Monday, July 28, 2014

The Last Days of July

The Last days of July

I think CT has had a pretty good summer so far.  The record heat and humidity we experienced last year hasn't hit YET.  I hope it stays away in August too.  The summer is flying by. JoAnn's already has all of their shelves stocked with everything Fall.

When we visited last my fireplace didn't look like this!  That project is now complete.  We still have a way to go but at least we're getting there!

And last time I posted I was just about to have a birthday!  Yes, it came and IT stayed!  Another year, more wrinkles, bulges, etc. but for now I'm still laughing it off.  Two highlights of my perfect day (even though it rained) were:

My birthday cake.  Kristen made this incredibly delicious cake from Alex Guarnaschelli's recipe for Lemon Cake with Chocolate Ganache frosting.

No words can describe how delicious this cake was.  It's takes a little time but the end result is so worth the work.

The gooey drops you see are crunchy like toffee.  To die for!

Here's the link to the recipe.  Cut and paste this into your browser.

This was the second very special gift I received.  My whole family went to great lengths to make my day special and I don't mean to single out Kristen again but I've been waiting for one of her paintings since Mother's Day.  This time she didn't disappoint me.  This was my present.  Kristen said it's a "stylized" version of me.  I am so thrilled to have thick hair and cleavage!  She got my love of lavender in there too!  I will photograph it again when it finds a home when our renovation is complete.

I promised all of the ladies at craft and quilt group that I would share all of the beautiful projects they're working on.  Here are some of the incredible works of art we see every time we meet!

Lisa loves to cross-stitch.  These are some of the adorable bibs she makes.

This is a knitted dish Sue made me for my birthday.  She spent a few a meetings sitting in silence at times trying to figure out this extremely difficult pattern.  But she was determined to finish it and now it's on display in my house and I'm using and loving it! 

Dianna, Cathy, Barbara, Mary, Sandy and Claire all shared their amazing work!

Love this - would love to make one for the holidays!

Cathy I want this pillow!

Sometimes we share our stash and everyone gets to pick what they like.  Funny thing is we don't usually fight over anything because we we all have different tastes and ideas.

Yes, Lisa again!

This is Donna's knitted sweater set.  The detail is amazing.  No one would ever know it was hand knitted. She's our resident model!

 This is the Underground Railroad quilt Dianna made.

I love the last block which has the story of the Underground Railroad. 


Jen's tie pillow.

 Anne is still working on this Civil War quilt.  She's sewing each block by hand and doing it in amazing time!  She sews as fast if not faster than her sewing machine.  You have to have a lot of practice to take on that task!  I'm working on the same quilt.  I'll  be blogging about it in the future when we take a trip to Yankee Cloth in Wallingford this Fall.  

As you can tell we are a mixed group.  Many of us have more than one, two, three etc. hobbies!  Hobbies open up so many doors.  Our craft/quilt group is made up of friends who share so many of the same passions.  We laugh, learn, share and enjoy the time we spend together.  Art brings people together for all the right reasons.  

Finally, it's tomato season!  But it lasts for such a short time! I always love to take advantage of the fresh ingredients from my garden and make salads.  The salad below has tomatoes, basil, cubed cheese, black oil cured olives, olive oil, cracked pepper and cubes of biscotti all tossed in a giant bowl.  The salad comes together when the ingredients marinade a little while before serving.
This makes a great side dish or light meal.   

Thanks for visiting and see you in August!

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