Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Helpful Bloggers

Another busy couple of days lately. I feel guilty that I've read some blogs and haven't left comments, but time keeps on slippin', slippin', slippin'' into the future ... uh oh....where did Steve Miller come from and why is he humming in my blog?

Back to seriousness, or what passes for serious with me.

If anyone reading is new to blogs or approaching people online, I am here to tell you that the internet is full of wonderful people. Sure there are creeps, but you find them walking around everywhere, maybe even a few houses away from you. I'm not saying publish your address and invite a stranger to your home, but there are many more good, even great people, all over the world than bad. The bad ones just get the big press coverage.

Six years ago on Halloween afternoon, I met two women from a message board that was part of HGTV. We met at a restaurant for lunch. To be honest, we didn't become best friends forever from that meeting, but we enjoyed our lunch. It was good to put faces with names. If anyone was frightened, it might have been them. I wore black and had a necklace of small pumpkins and candy corn charms.

Now that I am blogging, I have asked for and received advice many times from helpful bloggers. Recently I contacted Kimberly Crawford at For the Love of Paper and asked her if she could recommend a paper cutter because the one I had left a lot to be desired. She gave me a few suggestions and I am now the happy owner of a trimmer made by Making Memories. Hopefully it will get a good workout this afternoon as I finish up Halloween projects.

If you enjoy paper crafts or would just like to see what this talented lady has done, visit her blog for inspiration and tutorials.

Gotta go now. Steve is back serenading me. It would be rude not to groove. Photobucket
We've been workin' so hard, We've been workin' so hard, Come on baby, Come on baby let's dance....

Monday, October 26, 2009

Halloween fun

Never mind that my kids are 29 and 31 years old .... they're still my kids and will likely get silly stuff from me until the day comes that I can no longer hold onto a craft tool. Thanks to having a soon-t0-be daughter-in-law on the scene (not to mention a grandbaby in March!), I can expand my repertoire to include the feminine side of fun.

Here we have a bat candy bar wrapper, a mummy goodie container and for Kim, a witch's shoe Halloween greeting.
Kim has a thing for shoes. I have a thing for cute. I found the template for the shoe here

On the inside, I wrote Witching Shoe A Happy Halloween.
I may not be as corny as Kansas in August (can you name that musical?) but I am as sweet as candy corn.
I haven't made cards for my sons yet. I am still looking for inspiration. Each of these 3 big kids will get a bat, and so will Bill. When I have all four ready, I am going to cut an adhesive Velcro square into quarters and use one on each bat's wings to hold them closed. Hmmm, out of a 6 pack of Hershey candy bars, two will be leftover. I guess I will have to eat them. It would be a shame to have them melt on my desk and make a mess....
Visit Skip to my Lou for info on the bat wrapper and mummy container. Links on her page will take you to the bat template and to the mummy container, that link will be below the second bat wrapper photo. The mummy is a toilet tissue cardboard tube with candy inside, wrapped in white crepe paper with googly eyes added. If I have two more tubes by the end of the week, each of the kids will get a mummy too. I think they'll each need a tag that says Mummy loves you.

I have carry out containers to fill before the weekend, two of the black ones for the boys and the orange one for Kim.

I hope everyone has a Spooktacular week with nothing scarier around them than a 50-something year old woman enjoying the season!

P.S. My house must be haunted! One of those spare candy bars has disappeared! Now that's scary! Photobucket

Friday, October 23, 2009

Not done Friday, but feeling good

Even though I no longer have kids in school and therefore no longer in the back-to-school adjustment stage (complete with open houses, sporting events and progress report angst), this is still a busy time of year for me. Part of it must be ingrained, part of it is knowing that the holidays are nearing, and another part is a variable that is new every year. Last year it was Billy's new house and this year it is house hunting with Kim and Chuck. Next fall's variable will be a grandson! Photobucket

While the calendar seems to be speeding up, I seem to be slowing down. Here it is Friday again and I don't have a project done for Finished for Friday and Get R Done Friday. Please click on both of those blog names to see what others have accomplished.

I could have felt a little low about my lack of progress and slower pace but something in yesterday's mail made me smile. Smile often even. It was a catalog from Femail Creations. If I had enough money, wall space and desk space, I would buy all of these. Some are wonderful inspirations, others just bring a smile. All make me feel good. I hope you enjoy them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Touring the Edsel Ford Estate

I live north of Grosse Pointe Shores, home of the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. I've been at the estate a number of times over the years for various functions, but never toured the house until yesterday.

Oh. My. Goodness.

It is gorgeous, and interesting and was a real family home when Henry II, Benson, Josephine and William Ford were growing up. Edsel was the only son of Henry Ford. He married Eleanor Clay and they had this home built between 1926 and 1929. There children were born while living in the Indian Village of Detroit. Having traveled to England, the Fords knew they wanted a certain style to their home. They hired Albert Kahn and gave him a ticket to travel to England and study the Cotswold Village cottages. Many English manors were being demolished at that time because it was too costly to retrofit them with plumbing and electricity. Kahn and the Fords bought roomfuls of paneling and entire fireplaces and had them shipped here for the new house. Artisans worked with these finds to replicate detail in molded plaster ceilings and brickwork. I would think that even if you weren't a fan of the style, anyone would admire the workmanship.

Photography is not allowed in the house so my photos are of the grounds and singular rose blossoms still going strong in the rose garden, despite the cold weather Michigan has already endured. Any outdoor photos with a border around them are photos from the estate's website .

Built on 86 acres, there is plenty to enjoy as you walk the grounds.
Click any of the photos to enlarge them.

Don't you love the windows?

And how about the colorful ivy?

Landscape architect Jens Jensen was hired to design the gardens and plant trees that became "The Meadow" and maples that are known as "Maple Lane". Besides the Rose Garden, there is also New Garden (formal and stark) and Flower Lane.
Here is a collage of roses and fountains from the Rose Garden. The fountain in the wall is dated 1776!
From the website, a formal view of the Rose Garden

Does your landscape design include a lagoon? How about your own fire hydrant?

What little girl wouldn't love her own playhouse, complete with rooms of miniature furniture and appliances? I was so enthralled stepping into the playhouse, I forgot to duck and cracked my head.

Lastly, here are photos of some of the rooms scanned from postcards I purchased in the gift shop.
The Entrance Hall has a 16th century oak staircase.

The Morning Room. It embraced sunlight and daybreak and guests enjoyed a view of Lake St Clair as well as a look at Van Gogh's Postman Roulin.

The Dining Room has 18th century pine paneling with intricate mantel and doorway carvings, a molded plaster ceiling and no electric lighting. The Fords preferred to dine by natural light or candlelight.

The Drawing Room is the most formal room of the house with French decor, Impressionist and Post-impressionist paintings.

Mr Ford's Study has Elizabethan oak paneling and a hidden photographic darkroom among the English furnishings.

Mrs Ford's Sitting Room is predominantly Louis XV in style with French artists Matisse and Redon displayed on the walls.

Called The Modern Room, this room and a few others were re-designed by Walter Dorwin Teague in the mid-1930s. The Fords appreciated streamline design and while these rooms are in stark contrast with the rest of the house, they fit the Fords' tastes.

I hope you enjoyed the tour and will visit if you are ever in the area. There is more to see on the house tour, and my friends and I ran out of time before visiting some of the other outer buildings.