November 30, 2009

Crickhollow Facebook Give away

If you are on Facebook go here and become a fan of Crickhollow Studios for a chance to win a free walking stick.. The contest will run until 9:00pm eastern standard time tomorrow...

November 28, 2009

Oak walking stick

I finished this walking stick yesterday.

November 22, 2009

The armory is open...

I had a couple of scrap pieces left over from a previous carving and decided to make a couple of weapons for James...

November 14, 2009

The Witch Ball...

Today was a throw back to my younger years, a time when my dad would wake us up early and start a massive cleaning project around the house. We spent several hours armed with various implements of destruction, each covering a preassigned area. Now the place is all organized and shiny.

As I write this everyone has run away from me under the pretense of going to the store to pick up something for dinner, yet I believe it was a mass revolt to get away from me. Owing to what Julie calls the "drill sergeant" mode I enter whenever there is a task at hand, I can't say I blame them.

The last thing I noticed that needed a good cleaning was the Witch Ball. Julie's cousin Bryan is a noted glass artist, the Witch Ball is one of his creations. It hangs on our window and was quite dusty, so as everyone was running out the door to escape, I walked over, took it down and gave it a good cleaning.

The colors that are in the glass sphere Bryan created are amazing. With the continuous movement of the day and the satellite radio blaring the "old wore out hippie" station throughout the house I had a moment of reflection. The Grateful Dead kicked in with Ripple and I stood transfixed as I stared at the Witch Ball... The lyrics of the song, the labor of the day, and the beauty of the creation I was holding in my hand swept over me as I was transported from Saturdays with my dad to moments of sheer creation through will.

There are times when a single moment becomes crystal clear in your mind. The day spent with my family... noise, arguing, chaos, music, mess, the eternal struggle to keep said mess at bay... It all made sense. These moments are the greatest works of art we can create.

I wandered out on to the porch and looked around at my world and I became overwhelmingly thankful. I live on property that has been in the family for years. My childhood was magical, full of love and noise. My family is close at hand. My sons enjoy themselves. I'm deeply in love with my wife. I create things out of wood that surrounds me and that I have watched grow for most of my life. Bits and pieces of the very woods that I grew up and played in as a child have been crafted by my hands, and now reside in the hands of others as far away as England, South America and China.... How cool is that....

I have made some good friends down through the years, true and steadfast. As with all people I have dealt with my fair share of bullshit, and I have dealt out more than my fair share of it too... But at this moment in time, on this day.... The world spins in perfection and all is well...

Reach out your hand if your cup be empty
If your cup is full may it be again
Let it be known there is a fountain
That was not made by the hands of man

November 08, 2009

The cursed snake...

I posted a piece a while back about a cursed walking stick I have been reluctantly attempting to carve... read about it here. Well, I finally finished the damn thing. I decided to make a snake out of it. For a first attempt at carving a snake, I think it turned out OK... Given it's horrific past, I hope someone buys it from me soon.. It's really starting to creep me out... I'm afraid its going to start talking to me ...

November 07, 2009

On the Square in Newnan...

The day started early, we were set and ready by 8:45 this morning. The air was cold and the sun bright, but it was a good day. We met many people and sold a good bit of work. Several people came by to say hello and Scott's Bookstore where we were set up was busy all day. The kids were playing and the food and festivities were free flowing, small town living at it's best.

The chill in the air called for many cups of coffee and hot chocolate, but the conversations were well worth it.

Before the crowds began moving around I got a visit from Grady, an old friend from school, it's always good to catch up with people.

My view for the better part of the day. The first Saturday of each month is market day in Newnan on the square, featuring local artists selling their wares, it's a lot of fun and you get to really experience the way small town weekend days were meant to be spent.

The Christmas decorations were up and everyone seemed to be smiling.

My mother and cousins Colin and Syble stopped by to say hello.

My nephew Danny and his wife Lindsey, along with their new baby boy Jack stopped by... I made Danny a deal on a walking stick.

It's always good to see Bill and Rebecca.

My brother entertained folks with some singing and guitar playing.

My cousin Adrian came by to visit.

After reading her blog for a long while, I finally got to meet Eve.. She was very nice and her kids are a hoot.

Eves kids were ready to attack the slide and bouncing house..

She sang us a song that she wrote, she has a beautiful singing voice, very impressive talent.

There were slides, bouncing houses, and several other things for the kids to do.

The courthouse on the square

The vendors were plentiful, and had everything from honey and home made doughnuts to paintings and clothes.

I enjoyed the atmosphere and friendly nature of the town today, it was a good place to be.

