“Fried” Green Tomato Sandwiches

When a bunch of us ladies gathered in North Carolina for my mother’s January birthday, we spent a day at the Biltmore Estate in Asheville.  Look at us mares in a stall at the Stables Cafe, adjacent to that modest chateau.

I ordered the BLT sandwich, minus the B and pimento cheese spread.  The T was a generous slab of fried green tomato.  Yum.  I’ve been recreating the sandwich at home–and you should, too, because it is so good.  I found a great recipe for baked green tomatoes, which are just as delicious but without the guilt.  I always add a bit of Tabasco to the batter.  Toast up some bread, mix a little dill and onion powder with some Vegenaise (or mayo), layer your lettuce and onion, and you’ve got a filling sandwich.

We had ours with a bowl of lentil soup with spinach and quinoa (thanks to Full House, for the quinoa inspiration).  Fried green tomatoes, I guess I am officially a Southern girl now.

Matt Odom, Photographer

Imagine finding yourself in a deserted parking garage with this fellow one evening.  I did; and let me tell you, he is the nicest burly-man-with-glowing-hair-in-mysterious-room that I have ever met.  This is Matt Odom of Atari Charm.

He lives and works in Atlanta but travels about for work.  When we first met, he had just returned from Vancouver doing work for the Winter Olympics.  Matt’s portfolio includes publicity shots for musicians, weddings, fashion, art, and pin-ups for the modern-day Bettie Page.  His childhood trotted the globe, and his career has been metamorphic.  He kindly answered some questioned for me.


You’ve been a techie and a rocker, and now a photographer–how did you arrive here?
Ha! That’s the million dollar question. I became a photographer almost by accident. In the dot-com heyday of the late 90s, I found my way into a tech job that put me on the road, all over the world. As a way to keep myself entertained, I started shooting photos and showing them to friends and family back home. After a few years of positive feedback from friends and family, I gradually became more and more serious about photography. Eventually, I got the guts to quit the day job and pursue this full time.

As a musician and a photographer of musicians, you meet a lot of up and coming bands. Who is your favorite new talent? Even though I’m a rocker at heart, I’ve been meeting a lot of new hip hop artists and really loving their work. Keep an eye (or ear) out for an artist named Kruciel and another named I.L.

What is your dream project? My dream project would likely be to shoot a campaign for a major fashion house, with complete creative control and budget that can keep up with the my creative vision. In Tokyo.

What are your top reasons a woman should do a pin-up shoot? In the past few years, I’ve been working with Dixie Pin Up to provide classic pin-up makeovers for your average everyday woman. Invariably, my favorite moment is when the client sees her final pin-up images and says, “That’s me? I look… amazing!”  I love the feeling of helping someone reclaim their own sense of sexiness and feminine beauty.


Where are your favorite haunts in Atlanta? Elliot Street Pub is hands down the best pub in Atlanta. The Earl is always a good bet for cheap drinks and good live music. Lately, I’ve been going to an amazing new restaurant called Lunacy Black Market. Insanely affordable fine dining!

You’ve lived all over the world, where have you been most inspired? I think that would be Tokyo. It’s one of the few places where I truly felt like a fish out of water. Everything there tickles my fancy: the fashion, the architecture, the pop culture.

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When I first contacted Matt, I told him I was looking for a fun, quirky shoot that depicts my love of beauty, art, vintage, and oddball.  I had some vague ideas about what I wanted, but I am so glad that he took the ball and ran with it!  The whole experience was such a delightfully pleasant departure from regular life of homeschool and cleaning poop.  Jennifer, the make-up artist, applied my face and gave me that rockin’ coiffure–old skool Texas hair!  I didn’t want to take it too seriously; although, I was extremely nervous.  Thankfully, Matt knows what he’s doing, and he is a great coach.  Here are some of my favorites: 

Matt told me, “Empty parking garages are creepy.”  But let me tell you, an empty lit-up convention hall in a hotel is far creepier in my opinion.  There were moving escalators with no people to carry.  That jilted hum of machinery in the silence defined eerie.


I was skeptical at first of this one–when I did it and then saw it on the camera screen.  ”Oh, that’s so disturbing!”  But, seeing it now full-screen, I have a different opinion.  There are so many ways to interpret this–for me, it is a type of urban fairy tale.  A dismal, yet hopeful, take on lying in the grass, looking at the clouds.

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I love the composition, the color of this photo–what I don’t like, that the rival gang may be hot on my bootie.  Let it be known here, that I do not endorse or condemn any entities represented here.  I’m neutral, peeps.  Peace and love.

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My Garbo moment to the smell of roasting pig–Matt shot this outside of Trader Vic’s.

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I love how the images tell any number of stories–and seem quirky, modern, vintage at the same time.  Thank you, Matt, for giving me the new look for The Painted House.  What a fun time!

