Thursday, February 26, 2015

Spinach and Artichoke

Spinach and artichoke pizza.  Totally, totally yummy.  Did I mention that I love my new pizza stone and pizza peel?

I know, where have I been, but I'm surprised that I can make enough dough for two pizzas and freeze half the dough after it's risen.  Thaw it out in the refrigerator and roll it out.

I'm a sucker for anything Private Selection, which I think is a Kroger brand.  And everything I've tried is really, really good.  Like the frozen artichokes I got for the pizza.  Much better than canned, and the same price.  And the little tub of herb finishing butter, which is so nice to spread around the edge of the pizza crust or to put on salmon just before serving.

There is also a Private Selection frozen corn and black bean mixture that is awesome on baked sweet potatoes.  And an oatmeal pancake mix and a really good marinara.

I think I have enough artichoke left for a spinach and artichoke dip, if I had any more spinach.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Baby Girl Quilt

This baby quilt is a little different from my usual in that it isn't a donation quilt but a gift quilt.  Still for a very special premmie but this time I've seen her pictures and watched her grow from 1 lb 2 oz to 2 lb 9 oz. now.  That little girl is amazing.

Above is the back.  No surprises there.  Pieced backing and binding.  Pink all over the place.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Modern Quilt

Sometimes I just have to clear off my sewing area and finish what's there.  Like this baby quilt, started probably two years ago and which has lived with its pieces in sandwich bags ever since.  It was from an Elizabeth Hartman Craftsy class.  Don't think my sewing space is now clear, there is also an orange version, although it isn't all cut out yet.  And a few other things.

And the thing is, it wasn't hard to do and was a lot of fun.  I guess it just wasn't time before now.

The above picture is from a week ago in Asheville.  It looks nothing like that here, and probably looks nothing like that there either today.  I looked outside around 4:00 a.m. and there wasn't any snow yet and I looked out around 8:00 and it still wasn't snowing.  And then I opened the front door.  It must have snowed really hard for a few hours.  Four or five inches.

It was heavy stuff since the temperature is warming.  I cleared off my porch and steps and walk but was glad when my neighbor said he'd do the rest with his snow blower.  I have really REALLY nice neighbors.

It's supposed to start snowing/raining in a couple of hours.  Then there may really be a mess.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Little Table

Kroger had a half off sale on furniture and I got a little table I'd been looking at. $20.  But when I looked at the instructions, I was pretty dismayed.

I had to give myself a talking to about transferrable skills.  Breaking things down into doable chunks.  Putting all those screws in plastic bags and labeling them.

I'm not saying that the table is perfect and I'm not saying that I didn't have to redo parts several times.  It's ok, I love it.

For the first time since I came home early Monday morning, I'm going out in a bit.  Temperature is up to 0.  More snow tomorrow.  It's February.

Grands have been out of school all week.  This afternoon we're going to see McFarland USA and then get some dinner.  

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Such Happy Pictures

On Sunday, the kids' first visit to the Biltmore House.  They were suitably impressed, the indoor swimming pool was the favorite.

A partly frozen waterfall on the Biltmore grounds.

Lunch at the Biltmore Stables restaurant.  Steph, me, and Winnie's dad.

After the visit, ice cream at the Biltmore Square McDonald's.  This is the ceiling.

And this is the grand player piano.  How many McDonald's have such a thing?

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Once Upon a Time

Once upon a time, like last Friday, the weather was reasonably warm and sunny, especially outside Knoxville.  We had a good traveling day.

Aaron was disappointed to have to leave Sarah and Winnie's house when we went out to eat, but he loved West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen once he got in the door.  First time playing pool, and he declared his cheeseburger to be the best ever.

Saturday morning we went to a new little doughnut shop called Hole.  They had a selection of four doughnuts, which they made while we waited.

Just extremely yummy.

It is crazy cold and snowy back home.  I won't be going out anywhere today, I've decided, just stay in my studio with its space heater.  I feel very lucky.

Monday, February 16, 2015

The Plan Was

The plan was to spend half a day more in Asheville and come back Monday afternoon.

More good times like this one at West Asheville Lounge and Kitchen.

Instead we hurried back Sunday night into early Monday morning, to avoid the heavy snow forecast for central Kentucky.  And the 4" - 6" predicted here.  We'll see how all this plays out.

I'm grateful for a safe trip.  The kids fell asleep around midnight.  They were troopers about leaving early - they love their Asheville visiting time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


A kit for this apron was in the way-reduced sale shelf at a fabric store in November.  Totally unusual for me to pick up something like this, and even more unusual to actually make it.  But, I was picking up in my sewing area and decided to just try it.

It even has a necklace of black beads, very retro.  I just might have to hang it in my retro kitchen.  I can't imagine actually wearing it.

