Jennifer: just take the image from this post since it's bigger here. Thanks!
I noticed today when I was looking for a book on Amazon that Tinwood is publishing a new book about Gee's Bend quilts, "Gee's Bend: The Architecture of the Quilt" - it can be preordered here. It's due to be released November 28, 2006.
It almost looks as though these Gee's Bend books are becoming more and more valuable - I have "The Quilts of Gee's Bend", and even used, it is being sold on Amazon for $90. "Gee's Bend: The Women and their Quilts" is being sold for $275 on Amazon (and $289 on Alibris, even)!
...the AP has a story here about the quilt exhibit, which is currently at the High in Atlanta. Also: Auburn has a site with some pics from the Freedom Quilting Bee Festival in 1966 here and many more quilt pics with some short commentaries here; a Gee's Bend Quilt is Alabama's 'Official' Quilt - and the state site has instructions on how to make it; and the Wideman/Davis Dance Group does performances about the lives of the quilters, called "The Bends of Life…Surviving, Sewing, Standing" - it was just performed in Demopolis earlier this month (wish I would have known! That would have been great!).
Av and I were in the Florence, AL area this weekend...here are some random pics:
I really like this retro-looking sign!
We wanted to have lunch at the Hollywood Inn, but they were closed - they may only be open M-F:
Across the street is Bunyan's Bar-B-Q - I *love* those outdoor dining sets!!
This is the prehistoric mound right in Florence. The sign reads:
(Probably built between 100 BC and 400 AD)
This is the highest domiciliary mound in the Tennessee Valley. It was probably built between 100 BC and 400 AD by a prehistoric people of the ancient Woodland Culture. Such mounds served as bases for ceremonial temples or chief's houses. This mound, originally encircled by an earthen wall, contains no burials. It is 43 feet in height. Its base measurements are 310 feet by 230 feet. Its flat top measures 145 feet by 94 feet. Evidence indicates that nearby there were two smaller mounds, villages, and cultivated fields.
We drove over to Tuscumbia to visit Coldwater Books:
...which is our favorite bookstore there - Av got a couple of things - and then since it was so hot, we went over to The Palace, which is an ice cream shop that used to be a drugstore. It was okay, but have you ever gone to a place where (gosh, even at 33 I sound *so old* saying this) the teenagers are two million times too cool to actually be working there?
Okay, enough about that. But I will say that from now on we will stick with Trowbridge's in Florence instead, where they're all really nice and the place has been open since 1918 - and the fact that everybody's so great there is probably the #1 reason they stay busy, all the time.
Here's the historic marker for UNA (University of North Alabama). It used to be called the Florence State Teachers College, and was the "oldest state-supported teachers college south of Ohio." It reads:
1830 - opened as Lagrange College (Methodist) at nearby Leighton. First chartered college in state.
1855 - moved here and re-named Florence Wesleyan University. Flourished until closed by war in 1865.
1872 - deeded to State by church; became Florence State Normal School.
1926 - present name adopted.
...a previous post from a visit we made to LaGrange college is here.
Behind the historic marker is the Wesleyan building:
Here's a really pretty fountain on campus:
Close to the fountain is the enclosure for Leo III and Una, the UNA lions. They were having a nap while we were there:
This was our second stay at the Marriott Shoals Hotel in Florence, and it was just as great as the first time! The room was nice, and the bed was *so comfortable*. There's also a nice private balcony which overlooks the pool and gives a view of the river.
I also really like that they supply Bath & Body Works toiletries...I really want to get a bottle of the Orange Ginger Body Lotion now!
We *almost* decided to stay an extra day because Sunday night they're having fireworks and a "dive-in" movie at the pool - Finding Nemo! Neat!
Vera Wang is designing mattresses for Serta now! I saw an ad for them the other day (maybe in 'W'?), and then just yesterday I saw the commercial. I think a lot more was made about how beautiful the mattresses are, rather than how comfortable (which 99% of the time, my mattress is dressed in sheets, duvets, etc. so it seems that maybe her design could be better expressed as bed linens...or something else that could be better seen). I'd still like to see it in person, though!