Winners, Soul Food, & Cars

So the winners are…

Charm Home

Be, painting

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Clustres

Crate & Barrel giftcard

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Time Well Spent

Williams-Sonoma giftcard

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Elizabeth H.

Anthropologie giftcard

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Karen T.

Hovey-King Tiny Chair Necklace

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Congratulations to the winners of the drawings!  Thank you to everyone for playing along and for also spreading the word about this here new blog.  I had a great time last week showing you all around, reading your comments, meeting new people…  And, then, I collapsed on Friday–ha–only after getting a bite to eat and checking out some new wheels at the Auto Show.

We made it to Soul Vegetarian for dinner, a vegan soul food restaurant owned by African Hebrew Israelites from Jerusalem.  Take it in.  It rocks!  Ambience is not so hot, but the food is pure yummy comfort.

I always sip on an IZZE and the kids play chess while we wait for our grub.

My regular is the country fried steak with mac-n-cheese and broccoli.  This is vegan comfort food at its finest–creamy, fried, and filling.

Like mother, like daughter, the four-year-old has to take a picture of her food:  curry vegetable soup and Hebrew Bakes, also known as French fries.

Soul Vegetarian

652 N Highland Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30306

After dinner we headed to the Auto Show.  My mom-suv is racking up the mileage–better look for a plan should it die in the next year or two.  The kids begged for the mammoth conversion van with a bed and huge TV.  I just don’t see me driving that thing around, plus they are the price of a small house.  Retro mini-cars?  Yes, but that accommodates just me.
Tell me you don’t just adore these?

I’m really not connecting with the options out there.  Yes, I’ll admit, the Sienna is pretty awesome, and I wanted to cry when I saw all the features–from defeat and not from joy that all my needs are met.  I know, all Fellow Moms who drive mini-vans, they are vessels of pure awesomeness.  I know.  I’m really not picky when it comes to vehicles.  I just have some opinions when it comes to mini-vans and green Amigos.

Talk about cramping my style…I married into this fine car, but, hey it was a pair of wheels!
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What I really want, if we’re talking about a new car for Mama, is to soup up an old vintage milk delivery truck–you know, pimp-my-ride style.  Or, I’d do an old wagon or woody.  Now we’re talking.  They can put automatic sliding doors and retractable TV with DVD player and flip down seats and automatic windows and power steering and seating for seven with plenty of cargo in one of those, right?  Truly, not picky.

Angela’s dream mom-mobile…

What are your dream wheels?

The Painted House is Local

I love to explore.  In fact, if my head were freakishly enormous and ill-portioned to my body and I yelled everything I said, you could call me Dora the Explorer.  My kids are accustomed to being asked in the car, “Hey, wanna go explore?”  I love to know the ‘hood around me and discover fun, cool places to hang.  I’m still relatively new to the Atlanta area so there seems to be no end to the discoveries.  Sometimes the finds are deals, and deal finding is like a drug to me.  After years upon years of living on student loans and now years upon years of paying back student loans, I’ve learned how to live large on a budget.  I actually love the challenge. Also near and dear to my heart, buying local from local business owners.  Supporting local artists, that sort of thing.  See that button, BUY ART, over on the right?  That’s just my little reminder to  you to consider purchases made from the hands of local artists.  It’s a good thing.

So local runs the gamut here of deals and steals, restaurants and boutiques, artists and characters, events and house tours in the places like Atlanta, Houston, and Asheville–the places I hang out the most.  So, wanna go explore?

Show house at Montaluce, Dahlonega, GA

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Scott Market, Atlanta

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Tupelo Honey, Asheville, NC

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Hotel Icon, Houston

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Bicycle Fence, House Tour in Golden, TX

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Tobacco Barn Antiques, Asheville, NC

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Eddie Ross Framing Workshop, Atlanta

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The Grit, Athens, GA

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Retropolis, Houston

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AmericasMart, Atlanta

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So, there is one more giveaway!  May I introduce Cuyler Hovey-King?  She is a local Atlanta jewelry artist.  A graduate of Savannah College of Art and Design, she sells her jewelry on Etsy and scadShop–a shop featuring work from SCAD students and alumni.  One lucky reader will win this adorable chair necklace in silver and bronze.  I wish I could win!

Here Cuyler describes her work:

As a child I loved miniatures.  Anything miniature–from tiny boxes to intricate dollhouse to detailed figurines–precious, tiny objects found untouched on the shelves of dusty curio cabinets.  I would collect these small treasures, organize, and display them in shadow boxes; the compartments within gave each trinket a sense of significance.

This childhood fascination with miniatures has manifested itself in my work.  Using techniques such as wax-carving, lost-wax casting, enameling, and fabrication, I strive to achieve this same sense of preciousness in my jewelry.

