By LaReeca Rucker It probably seems like I am quite the cook based on some of the social media posts I have made lately. Truth is, I’m not. But at one time, I aspired to be. As a person who has a lot of hobbies that I drop and pick up again from time to time, I have done everything from stamp collecting to salsa dancing. At one time, I convinced myself that I was going to be the next top chef. (Well, not really, but I was determined to master cooking.) For a while, I was obsessed with watching the Food Network. I purchased many cookbooks, and I was given many cookbooks as gifts. But truth be told, cooking – I learned – is much more than a skill. It’s a talent. It’s an art. And while I can generally read directions and sometimes create a dish that is a hit, I also sometimes miss. I’m an unreliable cook. However, this Christmas I was determined to make a few dishes for a family Christmas …
By LaReeca Rucker The way you decorate your Christmas tree says a lot about your personality, as do the ornaments that we choose to adorn it. More than 20 years ago, I began collecting and making my own ornaments at Christmastime. I try to make and buy a few new ornaments every year to add to my collection. I started with porcelain cherubs, leaving some white and decorating others. Then I bought traditional Christmas balls and covered them in glitter, back when you couldn’t find glittery decorations like them. I have also made ornaments for my tree that feature pictures of my late pets. In the last few years, I have taken an annual trip to Hobby Lobby to select ornaments that I like. I also look in Walmart, Fred’s and other local dollar stores. Tomorrow, I plan to attend two Christmas craft events and search for more interesting ornaments to add to my collection. There are a few things that I am fond of and always on the look out for – aliens, robots …
A while back, I was driving through Coffeeville on my way back from Jackson, and I stopped at a little spot that is usually very busy on the weekends with people who set up yard sales. In the past, I lucked-up and found a lot of vintage jewelry for sale. This time, I had a similar experience.
It’s been a while since I wrote anything on my blog, but I thought the death of Mississippi icon Lee McCarty warranted commentary since I had the pleasure of spending time with him five years ago when I visited Merigold, Mississippi, to tour and write about McCartys Pottery. If you’ve never been, I would encourage you to put this road trip on your bucket list. I toured the pottery shop, watched pottery being made, ate at The Gallery restaurant and Crawdad’s. And some of the locals took me to the nearby Po’ Monkey Lounge, known by many as the last authentic juke joint in America. In meeting Mr. McCarty, I met an innovative and original artist who created a special place in the Mississippi Delta with his wife, Pup McCarty. As I listened to the story of how McCartys Pottery came to be, it was evident what great admiration Mr. Lee and his late wife had for each other and how their teamwork and partnership helped create a unique brand. Mr. Lee gave me a …
So one day, William Faulkner was like, “Let’s take a selfie,” and I was like, “OK.” Save
My cousin, Pamela Whitten Gullick, has created a jewelry and craft business she calls Findings. She made this bracelet and earrings for my birthday, and she crafts some Mississippi-related items, like the necklace at left. Got a comment? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
Here’s a video of Windsor Ruins in Port Gibson, Mississippi’s antebellum stonehenge. Got a comment? E-mail me at email@example.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
On my way to visit Natchez for the first time, I stopped in Port Gibson because I wanted to visit the Windsor Ruins, an antebellum mansion that burned leaving nothing behind except the Greek columns that were incorporated into its architecture. If you haven’t been there before, the Windsor Ruins are kind of like Mississippi’s own Stonehenge from the antebellum period. While there, I decided to drive around the town square. It seems as if Port Gibson is a dying city, and that’s a shame. I noticed an old art deco movie theater and a colorful civil rights mural painted on one of the walls near the courthouse or main part of town. I’m not sure who painted it, but I’d like to know. If you do, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
Here’s a few photos from Brent’s Drugs in Fondren. Got a comment? E-mail me at email@example.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.
On a recent trip to the Mobile area, I drove to Fairhope because my hotel was in Daphne, not far away. While there, I walked out on the pier and took a picture of Mobile Bay. I also had the opportunity to eat at Pelican Patio. Here’s a link to their menu if you’re ever in town. Click the photos below to see more images of the restaurant. Got a comment? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.
A wall mural I spotted on a recent trip to Mobile. E-mail me at email@example.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.