The June issue of Conde Nast Traveler has a small feature on 'shopping cities' that are really good values, and one of them is Santa Fe. Av and I went to Santa Fe in 2001 - we were going to Denver and decided to drive rather than fly so we could see and do more things along the way (and out-of-the-way). Some of the highlights were: being touristy and having lunch at The Big Texan in Amarillo (although Av didn't try to eat the 72 oz. steak); 'catching' a giant tumbleweed in Dumas and putting it in the back of the car so that when we arrived at our hotel in Denver, the bellmen just looked at each other like we were crazy (we still have it - it hangs high above in the set of stairs that leads from the first to second floor of our house); driving on Route 66; Av finding the best country fried steak in the universe in Tucumcari, New Mexico; spending a few days in Denver; the day we spent in Cheyenne, Wyoming; and the couple of days we spent in Santa Fe.
In Santa Fe, we stayed at the Hotel St. Francis, which Conde Nast recommends in this month's issue. We had wanted to stay at the Eldorado Hotel, which is a 4-diamond hotel with kivas in the rooms, but if I remember correctly, they were booked and we hadn't tried to make reservations in advance. Anyway, the St. Francis was great - it was right at the Plaza, and the room was just fine. We did eat supper one night at the Eldorado's The Old House restaurant (which on their website mentions that Zagat rated them 'best in NM' and is also 4-diamond) - it was *soooo amazing*...we loved it. We also spent lots of time at the Plaza, and also did some gallery shopping, which was really, really fun.
One of things we didn't do last time but was mentioned in the article is the Friday-Sunday Tesuque Pueblo Flea Market where it says that "nearly 500 artisans offer their handcrafted pieces tax-free." That sounds wonderful! I'd also like to see the Museum of International Folk Art there the next time we go. Fun!
I'm not sure where I heard about the Folk School last week, but I wrote it on a note and looked it up today. It's called the John C. Campbell Folk School, and it's located in Brasstown, North Carolina.
The really neat thing is that they give week-long classes in several different folk crafts - like making dolls and bears, gardening, glass, jewelry, leather, quilting, spinning, lace, etc.
I'm not huge on lace, but Av's maternal grandfather owned a schiffli factory from the 1930s until the 1950s or 1960s, and I'd like to learn more about and that sort of fabric art more.
It seems like it would be so much fun to go for a week with a friend or two in that kind of setting and come back home knowing how to do a traditional craft.
There's a course listing of what the Folk School offers right here.
Since all I did this weekend was try to get over my icky cold (which means I spent a lot of 'quality time' on a couch reading magazines and sleeping) and wound up not going anywhere, I thought I would post some pics from a trip to Graceland a couple of years ago.
Av, Leslie, and I went to Memphis for a barbecue festival, and while we were there, we visited Graceland.
Here are a few pics...
The television room:
Room with pool table:
Room with Elvis' gold records:
There are *so* many things besides Graceland there - there's a Graceland wedding chapel where people can go and get married (although there's no Elvis impersonator doing the ceremony).
Also, there's the Heartbreak Hotel - and it has themed rooms, like the "Burning Love" suite.
In Memphis, we've stayed at the Peabody Hotel, which is nice but not as nice as I expected, although they've recently renovated all the rooms since I was there - and the Embassy Suites, which is...like every other Embassy Suites. The best thing about the Peabody, though, is the location - it's right in the middle of everything - Beale Street, the AutoZone Park baseball stadium, and there's a really big shopping area called Peabody Place, with a movie theater and Tower Records, etc.
Anyway, we had a really good time at Graceland and were glad we went. What I'd like to do sometime this year is go to a place called "Graceland Too" which is *nothing* like Graceland but is supposed to be a million times more fun! It's run by a gentleman in Holly Springs, MS who is THE Elvis fan, and has turned his house into a Elvis shrine. Oh, and his house is pink. Totally pink. On Flickr, there are some pics from Graceland Too here.
I mentioned Kennedy Prints last year when we went to the Kentuck Festival and they were showing some of their fabulous posters, and allowing people to come make their own. I was instantly in love with them, and bought two posters.
Their website is up now, and it's great. Any of the posters that are in stock are $15/ea plus shipping and handling, and of course they offer their services to make custom posters for any event, with a minimum run of 100.
Under the 'printing specs' section of the site:
is what we do. You send the text and a check, and go home and pray. We do not know what will happen until we are at the press. The design of your poster is determined in real time. Sometimes we produce beautiful posters and at other times we produce BEAUTIFUL posters.
They sure do! Nice!