If you don’t win, you could always console yourself with another delicate piece from her Etsy store:

Bitty bow ring

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Circle hoop bird earrings

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Just leave a comment here to enter–and post about TPH and the giveaway on your blog or Facebook for four more entries.  I will close the entries on Sunday just whenever I wake up, which will probably be early, sigh.  I’ll announce the winners on Monday’s post.  I can’t wait to see who all wins!

Thank you so much for celebrating The Painted House launch with a week-long Open House and giveaways.  It means so much to me to receive your valuable time, interest, and thoughtful comments here.  I hope TPH will continue to be a happy stop on your Internet wanderings.  See you Monday!

If my thank you were a tree, it would be a sequoia–you guys are awesome!

Songs About Beets

FB love:  Bonnie, Christy, Susan, Cynthia, Chris, Hooked on Houses

If I’ve left you out, please let me know!

The Painted House is Dress

We could all dress in silver jumpsuits, but wouldn’t that be such a bore?  A travesty?  I think that is what scares me the most about the future.  We have imaginations for a reason.  Clothes, ah, clothes.  I love you.  I hate you.  But mainly I love  you.  I’m not a real fashionista, keeping up with the designers and what’s new.  I’m a busy mom who doesn’t have much time to shop and piece it all together.  To add to the challenge, there is a budget to consider and, well, my frame is unfriendly to ready-to-wear.  We’re talking abnormally long appendages.  Pants are ready for hell or high water.  Sleeves just can’t go the extra mile.  It’s hard to find clothes to fit me.  But, that doesn’t keep me from loving getting dressed.  I’m becoming a little bit more expressive in my dress than previously–due in part to a rude but constructive statement by Jose years ago, “You just don’t dress like an artist.”  Humph.

Vintage Hawaiian dress, with skirt cut off and made into matching daughter dress, $17, I’m a nerd like that.

For some strange reason, vintage clothes tend to fit me better, and I love finding a diamond in the rough. I still wear that first vintage dress I bought in my teens, and my collection has grown over the years.  Oftentimes the prices can’t be beat.  However, vintage has it’s drawbacks–like two weeks ago at church when I discovered in the bathroom mirror that there were two armpit holes in the $12 black wool dress I was wearing.  I spent the rest of the service with my arms awkwardly positioned at my side, which is hard to do when one is watching three little kids.  When I discussed with Matt, the photographer, about my vision for the TPH photos, I knew, no matter what, I wanted to be wearing some of my vintage clothes.

Silk velvet trapeze dress from Old School Antique Mall in Sylva, NC, $60

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Orange top from Sweeten Creek Antiques, Asheville, NC, $18 (and thank heavens for Photoshop)

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Ruffle sleeve floral dress from The Lucky Exchange, Atlanta, GA, $35

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I was driving down Ponce de Leon when I saw that dress on the sidewalk outside of The Lucky Exchange.  ”Oh, my goodness!  Where is a parking space?  I need that dress!”  I sometimes talk to myself.  Is that weird?  Anyway, that is how clothes make it into my closet:  serendipity.  They also make it into my art.  A lot.

I know you love clothes, too–that is why there is a $50 Anthropologie giftcard up for grabs today.  Oh, yes, we loves Anthropologie.  So, just leave a comment on this post and you are entered to win!  Post about the new TPH on your blog or Facebook and get 4 more entries–as a thank you for spreading the word about this here blog.  Anthropologie, isn’t it just fun to wander around?  I especially love how they rotate creative installations in their window dressings.  If I am coming up empty with vintage clothes, I can always count on Anthro for vintage-inspired frocks.  But, at a price; and honestly, Anthro, that is putting a strain on our love affair.  Here are some sweet little ladies that caught my eye on the website:

You, me, a basket of totopos, guacamole, and a limonada in Mexico.

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I’d keep this low-key with some simple gold jewelry and some brown gladiator sandals.

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Why do I love shirtdresses so?  They never fit me, but if this one did, I’d find me a bicycle to ride around Lake Como.  And, add a belt.

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This just reminds me of that gorgeous dress with the red sash that Rose wore in Titanic.

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So, I know, there isn’t much to be found in the way of wardrobe additions for $50 at Anthro, but here are a few suggestions:

Molded & Melded Tee

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Hourglass Surplice

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Double Toursade Necklace

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Of course, you could spend the cash in their home store.  Decisions, decisions!  I can’t wait to see who all wins this stuff.  I’ll draw winners this weekend and post the results on Monday, the 29th.  I will say that I will miss all your comments, THANK YOU by the way.  It isn’t all because you want to win something, is it?  This relaunch week has been so much fun, and I appreciate all your visits and comments and linky love so much.  THANK YOU!

Thank you isn’t enough, my loves, for spreading the news:

Nilsen Life

On Call

FB crew:  Cynthia, Gwen, Carol, Karen, Tracie, Chris, Christi, Cheryl, Elle

I now have a rudimentary Facebook fan page…is too soon to ask for you to become a fan?  Look for me there, The Painted House.

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