Archive for the ‘SAIC’ Category

Another Hat

While K was home last weekend, she worked on a hat for her friend, Beth.

Here it is before the lining went in:

coon hat

The fur is so thick and soft!  I could touch it once she had it cut out and I wasn’t really touching the whole animal. 😀  K has found the wonderful fur dealer where Phil used to sell when he was of trapping age.  What a funny circle & one we never expected!  😉  (He quit about the time K was born.)

I can’t find any finished pictures with Beth in her hat.  The lining was to be turquoise & purple plaid flannel!!

K has plans to make more hats like this and I think her own head will be warmed by fox this winter.  Beth however wanted the tail and a coonskin hat!!  No thanks.  😉

After she had a trip to the local thrift stores, I helped her get started on altering a 1980’s wool coat into a cape!  More on that after she completes it.  It is going to be so fun, I just know she’ll send me pictures.  😀

I’ve had a headache most of the week so haven’t accomplished as much as I had wanted.  But JP is ready for college and K is moving to her first apartment.  Yeah for big kids! 🙂

(I need a new category for life out of college for Miss K….)

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What else happened this month?

I got NEW sandals from Heather in Brazil!!

sandals from Brazil

They are super comfy and great quality South American leather.   She originally planned to bring them to me but at the last minute couldn’t pull off the 6 hour trip each way to get here.  It was just after our big May parties so I couldn’t go find her either.

But I had a very happy day when the box arrived from her!!  Isn’t she sweet?  🙂

Thank you!!


Earlier in the month, JP was honored & thrilled to be invited to attend a Fine Arts Conference at Willow Creek along with some others in the music ministry at church.  What a treat!!

This was his first outing on his own but he had a great time and handled buying his own food & staying in a hotel just fine.  🙂

One evening they went to Medieval Times for dinner & the entertainment.  It sounded like a ton of fun!!

JP willow conf medieval times

A highlight of the conference was hearing Darlene Zschech speak and the live Hillsong concert!  JP’s first live concert – nothing like starting at the top!  He said it was fabulous.


K has had a busy month with her 2 classes & her RA job.   One class is an independent study with her hat making instructor.  She is loving the time at Eia’s studio and learning some of the business end of it as well.  She and another student did an art fair this past weekend.  Near the end of July a bigger one is planned near K’s neighborhood and they plan to have hats & accessories for sale that weekend as well.

She is following leads for jobs and also looking for an apartment to rent.

Her students in the building arrived last Sunday (6/21).   She has a floor of high school girls spending 2, 3, or 5 weeks studying at SAIC.   She has taken any of the ones in the building on trips to the grocery, Chinatown, and Dairy Queen.   I’m sure she’ll include a trip to the thrift store again as that was a huge hit last summer!  She is a good tour guide!

She also had a weekend at the beginning of the month with Phil’s parents!   She ran them north & south and back again for 2 long days.  They all had a great time!

Her other class ends this week.  She has enjoyed it but it is intense, putting a whole semester of work into 3 weeks.   This has been on Chicago architecture and they have only been in the classroom a few times.  The other days are spent touring and studying the city!  (I only had a small panic when she called that she was lost!  I googled her location and could direct her in the right way once I knew where she was and had her heading the right way!  🙂  Yeah for the internet & cell phones as she was walking away from the street she needed when she called. )


Phil continues to watch his crops grow and with all the rain & heat we’ve had, the corn seems to be jumping!   He is nearly done with spraying but has a few fields of soybeans to get to yet.  Yesterday and today have been too windy for that job anyway.


Mrs. So & So has been busy this month back in the work station.  I’ve made 96 oz of MSM cream,  192 oz. of goat milk lotion, and 8 batches of goat milk soap. Whew!


Here is my newest appliance:

dishwasher 1

The dishwasher died June 1st!  Sort of funny but I was SO thankful I had made it through May with a working one!!

dishwasher 2

The buttons are along the top so the front is flat and clean.  🙂  I’m loving it!

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K’s Book

For months I’ve been planning and formulating a fabric memory book highlighting just a bit of K’s time in Chicago.  I’ve titled it Opening.

I wanted to include a tag book with her story so turned to Phil.  In the last several years, his writing has come to bloom and I thought this would be another avenue for him.

I asked him to write a short something as a review of K’s time in Chicago.

About a week later, I asked how the story was coming.  He hadn’t done it yet.

Another week passed and I asked again.  (thankfully he doesn’t get upset at this nagging)

So after lunch that day, he grabbed his spiral notebook and click pen and wrote.  Thirty minutes later he came to read to me.

We laughed.

