Out & about in the city

Finally! Sun! Warmer temps! I can hardly stand how long this winter has felt. And just when I thought I was going to go crazy, we get over 20 inches of snow dumped on us! Which resulted in a snow day from work….so I guess I shouldn’t complain about that one. I have spent way too much time this winter curled up in bed, watching mindless tv, or just pigging out on pizza. But finally……..SUN! I think the temps were down in the teens last week, and then 60 degrees yesterday! It felt so so good to get out and run finally. Even if my running pants seem to be fitting pretty snug suddenly. Fortunately, my work has a gym/locker room, so at lunch I headed out for a run in my work neighborhood, which consists of running past Soldier Field, the Field Museum, Adler Planetarium, and Shedd Aquarium. I really couldn’t ask for a better route.

I love how friendly all the runners are. I generally see a lot of the same people each time I go out. Even though they are probably thinking ‘oh gosh there’s that creepy girl again who’s always staring us down and waving – run faster.’


I just finished my second class at Lil Street Art Center – which is one of the coolest places in Chicago.  We learned how to carve and mold wax, all the steps of making a mold and were able to cast our own pieces.  The actual casting kind of scared the crap out of me because of the giant flame you are using (I am not good with fire), not to mention shooting liquid hot metal into your spinning mold.   But I’mvery glad I did it myself!  I’m so excited about the rings I made.  They are actually pieces I like and wear every day – unlike most of the stuff I made in my first class – oh well, it was my first time. 

silver rings

After a couple month hiatus from the blog due to just plain being busy, I’m looking forward to taking some time to get out around the city and take some more pictures of all the great things going on.  Have a great day!!

Woohoo, the day everyone in the class was waiting for – ring day!  Man, I love this class!



Here’s the ‘rough draft’ of a keychain(?) I’m making.  I’m really not sure what i’m going to do with it, but thought it was kinda cute.


Here is the work station we anneal and solder at.  I’m amazed I haven’t caught my hair or clothes on fire yet.  I did catch some napkins on fire the other day, but luckily put it out before anyone saw.


The only bad part of this class…I have to wait outside in the cold for the el.  Then I have to transfer to the red line and wait outside in the cold.  Then when I get off the el I have to walk in the cold 4 blocks home.  Ahhh I am so ready for spring!!  I’m ‘this close’ to buying those glasses with the built in lights to treat seasonal affective disorder.

My Friday night was spent getting a much needed haircut.  Sadly, my trips to the salon have pretty much become biannual out of pure laziness.  The salon I go to, however, is the best!  If you’re in the market for a cut or color, it’s called Flair on Halsted & Wellington.  The ladies there are great, they give you a glass of wine, and this little guy sits on your lap to keep you company.


I also think it’s a little crazy that my stylist’s name is one letter off from mine.  Stylist = Michelle Briggs from MI, Me = Michelle Griggs from MI. Wierd!

I started Intro to Metalsmithing today.  It’s a ten week course at Lil Street Art Center – a three hour class, once a week.  This is the coolest place and they offer all sorts of classes.  I’ve been wanting to take this class forever!  So day 1 we got a description and intro to all the tools we’ll be using and we also began to saw.  The first item we’re making is a pin made out of layers of metal.  We didn’t really take time to plan anything out, just sorta started sawing.  So this is what I came up with.  It’s a branch/log with a bird and wing.  It’s pretty rough right now, but next week we will be sanding/buffing and texturing.


I found a necklace at a Wicker Park boutique the other day that I LOVED.  However, it’ was almost $200, which was a ridiculous price for it.  It consisted of a very thin chain and three tiny circles hanging from it.  One was silver, one copper, and one gold.  Well I started to try to make it today by cutting out three little circles from scrap metal.  It’s brass, not gold, but that’s just fine by me.  I’m hoping to clean these up next week so I can string them on a chain, or maybe make them a little smaller.  If you have any ideas for jewelry or any requests, let me know!!

Hooray!  My own first full size Christmas tree!  If you notice, the lights are spaced out perfectly even throughout the tree………because it came that way.  And if I push a little button on the the bottom, I can make it rotate!  I only have decorations for the front half, so it will probably just stay stationary this year.  Maybe next! Thanks again for the great stockings Aunt Chris!


Zach put the finishing touches on the tree by adding 2 year old candycanes.  I thought it looked pretty nice.  I wonder if you can still eat those?  I’ll let someone else test that out.


To explain the other half of this post’s title – I found out first hand that it’s freakin’ slippery out!  Sidewalks, streets, pretty much everything, has a thin layer of ice.  Like a millimeter of ice – you can hardly tell it’s there.  Which is why I wasn’t being very cautious while crossing the street this morning.  I live a block off Michigan Ave, so there’s quite a bit of car traffic and people traffic in the morning.  Like usual, I needed to hustle my bum off to make it to the bus, so I ignored that blinking red hand, put a little hop in my step and tried to quickly make it across the street.  Wham bam, I’m sprawled out in the middle of the street.  Scraped up knee, embarrassment setting in, but not a drop of coffee spilled – heck yeah.

Now this was not my first rodeo.  I started to think about some of my better falls and came up with my top three on the way to work.

1.  About three weeks ago we were having our usual Wednesday free lunch at work.  It was a nice little deal – salad, pasta salad, and about 10 different pizzas – I tried about 5, and loaded up on the extras.  The cafeteria is on the 3rd floor, my cube is on the 4th.  I thought I’d get some work done while I ate so I headed upstairs.  There are a bunch of tables all around the stairs – all full of course.  I got to the VERY LAST STEP.  My size 10’s got stuck on the step, I went down, food went down – nobody even offered to help.  I think everyone was so embarrassed for me they thought it’d be better to pretend they didn’t see me.  Needless to say I loaded up another plate and gave it another go.  A girl’s gotta eat.

2. I was walking along outside with a friend in high school.  He already thought I was a huge klutz, so this was no big surprise to him.  I was a step or so behind him and thought I’d give him a little tripski.  So I swing my foot out to catch his heel when he took a step.  Never even touched him.  He looks back about 3 seconds later to see what I’m doing. Face planted.  Served me right.

3.  Wendy’s came out with some ridiculous new sandwich.  Extra patties, extra cheese, extra bacon.  I was excited.  I think I was actually jogging to the front door, I just had a little detour while getting to it.  Face down by the curb in front of the drive through line.  I no longer get so excited about trans fat.

Hope you are having a great week!  And watch out for that ice!

It’s almost Thanksgiving and we’re still playing softball……..yep, outdoors.  Brrrr.  But it was all worth it to get those bright white long sleeve glorious tshirts that declare ‘Champions’ across the front last night!  It’s been 7 straight months of playing, and I’m a little bummed it’s over, but pretty glad I’m not going to have to pitch in the snow.  We’ve played all over the city now – China Town, Cabrini Green (where groups of people literally walk through the field like we’re not even playing) Wrigleyville, and West Loop.  I have spent a ridiculous amount of money on cabs (just for the cold games, c’mon, you would too)  but I have gotten much more familiar with the city and met a lot of great people!  I would definitely recommend getting on a sports team to anyone living in the city, or anywhere for that matter – doesn’t matter if it’s volleyball, bowling, or even cornhole.  It’s an awesome way to get out of the house and meet new people!

Go, team, go!  Woot woot!




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