Saturday, May 24, 2014

Famous People

Have you met any famous people?  I hadn't really until today.  I've met lots of quilting teachers, some even super stars, but they're not the kind of famous people that most of the public would know.  A lot of times people will ask me who's the most famous person I've met and I never really had an answer before today.

Today changed all that.  I went to the grand opening of a restaurant.  Ordinarily I stay clear of new restaurants until I'm pretty sure they've worked out the kinks.  I'm particularly reminded of one Mexican restaurant that was a nightmare even after being open for a week.  But I digress.

Do you know who Michael Symon is??  He's an Iron Chef, graduate of the CIA (not the spies, silly!), co-host on The Chew, author, and restaurateur.

Like many others in the area, I was looking forward to Michael Symon's new restaurant, B Spot, opening in nearby Rochester Hills.  I lived in RH for a few years and the mall where his restaurant is is flourishing so it's a great spot for him.

I had no problem standing in line which had about 30 people ahead of me and all of the 85 seats already filled at 11:40 a.m., 10 minutes after they opened.  I brought my camera and filled my time by snapping pictures of a gorgeous day.

Even this guy couldn't get a table:

The interior had this interesting welded piece hanging from the ceiling:

Some nice looking bourbons....

This neon sign directed diners to the condiment station.

I sat at a high-top table, beside this giant wall of beer cans.  Amazing.

I ordered a fabulous burger with mushrooms, grilled onions and bleu cheese and the Lola Fries which were skinny fries with rosemary, plus a Rochester Mills Red ale.  MMMMMMM!

Everything was so good -- cooked to perfection and the proper portion size.  I'll definitely be back.

Michael was very pleasant.  He stopped at every table and chatted.  I asked him about their plans to open a second B Spot in Royal Oak and he said they still have to choose a location but expect it to be open by the Fall.  I think it will definitely become a regular spot for me.  They have great food and the beer, etc. offerings are varied.

I took a great picture of Michael chatting with the people waiting ahead of me but the picture vanished from my camera - damn!  I took some candid shots while I was waiting for my food and then one final posed shot.  They were studying the line cooks.  I saw Michael eat a burger but I think he was doing some quality control.

I wish I had turned on my flash for this shot.  Darn!

I will definitely be going back.  I'll try different food and different drinks.  I tend to order the same thing over and over again at restaurants but I will make a conscious effort to expand my repertoire.

Who's the most famous person YOU'VE met?????

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Too Fast!

This weekend has flown by and I haven't done a single fun thing!  Work, work, work -- ugh.  Remember what they say:  All work and no play makes Suzanne a dull girl!  I hope to get back to some fun things really soon.  Sooo many projects in my head -- I need to start cutting up fabric and putting it back together again.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Vacation Loot

Maybe taking a big vacation after having given up buying fabric for Lent wasn't a good fiscal decision.  Then again, I did save a couple thousand dollars by not buying a new sewing machine or serger at the AQS show -- and I was oh so close!

I found great things at the Paducah show and I only bought things I don't have or couldn't find at my local quilt shops.  Honest.

 A beautiful Persimmon wood trinket box (er, sewing tools) and cute Grape Basket pin

A couple of marvelous books:

I had the chance to visit with Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry at her studio near the convention center:
Apparently it was my good fortune, as Caryl has since closed the studio and will be moving to Washington state.  Her studio is for sale if anyone is interested....

I also did some shopping in Marietta, Georgia, after visiting my niece Carla and her family in Atlanta.  My first stop was the Red Hen Fabrics, an interesting shop full of great fabric at reasonable prices.  Next I headed over to Little Quilts, where I added to my stash of Japanese fabrics.

While searching for these shops in Marietta I drove by two very interesting Civil War era cemeteries.  The Marietta National Cemetery contains the remains of over 10,000 Union soldiers and the Marietta Confederate Cemetery, which has over 3000 Confederate soldiers.  It was very sobering driving past each cemetery.

My final purchases came from my visit to Berea, Kentucky, where I found these wonderful treasures.  The first basket came from Top Drawer Gallery, a shop that sells locally made hand crafted items.  I love this basket -- it's so unusual.

This basket came from PeaceCraft, which sells fair-trade items from around the world.  My new basket came from Bangladesh and will be used to store some sort of sewing project or tools. 

I also fell in love with this black bag.  I instantly knew it would be a perfect camera bag.  I'd been carrying my camera in my regular purse and it was weighing it down.  This bag was made from a recycled rubber inner tube -- crazy!

I love each and every piece of 'loot' I brought home with me.  I have several new quilts to make, some fabulous new tools and books, and several reminders of a great trip.  Can't wait to go back -- maybe next year???

Friday, May 9, 2014

The Fabulous Bonnie Hunter!

More than three years ago I contacted Bonnie Hunter and hoped she'd be available to speak and teach at Great Lakes Heritage Quilters during my year of programs.  No, she was booked up solid for years!  I managed to book her for this year and she was so worth the wait.  She is currently booked through 2018!!

Bonnie is as genuine as they come -- what you see is what you get.  A super talented quilter, she loves to share her enthusiasm for scrap quilting.  I believe I could be converted yet!  Her simple system of cutting scraps into strips and squares makes assembling a quilt so much easier.  One take-away for me -- when separating light fabrics from darks, your darkest light should be the color of a paper grocery bag.  That is such a great tip for distinguishing your piles of fabric.

Our meeting last night was most likely the highest attended meeting yet for our guild.  We had 50 guests and 95+ members present, plus three people said they'd like to join our guild starting in September when our new year begins! Wow, wow, wow!!

Here are a few favorites from Bonnie's trunk show.  If you feel like you're sitting in the front row of a movie theater that's about how I felt -- quilts were shown up close on the stage.  There are a few close ups of some of the quilts.  They were all so wonderful.

We were so fortunate to have Bonnie visit our guild.  Quilters came in droves to hear this delightful woman and see her beautiful quilts.  If she's ever in your area don't hesitate to hear her speak.  Here's her schedule for the coming years: Bonnie's Calendar.  You'll see what I mean by an in-demand kind of speaker!