Friday, June 23, 2017

The Sunflower Queen











A little change of pace, something whimsical and just plain fun.  After painting the dahlia in a somewhat realistic style, I decided to paint the sunflower as I see her - as a regal and benevolent queen of the garden gazing down sweetly at the little flower courtiers at her feet.  My inspiration came from the fraktur angels of the Pennsylvania Dutch.  I just adore that style of folk art, and I've been doodling some designs of my own.  I get lots of good ideas from doodles!

This has been the rainiest June I can ever remember!  It's been raining for a solid week here, and the garden is beginning to flag and to flop.  I've cut back the gaillardias and the bee balm in hopes that they might rally and bloom again if the sun ever comes back out.  Many of the flowers in my garden I am growing for the first time this year and I'm learning as I go.

How do you like our real and rustic anvil?  It's a piece of railroad track on top of a very large hickory stump.  It's not fancy, but it works and we love it.  Got myself a little 2.5 lb hammer the other day that's just the right size for me. I call it the "Mammer Hammer". tee hee.   Hopefully, I will eventually get to the point where I'm making something other than scrap metal, but I'm having fun with the boys just the same.  They're already making tools and knives and even a garden stake for me!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

The Blacksmith and the Yellow Dahlia


















My oldest son fell in love with the art of blacksmithing at the tender age of 5.  His school took a field trip to beautiful and historic Ft. Toulouse in Wetumpka, Alabama when he was in kindergarten, and the moment he stepped into the blacksmith's shop he was awestruck.  This dark, cool, and shadowy place with the fiery forge billowing at its heart, captivated his young heart and mind with magic and mystery.  He's now 14 years old, and his dream of working in this very blacksmith shop has come true. He is beaming, full of passion and enthusiasm, learning to love the satisfaction that comes with hard work, and becoming a fine young man. As a mother, this makes my heart smile from its deepest roots to the top of my head and up to the heavens.  My boy.

After many days of wonderful, life-giving rains, the woods are bursting with mushrooms.  I've taken so many pictures! Just had to share one of my favorites from this week.  And the dahlias...... Oh my Lord.  Just when I think I've seen the most beautiful and breathtaking flower God ever created (the poppies!!) along comes this impossible yellow dahlia.  It's like looking into the face of the sun.  I had to try to sketch it.  Oh how I wish my fingers could render those petals like cool yellow flames!  Mine is stiff and stodgy.  The real thing is a goddess. Mine is Winston Churchill. (no offense, I love Winston Churchill - have you read any biographies about him? fascinating man) but I didn't want to sketch Churchill. I wanted Aphrodite in a flower.  I'll get there one day.