Friday, December 31, 2010

Golden Ball of Bravery - Its Origin and Its Glory

 The Yard Art Game, as I have always stated, is a game in progress and open to interpretation. In the year 2010 we saw evolutions to the rules and additions to the game lexicon.

We determined that cupids (fat babies with wings) could be scored as I did not fear a lightning strike from a symbol that predates Christianity.  Kristie of The Water Shack Lady  introduced use to Hilly Billy Balls (gazing globes) and MorningGlory gave us Flingo-flingos

As the game progressed it became apparent that a new award needed to be assigned one that would reflect the bravery and dedication of a field reporter under dire danger of being discovered or worse yet confrontation. Thus the Golden Ball of Bravery was born.

It started with a glorious find:

The Memorial which captured our hearts

Sequentially, in  Your Wish Is My Command

Diane requested: "look closely and you can see people on the porch- I should get the big golden balls award!!!!"

 and thus The Golden Ball of Bravery was Born:
May your balls always be golden

Other Golden Ball moments of note

Lola Nova of Whatever Lola Wants:

"Many photos due to all the angles needed to capture everything. Oh, and I got caught! I was brazenly taking photos from the sidewalk when the Mr. came out and spotted me. I told him I was working on an "art project", he seemed dubious but, let me click a couple more."

The Field Reporter Blood Runs Deep
Diane and her Dad go on a Father Daughter reporter excursion:

"While on vacation last weekend I saw a house in dad's neighborhood that I wanted to get pics of- so when we went out later that day I had to explain the game to him, then I asked him to slow down so I could take some quick pics from the car. He told me to go ahead and get out so I could get better shots, that the people wouldn't mind.

hesitantly I did.

Sure as sh*t the lady came out all wild eyed asking what I was my dad just smiled and told her I was taking pics for a yard gnome contest.

she paused for a minute then got a big grin and said, "well then don't forget the one over there in the tree!"


Let's not forget the original act of bravery mentioned yesterday by Tufa Girl.

One other thing happened in the year 2010. I began to develop a marketing plan. One of my failed attempts at money making:

Brilliant Marketing Plan


Tomorrow: Second Place - The Piedmont Phenom

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Third Place - A Texan Titan

Tufa Girl of The Adventures of Tufa Girl finishes the year with a strong 756 points. A consistent and solid player, she gained fame through capturing ranch art, locating a constant supply of Texas patriot stars and being interviewed in Home and Gardens as the then reigning number 1 field reporter of The Yard Art Game.

Some of my favorite highlights:

Texas Ranch Flair:

A Ferris wheel to complete a wheel motif at the Hitch Rack Ranch

The Pole Sitter
"I will sit here rain, heat or flood with Jesus covering my back"

The Chairee Tree:

Greatest tree decoration of the year

 And the single most act of bravery in the year 2010:

Found the typical "grandmother's" house.  I take the photo. Zoom in and take another photo.   My sweetie puts the jeep into reverse -

"Where are you going?" I ask. 

"There is stuff on the other side."

I take another photo and notice "grandma" is in the door.  Probably a good time to move along.

Cruise through the neighborhood, take some more photos until... We turn onto one of the main streets to decide which street to view when an suv type vehicle swerves at us and stops.  I am thinking it is just another tourist looking for the river.  "Um, what are y'all doing?  My mother called and said you were taking pictures of her house," the guy says.

Yikes!!  Fast talking..... My sweetie, "We are taking pictures of yard art."  The guy looks puzzled.

I quickly join in with "You know, birdbaths, statues, ducks...  We aren't even looking at the houses.  We take picture of the yard art."  I hold up my camera and offer "Do you want to see the photos?"

He says,
"Oh, Ok.  My mom lives alone and saw you taking pictures."  We quickly apologize and move along. 

I think I would suffer through barbed wire anyday...

Thus planted the seed for the Golden Ball of Bravery. Which Tufa Girl was post-submissioned awarded.

