Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sock It to Me!

One of the things that's been on my bucket list is learning how to knit socks. So, a while back I took a class at Knit One Smock Too in Winston-Salem and made my first pair.

Once you've worn hand made, custom fit socks there's no turning back!

Now I've made pair #2

And have started pair #3!

Its a great portable project, and lots of fun to do. My teacher has declared me an independent sock knitter! I am, of the basic variety, thanks to her patient teaching and a remedial lesson or two.. 

Since I'm on a roll I've also started a sweater vest...and a shawl... (did I mention spinning is also on my bucket list?)

I might just love yarn as much as fabric.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Quick Trip Up the Mountain

Last Friday the universe aligned to allow me a quick trip up the mountain to Virginia. I needed to go meet with someone about an art commission, I was two years plus overdue to visit my aunts (time flies!!) and as it happened the Blue Ridge Quilt Festival was going on, and I've wanted to check that out for a long time. So it worked well to go when I did!

I left early enough to have time to drive through my hometown and by the house I grew up in. Main Street looked so pretty!
This is the church I grew up in
Then I met my aunt and a friend of hers and we headed over to the next town over for our day of fun. First we stopped by my art meeting (yay! I have a new commission!), then we had lunch at a cute little bistro. It had hand painted murals done by the owner's 80 some year old relative...they were beautiful!

This scene shows the Duck Pond at VA Tech...the white house is where the design library was when I was a student!

After lunch we headed to the quilt show. There were lots of quilts to see...these are a few of my favorites:

'Melange' by Jennie Rayment
There was a special exhibit of her work, which are made of intricately folded elements

'Mr. Wiggles Does the Circle Dance' by Sarah Ann Smith
part of a dance themed special exhibit

This was part of a memorial exhibit
(I think...sadly I thought I had an information pic and don' apologies!)

'Scrappy Clams' by Alicia Stephens
Started in 2008, finished in 2014 all hand pieced and hand quilted! She didn't know how many pieces are in it but it took about 50 spools of quilting thread to quilt it!

'Italy Remembered'
artist's name was not on the tag :(

'Quest for the Nutmeg' by Nancy Oldham

'Imagine Albert Imagining' also by Nancy Oldham
(his hair is 3D...I really loved this one!!)

Huipil from Monteverde Cloud Forest Reserve, Costa Rica (R)
'The Quetzal Birds' by Karen Tauber (L)
This was part of another special exhibit where quilts were made inspired by tapestry pieces. Fascinating exhibit! 

And then there was this! My photo does NOT do it justice...the colors were bright and beautiful!
It has 12,000 pieces, made by Carolyn Bucklin Mullins
this is her version of Bonnie Hunter's 'Pineapple Crazy'
It won 1st in the 'Scrappy Quilt' category.
I found out later it won Viewer's Choice too!

We spent quite a lot of time there! After the show we drove around campus a bit. It has grown so much since I was there! We headed back to where my aunt's car was parked, only to discover that I-81 was backed up for miles, both lanes closed due to a bad accident. It took a while to get to her house, where I was staying the night but we finally made it. She and I met up with my other aunt for dinner, then headed home to settle in for the night. It was a long, fun, BUSY, day!

Saturday I met my high school best friend for what was supposed to be lunch, but we were so busy catching up and laughing ourselves silly that we ended up just ordering a plate of appetizers. ..and THIS

To be sure!!!! My eyes almost fell out when the (cute, 20 yr old, petite who challenged us to try to eat the whole thing) waitress set that before us! Of course we roared with laughter!!! And then....

Yes. Yes we did.

Catching up was never more fun!! (disclaimer...we were there over 2 hours...we had to keep up our strength!! lol!)

The afternoon belonged to my other aunt with a visit to her house. There are so many memories there! Almost every Sunday and every Christmas Eve was spent there growing up. Even though so many of the family that gathered there are gone, I could see them all in my mind's eye as if we were all gathered there once again. It was a special time.

Late afternoon meant it was time to hit the road home, via a stop by a new design project. It's almost an hour NE of the studio, but was right on the way home, so it worked out perfectly to roll it into this trip and stop for a site assessment.

It was a whirlwind trip, but oh so wonderful!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Zucchini Time!!

The garden has gone crazy this year! Abundance abounds...and among my favorites is the zucchini.  The first cake of the season has been made and is almost nearly gone, so it's time to repost the recipe. Its a family favorite!

Photo from previous year's cake 'cause the current one is almost gone :)

I stumbled across this recipe in Southern Living several years ago when my boys were little and didn't like many vegetables. Nothing like a little stealth cooking! This cake is so delicious and would never know it's packed full of zucchini. Here's the recipe:

Prepare a tubed cake pan (Bundt or straight sides) by greasing with shortening and dusting with cocoa (works like flour but doesn't leave your cake all white-powdery afterwards. And, it's more chocolate. What's better?)

Preheat oven to 350*

Combine these and set aside:
3 C all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt

4 large eggs
3 C sugar
3 (1 oz.) unsweetened chocolate baking squares, melted (pop them in the micro for about 20 seconds)
1 1/2 C vegetable oil
3 C grated zucchini (I do mine in the food processor)

Beat the eggs at medium speed with an electric mixer, gradually adding the sugar and beating until well combined. Add oil and melted chocolate, continue beating until well blended. Gradually add the flour mixture beating at low speed until blended. Fold in zucchini. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Let cool in pan for about 10-15 minutes, turn out onto cake plate and cool completely. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and enjoy!