December 27, 2010

Take your Kids to the Booth Museum During the Holiday Break

Ansel Adams never looked so good. The Booth Western Art Museum in Cartersville, Georgia is hosting an exhibit of 131 photographs printed by Adams himself until Feb. 20, 2011. Both these book cover photographs pictured here are included in the show. (I did not see the books in the museum shop though.) His images are all black and white photographs framed in a light wood frame. The photograph to the left is of aspens and one of my favorites from the show.
I enjoyed the presentation by John Mariana a few weeks ago at the Roswell Photographic Society. He is presenting Ansel Adams again at the Southeastern Photographic Society on Jan. 7. It was a nice slide show/history of the man and his work.

As a special bonus... the museum hosts a presidential room, which includes photographs, a letter, the translation and four facts on each President of the United States. My children enjoyed this room and read all of the materials and asked questions. This was a really nice family outing to the Booth Museum. This museum is in the north eastern section of Georgia off highway 75 and exit 288, not too far from Tennessee and Alabama, well worth the drive.

Pictured to the left here is a photography platform that Adams created for the top of his car. Wouldn't I love one of those on top of my Highlander! Would other photographers buy one of these? Maybe my luggage carrier could be converted into a platform.

December 23, 2010

Red Top Mountain was Glowing Tonight

I have been to Red Top Mountain State Park in Georgia in the past. But tonight it seemed different. But maybe that is the lesson here. Everything looks more beautiful in the right lighting. Red Top's scenery is controlled by the Lake Allatoona Dam located off of exit 290 on highway 75. Tonight the water level was moderate, but the park was still relaxing and pretty. If you are looking for a water adventure, call first and check the water level. The dam was built in 1940s to control the flooding in the Cartersville and Rome watersheds. The dam was built by the Army Corps of Engineers and much of the area is maintained by the corps. There is a museum in their Visitor's Center, which we did not visit, but is a must see to understand the area. Red Top Mountain State Park includes a mountain bike trail, beach and putt-putt for children. It is on Lake Allatoona.
50 Lodge Rd SE
Cartersville , GA 30121
(I am visiting, photographing, and blogging all of the GA state parks in one year. This is park number 6 out of 48).

December 12, 2010

How I Learned about Handmade

Rehearsal Dinner Dress
I lived in Rochester, Minnesota until I was sixteen. It was so cold in the winter that there were many days we didn't venture outdoors. During that time, my mother taught me to knit, crochet, embroider, and sew. Her mother taught her those arts, so she was able to teach me. With the teaching my mother taught me a special value for handmade. Both grandmothers also had these skills and reinforced the importance of do-it-yourself (DIY). As I accomplished those crafts, I also learned a lot of self-confidence. After all, not many of my school friends were working with hooks and needles. And, I had some finished products. (Yes, I was a member of the local 4-H group.)

College Formal Dress
What have I done with those skills? I attended Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia, and I made every single dressy dress I needed for four years. Pictured on the right is a flapper style dress I wore to a dance in college. After that, I made my Rehearsal Dinner Dress for my wedding weekend. I still love it, and it is pictured above in green. I created a lot of Halloween costumes and most recently hemmed  a chorus dress.

As for knitting... we made a few items slippers and bags when I was young, but nothing really stylish.  Last winter I bought this wonderful knitting book pictured to the left and made a pair of fingerless gloves. They weren't that hard. For my daughter's bat mitzvah project we knit or crocheted preemie beanies for the local hospital. Read about the project here. I designed simple knit and crochet patterns, which are included in the post. I recommend this book as a gift for someone who knows how to knit, but needs a little push or direction.
Hat knit hat with baby blue and variegated blue yarn

But my favorite find has been a simple Martha Stewart knit winter hat pattern. All three children asked for them in different colors one winter, so I knit quite a few. In the summer, my daughter carried around her bouncy ball collection in one of them, so it looks a lot like the mitten in Jan Brett's The Mitten. I just finished another hat last night, this one to match my ski coat. I did not use a bulky yarn and added a few extra stitches, but you get the idea. And, it will be in the teens here in Georgia; I will need it for my dog walk today. So I want to invite you to make this beautiful hat. It is knitted with two yarns, so that it goes quickly.

Some of these arts I took to another level beyond what my mother taught me, like sewing. I bought a serger and learned  how to finish seams another way. And, I picked up jewelry wire wrapping easily and created an etsy jewelry shop. Teach your children what you know or find someone who knows and will teach.

December 06, 2010

Found Hobby Lobby

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, we visited my aunt and uncle and many cousins in Tennessee to celebrate my aunt's birthday. This was a fun family reunion! to be sure... But I also learned a great deal in a brief conversation with my uncle. I am always thinking about new products and The Gift Box in Big Shanty suggested that items under $20 would sell best this holiday. (I have my art at Big Shanty till December 17th.)

I do sell ACEOs, which retail for $5, but I have been thinking about creating another inexpensive product. So as I was exploring my Uncle's garage with him... we discussed framing and he told me to visit Hobby Lobby. Weird that I haven't been to this particular craft store, as I love that kind of shop.

When I returned to Atlanta, I searched Hobby Lobby and visited the Ashford Dunwoody location. Here's the video from my tour.

And, yes, I found the stretcher bars. I am practicing stretching my own work... but it will be a while before I start selling my own stretching because I am determined to sell a high quality product, and it is hard to gallery wrap pre-printed canvas.

As a caution... hobby lobby is not open on Sundays. But I do recommend visiting their shop another day. The chain has 462 stores in 39 states.