Saturday, March 28, 2015

Playing dress-up with the Mommas again

The photo montage of five of the Barefoot Mommas Club members wearing Roman Originals dresses last week led me to another brainstorm, setting up this week's "picture."  It's also a bridge between my made-up "reality TV family" and an actual one.

Last fall, Sadie Robertson, part of the Duck Dynasty cast, made headlines for her second-place showing (with Mark Ballas) on the 19th season of Dancing with the Stars.  Robertson, the daughter of Duck Commander CEO Willie Robertson and the former Korie Howard, has also been concerned about the suggestive look of many prom dresses.  In 2013, she struck a deal with professional designer Sherri Hill for a new line of dresses called "Live Original"; these are billed as "daddy approved."  They debuted at the famous fashion week in New York City.

For this montage, I started with this picture taken in downtown Long Beach, CA.  I copied it from the teacher file of Nabawia Oliveira, teacher at ABC Adult School and founder of the ABC Film Festival.  I retained the fountain in the foreground and had Brandy, Annie, Brenda, and Jennifer stand in front of it.  One of the Sherri Hill dresses (found in this file) was made into four different ones, using hue/saturation and curves layers just as I adapted the Roman Original dresses before.  After that I posed them in roughly the circular pattern suggested by the fountain.  To match the heads with their faces, I used curves layers on the arms of the dresses.

The backdrop was replaced by these elements via separate layers:
  • On the left is the "Pink House," the home of M. Vinson Barefoot that I chronicled in this post two years ago. (I gave the character one name, then renamed it, so the page title is unfortunately inconsistent.)  The house was originally white and came from a Brady Poirier teacher file; I used hue/saturation and curves to change the color.
  • On the right is a continuation of the sky from the Pink House layer, and grass from two different sources.  Above the grass is a farm house and grain mill, which also came from Poirier.  I lightened it up with brightness/contrast.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

More Mommas stuff as old meets trendy

Remember the furor earlier this month over a dress because, it seemed, the entire world argued over what color it was?  Although I chose not to participate myself, I did ask where the dress came from.  Well, someone I know on a forum connected to the sports media coverage website the506 (registration required) gave me not only a picture of a dress similar to the one that caused the uproar, but also named the company that made it: Roman Originals.  The company reports that sales have quadrupled since the picture was first placed on Twitter (but of course).

Once I saw "the dress," I sought a way to have the Barefoot Mommas' Club model it.  Well, here it is, with Elma, Jennifer, Brandy, Brenda, and Annie in front of the "bridge too far" creek.  The photo is straightforward, except that I had to use the warp tool in transform to make sure Elma was facing sideways based on the pose of her face.

As for the colors, there are no questions on any of them.  I started with the blue dress my fellow the506 member gave me, then changed the colors of the other four using two adjustments.  For all four of the non-blue dresses, hue and saturation was the basis of the color change; for the yellow and bright red, curves adjustments were also used.

Here it is as the old school moms pay tribute to what's hot online.

Saturday, March 7, 2015

Barefoot Mommas Club doubles in size!

Occasionally over the few years of this blog's existence, I have chronicled the Barefoot Mommas Club, a group of women that meet to make crafts, share stories, and have fun.  At first, I limited the group to the four
oldest females who live in the farm house - Brenda, Annie, Jennifer, and Brandy.  As a reminder, here they are quilting.

I then tripled the membership to 12 for a 1920s-themed party; I added Rozelle, Elma, Ila Ruth, Allene, Patsy, Janice, Betty Lou, and Myrtle, as seen here.

That was it for me - until I saw a book in both a local library and at Barnes & Noble called Miss Kay's Duck Commander Kitchen.  It's one of the many literary offerings by members of the Robertson family as seen on the A&E series Duck Dynasty.  On page 150 of that book is a "muffins for moms" group photo.  Among those in the photo is Kay Carroway Robertson a/k/a Miss Kay, wife of Phil, mother of Willie, Jase, and Jep, and sister-in-law of Si. (Here's how an invitation to such an event typically looks like.)

I ended up creating a "copy of a copy" by taking a photograph of that page at Barnes & Noble.  In addition, store lighting reflected off the picture; I tried all I could but every part of the store had that lighting.  All these led to a picture-quality problem that I have to apologize for - and also had to work around.   I did so with the clone stamp tool and a slight brightening of my copy.

Once that was done, I substituted the four original members, the eight from my first expansion, and 12 new "characters" from another expansion for the people in Miss Kay's group.  The new "mommas" are Michelle (someone I identified as "ldbaltimore," but could not determine her real name), Deborah (Anne Marie Dingleberry of Endicott, NY), Lela Pearl (Taylor Barefoot, Four Oaks, NC), Rowena (Jennifer Brister), Mary Lee (Rebecca Matter, CEO of American Writers and Artists Incorporated), Barbara (real estate agent Robinette McLeroy), Pam (Mindy McHorse, professional copywriter and publisher of, ironically, The Barefoot Writer), Rhonda (British recording artist Susan Boyle), Teresa (Diane Dubois, city council member here in Lakewood, CA), Parlia (Mrs. Sam Patton, wife of a Southern gospel artist), Alma (Brenda MacDonald), and Beth (Elizabeth Barefoot).

