Saturday, May 03, 2008

History: When Dad began designing the rose garden, he gave all of us women in the family a rose guide and told each of us to pick a specific rose bush that we wanted to stand for ourselves. Hence the reason behind all of the random types of roses. Mine is a Tiffany rose which is the lovely dusty pink/peach/mauve. It has a Victorian appeal to it. I also picked a soft ballerina pink for Charlee Anne's and a lavender purple for Haylee. We also picked a soft white rose for Nana that was called something like Sweet Memories I think.

My dad handed me a invitation he had received to enter into a contest for Best Rose Garden. When he first asked me to take photos, I had the misunderstanding that it was a contest for Best Roses not garden per se. Needless to say, I ended up taking roughly 80-100 pictures of the garden as well as other beautiful areas of his yard.

It's funny. To be so much like my father, our taste in photography styles couldn't be more different. I love closeups, quirky angles, and unsual cropping to give a more artistic feel. He, on the other hand, likes them to be head on, from a distance, and no cropping at all really. I can't help but think, BLAH. (For any photographers that read this, please don't be insulted at my lack of proper terminology. I LOVE to take pictures, however, I am very much an amateur. I just get lucky sometimes and get a great shot.) Granted, he does like nine out of ten of the pictures taken, but he kept saying things like, "it's a shame you didn't get the whole thing", or "I wish you had taken it from farther back", and "why did you cut this off". Argh! I couldn't help but want to yell at him, "think outside the box, Daddy!"

These below are more up my alley. Look at the dewdrops, shadows, and different layers of focus throughout these next few. Honestly, with the beautiful landscaping, it was nearly impossible to take a bad picture.

Now let's talk about variety! The whole yard is elegant, but you also get the essence of something whimsical, mythological, and slightly homey. I like that even as fancy as it is, there still is that level of being relaxed and comfy. You can take your shoes off and break bread with his monster sized catfish...sit in the swing by the willow...ride the golf cart around the a good book in the rose garden...whatever. There is no limit.

Speaking of elegant. Check out this gorgeous woman. Oh, what I wouldn't give to lose my fear of heights and gain the power of flight for one day...

My dad sees Mimi, his wife & my stepmom, in this piece. How romantic. For anyone who doubts whether there are any male romantics left, you must meet my Daddy. He's a rare breed which I'm sure my cousins can agree is genetic. His father, Poppa, was the same way. I can truly say that he ruined my sister and I because today's generation of men, generally, are not.

These pictures were fun. I love the touch of color against the blinding white marble. Look at the curls of the petals in th.
is closeup. Click on the image for a closer look.

I love to see the art of nature accompanied by the craft work of man. Sometimes the beauty coming from the combination of the two is perfect. Spring and fall (in my opinion) are perfect examples God's art projects at His best. Charlee Anne is so sweet. Everytime she notices the colors in the sky at sunset, she says, "Look, God's been painting."

What I love the most are the sweet reminders of my Nana and Poppa. In the first posted picture (at the beginning of this blog), we have Nana's urns at the entrance of the rose garden.

There's the pond, which is so much like being in Aiken, SC at Poppa's "Rainbow's End".

Then we have his "Rainbow's End" sign.

We also have sweet little girl and bird statue which reminds me of Nana's sad statue (I believe Aunt Stacy now has) of a brokenhearted girl holding a dead bird.

I even noticed that this old, hand painted water pump has Martin written on it. (Martin is Poppa.)

These last two pics are random yet still pretty enough to post.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Baked goods rock!

Around two years ago, I found the site of a spunky, "Charm City" gal named Jodi Bloom. Her livelyhood seems to be charm bracelets. At one point, she displayed a new series of necklaces entitled "Let them eat cake". It was love at first sight on many levels. The tiny skulls sparked an interest leading me to learn of the lovely history of El Dia de los Muertos - translated as Day of the Dead, a beautiful Spanish holiday of which (most commonly) Mexicans celebrate in remembrance of their deceased loved ones. The guillotine, fork, and cake are used as cute, historical reference to Marie Antoinette. Pretty nifty, you say? That's what I think. Anyway, this was the first of my loves for miniature cakes, and from then on my search for more...began.

I was later directed to This is a wonderful site dedicated to artists and their handmade crafts. What a wonderful place. It's kind of like Oz to me. With each item that an etsy seller posts, there is a materials: section. This, obviously, tells the viewer what supplies and/or materials were used to create the item. How nice. Thus, I found out about polymer clay...again. I mean, I used the stuff back in elemetary school, but I had no idea that it made one of my most desired sweet treats. I went to Michael's last week to get some. To my delight, the stuff was CHEAP! It was on sale for $0.99 a block. Lucky me. I gave myself $100 of my tax return to get some polymer, tools, findings, magnet stones, and other stuff to play with. I did try to be smart. They had every color of Premo in God's green earth. I bought my primaries, white, black, translucent, pearl, and about 5-6 funky colors that I wasn't too confident in being able to get from mixing myself. I spent $84 and some change in total. Not bad, if I do say so.

I did two projects this past weekend. The first was the chocolate & pink layer cake magnet. I made it for my sister, Lexi, as a "thanks" for keeping my two little ones overnight on Friday. She's turned into the "cool aunt" because she takes them to Chucky Cheese...whatever. I'm a cool mom too, without the Chucky Cheese factor. :)

The second is the "Cupcake Takeout" charm. I made this one for my close friend, Sadie, just because she is most awesome. My husband, Chris, said that it makes him think of the Cat in the Hat movie. I'm not sure why, but each their own. Everything is made of the polymer clay except the little sprinkles are glass beads. I painted a gloss on them both after baking, and Voila!

My next projects will be for my nephew. He saw Sadie's cupcake and loved it. He'll be 7 (or is it 8) on Cinco de Mayo - May 5th, so I figure I can make him three treats. I'm thinking a soccer ball cupcake, a bitten chocolate chip cookie, and I'm stumped on the third. His party is Saturday which means I've got to come up with something quick and get crackin'.