Friday, February 26, 2010

world's most beautiful drive

...peoria illinois' grandview drive.

if you get a chance to come to peoria, illinois you must visit this bluff drive that overlooks the illinois river. but if you can't get here anytime soon....let me give you a tour of the this grand drive. come on let's go......

here we climb the hairpin-turns hill leading up to the top of grandview drive.

when we see this sign we know we have arrived.

...when Theodore Roosevelt visited peoria, illinois on october 10, 1910, he called grandview drive the "World's Most Beautiful Drive." grandview is revered as one of the most beautiful drives in peoria because of its breathtaking views of the illinois river and the many historic and remarkable homes lining it.

grandview drive is a two and a half mile scenic road and the whole drive is part of the peoria park district. the east side of the drive is mainly park distric land with picnic areas and benches. the residential area on the west of grandview drive, opposite the river, was added to the National Register of Historic Places as an historic district in 1996.

there are few different styles of homes up here on the drive. i seem to be drawn to the stone cottage and castle-type homes.

this home was just finished over the is the newest home on the drive. notice no landscaping......yet.

there are many styles of homes.

but my favorite home on the drive is the one around this corner........

here it is close up....

in the summer the owner plants gorgeous planters of flowers on that triple balcony and they trail down the front of the home.....i think the white of the home just makes those planters pop. the home is quite different than the stone and brick homes that line the road.

most of the residents along the drive have this type of "grand view" from their front yards.

there is even a dvd available from the website about the drive.

roosevelt was quoted as saying, "I have traveled all over the world, and this is the world’s most beautiful drive." teddy you were right. we are blessed that we live so close to such a wonderful place and enjoy our walks up and down the drive. such a grand view!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

ponderisms....i can take a hint

ok...the other day i was getting massive amounts of texts and emails from my hubs. he definitely likes keeping in touch when we are apart. one of the emails was titled, "ponderisms". i think it was emailed to me because he wanted to do a blog post....hehehe. i took the subtle today's post is written by him to some degree. really it was the least i can do, after what he did for me a few days ago. you will see what i mean as you read on. here's my dear hubs with our youngest son....just a few years ago.....:)

look at those dreamy blue eyes they both have....i am so blessed to have both of their sets of steel blue eyes to look at for the rest of my life.

here are his thoughts....


I was driving in the morning and the thought hit me that any other generation before us would absolutely marvel at the way we live…

1) Getting the opportunity to operate a motorized vehicle to get to work…with a heated interior in the winter and a cooled one in the summer.

2) Being blessed with a domicile that is sealed from cold winter winds and the dry hot summer sun that contains every convenience (too many to list).

3) A plentiful and abundant food supply, oh lest I forget…fresh water (and too many other beverages to mention)

4) We are blessed with doctors, nurses, EMT’s, police, firemen, etc. that respond to our “emergencies” (whether real or contrived).

5) We have a system of government that allows us to complain about EVERYTHING mentioned above and yet, if we took the time to count our blessings we would realize…we really have nothing to complain about.

good points hubs.

and thank you for making a wish list item come true....a little sooner than i thought. glad you read my emails too.....hehehe.

and special thanks to janean at old sweetwater cottage who blogged about this flatware in a post a few weeks ago....i have been obsessed with this flatware since then. i had emailed hubs that if he wanted to get this sometime this year for us, they would make a great present for a special occasion. i really did not expect the flatware much before next christmas.....i was so surprised to get them just a few months sooner....:) really, i did want to pine for them a bit oh wells. the pattern is called napolean bee. the pattern was commissioned by napolean, himself. the silver flatware is available at neiman marcus and horchow online.

a very big thank you to my loving hubs.....for really picking up on my obsessions and delivering them with unexpected timeliness. love you can be a guest blogger any ol' time.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

simple loves and jergens

we have a simple master bath and i have a few new and old loves in it.

when we looked at this log cabin i fell in love with the many special touches that dwelled within it. this faucet in our master bath, to me, was one of the most special touches. i love how the handles look like old pump handles, but are in a modern pewter finish. i have never seen a faucet like this. it reminds me of simpler times.

and these simple textiles i found, by accident at walmart last week. don't you love going to walmart and coming out with something totally unplanned? i decided when i saw these that our masterbath needed a little update for spring. of course, that thought hadn't entered my mind before going into the store. ahhhh well.....i love how the two different textures of the shower curtain and the nubby rag rug play off each other. they are simply cotton. simple..... i love that for spring.

here they are in the look.

