Sunday, April 28, 2013

Chicago - part 1

Caught an early afternoon flight out of Edmonton on Monday, April 15, to Toronto then on to Chicago. Since I didn't have a workshop until Thursday night, was probably not necessary to go so early but with all the problems with rain in Chicago mid-week, ended up being very glad I had left so early and didn't end up being grounded by the weather as so many others did. I just missed the Marriott Shuttle so had to wait for the next one. Tina had arrived earlier in the day and was already settled in our room.

When I arrived was devastated to hear about the terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon.

Tuesday, April 16
Five of us had an early breakfast then Erika, Lucille and Lauretta went to workshops and Lauretta lent us her car and Tina and I went sightseeing.

First stop was the Museum of Science and Industry to see Colleen Moore's Fairy Castle. None of the pictures I had seen of it gave me any idea of the sheer size of it! It's 8' 7" x 8' 2" x 7' 7". We walked around it twice listening to the informational tapes then I picked up the book Within the Fairy Castle at the gift shop so I could really see all the details and enjoy it again and again.

Then we went to the Art Institute of Chicago to see the Thorne Rooms. (Interesting note: There is no public parking available - except ONE handicapped parking stall. But there is valet parking available at a  fairly reasonable cost.)

The rooms are  incredible! One of the most interesting aspects (to my mind) is that they are not lit per se but all light comes from side windows and doors. Another thing that I noted that I'm going to try at some point is the way some of the side areas are done. You know how we sometimes have a window in a scene with a picture behind the window...and sometimes leave a space between the window and the picture to give it depth....some of these have the picture then a cut out of some portions of the picture set in front - like paper tole but with more space between the sections.

Once again, I bought the book which gives much more in-depth information about the rooms so I can study them at greater depth. My only disappointment with the book was that it doesn't show many pictures of the views through the windows and doors.

Last stop on the tour was the American Science and Surplus store. I had been SO excited about finally getting to this store. They don't ship to Canada so I've often drooled over their offerings. So I don't know if I just wasn't in the mood (or maybe I was just thinking I don't need anything more in my stash???) but I only spent $10 here.

I bought four of these sorting/storage trays, the tin funnel (don't know why I got that but it just appealed to me), two pair of scissors, 2 pieces of sandstone (maybe I'll make some sandstone carvings one day), and some great pieces of thin (about 1/32" thick) glass: four about 4" x 4" and four about 2" x 2" that will make wonderful table tops if they survive the trip home.

After we got back to the hotel, the five of us went for dinner at Carlucci's at the Marriott Suites.

Then early to bed.

Wednesday, April 17

This was a lazy day. Friend Adrian Cooper from Ontario was in Tina's Phoenix class so seeked her out to say hello.

Had the hotel's chicken soup for lunch - no match for Swiss Chalet soup!

Show and Tell:

Tina's Phoenix from the Mike Barbour class

Tina's 1:48 sewing shop class

Tina's marquetry chest from the Pete and Pam Boornum class

Lauretta's gypsy wagon, horse (white) and dolls. Brown horse is Lucille's.
Thursday, April 18

Tina and Lucille had workshops on Thursday so Lauretta, Erike and I went to Lolly's Miniatures in Elgin. Beautiful shop where I picked up a few things.

Got these great polymer  pieces for a friend's toy shop.

Picked up these for Vern's attic...
Back into Chicago to the Woodfield Mall where we went to the Brain Store and found nanoblocks but only the Space Shuttle set which I didn't particularly want. (More about these later.)

Had a great late lunch at P J Changs

Chopsticks are always good for the stash! But these straws are particularly great! It's unusual to find clear straws in clear packaging. The clear packaging can be cut into short strips (about 5/8"), filled with dried sweet pepper seeds (potato chips), and heat sealed from both ends for packages of potato chips.

Back to the hotel where Erika and Lucille were taking a felting class and I was taking a jeweller's saw class from Diana Almeyda

Had thought I'd have more time to discuss this but spent a lot of time on the phone with family tonight will continue tomorrow....


  1. Welcome home Maureen! So glad that you had a marvelous time in Chicago! It is such a treat to hear about the sight-seeing 'mini style' that you were able to do! It is funny though to learn that you are as excited about the sleeves of the clear plastic straws as you are about the classes that you took! haha! Isn't that just the way it is with us and our 'mini' eyes. Thanks for the journaling of your trip. It has been fun!


  2. Sounds like a fun time. That science store sounds very interesting. The tiny funnel will come in handy (I often get in trouble from my boyfriend because I borrow his car workshop ones!!!) The phoenix is fabulous. Thanks for the tips about the plastic straws...I have to admit, I got excited when I went to a fast food shop when I saw they had clear ones also. They are very hard to find....most are coloured.