Thursday, October 16, 2014

Creative Stuff & Birthday Dinner

I can't believe it's been two weeks since I updated my blog, but that is what happens when summer is over. It seems that with cooler temperatures we all come back to life and get really busy with meeting up with friends, going into town, going out for walks. In short, we love being able to be outside again without melting!
It also means though that computer time is cut short. And that means that I'm behind on e-mails and blog visits. I think I'll try adopting a once-a-week-blog-post approach for the rest of the year (which I can already see getting busy with fun stuff) and see how that works. Flexibility is the key, I think!
I have been so busy with creative projects and it has been beyond fun for me. In this post, I'll share a couple of my latest paintings, which have sold already. I'm working on another one and will maybe get that done today.  I'll also show you some of my recent sewing projects.
My art continues to excite me, especially since I work so intuitively for most of the painting and never know where it will lead. Fun!!
So, yesterday was Daniel's birthday and I planned a surprise dinner with some friends for him.
Because we've all been to Spain, I decided to make paella (the real thing!) and a few tapas for appetizers.  I was so nervous and really studied quite a few paella recipes and then put together my own combination of ingredients.
I finished these little clutches last week to send to a boutique in Texas to hopefully sell for me. They turned out beautifully, although I have to admit I am still a bit insecure about my sewing.
Speaking of sewing, just in time for the dinner I finished sewing these fun placemats. Each one is different and they all make for a happy table, don't they?  
And the paella? It was perfect and delicious!! I had bought the real paella rice for it and added chorizo, chicken, prawns, squid and clams. I was so relieved it turned out well!
For his birthday, I got Daniel (well, us really) a fire pit for the backyard. We've talked about it for a long time and I figured we'll make great use of it all winter long.
And as you can see, we tried it out last night. It was perfect! Even Winslow joined us for some conversation (although I suspect he was more intent on checking out dessert!).
It was one of those evenings that is just rich with all the good stuff: friends, family, laughter, good food, perfect weather and simply spending time together. In the end, those are the things that matter, aren't they?!

Sending you love and joy on this beautiful Thursday!

P.S. I made a fantastic Sangria to go with the dinner.

P.P.S. It may be responsible for the slight headache I have this morning...

P.P.P.S. It was totally worth it! 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Pretty and Delicious!

Just a quick post today. I'm feeling inspired to decorate for fall and I want to take advantage of that! Of course, decorating always brings with it a good bit of dusting and rearranging. It's going to be a busy day...

However, I wanted to share with you this zucchini cake I made the other day. My friend Rachel shared the recipe (click here) and it is delicious!! I modified it a little as I had no self-rising flour in the house, so I made my own, adding leavening. Plus, I used half whole wheat, half white flower. And I used demerara sugar, which I made a little finer in the food processor, instead of white sugar. Excellent!! I have much of it sliced in the freezer for a quick snack if needed...
The picture below I snapped one day when I had gotten a few blackberries out to thaw. I did a few other things and when I turned around again, I was stopped in my tracks. Sometimes ordinary things can be so beautiful!
Hopefully you are having a great week so far. We had a rainy day yesterday and today it's sunny and cooler and the humidity level is dropping fast. Makes me a happy woman! 

I leave for you today with sunny wishes and much love,

P.S. No time for a proper postscript today....

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Recently in Atlanta

A few weeks ago Daniel and I went to Atlanta for a couple of days. To be honest, downtown Atlanta isn't my favorite place, but I do love the High Museum and a few of the restaurants close by. We usually stay somewhere close to the museum to be within walking distance.
This time we happened to arrive right at the tail end of the Dream Cars exhibit and are so glad we got to see it!
I'm not usually a car enthusiast, but with these I definitely wanted to take them for a spin.
They were all very advanced designs for their times and none of them (I think) were produced in large numbers. Don't quote me, I could be wrong knowing next to nothing about cars...
Can you spy Daniel reading about the Tasco in the photo below? He took lots of pictures to send to some of his family members in Michigan who work in the car industry.
Just look at some of those designs! Beautiful!
And so shiny! It was good they put up ropes to keep us at a safe distance as I am sure I wasn't the only one wanting to touch them. There were a few guys there practically drooling over some of these beauties...
One thing I wondered - this exhibit was on the second floor of the museum. How in the world did they get all of those cars up there?!

The car below reminded me of a platypus. :)
And this next one is just adorable - sort of like you could fold it up and stick it into your fancy French purse!

Some of the cars were incredibly advanced. This one had a camera in the rear and a monitor next to the steering wheel. They didn't need a rearview mirror! And look at that glass roof!!
There's the camera!

After all that museum going, Daniel felt in need of a rest. Isn't that a fun installation? Later on the hammocks were all filled with school kids.
As much as I don't really like downtown Atlanta, I love some of the more funky neighborhoods with their bookstores, restaurants and boutiques. For breakfast on our way back to Savannah, we stopped in the Candler Park area at the Flying Biscuit Cafe - excellent food and a fun atmosphere!
After that the long(ish) and rather boring drive back to Savannah. We did listen to a great audio book on the way there and back: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, who actually narrated the book excellently. Love his books!!

In other news, we are still having fantastic fall weather and can hardly believe our luck. It's overcast and cool and always threatening to rain. And storms and rain we shall have for the next three days or so. Perfect for all kinds of projects I may or may not work on...

Wishing you the perfect fall day, however that might look to you!! We are off to our local farmers market for some organic produce!

P.S. Remember how yesterday I had no plan and was just going to do what makes me happy? Well, I ended up making a little list just to help me focus. It seems I need that. Otherwise I just end up wasting a lot of time trying to decide what to do and that doesn't make me feel good at all!

P.P.S. Remember the painting I'm working on? Yesterday I painted for a good while and it just didn't flow. There are days like that. In the end I was grateful that I work in acrylics and that I had gesso to cover it up and start over with parts of it. I really had to remind myself that the joy is in the process and not in the final product. I felt slightly (well, more like a lot) grumbly about that!

P.P.P.S. Today is a new day!!