Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Scottie Dog

The Japanese pastor at work and his wife just had their first baby about two months ago - a little boy named Keitaro. Before he was born, the gal staff gave them a baby wipe and diaper shower one morning. I had thought I would expand this pattern and make a little basket to hideaway those unsightly wipes boxes.

But I was terribly slow at revamping the pattern and I missed the shower.

Then I ran across this adorable free pattern by Denyse Schmidt and I had the perfect fabrics to make it extra special.

I found these bits of children's yukata fabrics when I was in Japan in 2003. I also picked up some odd and end handkerchiefs at the 100 Yen store. That's like our Dollar Tree. I also got Maisy's food bowl there.

The yukata fabrics are a little coarser than regular quilting fabric, so I was hesitant to incorporate them in a larger quilt project. They worked in nicely though for this little guy.

For the strip that joins the two sides, I used a Japanese panel I received as a thank you for making blocks for our sister city quilt swap with Hitachi, Japan. I found it helpful to mark all my pivot points on the strip and clip them before attempting to sew them together.

He turned out so cute. I like him as is, but he may get a red ribbon collar before he goes in the gift bag.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

We'll leave the light on for you.

Lots of houses in my neighborhood have front porches. Big porches. And a lot of them will have a lamp on the porch even if they have a porch light attached to the house. I thought this was a bit odd when I first moved in, but now I think it is extremely charming.

I have been on the lookout for a lamp for my porch. A couple of weeks ago I spotted one at the new thrift store. So last weekend, I bought it.

I love the softly scuffed little stars all over it. It would really be sweet in a guest room, but I'm overrun with lamps inside.

It gives off such a warm, cozy glow. I'm looking forward to spending some warm nights sitting on the porch.

On my way back from the grocery the other night, I was almost home when I started counting lamps on porches. Seven. That's a lot of lamps in a short distance.

Now mine makes eight!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Brunch at Veranda

After our visit to Vulcan, we make a quick stop by the thrift store where Robbie scored a black quilted Talbot's jacket with hood for $5. Yes, $5. Didn't have a scratch on it. Marta found a knit zip-up jacket and I came home with a tank top and a skirt.

We scurried home quickly to throw together dinner as I had invited neighbors down for fudge pie dessert and a visit. Of course, William arrived right on time bearing flowers and apologizing that Michael couldn't join us because he wasn't feeling well. We were still scarfing down dinner, so I fixed him a glass of iced tea and told him to make himself at home. Peggy was a few minutes later and she brought a cheesecake she had made that day. They stayed for over three hours, so I think you could say we had some fun.

Sunday rolled around pretty quickly and one of our last outings was for the jazz brunch at Veranda on Highland. The weather had been gorgeous for two days, so if we had a few sprinkles this morning at least we would be indoors enjoying some great food and a little music.

I'm not sure what the picture looked like on Robbie's end. Robbie had the Gulf fish, which I believe was grouper, served atop roasted fingerling potatoes and sugar snap peas, drizzled with herb lemon oil.

I had the Smoked Salmon Cakes with poached eggs, caviar Champagne butter sauce, red onion marmalade and shaved fennel salad.

Marta ordered the Bananas Foster Shortstack with apple smoked bacon, crumbled pralines and chantilly cream.

I don't think there is anything short about this stack. Robbie and I helped her with the ever-so-thin slices of bacon.

After lunch we made a quick run back to Miss Rosemarie's as Marta had been thinking about the teapot she spotted on the first day.

And then the weekend was over-way too soon. A good time was had by all.

They headed home and I headed to the couch for a nap.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Visiting Vulcan

After the obligatory pictures in front of the house on Saturday morning, we started the day with a visit to an exhibit of the latest work by extraordinary local artist Arthur Price. He and his wife were even there. My next door neighbor has a canvas he did for her. I was extremely jealous when I helped her hang it over her bed.

Our next stop was downtown Homewood again. We had in no way hit all the shops the day before. After lunch at O'Carr's, we headed off to pick up where we had left off and we closed down the street by the end of the afternoon.

On the way back to my side of town we made a stop at Vulcan Park.

The 50-ton statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of the forge, atop Red Mountain is the largest cast iron statue in the world. It was built for the 1904 World's Fair. You can visit this link for more detailed info.

When I first moved to Birmingham, he came down from his perch overlooking the city for a rest and some badly needed repairs. But he has been back at his station for some years now and looking better than ever.

This is the view of downtown from the base of Vulcan.

Avert your eyes!

Showing off his best side!