STUDIO STILLS – BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY

BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: STILL LIFE – STUDIO SHOTS


Rubber ducks. Today, January 13th, was National Rubber Ducky Day, so I felt obliged to take some pictures of my rubber ducky collection. This is the Groucho Celebriduck with a background of the Loon Celebriduck.

Groucho and Loon Rubber Duckies
Yellow tinted candlelight

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BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: TEXTURE – AN ANCIENT IRONWOOD TREE

BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: TEXTURE


One really old ironwood tree in Phoenix. Being well cared for by its owner, it was the largest ironwood I’ve ever seen. For your information, ironwood is so heavy, it doesn’t float. 

Three pictures, one ancient ironwood tree. I think ironwood trees are nothing but texture.

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THE 12-FOOT TEEPEE

BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: STRUCTURE


In 2007, I built a 12-foot teepee. It’s the smallest “full-size” teepee. I would have built a bigger one, but we didn’t have enough flat ground on which to build it. As it is, we had to create a flat place to stand the teepee. We build a platform of railroad planks, sand and earth. There was a lot of sweating and heaving going on for several weeks before we could even start putting the teepee up.

I bought the teepee — plain and unadorned — from Nomadics Tipi, a wonderful company that has helped construct teepees all over the world. If you have time, take a look at their site. They have a wonderful collection of pictures from everywhere, literally, on earth.

Building the platform on which to stand the teepee was a lot of work … all of which was done by Garry and Owen. When that piece was done, I had to make poles. You can buy poles and if you buy them, they are smooth and straight and pretty easy to use. They are also wildly expensive. Not the poles. The cost for bringing poles from where they grow — mostly in the Pacific northwest — to wherever you live would have cost around $1000. And that was just the delivery.

The teepee was my favorite place to be on a snowy afternoon.

I couldn’t do that, so I made the poles myself. Owen and I went into the woods and chose a couple of dozen young hardwood trees that weren’t too crooked. After that, me and my draw knives peeled the bark and cut all the little pieces off the poles. After which I sanded the poles. It took a long time and although I got better at it over time, it was still a lot of work.

I painted the door from a design I found. It’s not a very good rendition, but it was as good as I could do. The interior design were the hand-prints of our family, forming a friendship ring.

Nothing makes you respect the work done by supposedly primitive people more than trying to do the same thing yourself. It isn’t all that primitive and it definitely isn’t easy!

I wrote a book based on the building of the teepee. You can find it on Amazon as “The 12-Foot Teepee” by Marilyn Armstrong.

The teepee could not last forever, but its name lives on … and that is why the name of my blog is teepee12.com. 

GARRY AT THE CANAL – BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY

BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: AFTER AND BEFORE


I’m always a little dubious about landscapes in black and white. Sometimes, they are great, but a lot of the time, they are a bit dull. I think this one worked pretty well. Lots of clouds piling up in the sky made the a big difference between the two pictures.

The canal in sepia. Garry with a camera and clouds.
Blue skies behind white puffy cloud. Different in color.

I can’t make up my mind. What do you think?

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GROWN-UP TOYS – BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY

BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: PLAYTIME


Monochrome with red dress
Portrait of a 1948 composite doll – by Madame Alexander

There’s a reason why I take a lot of pictures of this doll. She was one of Madame Alexander’s originals, named after the girl in the McGuffey reader which was used in American schools for almost 100 years. She was also one of the most popular faces ever produced, with a sweetness that later dolls never matched … and is completely missing from modern dolls.

She was also my best reconstruction. Because she is made of composition material — basically glue, sawdust, paint, and a lot of careful hand molding — she needed quite a lot of repair. Both her feet were eaten away by moisture. I repaired them well enough to fit into shoes, but not well enough to stand on their own. I repainted much of her face. Her wig is new and I sewed the dress and smock myself. I know it isn’t a huge accomplishment, but I don’t sew, so it was a big deal for me. I also made her hat. She is as close to the original as I could create.

CLASSIC BLACKSTONE RIVER AND CANAL – BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY

BLACK & WHITE SUNDAY: TYPICAL


A typical picture of our river. This may be beyond typical … closer to “classic.” It is where the river and canal separate (again) in Uxbridge. The bridge is classic, too. You can see these all over New England.

The Blackstone River and Canal in Uxbridge

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