Field Trip to Chicago

On Friday, I took a bus trip to Chicago with my graphic design program.

Not only was it great to spend the day with my creative buddies, it was also great fun bumming around Chicago, shopping and seeing the sights.

We started out with a tour of Evantson Print & Paper, a letterpress and screen printing shop. This is the first time I’ve ever seen a letterpress in action. How cool to get to see it in action.

The owners let us take turns trying out the letterpress. First up, ink the type.

Then, guide the paper through the roller. Can you tell how cool I thought this was?!

Then, admire your finished piece!

We made a stop at The Paper Source, a fun stationery store. After lunch, we stopped at Posh, a cool thrift store full of European vintage.

How could a group of art students resist going into a Blicks!

We ended our day at the Art Institute of Chicago.

What an amazing place! We toured the Soviet Union war poster exhibition, the Impressionists, the American Art, and a fabulous series of illustrated alphabets. The highlight for me was getting to see a couple pieces by my favorite artist, Mary Cassatt.

I cam home with a loot full of goodies, including a vintage NYC map that we’re going to frame and hang in our guest room, a fabulously-designed paper calendar for inspiration, a set of tags for more inspiration, a set of inktense pencils, and just a few sketchbooks!

Not only did it feel good to spend the day with my creative friends, but I came home with revived inspiration and reinforcement that I can’t wait to resume taking classes again in January. One of the best days I’ve had in a long time!

An Outing With My Mom

I was out of town for my big birthday, vacationing with Dave’s family, so I didn’t spend any time with my own family.  I think my mom was feeling a little sad about that, so I took a day off on Friday to hang out with her.  We don’t have as much time to hang out together anymore. We’re usually getting together for a family reunion, or a weekend getaway with spouses and grandkids, or a holiday event. So I was really looking forward to the day – just the two of us.  

We started out with a sight-seeing excursion to Vogue Fabrics in Chicago. That place is huge! They have a gigantic inventory of every type of fabric imaginable, so we just browsed.  Then we went to Convito Cafe & Market for lunch, which was quite good.  They have a great menu but their deli salads were the best. I recommend it if you’re in the neighborhood.

On our way through Milwaukee, we stopped at the Milwaukee Art Museum, which is always time well spent. I don’t know as much about art as I would like, so it was a fun outing. I discovered two painters I really love:  Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Kees van Dongen

While we were waiting for our enchiladas to bake, we made crullers, our favorite donuts.  My mom is such an expert of all things domestic, so I’m lucky she taught how to cook, bake, and sew.

Mmm crullers

We watched Cold Mountain, which I have never seen before. I also haven’t read the book, but now I should because it was such fantastic love story that takes place during the civil war.  Have you seen that one yet?  If not, I strongly recommend it. 

She had her house all decorated for the holiday season, making it feel warm and festive.  I took a couple pictures when she wasn’t looking (so she wouldn’t think I was going crazy!).  Here is her beautiful tree:

Mom's Christmas Tree

And the mantel decorated with real greenery:

Mom's MantelAnd her centerpiece in the breakfast nook:

Mom's centerpiece

I admire my mom so very much, so I cherish days like that, just the two of us, talking and going out on a field trip and doing domestic things.  Mostly just because we’re together.