We cried.

I said it was perfect!

I copied his story on tags I had coffee stained

03 coffee on tags b

it works better with instant coffee... must buy some

and stamped his title, “Life So Far”, added her name, the date, and had Phil sign it.  I covered the back side of the tags with fabric paper.

02 fabric paper b

my big sheet of fabric paper

Fabric paper is muslin covered with paper scraps, layered with pattern tissue and then painted with a wash of fluid acrylics.  The tag book is tied together with an assortment of yarn & rick-rack.

back of tag book

back of tag book

As Keturah grew up on a farm
Animals were something she could charm
Her curly hair would bounce all day
And down by the creek she loved to play
Her school was decided to be at home
There were hidden talents later to be known
In 2004, when school was done
She decided to work and have some fun
But to our surprise
To the city she would arise
She became a student at SAIC
And soon a great artist to be
Mom & Dad are so proud
She says it’s like floating on a cloud
You grew up around Ag
Now go get them and make a new bag!
10 tag book b

Just lately, I went to the work of assembling a few pictures, some fabric, some photos of her fabrics printed on fabric, and a few bits of embellishment.

later I added words from a book inside the keyhole: she can

later I added words from a book inside the keyhole: she can

The pages of the book are canvas boards covered with fabric.   The ribbon runs through the pages to hold them as one.

06 book b

The book can be folded up like a book or stood up accordian style for display.  Both sides are decorated.

07 book b

If you have followed K’s work, most of this will ring a bell with you.

description of all the elements

description of all the elements

Here is the 2nd page with the pocket to hold the story on the tag book –

12 tag book in pocket b

Each side:

08 book b

09 book b

K got this in the mail yesterday with her lotion refills I made last week.  🙂  Now I can tell you about what I’ve been doing!

This idea is from Lesley Riley‘s book: Fabric Memory Books.   She is one of my favorites!!

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K’s Graduation

K’s graduation from The School of The Art Institute of Chicago took place on May 16, 2009 at the Pritzker Pavillion in Milliennium Park.   


05 view from my seat

The invitations from the school said “rain or shine” and “come prepared” so I had prepared that week by buying ponchos and extra umbrellas.  The forecast that morning was for 25 mph winds with gusts to 40 mph, cloudy, and cool.  I thought of some nice winter scarves we could use around our necks with our spring jackets.

About an hour from home (and we left here all pretty at 6:30 a.m.!) the sun peaked out and by the time we arrived downtown at 9 a.m. it was sunny!

We came out of the underground parking garage and it was beautiful!  A slight breeze and wonderfully warm – we didn’t even need our spring jackets!  🙂  Answered prayer!!

Each student was given 5 tickets and then late in the week were given 2 more!  🙂    Answered prayer!  But the 2 extra tickets were in K’s hands so even tho she had already checked in by the time we arrived, she met us and handed over the 2 needed tickets.  It was a treat to see her early!  

We were pleased to find ourselves near the beginning of the line at 9:15 for the 10 o’clock gate opening.  I blazed an easy trail to our seats and was quite pleased with our location.   (Second section, row 2)

03 family row

What a lovely pavillion and setting for the graduation.  Before it started at 10:30 they showed pictures the students had submitted of their work.   We caught a quick glimpse of K’s kitchen sink bags.  🙂

08 speaker

The service was short and did not include  l o n g  drawn-out speeches but interesting honorary degree presentations.  The main speaker was Renzo Piano, the architect of the brand-new Modern Wing of The Art Institute!  He was fascinating to listen to and encouraged us all to walk across the bridge to the Modern Wing.  But “not all at once!”  🙂 

53 Modern Wing opening

As the graduates formed a line to cross the stage, I was able to get some quick pictures of K as she waited in line.  

14 K in line

11 in line

17 in line

18 diploma cover from President

(we appreciated the overhead screen shots!)

Graduation ended about 12:30 and we met K near The Bean just outside the Pavillion area.  


The Ladies

The Ladies


JP & K

JP & K

Both sets of grandparents with K

Both sets of grandparents with K


Family Picture

Family Picture

36 K & me

After pictures, we were joined by my cousin, Carolyn, and her husband, Jim, for lunch at Miller’s Pub.  Carolyn is my mom’s niece and they live nearby.  It was a treat to spend a bit of time with them.  

52 Ronks & Walters

49 K at restaurant

Following lunch, we loaded up K and some things to move home.  We got home about 7 and were exhausted!  

