Thursday, October 01, 2015

2015 Christmas Card Christ Church 300th Anniversary

Christ Episcopal Church, Pollock Street, was established in 1715, making 2015 its 300th Anniversary year, so I chose the church for my Christmas cards.

Before the church building was built, church members met in homes, the first church building was completed about 1750, it was demolished about 1824 after the completion of the Second Church. 

The First Church site in the corner of the churchyard has been studied by archaeologists. The present short walls indicate the exact outline of the foundations.

The “Second Church” was consecrated in 1824 and it burned in 1871. Only the walls survived, to be re-used in the “Third Church.”

The present building, usually called the third church, was consecrated in 1875 and is individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The brick walls with their pointed-arch window openings that remained after the fire were used in the reconstruction.

The churchyard of Christ Church served as the only public burial ground in New Bern until 1800 and several thousand people are buried there. During the Yellow Fever epidemic in 1799 it was necessary to bury many of the victims in mass graves, which were located near the present north property line. The Vestry declared the churchyard full as a result of these burials.

In 1800 the parish opened Cedar Grove Cemetery. Christ Church turned Cedar Grove over to the City of New Bern in 1853. The 1875 church and the parish house are believed to be on top of graves. (Information obtained from Christ Church website).

Cards are $10.50 for 10

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Recycled bike tire wallets and dop kits

We are always looking for bike related items and we found these great wallets and cop kits made from bicycle inner tubes.
If you're looking for an extremely durable wallet that treads lightly on the planet, then look no further. Made entirely from reclaimed bicycle inner tubes, the Franklin is slim, durable and stylish. Available with
silver, orange or marine highlight stitching.

 4 card slots and a full length bill slot.
 3 colored stitching options.
 3.75"(L) X 0.5"(W) X 3"(H)
The inner tubes in our goods are reclaimed from cyclists and bike shops across the country. Do you ride or know someone that does?

All REI bike shops are participating in our recycling program. 

This upcycled travel companion is suitable for carrying all of your essential grooming and bath accessories. With an exterior constructed from durable reclaimed truck inner tube, this versatile bag is highly water resistant. Features a zipper pull made from a tube valve, a full handle loop on one end and a smaller hanging loop on the other. Fully lined interior. Markings and patterns vary widely, no two are alike. 

Constructed from durable and waterproof truck inner tube.
Presta valve zrpper pull.
Interior lining matches zipper color.
10"(L) x 5"(W) x 4"(H

All Trek shops are eligible for inner tube recycling. Ask your local Trek dealer if they are participating in our inner tubes recycling program.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

This Years Ornament New Bern City Hall

My sketch
One of the first ornaments I ever did - in 1996 - 19 years ago - was of City Hall.

It has long since been sold out - so I decided to to a new version of it.

This is how I start, I draw out what I have in mind, then indicate what I want cut out, then I send it off to my friends in Rhode Island, they interpret my work and send me an idea how it will look. I approve it or not, and voilĂ , an ornament!
What I want cut out

I did my first one in 1995 so this is the 20th anniversary! Where does the time go. 
This is what the ornament will look like, it comes in a card, easy to mail!

We are now taking preorders.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Farm Window

For fall the ladies have created a farm window showcasing some of our great art!


Thursday, September 17, 2015

New star ornaments aid disabled

The Augusta Training Shop, a non profit work center established in 1947, employs mentally and physically challenged adults ... with a purpose. Their talented employees are taught to repair, strip and refinish furniture, re-cane chairs, create these snowflakes, polish metals and learn to do their work independently. 

Their beautiful snowflakes are light weight and come in many different sizes, from ornament size up to the large ones that can be used as you would a wreath. 

The compassionate work, and quality workmanship, of the dedicated staff of the ATS is known throughout the country. By purchasing their stars we enable their mentally challenged employees a rich opportunity to partake in a dignified, meaningful life.
Now available at Carolina Creations!!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

The new hot trend Adult Coloring

It's interesting how things trend. One of todays trends is adult coloring! We've just received these beautiful greeting cards, ready to be colored, and the book Color Me Calm.

So what's this all about?

I know when I draw, making marks is a kind of meditation, so I think this is the same thing...

Like walking a prayer labyrinth…where you prayerfully and slowly walk a circular, maze-like path that quiets the mind and spirit.

“There’s been a lot written about art as prayer — the visual arts as a means of prayer,” said Jayne Davis, minister of spiritual formation at First Baptist Church in Wilmington, N.C.
For some people, all of these actions “quiet the body and the spirit, too,” she said.
It was an idea harnessed by the 2007 book Praying in Color by Sybil MacBeth. It walks readers through how to doodle and color while praying for the sick, loved ones or whatever is on their minds.

All of these practices can induce relaxation, reduce stress and promote spiritual awareness. Sciretti said it’s why the coloring books are such big sellers.
“Every religion uses art to express itself — whether it’s an icon, a mandala, calligraphy or a cave painting,” Burleson said.
Color Me Calm

Our lives become busier with each passing day, and as technology escalates, so does our access to work, obligations, and stress. Constant stimulation and expectation have left us burnt out and distanced from the present moment. "Now" has become something that happens online, not in the space and time that we physically occupy. Color Me Calm is a guided coloring book designed for harried adults. Art therapist Lacy Mucklow and artist Angela Porter offer up 100 coloring templates all designed to help you get coloring and get relaxed. 

