Showing posts with label Dollywood. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dollywood. Show all posts

Thursday, June 27, 2013

DIY: Southern Lovin'

You know, for the amount of verbal abuse this painting had to endure, it looks pretty good. If I might say so. Which, in saying so, makes me sound like a total egomaniac. Yeah, well, it's time you knew the truth. By the way, you can find diy-details on those painted flower pots here.
Ya'll might find this hard to believe but I'm not actually from The South. That's right and I have the majority of my teeth to prove it (aw, now, you Southern folk, don't get yourself all worked up. After all, ya'll are the ones that dedicate an entire festival to a lil somethun called MoonPies and RC Cola. For those of you unfortunate enough never to have sampled the delicacy that is a MoonPie, lemme break it down for you: ya got a flattened marshmallow sandwiched between two round graham crackers dipped in chocolate, or as the box calls it, "flavored coating". Which is heaven so stop wrinkling your nose. AND in case that's not enough, at the festival they deep-fry the suckers for you. My taste buds were all "What?! Have I died and gone to Taste Bud Heaven?!" meanwhile, three teeth fell out screaming, "Abandon ship! This here's a mouth gone South!") 

Wow. That was the longest parenthesis ever. What was I even talking about?
I have a cousin and an aunt that are the same age as me. Do you need a second to unravel that mystery? If you guessed that my grannie, my mom and her sis were all preggers at the same time, congratulations! My grandparents loved to take just the three of us on mini-vacations. One trip was to Gatlinburg, Tennessee, which is this tourist town completely overrun with Old Time Photo places (where you can dress your daughter up as a lady-of-the-night and your son as a gun-totin' outlaw. You know, family values kinda stuff) and air-brushed t-shirt joints. Our hotel just happened to be across the street from Hillbilly Golf where we went adult-less every single day. What we loved about that place, aside from the fact that we were sans grownups, was that you took this incline to the top of the hill and played your way to the bottom. After a couple-twenty times to the top, we started to get bored and just took to throwing the golf balls down the hill. Which is super fun unless you get busted. So, kids, listen to your elders: Don't. Get. Busted. (Did I just go from Super Long Parenthesis to Super Long Caption? Oops, my bad).
 I'm actually an Indiana Gurl (or a Hoosier even though I have no idea what that means and I hesitate to refer to myself as such. I mean, what if it implies I have a deep love for pickles? I don't even like pickles! Therefore, I cannot comfortably refer to myself as a Hoosier, er, pickle-lover). Indiana is actually a cultural mecca, in case you didn't know. I lived in a town called Peru (pronounced Pee-roo by the locals. Seriously. But it's actually more famous for being Circus City, U.S.A. I can't even make this stuff up) which is near both Chile (pronounced Chai[like the tea]-lie) and Mexico. See? Total cultural explosion.
I promise I'll get to the DIY portion of this here post! Bear with me, I'm on an entirely-too-much-ice-cream high. Because after 15 years of livin' in Tennessee, I've become completely Sugar-Coated Southern.
 Just how did I end up in Tennessee, you ask? (What I know you're really asking: "Is this going to lead to another story?! Because I have a life I wanna lead." Oh, whatever. You do not.) Well, I did my student teaching in Ireland (any Irish in the house?! Dude, your country is so rad. Love the Guinness. And how you say words like "thirty-three" [turty-tree]), my dad was all (rightfully) worried I was going to come home, not get a job and just mooch off of them (totally the plan). So he sent out, get this, 50 copies of my resume to schools all over the U.S. Including A-freakin'-LASKA. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Other than Alaska is as cold as something-super-cold and dark, like, half the year. When Nashville, Tennessee called for an interview, I loaded up my teacher-interview clothes and my grandma, who'd never been to Nashville, and got the gig. And the rest is history. Or, as the locals call it, a Tennessee Tragedy. Seriously. It's in their history books.
I love it here. So much so that I've dedicated several DIY projects to Tennessee. Last summer I made this giant collage painting using a map of Nashville and a vintage postcard as my inspiration. I also created this Tennessee-themed calendar, which took me forever. And I loved it. But, being that it's currently the end of June, I couldn't continue to allow this 2012 calendar to hang another day (oh okay, another six months, sigh). So I decided to create a brand new painting to replace it. I began by mixing up my favorite tint of blue (yes, on a dinner plate. Word to the wise: if I invite you over for dinner, BYOP [Bring Your Own Plate] unless you savor lead poisoning) and cutting up an old hotel key card as a texture scraper. 

