trains, type and textures

by rae on October 15, 2014

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sunday we spent the day at the Illinois Railway Museum outside of Union, IL. It is between Madison and Chicago. It was a perfect Fall day and I was there with 3 generations of Ganahl men. Jackson who is 3 is train-crazy. We even got to take a 40 minute ride on an electric, passenger train. Alex who is 1 appeared to like it too, he gave Grandma a fist bump.

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Lots of cool signage and typography. There was something for everyone which makes this such a great place. We were there for 4 hours and walked over 3 miles and did not see everything.

 

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Who knew? I didn’t. Lots and lots of interesting signs that we wanted to read. Maybe next time.

 

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As the guys were climbing on trains I slipped away to take photos of rusty stuff. As I said, something for everyone.

Here is what Wikipedia has to say: The museum was founded in 1953 by ten individuals (one of the founders was Howard Odinius from Milwaukee) who joined together to purchase Indiana Railroad interurban car 65.

Originally called the Illinois Electric Railway Museum, the name was changed to IRM in 1961 to reflect the museum’s expanding scope. The museum was initially located on the grounds of the Chicago Hardware Foundry in North Chicago, Illinois. In 1964 the museum’s entire collection was relocated to Union along the former right-of-way of the Elgin & Belvidere interurban. Two years later, operations were begun using Illinois Terminal interurban car 415, and in 1967 the first steam engine was operated. The first storage barn was erected in 1971. In 1981 a one-mile (1.6 km) streetcar loop was constructed. A 4.9-mile (7.9 km) railroad line was built during the 1980s and early 1990s.

The museum’s operations are primarily concentrated around its main campus just east of Union, Illinois. Train rides are offered on the main line as well as the streetcar loop. Electric trains are operated from April through October, and diesel and steam trains from the beginning of May through the end of September. Trolley bus operations occur the first Saturdays of June, July, September and October. IRM is one of only two railway museums in the country that operates both electric and diesel trains. It is the only museum that offers trolley bus rides.

It was pretty much a perfect day. And we were amazed that so few people were there, probably because it is late in the year. I can recommend this outing. In fact I could go back several more times. Next time I’ll take a real camera.

 

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giveaway…

by rae on September 23, 2014

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Fall is here… yes it is. And it seems time for a giveaway. Since we all know what follows Fall the giveaway is a collection of 20 Holiday Cards.

To enter go to here and LIKE or SHARE the Facebook post. Plz leave a comment so I can find you. Happy Fall!

 

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nautical doodles & christmas

by rae on September 16, 2014

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September font specials! The new Nautical Doodles and Christmas fonts, 50% off. Yes… it is time to think Christmas. All those holiday invitations, cards and newsletters are just around the corner. Yes they are.

 

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a few new house things

by rae on September 11, 2014

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we plan to take a  vacation next month and stay home and do condo things. Like stain the deck, wash windows, basically winterize. Also seemed like it was time to spiff up the main living area. I got this new rug at Crate and Barrel. Nice Summery thin rug for my office space.

 

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I’ve wanted a new clock ever since we moved in. Love this one. Especially after John figured out how to stop the tick-tock sound that sounded just like dripping water. I could hear this from my desk and it got so bad one day that I taped things to the back of the clock to muffle the sound. Love this tall element. It anchors the seating area which is part of an open space. This came from the Touch of Modern website. I am pleased with several things I have gotten from them. But you wait forever and ever, shipping is really slow.

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These darling salt & pepper birds are from West Elm and are even on sale! They work with my mid-Century look.

I seem to be going back to a black and white, charcoal, cream, non-color kind of house look. No purple, no lime, very little blue…. it’s all good.

Soon it is time to edit the house for Fall & Winter. I go room by room and put away things that are sitting out that should not be. Try to get as visually clean as possible because in a few short months out will come a carefully edited group of Christmas decorations. Summer rugs go away and heavier Winter ones come out. The large Norfolk pine will need to find a home indoors again. We get cozier then. And while it does feel good it is hard to watch the days get shorter and colder.

 

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If you don’t know about Mighty Deals you should. Amazing deals for web and graphic designers. You can sign up and get the daily deal emails.

 

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Outside the Line has a big deal on Mighty Deals. Oodles of doodles at a fab price. For less than the price of one font you get 6. Yup, you read that right. Short time and ONLY on the Mighty Deals site. Check it out here.

 

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new office supplies…

by rae on August 26, 2014

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I adore new office supplies. New books, new pens and pencils. Whatever. I finally broke down and ordered these pencils because I am such a fan of type designer extraordinaire Louise Fili. And I don’t even like pencils. I must say these do glide across the paper rather nicely.

Legendary designer Louise Fili brings her love of vintage packaging and all things Italian to this collection of beautiful pencils. Housed in a sturdy lidded case, Perfetto Pencils features twelve double-sided, two-color pencils that showcase Fili’s unique ability to capture the bygone elegance of our design heritage.

