Monday, June 29, 2009

Back from Michigan!

I took a little trip to Michigan to visit my family and had blog posts scheduled so y'all wouldn't miss me too much. I tried to escape the Atlanta heat but when I arrived in Flint on Wednesday it was 93 degrees!!!!!!! That is not Michigan weather for June. Of course yesterday and today were perfect perfect perfect weather-wise and it made me not want to leave.

I was able to visit with grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins as well as my parents and their dog (Princess) Shiloh (the most spoiled dog on the planet), brother and sister-in-law and my nephew-dog Jack.

I also did my part to help the Michigan economy and went on a little quilt shop hop (more in another post).

Returning from a trip is always difficult, you are sad that you are leaving the place you are visiting, you are happy to be in your own house, even happier to see the cats who missed you and let you know how much by meowing and following you around, and then there's all the laundry and getting ready for work and.. and.. and..

What made getting back a little better was a package waiting for me...

My very own super extra special bag made by the fabulous Anne and Chelsea Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs
And a very sweet note from Anne. I ADORE this bag and can't thank Anne enough for her great giveaway. OK cats are misbehaving and I better get them settled down.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Post #250

Well this is my 250th post and to celebrate all my ramblings and lots of cats photos, I'm having a giveaway!
The giveaway is: the book Just Desserts: Quick Quilts Using Precut Fabrics by Eddie McGinnis and four Moda charm packs (PS: the charm packs don't necessary go together but hey it's a giveaway). I may or may not surprise the lucky winner and myself and add some things to the giveaway who knows. It will be a surprise for both of us.

Since this giveaway has a vaguely summery theme (dessert, petal pushers, summer nights, cookies) and I really wish I could be somewhere other than hot, humid, smoggy Atlanta in the summer, to enter the giveaway comment on this post and let me know where you would spend the summer if money was no option (of course).

Winner will be chosen by random number generator and random number generating magicness will happen on Friday July 3rd. Deadline for entry is 5:00 PM EST on said Friday July 3rd.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Is there a sculptor in the house?

Edgar Poe would like to be commemorated in marble.
Similar to the famous New York Public Library lions
I call this his "meatloaf cat" pose because he looks like he could fit in a loaf pan--a large loaf pan...
Edgar Poe is not amused.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Block of the Month

I finished the first block for the Designer Mystery BOM from Fat Quarter Shop. This is a great BOM and if you haven't joined click on over to Kimberly's shop and sign up. Don't forget to get the finishing kit because you will be so happy you did when UPS brings it to you. I'll wait right here.
Wow that was a long time. What else did you buy???!!!??

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Recession Garden Update

I meant to post this Sunday so consider this old news LOL! The Recession Garden is doing great thanks to the extremely hot and humid weather.
The tomato plant that is outgrowing its cage is an heirloom tomato called "Mr. Stripey". Mr. Stripey has flowers but no tomatoes yet. I wish Mr. Stripey would get his act together and put more energy into tomatoes than trying to escape the cage. He may need a high-rise cage soon. Yellow squash is taking over the right side of the garden. We are going to have yellow squash with every meal I think this summer. Yellow squash on toast with eggs, yellow squash sandwiches.... In fact, this is the very first harvest from the garden hmm what do you know...YELLOW SQUASH! This yellow squash ended up in stir fry. Yum!
I snapped this photo of one of my lace-cap hydrangeas before the sun got too hot. Hydrangeas are very melodramatic and if it gets too hot in the afternoon, they lay down their leaves and look all droopy and wilty. Then perk up in the evening and morning. Southern belles, what can you do! I'm really happy that all my ornamental shrubs made it through these past several years of drought. I practice Darwin-style gardening. No watering except for the veggies.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

A Bit of Culture and A Big Surprise

Well another roasting day here in Atlanta (upper 90s). Got up this morning and decided to spend the day at the High Museum of Art in nice icy A/C. The new exhibit is Monet's Waterlilies and there are four waterlily paintings on loan from the Museum of Modern Art. Here is Claude in his garden.
Impressionist paintings are amazing in real life with all the color and texture. There was also a really interesting photograph exhibit of Richard Misrach's On the Beach series. It was lots of fun and a great way to spend a too hot day. Lunch was a trip over to Howell Mill Road to Taqueria del Sol, one of my favorite restaurants. I always have fish tacos and queso dip and chips. Today was a perfect day for a margarita on the rocks with salt so I had one of those too. A toast to a long hot summer in Atlanta.

