September 28, 2010

Thank You, Quilter's Home!

Maybe you've gotten the October/November issue of Quilter's Home magazine by now? Well, i just got mine last week and was so excited to see if this was
The Issue. So i flipped eagerly to the back page (completely missing the mention on the cover), and sure enough...it is!So if you want to know which person living or dead I'd like to meet, or how i met Pete, or if i have any phobias...it's all here. Plus, from cover to cover there are some great articles and a few amazing and free quilt patterns by Elizabeth Hartman and Scott Hansen. Thank you thank you to both of the editors of Quilter's Home, Jake and Melissa, for getting in touch and including me in your wonderful magazine!

When Melissa called to interview me, i seriously could have talked to her all day long. Note: once you read the interview, this next part will make more sense :) At one point in our conversation, Melissa told me that not only did Monet love to garden, he also loved to cook. I had no idea! There's a book called "Monet's Table" that is both a journal and a collection of recipes Monet gathered throughout his travels, from restaurants he would frequent in Paris, and from friends — like C├ęzanne! Needless to say, thanks to Melissa, this book will find a special place in my kitchen and this issue of Quilter's Home will find a special place in my studio. Thank you!

On another note, there was a break in the rain clouds yesterday so i went out to our garden to eat my lunch, ran back in the house, grabbed my camera and snapped these:They'll be starting their migration soon, so i took a few extra minutes to marvel at their beauty. Your turn ;)

September 22, 2010

Picking Dinner at Lunchtime

Despite the somewhat cooler evenings around here, our garden is still
going strong:
I picked a beautiful crown of broccoli todayand all of these!
Dinner is served! And tomato sauce, and tomato bisque, and tomato puree, and salsa, and bruschetta, and caprese salad, and bacon, lettuce and...
oh yeah, TOMATO!

September 17, 2010

The Giant Stack

This one goes out to all of you who like to eat dessert first, or read the last sentence of a new book before you read the first one, or unwrap your gifts before Christmas (if you're not one of those people, stop reading now). Otherwise...here's Central Park. The whole yummy pile:
I'll tell you more about the background and inspiration later...
Have a great weekend!

September 16, 2010

Central Park: Bird's-Eye View

If you were a bird flying south around now, you might look down
and see this:
Yup, you're right! It's the island of Manhattan. See that giant rectangular forest of green with enormous reservoir in the middle? That 843 acre oasis is Central Park. I snapped this photo on a recent trip to Chicago and thought it might be a fun way to give you a big picture (and i mean big) introduction to my new fabric collection.

Over the next week (or so), i'll share a bit of the background and inspiration for some of the prints, before actually showing you the whole, colorful, mouthwatering stack of fabric. I hope this will help to give a little insight about how the collection evolved, but really, i want it to emphasize that there is inspiration everywhere! I feel like i keep saying this, but it's only because i keep learning it. Over and over. It's even hiding in places you have gone to countless times — which is what happened with me and Central Park, unexpectedly and serendipitously, one chilly afternoon.

More on that tomorrow...

For now, a little trivia about the park:
• In 1857, the city of New York held a public contest for the design of the land. The design was supposed to evoke the great parks of Paris and London.
• Frederic Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux's design was selected. It was called "the Greensward Plan" and featured an English style landscape with large meadows, several lakes, and hills — pretty ambitious considering the land was mostly pig farms, quarries and swamps at the time!
• About 4 million trees and shrubs were planted
• It was the first landscaped public park in the United States
• It took 20 years to complete

Oh! a question that has filled my emailbox more than any other is, "When will Central Park be available?" Well, it'll be shown at market in Houston next month and is scheduled to ship in January 2011. What a fun way to ring in the New Year, huh?! Oops, you haven't seen it yet. Don't worry, we'll start to change that. Tomorrow.