 

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And then there is paper. I do like this unusual notebook. I got it to keep track of words and phrases. Hopefully that will make me be a better writer. Many different pages to write on grids, dots, lines. Other interesting pages like Alpha Bravo Charlie, braille, Morse code etc.

Map out graphs, schematics, sketches, and dreams with this sleek and durable workbook. Inspired by vintage laboratory notebooks, Grids & Guides features 144 pages of graph paper (eight designs repeating throughout) interspersed with a multitude of scientific charts, tables, and infographics featuring everything from the periodic table to alternative alphabets to Newton’s Laws of Motion. This journal is the perfect tool for right-brainers and left-brainers alike.

 

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Last but not least… a little pop up light studio. Tiny for tiny things. I think I am going to be pleased with this. My office space is small with little storage. It has a little strip of LED lights. I did a little test run and was pleased. For larger things I use my white table top and wait for a sunny day.

If anyone is interest links to products are below. Enjoy!

 

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organizing… and DIY

by rae on August 18, 2014

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Always more organizing. I don’t seem to wear my jewelry because it is in a drawer. I had this nice bulletin board and decided to put it to good use. Now if I could just tackle my closets… and desk drawers… oh and the kitchen cabinets. Oh well, it is a start.

This bulletin board was made by my very creative friend Justine of Vintage Hearts. But you could do it yourself. Find an old decorative frame you like. Cut a piece of cork board to fit. This one is covered in a pretty piece of sage velvet. And you are done. This now hangs in my bathroom where I get ready. Easier to add an accessory when I can see them.

 

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summer reading…

by rae on August 11, 2014

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summer is slipping away. Like everyone else I am trying to pack it all in. I am trying to spend time on the deck reading.

A friend read this book and ordered it for me as a surprise. Always love a box from Amazon. I really enjoyed this almost 800 page book. Hard to put down. And now I am sorry I’ve read it all.

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind….Donna Tartt has delivered an extraordinary work of fiction.”–Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review

Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don’t know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his longing for his mother, he clings to the one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

As an adult, Theo moves silkily between the drawing rooms of the rich and the dusty labyrinth of an antiques store where he works. He is alienated and in love–and at the center of a narrowing, ever more dangerous circle.

The Goldfinch is a mesmerizing, stay-up-all-night and tell-all-your-friends triumph, an old-fashioned story of loss and obsession, survival and self-invention, and the ruthless machinations of fate. —Amazon

For some reason I have never read this book. It has been around for 25 years. And I found it in our Little Library. So it is time.

One of the most important and influential books written in the past half-century, Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a powerful, moving, and penetrating examination of how we live . . . and a breathtaking meditation on how to live better. Here is the book that transformed a generation: an unforgettable narration of a summer motorcycle trip across America’s Northwest, undertaken by a father and his young son. A story of love and fear — of growth, discovery, and acceptance — that becomes a profound personal and philosophical odyssey into life’s fundamental questions, this uniquely exhilarating modern classic is both touching and transcendent, resonant with the myriad confusions of existence . . . and the small, essential triumphs that propel us forward.

Adore this illustrator. For me this is sort of a picture book. Illustrations or photos and some text. This is going to be a good car book. And also found this in our Little Library!

Maira Kalman paints her highly personal worldview in this inimitable combination of image and text

An irresistible invitation to experience life through a beloved artist?s psyche, The Principles of Uncertainty is a compilation of Maira Kalman?s New York Times columns. Part personal narrative, part documentary, part travelogue, part chapbook, and all Kalman, these brilliant, whimsical paintings, ideas, and images?which initially appear random?ultimately form an intricately interconnected worldview, an idiosyncratic inner monologue.

Another good car book. And one of a stack of embroidery books I’ve ordered as I learn more about contemporary embroidery design.

Hoopla, by the co-author of 2009′s bestselling Yarn Bombing: The Art of Crochet and Knit Graffiti, showcases those who take the craft of embroidery where it’s never gone before, in an astonishing, full-color display of embroidered art. Hoopla rebels against the quaint and familiar embroidery motifs of flowers and swashes, and focuses instead on innovative stitch artists who specialize in unusual, guerrilla-style patterns such as a mythical jackalope and needlepoint nipple doilies; it demonstrates that modern embroidery artists are as sharp as the needles with which they work.

If you are interested in any of these great books here are some links. And find some time to read on the deck!

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i don’t journal but I have started this little memory book. It is the perfect way to keep track of my life, day by day. The 365 daily entries appear five times on each page. So 4 years from now when I make my entry I can see what I was doing on this day for the last 5 years. I like that.

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So far I am really enjoying doing this. It is not too great a commitment  and I can record my Fitbit steps as well as how high the lake is getting. Link below for anyone who is interested. It makes a nice little gift too.

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office with a view…

by rae on July 28, 2014

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Recently my office was the Sunday Favorite Space feature. I like to see where creative people work. In case you do too here is the link.

 

 

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