and finally....i absolutely love the smell of jergens lotion.....too simple, right? my grandmother always had this in the bedroom i slept in at her home. there was a glass bottle of it in the top drawer of the 1930's waterfall dresser that was next to the old iron bed that i slept on. i wonder if grandma really even used it, as it was in an out of the way room in her house. and i think that same bottle was there for years in that one little drawer. i loved opening that drawer and smelling the lotion in it with each visit. the smell of it reminds me of her home, not so much her, herself. i don't actually remember her smelling of it, but i remember the smell of that room and that drawer...... i love simple jergen's lotion.

do ya all have a certain smell that reminds you of somewhere special?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

unexpected history finds

a few weeks ago i blogged about my want for an amish scrapbooking chest and how i had to hit the road to go get it. 102 miles of road, i believe it was. the amish chest was at this little country place.... becky's barn near auburn, illinois. i followed the sign, really i did. took this pic as i was leaving...

find #1-what was interesting about this little area of illinois is that becky's barn is located on the last brick alignment of historic route 66 in illinois. the section of the road is listed on the national register of historic places. the brick portion of the road is about 1 1/4 miles long and so smooth to drive on...... for a brick road.

i drove the whole brick pavement just for fun....even tho it wasn't getting me home any sooner because it went west when i needed to go east.

...another good thing about the drive was that i found this along the way....

find #2-a restored covered bridge just south of springfield, illinois on the drive back home....another 102 fun! it was the site of the first settler's of sagamon county. the year 1817.
sagamon county is where the capital of illinois is located, springfield. it is where abraham lincoln lived and practiced law way before he was president. it is where barack obama announced his run for president. lot's of history around this area of illinois.

it was fun finding these other little history treasures while driving to get that amish scrapbooking chest. i made a total day of it, i believe.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

igloo for sale.....great for the do-it-yourselfer

partially complete igloo for sale...hehehe. my middle son, cole, started working on his new home this igloo...:). it has a waterview, as it was built on the lake. i wonder if he will get it completed before the winter thaw? there a winter thaw?

this is a pic of the builder of the igloo with his girlfriend of almost 11 months. they are both juniors in high school. are they not the cutest couple? happy valentine's day sweeties!!!!

what i love about his mom.

1. you are growing into a wonderful young man. i have one more year with you at home and it is a year that i will cherish.

2. i love that you take time with your little brother to play with him in the way 9 year old brother's appreciate, but can still hang with your older brother too.

3. i love how you are so responsible, but still have a playful heart.

4. i love how you are shy, but still are not afraid to stick up for what you believe, in a crowd.

5. i love how you hold the doors open for people when we go somewhere together.

6. i love that you would give your last dollar to help someone who needs it.

7. i love that you have so much compassion and empathy for those less fortunate.

8. i love how you decided to go out for cross country team as a junior to help yourself stay in shape, even tho you have never been a big runner.

9. i love that you have such an appreciation for music, way beyond what i could have ever given to you.

10. i love how you are not afraid or intimidated to dance in public....hehehe.

....and i really appreciate how you have made being your mother so easy....i love you and am so blessed that God picked you to be my son.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

the architect and the non-soaring entry foyer

our entry foyer. not a huge space, as in the open echoing spaces that are pretty much in every new home today. this is, after all, a log cabin kinda place. since we moved here a year ago....i have kept thinking i wanna open up this area.....make it vault way up to the roof line. but the more i have lived here, the more i have enjoyed the coziness of the log cabin. i appreciate the coziness here more than any other of our previous homes. i am not sure a soaring space is appropriate any more to our cabin. our home is not so much grand as it is warm and inviting. this home wraps itself around you. a smaller foyer just fits. it welcomes you in from the wide open country fields and woods that surround us here. a cavernous open area would not. it may not be much, but it fits us at this time in our lives.

there are a couple special things i have in the foyer right now. one is this cut glass crystal vase given to me by a dear friend many years ago, it was her grandmother's. at this time it is filled with the pussy willows brought in from outside to force 2 weeks ago. they are starting to really open now. spring.......aaaaah!

and then there is this architectural sign. it was another find, found about 10 years ago from a antique shop just east of columbia, mo. i didn't know anything about the sign when i bought it. i just liked it and knew hubby would too. when i brought it home, the human backhoe, hubby, recognized the street name on the sign as being probably from st. louis, as he had lived there for most of his life. we both did some internet research and found out that h.g. hargitt was an architect from st. louis(ding,ding,ding....hubs was right) and that he worked with glass structures during the 1904 world's fair. hargitt invented a version of the first safety glass. here's a pic of the the 23 acre palace of agriculture building from the fair. in this palace alone, there are 147,250 panes of glass, all 18 x 25 inches.

and see that phone number on the sign .....

the 4 digit phone number (forest 3439) on the sign seems to date the piece to prior to the 1905, as this is the way phone numbers were written in that era.

