Bluegrass & Backroads

I really like the title of this show. One of my favorite things about country living is traveling the backroads on a pretty day. Kentucky really is a beautiful state, and the rolling fields, deep caverns, creeks, lakes and rock formations can be breathtaking. I think the title of this show is an appropriate description of Kentucky.

Tucked along those backroads and rolling fields, sprinkled here and there, are unique and interesting people. Many folks think that isolation helps spur creativity in our people. To some degree this is true, I think. Growing up, all of my family members had projects we were constantly working on…piddling as we called it. I have piddled my whole life. In fact, I really never felt comfortable calling myself an artist until I was in my 20′s. So removed from the “art world” was I, that I simply said I piddled with making things.

I’m glad my folks encouraged all that piddling.

The episode that I filmed back in May (you can read more about that experience here) is coming up this next weekend on KET and RFD-TV. Although hesitant to participate at first because of my own shyness and perhaps, stage fright, I’m so glad Bob and Matt encouraged me to share my artwork on their program. It really was such a great experience and has helped me overcome some of that stage fright to a degree.

I encourage you to watch Bluegrass & Backroads. There are some interesting things happening in Kentucky, at the hands of interesting makers and these two fellows work very hard to scout the best and most interesting makers and bring their stories to you.

You can visit this link for a list of air dates on KET, (Kentucky Educational Television). I am episode #1305, just scroll down and look for Rebecca Miller Campbell or see dates below.

 

Rebecca Miller Campbell; Cathedral Basillica; Jack Crowner; Blessings in a Backpack

26:40 | #1305 | First Airs: October 15, 2016

  • KET2: Saturday, October 15 at 4:30 PM ET
  • KETKY: Sunday, October 16 at 7:30 AM ET
  • KETKY: Sunday, October 16 at 11:00 PM ET
  • KETKY: Tuesday, October 18 at 12:30 PM ET
  • KETKY: Tuesday, October 18 at 2:30 PM ET
  • KET: Wednesday, October 19 at 12:00 AM ET
  • KETKY: Friday, October 21 at 7:30 AM ET
  • KETKY: Sunday, December 11 at 11:00 PM ET
  • KETKY: Tuesday, December 13 at 12:30 PM ET
  • KETKY: Tuesday, December 13 at 2:30 PM ET
  • KET: Wednesday, December 14 at 12:00 AM ET
  • KETKY: Thursday, December 15 at 8:30 PM ET
  • KETKY: Friday, December 16 at 7:30 AM ET
  • KETKY: Sunday, December 18 at 7:30 AM ET

Bluegrass and Backroads will also air nation-wide on RFD-TV. You have have that channel, my episode, Season 13 Ep 5, will air October 19th, at 5:30 PM ET.

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I hope you enjoy the little glimpse into what my day to day life in my studio looks like. I love making these little creations and I LOVE being able to share them and my process with you! Thank you for helping me realize that piddlers and artists are many times one and the same!

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Popularity

There is one post in particular on my blog that is more popular than any other page or post. And it has absolutely nothing to do with my dolls or artwork. This post, a story about growing up searching for morel mushrooms at the feet of my Dad, is the most visited post on my blog. Even now, years after I originally published the story, comments are active.

In my web statistics, I can see that lots of folks are still interested in searching for morel mushrooms in Kentucky. Traffic to my site begins to pick up in March & continues through April & on into May.

What can I say, lots of people love morels. And lots of people love the search for the morel. By this time, after a couple of searches I sometimes close my eyes and see the texture of the morel mushroom. They’re hard little buggers to spot.

 

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With heavy leaf fall and lots of similar textures on the ground it is sometimes very hard to see these little things. It’s no wonder that some mushroom gatherers carry walking sticks with a morel mushroom carved into the wood. Rather than identifying shape, it’s more the texture that you’re looking for. In fact, when I spot a mushroom, the best way to describe it is that my eyes accidentally “bumped” into it. Amongst all the leaf litter my eye just happens upon something more substantial.

So far this year we’ve only found a few mushrooms. One of the most thrilling experiences I’ve ever had was when my husband and I found over 150 in one spot! I was like Gretel, picking up pieces of candy from the Kentucky hills. I followed a whimsical, twisted path, plucking mushrooms from the ground every few seconds. If they had led me into the deepest darkest valley I would have followed joyfully and never made my way back out.

There isn’t much that can beat a warm, sunny spring day in Kentucky. Redbuds in bloom are often breathtaking and bloom about the same time as many other native trees, including the dogwood. This almost always coincides with the mushroom hunting season. And I swear, it can be breathtaking!

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The most common search terms for today & yesterday! I love this!

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Inspired By Sweetness Just Outside my Door.

Sometimes you find that inspiration is staring you in the face.

Literally.

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Every morning this is the face I am greeted to when I walk into my kitchen, wiping sleepiness from my eyes. This little face peers through the back kitchen door and as soon as she spots me she begins meowing sharply. Food. She wants food. When does she want it? NOW!

And so I feed her and sneak a pet while her head dips into the food bowl.

It wasn’t always like this.

Around this time last year, this little lady showed up in our neighborhood. From where she came is a mystery. I just noticed her one day outside my studio window, perched atop an old table on my porch used for holding ferns and pretty flowers on my porch. It’s typical to see wandering cats in on our street. Like most places, there is an abundance of homeless critters or perhaps critters with homes who sometimes wander the streets.

Before long this little feral lady had a batch full of kittens. I found them in June nestled under my azaleas and promptly took them to my porch for protection. Little Mama did not like that however and soon moved her kittens. I felt bad for trying to intervene….my intention was to tame the kittens and find them homes. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it.

But, this little lady has stuck around the neighborhood winning hearts and earning tasty nibbles with her sweet, delicate face. This past year has been a time of getting her healthy, getting her comfortable with the human voice & touch. Yesterday, I watched her come to my husband for petting and soak it up. She’s still a little standoffish at times but we can sneak in neck scratches when she’s eating and she’ll come really close to me for treats. There has been a lot of sitting with her while she eats this past year. I think this spring will be great for her! And I think little by little she will learn to trust although I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to pick her up and cuddle.

Although this little lady doesn’t have an official name yet & is still a neighborhood cat as I suspect she visits lots of us regularly, she is the inspiration behind my doll for this month’s PFATT Marketplace.

I’ve named my doll Mittsy, but I suspect our feral gal would think that’s too cutesy.

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Mittsy is available on PFATT Marketplace today at 1 PM EST. Click here to purchase.

Dandy — a Glittery, Glitzy Fellow

The most special thing about winter, to me, is snow. I love how it makes me feel like a little kid again. How it stirs memories of sledding dangerously down steep hills, of sipping hot chocolate with lips still stinging from the cold, how it makes me think of playing outside with my brother, building snowmen and collecting enough clean snow for a new fresh batch of delicious snow cream.

There were many evenings that I just looked out the window, watching new flakes fall and loving how the snow glistened in the moonlight. That sparkle was magical. Still, my very favorite thing about winter is snow. And my very favorite thing about snow is how it sparkles when the light hits it just right.

My offering for this month’s PFATT Marketplace is a tribute to that lovely sparkle.

Dandy is a mixed media sculpture built onto a paper-mache cone. He can be a tree topper at Christmastime and then function as a free-standing doll the rest of the winter. He’s sure to keep you good company on cold winter days!

Dandy is around 12.25″ tall and will be available on Dec. 10th at 1 p.m. EST on my PFATT Marketplace page. (Or just click the image below!)

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