Monday, December 3, 2007


Where have all my photos gone? I still see them on Picasa (sp?) where blogger stores them but they have vanished from my blog. How sad. I need photos on my blog.

UPDATE: Ummm, sorry if I posted on your blog about not seeing photos. Something truly was screwy with our web access earlier and for some reason, it wouldn't let me look at photos on my or anyone else's blogspot blog. It's ok now. I'm not completely insane - just a bit touched as some friends would say.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Holy Moly!

She wasn't joking. Look how simple it is to make your own Photoshop brushes! Here's the first tutorial I clicked on and I can't imagine it being any simpler.

I made a quickie brush of the stencil art I showed earlier today. Layered that over a shot of a mondo moth I caught lounging on a tree and WHAM(!) there it is. Insta-Art!

Ok, maybe it's not a fantastic artistic statement but it's surely a great example of "Even YOU too can do it!" (said in late night infomercial voice). Kind of like the Hairdini of Photoshop. I'm diggin' on it.

Spray Paint

I've had an incredible urge to get out in the barn and find my old cans of spray paint ever since I discovered this artful blogger. If you found me by clicking through from Dispatch from LA then I don't need to tell you how inspiring she is. If you haven't been there yet, you must pay her a visit!

I haven't played with stencils much at all. Maybe never. I had a stash of a few that I picked up on clearance thinking they might be fun to experiment with one day. Once I tore through my art room and found them, I discovered they were rather large stencils. So off I went to the barn and found a rather large scrap piece of wood to accommodate the rather large stencils.

It became apparent to me that I have a thing for metalic spray paints when I found many cans of copper, hammered silver and gold. It started with copper when I first spray painted an old metal bed that came out of my grandmother's house. After that, I went on a hammered silver rampage and spray painted the base (once shiny brass) of a chandelier that came with our old farm house.

I never was much for shiny brass and the gold was too glaring for me. It didn't fit into the "country cool eclectic" look I was going for. So, with the help of a couple of my girlfriends, we took each crystal off and painted all of the metal with hammered silver spray paint. It was a breeze to paint, not so easy to replace all of the crystals. I liked the transformation but there was still a little something missing.

So, off I went to a lighting center and purchased those tiny little lamp shades for the bulbs. While at the lighting center, I mentioned what I had done to my chandelier. The older European woman looked at me, over her half glasses, down her nose and said "Next time you have a Schonbek, I recommend you not painting it. It could have been a family heirloom."

Thinking the woman was quite brash to say that to me, with a smile I replied "Well, I hope whoever inherits it has my good taste." It wasn't until recently that I learned all about Schonbek chandeliers and realized that was a very expensive chandelier.

The official Certificate of Authenticity that came with the house should have tipped me off. Oh well, such is life. It's a pretty funny story and I like the chandelier now more than before. Enough of the tangent, I don't have any photos of the chandelier right this minute so I'll have to find them to post another time.

Back to my stencils...not sure what I would do with the stenciled old plywood, I played around in Photoshop with the photographs of it. I'm liking the looks of this one, I used a set of PS Actions from Action Central.

While out in the yard, I was enjoying the last of the fall leaves. Our oak trees are the last to get leaves and the last to shed their leaves. Same PS trickery as the other photo.

I'll leave you with another one of my photos and a quote that I found on Roben Marie's page of inspirational quotes.

Friday, November 16, 2007


I just love that word. Cacophony. I like the way it feels as I blurt it out and the images it creates in my mind. For some reason, I keep thinking that the beautiful fall leaves have exploded in a cacophony of color. But that doesn't make any sense. The word is about a discordance of sound not a visual description.

I still like it. I like thinking that the leaves have exploded into a cacophony of color. If it was music, it would be classical music.

Here are a few photos walking down our driveway today. I love how the Dogwood has turned bright red and the Wisteria an unusual yellow. A nice pop of color along the freshly painted picket fence. Happy Bright Beautiful Autumn!

Is it my imagination or does this bit of curly wisteria vine look like a cursive "J" to you?

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Barefoot Ranger (Arthur Woody)

It was another beautiful weekend in north Georgia. We camped up near Suches, GA a place also know as "The Valley Above the Clouds" about a mile from the Appalachian Trail. Intending to just make a short trip into town for supplies, we decided instead to take a ride further north and check out some of the local scenery.

