Like most non-Illinois residents, when I think "Illinois", I think "Chicago". I really shouldn't do this since it drives me insane when I tell someone I am from NY and they say "Really, you don't have an accent". That is because I am from Western NY!!!! There is a whole state attached to NYC, but most people think NY means NYC. So, my apologies to the rest of Illinois.
I have spent a few different weekends in Chicago. Once with my mom to go to a Museum to see the "Colleen Moore Dollhouse", and another dollhouse exhibit in another museum. Yes, my mom builds and furnishes dollhouses. The second weekend was with my spouse, to attend one of his cousin's weddings. Both visits were wonderful, and now that I am done with Illinois I wish I had worked dollhouses into it. Unfortunately this information didn't pop into my head until just now. Darn! Next time.
To understand the first idea that I incorporated in this pin, you must understand my love of St. Patrick's Day. It is right up there with Easter as one of my favorite holidays. Easter = Chocolate. St. Patrick's Day = Beer. What's not to like? Well, every March 17th a group in Chicago dyes the river green in honor of St. Patrick's Day. I felt duty-bound to portray that on the Illinois pin.
I needed something more that green though, so I decided to also pay tribute to the "Great Chicago Fire". I didn't know much about this fire, except that it was supposedly started by O'Leary's cow, who kicked over a lantern. (I was going to incorporate the cow into the pin, but Wisconsin already has the cow theme going.) A little research showed that around 300 people died in the fire, and the heart of the city was devastated. I decided to just bead flames, to remind me of the danger of fire. I think it looks pretty cool, but I could do a better job on the flames next time.