Tomorrow: The Golden Ball of Bravery, Its origin and its glory

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Award Show - I Love The Comments

Welcome to our annual award show. The extravaganza of our favorite moments in the 2010 year of The Yard Art Game. Top Field Reporters will be reviewed, new awards mentioned, moments of reporter brilliance and new coined terms will be discussed. The Yard Game is a work in progress and all of you have had a part in its development. I would like to take this moment to thank everyone for your support and participation.

The award show will be topped off with a contest to select your favorite Gold Manatee awarded yard for this glorious prize:

Manatee prize

(I blame Craig for my addiction to Blingee)
Now onto the show......

Favorite Commentary (Always the best part of the game)

Best Story in Loitering at the Local Watering Hole as told by redgirl (we miss you, hurry up and finish school!)

"Tra la tra la....oh! A smudge of dirt on my lily-white arm! I must wash that unsightly color off in that sweet little pond"(removes every stitch of clothing to check for other possible smudges) "Nature just feels so CLOSE out here"

Edwin the egg boy always had problems feeling like a man. His mother, Mrs. Brown was the omelet maker extraordinaire, and it fell to Edwin to bring her back the immense quantities of eggs she would need. Somehow, the fact that he had carried more eggs in the last 4 years than most women end up carrying in their life (if you know what I mean..*salacious wink*) made him feel less manly. He yearned to be a duck hunter, *mallards* in specific. He took a route home that Monday that cut through duck country and caught sight of something pale through the trees and bogs. Could it be a swan? Swans were tasty--so he had heard. He crept closer.

And there she was. The epitome of female loveliness. The robe in her lap perilously close to revealing that which he had only heard about but never seen. She was tra-la-ing to insects and small birds. Edwin had never seen anything so beautiful. He wanted to speak up; to say something...ANYthing. But the eggs were too heavy (connotatively speaking, they ranked up with the heavy metals on the period table) But she was too beautiful to leave...and the towel too low.

So he stayed.

And Mrs. Brown went out of business after failing to make the 107 deluxe omelets for a prominent banker's 58th birthday and he blacklisted her.

Funniest Comment:
Mom L: He's not heavy, he's my other

Best string of consciousness in commentary:

For one brief shiny moment we had Specialguest98: A Whole New Can of Worms
Ahhhh! that still gets me

"evidently as a newbie there is some history i need to catch up on -- the shell argument and the great rock controversy most notably. after doing my homework, i'll respond more fully to the larger issue at hand.

regarding "pebbles and bam-bam" ... that was what came to me when i was going about making my art: primitive, temporal and playful.

stream of consciousness: primitive children playing, a culture no longer existing, cartoons are playful, cartoons are temporal, the playful dedication as a gift to the wee people everywhere (little people in cherokee and native american legend, wee folk in celtic tradition, and where-ever else), primitive children playing and using the natural objects about them to create childhood toys, children everywhere using imagination and what's at-hand for their toys

maybe the anthropologists need to look at the "fun & playing" side of things more. what to our modern eyes might look scary or of an ancient religion, might really be just a bunch of tree branch shoots and moss that some kids gathered up because it was a fun thing to do at the tie ... this said quite tongue-in-cheek.

no deep meanings, it was just fun to do."
 I suggest you pop over to the link and read the entire comment string. It will be worth your while.

And The Higher Power submits an editorial:

"I believe the driving aspect of the Yard Art Game is often overlooked on this blog. It’s understandable as the at-home version translates much better to an online format but there’s nothing quite as satisfying as hitting a mega-load family of mis-matched deer and hearing Player 1’s whine of dismay. So I think it’s due time to give the driving game a little love, in return for all the joy it’s given me during road trips..."  (and I still insist that I DO NOT WHINE) (more)

Tomorrow: Third Place - The Texan Titan

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cups Ahoy - The Great Debate

Presented is the last entry of the year, and the one I found the most difficult to judge. I called in The Higher Power (The Yard Art Game official mediator), I discussed it with the hubby and other family members. I contacted friends who have no skin in the game. Am I a little bit obsessed with the blog...perhaps. Do I want to make the correct calling...absolutely.

eventer79 submits:

Go ahead and view the wonder. For the greater effect, click on the photo to enlarge. I'll wait.

