Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WOYWW October 22-The Aftermath

Here it is, my desk, plain and simple.
If you want to see what came before
Please visit here

Holidays? Of to desk around to seek inspiration for the days to come.

Comments and Questions always welcomed.

P.S.Julia is Guest Designer at Quietfire Creations today!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Forgiveness, Fun,Fiber, a Fairy and Fruit- T is for Tuesday

Not necessarily in that order!
In a moment of insanity I joined a quiltie swap.
Two pieces of cloth with something in-between.

I do not have a large fabric stash.
I let it all go when I moved to NC, and it has been creeping a bit ever since.
The free table at Fiber Art Alliance (FAA) meetings is an ever present danger.
When my friend Kay(92) died a few years back, I saved this bundle of tartan samples.
D. Macgillivray & Co.
Harris Tweed Manufactures
Distributors for the Hebridean Crofter Weavers.
"On request we can smoke the material in peat smoke which we think gives it a distinctive odour and personality of it's own.
We believe each yard is worth much more than we charge."

The samples became the background layer
and I quickly add a focal image.
Stamped sentiment by Quietfire Design
The die cut is Spellbinders Nested Leaves.
FAA is full of quilters and their under facings, wonder under, misty fuse etc, all of which are a mystery to me, so I was excited to find a video on the web( I forget where, if you know shout out in a comment) turning my fabrics into cutables without any fusing.
Spray starch into the fabric, turn and press with a hot iron, forcing the starch up into the fabric and repeat till your fabric is just like a piece of paper.
I put it  onto my digital cutting mat
and it cut perfectly.
The fabric is a kona cotton.
The lower cut was double cut.
The leaf is one of Suzanne Cannon's files from the Silhouette Store, can't remember if it came from the newer tree file, or the Canada Day files.

These leaves were cut from tie dyed knit tee shirt.

I bought a walking foot for my trusty Singer 500 Slant
and had my first go at free motion sewing.
I love it!

The forgiveness part, is it's not quite 4" and doing no planning and being inexperienced, I wasn't able to put on a traditional binding.

I had so much fun with this, I'm planning on reorganizing to make my sewing area more accessible .

Second Birthday party.
Hats off to Stu and Tim for throwing a great one!
if you are not lucky enough to live in Asheville, you can get it online!

Of course there was cake!
There was vanilla and chocolate.
It's bad luck not to eat cake at a birthday party, so I had a small piece of both.
Way above average store bought cake.
I especially like the little crunchy bits in between the layers.
Don't tell me what was in it.
When you eat food outside of your comfort zone, eat it with joy.
The most harmful food you can eat is guilt!

There were giant coloring pages .

Magical Balloon Fairies

Far out Folding (that's me!)

AFK's swag

Josh Hansel World Campion Speed Stacker. Who knew?

Amber hooping
and more!
Be sure to pick up your AFK and join us next time to Dance your Diaper off!

I bought my first ever bottle of wine.
Made in NC or organic blueberries $4.00!
I needed it for the photo shoot of the new wine stamps and

I hope you are out enjoying this beautiful weather full of light and color!

Comments and Questions always welcomed!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Buy Rubber- No calories!


Show me yours!
Comments and questions welcomed!

WOYWW October 15-Pens, Paper and Pumpkins!

As instructed by our fearless desk hopping leader 
(and Guest Designer! Do hop over to
 Quietfire Creations to see, and more to come on October 22) here are totally untouched, unposed photos of my desks.
My links are to inspire and amuse, rather than blatantly advertise, tho I do blow my own horn occasionally !

I took a calligraphy course ( more here), and must practice everyday to learn the hand, hence the practice papers and pens.

The lighted pumpkin was "made" with a 3D printer!, button pushed by my dear SIL. Fun!

The fold and tuck cards are digital cuts from the blog of Debby, Paper Pulse.
Fun fun fun!
What was I thinking? I'm in a quiltie swap.
What do I know about quilting?
Channeling Twiglet!!! 
Got myself a walking foot and learning free motion sewing!
Old dog, new tricks- stay tuned.
And lots and lots of new Quietfire Design stamps.
Blame Pinterest for the wine bag card holder (digital file here)
I don't stay up nights thinking up these things- I sleep!

I could use more poetry and art and journaling in my life, so if you feel so inclined please visit
Poetry Journal Monthly and share some with us all.
Comments = prizes!

Off to desk hop around the world?

Comments and questions always welcomed!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Good News and the Bad News - T is For Tuesday

I met with fellow food writer, blogger and man about town Stu Helm for a cup and conversation at the Clingman Cafe this past week.
The Cafe is an enjoyable place to chat, eat, hang out, people watch, and aside from no where to put my tea bag, the tea selection is fairly good for a coffee shop and  there were lots of pastry options.
I decided to try the chocolate chunk muffin- far afield from my PP, and ended up taking it to an under the weather friend, and it cheered her  right up! It does look lovely on the plate.
There are lots of artisan mugs on the wall for sale, and many folks were drinking out of handmades. I like that.
Shout out to Stu for reminding me how enjoyable male friendship can be. Visit his FB page, he loves likes, and he has a blog too. Stu often makes me laugh out loud and I like that too!

