Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Innovators and Legends


Innovators and Legends

INNOVATORS AND LEGENDS:

Through Sept. 7. This exhibition, organized by the Muskegon Museum of Art, features over 70 pieces by 50 artists from the U.S. and abroad who belong to the first, and subsequent, generations of artists who explore the myriad possibilities inherent in fabric, thread, fiber and yarn. Weaving, knitting, soft sculpture, embroidery, felting and other techniques are featured, used in ways that are by turns painterly, sculptural or fashionable and often surprising and amusing. Museum hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays, Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays. Admission: $7 adults, $6 senior citizens, $4 children ages 3-12 years, free for museum members.

This exhibit is at the Figge Museum in Davenport, Iowa. If you want to read a very well written article about it -- here's the link to the David Burke story in the Quad City Times.

Yes, I know how lucky we are here in our little corner of the world.  THERE ARE SO MANY INTERESTING things to see and do...

I went with my very special group of TBC friends....it was a spontaneous decision, with absolutely no advance planning...which is probably why we had a nearly perfect day!!


Me and my cousin Linda...our favorite photo EVER...



You will NOT believe what this used to be -- and what it eventually became...


WOW -- I SUCK AT SELFIES...but this does prove, once and for all, that NOBODY is having more fun than us...
Sorry for the crappy cellphone pictures - but I wanted to post something about the exhibit while there was still time FOR YOU TO ATTEND. Trust me -- it is well worth the trip...

As soon as I get the real pictures off my real camera, I will write more about it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Rita's Laundry Tips

Last Monday, John was getting dressed when he realized his favorite navy blue golf shirt had a big grease stain on the front.

Of course, I leaped with joy -- as he knew I would.

A difficult laundry challenge is a great way to start my week...

And I have some serious laundry game.....

I consider myself an avid student of laundry.  My favorite "go to" book was a gift from my friend Anne. Called, simply, "Laundry" -- Cheryl Mendelson did a GREAT job of writing about all aspects of laundry...
This ENTIRE BOOK is about laundry...caring for clothes and linens...I LOVE IT...
Here are my own TOP FIVE TIPS:
  1. Before I start to work on any stain or spot, I pre-soak the fabric in warm water (overnight is fine).  Remember -- the fibers must be WET to take on any cleansing agent...
  2. Sometimes, you have to "work" a difficult spot. Position the spot over an absorbent towel, (make sure the fabric is good and wet) then apply the cleaning agent. Wait for 30 minutes, then use a soft brush in a circular motion (old toothbrushes work best)....to work the offending spot through the fabric and into the towel...repeat as necessary....then launder as usual.  Sometimes, when the fabric is wet, you can't see where the spot was.  With John's shirt last week -- I used a small embroidery hoop. 
  3. Lemon Juice is nature's bleach.  It will remove some very stubborn stains (like baby formula)...and it is more gentle than bleach. If you have linen napkins or cotton sheets that are gray looking, soak them overnight in a lemon solution (1/2 cup to every gallon of  hot water)....then, lay them out in the sun to dry. AFTER the sun-bleaching, wash as usual. You won't believe the difference...
  4. Hydrogen Peroxide. The go-to solution for blood or other protein stains.
  5. Shampoo. I leave those little hotel bottles of shampoo near my washing machine. They work great on ring-around-the-collar type of stains.
  6. WD-40.... The MAGICAL grease remover. This easily removed the grease stain from John's favorite shirt. I ALWAYS have a can of it near my washing machine. Just spray the spot (remember, wet fabric) -- then let it sit for at least 30 minutes. Use method #2 -- then wash as usual and the salad oil stain will disappear!!
Sorry -- there was no way I could limit myself to FIVE tips...

I love laundry so much -- I'm going to make my Monday blog posts all about laundry....

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Our Fond du lac Weekend

It was John's birthday.  Like most young couples with a child still living at home -- we decided to celebrate with a little road trip.  It'll be fun to get away -- eat special restaurant dinners and enjoy the always-exciting hotel sex.

Wisconsin is one of our favorite destinations.  It has that extra special allure of fried cheese curds...
The only couple pic from that day
We like to eat at a place called "Faro's"
,
It's official -- these obnoxious wind mills are EVERYWHERE
There was a store downtown called "Lillian's"
One afternoon, we went to the Historic Galloway House. They've set up an entire village, with small buildings depicting life in 1800's Wisconsin...
Every building is historically correct -- they have all been moved from other locations to create this village...

The house itself used to belong to the wealthy family -- Galloway -- they made their money in the lumber industry -- then banking. No mention of cheese production.  The home sat empty (with caretakers only) for over 20 years...
Inside the one-room school
I was attracted to the home/business of the small town seamstress....
Which was full of turn of the century displays, dresses, buttons, patterns,
I loved this information....
John looking inside the grocery store...
For John's special birthday dinner -- we went to Jim and Linda's Lakeview Supper Club...and here's the review I wrote for Yelp.

Friday, August 29, 2014

TBC (Tuesday Breakfast Club) Apron Sighting

You really can't imagine how much I look forward to and enjoy my Tuesday mornings. Last week, while many of my friends were in St. Louis for Babylock Tech -- I went off to my usual breakfast at the local grocery store with my book clubbers.

