Tag Archives: chicago

You Will Do Better In Toledo

Home is a place you grow up wanting to leave and grow old wanting to get back. — John Ed Pearce

Toledo Ohio Skyline

Home sweet home.

Wow. The last time I shared something with you was back in August of 2010? That’s unacceptable. I do I have my reasons, however. Well, one HUGE reason and a couple of smaller ones. After spending a little over two years in The City of Big Shoulders, I packed up the dogs and moved back to good ol’ Toledo.

Chicago wasn’t done with me. Over the last six months, the husband and I have lived in two different states while he looked for employment here in Toledo. There were a lot of four hour road trips back and forth on I-80/I-90 through all kinds of weather (rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, etc.). I am happy to share that the husband and I are once again cohabitating under the same roof. And I am once again eating like an adult (no more mac and cheese from a box or Trader Joe’s O’s for this girl). I lucked out in the “husband loves to cook” department.

Do I miss Chicago? Yes. However, the city was kind enough to send me a going away present. Back in November, I received a bright orange ticket in the mail for a parking violation that took place in December ’10. Thanks, Chicago Department of Revenue!

Even though I miss Chicago, I am happy to be back in Ohio. I was one of those kids who couldn’t wait to get the hell out of dodge and move far, far away from home. “Anything has got to be better than here,” I would tell myself. Growing up surrounded by cornfields, cows and farm equipment can do that to you. Living amongst the hustle and  bustle of a major metropolis made me realize just what a gem this corner of Ohio truly is.

I am proud to call myself a Toledoan. I appreciate my blue collar upbringing. I love being a Midwestern and an advocate for the Rust Belt.

So what does all of this have to do with the blog? This move has effected the nature and purpose of Sirius B Studio. SBS was originally intended to showcase my crafting projects. Eventually a split happened. During my blog hiatus, I spent a lot of time knitting and designing. This led to the development of Little Hound Designs.

Going forward, I am envisioning this digital space as a venue to support and feature artisans in the Northwest Ohio/Southeast Michigan area. My other hope is that something physical will manifest from all this. My dream? An space that offers the creative community of Toledo a haven to develop their work and hone their craft, much like the Russell Industrial Center in Detroit.

So there you have it. A not-so tiny update on where I have been. What about you? Have you ever moved away only to find yourself back where you started? Were you happy or sad about that? Would you be interested in having your work showcased here at Sirius B Studio?

And more importantly, where were you when Snowpocalypse 2011 happened? I was getting my hair cut. The husband was smack dab in the middle of it in Chicago. His pictures of the aftermath are all kinds of awesomesauce.

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Two Pitties In the City

Over the summer, the amount of content that is delivered to me via Google Reader has tripled. Maybe quadrupled. Pretty scientific, huh? It’s an assortment of reflections, photos, recipes, tutorials, news. Basically, it’s as spastic and eclectic as I am.

There are a handful of blogs that when something new from them pops up in my reader, I get giddy. One of them is a little blog called Two Pitties In the City. If you know me in real life, you know I am an unabashed pit bull lover and advocate. Two Pitties is about, well, two large (and can I say adorable?), “pit bull” type dogs called Ms. M and Mr. B. The posts encompass a variety of topics: having large dogs in a very urban environment (ie — small living spaces with no yards), overcoming breed discrimination, the sites, sound and smells they encounter during their walks in west Chicago and more. Mr. B even takes photos that he shares with his readers. It’s light, entertaining and informative reading.

So if you’re looking for something new to read on the interwebs, I can’t recommend Two Pitties In the City enough.

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We Prefer Beaches Without Sharks

We Prefer Beaches Without Sharks

It's obvious we share the same DNA, isn't it?

The waves might be smaller (and the water a hell of a lot colder) but the beaches along Lake Michigan are a great way to spend a Saturday morning. What makes the trip even more fun is getting to pass the time with good people. Visits to the beach at Foster Avenue have become a tradition whenever my sisters travel to Chicago in the summer. It’s a relatively quiet spot and a small section of the beach is allocated as a dog friendly area.

Some people read at the beach (like my husband). Some people spend 45 minutes trying to figure out how to hang a volleyball net (like the four frat boys who, upon finally figuring it out, quit playing after five minutes of volleying). Others like to talk way to loud on their cell phone about things you shouldn’t really talk out loud about in public. Trust me, you don’t want to know about the conversations my sisters overheard while laying out. I like to put my ear buds in and tune the rest of the world out while soaking in the rays. Don’t worry, I use an SPF 478 sun block. I’ve worked hard to stay this pale.

Here is a playlist of songs I’ve been coming back to over and over again this summer.

