Friday, February 12, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day


"We go together like old guys and park benches." One of my favorite cards E never sent me. He bought the card, lost it, and I found it months later. Druid Hill has some great park benches for reflection and hand holding.
 


Sending you lots of love and laughter from Stone Hill.


Friday, January 8, 2016

Grand Rapids GRAM


While in Michigan we always try to take an adventure outside of Kalamazoo. I know it's crazy after a 12 hour drive (usually it's just 10) but E loves to travel and I'm most often up for the journey. We headed to Madcap for our annual pilgrimage. The chairs seemed new and I'm coveting them. We missed the owner Trevor again but he always says hey on social media.



I don't recall having croissants here before. They are ginormous and were up there with best, most flaky croissant ever. I have been weening myself off of coffee. My heart can't take the caffeine any more sadly. So I had a gorgeous subtle carrot tea while E had a very generous flight of coffee from around the globe.


#baristalove


After our leisure breaky we heady across the street to the GRAM. I'm serious when I say I don't know what I would do if my husband didn't enjoy galleries and touring museums. I had wanted to take E to Chicago for a one night stay at my beloved Kimpton family of hotels. The morning of this trip, we were packed, ready to head out to Chicago and I just couldn't do it. I couldn't leave the baby nephews plus I had the start of a terrible sinus infection. So we headed north to GR and all was right with the world. 


Portrait of Miss C. by William Merritt Chase. This piece is incredible. The contrast of the red background with her white gown. That coat with the pink lining. It's timeless. Her confident smile. She could be besties with Lady Mary.


The signature was most beautiful and the broad brush strokes draw you in as well. Well done Mr. Merritt Chase. Well done.


This piece was very large. It transitioned from a photograph into a quilt.


The main exhibition was a retrospective. I forgot to take pictures because we were so engaged in the show. There were magnifying glasses to truly inspect the tiny etchings. The blue color of the walls and the artwork were framed in warm wooden frames. It was gorgeous. We truly felt invited into the pieces. If we had gone to Chicago there is no way we would have had this much personal attention with each piece. The galleries were nearly empty, sadly, but lucky for us in GR.


Judith Ann Braun. If you haven't seen her works click here and here to watch and learn more about her.


Ellsworth Kelly died the day after our visit. The museum staff had just put out this royal blue linen on the table for a welcome table. Color. Ellsworth Kelly helped me fall deeply in love with color. Rest in peace fine master of color.

Thank you GR. We love stopping by once a year.


Monday, January 4, 2016

Christmas in Kalamazoo 2016


For the first time in forever we decided not to get a real tree this year. I thought, "What a good idea to save money too." I was so bummed out that I ended up getting two fake trees to satisfy the Christmas spirit, spending only $30.00 bucks vs $90.00 on a real tree. Honestly, I over compensated way too much, trying to fulfill a hole in my pine-free scented home. I bought way too much extra stuff. Do you do that at Christmas? I tend to overspend thinking I have to buy presents and be generous. People don't remember presents. I can barely remember what I gave people last year. The ones I did give were never used and I spent way too much money thinking it would be the best gift ever. Well, next year, I'm seriously going to remember these words and make being present the actual present. A Tranquil Tuesday Christmas if you will. 


This year we drove home with our wonderful Mary T. and met John and John for our traditional Gob Cake at the Summit Diner. Last year it worked out perfectly that we were heading down the same highway, at the same time, so we lucked out and had the same departure day at met up at the diner on a foggy morning.


JG flirted with Judy, our waitress friend from last year and that delayed our trip by an hour. You think I can talk...heaven help us, Judy must have French kissed the Blarney Stone.


It was a foggy, raining drive that normally takes ten hours. It took twelve. We only saw the sun for about 10 minutes here in Ohio. But the conversation and extra time with T made the trip worth it. 


We love you Mary!