39 K & Emma

K & her friend Emma


Beth, K, & Emma aka Charlie's Angels

Beth, K, & Emma aka Charlie's Angels



The red carpet was for the opening of The Modern Wing in the background

The red carpet was for the opening of The Modern Wing in the background

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Moving Nightmare

I guess we need to sit in the memories of having had uneventful moves in downtown Chicago with Miss K.   Because this week’s move was




And so I’m posting all these details about it before getting up the pretty pictures and stories from the kids’ graduations.  😉  (It is my blog, you know.  Venting allowed.)

Phil & I left home Thursday about 3 and delivered a leftover pie and 2 bags of sandwiches to the nearby homeschool neighbor with hungrier boys than my one.  🙂  We arrived downtown just before 6 p.m.  

As usual, we parked in the alley and Phil & K put 4 cart loads into the truck.  We 3 rode (in the front seat) the 2 blocks to her summer home building (CB).  

You’ll remember I have alley duty on these excursions while P & K make the runs with the loads back & forth from truck to room. Well it was after the usual 5:00 office hours and they hadn’t switched K to this building (& her keys) yet so she wasn’t able to get carts here to unload.  

P & K decided to walk back up the 2 blocks to her old building (162) and bring 2 carts from there to use.  I continued to wait in the alley, casually reading a quilt magazine. 

After a bit, one of Chicago’s


motioned me to move along.  

Ut-oh.  He was on one of those little glider/scooter things.  I put down the window and said we were moving our daughter into this building.  He didn’t care… said I was blocking traffic (?) and had to move.  I said I’d move and he thought that a great idea.  

I quickly dialed Phil and put the phone on speaker phone while it laid on my lap.  I backed out of the alley – into the 3 lanes of one-way traffic with no helpers and most of my back view blocked – and went back to the 162 alley where P & K were waiting for me.   Now what?

P & K got 2 more carts partially loaded and walked them down to the new building.  Once unloaded there, they called and summoned me.  I arrived and stopped in a tow away zone at the end of the line of parked cars while they quickly unloaded part of the truck into 2 carts.  

While they took the carts upstairs, I drove around the blocks.  (with the one-ways, it was down 2, over 1, up 2, over 1) Three times!  Again they were waiting on the sidewalk with their 2 carts and again  from the tow away zone, we quickly unloaded to the carts and I hopped back in the driver’s seat.   Now with an empty truck, I went to the 162 alley and waited. 

P & K unloaded at CB and then walked 2 blocks to meet me at 162 and devise our next plan.   I was starving, K was starving, none of us had food and we only had moved one truck load.  😦

Once again, they loaded up my truck.  This time giving me back mirror vision but filling the front seat as well.  I continued to sit.  (I actually considered going to talk to the Karl Rove protestors outside of the Chicago theater and ask what they were actually saying.  I’m sorry they showed their intelligence level by speaking into a megaphone which totally distorted anything that came out of their mouths.  Not much point would be made if no one could understand your position.)

P & K took 2 more cart loads to the CB via walking down the sidewalks.   When those carts were empty they once again called me to come.  This time they were waiting for me at the tow away zone with *4* carts!  🙂  We quickly unloaded the whole truck at one time!  K would run the carts into the CB lobby and return for another one.  And no, pushing a full post office type cart down a sidewalk, across an alley, down more sidewalk, and through 2 sets of doors is NOT easy!  And then throw in some pedestrians!  

So with my empty truck, I started making laps around the blocks.  It was 8 p.m. and the streets were not very busy.  Not many walkers to wait for in the cross walks.  Not many red lights to wait at.   I looped.  Again and again and again.  I lost count but think I did 6 laps.  Finally, they had called and were at the sidewalk!  🙂  

(They talked with security and there was a city ordinance issue with SAIC people using the alley so it is a new problem.  We have no idea how the next moving event will pan out at this point.)

They jumped in my back seat since my overnight suitcase was in the front seat by this point.  I drove around the block again but this time stopped at The Palmer House where we had a room reserved.  🙂  

K took our suitcase in to wait in the lobby while Phil & I drove to the parking garage we like to use.   K was so done walking but I was fine to walk back to the hotel 3 blocks.  Whew!

We checked in and requested a room with 2 beds.   K had forgotten her bedding until the last load and at that point it was just wadded and thrown in my truck.  Both her rooms have been loft beds and no one was interested in going back to make her a bed!  She stayed with us.  🙂

We went around the corner to Miller’s for supper at 9 p.m.  


Finally food!  🙂  


And if it matters, I really like the room re-dos that The Palmer House has done.  Sheets & beds are still wonderful but the furniture and wall paper are super!!  