 After painting the entire canvas blue and scraping the texture, I began to draw in the design. Now, I gotta tell you, this is not an original design. Because I, my friends, will be the first to admit, I don't have a single original thought in my head. Just ask pinterest. Which, after doing some research on vintage travel posters, I found there (this is actually the next one I wanna attempt. I can't seem to find the one I was working from). Turns out you can buy these reproduction posters but I got all big-headed and decided I could do it myself. So I started by penciling in the landscape and painting it in, paint-by-numbers style.
 Do you have a wedge paint brush (not to be confused with a wedgie-paint brush which are very uncomfortable...or so I've heard)? I never really used 'em before because they seemed too Bob-Ross-y to me. But now I know why ole Bob used 'em -- they're amazing! You can create these awesome hard edges with them that would have required a lot of painting and repainting with any other brush. That Bob. He knew what he was doing.

 Dude. This was seriously as easy as it looks. Not confident in your drawing skills? Enlarge your image and trace it. Or, better yet, if you have a projector (which would probably require a time machine, but you got one of those, I'm sure) that'd be even better.
 Yay, landscape complete! I was so happy with how easy this was. Little did I know that hard part was yet to come (cue dum-dum-duuuuuum music. DUMB being the key theme of the song.)
 The. Freakin'. Lettering. UGH.

Sigh. So first there was the measuring out to make sure all my letters fit. Blah. And then there was the actual drawing of the letters. Double Blah. But the worst of it was painting each letter. Since I was using thick acrylic paint, this required a lot of painting, touching up and repainting. Good times. If I were to do this again, I woulda used one of those paint brush pins, as I used on this calendar.
I promise my lettering isn't this crooked. It's my crooked photography skillz that make it appear as such.
And there you have it, some Southern Lovin'.

I just hope that one day the South'll love me as much as I do it. We've had our rough patches, that's for sure. Like the last time I was in the Smoky Mountains enjoying the seriously amazing amusement park Dollywood. I was getting on the wooden roller coaster Thunderhead when this happened:

Roller Coaster Announcer Dude: As you enter the ride, please scoot all the why over.

Me to hubs: What did he say? 

RCAD (with obviously amazing hearing): I say-ed, scoot all the WHY over!

Me to hubs: Is he asking a question? I don't understand.

Hubs: He's saying "way". Scoot over!

Not-So-Friendly-Southern Lady in the Seat Behind Me: What the hail?! Scoot over!

Me to hubs: Did she just say hail?! Is it going to hail while we are on the ride?! Get me off of here!

Yeah. So. Me and The South. We got some more gettin-to-know-each-other to do. But that's okay. I'm not going anywhere (sorry, Tennessee!).

