Friday, August 31, 2012

Woodworking Art

The beauty all around us comes in many forms.  While dusting the family room the other day, I was reminded of the beauty of friendship. 

In the below photo, there is a collection of wood art items given to us, usually as a birthday or Christmas gift, by a very special friend.  He lives up in Byron, Georgia.  He was a childhood friend of my husband in Moultrie, Georgia, and they have remained special friends all through the years.  He retired a couple of years ago, and is now able to devote a lot of his time to the hobby he loves.

This artwork shows how inner beauty can flow from the heart, to the hands, and into creating such beautiful items.
One of the first items he made,  and gave us as a gift, was this beautiful blanket trunk shown below.

I can't even imagine how anyone could make something like this at home.

As I began to think about all he has made,  it was really amazing to think of the diversity of these beautiful gifts.

The table below is called the Unsinkable Molly Brown Parlor Table.  The story goes that Molly Brown took her little table with her where ever she traveled, including her trip aboard the ill-fated Titanic in 1912.  Fortunately, Molly Brown was one of the survivors of that very tragic evening.

A quick check with Mr. Google shows the pattern for this beautiful heirloom-type parlor table still does exist.  That pattern can be found at:
This table was made with Black Walnut wood.

This outdoor covered-bench was made with Cypress wood.

The below porch glider-bench was made with Black Walnut wood.

We really love and appreciate the many gifts our friend has made, and with each one I start to say, "Oh, that is my favorite." or "No, that is my favorite."  But, I really do enjoy having these special rolling pins for the kitchen.  I am told a French rolling pin, which is the one in front,  is supposed to give a pastry maker more of a "feel" for the dough.

Both of these rolling pins are made with Black Walnut, Maple, Cherry, Oak and Mahogany woods.
I can't even imagine how he made these.

 The below bowl is made with Black Walnut, Maple, Cherry, Oak, Mahogany and Poplar woods.
Again, I say, "How in the world did he do that?"

 I sometimes use this bowl as a fruit bowl. (Yes, one day I will learn how not to use flash!)

Oh My Gosh!  Can you believe this is home-made?  How in the world did he do that!  The curves of the wood add to the special beauty of each of the different woods used.  I guess you can tell that this beautiful bowl is for chips and dip.  The different woods used for this bowl are also Black Walnut, Maple, Cherry, Oak, Mahogany and Poplar.

 I love how the wood curves up on the sides - how pretty!

Cherry wood was used for this lovely vase.

Most of the wood used for these projects is downed, rescued wood from the forest.  In this particular case, during one of the summer storms that come through North Florida,  one of our Pear trees down the hill, fell over in the storm.  Our friend, being ever resourceful, cut the parts of the tree he would be able to use and made this beautiful round wooden box with the lid.  I absolutely love the fact that we have some of that beautiful old Pear tree we loved so much still with us, and turned into this beautiful wooden box.

I'm not sure what kind of wood this lovely little vase is made from.

This below candle holder is so rustic and pretty.  I love how it transitions from the bark of the tree down to the inner wood in the little pedestal and stand.  I  would have to include this piece as one of my favorites.

This particular tree was a salvaged Oak tree found in  Crawford County,  Georgia,  when it had to be taken down by their local power company.

 The below bowl is made with Poplar wood, from a downed tree, in the mountains of North Carolina.

 This covered box was made with Maple wood, also from North Carolina.

The below bowl is made from Maple wood found at Little Buffalo Creek in North Carolina.  It was a joint project by our special friend and another friend, as they worked together learning how to make wooden bowls.  It was a lovely birthday present back in 2008.

The below covered box is made with most of the same woods mentioned above in the other multi-woods used.

This toy keeps some of the grandchildren busy when they come for a visit.  They really enjoy trying to flip that ball in the wooden cone.

Ok!  Can you guess what this is in the below photo?  If you guess a "nutcracker" you are correct!

And last,  but not least, is this charming little Victorian Bird House.  I just love to look out along the front walkway at this pretty little house.

Well! I sure do hope you enjoyed seeing all of this lovely wooden artwork.  I am always amazed at what man can do!

Thank you for stopping by for a nice little visit, and I do hope you come again.   Wishing you many sweet days!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Robbinsville - Part Two - Snowbird Mountain Lodge

It is fun to arrive at the cabin in Robbinsville, North Carolina, get settled in, and have some relaxing time in the rocking chairs or swing on the front porch.  There is usually a gentle, cool, fresh  breeze blowing across the porch.  From there you can look across to the beautiful Snowbird Mountains. 

Each day looking out over the mountains is different depending on the weather.  There seems to be an ever changing personality to the view.  

Often I grab my camera and take off for a nice walk down the steep mountain road.  There is always something pretty along the way to capture with the camera.  In the summertime these pretty little delicate ferns line the shady spots along the roadway.

You can see these wild ferns growing all along the sides of the mountain. 

My husband stopped along the roadway coming back up the mountain and picked a handful of wildflowers.  I thought they were all so pretty,  especially with that pretty little red flower in the middle of all the bright, happy looking yellow flowers.

