Saturday, December 28, 2013

Hill Country Christmas

When in Texas hill country we always look forward to the fantastic Christmas light displays.  One of our favorites is the lighted trees in Johnson City.  This year they had some done in blue!
This is the lighted forest display on the grounds of the Pedernales Electric Company.  It is a sight to behold!
We wondered how they wrap the trees, and got a chance to see one being redone.  Check out the tightly wound strings of lights on the ground.  There was a guy climbing around in the tree branches.  We're told that when it comes time to remove the lights that they are cut away.
A small park in Johnson City always puts on a super display! 
The Christmas displays are so prevalent and beautiful that real snow couldn't add anything more.  This was enough snow for us!
Decorating the community courthouses with lights is a Texas hill country tradition.  The Johnson City courthouse was playing Christmas music outdoors and had a craft show on the weekends indoors.
The Johnson City courthouse square businesses were lighted beautifully, too!
The community of Blanco decorates their courthouse with lights and a small park near the courthouse square has a nice display.  I always enjoy the Blanco County Cat Coalition display!
Displays with a Texas flair are always fun to see!
This year we attended Marble Fall's "Walkway of Lights" along the Colorado River.
Santa's team of reindeer in lights!
A pretty Christmas tree with lights shining on the river behind it!
Santa on a wave runner with a skiing reindeer seemed very appropriate near the river!
I loved the old time feel of a horse pulling a Christmas tree home on a sled!
Miller Creek RV Park puts on a superb Christmas!  This is the Christmas caroling ride around the park prior to the gift exchange!
Here is a glimpse of the fun gift exchange in the rec. hall!  That's Roy up front opening his gift.
There are always great hors d'oeuvres at events!
Desserts are always in abundance, too!  Aren't these special!  Plan a trip to Miller RV Resort in Johnson City, Texas for Christmas.  Better yet, come for their wonderful Thanksgiving and stay through Christmas!  You'll be glad you did!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Blanco Market Days

We had nice weather for checking out the crafts at the November Blanco Market Days.  Every third weekend local crafters set-up tents on the courthouse square to sell their goods.  It's a fun event held by many communities on various weekends.  One more will be held in December and then not again until March. 
These bowls and baskets are carved from the roots of Chinese Fir Trees!  I think they are quite interesting and beautiful!  The lady selling them orders them online.  I never thought of that, as a way of making money at craft fairs!   
Here is some intricate scroll work!  There were several woodworking booths at this month's Market Days. 
John Hobson of Spring Branch, Texas does amazing cutting boards, as well as, other wood pieces.  When asked about the technique to create these beauties, he graciously shared his time to explain how they are done.  The colors are not produced with stains, but are the natural woods! 
Here are some more examples of his work.  His card didn't show a web address, but his phone number is 830-228-5054.
These rolling horses exude superior quality!  They are produced by Ray and Carol Bates of Decatur, Texas.  Each toy horse is individually registered!
Here is a closer look.  The horses without wheels are boxes to store things in.  Check out their website:  There is always something new and interesting to enjoy at Blanco Market Days! 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Exotic Zoo Resort Revisited

The last time we stayed in the Johnson City, Texas area we visited the Exotic Zoo Resort located on Highway 281 between Johnson City and Marble Falls.  Since visiting the first time we've wanted to visit again!  
We did this tour with a group from Miller Creek RV Resort.  Pictured are our friends Fran and Ron.  That's Roy in back.  Fran and this camel seemed to have a special relationship!  Maybe the nearly full bucket of feed and generous handouts had something to do with it! 
The Exotic Zoo Resort is 137 acres and is reported to have around 500 animals!  If you'd like to stay awhile amongst the animals, the resort has nice cabin rentals.  Free trolley rides through the property go with the cabin rentals! 
I find the ostriches to be beautiful, obviously strong, and a bird to be wary of at close range! 
These are very handsome creatures!  They appear to be some type of bighorn sheep.
Here is Roy about to feed the Buffalo.  With the buffalo's long tongue wiggling about wanting to gather food, it's best just to pour some in his open mouth!  Fran is next to Roy and Ron is at the end of the trolley.  A great time was had by all!  The Exotic Zoo Resort is a great place to visit!  Check out their website:

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Benini Sculpture Ranch

We decided to make a return trip to the Benini Sculpture Ranch, which is just a short drive outside of Johnson City, Texas.  It has been a little over 2 years since we last visited.  The ranch has a road winding through 140 acres, with sculptures from international artists on display along the way!  Below is just a sampling.
This appears to be an angelic figure made of scrap metal.
I love the effect the outside display brings to the sculptures!  I said that the last time we were here, too!
The prior sculpture and this one appear to be made through casting.  
This is the art gallery looking toward the back. 
This technique is called paint layering.      
There were several ethereal figures on display created by Benini using aluminum and pigments.  Enlarge the picture to check them out.  The roses on the wall are on flat canvases.
One of Benini's specialties is creating perspective on a flat canvas.  Standing right in front of a painting like this you have to touch it to believe that it is really flat!
More interesting paint layering and another fascinating ghostly figure!
Here is more paint layering! 
I admire the artistic skill it takes to bring life to these abstract figures!
This is a view of the gallery from the back looking toward the front.  I'm glad we visited, as it may be our last to see it here in Texas.  The ranch is for sale!  Benini is wanting to relocate to Prescott, Arizona.  Look for his gallery or sculpture ranch there sometime in the future.

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Uptown Blanco Quilt Show

We attended the Uptown Blanco Quilt Show held at the Textile Studio.  The Textile Studio was an empty storefront where art shows were held when we were here before.  It has just recently opened as a craft supplies store and will offer classes.
Kudos to whoever built the shelving!  It is gorgeous!  The fabric display is beautiful!
This is a sweet sitting area by the big front window.  There is a nice antique replica stove, a purple chair, and a pretty quilt to look at.  We'll have to go back on a chilly day to sit by the stove, enjoy the sunshine coming through the window, and to watch the activity around Blanco's downtown square! 
This is the view from the back of the shop facing the front.  Check out the antique replica lights and fans!  they are perfect for this old building with high ceilings.  The quilt show was spread throughout other parts of this building and outdoors. 
Check out the longhorn pattern sewn into the quilt square on the right side of the picture!  They are machine done through a digital template, but still very cool!
Love the colors!
Lots of detail!
We enjoyed the show!