Love Begets Love: The Tablecloth Project

One of the gifts I received when I graduated from 8th grade was from my Grandma Martha, my Dad’s mother–a hand-crocheted tablecloth. Though I wasn’t exactly thrilled (being a typical teenager then), I packed it away, to be used after marriage…I don’t think I’ve used it but once for its intended purpose.

Martha was 69 years old when she lovingly began crocheting each 3-inch floret–there are 616!–which had to be joined by over 600 more florets, so you can imagine how long she worked on this magnificent piece.

Back at the beginning of November, as I was unpacking Christmas things to make new decorations, I pulled out the tablecloth…and that ‘little voice’ said, “It’s time to wash this and repair it!”–which I did!

Here are some of the repairs I encountered, and mind you, I do not crochet, so I had to carefully join the original loops with some older white thread I had kept–as the tablecloth is now going on 53 years old!













Finally, this project has come to an end…though I somehow ‘felt’ my Grandma looking over my shoulder, as I struggled to join loops properly.

When I began, it was difficult to figure out what loop went where, but each time I picked up the project again, I got the same feeling of love…that I was doing things the right way.

It was almost as if Grandma was guiding the needle for me, because the task became very easy.

Twice, I laid the tablecloth over my bed, and found even more repairs needed, which should have been frustrating–but were not, you see, because I could picture myself as a child, sitting on her carpet, looking up and watching her pray her rosary and crochet at the same time!  What a multitasker, eh?

In fact, the very first oil painting I did back in 1975 was that very memory!  (Sorry, no image available)

About a week and a half ago, I finished!


The tablecloth is now packed away in a plastic carrier, because it’s too large for my table!

I may hang it at the window, but it will get dusty and dirty, and I really don’t know how many more washings it can take.

What I do know is:  this gift was made out of  love, and when I repaired it, I gained more love, not only for my Grandma, but for all those who persevere and achieve a goal, no matter what their circumstances!

They’re chock full of Vitamin C…

…but don’t plan on using them unless you know for a fact they haven’t been sprayed with any type of insecticide!

Rose Hips-1

From Wikipedia:

The rose hip, also known as rose haw or rose hep, is the fruit of the rose plant, that typically is red-to-orange, but ranges from dark purple to black in some species. Rose hips begin to form after successful pollination of flowers in spring or early summer, and ripen in late summer through autumn.

Rose Hips-2

During World War II, the people of Britain were encouraged through letters to The Times newspaper, articles in the British Medical Journal, and pamphlets produced by Claire Loewenfeld, a dietitian working for Great Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children, to gather wild-grown rose hips and to make a vitamin C syrup for children. This was because German submarines were sinking many commercial ships: citrus fruits from the tropics were very difficult to import.

Rose hips are (also)  used to help prevent colds and influenza.

You can read the entire article here.

Many of you…

…viewed the Photoshopped 3-D snowflakes I used for decorating my images during the holidays.  I ran across this short video, and thought maybe you’d like to learn a bit more about the REAL thing!

After all, we are never too old to…



On the Magnificent Mile: XII (the Finale)

At the Drake Hotel

The Drake Hotel, on a 1920 postcard (Photo courtesy:  Wikipedia)

The Drake Hotel, on a 1920 postcard (Photo courtesy: Wikipedia)

The Drake Hotel, during the Christmas season (Photo courtesy:  Wikipedia

The Drake Hotel, during the Christmas season (Photo courtesy: Wikipedia)

From Wiki:

The Drake Hotel, 140 East Walton Place, Chicago, Illinois, is a luxury full-service hotel, located downtown on the lake side of Michigan Avenue two blocks north of the John Hancock Center and a block south of Oak Street Beach at the top of the Magnificent Mile.

Overlooking Lake Michigan, it was founded in 1920, designed in the Italian Renaissance style by the firm of Marshall and Fox, and soon became one of Chicago’s landmark hotels, a longtime rival of the Palmer House. It has 537 bedrooms and 74 suites, a six-room Presidential Suite, several restaurants, two large ballrooms, the “Palm Court” (a club-like secluded lobby), and Club International (a members-only club introduced in the 1940s). It is known for the contribution that its silhouette and its sign on the lake side of the building (the Oak Street side) make to the Gold Coast skyline.

The Drake Hotel was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

This is the Walton Street entrance, just east of the Magnificent Mile.

The Drake Hotel marks the north end of the Magnificent Mile.  This is the Walton Street entrance, just east of Michigan Avenue.

Only the huge Toy Soldier noticed my camera, and smiled brightly!

Only the huge Toy Soldier noticed my camera, and smiled brightly…I could swear he winked at me, too!  As you make your way around him, the grand staircase takes you up to the lobby, where resides the hotel’s fabulous Christmas Tree!

Gorgeous, isn't it, with angels fling above and the crystal chandeliers, the feeling I experienced was that I had gone back in time!

Gorgeous, isn’t it, with angels flying above and the crystal chandeliers, the feeling I experienced was that I had gone back in time!

Here are some macro shots of a few of the many ornaments.

Drake Hotel-4

Drake Hotel-5

Drake Hotel-6

Drake Hotel-9

As an added attraction, the toy train set-up is reminiscent of many years gone by, don’t you think?