The good news is, it's hard to get a bad meal in Asheville, even as a vegetarian, vegan or raw foodist.
Possible, just hard.

Now for the bad news, and I wish, I didn't have to write this and I'll be thrilled to be proved wrong in the future.
It's hard to get a good meal in Black Mountain.
Possible, just hard.

More company, had me trying out the local places once again, due to hunger and convenience. The first thing you notice about Blue Ridge Biscuit Company, is the chicken.
Great Chicken!

Place your order at the counter and they bring you your food when it's ready. There are paper menus you can take to a table while you make your selections. That's nice.

The food is ok, if you like this kind of food.
Clearly not a Sysco free zone. Foil wrapped butter pats ruin my appetite .
The service is friendly and fast.
The plating and service areas need work.

Nothing wrong with the jam or drinks, just unattractive and messy.

Grits and sweet potato fries.
The fries were good, the grits fine, and it looked like the food was just thrown on the plate.
Biscuit with shitake gravy and veggie sausage.
My brother enjoyed it, and this is a very brown plate.
Needs, color and something to keep the food from sliding around, from the kitchen to the table.
SIL, an omnivore, got a trout spread biscuit. She said it was ok, and again the plate is messy.
At least it has a little color.
The food was eaten, we enjoyed ourselves, the bill was reasonable, I can't say it was great or even very good, and even tho I do send folks there, I don't choose to eat there myself.

Fresh Wood Fired Pizza opened a few years ago in Black Mountain, and I was really excited.
I love wood fired pizza, and the owner said he was going to use local ingredients, organic flours and slow rise bread baking  methods.
Maybe he does, and the food can often be good, tho never great, at least not lately, and there is no other way to say this,
the service is terrible.
I have gone there a lot, really, a lot, and even if it's empty the service can be bad.

Friday night we went , and it was so crowded, there was no where to stand inside. I had to corner a server to ask how long it might be to get a table, and she guessed 25 minutes, and from previous experience, that meant it could be over an hour till we might eat, and it was already almost 8pm.
Note, the server did not ask if I was interested in a table, and I saw other folks trying to figure out how to get their name on the list.
With two veggies in tow, there is really no where else to eat in Black Mountain, with more than one choice, so we went to Native Kitchen in Swannanoa and had a nice meal.
Brother ordered a tempeh ruben, that came with slaw instead of kraut- a surprise- maybe we didn't read the menu, and it came from the kitchen as catfish instead of tempeh.
I believe it was a kitchen mistake, and the server make it right, quickly.
I was tired, I just reviewed them the other day, so no photos. It was a good meal and we enjoyed it, aside from that mix-up.

Meanwhile, back at Fresh...
We returned again Sunday between football games, it was early, 5-ish, Fresh was half empty, and we did get menus quickly.
The server was friendly and attentive, tho she didn't seem to know, or offer  what the soup of the day was, or if there were any specials.
When I ordered vegan cheese on my pizza, she told me they might be out of that.

Brother order a beer off of the table menu, and they were out of it, then she read him the available brews. He gave them points for serving the beer at the right temp. It was a Highlands Pale, I think.
It went downhill from there.
SIL offered hot tea, that came in an over filled pot, on top of a box, that spilled hot water on her when the server put it on the table.
 We weren't sure at first what the box was, and it contained the teas.
All the little spaces were filled, tho there were only a few choices.
Arranging them gave us something to do while we waited for out food.
When SIL poured the water, the top fell off of the pot.
Again,no place to put the tea bag.
Remember, the place was half empty.
It took over a half hour to get our pizza's.

Wood fired crust is thin and crisp and requires the right balance of ingredients on top.
This pizza has too much of everything, including ricotta cheese, mushrooms and a red sauce, that have too much liquid in them, so the center of the crust was soggy, and the topping slid off.
To my eye, it's gloppy looking.
SIL was not impressed.

My pizza, I asked for char, Daiya vegan cheese, olives, roasted garlic and mushrooms, was ok, tho the garlic wasn't roasted! It seemed like just whole cloves of raw garlic( more on this to come).
All of the pizza's came with basil sprinkled on top, which we didn't ask for.
It was only a little soggy.
For  eye appeal comparison visit here.
Brothers pizza didn't appear.
About five minutes later, the server said something about they got oil on his pizza and they were making him another one.????
Then she brought him another beer, that he didn't want.
Fifteen minutes later, his pizza came.
He had asked for roasted garlic, and they were out of it.
How can a pizza place run out of garlic?
Did the pizza guy not know the difference between roasted and raw?
Garlic and oregano would have been welcome condiments on the table.
It was ok, on the bland side and not soggy.

