Tuesday, August 21, 2012

On my table recently...

I've been working on a number of banners lately.
This one is for little Jackson , who has a jungle theme in his room...

The Very Hungry Caterpillar was the theme for Julia's 1st Birthday party

and a butterfly banner for her room...
Stella is a little princess who likes her bling...

(I'm sorry, these last pictures were taken on a cloudy day..the color doesn't look true.)

I have two more banners to make but the babies haven't been born yet!

Is anyone else having trouble uploading pictures to their blogs or is it just me?

Be back soon!


Monday, August 13, 2012

NYC Trip Part II

After we enjoyed our lunch, we hopped in a cab and went to
M&J Trimmings on Sixth Avenue.
I have been there before but I never tire of seeing all of the dazzling ribbons, laces, buttons, silk flowers and crystal embellishments. Michelle had given me a Groupon coupon for Mother's Day so I was all set to have some fun! (I love Michelle-she's so thoughtful!)

A wall of laces!
The last time I was at M&J I bought some unusual buttons,  but this time I had a goal.
I want to make a purse like this one...
I saw this beautiful tote bag on Lisa's blog...A Thing for Roses..two years ago and fell in love with it.
M&J was the perfect place to choose some beautiful laces and a pink velvet rose to trim out the bag when it's finished. (The blue flower pin is just for fun)

Aren't they gorgeous?
After scooping up my items from M&J, we then proceeded to Mary's, Harold Square, to do some make-up shopping. I had a nice gift card from Macy's that David had given me for Christmas that I hadn't used. Michelle decided that I needed to go to the Bobbi Brown cosmetic counter for a do-over!! Yikes! We were hot and sweaty dewey, but that didn't deter the little make-up person one bit. She stripped my face of all make-up and cleaned it, moisturized it and then began layering. Now, please know that I spend about 5 minutes in the morning putting on make-up. Spackle, foundation, blush and mascara. Suddenly I needed corrector, concealer, foundation, eye-brow make-up, 2 eye shadows, eye liner, bronzer and blush, eye liner and mascara. It was pretty funny. I must have said "Now I'm not buying all of this" about 20 times but undaunted she went on.

OK, that was fun and I purchased some of the items and then returned some (unused of course) when I returned to Pittsburgh. It's easy to get caught up in the moment!

After our stop at Macy's we were ready to go home to Hoboken. Michelle's boyfriend, Bill, returned from a business trip and the three of us enjoyed dinner together, again cooked by Michelle. The cookies and sweet treats we had toted home were our dessert.
After some talking, email checking and a little reading, I crashed and went to bed early. Tomorrow was going to be another busy day....

On Saturday, Michelle and I took the train and the subway back into the city (she does this like I jump in the car and drive 3 miles to the Mall) We were meeting Michael and Jackie (our son and DIL) for lunch at Eataly, at 200 5th Avenue near 23rd. If I tell you that two of the partners in this endeavor are Mario Batali and his Mama, Lidia Bastianich, that will give you an indication of the quality of this place. It's part market, part restaurant and interesting things can be found at every counter. Homemade pastas, breads, meats, cheeses, chocolates,  produce, seafood and wine and beer in addition to supplies and cookbooks can all be found here. I highly recommend it!

A produce stand with magazine worthy fruits and veggies. (Unidentified woman)

 The homemade pastas looked wonderful...see the squid ink pasta in the back of this case? Mmmm-no thank you.
 Lots of pastas I had never heard of.
The meat counter.
We decided to have lunch  in the portion of the market where you can have table service.
(Michelle, Jackie and Michael)
While we waited to be seated, the kids enjoyed a glass of wine.
(Not a $5,000 portrait but a cute picture nonetheless)

For lunch, Michelle and Jackie shared a plate of homemade pasta (I can't remember the sauce) and a pizza.

Michael & I each had a calzone, unlike any other. The dough was light and the homemade ricotta cheese inside was delicious! I should have taken photos before we chowed down but we were hungry!