Kit by Springs Creative.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Celebration of the Arts

My church was a lively place this week, with our second Celebration of the Arts.  Not to be confused with Mennonite Arts weekend, which is bi-annual on this same February weekend.  That will come next year.

We had workshops, dinner, a gallery, a boutique, and a special worship service today.  I'm so happy to have landed in a good space here.

I bought the little black and white boutique piece, above, by Janelle White.  It is fabric on canvas, and she had a larger and wonderful take-your-breath-away black and white piece in the gallery.

I was looking at the book titles, and right under Janelle's piece is The Tall Woman by Wilma Dykeman.  Not a new book, but if you love Appalachian literature, it's a must-read.  I think I've read it at least four times.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Batik Pillow

Just finished closing up this pillow for a boutique on Saturday.  I hope someone likes it.  Actually, I like it, so if if doesn't sell, I'll happily take it home.  You know how I love goals - one of my goals this year is to make lots of pillows for my home.

I love to look at Better Homes and Gardens and Country Living, and there are pillows and more pillows everywhere.  And they cost lots more than it will cost me to make them.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Modern Pinwheel Baby Quilt

This morning this baby quilt was lying in pieces on the floor, partially pieced.  But, since I need it for Friday, for my church's Celebration of the Arts, it is finished this evening.  I work tomorrow, that's why the rush.

This is the back.

And this is a close-up.  You might ask if I always quilt this way, and the answer is "usually."  I love to do free motion too, but this is my go-to quilting method.  I just like the organic lines and the tight quilting.

The colored fabric is from the kit that I got before Christmas for a chevron quilt.  I used part of it for a baby quilt earlier.  And, there are still a few pieces left.  They will most likely show up later.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Super Bowl

Steph had a Soop-er Bowl Party Sunday night, with vegetable soup and chicken noodle soup.  Both were yummy.  

When I got to her house, the kids were in the living room, dressed for the occasion.  Nora was wearing a hockey jersey with shoulder pads and a batting helmet.  And football gloves, although she took them off to use her crayons.  It's a sporty house.  I understand that the newest equipment is boxing gloves.  They are big Play It Again Sports fans (resale store.)  And both Nora and Aaron really want to play football.

I am enjoying using the book Achieve Anything in Just One Year.  Today's exercise is putting three quotations into a notebook.  I don't really have a notebook, because I use my phone as an away-from-home note keeper and I have an online journal and a picture journal.  That's enough for me.

Here are my three quotations:

1.  Knowing how to be solitary is central to the art of loving.  When we can be alone, we can be with others without using them as a means of escape.  bell hooks

2.  We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.  Kurt Vonnegut

3.  The painter has the Universe in his mind and hands.  Leonardi da Vinci

Monday, February 2, 2015

Aaron and Teacher

Another picture from the Book Fair:  Aaron and his teacher.  And his new Minecraft book.

The Minecraft book was the one both kids were hoping to find.  After that, the selections weren't quite as exciting.  The Lego Movie book.  A book about sea creatures.  And one about unusual happenings.  The Minecraft book was definitely the star.

Aaron especially could relate to a facebook post that someone's daughter's Kindle was stolen during a car break-in.  She lost a year's worth of Minecraft building.

Around Christmas, Aaron's Kindle stopped charging.  Amazon very nicely sent him a new one, since his was at the very end of the warranty.  His old one had to be returned.  All his books were in the cloud, but the huge Minecraft roller coaster he'd been working on couldn't be retrieved.  He was so sad, but his new Kindle was an upgraded one, so that helped ease the pain.  

I think he's over it by now, but he might tell you otherwise.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Blogging Slacker

Here I am, the blogging slacker for the past week or so.

It's not because I've been snowed in, because I haven't been.  In my part of the world, it snowed once, early in November, and everyone predicted a horrible winter with lots of snow.  That could still happen, but it hasn't happened yet.

It's not because I haven't been working on projects, because I have been.  It's just that I haven't finished any, except for some alterations for customers.  And I don't take pictures of those.

It's not because I haven't been cooking nice things, because I have been.  At least I've tried.  I made some shrimp tacos on Friday that looked lovely in the picture but which were, in fact, terrible.

And it's not because I haven't been going anywhere, because I have been.  Most noteably, a new antique store very close to my house that is clean and lovely and well-priced.  There is a rocker there that I may go back for.

It's just that I've been kind of writing lazy.

But, above, is a picture of Nora and her teacher.  Thursday night was grandparent night at the book fair at the kids' school.  I was glad it was in the evening because it is crazy when they have it before school.  Turns out that it's crazy in the evening too.  The lines were long, much to the kids' dismay.  I loved the idea, though, that all those grandparents were buying books for their grandkids.  How wonderful.

Nora really, really likes her fourth-grade teacher.  And that's wonderful too.