Sunday, August 30, 2009

Life is Sweet

I'm on a learning curve with this computer so I'm slow posting.
Continuing on with the KY State Fair, which ends today, I wanted to post about the sweet things there. Well, the ones I looked at anyway. I always like looking at the decorated cakes, pies, breads, cookies, candy, brownies..... Always wishing I was a judge. Can you get tired of taste-testing sweets??
I didn't take a lot of pictures but here is a cute beehive cake. Wasn't that a lot of work to get all of those details just so with that icing? It was a prize winner. The picture is from the back of the cake. The line was long to see the front. I thought it was just as lovely from my vantage point.
This interesting Neapolitan cake was the grand prize winner. You can read an article and get the recipe here. I thought it was clever. Evidently, tasty, too!
My sister, Richey, is a big fan of cotton candy. Maybe the only thing she likes better is an elephant ear from Plehn's Bakery. She buys a couple dozen of those when in town. I think they last until about Nashville on the ride home (three hours away). I took these photos for her thinking she'd like them, but no, she just wanted cotton candy all the more!
This is the woman who loves Cap'n Crunch with whipped cream.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Ugly Lamp Contest

Sorry to be a day late-my desktop computer is badly infected and at my computer hero's house for a major hospitalization. So, it took me a little bit of time to get up and running on my laptop. Not to mention the three days I spent trying to fix it myself. :(
For many years Lynn's Paradise Cafe, one of my favorite fun restaurants to visit, has sponsored an Ugly Lamp Contest. Lynn's tables are adorned with them and a few just hang out around the place. Lynn's is a quirky place that also has good food. You can't always find both, you know. Lynn started her business in a house on Frankfort Avenue, expanded to the house next door and eventually needed even MORE room and moved to the Highlands. It is now housed in a building that was a very characteristic shape of a Denny's or something akin to that.Boxy with a big, wide, tall pointy roof. You know what I'm talking about.
I always just enjoyed looking around at the brightly painted walls, collages, kids' art, lamps, banners, decorated deciduous tree-yes, a big one with Christmas lights and playing the games that are on the table. Easy place to occupy kids of any age, including me.
My typical meal there is the meatloaf and mashed potatoes or the turkey dinner complete with trimmings. But, breakfast is served all day and I sometimes go for that.
Oh, yes, the Ugly Lamp contest. This has grown over the years and some of the entries border on the absurd. Just how much junk can we plaster onto something that has a light bulb, too? You will find out when you go!
There are several categories. There are so many "leg lamp" entries inspired by A Christmas Story, that they have their own category. One of those was my favorite this year and won a ribbon.
One disgusting lamp is the, I'll call it-Nature Lamp-complete with dead insects on the shade and a stuffed squirrel. Uck.
I sort of liked this multipurpose lamp in a lovely marbled plastic. It has an alarm clock, music box and phone! Not to mention the little brass knob that you barely touch to turn on the lamp and increase the wattage. Cool! I'd put it in my house!
But, the one I loved the best from the moment I saw it, was the cast base with fake foot and the leg x-rays made into a shade for it. Clever, indeed! What better way to commemorate a broken bone than a lamp with all the related items!
I always like looking at the lamps at the fair.This year did not disappoint.
Next post-"Life is Sweet!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