Happy, full faces!
After lunch we went outside and around the corner to another part of Eataly where they sell gelato....the line was long but it was worth the wait. Creamy goodness on a hot, summer, New York day!
Michael and Jackie went to catch a train back to Long Island and Michelle and I returned to Hoboken again and collapsed! We decided on a pizza for dinner and then early to bed again. 95-degrees in NYC is different than 95-degrees anyplace else!
 I had a wonderful time visiting with Michelle, Bill, Michael & Jackie and seeing, doing and eating some great things in New York City.
Thanks for the fun time kids!

For those of you, besides my family, who have followed along on this journey...thank you.
I will be back next time with a bunch of crafting projects I have been working on!


Sunday, August 5, 2012

Mantel Decor and Off To See the Wizard...NYC Part 1

I haven't been on line much in the past month (except for checking email and Pinterest...couldn't extract myself from Pinterest!) and have missed reading what everyone has been doing. I'm trying to catch up on blog reading because many people are starting to post Halloween projects and I'm still trying to sort out summer. I have Friendship banner pieces to complete for Sandy and Elizabeth and several custom orders on my table. It's been over a month since I've written anything so I'll start here...(this post is long and picture heavy, just sayin')

It took me a while to tweak the mantel this year. For the  past several years I've decorated with a bird theme but decided to go with a beachy look this year. The bathing beauties from Michael's were my inspiration..I couldn't pass them by.

We do love to go to the beach but there hasn't been any time for that this year so far. We're getting ready for some big changes in the next several months so the beach hase been put on hold.
 Maybe before the year is over...

In early July, I had a chance to take a trip that had been postponed  from Mother's Day in May, due to sickness. I flew to New York City to spend 4 days with my daughter Michelle. I arrived in the afternoon and while Michelle was still at work, I had a chance to relax in her lovely condo. When she got home, she prepared a yummy dinner for us...

We drank wine and ate hamburgers and sweet home-made sweet potato fries on her cute balcony...
over-looking the busy streets of Hoboken...

The next morning, we got ready and hopped on the Path Train to take us into the city.

Michelle had arranged a wonderful surprise for me. 
This is where we went...can you guess?

Of course not, because this totally unmarked building houses, among other businesses, this woman's magazine enterprise....

Yes friends, Martha Stewart! While Martha herself was not in the building that day, a friend of Michelle's took us on a personal tour of some of the offices and behind-the-scenes places most folks don't ever get to see. I was not allowed to take any photos but I went on line and found some from Martha's website...I hope she won't mind if I share them with you.
We were able to see the test kitchen...I have never seen so many cookbooks in one place in my life!! (This just shows a small area. The kitchen itself is large, and all around the perimeter of the room, on high shelves, are mock-ups of intricately decorated wedding cakes. Emeril has his own kitchen to use when he's on Martha's show...lots of shiny stainless there.

We saw some of the editor's offices, including Darcy Miller, the Editorial Director of Martha Stewart Weddings magazine. Her office has a mammoth inspiration board that I would loved to have photographed as this is just a small part of it...

The one place that we were not allowed access to was the crafting area (BOO HOO!)
They were working on Christmas and Holiday crafts and it was all top secret. That about broke my heart!
The favorite area that we did get to walk through was the Prop House area.
Can you imagine rows and rows of dishware? So many patterns and colors...
then there was the linen area with bins and bins of placemats and napkins housed by color...

Candlesticks, serving trays, picture frames in abundance! Inside of that wide metal cabinet you see in the above pictures was drawer after drawer of silverware.
When we were finished in the prop area, we got to see some magazine layouts for future articles.
At the end of our tour, Michelle's friend Denise, presented us with gift bags containing Martha's newest cookbook, Martha's American Food, and a copy of every current Martha Stewart magazine. The cookbook is awesome!

When we came out of the building, we were greeted by this ..

 If it hadn't been 95-degrees out, we would have been tempted.
Instead, we walked to the Chelsea Market in the meat packing district

and decided on a fig jam and cheddar panini from
Lucy's Whey

Oh so good-right Shelle?
After lunch, we continued to browse the shops in Chelsea Market and couldn't leave with visiting two great bakeries....Ruthy's and Eleni's

We settled on some treats to take home for after dinner....

(the apple crumb cake in the back was to-die-for!)
There is more to write about this day but I'm stopping here for 2 reasons...
I can see that your eyelids are very heavy and
all of this food has made me hungry.

To be continued...



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