here's a bit of history on 4 digit phone numbers that makes me believe that this sign dates back about 100 years:

4 digit phone numbers like “1244 Main” lasted until dial phones happened in the 1920's. those with the exchange first, such as this sign's, were used before 1905 or so. to make a call you would pick up and talk to an operator who would connect you to the exchange.

it was so amazing to research and learn the history surrounding this piece. i am assuming this sign was displayed somewhere in st. louis around about the early 1900's. quite a find by a history buff like me. and to think i bought the piece just because i liked it, but now i love knowing a bit about the history of the sign. and i love my cozy, warm, inviting, non-soaring entry foyer that has a bit of history in it.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

amish chest for organizing

amish chest made it 102 miles and up a couple flights of stairs to the craft to start filling it with the looks of this pic i need to learn to sew.

on another note,
apparently my blog is having some issues......still working on the problem....apparently some are getting through to the blog without problems and others are getting thrown to other sites. if anyone has any ideas to help, i am open to them....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

paper mache bunnies

Many have contacted me to explain the process of making these. The blog I originally linked to is no longer up and running. So to better see how these are made please refer to this post on the crafty sisters blog. It should give you the fundamentals of the process.

     The bunnies just out of candy molds. Still to be trimmed and sanded down on their edges. 

i found these pastel chalks to highlight a few areas on the bunny with some spring colors. they are a beautiful pearlescent. i wanted a very fine white glitter to apply to the bunnies.....what i found was tulip fabric glitter...very fine. i just used regular elmer's glue spread thinly with my finger to adhere the glitter.

Polka dot pastel bow added. 

Thursday, February 4, 2010

yellow velvet roadside freebie

driving back to sweetwater bend today from the amish scrapbooking road adventure.....i found this at the curbside of an unknown neighbor just waiting for trash pickup. actually though, i drove home and then went back for it....:) i am sure ya all have done the same thing at one time or another, right?

needs some tweaking, but is in great shape overall.

i like the layers of different textures of the frame. it's made of solid wood except for the yellow velvet. yellow velvet? not sure about this part of the frame....should i keep or not?...gotta ponder a bit on this one. other than the velvet, the rest of it will be painted. just not sure how to handle the velvet thing.....hmmmmmm.

linking to

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

would you travel 102 miles just for this?.... an amish scrapbooking chest

found this piece online at an antiques barn that is just that far away from sweetwater bend. it is described as an amish scrapbooking chest. seems like it would be a great piece for cheap and unique storage.

i am not a scrapbooking kinda gal....i am not a scrapbooking kinda gal....oh but how i love this piece. i can only imagine what i could store in it. and how sweet it would look with typewriter-style lettered labels or little chalkboard paint labels.

i have an itching for a road trip tomorrow...yikes!!!!

2/4...edited to add.......i took the roadtrip!!!! and it was so worth it...maybe not as big a bargain when factoring gas....hehehe. i cannot wait to add this piece to our hobby room.

linking to ....

Monday, February 1, 2010

forcing in feb

we hit over 30 degrees today!!!! i was so psyched that i went for a 5 mile walk/run in my carhartts and tennis shoes....hehehe. when i think of carhartts i always imagine a big burly guy wearing work boots....not a tall girl in tennis shoes....:)

since it is the first of feb and i am itching for outdoor activity, like everyone else, i headed out to the garden to cut some stems for forcing. i was amazed that several shrubs look like they could burst into bloom if given a couple of days of #1 sun(just haven't seen it much the past month) and #2 just a teeny bit of warmness. here's a few of the shrubs that looked good for forcing.

1. purple sand cherry.....hard to see buds in this pic. i hate to say it but this isn't one of my favorite bushes. ok...really didn't hate saying was already here when we moved in tho....ugh! if it wasn't in an out of the way spot it would have been long gone. we'll see how it does with forcing.....must have at least one good saving grace, right?

btw.....see all those scratch marks on the back of the human backhoe's garage wall? never noticed them til this pic. looks like this stinker of a bush is planted way too close to that wall and is vandalizing the garage. it really does need to go!

2. weeping pussy love this plant! planted right by our mailbox so i can see the first signs of spring immediately. this little guy has a few buds just beginning to open already. you can see them if you look real hard......:)

3. my favorite early blooming magnolia....the star magnolia. just stunning when in bloom. these buds look like they are gonna burst anyday....but that isn't gonna happen for at least another 6 weeks.

let the forcing begin.....wrapped in plastic and headed to the cool basement. forcing works best in 50-60 degree temps and indirect light. also added some bleach and flower food to the warm water in the vase. should be ready to display around valentine's day.

here's a pic from hope to be making something similar in next week or so.

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living the log home life...........
thanks for visiting.