KY State Fair

I'm not a big fair person. I've never like amusement parks or rides but I couldn't resist our 75 degree weather for a trip to the fair this year. It was a long wait to get in and not being the patient sort, I parked at a florist that was closed for the day and walked. The line for walk-ins was only a few people deep, the car line-an eternity! We didn't know how much it cost to get in, but the teen in front of me had 8 bucks out. I stepped up and asked for tickets for two- 8.00. Hummmmm.
I took a close look at the tickets, wondering if my young friend had gotten a ticket into the rides, too. Nope. Jim and I were Senior Citizens (or children, which I prefer to think, I suppose). Gee, my first senior citizen anything! I'm blaming it on my balding, gray-headed, (and younger, I might add) husband.
We made careful note of the door we entered from and headed in to see what the fair held for us this year.
We entered in the area where commercial vendors are located and did a little stroll through there, signing up for a 100.00 Kroger (grocery)giveaway. Most was junk people were buying and didn't really need and probably wouldn't really want when they got home. There seemed to be good attendance for any demonstration of cookware. Don't we all want some that cooks magically? I married a cook so no need for pots and pans for me.
Moving on. I decided to try to find the local health department. When I was at the fair two years ago I got a handy little bottle of hand sanitizer complete with plastic hookie thing to hang on a belt or whatever. Saw cancer screening, dental screening, prostate screening (tried to encourage hubby to have a go at that since he hasn't been to a doctor since he was 12, but no go), blood pressure screening, but no hand sanitizer. Times are tough.
In the hall, heading to the quilts, there was a balloon sculpture that I had read about in the local paper, made by a Kansas City couple. You can read about it here.
Coming up tomorrow, The Ugly Lamp Contest!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

More atcs

Making up for lost time, I made a few more red atcs for the swap. I used background atcs I had done a couple of months ago with alcohol ink and compressed air on glossy cardstock. I stamped the images with Archival Ink Jet Black, the very best ink for this process. I read about this technique on Tim Holtz's website. I'm almost always happy with the results.

Coming this week, a couple of posts on the KY State Fair! Gotta love quilts and cakes...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

ATC for August

I got creative today and did a few atcs for the August byhandartists swap. Our themes this month are "Red", "Diamonds" and "Pets".
I incorporated all three using a diamond background paper that I rubber stamped a background stamp (Inkadinkado)onto with tea dye Distress Ink, smudged a little fired brick and vintage photo Distress Ink on top of that. On another splattery (is that a word?) background paper, I stamped the little boy and dog (Tim Holtz creative block #25) with the fired brick ink and edged the paper with the same ink. Had some old lace trim hanging around so I cut that to fit and used beeswax to collage everything together. Added the little flower with a dab of wax to finish it off.
Fun! I love beeswax. I use it in the soap I make sometimes. It has such a great feel and smell when you work with it.

Long time, no post, but it IS Saturday!

Perhaps no one is even stopping by since it has been two weeks since my last post. I was under the weather last week and missed the Saturday farmer's market, which made me sad!
But, today is a wonderfully cool day and was perfect for an early morning trip down Bardstown Road to the market. There was a note of fall in the air and even the market was showing signs of it, apples,hard shell squash, pears, Indian Corn.
My stash was not too big today. I am regaining my appetite so bigger has not been better in my mind's eye. But, isn't it a lovely assortment?

Watermelon were a little scarcer today but I got this little beauty. I bought a couple of peaches from Charles and my first apples of the year, two gala for me and a Jonathan for Jim, who likes a more tart apple than appeals to me. We still have fingerling potatoes so tomorrow night is green bean potato salad night along with one of the free range chickens we picked up. (not pictured here)The chicken guy is excited about his new son his is picking up in Ethiopia, and he will be gone the next two weeks, so we stocked up.
We have a few tomatoes from my neighbor, Judy, so I only got one Cherokee Purple for us and picked up one for Dave and Karen to try.
The beets and okra are for Mom, who's 81st birthday is tomorrow!
How about those zinnias? Are they beauties? I love the speckled ones and the beautiful green. I was also taken with the little sunflower so stuck one of those in my bunch, too. Don't they look happy along with my face plates made by Naomi?
Lastly, my delicious bread and a cinnamon roll from Theresa.
Glad to be back to marketing!

Saturday, August 08, 2009

You know what today is.....Farmer's Market!