There is an old historic Inn about eleven miles west of Robbinsville.  It is called Snowbird Mountain Lodge.  The Lodge was built back in 1940 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Lodge was constructed with native stone and chestnut timber.

This is the view from the huge windows looking out from the main lodge lobby and library.

Breakfast and dinner are included for guests of the Inn.  However, if space permits, and reservations are made,  non-resident guests can enjoy a four-course gourmet meal in the beautiful old dining room.

Guests often meet outside on the terrace after dinner to enjoy the view.

In the below photo, this is also a view from the terrace as evening approaches.  If you look up in the mountains to the right,  and down a little,  you can see a tiny little light shining across the mountain.  That is the light from our cabin porch that we left on before coming over to Snowbird Lodge.

Thank you for coming along with us and sitting on the porch of this beautiful old Inn.  As always,  I am amazed at all the beauty around us.

Monday, August 27, 2012

A Place Called Robbinsville

About 20 years ago we decided to build a get-away-from-it-all cabin in the mountains of Robbinsville, North Carolina.   We found the land we wanted and then hiked up the mountain until we found the place to build a cabin.  We went up, up and up.  Then, we turned around, looked out over the beautiful view, and said, "This is it."  Several of our family members were with us that day and they all approved.

You can enter the little town of Robbinsville from the north, east, south or west, but no matter which way you enter you must travel over a mountain range to arrive there.  Then when we do arrive,  it is  nice to be welcomed by this pleasant,  "Welcome to Robbinsville" sign,  surrounded by the pretty daylilies.

The below cornfield is in the middle of downtown, which is next to the only Wendy's.  There is now also a McDonald's as well.  I just love to see a cornfield right in the middle of downtown.  Not too many places do that!

There are so many beautiful creeks in and around Robbinsville.  This particular one in the below photo, is called Little Buffalo Creek.   It is at the end of our drive-way down from the cabin.  The grandchildren love to play in the creek when they visit.

Robbinsville seems to be becoming more of a tourist town than it was when we first started visiting here.  The beautiful Lake Santeetlah is now surrounded on one side by some amazingly beautiful up-scale vacation homes.

There are several places where one can rent pontoon boats and cruise all around Lake Santeetlah.  When the grandchildren come to visit, we get a pontoon boat, and huge tube that can be pulled on the back of the boat, and they all love to do that and swim in the lake.  The boat rental folks supply you with a map to help navigate that huge lake.

It is always fun to pack a picnic and sit there on the boat having a nice lunch enjoying the beautiful, peaceful  mountain view.

Robbinsville is not too far from the well-known Fontana Lake, and Fontana Village Resort, which is also very close to the Appalachian Trail.  There were a couple of movies filmed in this area:  The movie "Nell" starring Jodie Foster, and the movie "The Fugitive" starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones.

 In this below photo you can see the beautiful Fontana Lake down below.

Sometimes it is fun to grab the camera and just sight-see around to try and capture some of the beauty in the area.

The below photos show several different wild flowers blooming all along the creek banks, and along the mountain roads.  

 This flower looks like a wild Queen Anne's Lace.

Another fun thing to do while visiting Robbinsville, that is if you are adventurous, is to go white water river rafting down the Nantahala River.  Our children and grandchildren (the ones that are big enough) love to go river rafting.  Last year, Will our 12 year old grandson,  fell out of the boat as they all went through the river rapids.

In the below photos, in the back of the boat is the Nantahala River guide.  The others in the boat are two of our daughters, Debi in the front,  Sharon and three of her four sons, John Scott, Preston in the hat, Sharon is just behind Will in the front.  They are now approaching the rapids....Notice how Sharon is smiling .... and then .............

What a difference a second makes!

In the below photo, the next second, there goes Will, our 12 year old grandson, out of the boat!!  Notice the look on his mother's face!  Quite a difference from the above photo.

In the below photo you can see the rapids where the boats come through on the Nantahala River.  They have to navigate through those rocks while the river is flowing so rapidly ... That is where Will fell out.  The Nantahala River Company requires everyone to go through a class where they learn the safe things to do if they fall out of the boat.  Will knew exactly what to do, but it was still scary!

The below photo is one of those lazy, hazy days of summer in the mountains. This is a view from the front porch of the cabin.  If you look right in the middle of the photo you can see a portion of Lake Santeetlah.

There are two very beautiful scenic drives close to Robbinsville.  There is the Charahala Skyway,  and another very popular highway,  The Tail of the Dragon (Hwy 129). 

Charahala Skyway is a 50 mile,  scenic drive heading west out of Robbinsville along the ridge top of the mountains, ending in Tallico Plains, Tennessee.  The highway originally was a Native American trading route before it became a wagon train road for early settlers.

The Tail of the Dragon, Hwy 129,  heading north out of Robbinsville,  has 318 curves along its 11 mile stretch.  This is also a very popular stretch of highway for little sports cars and motorcycles or just anyone who enjoys the beauty all around us.
Ahhh! It is so much fun trying to capture some of the beauty all around us with my camera.  Thanks for coming along with us today and please do come back.