I’m not sure if you’ve ever seen a giant rooster, but if you drive through Rankin County and beyond, you may run across this one. On one of my last trips in that direction, I stopped to take a few photos of this rooster that is probably one of the largest lawn ornaments I’ve ever seen. The photo at left of me should give you some perspective about its height. This rooster is featured in front of a store that sells other metal decorations for your lawn. Got a comment? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
Dine at Walker’s Drive-In in Jackson, and you’ll probably see this painting of a robot waiter. Got a comment? E-mail me at email@example.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
My neighbors recently decided to move. They threw a lot of things away and left a lot of things behind. When I walked over to talk to them, I was told that anything left under the carport was free game, so here’s a few items I picked up. I also got an antique dresser with a broken mirror that I’d like to transform into something useful someday. Got a comment? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save Save
I have always been an aspiring artist, and I guess I’ll continue to “aspire” until I find a chunk of time that I can devote to artistic endeavors. 🙂 But occasionally, the bug will hit me, and I’ll ATTEMPT to draw or paint something. When I was going through some of my photos, I came across these two that I snapped at The Clarion-Ledger of two Wyatt Waters paintings that hang on the lower floor of the building. I remember snapping them because I wanted to study the paintings to see how Mr. Waters had made these images of downtown Jackson. I thought he did a fantastic job of vibrantly capturing the city, and his work inspires me to attempt, once again, buildings or cityscapes. Got a comment? E-mail me at email@example.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
One of my favorite restaurants in Oxford is Proud Larry’s on the Square. I usually wind up getting a chef salad or some pasta, but you can take a look at the menu with the link above. Here’s a few shots from a recent trip there. In case you’ve never been, there’s upstairs and downstairs seating, and if the temperatures right, you can have a meal outside on the patio. They also regularly host bands and musicians. Got a comment? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
This is a frog I bought for my garden. He is awesome. Got a comment? E-mail me at email@example.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
Name any hobby, and chances are I’ve probably devoted a little time to it at some point in my life – whether it’s drawing, painting, playing tennis or racquetball, gymnastics, collecting stamps, running, taking hip-hop and salsa dancing classes or sewing. I recently decided to cover the seat of an antique chair that I purchased with some burlap fabric that I picked up at a craft store, and when I had some left over, I used it to make short curtains for the room. Because I’ve been a journalist for the past 20 years, I picked fabric with an antique typewriter print. This was the result. Got a comment? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
This is another decor element that I found in a thrift store and thought that it might look better if the colors were tweaked. I painted over the outdated floral background and erased the picture of a window and flowers. I also bought wooden letters at a craft store, painted them black and glued them to the plaque to create a more simple, clean look. This was the end result. Got a comment? E-mail me at email@example.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
On a recent antique shopping excursion, I spotted this unique ceramic bird, that must have flown into the store straight from the 1960s or ’70s. I didn’t really like the orange color, but knew that I would be able to transform it into something that looked a little more modern. This was the finished result. It reminded me a lot of the owls below that I spotted at Anthropologie, except my bird only cost a few dollars. I’m sure the store’s were $50 plus. You can modernize any ceramic that you find in a thrift store. Some people find birds or owls and paint them all white or a solid color. Keep your eyes open, and you may spot something that you can give new life with a color change. Got a comment? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @lareecarucker.
I took a picture of this can label in Crystal Springs and had the photo enlarged for framing. It was a nice addition that hangs above my collection of Mississippi pottery. Got a comment? E-mail me at email@example.com or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
If you want to liven up your walls, but don’t want to bother with hanging wallpaper or spending a lot on pictures or art, here’s an idea: Purchase pieces of foam board at a craft store or Lowe’s. (I think it cost about $10 for a paneling-size piece.) Then cut it in half or thirds. Cover it with fabric, decorate it and hang it in your wall. I covered the foam board I bought in burlap and used wallpaper sample guides that had been sent to me by a company. The result was a colorful, modern art display. You can also cover the foam boards in fabric, wallpaper or anything you think would look like a nice art piece. Depending on what fabric you use, you can draw, paint on the canvas or add photographs. Got a comment? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Tweet me at @lareecarucker. Save
For about 20 years, I’ve had a tree bed. You can’t see the entire bed in this photo, but it’s a headboard and footboard made of tree branches that I bought over 20 years ago in Ripley, Miss. So if you use your imagination, it’s kind of like sleeping in a tree house. Growing up, my mother had a pair of metal peacocks on our wall, so I decided peacocks would be the vintage theme of my room. I bought a pair from eBay for around $20, then I found another pair at a thrift store even cheaper. Continuing the peacock theme, I had purchased a velvet jeweled peacock picture from a thrift store. I decided to place it on top of a canvas so it would be a larger art piece in the room. I bought a piece of foam board from a craft store and covered it in burlap. Then, I attached it to the wall with a nail and hung it over the foam board. I also added a string of white …
As one of only two women employed full-time for the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Brookhaven deputy Krysten Butler carries a gun and badge, and with versatility, works an array of cases, from narcotics investigations to child abuse and sexual assault crimes. It’s a job that only someone tough could do – someone who must stay in control in any situation. “I can hold my own,” Butler said. “I’m not a girly-girl. I never have been.” But when this hardcore mother of five – who can also stand her ground with three teenagers, a 5-year-old and a 1-year-old – gets home from work, she’s still fierce, (in both the fashion and bravery sense of the word), when standing in the kitchen wearing a vintage-style, multi-colored, ruffled apron. “My mom brought me the apron because she said that I made a horrible mess of my clothes when I cooked,” Butler said. “After I put it on, I fell in love with it – not with the actual apron itself, even though it’s pretty cute, but the way …
Deep in the concrete jungles of Ridgeland, right off Old Canton Road in an urban shopping center, is a foliage-filled sanctuary of wild animals so brightly colored that passersby can’t help but turn their heads, startled by giant giraffes, zebras and butterflies. You may hear a monkey squeal, a frog ribbit, birds caw and sheep bleat if your imagination runs as wild as the yard art on display at Freshway Produce. Like other stores in the Jackson metro area, Freshway has become a colorful place where shoppers looking for unique and eye-catching art can purchase something “cra-zazy” that’s guaranteed to make your garden ferocious and fierce while your neighbors’ is tame. Want a flying pig? They got ’em. Need a weird looking metal goat? It’s there. What about a 10-foot giraffe? Check. “We have goats, rabbits, butterflies, giraffes,” said owner Richard Cockrell, adding that giant butterflies and giraffes have been his most popular sellers. The giraffes come in 4-foot, 6-foot and 10-foot sizes. Quirky yard art is so popular these days, it was recently used …