Biggest Sassafras in Georgia

Rutledge Sunflower Farm was, until recently, the site of the largest known sassafras tree in Georgia. The tree had to be taken down and my woodturning club was fortunate to get some of the wood. We are turning items to be sold at their 2012 Sunflower Festival June 30-July 1. Proceeds of the items made will benefit the Camp Twin Lakes which is a camp for disabled and seriously ill children ( .) My club is also going to have a booth at the festival in which members who have made items from the tree may display and sell their work.

The tree had obviously been on the ground for a while and the wood is in somewhat less than pristine shape, but hopefully I will be able to get something out of it. I have two pieces. On a branch section about 6″ in diameter and other that is about 10″ in diameter. I will post what I am able to make.

If you are in the area come out and enjoy the festival. It should be a lot of fun. The farm is located about 50 miles east of Atlanta. Directions may be found here.

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Profile of me by Blue Morning Expressions

my officeNice profile of me by one of the Checked In Today guild members. Thanks Julie and Blu from BlueMorningExpressions!
Click here to see it.

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Great New Bottle Stoppers Added to Artfire Shop

black and white ebony bottlestopper

Black and White Ebony Bottlestopper

I have added about a dozen great new bottle stoppers to my Artfire shop. Please stop by and take a look. All are made from beautiful exotic woods and solid stainless steel parts. They include silicone rubber seals for a solid, secure seal. If properly inserted, you can even turn the bottle upside down and they will not come out. If you plan to test this, I would recommend doing it outside and don’t use an expensive or bubbling wine! 😉

All of them ship free this month!

Click on the image to go to the bottle stopper section of my shop.

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Georgia Cowboy Poets Gathering

Cowboy Poets Gathering, Douglasville, GA

Cowboy Poets Gathering

We attended the 16th annual Georgia Cowboy Poets Gathering last Saturday evening. (March 3rd, 2012) and it was great fun. Performers from the Douglas County Cowboy Poets as well as musicians Bill Turnipseed, David Fillingim, and Justin Hicks sang, yodeled and played guitar, fiddle and harmonica. There were Old West and traditional cowboy songs and the evening was dedicated to Bill Mattison, a Georgia Cowboy Poet and performer who passed away in 2011.

We heard great songs from the past as well as tall tales (some probably had a seed of truth in there somewhere). Some stories made you cry, some made you laugh and many made you do both. One of the best was about Bill Mattison wearing his wife’s panties to the doctor because he had no clean ones of his own. You can probably figure out how that one ended. It was apparently all over town by the next day.

I’m not a cowboy and never was one, but it is great to hear the stories about that time and its people. If you get a chance to attend a Cowboy Poets gathering, I suggest to not miss it. It is good, clean (well, mostly) fun for the whole family.

Image from the Cultural Arts Council of Douglasville/Douglas County website.

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Artfire Collection: Reds and Naturals

reds and naturals collection

Reds and Naturals Collection

Thanks to luvncrafts for including one of my big leaf maple bangles in their “Reds and Naturals” Artfire collection. Take a look:

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Blog Post by ShadowDogDesigns

Shadow Dog Designs


Thanks to ShadowDogDesigns for including me in one of her collections. Find her blog post at:

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Carroll County Empty Bowls

carroll county empty bowls

Carroll County Empty Bowls

Linda and I took part in the Carroll County Empty Bowls event today. This is the fourth year we have participated. We unpack and put out the bowls and it is like Christmas as a kid. You never know what the next bowl will be. Each one is a beauty in its own way and there is someone who will love and cherish it.

We have the bowl sale where for a $10 minimum donation, you get to pick your favorite bowl, then get a small bowl of soup and some bread. The small portions are intended to remind one of what many people get by on for daily sustenance. In addition, there is a silent auction of donated art pieces by local artists as well as a boutique with some of the finer pieces for immediate sale.

Restaurants in the area donate the soup, a number of companies donate the clay to make the bowls and many people in the community donate their time to make, glaze and fire the bowls. Without each of these activities, this event could not take place, so thank you all!

The amount of money raised has increased each of the four years that Linda and I have participated. Last year, the event produced a donation of over $24,000 to the local soup kitchen. The number of bowls appeared a little down over last year, but the bid prices on the auction pieces seemed up some and the boutique sold out, so we hope that this year will again top the previous year.

We hold the event each year in late February at the Carroll County Ag Center from 11:00 to 2:00, so if you missed it this year, be sure to look out for it next year. There is live music, raffles and it is a great opportunity to get together with friends and maybe even make a few new ones. Come join us! Information can be found at:

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Black and White Collection

Black and White Collection

Black and White Collection

One of my urchin ornaments was included in an Artfire collection  of Black and White by lorcadesigns. Thanks!

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Artfire Collection

Down in the Garden collection

Down in the Garden collection

One of my birdhouse ornaments has been included in an Artfire collection called “Down in the Garden” byShadowDogDesigns. Great collection and thanks!!

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New Collection on Artfire

Collection on Artfire Summer's Come'n

Summer's Come'n

I created a new collection on Artfire this evening. It is supposed to be titled “Summer’s Come’n” but Artfire apparently takes out all the single quotes.

It has been a rather chilly, dreary weekend here in Georgia, and I was wishing for warm weather and sunshine. So, these items have sunny, happy colors.

All items from the shops of the “I Checked In Today” guild on Artfire. Enjoy!

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