Tag Archives: art

New Year Kitten!

Atticus used most of his Hobby Lobby giftcard from Grandma and Grandpa on drawing books. He used the one called “Pets” to draw this kitten. Awww :)

I was just noticing that I haven’t actually posted anything directly here since August. That’s when school started. As a teacher, I don’t have much free time, and lately I’ve been spending much more of it directly with my family.

So many people seem to find a way to do it all. I haven’t found it yet.

Maybe that’s the key to my Word of Intention this year. I’ll pray about it.

Cherokee Travelogue 2012

This summer, we traveled to Cherokee, NC, twice: on a long weekend with the kids and for five nights without them.

Wednesday, July 11

  • Left the house around 10 a.m.
  • Drove through 4+ thunderstorms and 2+ major traffic jams. One of these had our westbound I40 traffic at a standstill for at least 20 minutes. Evidently, a tree had fallen across both lanes, since we saw men with tools and pieces of cut wood on the inner median as we passed. Several cars were off the road in the median. One guy was walking down the middle of the interstate, much to the chagrin of a road worker.
  • Dinner at Cracker Barrel in Asheville. I had the chicken and dumplings!
  • Checked into the River’s Edge Motel in Cherokee around 7:30 p.m.
  • Drove all through the mountains looking for the Food Lion. We were following Google Navigation’s directions and drove about 25 miles out of the way. The FL ended up being a pretty clear shot from our motel.
  • Took Waffle House takeout back to the motel and watched Netflix on the laptop.

Thursday, July 12

  • Had brunch at Paul’s Restaurant. I had an Indian taco, which is basically chili with beans, salsa, lettuce, onions, and cheese on a thick sweetbread.
  • Drove down to the Welcome Center, hoping to find a brochure of all the painted bears like the one described in ????’s post several years ago. They didn’t have one, but the lady there pointed out where most of them are on the map.
  • Medicine Man
  • Qualla Arts and Crafts. Read about and saw Fred Wilnoty’s work (especially his masks) and got brochures.
  • Kevin researched booger masks.
  • Drove across bridge and up to the left at the Little Princess Diner.
  • Stopped at the Native American shop.
  • Walked across to the stream and saw groundhogs playing and a painted bear.

Friday, July 13

  • Walked from the motel south, along ????.
  • Stopped in shop on left to look at backpacks. Tree carving with bark.
  • Stopped at Artists Row. Met Dean Reed’s ex-husband and grandchildren, though we didn’t know it at the time.
  • Talking Leaves bookstore. Dictionary and language CD.
  • Lunch at KFC. Sat out the rain.
  • Hung out with the ducks at the park.
  • Took pictures of the painted bears along the street.
  • Veterans Park.
  • Transformation Through Forgiveness statue
  • Medicine Man. Bought booger mask pendant, which I wore.
  • Qualla Arts. We met Dan Townsend and his wife, Vicki, and bought one of his pinshell pieces. And read about John and Fred Wilnoty.
  • Motel. Shower. Kevin wore mask.
  • Played guitar on the balcony over the river.
  • Casino. Johnny Rockets. $10 on machines.

Saturday, July 14

  • Breakfast at Peter’s Pancakes.
  • Went back to the room and played music.
  • Stopped by Qualla Arts to show Dan Townsend our turquoise Seminole ring.
  • Walked down to the fairgrounds where the Festival of Native Peoples was going on. We got a discount on admission with our Food Lion MVP card!
  • Met artist Antonio Grant, who was selling his shell carvings. He noticed my Townsend piece and told us that he had taken a class with Townsend three years ago.
  • Met artist Lola Swimmer. She shared with us the story of why she lets her hair grow long and stay gray. I boguht one of her feather paintings.
  • Met artist Dean Reed. bowls, shakers, turtles. She told me about how she presses her pottery and showed me some of the paddles she uses.
  • Met artist Christy Long of Nativeology.
  • Talked to tepee lady from Minnesota. She told us that all the poles in the tepee structure represent a positive quality like kindness and respect. When you tie them all together at the top, she said, “That’s family.”
  • Funnel cakes under the tent.
  • Hearts of Polynesia dancers.
  • World Champion dancers. Chicken Dancer, Fancy Dancer, Buckskin Dancer, Fancy Shawl Dancer.
  • Pole Flyers!
  • Alligator wrestling and snake handling.
  • Bonfire with marshmallows and storytelling. One older Cherokee told us about how the other kids made fun of him when he was in school because he had long hair. He said he got sent to the principal’s office for arguing with his history teacher about something related to the Cherokee. His father came and talked to the principal in their own language, which that teacher didn’t even know. The kids had marshmallows; then, a younger Cherokee we’d seen when we took the kids to the Indian Village told a ghost story.
  • Kevin stepped in the mud on the way out of the parking lot. :(
  • Walked back to the room and ate sandwiches and watched TV.

