Friday, August 26, 2011

State Fair 2011

I've had a strange relationship with the State Fair over the years. When I was little my grandmother tried taking me, but I was bored (she didn't teach me how to knit, crochet or sew and I wonder why?). When I was a teenager I was only interested in hanging out and maybe going on some rides. When the kids were little we went to see the animals, mostly.
At this point I like to go to Creative Activities, and I especially enjoy volunteering for The Guild, which I did yesterday. Folks love to see socks in production and this year's Snicket Socks were a hit, mostly because of the fabulous yarn (thank you, Rosemary) but also because of the cool pattern.

But what I really like is the Fine Arts building. This piece caught my eye right away - It illustrates what church should do, I think.
I liked this a lot too, I'm not sure exactly why.

This fabulous piece is made out of discarded plastic fruit bags.

And this is made of those return address labels that everyone sends you - you know what I mean, right? Some organizations keep sending them to you even after you quit giving them money. Who sends that much snail mail these days, anyway?

It's called, "Return to Sender"

This one is called, "Road Trip" and it's made of road maps cut into strips and woven, used as a canvas.
I really liked the effect.

And who wouldn't want a bejeweled bicycle?

This was one of the most popular. I love the fact that they're on a scooter, not a Harley.

In creative activities this caught my eye: a starfish with beaded bikini, bag and hat:

I also found Girl-child's octopus. It's very hard to see the knitted things because there are so many they are crammed into the cases. I see more on the blogosphere, frankly. And, of course, there's the September Guild Meeting to look forward to.
When I was volunteering at ARC's Value Village one of the young ladies said that she had a sculpture made of garbage at the DNR site. She's a recent graduate of MCAD.

This made me think of Girl-child and her BFF; they're big drinkers.

I loved this patch in the sidewalk.

All in all it was a good trip this year.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Feet and Bounty

I have been knitting, although a lot of what I've been doing is stealth, holiday knitting. I managed to finish one of the Snicket socks.
I also rented the movie so that I could see the dress that inspired the pattern. The dress was very cool. The movie, not so good (yes, Sweet Pea, I know you told me it was bad, but the costumes were amazing).

Also in the Feet category, we found some ballet stuff while working on cleaning out the basement. What a wild ride those ballet years were:

At the farm the sunflowers and cucumbers seem to have taken over. The tomatoes have been pretty much choked out. There are a couple of peppers that will be harvested in a week or so. The sugar snap peas are nowhere to be found. The cilantro is done (is that normal?).

Girl-child is looking into how to harvest the sunflower seeds.

The flowers are freakishly large. I think they weigh 10-20 lbs a piece.
I did manage to make some salsa with the tomatoes that survived. I also whipped up a little guacamole. Dinner was based upon some extraordinary cheese I sampled at the grocery store. You cook it up in a little olive oil. Delicious. Fresh cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from the garden were the perfect complement to the cheese. Guac with chips were the second course, fresh fruit for dessert.
Tonight I'll be grilling steak and brats, which should last me the whole week.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Book For the Coffee Table

You've maybe seen this book around - I found out about it from an elderly neighbor years ago. She always read good stuff. Weird travel narratives are a favorite of mine; this collection is wonderful.

Then, when I was getting rid of books (I know, I know, but what can you do when they're looking through your bag of books but browse the shelves? I'm still making progress, if not as much as I could have if I'd left the shop to wait for the gal to go through my stuff). Anyway, I found this book and it is the perfect coffee table book - just like the Darwin awards but not pathetic. It's really quite amazing what people stumble upon when traveling. If you planted it on your coffee table it would be great as a conversation starter.

I know it's reminded me of a few bizarre travel experiences of my own. Really, it's great.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Movie Worth Writing About

So, I just watched Travelers and Magicians and it's the first movie I've seen in a while that I would actively recommend. Not only is it a good movie, it takes place in Bhutan. I believe it may be the only major motion picture ever made in Bhutan.

Everyone always wants to know how I find the movies that I put on my Netflix queue, and I can never remember. But this time I remember. In the book, The Geography of Bliss, the author goes to Bhutan because it's a country more interested in Gross National Happiness than Gross National Product.

Anyway, if you want to see Bhutan without the jet lag, if you like stories of the modern world clashing with tradition, if you liked The Alchemist, rent the movie. It's good.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I spotted this on my way out the door the other morning and managed to snap a shot. Hopefully she'll keep the moths from coming in my door at night.
I finished the last of the Avalon staff gifts - these are for Holly. When I told Holly I was going to knit something for her she reacted as though I had told her she'd won the lottery. I probably knit the equivalent of three pairs what with trying different patterns and needle sizes. The blue is actually a brilliant teal that I was unable to capture, even in natural light.
My mission, now that I'm home alone with the cat, is to clean out the junk in the basement. There's a lot of it what with the fact that we've been here over 20 years and all. I've found a lot of treasures in the junk, including the lovely memorial that Milton wrote about my dad the year after he died, a picture of me in Ladysbridge, Ireland in 1974 that my grandmother had up in her apartment and these lovely creatures - the mother ship was mine when I was a kid and the miniatures are from when Girl-child was little. I obviously couldn't help myself:
Girl-child and I went to a Fringe Festival show last night: Knit One, Purl the Other. There are a few shows left - if you have time I would recommend it.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

If It's Monday This Must Be Chicago

I went to Chicago to have a last brunch with Boy-child before his departure to Chile.
My coffee came in one of these soup cups from my childhood. It was amazing.

The furniture was also from my childhood. People who had cool parents had tables like this one in their houses when I was a kid.
I think the place we ate was called Filter but they were apparently supplied by Vegan Slut.

Another highlight was a visit to Quimby's, which I had heard of but never visited. I like the fact that the sign makes it look like it's called Squimby.

They have an amazing floor.

The signs are great, and they don't beat around the bush. They have the most incredible zine collection ever.

This sculpture inside the door is very cool.

Note the "knobs" and the skirt is made of keys.

I found this excruciatingly appropriate cover art.

We went to a very cool bookstore too, that unfortunately does not allow photography, and also to Loopy Yarns partly because I had a coupon but really because I had forgotten my tool kit and had to have a few things for the return flight. It was a good thing we went, because I was bumped and there were delays and I ended up in O'Hare airport for about six hours.

O'Hare is not that bad, but security is mayhem:

Today I took Pato to the airport. He and Boy-child met up in Atlanta and were just boarded for the flight to Santiago. I went to work, stopped by the farm to harvest some gazpacho ingredients and now I'm off to knit, read, drink beer and do whatever a cat lady might do.

Yup, it's just me and the cat.