In the a.m. we enjoyed the breakfast buffet downstairs.  K had received a $25 coupon and our discounted room rate from various dinners she was able to attend with the school this past year.  🙂  


So this was Friday, May 29th,

our 26th anniversary.  



After a visit for me at Blick’s (*sigh*) and dropping off our suitcase at K’s room, we headed to Chinatown.  Have you gone there via the Red Line?  I hate heights and it was SO windy when we got off the El.  Ugh!!  

china town from El

I wasn’t too thrilled with the various Chinese gift shops but was QUITE happy at the handbag knock-off store.  Yes, K could make me one.  *I* could make me one.  But these were already made.  🙂  

At the newer section to the north, we enjoyed 2 of those fruit freezes and got 2 bags of fortune cookies for he who was home working with Grandpa.  😉  


We headed back to K’s room for a break and then hopped on a bus for Old Town to the north.

DSCF3906(I said it was windy!)

 We walked the whole block around Moody Church but none of the doors were really the “front” door.  They had one door marked for counseling use during the week.  K knew of a restaurant down the block so we stopped there for a late lunch.  After waiting a long time, we each had $6 burgers and enjoyed watching the activity outside as we were across from The Second City.  

This is a cute area of town and we stopped at an outdoor plant store for a pink geranium for K’s room.  🙂 Then we got a bus to head back to K’s area.  At rush hour.  On a very busy bus route.  But we did pass MBI and that was cool for us to see.  🙂  

Back at K’s room, we all sorted and worked at finding some sense to her moving piles.  Phil put together bookcases and shoe racks, K unpacked clothes, and I got the bedding ready for the washer.  

Just before 6, K headed to the 162 building while Phil and I went to get the car. We arrived once again in the 162 alley and this time loaded 2 carts worth in the truck to come home.  However, a truck was parked there.  😦  Phil had to back out the whole alley after we had loaded up. 

We arrived home about 9 p.m. and K had gotten 2 smaller loads to her new room and the old room cleaned and finished and was doing laundry.  *sigh*

I’m hoping to put up the wonderful graduation stories and photos soon.  And then… I think life goes back to more summer normal.  🙂


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Award to K!

Miss K annouced through tears of joy on Tuesday (May 5) that she was the

2009 recipient of The Raymond Hudd Millinery Award!


Now this poster has been on an end table since K was home back in March.  I didn’t really know what it was for except that K was the model but it wasn’t her hat or her award.    It was cute.  She is my daughter.  I kept the paper. I didn’t really know anymore than that.

Until SHE won!!

She had a very full day and since I didn’t hear my phone when she tried in a stolen minute, I first heard the news via Phil.  He was crying to tell me she called crying to say she won!  Phil said, “I clarified, ‘you won?’, and she said, ‘yes!'”  🙂

wool felted hat with ribbon flowers

wool felted hat with ribbon flowers

We couldn’t be more proud!!

So at 8 p.m. finally on her way home that day, she called me and through tears told me all about the day and her award.

Her Hat class II that I’ve mentioned in other posts had the final critque on Tuesday.  In most class, there is a culmination display the student arranges for the final.

2 piece wool felted hat for another student's fashion show - note the profile on the black portion

2 piece wool felted hat for another student's fashion show - note the profile on the black portion

In her hat class, the instructor brought in 3 of those in the art world to be judges for this award.  The award was also started by this instructor in honor of Mr. Hudd, a great milliner ‘in the day’.

The judges were:

  • Richard Wetzel – huge artist from the 60’s
  • Susan Aurinko – photographer and owner of the Flat File Gallery where the students had their hat gallery a few weeks ago
  • Daniela Ortiz – led the SAIC fashion show for a couple of years

After each student had presented their display and spent time discussing with the judges, the judges deliberated.




When they returned, they started at the top of the list instead of giving out drama.   Our K had won 1st place for Best Body of Work!  The award itself is a high honor but also includes a financial benefit (which will be spent on hatmaking supplies!) and a dinner out.

coon hat & hat pin - sold at the gallery

coon hat & hat pin - sold at the gallery

After the other awards were given out, she quickly packed up her display (maybe called Dad at that time?) and was taken away for a very nice dinner with her dear hat instructor and the 3 judges.  She really enjoyed the time talking with them and had the wherewithall to ask them, “Why me?”

They said her display was the most finished.  They noticed her craftsmanship.  She said the instructor stresses that and her mom did too when she was little.  😀  Eia, the instructor, replied that all hear it but not all execute it.  🙂

K said her competition was really tough!  She was the only one who chose to use a long table and she had completely filled it.  She actually left out 2 additional hats she had with her.

