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Susan
middle Tennessee
You are an extraordinary woman, how can you expect to live an ordinary life? ~Louisa May Alcott
Interests: when asked if the glass is half full or half empty, i always respond "my glass overflows!, " blending all my passions into a balanced and harmonious life of family-friends-furbabies-travel-photography-good food-and wordsmithing. Oh yeah, and I love Doris Day. The first words I ever strung together were, "By the light" as in "By the light of the Silvery Moon." Mom sang it to me when I was a baby.
Recent Activity
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I've been exchanging emails with Lynn Golden, co-owner of Milky Way Farms located in Giles County between Pulaski and Columbia. We plan to offer a couple of Plein Air painting classes there this spring. The first class is scheduled from 1pm to 5pm on May 10. The second will be... Continue reading
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"In order to get through your work in proper time, you should make it your chief study to rise early in the morning; for an hour before the family rises is worth more to you than two after they are up." ~Robert Roberts, 1827 While in Natchez, I was touring The Towers, home of Ginger Hyland and her fiance James Wesley Forde, and sitting on a side table, I discovered an old book they owned by Robert Roberts called The House Servant's Directory: an African American Butler's 1827 Guide. What makes this book remarkable is that it is one of the first to be written by an African American and issued by a commercial press. It was also written while Roberts was employed as a Butler. The book was first published in Boston in 1827 and had two additional printings, one in 1828 and another in 1843. It is a... Continue reading
Posted 19 hours ago at Charm of the Carolines
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The sun was warm but the wind was chill. You know how it is with an April day. ~Robert Frost In the 1920s Garden Clubs of America were becoming very popular. The Natchez Garden Club officially began in 1927 as an outgrowth of The Women’s Club of Natchez. In the spring of 1931 the small (only 57 members) but very active club was making plans to host the state organization’s annual convention. The most anticipated activity was to be a tour of the many old-fashioned gardens which should have been at their most beautiful at that time of year. To the members’ dismay, a late freeze spoiled the beauty of the gardens, and they had to hastily arrange for their visitors to tour a number of the old houses instead. This turned into an unmitigated success. And the rest, as they say, is history. From this grew the Natchez Pilgrimage,... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Charm of the Carolines
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Mammy's Cupboard is a wonderful restaurant just outside Natchez, Mississippi. As many good, southern restaurants are in that town, and for as short a time as I was there, I still made it to Mammy's for lunch twice. It was originally built as a Shell "Filling" Station by Henry Gaudé in 1940. Mammy is 28 feet tall, and she has a 20-foot diameter skirt. The bricks and wood to construct her came from an old cotton gin, and the beams from the gin support her skirt. During the 1960s Mammy was painted to look like a native American squaw, but later reverted back to a beloved African American Mammy, only with much lighter skin tones. If you go, get there early. They only serve lunch from 11am to 2pm and if they run out of food, they simply lock the door. Save room for dessert. This is what Mammy's is... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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While in Natchez, I had the priviledge to teach a private lesson to Kitty Bray. What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning, hanging out at Arts Natchez and painting sunflowers with this beautiful and talented lady. Continue reading
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While touring the beautiful and historic homes in Natchez, Mississippi, I noticed on their dining room tables, a piece of china I've never seen before. The pattern was "Old Paris" and the piece was called "Pots de Creme." Honoring the request not to photograph inside the homes, I don't have a photo of the actual Pots de Cremes I saw. However, a quick search of the internet found several photos a beautiful examples of this piece. A friend in Natchez knew I was interested in the china and the recipe, and he texted me this photo of his breakfast one morning, along with the recipe. I like this recipe better than all the others I've seen because it does not require baking in the oven. (For those of you who don't know I have no working oven at the moment. Long story that includes a big storm. Jus' saying) Additionally... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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For most of my life I've heard about the Natchez Trace. Once a rough trail used by farmers and merchants who transported their crops and wares to Natchez, Mississippi, a port town on the Mississippi River and the most affluent city in our country, it became a Roosevelt "Great Depression" project to employ Amereicans when there weren't any available jobs in the 1930s. Originally the trace was a trail used by pre-historic native Americans and later by the Choctaw, Natchez, and Cherokee Indian tribes. In the 1800s it was used by "Kaintucks" which was the catch-all phrase for farmers and boatmen who floated their merchandise to sell in New Orleans and Natchez, including selling their boats, and walking home on the trace. The more the trace was used, the path eroded and sank. Sections of the old trace are visible today. As steam-powered boats became available, both people and products... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Charm of the Carolines
