Thursday, 18 February 2010

Hi Honey I'm home

Well I survived Chicago.

Actually the weather wasn't too bad...didn't drop much below freezing and the snowfall they had wasn't much and was very pretty. The sun was out most of the time and when the wind dropped it was actually rather pleasant . They don't call it the windy city for nothing....and boy that wind up there is icy.

I am very glad to be back to being able to wear only jeans and a tee shirt outside though instead of 16 layers.

The band was OK although rather lackluster and not as good as in previous years.

The hotel was OK but not as nice as the one we normally stay in for about the same cost. We left it too late to get a room there :-( As with a lot of old hotels the room was tiny, which is fine, but it might have been better had they not crammed a huge 4 poster bed in there :-) The toilet....well that was in the shower. IN the shower. It appeared that at one point it was a cupboard which had been entirely tiled. The shower head was one side and the toilet the other. I would say the whole thing was about 18 inches wide lol. They called it a Euro Shower but I've never seen anything like it.

We stay in an area called Lake View. I love it there. It is a real eclectic mix of little stores and great fun to just mooch around. There is an 'L' station right there which means you can be anywhere in downtown Chicago in just a short time. The public transport system in Chicago is second to none and it is so easy to scoot about town. And only $5 for a 24 hr pass which can be used on the bus and train.

There is also a pretty neat dollhouse shop right there. Unfortunately, they open late and close early so I never seem to catch the opening times. I did make it in 5 minutes after they closed on Sunday but as they were packing up to go home I didn't have time to mooch about.

We normally spend our evenings in the bars and restaurants in Lake View but this time we took a walk in the opposite direction and within a few blocks came across Wrigley Stadium and Wrigleyville.

I've never seen so many bars and restaurants in such a small place anywhere in this country. Yes you'll often get places like this in major downtown areas but I've never seen it in the suburbs. So off we went pubcrawling...just like being back home :-)

There were ice sculptures along the front but with the warmer weather they'd started melting. It did seem to give them a different kind of beauty though.

The Natural History museum was spectacular. You could spent an entire weekend in there and still not see everything.

And we went to see the Thorne Miniature Rooms. You can view pictures on the website here but it is a bit of a pain to have to open each one separately. Or there is this YouTube video.

The Thorne rooms were very impressive but I have to say I personally preferred Collen Moore's Fairy Castle. It just seemed more 'alive' to me. I didn't help that the Art Institute was offering free admission for February so everyone and his dog seemed to come in out of the cold. And there were a lot of kids. Don't get me wrong I like kids....just not when they are in my way as I am trying to study miniatures :-)

I did love the way the Thorne rooms showed a glimpse of the outside though the windows and a peek into another room though an open door. And the lighting was done extremely well.

I was somewhat disappointed in the stained class windows in the church. I've been looking into miniature stained glass for some time for the Pickled Vicar. One of the ways I've seen it done is with printed transparencies which then have lead placed over them in squares rather than following where the original lead lines would have been. Now I am not crazy on that and don't think it is realistic enough for what I want....yet the windows in the Thorne room church were done like this. They looked fine but it wasn't what I would have expected. Perhaps I should be less picky :-)

With so many other things to do in Chicago we decided to skip visiting the miniature White House. It is coming to the Reagan Library in Californian in May so I'll go see it here instead. If anyone from around here is going shout up and maybe we can meet.

So that was our mini vacation. Now it is back to reality with an astounding bump. I have come back to loads of emails I have to sort and I am now behind in my commission work. I need to get cracking on that then I'll start to play catch up with the blogs next week. Then maybe I'll deal with the housework and laundry :-)


  1. Been to the Windy City one time but didn't get to go see Moore's castle or the Thorne Rooms and don't know if I'll ever get back up there although a dream is to go to the big International Mini show one day! Glad you had a good time but a potty in the shower?! Strange! LOL!


  2. Welcome home, Jayne! I saw the Thorne rooms many years ago. They are much more formal than my personal taste (and much larger than typical dollhouse rooms) but I did get many ideas. I'm glad you had a good time - you were almost to my neck of the woods. Another 2.5 hours and you've have been here. :-)

  3. Glad you had a great time. I used to spend a lot of time in Chicago and saw the Thorn Rooms. Of course, that was when I wasn't into miniatures - I think I'd appreciate them much more now.


  4. We enjoyed Chicago when we went a few years ago to a Tom Bishop show. I loved the Colleen Moore Fairy Castle too, such affluent, beautiful details. The Thorne Rooms took me ages to see, amazing. Great you had such a nice break.

  5. Sounds like you had a good time, big welcome back......always nice going away but always nice to be back in your own bed too:O)

  6. Hi, Jayne. I have a little award for you on my blog :))


  7. Hi Tallulah!
    I have an award for you over at my blog
    lovely flowers you have
    hugs Deni

  8. I have the Thorne Miniature Rooms book since 1992 and it is the best I ever have seen!!!


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