Tag Archives: parents

Our Thanksgiving 2014

thanksgiving table 2014, centerpieceAnother Thanksgiving is in the books and the world (and our apartment) is moving on to Christmas. As usual, Naoto whipped up a delicious meal and my mom made a yummy spiced apple cheesecake for dessert. thanksgiving table 2014, table setting, yellow owl workshop placecard stampI wasn’t feeling especially inspired, so I set a simple table this year. I crafted a “centerpiece” from a turkey on a stack of books and some candles, similar to last year’s table. I used some thrifted paper turkey napkin rings and I made place cards with my Yellow Owl Workshop place card stamp. yellow owl workshop place card activity kit, thanksgiving placards, embossedI embossed the stamp in copper and typed our names. Simple…and with a table of four, it is really important that everyone can find a spot at the table! thanksgiving 2014, my mealIt was a delicious, relaxing day…I feel like Thanksgiving is the end of the calm part of the year, maybe that’s why it’s my favorite.

How was your holiday weekend?

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Cherry Mash Candy

Cherry Mash Candy, Chase Candy, St. Joseph, MOI love a good consumable souvenir. Whenever I’m traveling, I like to stop into grocery stores to see if there are any locally-made snacks or sweets to take home. (This is how I discovered the deliciousness of Canada’s potato chips!) Finding treats in the grocery store is a lot more budget-friendly than buying them at the airport or souvenir shops, plus there are sometimes hidden gems that aren’t in those souvenir shops.

While we were in Missouri, we stopped at WalMart to pick up something. (Full disclosure: We went to pick up a bottle of whiskey–whiskey that was made in Missouri, but not delicious enough to make the cut as a souvenir. Actually it was terrible.) At the check-out I spotted this fantastic vintage candy, Chase’s Cherry Mash. Cherry Mash has been made in St. Joseph, Missouri since 1918. (St. Joseph is about an hour away from Hamilton.) I bought one to try and then went back the next night to buy a few more. Cherry Mash Candy, Chase Candy, St. Joseph, MOThe Cherry Mash is made with crushed maraschino cherries, blended into a creamy center and coated with chocolate and chopped peanuts. There are a few videos of the process here.Cherry Mash Candy, Chase Candy, St. Joseph, MOI love maraschino cherries (even the bright red ones that are swimming in red dye) so I think the Cherry Mash is delicious. Because it is so sweet, it’s a shareable portion, but I promise not to judge if you eat the whole thing! I love a good, vintage candy and this one fits the bill perfectly!

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Missouri Star Quilt Company

 

Missouri Star quilts, Hamilton, MOVisiting the Missouri Star Quilt Company made me want to rush home and cut up the fabric I bought for a quilt a few years ago. It also made me want to buy more fabric…which I did. We only visited the main shop and the seasonal fabric shop but Missouri Star has eight stores in Hamilton devoted to quilting. Missouri Star quilts, Hamilton, MOAs usual, I regret not taking more pictures. There were aisles and aisles of fabric to choose from in the main store. I had a hard time not going overboard…I figured since I haven’t actually started making a quilt, I should resist buying every single fabric that caught my eye! (Besides, Missouri Star has an online store, so really, I can shop anytime!)fabric from Missouri Star Quilt COI chose a two patterns to add to my future quilt (the grey and yellow ones) and the forest animals one to make a pillow cover. Christmas fabric from Missouri Star Quilt COAt Sew Seasonal, the holiday fabric store, I found a Scandanavian-style fabric and some coordinating red dots. Missouri Star quilts, Hamilton, MOMissouri Star has opened the doors for more business opportunity in Hamilton. There is a new fancy restaurant in town, Blue Sage, which I didn’t have a chance to try but there is a burger place and a bakery that were both quite tasty. It would be easy to make a day of fabric shopping in Hamilton! Missouri Star quilts, Hamilton, MO

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JC Penney Museum

JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MOOne of our first stops while we were exploring Hamilton was the J.C. Penney Museum. The museum is part of the local library and is filled with items used by J.C. Penney personally as well as in his first stores. There is a wax figure of Penney himself anchoring the exhibit…it was a little alarming at first, but he felt like an old friend by the end. JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MO JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MO JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MO JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MOSome of my favorite items in the museum were the office supplies–so many fantastic rubber stamps and little notebooks and handbooks. JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MOJC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MOAnd there was a tricky looking calculator and a gorgeous Underwood typewriter. Swoon!JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MO I love this picture from the JC Penney Golden Jubilee Convention in 1952. It was held at the Edgewater Beach Hotel in Chicago and it looks like it was a fabulous event! JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MOBrannock devices and other shoe-selling tools make me miss good customer service in the shoe departments of today. JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MOThis is a plate that was made for J.C. Penney’s eightieth birthday. Isn’t James Cash a terrific name?JC Penney Museum, Hamilton, MOAh, catalogs…so good for browsing, so bad for the environment.

I didn’t do any research before we went to the museum, but J.C. Penney’s desk is in the museum and unlike most museums, you are invited to sit in his chair. I’m bummed that I learned this after we left and the museum closed. We did thumb through the catalogs though. There was no one working in the museum, so when it came time to buy postcards (which were only 10¢ each!) I took them into the library side to pay for them. I love how quaint and laid-back it was!roadtrip to Hamilton, MO roadtrip to Hamilton, MOA few blocks down the main road is the J.C. Penney childhood home. It isn’t open for touring and it’s not in its original location (Penney grew up just outside of town in the countryside.) In the 80s it was saved from being torn down and moved into town and renovated. It sits among the businesses downtown Hamilton, a charming reminder of the man himself.