September 14, 2010

On the Road Again (aka: Road Trip, Part Two)

Seems like i detoured from the Road Trip theme, and never got back on the highway! (You're used to that from me by now, right?) Ok, so put the
pedal-to-the-metal and you can speed through some pics from the rest of our adventure to Cleveland, Toledo, and a pit stop in Ann Arbor. No words other than captions...and when you get to the ones of the peaches...i just want you to know they were the sweetest, juiciest peaches we've ever eaten. But before we get there, here is The Thinker by Rodin at the
Cleveland Museum of Art...He spends his days looking out over this beautiful park...thinking...a lot:
A building designed by Frank Gehry:When we went to pick up our rental car at the aiport, we passed
this empty spot:And thought it was a little ironic because we were headed
here the very next day:And then went to the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame. If you're ever in Cleveland..GO! It's so much fun, and it's right smack on Lake Erie:You might even end up on the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine, like we did! I only wish i'd known what they were taking our picture for, or we could've done something extra goofy. Maybe next time:Then we got in the car and headed toward Ann Arbor, MI. I love road trips because you get to see things you don't normally see around where you live. Like this:
Back in the car...it rained, it was sunny, it rained again, and then...Just in time. Because this sign caught our eye and we had to make a
Starsky & Hutch screeching U-turn to pull into the parking lot.Not sure if you can read the words on the chalk board. It says, "Home Grown". Gets us to stop everytime. I also fall hard for "hand picked":These peaches were like holding all the summer sunshine in the palm of your hand...and then eating it:We also drove through Toledo and found the house where my great grandfather lived. My Dad enjoyed seeing this photo after so many years. He remembered the American Elm trees that used to line the street. Though they're not there anymore, he said the house hasn't changed much:When we got to Ann Arbor, we went to Zingerman's Roadhouse for lunch. Yum! Zingerman's has their own local farm, bakery and creamery so many of the ingredients used in dishes at the Roadhouse come from those places.August was a great time to be there because their heirloom tomatoes were ripe and on the menu. Who could resist? Not me!And no summer road trip would be complete without ice cream! They had quite a unique selection at Zingerman's...Ok, i think we're caught up...for the most part...
Next up...sneak peeks!

September 11, 2010

Remembering

Pete and i were at the Halifax airport after a beautiful week-long vacation in Nova Scotia. Our bags were checked and we were heading to the gate ready to board our flight to JFK in New York. Walking down the corridor, we passed an airport cafe where a large group of people were gathered around a tiny old television set that had such bad reception, the picture was all snowy and barely visible. I thought it was a local station showing a small plane that flew into a farm's silo that then caught on fire. I remarked to Pete about how that must be such a big deal there in the rural parts of Nova Scotia, especially during the early fall harvest months when the silos were likely full of grain. We didn't think anything more of it and continued on, until we were stopped in our tracks when we heard our names being called over the loud speaker. We were told to report to the gate agent immediately. When we got there, she told us that the United States' borders had been closed and no flights would be going to New York or anywhere in the U.S. that day. Our bags could be picked up at baggage claim. She didn't have any other information to share. We asked her how we should go about getting a refund for our tickets, and she told us that in the case of acts of terrorism, that wouldn't be possible. Terrorism? What was she talking about? She let us know that there was a ferry from Yarmouth to Bar Harbor, Maine, and suggested we try to get on it. It sounded better than staying put at the airport — Pete had to get back to work in D.C. and I was starting a new job in the Empire State Building in just a few days. We were so confused and finally called our families...only to learn the devastating news. Fear, panic, sadness, helplessness, shock.

We were able to rent a car (one of the last ones they had), and it wasn't until we turned on the radio that we had any concrete sense of the magnitude of what had happened. But even that was unfathomable, as you know. We drove in silence and sadness, thinking about all the people who lost their lives that morning, and all the people who lost their loved ones. It makes me sad for them now too. I'm so deeply sorry for your losses.

The U.S. borders were re-opened in the early afternoon on September 12th, and we were able to get on the ferry then. We drove home on the 13th. Home. This little word suddenly meant so much and its meaning to me had changed significantly. Not only does it mean where my family is, where the people i love are, but home is also this country. This great country. I had never been so aware of my feelings of patriotism until being shut out and cut off from the place that had provided me with the comforting familiarity of everyday life. Certainly our country isn't perfect, but in our homes and in our communities, we each hold the potential to at least try to make things better. That we live in a place where that is a possibility, is a gift.

So part of my remembering today includes being grateful for all the men and women who have selflessly dedicated and sacrificed their lives (and continue to do so) in order to preserve and uphold the rights and freedoms that we hold sacred. I often remind myself that i could not be doing what i do today if it weren't for them.

September 9, 2010

Sidebar Teaser

I had to share it. Couldn't wait any longer. Did you spot it yet?
(YAY!)