Belle and Sebastian — Another Sunny Day — The Life Pursuit
David Bowie — Sound and Vision — Low
Built to Spill — Big DipperThere’s Nothing Wrong with Love
Camera Obscura — French NavyMy Maudlin Career
The Flaming Lips — When You SmileClouds Taste Metallic
The Head and the Heart — Lost In My MindThe Head and the Heart
The Local Natives — Cubism DreamGorilla Manor
Mndr – “I Go Away” – E.P.E.
Owen Pallet — Tryst with MephistophelesHeartland
Pavement — Summer BabeSlanted and Enchanted
The Temper Trap — Sweet DispositionConditions

So tell me, do you have any summer traditions? What strange behaviors have you observed at the beach? Do you have any summer tunes you’d like to recommend?

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Homeward Bound

I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again. — Stephen Grellet.

You know those days where nothing seems to go right — that everything and anything that could go wrong does? Welcome to my week this past week. Well, life has a way of smacking some perspective into you. It happened on my drive home from work yesterday.

The intersection of Western Avenue and Logan Boulevard is situated beneath the I-90/I-94 overpass. Because of the location, it is not uncommon to encounter an assortment of drifters and down-on-their-luck types. The entire drive home, I was occupied with throwing myself  pity party. I was two cars back from the light when I saw them: a man, close to my age, and his little dog, a boston terrier. They looked like they could easily blend in with our group of friends — something about the shaggy beard, worn out skate shoes, the nose piercing. The light turned green, I turned left and watched them grow smaller in my rear view mirror.

I needed to go back. I hurried into our apartment and released the pooches from their crates. I quickly made a couple sandwiches. I washed and dried a container of cherry tomatoes and one that contained some blueberries. I emptied a box of granola bars into the empty plastic grocery bag. “Don’t forget the dog,” I told myself. I added a Gladware container full of dog food as well as a Ziplock bag full of treats to the stash. I threw in a couple of cold cans of Pepsi, wishing I hadn’t finished off the last of our Gatorade this week.

I drove back to the intersection. They were gone. In the fifteen minutes since I had last seen them, they disappeared. I drove up and down Western. I couldn’t find them. Jeff arrived home from work just as I was parking the car in the garage. We met inside and could barely tell him what happened I was crying so hard. I had failed.

The image of those two is still with me today. We had a series of nasty thunderstorms this morning which woke me from my sleep. My first thoughts were of them — hoping they were some place safe, some place dry. It’s suppose to hit 86° F today here in Chicagoland. The heat can be lethal for a short snouted breed like boston terriers. I hope they found a cool place to rest. I like to think another good samaritan reached them before I returned to the intersection and hopefully they are a bit closer to home, wherever that may be.

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Take Me Out to the Ballgame

I’m taking a mini break from work to share some exciting news. I just received an email from Jeff. He was able to score a couple tickets to tonight’s Cubs game. That’s right – I’m heading to Wrigley Field this evening for my very first Cubs game. What a great way to kick off our mini vacation! Hopefully this is what the iconic Wrigley Field sign will flash at the end of tonight’s game:

Cubs Win!

Back to work now…

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Ninety Seven Days

Yes. It’s been ninety-seven days since my last post. Unacceptable, I know. And I really don’t have a good reason or excuse to explain away my absence. There were/are some big changes going on at the office which have taken up a lot of my time. Unfortunately, postings will continue to be sporadic over the summer months. With work, a couple of weddings out-of-state and (fingers crossed!) a couple big life changes in the works, it will be hard to squeeze in as many posts as I would like.

To make it up to you, I’m giving away a few images (designed by yours truly) that can be tiled for your desktop, Twitter background, etc.

Vintage Thermos

Vintage Thermos

Porch Swing

Porch Swing

Picnic Blanket

Picnic Blanket

These patterns were inspired by one of my favorite summer activities in Chicago.  Most Monday evenings, Jeff and I head down to Millenium Park with a bag full of snacks, a blanket and six-pack of some Goose Island brew and enjoy a free concert courtesy of the Downtown Sound Series at the Jay Pritzker Pavilion. Last year, our ears were treated to performances from The Sea and Cake, Dirty Projectors and Shellac to name a few. This year’s series kicked off three weeks ago with The Ponys and Besnard Lakes. She + Him played last Monday to a packed crowd. I have been anxiously awaiting tomorrows concert: Great Lake Swimmers. And! In two weeks: The Thermals with Disappears. Can’t wait!

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Mixed Tape Monday!

Phew, what a weekend! You can read about our Friday and Saturday antics over at sowonderfulsomarvelous. Great food and wine taste better when they are shared with dear friends.
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Sunday turned into one of those days where you make a list of things to accomplish and you end up crossing nothing off your list. I spent a decent chunk just staring at my sewing machine, searching for the inspiration to finish a project. However, I did manage to put together a playlist. Here are just a handful of tracks (with links!) that helped make my weekend fly by.

What do you have in store for this week? Me, I’m hoping that some hardware I ordered shows up before Friday. I will finish these dog collars.

Oh, and someone’s birthday is coming up. Do you have any suggestions on what to get a 30 something gadget geek for his birthday? I need all the help I can get.

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