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Road Trip to Hamilton, MO

roadtrip to Hamilton, MOOver the weekend, I took a road trip with my parents. We drove to visit my grandfather in Hamilton, Missouri, a town of 1800 people about an hour away from Kansas City. In between visits to the nursing home, my dad and I adventured about the town, which has a surprising amount to do for its size. roadtrip to Hamilton, MOHamilton is the home of JC Penney, the man who founded the department store by the same name in 1902. There’s a quaint little museum devoted to JC Penney in the local library and Penney’s childhood home sits in the center of town. Until the 1980s, there was a Penney’s store in Hamilton. Quilting is a huge business here, too. The Missouri Star Quilt Company (seen in the top photo) opened in 2008 and now it is widely known around the country as a great place to go for fabric and quilting supplies. I first heard about Missouri Star in this NBC Nightly News broadcast, so I was interested to go and check it out. Hamilton is only a few blocks long and there are seven quilt shops in town. It’s pretty amazing. (I’ll talk about both the museum and the quilt shops this week!) roadtrip to Hamilton, MO roadtrip to Hamilton, MOOf course I made time for mail! I wrote out postcards at a little bakery (Poppy’s) and at the nursing home.roadtrip to Hamilton, MOThe trip was bittersweet but I’m glad we went. It was good to see my grandpa and to experience the town he’s lived in almost his whole life.

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Happy Birthday, Mom!

mom & naoto at our wedding…and many more!

P.S. The fact that I had to dig out an old wedding photo just shows that I don’t have enough pictures of you!

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From the Attic: Vintage Game Birds Shot Glasses

Anchor Hocking Bird Shot Glasses When my parents visited, they brought me an attic treasure–these vintage Anchor Hocking shot glasses. The glasses were wedding gifts from 1972! Anchor Hocking Bird Shot Glasses They still have their original box, and aside from being a little dusty from the attic, they are in tip top shape. Anchor Hocking Bird Shot Glasses Even their gilded rims are perfect! (Seriously, Dad. Did you even use these?)

Naoto and I aren’t big shot drinkers (well, not since the crazy days of our youth anyway.) And I use this Anchor Hocking measuring glass for my cocktail mixing. (It’s practically the perfect size for measuring the ingredients for one or a batch of cocktails.) But I’m thinking we could use these for after-dinner limoncellos or sips of other liqueurs. I’m excited to have them as part of the bar collection.

Thanks Mom & Dad!

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Rural King Popcorn Bag Becomes Envelope

Rural King popcornThe last time I visited Rural King with my parents, I accidentally dropped an unused popcorn bag on the floor. Instead of adding it back to the stack for another person to use, I kept it for mail art. One of my pen pals, Shannan visits the LaSalle/Peru area from time to time, so I thought maybe she’d get a kick out of some Rural King mail. Rural King popcorn bag mail art, 2I wrote my note on a 5×7 inch card and taped the bag closed with a couple of layers of washi tape. I think the actual “envelope” ended up being around 5×8 inches. (Maximum dimensions for a letter are 6 1/8 x 11 1/2 inches, according to the USPS website.)

Simple and quick, and full of Central Illinois charm, right?

Have a good weekend! Speaking of my parents, they are coming up tomorrow and my dad is going to help us hang a cabinet in our bathroom. Yay!

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Postcards from Okaasan

postcards from okaasanMany years ago, Naoto’s mom sent us a couple of postcards. First the one on the left, and months later, the one on the right arrived. Naoto explained that doing colored pencil-by-number was a hobby of his mom’s. These are postcards that she had colored. I was so impressed. They were so good that they almost looked printed, especially the fruits on the right. I kept them in a little drawer and when we moved, I put them in frames and hung them in the kitchen. (You can see them hanging in this post about the kitchen.) When I met Okaasan back in 2010, I enjoyed listening to her talk about her colored pencils. At that time, she had won an award for her skills and she was really excited about her hobby.

Two weeks ago, Naoto’s mom passed away. It was very sudden and it took us by surprise. Naoto was back in Japan all last week to handle the arrangements and attend the funeral services. (I stayed behind. It just made sense logistically and financially for him to go alone.) He got back on Monday and we are slowly getting back into our routine here at home and at work. We are beyond grateful that he got to spend so much time with her when we visited in March. But obviously it is a very sad time. postcards from okaasanWhen they were cleaning out her apartment, Naoto and his sisters found this postcard book of cats that his mom had colored. They decided I should have it, which was really touching. The original postcard is on the left (or top in some cases) and the postcard Naoto’s mom colored is on the right (or bottom). Both postcards are perforated so you can tear them out and mail them. Here are a few of the pages. postcards from okaasan postcards from okaasan postcards from okaasan postcards from okaasan postcards from okaasanAren’t they beautiful? We haven’t decided yet if we are going to keep the entire collection in tact or if we are going to choose a few to frame. Either way, it’s just nice to have a little piece of her here at home.

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Happy Mother’s Day

blue skies in springHappy Mother’s Day to all of the moms out there, especially my own!

xo

(This picture was taken yesterday from our balcony. The trees are finally getting leafy!!

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