My husband had already been up this twisty winding road on his motorcycle and had camped at T.W.O. (Two Wheels Only) a roadhouse and campground for motorcycles and their riders. Previously, I had only heard about the place. When we pulled up, the parking lot was full of bikes and the lunch counter was serving the best lunch that could be had for many miles around. We only stayed long enough to split a cheeseburger, smoked BBQ sandwich, order of onion rings and have a short chat with one of the riders. Then it was back to the road in our Jeep (which we had to park across the road since it had 2 extra wheels).

We happened upon this beautiful spot that almost took my breath away. I pulled over to take photos and saw an older woman walking the fence line along the lake. We said hello and told her how we just had to stop to take it all in. Turns out, she is the great-great-grand-daughter of Arthur Woody (one of the first two National Forest Rangers in Georgia and the first of the Blue Ridge District.)

We had a nice long chat and she invited us to drive around the bend and park near the old family home and take more photos from the other side of the lake. Since I only had my small point and click camera with me, I thought these photos would lend themselves well to a little Photoshop experimentation I've been wanting to try.

It wasn't until we got home and I did a little research on "Ranger Woody" (aka "Kingfish") that I realized he was instrumental in shaping the beautiful north Georgia mountain area and making it was it is today. He facilitated the transfer of land to the National Forestry Service, planted trees in barren areas that had been stripped of its lumber, reintroduced fawns to the non-existent deer population and even filled the streams and rivers with rainbow trout.

It was pure joy to spend the hour or so with Arthur Woody's great-great-grand-daughter (a retired school teacher, I believe) taking photos and just simply enjoying the delightful company of the kind woman. She invited us to come back any time and I believe we might just take her up on that offer.


I contacted the kind woman who I thought was Arthur Woody's great-great-granddaughter and she explained that she was the granddaughter of Arthur Woody. It was her great-great-grandfather who donated the land for Woody's Gap on the AT. She said I was kind to make her sound younger than she really is. :-)

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Mama and her Chicks

I went over to my favorite neighbor farmgirl's place the other day. She was away but the barnyard was full. Look at these adorable chicks and their protective mama. How can I possibly pick a favorite?

You can click on the photo to see a larger version. They are all a little dark because I tried not to blind them with the flash.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Peerless Pleasure

Too much fun in one weekend to blog about in a single post. My friend Ordell came to visit for a very short 4 days. We hadn't seen each other since 1979! Lots of laughs and a lifetime of stories to catch up on.

We happened to drive by an estate sale down the road from us on Saturday. I never knew the old lady who lived in that house but do know the 70 year old woman who was born in the house.

Quick post - just want to show some of the photos from the treasures we found. We got 2 white trash bags full of quilting scraps, an arm full of old hand stitched quilt tops, a finished quilt that's beautiful and this snazzy PINK sewing machine. I'm still going through the scraps and found a total of 7 tops in all the stuff we got. Some of the quilt tops are backed with old newspapers dated June 1950. She must have used the paper for her patterns. I think there are probably about 6 different patterns all together.

I can't seem to find any information on this old sewing machine. The machine itself is made in Japan but the pedal and motor both say made in U.S.A. The make is Peerless and the model is 55 De Luxe. I sure would like to learn more about it. If you happen to know anything about this beauty, I'd appreciate any information you can offer.

What a wonderful fun filled weekend!


Update: I noticed today that the actual model of the sewing machine is 35 De Luxe. The font looks like a 5 but it's a 3. So far, all I can find with a model number of 35 De Luxe are tractors.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Oscar "Rock Man" Robertson

It makes me a little sad to go through Ball Ground, GA these days. No more Oscar "Rock Man" and his red truck. No more chance meetings with the old man that many were afraid to even speak to. I've been going to this quaint little town in North GA for the past 15 or 20 years. The first time I drove through with friends from college, I absolutely had to stop and check it out. They thought I was crazy, maybe I was.

Building after building full of wonderful treasures - rocks, gemstones, geodes, crystals, minerals, beads, glass, wooden sculptures, and I can't tell you how many other things all displayed with the utmost of care. Nothing marked with prices that I could see. Not one thing.

The streets were lined with slabs of marble propped up against the old buildings. Every piece deliberately placed. Some behind old chain link fences in parking lots and others in areas cordoned off with rusty cables and yellow caution tape. All weathered over time but still sending a clear message to keep out.

Each of the eight storefronts had "No Admittance" and "Employees Only" signs hanging inside the windows and on the doors. Much of the contents seemed to be pleading to be let out while others seemed perfectly content with their destiny. Perhaps they were just waiting patiently for someone to liberate them from behind the picture windows.