My great-grandmother was a wonderful cook, and 'wonderful' doesn't even do it justice. I was really young when she died, but I do remember many of the things she made, one especially being her potato salad. Oh! It was so good. It was a traditional style, with white potatoes and celery and onion and hard-boiled eggs. There's not a written recipe for it, but I always think of her whenever I make a bowl.
In the summertime especially, it just seems right to keep a bowl of potato salad (and coleslaw, to me they always go together) around to enjoy. I love it when Av gets outside with the grill and makes us some nice snapper or steak or lamb chops. He makes the hot food, and I make the cold food.
I noticed the other day that the website for Big Bob Gibson's in Decatur, AL has their recipe (just click on 'recipes' after the cute flash animation) for potato salad - theirs is nice and really different, because they add their white chicken sauce to it - it's probably my favorite restaurant-served potato salad. I had all the ingredients for it already, so I made a big bowl of it this week with just some very small changes.
BTW, you can buy white sauce online at their site here if it's not carried at your grocery store.
3lb. red potatoes (this recipe makes enough for eight or ten servings)
4 hard-boiled eggs, diced as large or small as you like
3/4 c. Mayonnaise
1/3 c. Sweet Pickle Relish (I use Wickles - it's sweet and hot)
White Onion (I used a nice sweet Vidalia) - dice the whole onion, add as much as you like
1/4 c. Big Bob Gibson White BBQ Sauce
1 tbsp seasoning and dry rub (I used a creole seasoning - Tony Chacheres)
1/8 tsp celery seed
salt and pepper
I think the last time we were in Tel Aviv, we stayed at the Renaissance, but this time we tried the Sheraton. Both are on the beach - actually, I think all the hotels that say they are 'on the beach' are actually across the street from the beach. This hotel was fine, and we were upgraded to the club level. See how the beds are singles? This is very, very common in Israel (I won't go into why just now) but the beds are always on wheels so you can just move them together.
Here's the view from our balcony:
The hotel was nice, but isn't one of my favorites. I think next time we're in Tel Aviv we'll try the Dan.
Here's a pic of the Temple Mount that Av took at Hebrew University:
One day, we went into the Negev, which is a desert. Those animals at the bottom of the pic are camels - this is at a Bedouin village (the next three pics are of Bedouin villages):
This is some kind of sculpture in the Negev:
These are olive trees that have been genetically modified so that they don't grow too tall for people to pick the olives without having to stand on ladders:
This was in front of a restaurant in Jerusalem...
Here is where we started walking from our hotel to the old city:
Isn't it beautiful? This is the garden walkway to the artists' colony in Jerusalem:
Here are the outer walls of the old city. Once we got inside the walls, we were inundated with people selling things from their shops. I knew and had heard that this would happen, but I guess if they think you're American or just visiting, the shopkeepers get to be...annoying of all things! At first, when we were walking along, they would say "come in here! No charge for looking!" and I would nicely say "no thank you" (while still walking) but some of them wouldn't give up, which doesn't work for me...I don't think anyone may have ever explained that in American culture, that's totally *rude* and isn't going to get you anywhere. On the other hand, there must be people that this tactic works on, because the shops obviously stay in business. Av has been through here several, several times so he knows what to expect, and to just keep walking, but this was my first time inside the old city, so I guess I didn't fully realize that they would be so pushy. Av says it's best to go on Shabbat so the stores are closed and it's a nicer experience to go through to the Kotel.
We got to the Kotel (the Wall) and Av went to the men's side and I went to the women's side. I prayed for a while, placed my prayer note in the wall, and just tried to take in the idea that here I was in a place of such history. I had a little tear run down my cheek, and I saw that a couple of other women there did, too. If you like, you can go to this website and type in your prayer from home, and they will place it in the wall for you.
Here's the common area in front of the Wall. The men's area is to the left and the women's area is to the right.
This is the Elvis American Diner that's on the road leading from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv:
...and this is at the King David Hotel, where Av had supper one night with some friends (I was too sick to attend but made him go!):
Hi, I'm Ginger, a 7th-generation Alabamian.
I am married to the best person I have ever known, and we are just smitten with our two sons -- who are just 15 months apart!
I love to travel, cook, read (nonfiction), and study folkways.
I enjoy self-taught / vernacular art, bottle trees, dioramas, chenille, seersucker, toile, Indian mound sites, WPA books, letterpress, gardenias, camellias, orchids, festivals, handmade things, and Southern traditions/culture/folklore.