The weather was colder in Michigan thankfully. It was something like 75 degrees in Baltimore. No thank you. I'm hurting for a good snow storm. Like bad. This weird weather plays a trip on my brain and then I end up getting sick from one hot day and one cold day next together. Works every time, you sneaky weather. I got a lovely sinus infection in my stocking this year. I thought I was a good girl. :)


I know I went overboard on this gift. Granted it wasn't that expensive but really, I thought Mom needed monogrammed Kisses and Rolos as a hostess gift. I'm addicted to #totallytikaa on Snap Chat. I blame her for this cuteness. She found the Classic Candy Covers on Etsy here. $5.00 bucks for 100 stickers. I bought one sheet in red, one in green. Totally Tikaa Copy Cat. This tin has approximately three bags of candy for 200 stickers. 


Momma loved them. "They are too cute for words." were her words. Part of the reason I gave mom edibles is that she has way too much stuff. I love you Momma. Eric actually mentioned how badly he wants to get a record player and I said he should have scoured the crates of vinyl in her living room. We haven't seen the carpet in that room in MAYBE 15 years. 


During the break we had about two quiet hours alone at Mom's house. I just played records. It really is the greatest having a mother who loves music so much. We spoke yesterday and Mom was on a tear to clean her office. Thankfully so did we. 


For my Instapals, I hit the mother load with my grandmother's favorite pattern while on a hunt in the basement to find them. I'm going to have them made into Euro Shams for our bedroom, and maybe a bolster pillow. Inspired by a dear friend's sister. It's just the happiest, rainbow pattern. 


Baby Nephew and I did some serious coloring on our first day. I'm in love with this kid so much. He LOVES TO COLOR. When he broke his leg earlier this year I drew him a coloring book that was totally and utterly, full propaganda on getting them home to visit Baltimore. They have NEVER BEEN TO BALTIMORE. What's up with that? But this gift was the best ever because we got to really spend some serious time together.


"Really?", was Andrew's response when he read this.


He has no idea what cool friends we have with access to sharks, turtles and rainbows.


Baby Nephew II was just being adorable our first day recovering from a cold.


This beautiful creature even puts the caps back on the markers. He's not even 2 years old yet. That's awesome, right?


I love that these boys love to color. Good job Lisey!


Andrew and I had more drawing time and I asked him what he wanted me to draw. He said, "Rudolph." As I drew it he kept saying, "Cool!" as the picture formed. That melted every inch of my heart.


Uncle ChaCha Sleeping.


We stayed at Mac and Elise's house. Mom had the godmother's at her place. We all got new earnings and light up necklaces on Christmas Eve.


Dad came and picked E and I up for church. The other heathens stayed home and waited for dear friends to arrive at the airport. We made Daddy drive us through the Winchell neighborhood after church where they light luminary candles. He had never been! 


The next morning the boys were up at 7:00 am. The force was strong with them.


It was a very Star Wars Christmas I think for the whole of the USA. Baby Nephew II wore his storm trooper mask all morning. It was hilarious.


Andrew and Coco are dwarfed by this giant bear. 


Then Macker opened the front door to show the boys their new ride. Who doesn't want a shiny new red Porche for Christmas? It was so sweet.


We all got fancy and then went two blocks away to Mom's to open more presents. The boys were exhausted from all of the excitement.


I had found Grandmom's Christmas trash can in the basement. The boys played basketball with the wrapping paper all morning. 



Presents, pictures and Yorkshire Pudding.


Too many selfies.


Dad getting the Roast Beast ready.


Standing Rib Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Yorkshire Pudding + Sister Shubert Rolls, Green Bean Casserole and Carrot and Grapes.



I've written about my adoration of silver goblets here before but truly there is nothing better than ice cold water in a silver goblet. We pulled out a fancy linen that Mom had tucked deep into her drawer. I found this white candle wreath and candles. Amazing what lurks in her cabinets that I've never seen before.


I love this photo of Mom. This is the most classic KTPunks photo of all time. Seriously love you Momma.


Mac's tree on Christmas night.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and yours!