I came home and was checking through blogs in google reader. To my huge surprise I won a blog giveaway!!! Good golly miss molly, it was the way fab bag sewn by Anne Sutton and her talented Chelsea!!! I nearly fell off the couch! See photos of the stylin' tote I will be toting soon here. I'm so excited I can't stand it.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Finally Friday

This week just dragged by, especially today--it was a clock watching kind of day. I knew I had a UPS package waiting for me at home from the Fat Quarter Shop.
It's the 2009 Designer Mystery BOM block one and finishing kit. The fabric is the wonderful Glace line from Moda. I am so excited to start this BOM.

It is another hot, humid, icky day here in Atlanta, which means more summertime cat poses.

Here is Stella melting into the corner of the sofa (just so you know I do have A/C that is kept at 78 degrees so it's not that bad in the house).

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Done with Summer

OK we are OVER summer already here in the ATL. It's supposed to be in the upper 90s the rest of the week and possibly up to 100. Hello it's 80 degrees outside right now at 1:11 AM. This is Edgar Poe's summertime pose for hot and humid ATL,

which is remarkably similar to his larger cousin in another hot and humid area.
Cat minds think alike.

Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Peach Time

Peaches are in season here in the Peach State. South Carolina really produces more than Georgia, but we don't talk about that. Anyway, I love fresh, local, perfectly ripe peaches like these
I don't like eating the skin on peaches though. Bleh too fuzzy! On my never ending quest to find the perfect peach cobbler recipe, I decided to try the recipe in The Joy of Cooking.
Peaches are peeled, sliced, mixed with sugar, flour, and a dash of cinnamon (not in the recipe--my addition).
The topping is similar to biscuit dough. Sometimes I use my Cuisinart but this time I went the old fashioned way (I only use real unsalted butter and King Arthur flour for baking because well I'm a cooking snob I guess).
I finished up the dough, give a couple of kneads, and roughly flattened (let's call this a Rustic Cobbler)
Sliced the dough in rectangley shapes, place on peaches and brush with egg wash and throw some sugar for sprinkly fun.

While baking, sew some half-square triangles.
Here it is. Super yummy by my standards and looks pretty. I don't have any ice cream in the house--vanilla would be perfect. Go check out Marlene's posts for her homemade ice cream to go with this post :) And another one (if you can stand it...)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

A Start and a Finish

It's Sunday early evening already? What happened to the weekend? Yesterday was Silver Thimble Club and it was big fun with lots of laughing as always. For our club, you have the choice of working on the kit or pattern for the month or working on your own projects. I am trying to be good and only get one kit a quarter. This month the quilt is "Glory Bound" by Bonnie Blue Quilts.
I got a good start on this and have everything cut out, the small half-square triangles done and squared up and have big half-square triangles ready for sewing.
I bet Karin is already finished with hers.

Next quarter is some really great projects but I was good and only signed up to do one of Pat's new patterns called "Scrappy Nines".

Now for a finish. ta da! Look Pat! Look at all the bitty blocks and no jelly rolls. I bet Becky would like this quilt with the blue and white, but it's a gift for someone. Sorry Becky. OK time to get dinner going and laundry folded and all that fun Sunday stuff.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Fun Mail

Don't you just love fun mail? New magazines, catalogs, results of button-pushing...
I kept looking at this quilt.