Sunday, July 15

  • Walked to Mass at 9 a.m.
  • Walked back to the car at the motel and drove to Granny’s Kitchen for the breakfast buffet.
  • Walked in one shop on the strip. Regretted it. :(
  • Back to Medicine Man. Bought another Wilnoty piece. Talking to the ladies who work there, we learned about the shop’s founder, Tom Underwood, who came to Cherokee with his family in 1910 when he was five and grew up with the Cherokee. Medicine Man, which opened in 1953, is the oldest in town.
  • Back to the motel to change.
  • Drove out to Mingo Falls.
  • Hiked to the Falls. 250 steps? 120 feet tall.
  • Stopped in River Valley Store and the owner told us the legend of the Falls, that a Cherokee boy and girl, who were in love but couldn’t be together because their parents didn’t approve, jumped off the Falls years ago. (Sounds like Lover’s Leap!)
  • Takeout from Waffle House again.

Monday, July 16

  • Breakfast at Peter’s Pancakes. Waiting for a table, a man stopped on his way out
  • Looked in at Herb Store. Closed. :(

(To be continued)

Danny’s Artwork

Danny’s Artwork

My Dad, Danny Ricketts, has a new website that you must see!

Danny’s Artwork currently showcases 186 of his pieces — paintings, drawings, collages and sculptures.

He’s been doing art stuff since he was a kid and even won awards for his paintings in high school.

He did some drawing and diagramming through the years, but he didn’t do much painting until the last year or so when he was recovering from surgery. He said he found some old paints from school and wondered if they were dried out. Well, they weren’t, but he quickly got some new acrylics and has been painting prolifically ever since.

My mom said that he was jonesing to paint while they were on their recent trip to Tulsa. Next time, he needs to take the paints. :)

Here are a few random pieces from the site:


Mountain Valley Autumn

San Angelo Texas Bridge

Feeding Frenzy

Wire Bird

Swirling Colors

Primitive Village in Snow

On a design note, it was a lot of fun working with WPtheming’s Portfolio Press, the WordPress theme I used for the site. The learning curve was pretty short and using the portfolio tags really increases the usability of the site, I think.

What do you think? Any suggestions?

Hero Masks

I found this concept plan for a book contribution in an old sketchbook yesterday.

The idea was that everyone wears a “hero” mask sometimes, that it doesn’t take a certain person to be a hero, but that anyone can live a heroic life.

It never got finished or submitted..

Monkey Monkey Monkey

Aren’t they cuuuuttteee!!!!

Yeah, I know they’re not really monkeys. No tails.

But it seems wrong to call them anything else. Why? I have no idea.

Why is it that terms we sort of grew up with just sound more right than others? Even if they’re just totally wrong, it’s like they just fit because you’ve heard and said them so much.

Take the term “hose pipe,” for example. (For those of you who are wondering what in the world it is: It’s what people around here in southern Virginia call a water hose. Why? I have no idea.) Well, it’s completely redundant, but for some reason, it just sounds right. It rolls right off my tongue, even though the English teacher in me cringes when I say or hear it.

I’m sure there are tons of other examples.

Somewhere along late high school to early college, I tried to reform myself of all of this southern stuff. I trained myself to say “turn on the light” instead of “cut on the light.” I worked to pronounce that final “g” on all of my participles and progressive verbs. And I learned more about how chimpanzees aren’t monkeys. :P

It must’ve worked for a while, at least, even though my college friends from the rest of the country weren’t fooled in the least. When I was waiting tables at an old local restaurant after I’d returned from Oklahoma, a non-local couple told me that they had my accent pegged for either New York or Florida. Hmm!

Anyway. What I called improvement at the time I now see so differently.

See, I wanted to be someone other than who I was, so that people would like me better. It completely defeats itself, though. Even if people did like “me,” I knew they didn’t really like me, but this “me” I’d constructed as a facade. Of course, if they didn’t like “me,” I really hadn’t lost anything … unless you count my self-respect, courage, and identity…

I was setting myself up to be lonely and alone without having even meant to take one step on the path. So sad. :(

All of this, Kevin could probably sum up succinctly, and one hyphenated word would almost certainly be at the top: SELF-ABSORBED. And another: PRAY.

So even now, when I’m feeling insecure and beating myself up over saying the wrong thing or not thinking to say something I should have, when I’m spending too much time wondering what other people are thinking about what I said, what I wrote, what I wore, how I’ve changed… these are times when I need to stop and realize that my focus is on the entirely wrong spot.