Here is the splendid result:

This is the largest group photo montage I've ever made, as well as the most challenging.  But as long as everyone in it is happy, I don't mind at all!

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Gone Barefoot 50-state special: The West

Here is the final part of a four-part series about a mythical episode of Gone Barefoot, which would be a two-hour clip special with highlights of the series' runs symbolizing all 50 of the United States and Washington, D.C.  This post details the 13 westernmost states of our country.

Mountain states
  • New Mexico - Bryson acts out his Western-movie fantasies in Showdown at Las Positas. (Season 4, episode 3)
  • Colorado - Bobby Ray and Jennifer join members of the U.S. military in watching a college basketball game in South Korea. [The state is home of the Air Force Academy, Fort Carson, and NORAD among other facilities.] (Season 5, episode 2)
  • Wyoming - Ralph tries on a loincloth as part of a weekend of prehistoric hunting and gathering. (Season 3, episode 1)
  • Montana - Bryson is treated to a night of old Western movies thanks to a big screen and a generator. (Season 2, episode 7)
  • Idaho - Ralph reveals her crush with Beatha McCaughtry, performer at the Irish dance show in the New Jerusalem.  [Ireland and Idaho are both famed for their potatoes.] (NBS)
  • Utah - Popeye visits the hall of records in Johnston County to answer his questions about Barefoot family history. (Season 1, episode 5)
  • Nevada - Belinda marries two of her dolls: Sarah Michelle MacSmelliefoote and Benjamin Jeremiah Boogerberger. (Season 1, episode 6)
  • Arizona - Hambone and her chaperone Ralph pass pre-show time by visiting a nature preserve in the Golan Heights, which has a similar climate and ecosystem. (Season 5, episode 6)

Pacific states
  • California - The Honey Bees, a "lip rock" group that includes Hambone and B.W.'s cousin Beth, perform at a special youth event. [This symbolizes the youth and reinvention associated with the "Golden State," which I know so well as a lifelong resident.] (Season 4, episode 6)
  • Oregon - Bryson's dream treehouse opens. (Season 3, episode 2)
  • Washington - Belinda and Bryson engage in their first apple-picking contest.  (Season 1, episode 3)
  • Alaska -  The family makes quilts, blankets, and even footwear to prepare for winter. (Season 3, episode 6)
  • Hawaii - B.W. surprises the house by dressing as Elvis Presley for a show, and in fact even wears a lei to honor his comeback show in 1968. (NBS)
Thanks for taking this journey with me!

One other thing to tell you about: I am working on another group photograph, and it's the biggest to date.  I have doubled the size of the Barefoot Mommas' Club to 24, and their new "publicity photo" is based on one which contains a reality TV star.  I will work on it in the coming week and show it to you all late Friday or overnight Saturday next week.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Gone Barefoot 50-state special: Midwest

This is part three of what I now know is a four-part series dealing with a mythical episode of Gone Barefoot honoring its 50th episode by re-airing scenes dedicated to every state in America.  The Midwestern states are the subject of this post.

Great Lakes states
  • Ohio - Lil' Jack intercepts a pass to seal a victory for the family's football team in its debut at its new stadium.  (Season 4, episode 7)
  • Michigan - For Christmas, Buddy Wayne receives a street-legal version of a NASCAR "Generation 6" race car.  (Season 1, episode 13)
  • Indiana - B.W., Bobby Ray, and Bunky battle for the family go-kart title at Matt's American Boardwalk in the New Jerusalem. (Season 5, episode 7)
  • Illinois - B.W. introduces bean blossoms to his property.  (Season 1, episode 11)
  • Wisconsin - Brandy and her cow Ellie take on Hambone and her cow Mildred in a spirited milking contest.  (Season 1, episode 2)
  • Minnesota - Hambone climbs onto a freeway overpass and shows a very provocative sign which actually has an innocent meaning that's only apparent when one really reads the fine print.  [She shows "loon-y" behavior, get it?] (NBS)

Great Plains states
  • North Dakota - The Barefoot Mommas' Club stages a flapper party. [Much of the music reminds one of Lawrence Welk's bandleader music; Welk was born in Strasburg.] (Season 3, episode 8)
  • South Dakota - Belinda recites the list of presidents like those at Mount Rushmore. (NBS)
  • Nebraska - Bobby Ray shows how he deals with slaughtering cattle. (Season 1, episode 7)
  • Kansas - Ralph finds a bounty of grains in the briar patch during the "roots of man" weekend. (Season 3, episode 1)
  • Missouri - Brenda shares her recipe for an "all-in-one" barbeque sauce, using influences from various styles of BBQ, including those of Kansas City and St. Louis. (Season 3, episode 2)
  • Iowa - Harvey makes his professional mixed martial arts debut. [Many MMA fighters have backgrounds in wrestling, which is a statewide passion.] (Season 5, episode 2)
Next week, I'll go out west to my home region.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Gone Barefoot 50-state special: The South

As promised, it's on to the Barefoots' home region, "the land of cotton" where "old times there are not forgotten," in the words of the famous song "Dixie."  But please - don't look away!

