Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gameday Prep

This is the first time in 10 years that I haven't been in Clemson (or GaTech) for the opening weekend of College Football. I'm still crazy excited, and do not plan on moving out of earshot of the TV all day Saturday. I'll watch games Thursday & Friday, but Saturday, Saturday, is the real start for me.

I've printed the full day's schedule, with game times and broadcast method (channel/website), and filled in the gaps that ESPN.com doesn't like to advertise & local broadcasts. My homemade Bloody Mary recipe has been tweaked and is ready to go. I made bacon dip tonight (the longer it sits in the fridge, the better). I'm ready. All that's left are Friday trips to the Grocery & Liquor stores.

Week One is usually a bunch of big teams playing little teams so they can start the season off on the right foot. But there are going to be some good match-ups, and some games where I'm just excited to see a certain team play. I'm a planner, and here's my plan for the day:

9:30am - Roll out of bed, pre-heat the oven for cinnamon rolls, and boot up the laptop. It's going to be a twitter kinda day. (This picture on tumblr, prompted the decision to make cinnamon rolls a part of my football tradition this season. We always had cinnamon rolls Christmas morning, its just about the same feeling, but football!)

10:00am - ESPN Gameday. This requires a toast, and the first Bloody Mary of the day.

12:00pm Kickoff - Utah State @ Auburn on ESPN , flipping to App State @ Virginia Tech on The CW, (Auburn plays at Clemson Week 3 so I want to see how good they are this year, and a good friend did her undergrad there)

3:30pm - Troy @ Clemson on ESPN3.com, flipping to BYU @ Ole Miss on ESPN & USF @ Notre Dame on NBC. This is about the time I'll be switching to bourbon. Game Day = Jim Beam.

6:00pm - Montana @ Tennessee on Espn3.com

7:00pm - Montana @ Tennessee, flipping to BYU @ Ole Miss & Elon @ Vanderbilt (I watched SEC media Days and liked the new Vandy coach.)

8:00pm - LSU v Oregon on ABC, flipping to Boise St. @ Georgia on ESPN

10:15pm- If I'm not completely worn out, Colorado @ Hawaii

Teams in bold are the teams I'm watching these games for. Some of them are 'my teams', some are future opponents of 'my teams', and others I'm just curious about.

Check back Thursday and I'll tell you about 'my teams' and perhaps teams I have connections with (however legit or not) and Saturday I'll post my homemade Bloody Mary recipe!

Hooray for football!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

(Re)Discover Chattanooga - Southern Brewers Festival

I have to start this post off with a little information about myself & my background. My friends are beer snobs. I worked in a bar (as an artist, and briefly as a bartender) for 5 years. I really like/value taste and quality. I feel like I know my beer. But I don't drink it - I'm allergic to hops. Weird huh. So the next question is why are you writing about the Southern Brewers Festival? The answer: because it's awesome.

Why is it so awesome? First off its an outdoor music and brew fest on the Tennessee River, a pretty solid foundation & venue to start off with. You can't go wrong with that.

Second is quality. The music is solid, featuring The New Familiars, George Porter Jr. , Railroad Earth & Los Lobos to name a few. (If you've played at Jazzfest or Music on the Mountain Top, you're good in my book.) The beer is great and there is a really decent selection of well known & smaller micro brews. Everything from local breweries like Big River, Chattanooga Brewing Co & Barley Mob, to "Big Brands" like Abita, Sweetwater, Sierra Nevada, New Belgium, & Woodchuck. In the "In Between" category you have A1A Ale Works out of St. Augustine, Green Mountain Beverage out of Middleberry VT, Highland Brewing out of Ashville, and the list goes on. According to an article on 'Nooga.com they are bringing in a total of 430 kegs for this weekend, including a past favorite Orange Blossom Ale, a rare Roggenbier, and Big River Belgian-style beer that is being brewed just for the festival.

Third is cost. Tickets are $20 at the gate (cash or credit) and you get 1 beer token & a commemorative Beer Mug. Beer tokens are $3 each (cash only). These are great prices. The ticket price is in-line with the quality of music, and I feel like $3 for a festival beer is cheaper than a Bud Light at Riverbend. Prices are usually so inflated at these things, it makes me happy to see prices lined up in a resonable manner.

So that's why I'm excited about going, here's all the general festival info from their website:

When: Saturday, 8/27/11 from 2pm - midnight
Where: Ross's Landing
How Much: $20 at the gate (cash/credit) $3 beer tokens (cash)
$75 VIP pass 12 & under Free
Proceeds to: Chattanooga Kids on The Block

website - Facebook

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


I finally got over my "Artist's Block" and finished the two windows I had in limbo for what feels like all summer. This is an overdue wedding present for two wonderful people I met through Backstreets. I'm *Really, Really* sorry I didn't get to you guys sooner.

This window is a portable & classic twist on one of the windows at the bar, and hopefully a way for them to remember the people and all the memories associated with Backstreets & Clemson.

Monday, August 15, 2011

August Garden Blogger's Bloom Day

Well, most of the blooms on my 4'x6' patio have turned from flowers to fruit, so I thought I'd showcase my tomatoes this month! I have 2 tomato plants in full production, and 4 smaller plants that will hopefully bring me some late season heirloom tomatoes.

The patio is a crowded mess of tomatoes that thanks to sometimes twice daily watering, have yielded a great crop so far.

