 70-something weather along Lake Superior.

 

Lake Superior was soooo beautiful in July! We spent the day on Isle Royale and it was gorgeous. The boat ride back? Memorable in a bad way. My tummy does flip flops just thinking of it!

In August, Betsy, Bryan & their kids–Sophie, Owen & Fern came to visit. Such a bunch of cuties. We had a fantastic tea at American Girl.

Fern at The Cheesecake Factory.

When the girls headed to American Girl, Bryan and Owen got to enjoy opening weekend at the new Lego store next door. They got to put some pieces together that would become part of the store’s flagship display.

Betsy, Fern, Sophie and I enjoyed tea at American Girl. And Dale and I brought home a new member of the family: Molly!

Me & Molly. She’s the best.

We also went to the park, and Sophie showed off her mad playground skills.

More in the following post…

What the hell have we been up to?

Lots! But I never seem to spend time blogging about it. So let’s do a round up!

Waaay back in February my cousin Randy came to visit and brought his sons Colton and Jack! They are great kids (and welcomed their new little brother Matthew this summer). While they were here we took them to Shedd Aquarium and the Museum of Science and Industry.

In April we painted our living room (after having a hole in our ceiling for two months that our crap-ass landlords wouldn’t take care of because the former owners were in bankruptcy. To celebrate having a ceiling we painted! And it looks ADORABLE (in my humble opinion).

I love the red wall. But I also love that I broke with tradition and made a bold color choice! Red, yellow/green, and dark blue. And it works, very weirdly. I used my color wheel!

 In May I turned 39 (*gasp*) and wrapped up Year Two of Graduate School! Only one year to go! I had to make a poster board presentation. Had never done that before and mine turned out bee-yoo-ti-ful! I did it on Frank Lloyd Wright’s Home and Studio.

Dale has had a busy summer, to say the least. He’s been building a huge photography studio. This is what it started out as! This is what it looked like back in May when he purchased the materials for the build out.

Dale’s pretty handy! He built an infinity wall. This is the bare bones.

In June my dear friends Sarah and Betsy came to visit. And I got the bright idea to dye my hair red. And it turned pink. For real. I had read dye all over my skin so I had had to hide it with a scarf. Might be the last time I dye my hair while drinking wine with friends. Might not be! Life is short. I’m thinking blue hair for my 40th.

While the girls were here we went to Ravinia to see The Go-Go’s. Rebecca P. tagged along and that was fun! And, as always, it was a feast!

We went on an architecture tour and went to Navy Pier to get some Ryba’s Fudge. We were fudge girls together in 1993! Which makes me 87 years old.

Throughout the spring Monty and Bela continued on being adorable. Blurry because it was taken with my camera phone.

We had a few other adventures, too, but I don’t have good pics of those so it’s my loss. And yours. Sadness. More updates to come…

Chase’s Wedding Party

One of the reasons we stayed in Flint for so long over the holidays was that Chase got married and had a party on the first weekend of the year. I was actually very sick for most of the week but had perked up for New Year’s!

Dale took a few photos with some of his oldest and dearest friends and I just wanted to make sure we shared them here (for posterity, I guess).

When I met Dale (way back in 1995) he was roommates with Chris (on the right) and Chase (on the left) was a frequent visitor. And here they are with Chris’s son!

Old Friends! Chris, Dale, Chase and Greg.
You know Greg, right? Everybody knows Greg Flowers.

Chase and Chris putting on their serious faces.

The Whole Gang!
Jon, Chris, Mikey, Mike F., Chase (in the middle), Dale (in the back), Mike N., Terri and Greg.

Being silly.