Words of late artist Frank Howell...I totally relate!

"There are few days off and no retirement from this entanglement of knowledge, passion and vision that will be molded and converted into creative expression. There are no guarantees of acceptance, understanding or reward, but...the noise inside the mind never ceases. I will paint today, tonight and for as many tomorrows as I am given..." Words of the late artist Frank Howell...

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Perusing Pow Wow Pics

We are still in the hospital, and since I am not at home to work on projects to post on the blog, I've been perusing the existing photo files on my computer.  I came across some colorful and interesting pictures from a local event that I want to share with you.

Every year on Thanksgiving Day, the Poarch band of Creek Indians, near Atmore, Alabama, hold their annual Pow Wow.  I'm ashamed to say that it took me about ten years to go see what it was all about, even though I live just down the road.  I guess we are all just really busy with family on Thanksgiving, and you sort of have to make intentional plans to go or the day just flies by and then it's over.  Anyway, we decided to go a couple of years ago, and I must say that it was unlike any event I have ever attended...I found it to be very interesting and enjoyable. Let me show you some of the images I captured...

Blacksmithing Forge

Sleepy Horse

Hand-Beaded Jewelry

Handmade Leather Pouches

Variety of Colorful Jewelry

More Jewelry...

...and Beads to Make Your Own...

Snake Toys

...and Kids to Play with Snake Toys...


A Lady Playing Heavenly Music


...and My Favorite Part- The Dancers!

I have no idea who these men were, but their clothing and adornment were just fabulous, and they must have known that a crazy red-haired lady was following closely behind to get that perfect shot of their, uh....feathers!  I do remember that they were visiting from another reservation; every year they come from all over the country to participate and complete in the dances.

For more information, follow this link:  Poarch Creek Indians- Pow Wow

It really is a fun way to spend a relaxed Thanksgiving Day, and the kids love it!  Just take money...

Hope you enjoyed my pics.  Thanks for stopping by, and I'll see you next time.


Monday, April 28, 2014

Frozen Charlotte

The Legend of Frozen Charlotte goes something like this-

Charlotte, a beautiful young lady, went to a New Year's ball with her fiancĂ© into a freezing cold night in an open sleigh, and froze to death because she refused to cover her beautiful gown with a blanket. 

Small bisque and porcelain dolls were popular from the mid-1800s until shortly after World War I.  Since they had no joints and were stiff, they became known as Frozen Charlottes. The story/poem/song that went along with the doll became a cautionary tale used to teach young girls about the dangers of considering vanity above their health.  "Fair Charlotte" tells the story, and there is confusion over the actual author of said ballad- William Carter of Vermont, had once been credited for the song, but it is now believed that Seba Smith, a journalist, first published it as a poem in 1843 in The Rover, a newspaper in Maine, and Mr. Carter made it popular by giving it a tune and singing it, thereby making it well known and popular.  Efforts to relate the poem/song to an actual event have failed.  This little tidbit gives me some  comfort- I had much rather think that this sad story never really happened!   The little dolls and fragments have become popular once again, and so the story lives on.

If you would like to read the words to the piece, click here.  I started to include it here in the post, but it is very disturbing when you actually read it...so, I'll leave that up to you!

Today, in Germany, as new construction takes place where the original factories were located, these dolls are being unearthed.  Most of the dolls found are fragments...I don't believe I have ever seen an undamaged doll, which is understandable, considering that they are being dug up after having been discarded as garbage over 100 years ago. They are very popular among artists and crafters as elements in mixed media artwork and jewelry.  Part of the allure of the dolls is the story, and most artists find the imperfections charming. They are very interesting, with some fragments being just white, and others having painted features. Some very nice examples (with prices) can be found here on a website that I found recently and by doing a simple search on Etsy.  

photo credit www.awhitecarousel.com
A while back, I purchased several little dolls from a shop on Etsy.  With one of them, I made this piece, also using a discarded lid from a jelly jar, a round fragment of something that had glass (which perfectly fit the lid!), and some other bits and pieces.  It's sort of like a little shadow box that tells a love story.  It's hard to see, but at the top, I incorporated a vintage mother of pearl button with an unusual shape.  It is definitely a one-of-a-kind piece!

It is listed on my Etsy shop, JujuQueen if you are interested.  Here's a link.

I am thinking now about what I want to make with the other two...I actually started a board on Pinterest a year or so ago...Maybe it's time to re-visit and see what it can stir up in my brain!
Go take a look!  Charlotte Didn't Listen

-Clip art paper dolls by the Graphics Fairy-

Thanks for visiting!  I've enjoyed having you...

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Lots of Water Falling From The Clouds...Now Where's My Tail?