(Later she learned that choosing the first place award was the easiest for them.  🙂 )

Dinner was lavish and at a restaurant where one of the judges is the party planner.  A private party with their own specially designed menus with the award name across the top.

Each person was brought their own plate of appetizers normally served to the whole table.   There were wonderful breads there and K’s entree (5 to choose from) was a pasta dish with mushrooms & bacon.   For dessert she chose a lemon meringue dessert with a cookie wafer in the top.

I love the trimmed feathers used here.

I love the trimmed feathers used here.

After the dinner & conversation, she headed to a visiting artist’s lecture and then had a night class.

Mr. Hudd is still living but he is sad that he is in a retirement center/nursing home setting.  K asked for his address and is going to write him and send some along some pictures.  I hope that brightens his day.

090502-Keturah-Hats-015203web (1)


These hat pictures are from a photo shoot K did with fellow students.  The photographer is in photography and the model is an RA friend.   The hats are a few of the ones K has made over the last 2 semesters and were just a part of the final/judging.

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K’s Celebration Day!

Today we celebrate K’s graduation from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago!   She is receiving her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree.  

K squat

Preparing for her BFA show.

We couldn’t be more proud of her accomplishments.  And mostly for completing her 4 year degree in 3 1/2 years and working at the same time!  🙂 

K doors

Summer 08 with some more old doors to add to her collection

She will stay in Chicago and be an RA this summer and finish up 6 credit hours. 

K sewing

What a young start for a fashion designer!

But she is coming home for tonight and tomorrow before heading back for more RA training.  🙂


She was the model for the ad (not her hat) and came off winning the award! More on this later.

We love you!!  

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May I introduce the letter P to you as it participated in my Monday.

Preparing pies for the party:

pie-113 crusts

pie-2Peaches, cranberries, & blueberries marinating with the sugar mix.

I forgot finished pie pictures.  You’ll understand.  Apple = 5  Peach Berry = 8

Phil is planting!  After getting 3″ of rain last week, we are thrilled he got a full day in yesterday.  Rain is due every day this week so he stays out late and gets up early on these dry days.  He is so tired!  Praying for his safety.  (Because I think the wire fence piece piercing his lip is enough for the season! He is on year 3 of his last tetanus.)

Prayed for K’s painting final critque:

watercolorThis class has gone to the Conservatory, the Zoo, and the Field Museum for painting.  Her first painting class but a major focus for the other students… tough but she did well.  

Today… praying for her Hat class final.  A huge deal, a tender heart.

And JP pruned the bushes but I don’t have a picture of that.  🙂  Trust me, they look better.

Today won’t be as fast & full as yesterday.   I don’t think.

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K has just loved her hat making classes and she has a wonderful teacher!  This semester with Headwear Design II, the students had a place to display their hats for sale in a local gallery.  


K submitted 11 hats but I can’t point them out to you in these pictures.   We have heard about most of them.  

We were thrilled she sold 2 hats from the gallery!!  Yeah!!


After a week at the gallery, there was a big closing reception.  A reporter was there for a local fashion (online) magazine at K’s invitation and 2 of K’s friends came in support of her.   Very sweet!!



I love how they suspended the hats.  A great display plus ease of fittings!


I think this must be the class.  I love that many of them had hats on for the evening event!  🙂




Another part of that week for K was the school’s Fashion Show.   She was asked by another senior student (Arushi) to design and make a hat for one of Arushia’s outfits in the show.  A HUGE DEAL!!!

This is K modeling the hat while everything is still in process, so the student could see it: 


Both hat pieces are from wool felt.  

Here you can see the back of the coat/dress has a profile which was the inspiration for the hat having the black profile of a face.fashion-show-hat-2


K got to see the dress rehearsal of the fashion show (tickets to attend the Fashion Show are quite pricey) and snapped a few pictures of the model with the whole outfit.  



K says the model has the black part back too far but she hoped they corrected that for the actual shows.  

Next week is K’s final critique week so this week has had her busy finishing more purses, more hats, and more accessories.   🙂

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Weekend Visit

K was home for roughly 31 hours this past weekend.  (Then I was gone all day Saturday for a scrapbooking day so that gave us a very short visit!)

But both kids were up early Saturday a.m. for a small shopping trip to Forreston for K, the milliner.  


’nuff said.

Dad was happy to see.  I kept my distance.  



I wanted a pix of the kids.  Got this.  

k-jp-apr-visit-2Then asked again and got this.  🙂

































She has classes this week, next week is crit week – no studio classes so they can finish their final projects, and then finals the following week.  Yeah!!  🙂

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