A couple walks in front of a tree as a man approaches in search of tiny blossoms in the moss, a tiny world that all fits on the flat surface of a rock small enough to hold in one hand.
It’s one of the many intricate scenes Victoria “Vicky” Walman, 100, creates using rocks, bits of dried moss, garden waste and her own imagination.
A rag rug weaver and knitter who makes mug mats and place mats, too, Walman said she did a lot of knitting after her husband passed away, but she started to look around to see what else she could do.
“I wasn’t going to be alone and have nothing to do,” Walman said.
About two years ago, she started to make the tiny rock creations, some of which she’s sold and some of which she's given away as gifts.
“As time goes by, every time I thought of something, I would make them,” she said.
A tray of crystal bead snowmen rests on her worktable, waiting to find a home for Christmas gifts she’s making.
She builds tiny fences, chairs and tables from dried flower stems she finds outside her home in Villa Rita.
“Everything is made from natural stuff,” Walman said.
However, she said some of the features — such as small birds, beads and people — were purchased. Miniature furniture she found at Hobby Lobby were just too big for the small scenes she creates, Walman said.
She sticks with small designs because using bigger rocks would make them too heavy.
“I don’t know how she can see all that stuff,” said Arnie Prochazka, Walman's son who helps find the rocks for her artistry. “I can’t … It’s way too small for me to mess with.”
Many of Walman’s rock creations have a mushroom theme.
“I don’t even like mushrooms,” Walman said. “I can’t eat them.”
She said goes through a lot of nail polish to give the stone mushroom’s the “slippery” look.
Many of the rocks she uses just have natural features that lend themselves to the artistry, such as a rock that looks like it has a pair of eyes and one that resembled a turtle’s shell, which she naturally turned into a turtle.
“Nobody’s getting that turtle,” Walman said.
“I give her all kinds of credit,” Prochazka said. “I wouldn’t think of that kind of stuff.”
Among her next projects are Christmas gifts for her family. She also has a Christmas scene planned that will be encased in glass. It will feature dabs of white paint on moss to look like snow and snowmen she’s made, Walman said.
Prochazka said Walman has always been creative, from turning fabric bails from Goodwill into rugs, to knitting hats, scarfs and mittens, and beading mug and place mats.
“That could be my blue jeans as far as I know,” Prochazka said, pointing to a pair of woven rugs folded over a chair. “Every time I went through jeans, she wanted blue jeans because people really wanted blue rugs.”
Walman said she once wove a rug long enough to create a stairway runner but the staircase was measured wrong and the runner was 6 inches too short. The woman purchased it anyway, as well as a second runner made to fit the staircase.
“It’s a treasure that she’s got here,” Prochazka said. “… Who knows what she’s going to do next year. She’s only 100. She isn’t slowing down any.”