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Sunday, December 30, 2012

What the Art Teacher Wore #48

Christmas in the Smokies: I managed to wear this almost everyday while on our vacation in the Smokey Mountains. Not my best look, but fishnets and heels just weren't gonna cut it on these trails. backpack: borrowed from a friend; jacket(s): I'm wearing two with two more shirts underneath. Mountain Hardware; scarf: Urban Outfitters; hat and fleece headband: courtesy of hub's work, Meinl; cargo pants and long johns: army surplus; sneakers: New Balance
Well, happy post-Christmas/pre-New Years Eve to you! I come to you completely overdressed in layers of clothing and under dressed in overall look. When hubs and I decided to spend Christmas in the Smoky Mountains, I did pack up some stylish duds but they never left my suitcase. Because everyday's agenda involved a hike up some mountain or another, I opted to be comfy and warm. So you'll have to forgive my lackluster look and suffer through my vacation photos aplenty. Enjoy!
The Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg, Tennessee. We left for Gatlinburg last Saturday morning. We took our time and stopped by Knoxville, Tennessee for shopping at two of my favorite vintage shops in the area, Four Sessions Vintage and Nostalgia. Lunch at The Tomato Head was delish. Our hotel in Gatlinburg was pretty high in the Smokies. This was our view of the mountains the following morning.
After leaving Knoxville, we managed to make it to Dollywood in time to meet up with some friends, see a couple shows and ride some rides. Knowing we'd be back for more Dollywood-tasticness, we splurged on some annual passes. Normally the hubs and I take pretty poor photos but these aren't too shabby for us.
Okay, I was trying to snap a shot of this sculpture outside of the Wild Eagle ride because I thought it was pretty cool. What I didn't realize at the time was that it appears this poor unsuspecting dude is about to become an eagle snack. It cracks me up each time I see it! A side note: the moment they pulled the much-too-tight-for-my-taste harness over my head, I asked to be removed from the ride. The young guy strapping everyone in gave me a raised eyebrow and a "Really?" Knowing that I'd have a freak-out-fest if I was not released immediately, I gave him an, "Um, yes. Really. Please! Right now!" Needless to say, that's all it took. So, sorry, can't give you a review of the ride!
The day after our Dollywood adventures and my "get-me-off-this-ride" meltdown, we spent the day hiking. It was a chilly morning and much of the trail was covered in a 2" sheet of ice. But the huge cave at the end of the Alum Cave Trail was worth the slippery slopes.
At least three bridges made from giant logs were apart of the trail. At the end of this bridge, you had to hike inside the cave and climb a large stone staircase. Being in the shade meant that each step was a sheet of ice. I took to crawling up the steps and hoping hubs would break my fall if I fell.
Ya'll see that ice? You had to watch your step and your head. As the day went on and the sun came out, icicles were breaking and crashing to the ground. It was pretty scary as there would be no warning, just a sudden SMASH! on the ground. We managed to scramble up this slick trail pretty quickly.
At Alum Cave. The cave had a very large overhang which kept the ground here dry. It was still very chilly but the workout from the hike had us stripping off our layers. The overhang had huge patches of ice sliding off of it so we didn't stick around too long.

Hubs snapped this photo of me slipping and sliding across some ice. He likened it to the infamous photo of Big Foot. Sadly, I do see some similarities. Those hairy legs look especially familiar.
Remember the view from the outside of our hotel? Well, this would be the inside. I know, don't look at it too long. The funny thing is, both hubs and I are afraid of heights. So when we'd get off the elevator, we'd walk as far away from the overlook as possible. He was brave enough to snap this one photo for me. "Maybe you should take another to be sure you got it," says I. "I'm sure it's fine." Translation: You ain't gettin' another photo, lady.
The following day, hubs and I met up with our friends and decided to hike the Chimney Tops Trail. It was a pretty intense 2.5 hike straight up a mountain. My out-of-shapeness was really beginning to flair up about midway through the hike. I had to stop and tie my shoes a lot, if you catch my drift.
The view from the top. Only 20% of the folk that take on this hike actually make it to the top of the summit. The map said it was a "scramble" to the top which, I learned, has nothing to do with eggs. In hiking terms that means something like, "there ain't no trail, just a slippery vertical climb." Sorry, that's not my bag. Hubs, however, is now a proud member of the 20% club.
And thank goodness for that. Look at these beautiful photos he snapped from the top. You see that cloud at the top of the frame? Kinda gives you an idea just how high up he was.
Tennessee is such a beautiful place.
Christmas day found hubs and I taking the driving tour of Cades Cove and making our way back home. Tomorrow we are taking another road trip to explore more of Tennessee.
I hope you all have a safe and fun New Year! I'm sure to be spending mine with two of the biggest party animals I know, hubs and Asha the Cat. Thanks for dropping by and allowing me to share my endless vacation photos. I'll be back soon with a new Anthropologie DIY!

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