James even got to have his picture made with a huge plastic Santa...

After we packed everything up, we all walked over to a local restaurant to eat. Everyone was friendly and happy and the feedback on our work was all very positive. Again, we want to thank Earlene Scott from Scott's Bookstore for inviting us to set up in front of her shop, it was a tremendous day.

November 05, 2009

Crickhollow on the Square

This Saturday, November 7th, we will be selling our goods on the town square in Newnan. We have been invited by Earlene Scott to set up shop for the day outside of her place of business. Scott's bookstore has been a fixture in this town, and indeed in my life, for the past thirty three years. My mother took me there as a child for my first ever book purchase, read about it here...

Ever since then I have enjoyed the perfect customer service and selection of books they provide. These days we always stop in on Saturday mornings after breakfast to peruse the selection and talk for a while with Earlene, she knows everybody and has all the latest on happenings around town. I can't tell you what this place means to me with mere words, yet I think the grin I get from watching Patrick fishing through the books and James crawling around digging through books and toys says it all... Each time I walk through the doors I can't help but feel like I'm that little kid again, and should take off running to check and see what's new on the shelves.

We are setting up a table and will be ready to go at nine Saturday morning, so come on by, say hello and pick up some books for Christmas... It's sure to be a good day...

November 02, 2009

Just One More Time...

I just read a comment left on a post I did… My cousin said that she wished that things could be like that just one more time. That, as you would expect, set me wandering through the nebulous memories that fly around in my mind.

As I have said before one of my greatest wishes would be to stand at the curve in the road that leads down to my grandparents old home on the morning of July the 4th and take it all in, with my wife and children next to me. I would stand there and utilize all of my senses to be awash in the physical manifestation of the memories of that place and time. The hickory smoke filling that hollow, the smell of the bbq as it slowly comes time for it to be eaten. The blue of the sky and the green of the grass as countless children, before being encumbered by knowledge, are free to really enjoy what life has to offer. The sounds of laughter as they run round and round the little house for no apparent reason other than to celebrate simply being alive. My grandfathers booming voice as he relays instructions for the preparation of the food, my grandmother constantly asking everyone if they have had enough to eat. My fathers voice, as he sits by the fire with my uncles, telling stories of times long since gone. The youthful faces of my siblings as they laugh and eat themselves too full to move with food that simply put, was so good that it can not be found anywhere now. Standing at the table in front of the huge washtub full of lemonade that Woodson had made, impatiently waiting for a turn to fill a cup with the ice cold beverage, while covered with dust and sweat brought on by the ungodly heat and humidity that only a proper Georgia summer can provide.

Hide and seek, firecrackers, bottle rockets, incredible food, laughter… its all right there. Just down the road. My God… what a treat for my children to see and experience this… I would send them all forward with a gentle push, secure in the knowledge of what they were about to experience. I could imagine my son James running full speed to my grandfather and climbing into his lap to listen to his pocket watch, just as I had done. I think of that and I can not help but to weep that they will never know that man. They will never listen as he and my grandmother talk at the same time, neither seemingly aware that the other is talking, and all you can do is jump in and hang on, hoping that you can keep up with both conversations. More than anything what I long for is my wife and children to experience is the feeling of complete love and security that they had the ability to create. As effortless as taking a breath, with no thought or plan they would make you feel as if you were the most important person in the world. To have known love like that is truly the greatest thing a human could wish for, trust me… I know.

I would sit crouched down in that curve of the road as I watched them walk down there and see the way that my grandparents would welcome them in. I would watch from a distance as I saw my kids run to my dad and hug him for all they were worth. I would get to see my kids eating slaw from the blue bowl that my aunt brought with her every year. I could imagine Patrick watching and listening as my dad talked and James walking in lock step right behind my grandfather.. I know he would be simply awe struck over Daddy Doc.. I would walk around the perimeter of that place and just watch.. just take it all in…

Just one more time indeed… One more time to be wrapped in love that way... Damn…

November 01, 2009

Today in Newnan...

Today I had a photo assignment in town. So as I wandered around taking the pictures I was brought on to provide, I also snapped random shots that caught my eye. Newnan is known as "The city of homes" and there are some lovely places around here. Houses that date back to pre-civil war litter the old streets, along with quaint little places that have been fixed up and sold for way more than they are worth, now housing transplants and the like around the city. The stately old manor homes are very beautiful. But as you walk around town or drive through, there are often little patches that you just never see... So I looked at the town from a slightly different angle...

Of course being near the trains I had to put a quarter and nickel on the track to give to Patrick and James... I remember doing this with my dad when I was little... I still get a kick out of it..