This batch of tomatoes was turned into 1/2 a jar of BBQ glaze, and 7 Pints of tomato juice seasoned to be the base for Bloody Mary's.

Football season is right around the corner, and I can't wait to make homemade Bloody Mary's and watch College Gameday. Seriously. I can't tell you how excited this makes me. College football season is my favorite time of year, and the thought of adding homemade Bloody Mary's pretty much makes me giddy :)

Sorry for the lack of 'blooms' this month, but in my garden, the tomatoes have stolen the show! To see what's blooming around the world, visit Garden Blogger's Bloom Day hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens for links!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Chappelear Window

One of the first stained glass gifts I ever gave was a wedding present to one of the girls I danced with at Civic Ballet of Chattanooga. It's her new monogram, and I never took a picture of it for my portfolio. Beth Leigh and I became "Facebook Friends" this summer, and she sent me this picture this week. One of my favorite things about stained glass is it's permanence. I love that after quite a few years they are still enjoying this window :)

Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Artists Block

I feel like I've been working on this one window for over a month now, and I've made no progress. Maybe because a more accurate statement is I've been not working on this window for over a month now. Maybe it's because it's not my window, its one I'm finishing for one of my students. Maybe because I don't have a good studio space set up. Maybe it's because I miss working at Backstreets with all of the people, music, and liquid incentives. Either way, its not getting done.

But I always work better under a deadline, and I finally have one. I'm going to Clemson next weekend, and since this window is for Backstreets, it has to be finished so it can be installed before school starts.

This is where I was about 2 weeks ago:

I've finished fitting the left 1/2 of the butterfly, and the bottom section of the right wing. My goal this weekend is to finish fitting, and maybe even solder. Then comes sealing, patina and cleaning. If I get this finished early enough in the week, I have another window in a box, that is in similar condition (but with fewer pieces) that I could take to Clemson as well.

Wish me luck!

Friday, August 5, 2011

TN Tax Free Holiday

When I lived in SC, I always would give the State of South Carolina a hard time for having laws that made no sense. You can't by liquor after 7pm, but you can buy a keg at the grocery store until 2am. You can't get your bailey's, but here, go binge drink on beer. That makes NO sense.

Well I've got a new one that makes no sense, this time courtesy of the State of Tennessee. This weekend is the back-to-school tax free weekend. It's designed to give families a break when they're making all of the purchases geared towards getting the kids ready for school again. That makes sense. The state requires the kids to have certain school supplies, and it gives them a sales tax break to purchase them. Gottcha. They even discount clothes (items under $100) as well as school supplies. This makes sense too, gotta have clothes to wear to school.

We all take advantage of the tax free holiday. Computers fall in the tax free bracket, and since they don't discriminate if you're in school or not, anyone can take advantage of this 'discount.' Thanks, State of Tennessee.

Here's what doesn't make sense. Some of the NAMED exclusions and inclusions on the tax free list. I'll start with the silly ones, and end with the most outrageous. (full list here)
  • Belts are tax free, but belt buckles sold individually are not. This separates a 'fashion' purchase from a necessary one. A little nit picky, but I won't get too upset.
  • Computers are tax free, but unbundled software is not. Sorry, you can't get that learn to type program for your kids without paying taxes.
  • Remote data storage (CD-R/RW, DVD-R/RW, portable disk drives) is not tax exempt. Sorry kids that paper you wrote last night, can't print it out at school, better buy a printer to keep at home. This REALLY irks me. Do they even understand what the kids need to be successful in school? Or is technology just not a priority?
  • BRIDAL GOWNS ARE TAX EXEMPT but bridesmaid dresses & accessories are not. Seriously?!?!
OK Tennessee, if this is where your 'Back-to-School' priorities lay, then we really need to have a sit down talk.

Monday, August 1, 2011

I didn't get the sofa but....

I went to The Chattanooga Auction House over the weekend , and while the vintage Chesterfield sofa I mentioned in my last post sold for way out of my price range (I tend to have expensive taste), I did walk away with a few good purchases for my next move.

Here's your first clue about my next move: the bathroom is tiny. There is no en suite master bath in my near future, haha. The first purchase I made at the auction is for a project I have in mind.

I bought an ornate frame and will paint it to match my next bath. Since I will have no counter space, magnets seem like a good way to deal with what little makeup I have. What I like about this, is when you have guests over you can take your makeup down, and it looks like you just have a picture in your bathroom....sneaky huh.

My big auction purchase is this sideboard!

I love it, but bidding on it was stressful! I was lucky it was painted this color, and I only had to bid against one other person, or I probably never would have gotten it!

I'd been toying with the idea of building a sideboard that could double as storage for my stained glass. After trying to live in an apartment where the dining room doubles as my studio, I've decided that in my next move I need to have a dedicated space, and scrapped the project.

I love the circles on this sideboard, and the fact that it is two tone. I think the colors are going to work great, and if not, I got it for such a steal I don't mind painting it black! It's Henredon; I don't know much about the company, but quick search showed me that they are a 65 year old company out of NC. Sounds good to me. The two drawers are lined with the silver anti-tarnish fabric, and all of the hinges and rails are in really good shape. The surprise is the whole cabinet is on casters. You can literally move it with two fingers. It's not very tall, but has room for adjustable shelves under each drawer. I love it and it is just the size I was looking for. Yay for auction buys!
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