Southeastern region
  • Kentucky - At the end of the renewal of their wedding vows, B.W. and Brittany Raylene do their first dance to their hit song "When the Bough Breaks." (Season 4, episode 8)
  • West Virginia - Bunky and Hambone star in the comedic play "Sweet Fanny Adams." [That just sounded like a good Ulster-Scot name to me.] (Season 4, episode 2)
  • Virginia - B.W. visits the Confederate leadership conference for the first time.  The president of the new Confederacy is Lyman Bowling Jr., originally from Roanoke.  (Season 2, episode 1)
  • North Carolina - In the perfect symbolism of Heaven being the real home of every Christian, Brenda reunites with Bryson in the show's most emotional moment ever.  (Season 1, episode 1)
  • South Carolina - The Barefoot Mommas' Club shows off at its inaugural fashion show, in the style of the Charleston gentry.  (Season 1, episode 7)
  • Georgia - Hambone steals the show with her body-percussion rendition of the classic country hit "The Devil Went Down to Georgia" in New Jerusalem.  (Season 5, episode 8)
  • Florida - Boca Raton's Brittany Ramos - who visited the farm as a result of winning the first season of BMN Superfan -  has a scary moment in the beehive.  (Season 3, episode 3)

Mid-southern region

  • Alabama - Lulabettie Plumpkin, the "queen of maids," gives a stem-winding speech at B.W.'s first Idealia leadership conference.  (NBS)
  • Mississippi - Brandy gives the Miss Idealia crown to her successor, Brandon resident and Millsaps College student Megan Turnipseed. (Season 6, episode 3)
  • Louisiana - Jennifer goes on the road to promote her debut novel Black Crow on the Window, a mystery novel set in New Orleans.  (Season 2, episode 5)
  • Texas - The farm receives a "bi-horn" (hybrid bison and longhorn cattle) from the Ribble family.  (Season 3, episode 5)
  • Oklahoma - Buddy Wayne learns real Cherokee dancing and crafts from the Mantooths during the leadership conference.  (NBS)
  • Arkansas - An unofficial belly-flop contest breaks out at the end of a 15-person hunting trip at Camp Paradise.  (Season 5, episode 1)
  • Tennessee - Brenda's hand-cranked radio discovery allows her to sleep to the rhythms of her favorite country songs. (Season 1, episode 8)
Of course, for my next post it's on to the Midwest.  Maybe by the end of the weekend.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Gone Barefoot 50-state special: East Coast

First of all, happy Valentine's Day to you and all of your loved ones!

As promised, I now start to present the summary of the special episode of Gone Barefoot that would dedicate one scene to each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C.  In this post, I travel back to the East Coast.

The episode information is included if it was part of the main show.  However, some scenes were bonus scenes, outtakes, or "throwaway" segments (short vignettes used to break up long commercial sets).  In that case, the letters "NBS," for never before seen, are used instead

New England region
  • Maine - Belinda draws a "rainbow lobster" (fish with colored stripes on the outside) after seeing a description of it in a textbook at her one-room schoolhouse. (NBS)
  • Vermont - The family enjoys a "Jack Attack" ice cream cake, which has three layers and seven different ingredients. [Why ice cream?  Ben & Jerry's was started there.] (Season 5, episode 6)
  • New Hampshire - Bryson climbs the tree outside the one-room schoolhouse and the rest of the school joins in.  (Season 6, episode 2)
  • Massachusetts - In a letter to Buddy Wayne, singer Melanie MacMelville describes her family's cranberry bog.  (Season 2, episode 3)
  • Rhode Island - Popeye invites his immediate family and B.W. to a floating party, at which Hambone "flirts" with her nephew. (NBS)
  • Connecticut - Popeye competes at the World Series of Bunco at a local casino. (Season 5, episode 2)
Mid-Atlantic region
  • New York - Bobby Ray, Jennifer, and Belinda visit the memorial for victims of the September 11 attacks.  (Season 5, episode 8)
  • New Jersey - A benches-clearing brawl changes the course of a championship softball game. (Season 5, episode 3)
  • Pennsylvania - Belinda and Bryson enter the schoolhouse for the first time.  (Season 2, episode 1)
  • Delaware - In her quilting debut, Brandy shows off a design with lots of diamonds. [This ties in with the state's nickname of "Diamond State" and also evokes the Brandywine Valley.] (Season 1, episode 4)
  • Maryland - Hambone gets "crabby" after being told she would be chaperoned for the family's trip to perform in New Jerusalem. (Season 5, episode 5)
  • District of Columbia - B.W. reveals the locations of all seven of his "Beulah" guitars, including the National Museum of American History, which is part of the Smithsonian Institution in - where else? - Washington.  (NBS)
Next time, I'll go down South.