Mermaids are running around in my mind today...everywhere.  It started yesterday when I went out for a cup of coffee....When I returned, I saw Justin had been given some meds.  I asked him who came in.  He told me it was his new nurse, "Serena."  I asked him if she was wearing a tail. He told me, "No, she left it at the water."....For those of you who don't speak Spanish, "serena" is "mermaid" -  It turns out that her name was actually Savannah, but it got us to thinking about mermaids anyway...

And then, shortly after Savannah came by, this came across my facebook timeline.

Go check out https://www.facebook.com/FinfolkProductions?fref=photo  They make these fantastic, magical tails and they would love for you to "like" them on facebook!

Then, there's the weather...Lots of water falling from the clouds today, and tomorrow...and the next day. Here's the advisory that was posted online today for our part of Alabama.

...and from the 10th floor of Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, this is what it looks like...

I have always loved mermaids, and as a matter of fact, I started writing a book a couple of years ago where the main characters are mermaids...maybe this is a sign that I should finish the book.  I have also painted many mermaids...here are some of the more whimsical ones.

...and to see my Serena Bedroom, click here.  

Anyway, we are due to head back down to Baldwin County tomorrow, and I'm wondering...now where is my tail?  I feel like I'm going to need it.


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Friday, April 25, 2014

Moss, Herbs and Special Roses

Looks like we're going to spend the weekend here in the hospital in Birmingham- and that's okay.  But, I am dreaming about what I need to do when I return home.  My little garden spots need some attention, and I'm looking forward to adding some much needed color.

This is the way my little side kitchen patio looks in early spring every year...I love to sit out here early in the morning and enjoy my coffee while listening to the birds sing.  

...and I am loving the fact that moss finally grew between the pavers!

The patio was actually a DIY project that I did myself.  That was a few years ago- I would hate to think I had to do some of these things all over again...can't quite do what I once did.

I always start the season with this selection of herbs, topped off with a little flower!

I brought this sundial with me from our home in Virginia, where we lived until 1996...

...and this little bunny has been a resident of my garden for a few years. He's beginning to look a little old and faded, but there's nothing wrong with that.

I picked up this terra cotta and aged frog fountain piece from an antique mall in Savannah- Never have turned him into a fountain yet.  I like him just hanging around like this for now, but who knows, maybe one day he will become a fountain....

...and my roses should look about like this when we get home.  I saw buds a week ago when we headed up to Birmingham.  They remind me of my mother.  I grew mine from a cutting from her plant that was given to her on a Mother's Day long ago by one of my siblings.  They are special roses.

I miss home when I'm away.  I'm a lucky old girl...I have a great place to call home, and I'm looking forward to getting back and planting some more flowers.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today.  I love my visitors-  Maybe we can become real friends and enjoy a cup of coffee out here in my little garden one day.  Who knows?


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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Caring for Children & Eye Candy

If a child must be sick, this is the place to be.  The doctors and nurses here truly care for children, and they go out of their way to make their stay as pleasant as possible; I highly recommend Benjamin Russell Hospital for Children, the new hospital that opened in 2012.  It is located on the UAB campus in downtown Birmingham, and we have a room on the 10th floor. We get a beautiful view of the city down below, to include the new Regions field, home of the Birmingham Barons, where you can occasionally catch a glimpse of some baseball action.  

Now, the eye candy-  I was able to get out and about for a few minutes today, so I took a walk with camera in hand.  The art collection here is truly amazing, and the pictures don't do it justice. It is so much cooler in person!  Of course, I'm a nut for art, so I actually enjoy the mile long walk to the cafeteria...okay, it's probably not really that far, but I think I do cross over a couple of city blocks!  Anyway, here we go.  Enjoy, and remember the hospital is HUGE, so this is just scratching the surface!

Here is a view of the exterior of the main tower, looking through a window of a crosswalk on the second floor.

The actual floor is artwork!  Second floor is the way around from place to place- it's known as "Main Street" and you follow the "river" around to different locations.

...and the seating all along the way is whimsical and fun!

The chapel and meditation room features beautiful stained glass and mosaic work.

Here is a waiting area that features a great triptych art piece.

This fabulous rotating sculpture hangs in the lobby at Children's Harbor.  It reaches down three floors!

This orange piece on the left wall is located at the main entrance and is huge!  It is so shiny, I initially thought it looked like fused glass, but upon closer inspection, I've determined that it is not glass- but, I'm not sure what it is!  One thing I am sure of, is that it is great!

Up close-

A fun light fixture art piece, also in main lobby area-

...and I found this bunny hanging out in an outside space.

...and now, some two dimensional art-

This mural is by Tres Taylor, a Birmingham artist that is becoming well recognized in the state and beyond.  This piece is house paint and acrylic on tar paper.

...and this is the sweet reason I'm hanging out here!


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