They all know Mary Mulari -- and we were talking about Mary's newest project...

At that moment -- a woman wearing an apron (and very little else) walked into the store. My friend Sandy said, "Mary would call that apron abuse...."

I turned -- and was horrified to see this woman casually walking into the store. She didn't look like she was being chased by bandits...I mean -- this is a choice she CONSCIOUSLY MADE???

For just a minute, I felt like I was on an episode of Candid Camera....

Of course, I did what any of you would have done. I jumped up from the table and took my camera to stalk apron-woman...

I HAD TO send this picture to Mary...
Mary used to have an apron pattern very similar to this...but I'm pretty sure this woman had it on backwards....
When she turned around, I smiled and tried to look innocent. But I was also horrified at the FRONT OF HER..... She was maybe 70 years old, and she was wearing pink bloomer/type underwear (I swear) -- and a pink sports bra. My guess would be a 36DDD. You will just have to take my word for it...

I tried to snap a front-shot picture of her -- I JUST COULD NOT STOP MYSELF...but it turned out like this....and by that time, of course -- she was scowling at me...
Maybe this is my camera, making a judgement, eh??
As my friend Marion always says -- why would anybody write fiction?? when the truth is sooo bizarre...

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Living Room ART

One of the best things about owning your own home (instead of renting -- or living in a car) is that you get to PAINT THE WALLS any color you want....and -- since it's hard to pick one favorite color -- I long ago decided to PICK THEM ALL...My living room has one wall burgundy, one wall blue, one teal, and another yellow...(no kidding)...
This plastic flamingo used to belong to my mother....she LOVED this thing...
I spent years amassing my collection of little travel clocks...
I have long been a sucker for a pithy cross-stitch
The biggest wall in the living room is teal -- and I love the abstract woman's face...it led me to collect lots of other kinds of ladies faces...
But it's time for a change -- and I'd like to figure out a way to hang this up...??
And I bought this over a year ago -- TIME TO HANG IT UP, EH??
I LOVE THIS PAINTING...Bert gave it to me for my birthday -- and I'm ready to redo ALL THE ART in the room now.
This is going to be fun!!  But now I have to get rid of something....

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Men vs. Women vs. Purses

Every woman in America has her own purse "criteria". More than any other accessory or article of clothing -- a purse is a unique, individual thing that you carry with you EVERY SINGLE DAY of your life. Your purse says something about your sense of style or self.

I have this theory that women subconsciously buy the same purse, over and over again...in this picture from last summer, I am carrying a purse that met all my high standards....(I wore this fabulous purse out)

My favorite purse -- arty, lightweight, cross-body strap, zipper top, more horizontal than vertical...outside pocket for my phone....(it was a gift from my talented cousin, Jackie!)
Mary Mulari carries a travel/purse that must fit into the compartment of her carry-on suitcase .  Emily prefers a small purse that fits under her arm. Marion found the perfect purse two years ago -- a colorful lightweight fabric bag with a cross body strap...

My Grandma Little probably only owned three purses in her entire life -- but they all looked the same. Black vinyl with two zippered sections on the inside and two handles on the outside. She called it her pocketbook -- and it always sat on a chair at the back door (in case there was a tornado)...

My friend Gail has probably owned 200 purses in her life -- but they also look the same. They are always real leather, always black, and always ENORMOUS.  I'm certain she carries hairdryers, electric toothbrushes and toasters....  Her huge purses are so heavy, they have caused back pain and chiropractic visits...

Recently, I was considering changing purses.  Five or six thrift store purses were in contention from my huge supply of purses-in-waiting living a basket in my basement -- (somewhere under t-shirt mountain.)

With the contenders laid out on the floor in front of me -- I was considering my own purse criteria --and started to have this conversation with Ross -- who was sitting in an adjacent chair. He listened as I explained the various things about purses that matter to me....a cross-body strap, an outside pocket for my cellphone...

My own purses need to be more horizontal than vertical; it needs to be big enough for my wallet and my camera; it cannot have a black lining (because then stuff gets lost in there). Ross was nodding as I explained the importance of a zipper at the top of the purse...yada yada...


I was considering a purse that had a bright pocket on the outside, and the perfect adjustable long strap.  I held up that candidate, and asked Ross,  "This bag has one big obvious flaw....Can you see what's wrong with it?"

Ross looked up -- then over at me -- like a deer in headlights... "I'm sorry, Mom. I quit listening ten minutes ago..."

I started to laugh...then he said, "I didn't know there would be a quiz..." 

I was still laughing...

then he said, "Where's Lilly??""

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

So much to learn!!

During our visit to the Buffalo Bill Museum -- there was so much for the kids to see and learn...
We started off watching a little film about Buffalo Bill
The exhibits are a mixed bag of some old and new...
The girls enjoyed taking turns being the teacher in a one-room schoolhouse...
Deena and I explained the art of old fashioned chalk and cleaning erasers!!
The Lone Star tugboat is dry-docked inside the museum...
IT WAS A BEAUTIFUL SUMMER DAY...and Lilly had a great time with Deena and the girls!!
Although -- we enjoyed our little walk along the river -- this wasn't the END of our fun day!!