Can you see what's missing? Flowers! My flowers from last week are still beautiful, and the pickin's were a little slim when we got there at a tardy 10:15. This was the first hot Saturday morning since mid June. Believe it or not, more people seem to turn out. Though that wouldn't be the way I'd do it. We were also later than usual so that could be a factor as well.
Happy Jack's, first stop as always. He was low on food this week. Maybe the flood Tuesday affected him, too. I got those two beautiful eggplant from him. I loved both purple colors, my quart of fingerling potatoes (for a dollar, which continues to amaze me) and my Cherokee Purple tomatoes. It wouldn't be a summer week without them!
I got some tomato seconds from Charles that I'll use tomorrow, zucchini and yellow squash, green beans, the red pepper and a cucumber. I love cucumber sandwiches. I plan on making Sue's stacked ratatouille I saw her blog earlier this week. I should have read the link, my stacks may not be even like hers, but tasty none the less.
I got Silver Queen corn at the end of the left side, I don't know his name, and he picked me out that beautiful cantaloupe.
I stopped in to say hello to Ann, sister to Kenny of Kenny's cheese, and to give her a birthday card for Mary Rose, her mom. I always had the best time with Mary Rose when the Bridge Babes would go to Barren River and make a stop at Kenny's and with her at the market. She has moved to near Indianapolis to live near another daughter and away from the farm. Her husband has Alzheimer's and they needed some help. They both have benefited from the change. She get a respite when he goes to Elder Care during the day, which he seems to like. I'm so happy for her, but I miss seeing her a bunch! I still have some Cumin Gouda, but told Ann to save me some next week.
I had a veggie omelet today and it was tasty as ever, followed by that homemade peach ice cream cone!
Jim and I both got a slice of tomato pie from Theresa for lunch but we both ended up saving for tomorrow. The stop wouldn't be complete without some of her bread for this week's bruschetta.
Jim picked up a free-range chicken and found out that they will be gone from the market for a few weeks while they are in Ethiopia adopting a new family member. Isn't that exciting?
A stop for buffalo and we headed home.
I love the market, the food, the freshness, supporting local farmers, the kinship with the farmers and my neighbors. What a great start to a summer Saturday!
I know I'm behind posting a recipe or two.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


It has been another crazy day in Kentucky. Record rainfall for any August day in recorded history.
Our library's main branch was flooded along with several bookmobiles. Many cars are up to their roof tops with water in the west end near the river. There have been several rescues and we have the chance for more rain in a little bit. I tried to get a picture of the pea-nickle-sized hail we had but it was pouring too hard to get out.
We took a walk after the rain stopped to check out the park near us and along the way I found these mushrooms. I don't think I've seen mushrooms that look like little "cups" before. I loved seeing them filled with water. We could only get about half way through the trail before it was flooded too much to continue.
Five inches in an hour is a whole lot of rain!

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Yogi's giveaway

My art friend, Yogi, is a wealth of talent and helpful information about all kinds of art and techniques. She has posted for the 400th time on her blog and is celebrating with a card giveaway. You can get to her blog by clicking on her name. I read it every time she posts something new!
Her handmade books are a favorite of mine.

Printmaking art class

Today was the final Summer Sunday Series of Six art classes at the Louisville Visual Arts Center. It was an ambitious undertaking for someone with a bad hand and I'd have to admit, I could do very little of this in the future and only for short periods of time. Today I WAY over did it and will pay for it dearly at work tomorrow.
That said, it was a really fun and very interesting class that went two hours over the appointed time. Some were done close to 4 PM, but she graciously stayed beyond 6PM when I left.
Debby Stratford was our instructor, she has been printmaking over 20 years. This was the class description-

"This class will explore the softer side of relief printmaking. Using Gomuban, an easy to carve vinyl rubber plate that holds very fine details, we will explore relief printmaking with this great new product. We will use a small press to print."

Lest I get ahead of myself, we had a delicious lunch to start with from the Cheddar Box, I mentioned them when I took the class with Laurie Doctor. Here a pic! Who can't enjoy a class that starts with a good ham sandwich (there was tuna, chicken salad, turkey wrap, corned beef, and tenderloin, too) bow-tie pasta salad with asparagus, sun dried tomatoes and peppers, fruit salad, pickle and a cookie?