That's right, it is an OCD marvel of cupdom, a massive collection of epic proportion. Obviously hundreds, maybe thousands of cups are involved with this display. A tear, slowly trickled down the side of my face by the majesty of this insanity.

But...does it score by the cup? No is does not. Here me out.

The fence is presented as a complete whole. I would dare call it art. As the broken tiles of a mosaic  toilet makes a complete work:

so do the cups on the cuptastic fence.

Calling from The Higher Power: 
Oh wow… my immediate response is to count them. Which is tricky, because they kind of remind me of those fences with boots stuck on the top (which I wouldn’t count), only done by an excessive coffee drinker instead of a cowboy. But they ARE manmade items, and they ARE used creatively, and I DO like coffee. So I would be generous and give it 3 points and a creativity bonus. After all, we count those dumb garden fences made out of tires painted white. 

THP is a tough judge but she makes my point, my immediate reaction was to count each cup too. The Higher Power suggests I give a few points for the fence but not to count each cup. On further reflection, I recalled this:
Diane submitted the beach shoe fence which I called as one piece of art and did not count each shoe.

So with a heavy heart because everyone hates the referee:


Fence and cup covered building: 3 points (per THP)

Subtotal: 3 points

Creativity Bonus

For the most amazing collection ever created by a coffee drinker and a true reflection of the insanity of the south: 4 points

Total: 7 points

The manatee raises a cup to a unique and awe inspiring tribute to the love of caffeine.

Let the debate begin... I can take it.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

We Are Having a Snow Apocalypse

Here in the South we are getting slammed with a snow storm. It's pretty but I can't help but be pissed because here in North Carolina snow causes massive school and business closings. The whole area shuts down like the end of the world. We are warned to stay off the roads, stay home and, cover our heads under the blankets until the white plague goes away. Sooo, there is nothing more disappointing than a snow on a Sunday during my end-of-the-year break. So unfair.

Caesar, The Higher Power's Sammy and Vincent wondering "What the hell!"

Anyway, I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas. If you wanted it white... good for you and the snow. But in Florida all is green and bright.

comments and submits:

"I thought the little guy by the rock might be a manatee but I think it is just an otter?"

Flipper, a sea mammal barely alive. Gentlemen, we can rebuild him. We have the technology. We have the capability to build the world's first bionic dolphin. Flipper will be that dolphin. Better than he was before. Better, stronger, faster and gets great cell reception.

  • Pelican: 1 point
  • Aquatic themed bird bath, with stumpy pedistal and a pissed offed pelican with an antenna: 3 points
  • Jabba the sea otter: 1 point
  • Cherub: 1 point

Subtotal: 6 points

Creativity Bonus

For putting a snorkel in an dolphin's head and giving Flipper a chronic headache and a basically nasty outlook on life: 2 points

Total: 8 points

In honor of the snow and my hubby outside running in it, I bring you the insantity of his sport :

 Any resemblance to real persons, living or immodest, is purely coincidental

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas everyone, even the redneckest ones

Diane submits because she is so full of holiday joy:

"I SWEAR TO GOD I don't even want points I promise- this is just the saddest/redneckiest/funniest holiday sh*t I have seen so far!!! 1 minute from the beach of course!

**looks like the floodlight? (bottom left) is there for the full effect even at dark LMAO!!!"

 Our first honest to goodness portable floodlight...please take a moment to enjoy the entire tableau
 Yes the star is hung on the trailer and yes the angel is suspended by a 1 x 4 but the Nativity is sweet. Besides I love the Christmas poodle hanging out in the manger.
 I have some of these lighted houses: The Dickens series. So this one stung a bit. But then I don't have them outside in a box with cinder blocks pedestals for depth interest and covered in grandma's sheets.
I give this tree first place for best use of a tarp in a Christmas setting.

Everyone have a great Holiday. Stay safe, enjoy friends and family. Coming soon our annual award show. Hold onto your hats.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

To Market, To Market

I am not a real big fan of etsy. It is not that I don't like the concept... I do. I just don't think about it as an option for shopping. But there are people who shop over there consistently and say that you can find some really great stuff. I know Lola Nova has her own etsy store and her stuff is very cute.