In this book
Ever since the book came out. I just love the quilt. Don't know why. It reminds me of sea glass. Which reminds me of the ocean. Which reminds me of not being stuck in the ATL all summer. Which is where I'll be this summer. So while I was browsing some of my favorite sites...I found a kit for the quilt at Lake St. Mercantile, one of my favorite quilt shops in Michigan. A button here, a button there, and a package came in the mail.

Nicely packaged with backing and binding and the fabrics labeled. A thank you and a cute little freebie block. Three cheers for fun mail!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Lots of Showers Bring June Flowers

I can't believe how much it has rained here in Georgia this spring. After years of drought, it's really weird to have so many rainy days (not complaining though!!!!! I love it.) My recession garden is doing great and I hope to have some squash and tomatoes soon. I have a huge magnolia tree in the yard and late May and June is when it flowers. The blossoms are huge and smell so lovely.

My hydrangeas are also blooming. This is a French hydrangea.
My lace cap hydrangeas are just starting to bloom and I'll post those soon.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Dinner at Chez Crazy Cat Lady

Every once and awhile (like yesterday), I like to cook a new recipe that takes at least three pans and dirties up about 17 dishes. S. found a recipe for Country Captain in the New York Times awhile back and thought it sounded good. Country Captain is a pretty obscure name for what is basically chicken in a tomato/curry sauce with some vegetables served over white rice. The dish is popular in Charleston, South Carolina, and Savannah, Georgia, but originated in Philadelphia in 1857. This version is topped with sliced almonds, currants, and crumbled bacon. I served it with sauteed kale and glazed carrots and a New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Et voila!
It's super yummy! And there's enough leftovers for about two or three more meals.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Remembering D-Day

On the 65th anniversary of the D-Day invasion, remembering bravery and sacrifice.

Friday, June 5, 2009

An Atlanta Favorite

Hooray for Friday! I had a big meeting today for the day job. As with most all-day meetings, the best part of this meeting was lunch!
(all photos courtesy of website!)
Lunch was at a long-time Atlanta favorite--Mary Mac's Tea Room. Mary Mac's is a great place to have traditional Southern food. Fried chicken, collards, fried okra, whipped potatoes, chicken and dumplings, fried green tomatoes, cornbread, peach cobbler, the list goes on.
At Mary Mac's, you write what you want on a ticket. Good thing the pencils have erasers because a lot of times, it's really hard decide. I usually go for the vegetable plate because they have the best Southern-style vegetables (for all you non-Southerners, you may be interested to know that homemade macaroni and cheese is a vegetable in the South. It's true! So is Brunswick stew.) After much debate, I decided on black-eyed peas, fried okra, creamed corn, and sweet potato souffle with yeast rolls and sweet tea. Their tea is so sweet, you can stand a spoon up in it. Honest! I had three glasses and was on a big time sugar high (helps to get through the rest of the meeting). Tomorrow, I'm going to have a big salad and lots of water to make up for this decadent lunch.

Just to make you hungry, here's a photo of fried chicken, mac & cheese, fried green tomatoes, and broccoli casserole.
Mary Mac's is a definite stop if you are ever traveling through Atlanta. Let me know and I'll meet you there for tea!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

A Quick Post

Here at last are the long awaited photos of the Portobello Market quilt (or as Karin would say Portobello Mushroom quilt). As you can see, not only is it a poor quality photo (due to the antsy-ness of my quilt holder-upper) but Gomez snuck into the frame also. I gave up trying to get a good photo after this one so here's a detail sans Gomez.
The quilt is from the book Jelly Roll Quilts and the pattern is called "Daisy Chain". I made the larger size quilt by using one Portobello Market jelly roll and a half of a Hemming House jelly roll (somehow I had two Hemming House jelly rolls--no clue how this happened). These two Moda lines played nicely together and I really like the result. Now to add this top to the many many many that are waiting to be quilted. I have to zoom off now, big meeting tomorrow and I need to get some laundry done.