Drake Hotel-7

As you can see by its blurriness, that little train was going quite fast!

As you can see by its blurriness, that little train was going quite fast, running the rails through the mountains and a quaint little town!


Before I had to leave, I walked right up to the tree and, of course, took a shot ‘looking up’!

Many of my followers have already celebrated the day, but it's just 7:00 PM (CST) here in Chicago...St. Nick hasn't flown by yet, but I'm sure hoping to catch sight of his sleigh!

Many of my followers have already celebrated the day, but it’s just 7:00 PM (CST) here in Chicago…St. Nick hasn’t flown by yet, but I’m sure hoping to catch sight of his sleigh!

Thank you all for joining me on my walking tour of the Magnificent Mile…I know many have found some enjoyment, and others marveled at the amount of decoration the stores and hotels do here in Chicago.  It’s a business, a BIG business…I know, because I used to work as a Holiday Designer professionally…and still make things for others, to give them some joy at this special time of year!

Hopefully, I’ll be able to do the same in 2013!!!

Some really ‘good’ news!

From CNN:

Frank Lloyd Wright Home. Saved!

By APizm  |  Posted December 21, 2012

The David and Gladys Wright House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright

The David and Gladys Wright House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright  Photo: APizm

When the sun rises tomorrow we will know two things. One, the Mayans were wrong. Two, the David and Gladys Wright home, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright is SAVED. I am proud to announce that an anonymous buyer has purchased the house and has plans to preserve it.

 I have been inside the house a few times now and believe me, it takes a few times to notice all the tiny design details that Frank Lloyd Wright put into this house. I included a few images of those tiny details for you.

 Here is the write up from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy website,
“Christmas came a little early this year. Culminating six months of intensive work and many ups and downs, we can finally announce that this unique and important Wright house is safe! The Conservancy has facilitated the purchase of the David and Gladys Wright House in Phoenix through an LLC owned by an anonymous benefactor. The transaction closed on December 20 for an undisclosed price. The property will be transferred to an Arizona not-for-profit organization responsible for the restoration, maintenance and operation of the David Wright House.”

(CNN PRODUCER NOTE     APizm is a photography instructor for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation at Taliesin West in Phoenix, Arizona, and has been following the story for a while. He first reported on it in early October, when the David and Gladys Wright house was facing demolition.)

 For more information see:
For more images see:


I would love to know who the ‘anonymous’ purchaser is…could it be James N. Pritzker, the owner of the Emil Bach House just a block and a half north of my building here in Rogers Park?  Frank Lloyd Wright built the Bach House in 1915, and much to everyone’s surprise, it is undergoing a very heavy rehab, begun about two months ago.

The Emil Bach House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1915.

The Emil Bach House, designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and built in 1915.  Image taken 15DEC2012, copyright



As you see, many of the windows have been removed.  When I spoke in 2007 with Mr. Pritzker’s secretary, who was occupying the house at the time, I was told that they hoped to re-do the windows, as they had obtained Mr. Wright’s original drawings for the Wrightian-style stained glass.  I hate to assume anything but, it does look as if the stained glass windows will be in place soon enough, as will other ‘original’ amenities and some new as well!

Kudos to Mr. Pritzker, who also owns the building at the left (The Cats Cradle Bed and Breakfast) and the tall building behind (The Farcroft, a 12+ story former apartment building which has been undergoing a total gut rehab for over a year now).

Under the DuSable Bridge…

…formerly known as the Michigan Avenue Bridge.

DuSable Bridge-at River Level

Under the lower deck of the DuSable Bridge, along the Chicago River

From Wikipedia:

DuSable (Michigan Avenue) Bridge is a double-leaf, double-deck, fixed counterweight, trunnion bascule bridge.  It was engineered by the Chicago Department of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering; Edward H. Bennett was the consulting architect and William A. Mulcahy the chief engineer of construction.  At the time of construction it was believed to be the first double-deck bridge ever built to have roadway on both levels; faster non-commercial traffic using the upper deck and slower commercial traffic that served the various industries and docks in the vicinity of the river using the lower deck.  The bridge opened May 14, 1920.

DuSable Bridge-S to N Walkway

The South-to-North Walkway of the lower deck, DuSable Bridge

In October 2010, the bridge was renamed DuSable Bridge in honor of Jean Baptiste Point du Sable, Chicago’s first permanent resident.  A fur trader of African descent who married into the Potawatomi tribe, he established a permanent homestead and trading post near the mouth of the Chicago River in the 1780s.


After you walk across, you are on lower Michigan Avenue.  When you cross to the west side at Hubbard Street, you have reached one of the most famous bars in the world!

DuSable Bridge-Billy Goat Tavern

The Billy Goat Tavern, 430 N. Lower Michigan Avenue

Now, why-oh-why have I gotten hungry for a ‘cheezborger’ and a Coke?


“People of Chicago”

That’s the title of a collection of photographs from the Chicago Tribune Classic Photos archives, containing images like this, of two brothers and their brides…

…and this, an electrologist with very shiny silk (?) stockings!

If you’re interested seeing a few ‘slices of life’ in Chicago during the 1920s through the 1940s, click here.