I fault the management for the poor service. All the servers I have had there are young and eager to please, they just need some training.
I have been, a server, cook, chef, owner of a catering company and have cooked and served more meals than I care to think about.
Go read your reviews Mark.

Part of the problem is also Black Mountain itself.
Perhaps it's too easy to go to Asheville.
Perhaps folks just aren't that interested in what they eat.
All I know is, as a whole foods, locovore vegetarian, I can eat in Asheville, or eat at home if I want a very good meal.

Next time, we will go to Asheville.

Link up with other beverages today at T is for Tuesday.

Comments and questions always welcomed.

Monday, October 6, 2014

One is Silver and the others Gold / T is For Tuesday

I enjoyed both old and new friends this past week.
Guests mean going out to eat!
I took my dearest friend Diane and her husband John to 
From their website:
All Souls Pizza is committed to using fresh seasonal ingredients. We mill our own flours and polenta from organic grains, many of which are traditional varieties. We source our meat and produce as closely to home as possible. Our bread comes from Farm & Sparrow Bakery.
Aside from serving meat, their food philosophy is very close to mine.
I always feel healthy after I eat here, even if I stuff myself as everything I have ever had is so good!
The servers are knowledgeable , have great memories, and I love sitting outside by the field.
This pizza is kale, crimini mushrooms, onion and olives on their amazing wood fired crust.
youc an also get a polenta crust that is surprisingly wonderful!
My DD was also with us, and we wanted the watercress, watermelon radish, green been salad, and it had cheese in it, so our server suggested butter lettuce salad and he would add some watercress.
This is the only restaurant I don't ask for my dressing on the side.
In addition to perfect butter lettuce leaves it had roasted beets and a herb vinaigrette dressing.
Keep your salad plate to wipe up with your pizza crust.
It's that good.
Note on the photos- it was dark, and we used an additional phone as lighting.
Starters and salads were shared (the salad photo has gone the way of all things!).
The roasted beets were delicious, sweet, perfectly cooked and served with a horseradish sauce (we ate around that).
The bread, ah, the bread! This is the best bread I have ever eaten. 
If you must eat bread, eat Farm and Sparrow.
It is wood fired, self leavened, fresh ground with mostly locally grown grains.
Delicious, honest bread.
David is a master baker and we get the benefit of his labor.
Thank you David!
The ferment plate for the bread was outstanding. 
Tasty fermented carrots, cabbage and peppers in a sea of olive oil.
Again, great to wipe up, if you have any left with your pizza.

Saturday I went to a class at a new gallery/art space
TEXture Art Bar.
The entryway.

The sink(note glassware- T is for Tuesday)

to take a class in pointed pen with
Kathy Milici.
Kathy creating for Diane and John

I enjoyed the class, learned a new hand and made some new friends.

We went out to dinner at 
Nine Mile
also new to me, and a fav of my DD, so she joined us again!
From the website:
Nine Mile is a casual full-service vegetarian-friendly restaurant and bar with two locations in Asheville, NC. The original location is in the heart of Historic Montford. The newest location is in Downtown West Asheville on Haywood Rd.
Our cuisine consists of Caribbean inspired pasta dishes, rice dishes, a handful of traditional pasta dishes, daily specials, and an array of locally made desserts.

The carrot, coconut soup was a delicious special for starters.
Love the presentation. It makes you hungry!
Note the water- our drink of choice for the evening.

I'm sure the bread is ok, and I'm just a Farm and Sparrow(All Souls) Girl.
I don't eat anything( when I can help it) that isn't worth the calories , in the mouth.
We were so hungry I forgot to get a photo of our mains, till after we dug in.
DD and I shared the raw zucchini pasta, with a pesto sauce, and a good (I'm guessing out of the bag) mixed green salad, with tempeh, apples and a balsamic vinaigrette.
I love tempeh, and even tho I live in Asheville, I do not love Smiling Hara, our local maker.
No matter how it is prepared, it  has a tastes that is a bit off to me, and the mouth feel is soft, and sometimes slimy.
I wish I liked, it as almost everyone serves it, and it ruins the dish for me.
I'll keep trying.
The zucchini "pasta" is a welcome change to another flour product, and I found it refreshing with the pesto sauce, that was well, basally! in a good way.
Over all I enjoyed the meal.
Our server seemed a bit confused a times, and it was hard to catch his eye when needed.

I was happy to see both restaurants very full on both evenings.
Nine Mile was packed, and quite noisy.
I don't think they have any outside seating.

It's really hard to get a bad meal in Asheville!
Come visit, my gold and silver friends!
and come hungry.

Comments and Questions always welcomed.