We first explored just making shapes with white tempera paint on black paper with a variety of materials and textures. I used folded cardboard, made a "rake" out of cardboard, which I ended up using for my pattern quite a bit, some honeycomb shaped lace, a plastic circle from a pet syringe, a wooden stick, plastic fork from lunch, corrugated box and just about anything else you could think of. Can you find the little hooks your hang Christmas lights from the gutters?

Once we made a lot of designs, we chose the ones we liked best, cut them out and arranged them on a new piece of black paper. This would be our guide for our plate.
I ended up doodling around a bit more and using more of my second piece than my first.

Once we had our design, we replicated it somewhat on the rubber. We cut along the white lines we made. Being a little OC, I had to FILL my space with design. Lesson learned, it is actually more effective to leave a little more uncut area than I did for effect.

I did a lot of cutting at the aforementioned price to my hand. I could have done less and had a great plate, too. I also could have switched to a larger bevel sooner, but I didn't see them. I do like the exploration of a lot of designs and textures.

Overall, I'm happy with my plate. I'm sorry I didn't have it for our black and white theme for the atc swap this month. But, I plan to use the prints I made for atc backgrounds.

Had we not run out of time, it would have been great to print enough for each of us to give one of ours to everyone else and go home with 12 different designs.

We used a small press and did printing by hand without a press, which was good for me since I don't have access to one. It is harder to get a dark, consistent print by hand.

I feel an early bedtime coming on.

It Saturday's Farmer's Market on Sunday, again!

Yesterday was yet another fabulous day here in KY! We did break the record for having NO days that were 90 degrees or higher, first time in recorded history. It has just been a real pleasure to live in KY this summer.
We went to the market a little earlier than usual. Happy Jack's here we come! My mother gave me a few items on her wish list to get so some of this bounty is for her. Again, potatoes were 1.00 a quart. Yum, green bean and potato salad for dinner. I'll post that recipe this week. Sue has asked for the watermelon gazpacho so it is coming, too. I got two small eggplant for Mom's ratatouille, watermelon and tomatoes. Boring red for Mom and Cherokee Purple for us. We are addicted to these. I headed next door to Mount Eden for plants. I'd been eying a fern for the yard and pick out an Ostrich Fern. It is a bright light green and fans out so prettily. She also had some ivy that winters over here so I picked up 4 for the window boxes to replace flowers when frost comes or they have faded. They are both variegated, one called Glacier Ivy and the other, Golden Ingot. Don't you love those names?
One of the new farmers had okra, a Mom request. And I wanted a yellow tomato or two so went to see Charles for those. One is the peach variety and the other a yellow heirloom that I spotted on the "seconds" table. Picked up 5 peaches for the work week, a cucumber, two yellow and two zucchini squash. (Remember Mom's ratatouille?)
I wanted flowers for the dining room table so got my favorite "L" flowers but in ivory this week for a change. They lasted soooo long last time, three weeks! My other flowers, especially the sunflowers don't hold up as long.
We decided to have Dream Burgers for dinner, beef for a change, instead of buffalo. They are pattied and seasoned already from Dream Catchers.
A loaf of Theresa's bread and a sticky bun to go and off to the omelet line.
This weeks omelets had kale, Kenny's cheese, goat cheese, potato, and onion, with the option of smoked catfish, which I pass on. Brent, on the the chefs, is a middle school teacher and just the nicest guy. He is married to the owner of the Butterfly Garden Cafe. Remember the beautiful strawberry soup?
We grabbed a couple of bottles of water on the honor system and staked out a spot by the omelet station.
Again, I wished I brought the wagon, You should have seen me with two reusable bags on my shoulders, two plastic bags with the plants in each hand and Jim with the burgers and watermelon! Little red wagon leaning up against the chimney at home, laughing as we trudged up the steps to the house....