The first dozen or so times I was there, the windows were lined with clipboards of mostly handwritten and photocopied manifestos. Everything from his official Honorable Discharge military documents to his flat tax resolutions. These papers have come to be known as "The Oscar Manifestos". Rock Man made no qualms about sharing his thoughts with anyone who cared to take interest and even some who didn't.

I don't even remember when it was that I first met Oscar but I do remember it was a very unusual and somewhat intense meeting. I was stopped along the road looking in the windows and up drove a big red truck. Then out stepped Rock Man. I can't even tell you what we talked about that first time but I do remember looking at his huge red nose and noticing how it looked like Jimmy Durante's nose. I bought a couple of things from him that day, a string of colorful glass beads and a hematite necklace.

Another time I stopped and got to talk with him, we talked about marble. I wanted some to build an outdoor patio. I asked him how much the slabs of marble were and he told me $20 a piece. I looked at him like he was crazy (which many thought he was) and told him that I couldn't afford to pay that price. Then he asked how much I wanted and when I told him that I didn't know for sure but I was guessing a truckload, he told me to bring my truck and we'd make a deal.

When I tell people about Ball Ground and Rock Man, someone always asks me how I know what the prices of everything are if nothing is marked. I tell them something along the lines of the prices being directly related to how well he likes your stories.

The last few times I went up to Ball Ground I didn't see Oscar and his red truck. I had a friend of mine from Colorado so scared of this old man that he later told me he was relieved he didn't show up when we were there together. Sadly enough, I later learned that Rock Man died in October of 2005. I was just in Ball Ground this past Saturday with another friend and everything is just as I remember it with the exception of all of his manifestos removed from the windows.

Thankfully, there are others who have taken the time to document some of the stories of this interesting little southern town and the colorful old man who made it was it is today. My stories are all first hand but you can find more information on Oscar "Rock Man" Robertson of Ball Ground, GA in Trent Cluley's very well written post titled Farewell to Oscar "Rock Man" Robertson. Linked from his blog, I also found photographs of "The Oscar Manifestos". Thanks to Slashplat for making that a public gallery. Check them both out when you have the time. You'll find much more detail than my accounts in this post.


More information on Rock Man and Ball Ground from another blogger called "The Dyer Consequences Blog". Thanks for finding me!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Funk Heritage Center

It was another beautiful day in North Georgia. I swear, I was just going out for breakfast and to stop for some vinegar (my favorite new "green cleaner") but couldn't resist the turn up another country road. There's something about being out in the convertible that just makes me want to keep going.

I ended up in Waleska, GA, home of Reinhardt College and Funk Heritage Center. This old house caught my eye so I pulled over to take a photo. My fixed length lens and vantage point prevented me from capturing the true essence of the old home. It looked like it had been built onto year after year and maybe was made up of tiny apartments for college students.

Right across the street from this house I noticed a sign for Funk Heritage Center. I've been told of interesting artifacts housed at this museum so decided it was a good time to check it out. Once inside, I had a nice chat with the women working there and then sat and watched a short digital film on The Southeastern Indians.

I had been to many of the nearby places mentioned in the film. Ball Ground, GA the site of the Cherokee Indians' ball field - a flat area where they would gather in large groups and play stick ball which is sort of like the modern day lacrosse.

Also mentioned were the Etowah Indian Mounds. What was once a large village with burial grounds and a plaza to people of this land is now a state park.

The museum does have a great abundance of Southeastern Native American Indian artifacts, a kajillion arrowheads, pottery shards, and the like all lining the halls going into a room that housed this huge petroglyph they called "The Rock". It was found in Canton at the current location of the Canton Super Walmart. Isn't that enough to make your stomach turn? I'm so glad the owners of the property donated what was left of it after blowing the rest up looking for buried gold.

As I was back in the lobby looking at other displays, the director of the museum introduced himself and asked if that was my car out in the parking lot. I told him it was and then proceeded to tell him how much fun it is to drive. We had a nice chat and he told me that I should go down and look around their "settlers village". He explained that they usually just take large groups of people down there but I was more than welcome to walk down and take a look around by myself.

Sun was shining, I had my camera around my neck so I took him up on the offer. I'm glad he explained how to get down there because it was a series of wooded unmarked trails and small foot bridges to the village.

Apparently, I did not take the most direct route because when I got to the clearing, there was a big field ahead of me. I walked the field and made my way to a small pond. Realizing I wasn't going to wade through the muddy water, I scouted my way around the pond, through another field until I saw an old log cabin in the distance. Ah! The settlers' village.

I'll save my favorite part of the museum for another post. There are many "Tiny Pharm Wife" chores to attend to since I've been out galavanting for the past few days.