Tufa Girl went window shopping:

Vintage Gnome: with an awesome paint job, there are a few chips. He is pushing a wheel barrel.

Thanks for holding him up, and I can make a phallic joke about his mushroom. Nice. 

oh,...well... you know, I really could have done without the pubes

Sorry guys, he is sold. The seller says he is 9" and 7" wide. No wonder he needs a cart.

Guess you will have to find something else for that special someone on your list.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

On Further Inspection

Carolyn from Carolyn's Shade Garden is tenacious. We like that in new field reporters:

Donna from Garden Walk Garden Talk and I revisited the site of my previous entry and took a close up photo using special gnome sensitive equipment (patent pending GWGT).  I have attached what we found.  Donna believes that the gnomes were away campaigning against Santa when I took my original photographs.  For more information on their grievances, see  the-gnomes-take-on-santa-in-numbers.  You can thank Donna for helping me capture these rare and secretive creatures on film just as they erupted from underground.  She has a real knack with gnomes.

wow, I need one of those lens!

"I think I should get extra points for this rare photo which I am sure National Geographic would pay top dollar for.  I will give you first shot free of charge because I am in the holiday spirit."

When field reporters unite anything can happen:

(edited) Like my heart grew 4 sizes this day

Creativity Bonus

For steadfastly refusing to go pointless through the end of the year, for the uprising of the field reporting staff and because someone finally proved my theory: 4 points

Welcome newest member to the Loyal Order of the Golden Manatee

After exhaustive research I believe I found the magic lens:
 25 cents for gnome viewer, 50 cents for unicorn viewer, you can see old porn for free

Monday, December 20, 2010

Hey, I Can Enjoy Subtle Humor and The League of Evil

Carolyn from Carolyn's Shade Garden submits (and sort of challenges):

"Here in the western suburbs of Philadelphia known through tah-tah history as the "Main Line", we don't go in for gnomes, plaster bird baths, painted tires, Snow White with or without her dwarves, and bottles on sticks.  In
fact, I don't think I have ever seen any of those fine accouterments of yard art in this area---we are sorely deprived.  However, we do go in for more subtle and shall we say bizarre ornamentations like the display of large rocks with no apparent connection to the landscape, which I will cover later.
(We have had many a debate on rocks.)

Today I want to send you photos of a little vignette up the street from me. I like to call it "The One that Got Away" or "The Horse is out of the Barn" or "Never Give up Hope" or something along those lines.  The wire fence,with the light standing sentinel, has been "protecting" that totally denuded, normally evergreen yew bush from the deer for over 15 years.  I have to say it has taken years for me to truly appreciate the humor in it so I will understand if it doesn't appear on your site."

So, Carolyn do you think I am not brave enough to display your discovery:

OMG, THIS IS MY YARD only in Philadelphia and not a yew but every day lily, rose, hosta and pansy I have ever planted. And I can tell you that white wire fortresses  DO NOT WORK!

I have a theory, it involves gnomes and deer. Gnomes lure deer into yards where people are especially capable of losing their minds. Take me for example, I have deer eating stuff in my yard and I throw rocks at them and they just move out of the way AND I own two gnomes.

Where perfect yard next door neighbor lady, does not run a deer buffet and her day lilies bloom with wanton abandon... and she does NOT own a gnome.

My conclusion, your didn't get the picture Carolyn, but there is a gnome near by.

Heavily researched evidence:

Clandestine meeting between garden allies...

 psst... no don't look at me.. day lilies will bloom tomorrow, tonight eat the blooms pass it on
You too, Bambi!
Secret deer indoctrination to garden snacking. High pitch chanting and forced hugging is involved

The League of Evil: Gnome, deer, doll

hey, you looking at us, Happy Holidays and give me your plants

Friday, December 17, 2010

So If You Put Something on a Pedestal, Does It Make Instantly Classy?

