Showing posts with the label christmas gifts

Made for Trader Vic's Pottery - Tiki Rum Bowl - January 2023

Nat and I don't exchange a ton of Christmas gifts during the gifting season.  But, we *do* exchange some gifts.  I typically will give her a vintage book, a Wash U shirt and starting last year...a Tiki Bar item.  When we finished our basement, we talked about putting in a Tiki Bar down there.  We did all the rough-in's for a bar - light openings in the ceiling, water and plumbing in the wall, counter-height outlets for a bar and under-counter fridges.  But, we didn't put in said Tiki Bar.  Just left the space open for the kids to use as part of the rumpus room.   But, that doesn't mean that she isn't still dreaming of that - in the future - Tiki Bar.  I even went ahead and gave this dreamed-up Tiki Bar a name:  Natalie's Hideaway.  Last year, I commissioned Tiki Tony the artist to create a sign for the place, too.   So, when I came across 1 a big tiki bar-themed bowl with ladies in bikinis, palm trees, hula dancers and a big rum barrel on it, I thought it would

DIY Walnut Stain - Refinement for Next Season - February 2022

Last Fall and this past Winter, I made my first batch of Black Walnut stain using found walnuts in my backyard .  I made a slurry and let it stand for a few months, then bottled it up with a 1:1 ratio of filtered slurry : rubbing alcohol .  I gave away a couple of pints of the stuff to family and one of my brother-in-laws gave me some feedback:  See below. Note to future Jake:  Collect and use more walnuts and reduce the rubbing alcohol by 50%.  Use 2:1 walnut slurry:rubbing alcohol this time. Something else to add to my 2022 to-do-list .

Christmas Haul: Espalier Training Wire - January 2022

I've done these ' Christmas Haul ' posts over the years where I show off some of the gifts that I have received from family and friends at the holidays.  In 2011, I posted a couple of Beatles magnets that I received .  In 2018, I posted a photo of a bird seed bell .  For 2019, Nat's folks gave me a heated bird bath for the backyard .  Last year, I received a gift that sat RIGHT at the intersection of two of my loves:  Disney pins and jigsaw puzzles .  And, I also put a new pair of chainsaw protection gloves to work in the Spring.   This year, I received some fun gifts from Nat and the kids and as part of a family gift exchange, Nat's brother gifted me a few things for the yard.  I mean...what else would I want, right? The first thing they gave me is here, below.  A double pack of Rapiclip Soft Wire Tie (Light Duty) espalier training (padded) wire.  Each of the spools is 16 feet long.   I've posted about this padded training espalier wire before and have found i

Cherry Pits - DIY Holiday Projects On The Horizon - 2020

 Nobody:  what are you going to do with all your quarantine time when the weather gets cold? Me:  Have I shown you our forty pound bag of dried cherry pits? Back a few years when it seemed like I had more time, I would often try to DIY some of our holiday gifts.  Seems like we might have more of that, ummm, time this year.  And cherry pits are a key part of our strategy.  More to come when we get things set up and ready.

Christmas Haul: Lord Nut White Cheddar and Jalapeno Peanuts

One of the gifts that one of my sisters gave me were these Lord Nut White Cheddar and Jalapeno peanuts.  You can find out more about them here on the "Who is Lord Nut?" site (which is cute, right?) I cracked open this can one day over break in the car and it never left the van.  We scarfed them down quick. If you come across some Lord Nuts at a party, plant yourself near that bowl .  Don't mingle.  Just stay there and horde them to yourself.  Get a tall frosty beverage to wash them down, but trust me....don't mingle.   Just plant yourself .

Twenty Eight & Main - Disney Gear For Dudes

Nat gave me a pair of pajama pants on Christmas Eve as part of her/her mother's annual Christmas Pajama tradition.  I have some pretty strict requirements as it relates to pajama pants.  I don't like fleece ones.  I don't like thick ones.  I don't like cuffs on the legs.  I like a thin pair of pants.  I won't wear them if they're more like sweat pants for the most part.   So, when she gave me this pair, it was perfect.  They were thin, but they were also from this line called Twenty Eight & Main.  The 28 is from 1928 - the year Mickey Mouse debuted.  And the Main part is from the iconic Main Street USA in the parks.   Here's the pants on the Disney Store .  And here's all the items from the 28 & Main collection .    The tags are pretty cute and old-fashion'y.  I'm not sure any 'discerning gentleman' would every find himself in a pair of pajama pants with a vintage Jungle Cruise logo on them, but let's not nitpick

Vintage Marshall Field's Christmas Mugs (1980 and 1981)

Over the weekend, I made a stop at the Elmhurst Goodwill to drop off some things that have been lingering around the garage.  While I was there, I went in the store as I usually do.  However, this time, they have a special Christmas section set up in the front of the store featuring a bunch of Christmas items.  From ugly sweaters (which looked like a BIG SELLER) to vintage stuff, they have a lot of the Christmas decorations bases covered. After looking at the racks, there were a few items that were of interest to me including these mugs.  They're from Marshall Field's Walnut Room from 1980 and 1981.  As I've mentioned before, my family makes an annual pilgrimage to the Walnut Room and as part of that experience, we've been getting these glass mugs for many years. Our mug collection goes back just a handful of years, but my sisters' have more mugs and years under their belt.  (I think there were a bunch of years when I was single that I attended the Walnut Room

Letters To Santa 2015

The Sun-Times website might be a mess and besides Neil Steinberg there might not be tons of reasons to read the paper (We used to subscribe and I read it everyday.  Now?  I read Steinberg's column and his blog and then find a S-T article or two via Twitter on occasion.), but they are still doing something really well:   their "Letters to Santa" program . You can go find out about the program and even request a letter here on their Season of Sharing site . I'm not totally confident that we've done it EVERY year for the past five years, but I have a post about the program back in 2010 here , and I know we've done it more than once, so I'm thinking we've done it 3 or 4 times since 2010. This year, Nat requested four letters.  One for her.  One for me.  One for each of the girls.  We went to Target and took the letters to pick out some gifts for our kids. That's my letter above from Zaykwon.  Action figures, video games and books.  The vide

Stuck in the Chimney

Hope Santa brought you guys everything you ask for! I had a good few days with family and friends. The holidays always go way, way too fast. Next up: New Years Eve. What's on the docket, you ask? I'm not sure. Nat and I may be heading to a few 'house parties' in Chicago or we might be heading to Coloma Michigan. Interested in joining us? Drop me a line. As for gifts, Nattie Claus gave me the Sirius Sportster Replay and she activated my Sirius account. Too cool. She also got me a 'home' dock, so I can listen to Stern at home! I've only begun to fool around with the radio and I'm already all geeked up about it. This should be lotsa fun. Santa Claus scored me a new pair of courderoys (not Corederoys!) and a vaccuum (not a Dyson !), which was needed. Inside the family, we do a 'grab-bag', where you only buy for one person with a limit of $75 or so. Shaun had me. I got Blind Faith's self titled release , Cream Live, Volume 2 , and Rick Danko