Monday, August 15, 2011

Praying Mantis Hitches Ride on Steamer Trunk

Wasn't planning on going out junking on National Garage Sale Day, but that's what happens when you have a hot fudge sundae for breakfast.  I couldn't resist all the signs.  Signs, signs, everywhere a sign, blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind, telling me I might miss a potential a treasure if I don't follow the arrow at the next neon cardboard 8 to 5 sign!  So I succumbed, much like I did to the hot fudge sundae, and I made the right hand turn off the main drag into garage sale heaven.  I wasn't really in the mood to buy anything, but this fabulous older gentleman talked Himself down from the original asking price of $80 to $25.00 & I came home with this Huge steamer trunk, 5 large Ball canning jars, 3 small ball canning jars, all with glass lids & bailing wire to clamp over the top - plus an insulator!  After he talked me into buying this monster steamer trunk, of which I have absolutely no use for, nor do I know how I would ever ship it (probably put it up on Craigslist), 
I now have to get it home.
So I go home to get the pickup truck.   Well once he saw I had a truck, I ended up carting out three end tables & two bird cages all for a mere $10.  Either he is an excellent salesman or I have developed a serious junking problem.  Or more likely I'm just a sucker for sweet old guy who's begging me to take the crap so he doesn't have to move it all back into his house.  Back home we start to unload our treasure & I see that someone has hitched a ride to our house.
Someone being a Cute Baby Praying Mantis!
Awe, look at those eyes.
Such a tiny nymph, I'm glad I spotted her & she didn't get crushed in the move.  If she's lucky perhaps she'll find mate around here.  Then she can bite his head off.  Ferocious little insects.  Wouldn't want to meet her on a dark leaf.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fireworks, Fireworks & more Fireworks

These last two weeks it's really been tough to focus, on anything!  It's a post vacation & pre-vacation time period, with lots of weird stuff to send me drifting.  Like the pain in my jaw that lasted way longer than I expected.   Oh did I tell you about wiping out on a wave & being drug to shore on my face?  Sorry I guess I left that out, anyway I had to have emergency dental work, because I busted my back molar in two.  Do you think maybe that wave slammed my face fairly hard?  Wow, the power of water!  I'm just glad I still have both of my front teeth & my nose wasn't broken.

Then I got to do something I had been dreading since October.  I went in for a potential biopsy on my breast.  It aspirated, so a biopsy wasn't necessary and the results came back benign.  I was doing the happy dance over that, but it still hurts & it's been a week.

Along with that we've been alternating the cars into the mechanic's shop for the last 4 days.  Yet I'll I can do is dream about next week.  I'm attending my 30 year reunion
(STOP ~ do not start doing math).
My two best girlfriends & I get to hang out for a whole week, along with a slew of other very dear friends, some whom I've known my entire life.  I attended a very small county school, and most of us started kindergarten there and went all the way through 12th grade.  These people are like family in the sense that we've known each other most of our lives.  I'm so excited to see everyone, I'm just busting at the seams!

So If things come in three's then the Fireworks should be over, enjoy the slide show.

 Make sure to look for the jellyfish and the knife chasing the lotus towards the end - they're kind of cool.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Taste of Tippecanoe Lafayette, Indiana

Lafayette /West Lafayette Indiana - biggest party of the year.
 5 stages - 20 bands of various genre; 42 restaurants slinging goodies as fast as they can for the swelling crowds.

Taste of Tippecanoe is a great night to run into old acquaintances.  But it's getting so big (over the bridge into Tapawingo Park on the west side) that it seems to be bit more difficult to bump into friends.

What I really like about the Taste is that most of vendors are local restaurants, with the exception of a few like Applebee's, Cold Stone Creamery & Lord have mercy McDonalds was there.  We really need to Quit giving our money to these big chain restaurants.  There are lots of local vendors begging for your patronage.  Their food is better and they treat you like family once you get to know them.
Of course I have to stop and visit my favorite bars while I'm downtown.  One of them happens to be owned by a good buddy of mine, a former Region friend  Jeff Haman.

That's him & his girlfriend standing out front.
I was So impress that he stood out front all day
to greet his guest. ~ Kudo's Jeff ;)
The Knickerbocker Saloon is the oldest bar in Indiana.
This bar sits in the old Larh Hotel.  The very same one Ulysses S. Grant  rode the train up to - (the tracks use to run right in front of the Knickerbocker) to give his campaign speech for president.   I've had the opportunity & pleasure to search every crevasse of this beautiful hotel  from the basement and the lower, original old alley (where they kept pins for the fresh live stock to be butchered) to the top of the roof in the wee morning hours to watch the Amish girls setting up their stand for the farmers market.  It truly is a wonderful piece of architecture - especially that illustrious Marble stair case.

Knickerbocker Saloon use to be a barber shop/saloon.
Stop by their website if you'd like to learn more about the history of the hotel.  It also so has some good true horror/ghost stories like the guest who guillotined himself ~ Boo!