Organized into seven therapeutically-themed chapters including Mandalas, Water Scenes, Wooded Scenes, Geometric Patterns, Flora & Fauna, Natural Patterns, and Spirituality - the book examines the benefits of putting pencil to paper and offers adults an opportunity to channel their anxiety into satisfying, creative accomplishment. Part of the international bestselling Color Me series, Color Me Calm is the perfect way step back from the stress of everyday life, color, and relax!

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Volis Simpson Park in Wilson

We had visited Volis Simpsons farm many times to see him and his Whirlygigs. 

Through the years they had begun to be out of repair and he realized he could no longer keep them up so he allowed Wilson Downtown Development Corporation, Wilson Downtown Properties, City of Wilson, and the North Carolina Arts Council to put together a plan to repair and restore his pieces and to create a park in Wilson for them.

We hated the thought of them being moved but today on our way back from Durham we stopped to check it out. (The quality of these videos was a LOT better on my phone!)


They have installed about 15 pieces so far and it was wonderful to see them in action again!

The park still has a ways to go but we could see that they are working on it. It will be a real treasure and a boon to Wilson's economy when complete.

Volis died in 2013, he was in his nineties and worked on his whirligigs right to up six months before his death.

I have written other blog posts about his art and you can see the whirligigs in their original locate click here to read post click here to read post 2.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

The Intimate landscape New Work by Sally Sutton

Carolina Creations Fine Art and Contemporary Craft Gallery at 317 Pollock Street in Downtown New Bern announces their featured artist for September and October, New Bern artist Sally Sutton. Her new show is titled “The Intimate Landscape”, the opening reception for the show is during ArtWalk, September 11, 5-8 pm. 

Sally will be demonstrating her painting technique during ArtWalk.

Carolina Creations will also host a “sip and painting party” with Sally on Thursday, September 17, from 6:30 to 9 pm at Francoeur Studio, visit the website for

In a recent interview we asked Sally to talk about her career:

How did you get started as an artist? 
I started my career in Tokyo, Japan of all places! I was painting in watercolor exclusively at that time around 1986 and would paint scenes of Tokyo. The small step gardens that were created in the small space in front of a doorway really attracted me along with the beautiful gardens and koi ponds. 

There was a group of expatriate wives from many countries that saw my paintings and invited me to a coffee morning where they said put a price on them and see if they sell. Well, for the first time I sold all of them and started a career as a professional artist from that point. 

I then began showing in galleries in Tokyo and became a local artist for about 4 years when I left to go back to NC. 

I continued to show every two years in Tokyo until 1998 when I wanted to stay home with my baby son Edward. 

Who or what has influenced you the most?
My mother influenced me the most with early childhood direction in painting and drawing.

My father built me an easel and I'd say by age 3 or 4 I had the art bug. Also my mother always had prints of the impressionist artists Degas, Monet, Bonnard and Cezanne on our walls growing up which influenced my painting style and color use as an artist. 

I am also influenced by Japanese wood block print artists as Hokusai, Hiroshige and Utamaru to name a few. I collected some prints while I lived in Japan and was so excited to find that Claude Monet also collected many of the same prints. I saw them on his kitchen wall and throughout his house when touring Monet's garden home in Giverny, France.   

Describe for us a breakthrough moment in your work: About 20 years ago I was working on paintings for an upcoming show at a gallery and I kept trying to paint in a more realistic style when one night I took a blank canvas and just painted a landscape from memory and put some of my frustration into the brushstrokes creating a work that was very loose and colorful. 

My work after that went in a direction where I pulled from my emotion more than over-thinking the painting. I guess you could say I found the "zone" where I felt like I was on automatic and the painting would create itself. I still struggle to get in the "zone" but it seems that the more I paint and with more years of experience, my work flows better for me. 

As an artist, what is it that you love about what you do and being an artist? I love that I am able to paint and set my own goals and direction. As an artist, I have had the honor of receiving feedback from people that have been touched in some way by my work. 

My work is in hospitals and it touches me emotionally to have someone tell me they saw my painting during a tough time and it helped to calm them. I feel lucky every day that I have the opportunity to be self-employed as an artist and be doing what I really love and enjoy! (I also like being able to sleep in and make afternoon appointments!) 

Where do you find your best ideas? I am inspired by many things in nature and the light, color, drama and emotion in a scene. When I have an emotional response to what I see then I try to impart that emotion to the viewer through my art. If I find that I am very passionate about a subject then often I will do a series so I can develop it further. I think training your eye as an artist to "see" color and to be able to simplify subject matter helps to bring new ideas into view.  

For more information on Sally’s show call the gallery at 252-633-4369, email, or visit the website

Visit Sally's page on our website for information about these pieces by clicking here.

Saturday, September 05, 2015

Our menagerie Part 2

And there are more!


Lampwork ornaments

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Our menagerie Part 1

We have quite a collection of animals created by out artists in mediums ranging from wood to clay to paper and even tar paper!