I am a graphic designer. I like to make things look pretty.
I try to be a collector of experiences.
And I'm so happy you're here.
You can email me at:
ginger [at] deepfriedkudzu (dot) com
1. The cover of Juke Joint Soul CD
2. Courthouse protest in Harvard College Economics Review
3. Archibald's BBQ in Southern Belly
4. Katrina pics in Louisiana PBS documentary, Surviving the Storm
1. Home pics in an urban design and architectural pattern book for Michigan City, IN
2. Perry County Courthouse pic in Thicket Magazine
3. Boll Weevil Monument pic in the French Journal Insectes
4. Bryant Store pic in the Goodman Theatre, Chicago, magazine OnStage
5. Boll Weevil Monument pic and Coldwater Books pic in Thicket Magazine
6. Talladega Courthouse pic in Thicket Magazine
7. Various pics, Encyclopedia of Alabama
8. Several pics of Joe Minter's art environment for exhibit including him at Vulcan Park and Museum
9. Organizing feature at Apartment Therapy
10. Doe's Eat Place tamales at Gourmet.com
1. Mississippi Amish community pic in the Jackson Free Press
2. Interview with me about DFK in Thicket Magazine, Summer Issue
3. Several pics of B'ham and Alabama for an exhibit at Vulcan Park and Museum
4. Causeyville General Store pic used in web interactive game 'Adventure A-Go-Go' for Starwood Hotel's new brand, Aloft Hotels
5. Oxford Mound pic in the Indian Country Today newspaper (and a hundred other places)
6. Monroeville Courthouse / Mockingbird pics in Good Reading Magazine
7. Pensacola Futuro house pic used by New York Daily News
8. Benjamin Butler pot in the National Park Service's literature at Lowell National Historic Park
9. Moundville pics in educational film on indigenous people by University of Chile
10. Slugburger at SeriousEats
11. Oxford Mound for the Institute of Southern Studies
12. Indian mound pics used in the movie The New Daughter
13. Gift wrap station idea produced for Lowe's Creative Ideas Magazine
14. Snowman cutout for yard fun idea produced for Lowe's Creative Ideas Magazine
15. Star of David idea produced for Lowe's Creative Ideas Magazine
16. Dreidel pad game idea produced for Lowe's Creative Ideas Magazine
1. Several pics in the book Alabama's Civil Rights Trail: An Illustrated Guide to the Cradle of Freedom
2. Article featuring Deep Fried Kudzu in Exodus, the Samford University Magazine
3. Contributor, Best Road Trip Ever! iPhone App
4. Peaches Cafe pic for Barefoot Workshops Documentary
5. Poster in Crit Architecture Journal
6. Consultant on MS Culinary Trail for MS Tourism
7. Stone bath mat idea produced for Lowe's Creative Ideas Magazine
8. W.C. Rice's Cross Garden image at Art21
1. Crawfish boil pic for Avia Boutique Hotels
2. Feature about DFK and making Easter baskets for children in homeless shelters, with a tutorial on naturally-dyed eggs, for the Publix Supermarket FamilyStyle magazine
3. Interview with me about DFK and travel in Alabama on the arts program, Tapestry, on the Bham public radio station, WBHM
4. Cover photograph of All Saints Chapel at Sewanee for UDC Magazine
5. Pics of Julia Tutwiler's church and monument for Escambia County Historical Society newsletter
6. Photograph of J.W. Renfroe building for company literature
7. Pic of American Village sounding board for Society of Colonial Wars book
8. Adjudicated grant applications for folk art fellowship, apprenticeship and roster for the Mississippi Arts Commission
9. Pic of a Koolickle for FoodandWine.com
10. Pic of Vincent Oliver's Hippodrome for Black & White
1. Gee's Bend Quilt Mural pic for Barn Quilts and the American Quilt Trail Movement book
2. Rural Studio Animal Shelter pic in Moundville Times
3.More images at Encylopedia of Alabama
4. Koolickle image at the BBC
5. 'I Heart Alabama Gulf Seafood' feature for Alabama Gulf Seafood promotion
1. The Hermitage, Nashville, TN
2. Ritz-Carlton, New Orleans, LA
3. The Alluvian, Greenwood, MS
4. Le Royal Meridien King Edward, Toronto, ON
5. Le Meridian (now Golden Tulip) Apollo, Amsterdam, Holland
6. Imperial Hotel, Copenhagen, Denmark
7. W New Orleans, New Orleans, LA
8. Le Meridien, Eilat, Israel
All-Time Favorite Shows:
1. The Waltons (The Waltons will always be my favorite show!!)
2. Downton Abbey, Little House on the Prairie
3. Six Feet Under and The Sopranos
4. Homeland and Curb Your Enthusiasm
5. Mad Men and Big Love
1. Sunset Boulevard
2. Gone with the Wind
3. Coal Miner's Daughter
4. Urban Cowboy
5. Muriel's Wedding
6. Mommie Dearest
7. Driving Miss Daisy
8. The Color Purple
9. Lost in Translation
10. Romantics Anonymous
Book: 'Let Us Now Praise Famous Men' by James Agee
Play: 'The Last Night of Ballyhoo' by Alfred Uhry
Poem: 'A Supermarket in California' by Allen Ginsberg
Singer: Eva Cassidy
Inspiration: Eugene Walter
1. Commander's Palace, New Orleans, LA -
Don't Miss: every single thing there is *amazing*. Be sure to have Creole cream cheese cheesecake for dessert, too!
2. Antoine's, New Orleans, LA -
Don't Miss: the fish, the soft shell crabs, and the baked Alaska...and the service is incredible.
3. Doe's Eat Place, Greenville, MS -
Don't Miss: steaks (one steak serves two easily) and tamales.
4. Chez Fonfon, B'ham, AL -
Don't Miss: everything here is great...even the hamburger is amazing!
5. Taylor Grocery, Taylor, MS -
Don't Miss: catfish, catfish, catfish.
6. Lusco's, Greenwood, MS -
Don't Miss: pompano, and the atmosphere - with the tables with curtains and the little buzzer.
7. Jacques-Imo's, New Orleans, LA -
Don't Miss: 'Godzilla Meets Fried Green Tomatoes'. Oh yes.
8. Big Bob Gibson's, Decatur, AL -
Don't Miss: barbecue and white chicken sauce. White sauce got started here.
9. Leatha's Bar-B-Que Inn, Hattiesburg, MS -
Don't Miss: beef ribs.
10. Drago's, Metairie, LA -
Don't Miss: charbroiled oysters.
11. Ninfa's, Houston, TX -
Don't Miss: (the original Ninfa's on Navigation) ohmygosh this place makes me so happy I can't wait to go back and have the entire rest of the menu.
12. The Bright Star, Bessemer, AL -
Don't Miss: trout almondine, snapper throats, prime rib.
13. Ezell's Fish Camp, Lavaca, AL -
Don't Miss: Ezell's is a *real* fish camp - right on the water with excellent catfish (obviously), fried pickles, and hush puppies.
14. Duchess Bakery, Cullman, AL -
Don't Miss: doughnuts early in the morning while they are still hot.
15. Gambino's Bakery, Metairie, LA -
Don't Miss: the Doberge: it is six layers of yellow butter cake with custard between each layer and the whole production is covered in fondant.
16. Rabideaux's Sausage Kitchen, Iowa, LA -
Don't Miss: anything and everything they have there is wonderful!! Bring a cooler.
17. The Dillard House, Dillard, GA -
Don't Miss: the process: your table automatically gets everything on the menu that day, and you can ask for more of whatever you like. Expect three or four main dishes, six or so side dishes, and dessert.
18. McGuire's Irish Pub, Pensacola, FL -
Don't Miss: Everything there is wonderful - especially the prime rib.
19. Wintzell's Oyster House, Mobile, AL -
Don't Miss: Wintzell's is just fun! Go to the original - the one downtown on Dauphin Street. Obviously famous for their oysters.
20. The Dinner Bell, McComb, MS -
Don't Miss: it's a revolving tables restaurant. Especially good dressing and eggplant.
21. Walnut Hills, Vicksburg, MS -
Don't Miss: making friends with everyone at your table. Another revolving tables restaurant.
22. Niki's West, B'ham, AL -
Don't Miss: whole fried flounder, and dozens of vegetables available, all of them excellent - when ordering, just think of your two or three favorite and chances are, they're available. Don't miss the rutabagas.
23. Bob's Clam Hut, Kittery, ME -
Don't Miss: Bob's may be a clam hut, but they make the most *amazing* lobster rolls.
24. Faidley's, Baltimore, MD -
Don't Miss: The crabcakes. Best ever. Ever.