Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Chicago, the windy city - and beads ... hehe!

So, I went to America as well last week. of course for work so spent most of my time near Detroit, working hard, playing hard and eating far too much!

I am scared to get back on the scales, as I am sure I would have put on at least 1 or 2 kilos. *ouch!*

This was now my 4th time to America, each time I have visited just for work - I am now familiar enough with the area, I hire a car, and I am confident and most of the time I don't need a Sat-Nav (GPS). I don't really explore too much into Detroit itself, as there it is very easy to find yourself in the wrong area. So, I normally stick to somewhere North of Detroit near work, and go shopping... naturally!

Last time I was there, I was introduced to a craft shop - oooh yeah BEADS! ... and the selection is good, but not too specialist. You won't find anything Sterling Silver and/or Delica seed beads - but you'll always find something that appeals. Since I have so many beads (yeah OK, you said it ... I have too many beads) I usually look for something that is hard to find back home... and what really attracts me to beads, is if I have never seen that style before. Once upon a time I used to buy buy buy anything and everything - but now, I am more fussy - and will only spend cash on plastic/glass beads if they are crucial to a project or if they are unusual and rare. The exception to this rule is, sterling silver, semi precious gemstones, handmade lampwork, freshwater pearls and Swarovski's ... as I can never have too many of those as they seem to be the foundation of my bead collection and the things that I make nowadays.

So - here is what I bought - just 3 strands of beads ...
The first strand being Mother of Pearl, they are all randomly sized - and for $4 ... not a bad buy ...

The second strand are the "rare" ones, but I have seen this style before, and knowing my luck they are probably really common in all other countries excluding Germany, because i believe them to be Czech made, and Czech beads are very popular ... and I actually remember getting some blue and red ones for a present when I was about 16, but since then I haven't really seen them at all - and the colours of this strand also really appealed, so once I picked them up to inspect the lovely soft colours, I couldn't bring myself to put them back down again.

And the last ... probably a bit boring really, and I picked them up because they were complimenting the ones that I really wanted. They will probably be used in the same project and they will help vary the texture and optic if I cluster them all together.

Right - OK, enough about beads...

I was lucky enough to have my fiancé also arranging for himself to visit his companies American office on the same week as I.

He works for a completely different company - and his American offices are a mere 300 miles away from where mine are. Very close in the grand scheme of the whole of America. So, with him also organising a meeting the same week as my already planned trip - we got a weekend in Chicago together. Very very very lucky, and will more than likely never happen again!

Other than doing my fiancés head in singing a song about Chicago all weekend ... (If you have seen Doris Day in "Calamity Jane" - then you may know the song too) we did a lot of walking, exploring and EATING ... We have eaten so much. We did a bit of shopping, but we did not find anything that we wanted to buy, and we even went to the Cinema.

I did have to do one main tourist-y thing and go up the Sears Tower (now known as the Willis Tower). It is the 3rd Highest building in the world, was the highest up until 2004. Here is the view from the top of the tower looking over Lake Michigan

They have these glass boxes right at the top of the building also known as the skydeck - where they protrude out of the building so you stand on the glass and then ... look down ... if you dare ... 412 metres high! Yeah!

Here's the view "Up" hopefully you can see the boxes ... this picture is zoomed in

Here's the view "down" from the boxes ... if you look carefully you can see the cars ...

And here's proof that I went in!

It made my stomach go all wobbly! I am still so chuffed that we went there and did that. I would do it again in a flash! If you ever go to Chicago ... then you have no reason not to go to Willis Tower!

Hope you enjoyed the read ...
take care


  1. What a fab post! That view is AMAZING, I'm soooooo jealous! It looks and sounds like you had an amazing time, its great when all the planets colude and things just work out isn't it!
    Also love your czech glass beads, the colours are gorgeous, can't wait to see what you do withthem!

  2. It's been lovely catching up with your blogs Nic, it looks like you had a fantastic time in America, and i'm loving the beads you bought. Congratulations on your Stylish Blog award, very well deserved

  3. I love reading about travels, Nic.

    Sounds like you had a fantastic time.

    Lisa xoxo