The pedestal, the instant implement of importance (alliteration, impressed huh? Oh another one!). Take any item, place it on a vertical stand and viola ... a focal point. I don't own a pedestal, probably because I have cats. Cats are anti pedestal, they live to knock them down.

Eventer79 (the sandbagger) submits:

I can see a lot of stuff on stands... birdbaths don't count... they have built in pedestals.
Hilly Billy balls, the classic pedestal resident and probably the most likely not to survive a fall
Angela sadly has to sits on the ground, no pillar for her
Must be a Columns are Us store in the local area

Genevieve and child should be happy with her square pedestal but her rival, Emmeline, resides on a double pedestal within a pedestal.

Score (list provided by eventer79, my comments are in red)
  • red, white and blue balls on a pedestal: 6 points
  • 3 garden statues I can't identify well: (random things on the ground, unloved): 3 points
  • 2 kids leaning on birdbath: 1 point
  • kid on bench: 1 point
  • mini-sleigh (in August!) (see, Oh such a sandbagger): 1 point
  • urn on stairs: 0 points
  • turquoise boot on a stick? (can't find it but will take your word for it) 1 point
  • red flower banner: 1 point
  • empty pedestal (probably have a cat): 1 point
  • cardinal on a stick in planter: 1 point
  • 2 yellow flower banners: 2 points
  • 2 empty urns: 2 points
  • thoughtful angel (pouting angel): 0 points
  • kid cutout welcome sign: 1 point
  • 2 heron/goose hybrids on a stick: 2 points
  • red decorated ball: 1 point
  • 4 more statues I can't quite make out: 4 points
  • bells on a trellis: 1 point
  • another red flower banner on mailbox (hmmm, mailbox banner...not counting it): 0 points
  • another cardinal on a stick: (I like a bird on a stick) 1 point
  • 3 blue balls in front of house: (on stands) 6 points
  • birdhouse with metal wheel?: 1 point
  • 2 more empty urns: 0 points
  • eagle on pedestal (they like to elevate things) (no doubt): 2 points
  • fervent angel: 0 points
  • fountain on a pedestal (see!!) (an ugly lumpy pedestal but Emmeline is still higher): 1 point
  • decorative bench: 0 points
  • angel with child: 0 points
Subtotal: 41 points

Creativity Bonus

For the column commitment to decorating (I suspect there are fern stands in the house) and their ability to keep everything upright (no large dog): 2 points

Total: 43 points

Pedestals make everything look good...

I wonder what some little lady is getting for Christmas this year

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What is Christmas without a good air compressor

Because it is against the rules to score holiday decorations, it really pleases me to display a little Christmas over-zealousness with score-ability.

GardenWalkGardenTalk comments and submits:

"I really don't know what to say but this yard has a weird kinda Christmas excess going on. And one of them is down for the count.

I spotted one gnome and maybe the head of another, but am guessing there are more behind the blow-ups and wishing well. One duck on it's side, one naked lady silhouette, a  birdbath and a red cat with a spyglass. The strangest wall decoration I saw was  a traffic light. I should get a point for all those blow-ups."

Oh nice negotiation skills, I like a new reporter with spunk but... no

A cast of characters for sure but also notice 2 satellite dishes and one mega antenna, I think it's a spy ring. A spy ring with Christmas blow-up cheer.
Look out spy cat ( I prove my point)

Watch out Elmo, she could poke an eye out with that thing
It is just not Christmas without Sponge Bob

  • Bird bath: 1 point
  • Wishing Well: 1 point
  • Adorable red cat and friends (admirable use of stump): 1 point
  • Tiny tire on a rope: 1 point
  • Naked lady with prominent breasteses: 1 point
  • Stop light (garage traffic control): 1 point
  • Spinning shiny green hanging thing behind the Ginch (who looks like a cat): 1 point
  • Dove on well roof: 1 point
  • Some kind of heartfelt signage: 1 point
  • Shy gnome: 4 points
Subtotal: 13 points

Creativity Bonus

For the titantic TaTas and because the kitty is too cute for words (although technical only one Ta can be seen): 2 points

Total: 15 points

I love that song....