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A delightful evening was spent with these talented artists in Natchez, Mississippi, painting what else? Cotton fields! Continue reading
Thank you for clarifying. I'll have to grab my camera and snap a few more photos. You are welcome to be a guest blogger, too, if you like and tell us more. Susan
1 reply
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This week I'm very excited to be teaching a Paint-Along class in Natchez, Mississippi, at Arts Natchez. I created this painting called "High Cotton" just for the event which is a fundraiser for Arts Natchez, 425 Main Street, Natchez, MS. I'm also packing plein air supplies and hope to paint... Continue reading
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Ken Horner enjoys a "Mule Day" from his youth. Festivities begin this week at Maury County Park in Columbia, Tennessee. And the Mule Day Parade is scheduled for Saturday, April 5, in downtown Columbia beginning at 11am. Continue reading
Posted Mar 30, 2014 at Charm of the Carolines
Dear Creative Spirits, Has spring finally arrived? I hear birds singing and see buttercups blooming, and there has even been a day or two I've grabbed a friends or two to paint with me en plein air. I even see Easter on the calendar for this month. So let's declare it! Spring is here! Look at all the varieties of daffodils blooming around the Carriage House Studio at Windy Acre Cottage.... And I added a clothesline to the backyard. Can you believe doing laundry is actually fun? I feel like I'm on an episode of "Homefront" every time I pin a towel or sheets to the line. In the art world.... 1. Arts Natchez in Natchez, MS, and I have partnered hereby I'll teach a paint-along class called High Cotton on April 3 from 6-9pm at their gallery located at 425 Main Street with a portion of the proceeds benefiting... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at Charm of the Carolines
Dear Creative Spirits, Has spring finally arrived? I hear birds singing and see buttercups blooming, and there has even been a day or two I've grabbed a friends or two to paint with me en plein air. I even see Easter on the calendar for this month. So let's declare... Continue reading
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I'm working on a Pet Portrait Commission today. Which one will the collector choose? Continue reading
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Today we practice painting spheres and shading with complementary colors in the Mini-Monet class at Amuse'um Children Museum in Columbia. Each of these young ladies possesses a sweet and creative spirit. Some are more impressionistic, and some are more realistic, but all are immensely talented. And a joy to teach. Continue reading
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Counting down the days to Mule Day, the official first day of spring in Columbia, TN. Guest blogger Bob Duncan shares this photo and message: "This was Mule Day 1939 and the pretty girls are Ethyl Maxwell and Evelyn Morgan (Abernathy). The mules names were Betty Grable and Mary Pickford." Got Ears? Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at Charm of the Carolines
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Yesterday I joined several artists from The Chestnut Group at a historic home named Windermere near Carnton Plantation in Franklin, Tennessee, to paint en plein air. Windermere is located on 40 beautiful acres. This unique home is where Carrie Winder McGavock (the "Widow of the South" of Carnton Plantation and... Continue reading
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I was very pleased Qiang allowed us to view his personal travel journal and that he gave me permission to share the photos of it with you on this blog. He uses a black pen with permanent ink plus watercolor washes to capture places on paper where he has traveled.... Continue reading
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This past weekend I was fortunate enough to get into the Nashville Qiang Huang workshop. Qiang (pronounced "Chong") is an amazing person. He is fluent in both Chinese and English and was trained in the fields of science and technology. Yes, he was a rocket scientist at NASA earlier in... Continue reading
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I found my center, and it's in the form of a clothes line. When you possess a vintage soul like I do, many things complete you.... a whimsical pie vent, an old biscuit cutter, a newly discovered cluster of wild blackberry bushes, a white and red polkadot Fire King bowl, a family recipe written in your grandmother's handwriting, and yes, a hand-made wooden clothes line. Be still my beating heart. I purchased the supplies and brought them home with the brawn of my brother and his truck. And my sweet neighbor put it together. He won't accept cash for helping me with projects or chores so I have to figure out something he wants or needs to recipricate and say thank you... birdhouse books, a little green garden wagon, a lighted magnifying glass. Have I ever mentioned how blessed I am with wonderful neighbors? This morning the sun came out... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2014 at Charm of the Carolines