So I finally made it into the Black Sparrow (yeah I know how long it's been open).  This place would so have been one my regular haunts.  Love the ambiance & music, and I hear the foods not bad either.
Nice how they exposed & play up the early construction.
As we were leaving the Black Sparrow we immediately bump into Tom Fisher & his wife.  Tom Fisher's grandfather use to have a Tailor Shop at that location long ago.
Weird that they happen to be the 1st people we saw.
And their guest look like they have a lot of fun.  Thought she walked in with a lighted, rainbow dildo - but I guess it was just some kind of glow stick, since I saw a bunch of little kids outside playing with them. ;)
They we're good sports.  Isn't she a doll?
Taste always ends with a big fireworks show.  Something to whet your whistle for the 4th of July.
Ooops almost forgot these two cuties.
Shooting t-shirts to the crowd


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Round the Fountain Art Show 2011 Lafayette, Indiana

The 38th Annual Round the Fountain Art Show at the Tippecanoe County Court house in Lafayette Indiana
was able to start and finish as the eminent storm clouds held off just long enough to let everyone feast their eyes on some amazing talent.

Don't forget you can click on pictures to enlarge for a better view.

Every year I have my favorite and this years Fab Find is photographer & artist Chris Maher - Fine Art Nude Photography from Lambertville, MI

This is the display that drew me in
And this would be the one that Chris would describe as my "A-ha" moment
He was also the most joyful, enthusiastic & informative artist I met that day.  He really wanted you to know about his work - how & why he creates.  He says it best “ I Create photographs that reveal a woman’s beauty and celebrate her intimate connection to the eternal.”
This is not playboy fluff.  These are some of the the most tasteful and creative nudes I have ever seen.
Hubby spotted the one that resembled a flame and insisted that I photograph it.  Chris asked him if he noticed the bodies.  Hubby looked at him and said "Duh".  Chris said it is amazing how few people do.  I can understand that because the "Flame" is so perfectly formed.
Just amazing
To view more of Chris Maher's work visit

I wish the lighting had been better so that I could show off this artist who wants to share the love of his craft. He is Berry Davis co-owner of Neptune Hot Glass from Celina, OH.
Berry Davis & Collette Fortin use heavy precious metal to create solid glass sculptures, to portray ocean themes.  Berry and Collette spend the entire winter making these beautiful glass statues and then spend the summer traveling around to art shows selling them.
Ecology is alive and well in the artist community. With the purchase of any of his sculptures that have "Save Our Seas" etched on it, he will donate 5% to aquatic preservation.
Neptune Hot Glass doesn't currently have a website, but you can contact them by email at  Each piece is it's own unique creation.

When I spotted Lindsey Elizabeth Tull - a painter from Shelbyville, IN. - I was thinking how awesome this would look in my living room!
"Paintings filled with Light & Imagination"

I'd say she's having a Whale of good time.  Ok, so it's not a good pun, but it's the best I could do after a day like this.

Bronze Indian Sculptures by James A. Ford 
from Richmond, IL
Jumping in & out of tents my flash didn't go off.
My pictures don't do his pieces justice, so please stop by his website to see how exquisite these sculpture really are
You can also Like his FaceBook Page

Love the colors in this Randall Scott Harden painting
from Noblesville, IN.
And it says "Vintage"!  Another piece that works really well for me.  Randall's website was not up and working at the time this was written, hopefully he'll have that corrected soon.

Interesting Ceramic Wall Art by Steve & Miky Cunningham - Cunningham Pottery - W. Des Moines, IA
Love all the different textures and colors

Kyle Spears Photography out of Nashville, IN.
is an Awesome Photographer
 His booth is always bustling with activity
 The crowds really try and absorb every detail
he captures with his camera.
 He practically had to kick us out of his booth
Definitely worth making a trip to his website to see all the wonderful photographs
He also has a FaceBook Fan Page

Apologies to Deborah Keese and Alan Freund from Ann Arbor, MI for drooling all over their counter, but these burl wood boxes are the bomb!
The woodworking craftsmen ship is outstanding.
All natural - No stains are used.  Pieces are cut from solid blocks of wood so there are no joints.
Visit to see more of their
jewelry & trinket boxes

Contemporary Abstract Textured Paintings by John Blower from Fennville, MI
To see more of John's paintings visit

Wagar Glass by Mark Wagar from Riga, MI
 Mark does not have a website but you can reach him via email at

Thoroughly enjoyed Mixed media artist Darron Chadwick from Carmel, IN
Darron uses actual old comic book pages, vintage postcards & stamps (not reproductions).
Learn more about Darron's art at

Really like Sculptor Thomas Yano from Vermilion, OH.  Unfortunately he does not have a website or email address to obtain scheduled upcoming shows where he is participating.  Phone number is 440-967-4623
He works mostly in bronze, brass and copper.

JT Dunphy - Woodturner from Mount Vernon, OH.
"He uses rescued hardwoods from storms & landscaping casualties thus the business name Turned Treasure"
My friend inspecting Turned Treasure's fine craftsman ship
No website but you can email him at

Ceramic Artist - Paul M. Jeselskis from Michigan City, IN.
Designs functional & decorative porcelain pottery
You can view more of his pieces at

Some musicians popped in this year
to add a little flavor to the festivities.

Turned out to be a very pleasant day.  However, in the midst of all the cavorting, I got home, only to realize we had not bought one single thing to brag about!  What were we thinking?  Of course, I do have their addresses!  Now to decide which one - hummm?  My living room is Blue, Yellow, Orange - I have the "Hair" album on display.  Can you guess which picture I decided on?  I'll give you a hint -
It will work really well with my strobe light.

Hope you get a chance to go out and visit
with your local artist this summer.

KJ the JunkYard Gypsy

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