Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ernul Brick Road Craven County

On my list of things I like to show our visitors is the Ernul Brick Road.

From New Bern going toward Washington on Hwy 17, its maybe 10 miles on your right just before you get to the railroad tracks.

I'm always surprised at how many people around here don't know about it.

A lot of the road is paved over but you can still see the bricks in many spots and it's one lane wide.

The road was built in 1919, 9 feet wide, over an earlier roadbed that came from the Virginia line.

It goes about a mile then you can just turn left and that road takes you back to Hwy 17 in a few miles.

US 17 replaced the brick road between 1930 and 1936 leaving only a few sections of the brick road remaining.

I've been trying to do some research on this and not finding much. But here is a quote I found on the NC Office of State Archaelogy website - "In the areas where they were located, brick roads probably contributed more to the economic and social lives of the citizens than to the advancement of highway technology.

While the highways would be improved in later years, brick roads bridged the nearly impassable swamplands of coastal North Carolina, opening the door for commercial development."

I suspect that this brick road was built over the First Post Road although I can't find it written anywhere. Mail was first carried regularly in North Carolina over the First Post Road.

The first post road in North Carolina was constructed in 1738-1739. The mail would be run on the 20th day of each month.

The road fell into disrepair during the 1750s. In the 1770s it was once again partially revived during Governor Tryons time in New Bern.

The sign I show here is located on East Front Street in New Bern near the corner of New Street.

There is a lot of interesting history around here, I have a lot more to learn.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Slow Blogging - just arrived home from Baltimore

We just got back from the ACC show in Baltimore, a show where many of our friends gather and we look for new art for the gallery.

We stayed at the new Hilton which takes up 2 city blocks and is connected to the convention by a covered heated walkway. The hotel is beautiful! It opened in August 2008. It is a little pricey and doesn't have the view we've had before when we stayed at the Hyatt or at the Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel, but the room was fabulous.

I would recommend any of the hotels I've mentioned.

We didn't even leave the hotel to eat and the food was great.

As far as the art - we ordered tiles, jewelry, wood boxes and photo frames, bread boards and can't wait until they come!

When we first started going Philadelphia we rode the train from Wilson or Selma, we passed through Ashland, VA and it looked like a neat little town through the window. About 4 years ago we stopped there on our way north and ate lunch at the Iron Steamer. It was great! I remember there was green chili on the menu and our friend John grumbled about soups being called chili (John likes to pick on people!) and the waitress said "there is nothing not to like about it!" She was right we all had it and it was wonderful.

So this time we stopped again and had lunch. The little downtown calls itself "the center of the universe". Hmmmmmmmmmm, I thought that was New Bern, anyway, again, lunch was fabulous.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Middle Street St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival

Just in from the St. Patricks Day Folks

The Middle Street St. Patrick’s Day Parade and Festival
New Bern, N. C.
Sunday March 15th
This year is the 8th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade & Festival.

The Parade Committee once again wishes to extend a warm invitation for your group/business/family to be one of the many participants in this year’s Parade. First time this year we are inviting bicycles decorate your bike and ride in the parade. The Parade will be formed at George Street between the Police Station and the cemetery, marching to Broad St. through Middle Street, ending on South Front Street in front of the Farmer’s Market.

This year we are pleased to announce that the Farmer’s Market will be open form 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. vendor’s will be putting on their green for Patty’s Day. There will be Irish entertainment and Irish wares call for more info.

Everyone is Irish on St. Patty’s Day

Line up time 1:00 George Street - Parade time 2:00

This year we are asking for a parade donation of $20.00 to help cover parade expenses. Due to the economy we appreciate all your help in keeping this event for our city. Again, thank you. Send donations along with your application to me. Address below if this is a hardship just send your application. We appreciate everyone’s participation.

Final lineup and numbered location information will be given the contact person for your group by March 12th. Thank you for your support. Please feel free to call with any questions.

Judy Stasinopoulos Event Coordinator 252-64-1856
The Middle Street St. Patrick’s Day Committee
P. O. Box 1111
Bridgeton, NC 28519

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Finally the sculpture is done & ready to hang!

Some things just take longer than you plan.......

If you've been reading this blog for a while or went on the spring home tour, you might remember last March I started talking about this sculpture I was making for the entry way to our new house.

I drew the pattern you see Michael holding up in the spot it's going to go. It's a big wall so wanted to make sure it was big enough.

In the next photo you see a detail shot of the bird in the drawing.

Next you'll see that I've rolled out the base and was adding the edge detail.

I loved making it!

Sometimes people ask me how I can sell the pieces I make. What is exciting is the act of creating, once a piece is done it's time to move on to the next one. Besides if I didn't sell the pieces where would I put them all??!!

Working with clay is a lot more physical than painting and because of the size of this piece it was VERY physical.

I did the sculpture all in 1 piece then I cut it apart.

At that time our biggest kiln would only hold a piece 14" square (we've since gotten a larger one that will hold something 36" wide and at least that tall.)

I managed to get it dried and fired with no cracking, then I couldn't decide how to glaze it so it sat there for months while I pondered that. Then came Christmas which always takes over our life and starts in September and finishes the middle of January.

Now, of course I've got it finished and will expect Michael to get it hung immediately!!

I'll post another photo of what it looks like hung.

Next it's time to tackle our back splash. You know what they say about the cobblers kids. In our old house it took me 9 or 10 years to get the back splash done in that house.

I plan on starting it in the next few weeks. I'm going to use my friend Naira's work as inspiration for the backsplash. It will just have color, no images.

Hopefully it won't take me a year to get that done.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Peace Symbol - 50 years old

Don't ask me how I missed this but maybe you did too. Last year, 2008 was the 50th Anniversary of the Peace Symbol.

We did know that all of a sudden we have been selling LOTS of peace symbol jewelry and anything else that has the symbol on it.

We're glad to see it back, growing up in the 60s of course it was everywhere.

Do you remember that the symbol 50 years ago was used to protest the atomic bomb and to campaign for nuclear disarmament?

Gerald Holtom was the artist and textile designer who created it.

"A conscientious objector during World War II, he was driven to the nuclear disarmament campaign, he said, by a feeling of despair. " (from CBS News - see link below to read the article).

He based the design on the Naval sign language of semaphore, matching the 'N' for nuclear & a straight up-and-down 'D' for 'Disarmament,' with a circle around it. "That's the symbol, very simple and straightforward," Randle recalled.

"The 'n' and 'd' of nuclear disarmament were its source, but its meaning quickly embraced a bigger cause: as a symbol for protest in the broadest sense, more specifically as a sign for peace.

An international brand that became as familiar as a stop sign - from grim and gritty, to groovy, like a universal trademark, according to design consultant Richard Williams. "

And because Gerald Holtom and the anti-nuclear campaign deliberately didn't copyright the symbol, no one owns it - or, perhaps everyone does.

To read this whole article go to CBS News.

In a previous post I showed the new peace soap we just got in - that smells WONDERFUL!! Peace soap.

And we have peace sign jewelry in different price ranges as shown in the photo above with more coming in.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Back from Philly - our picks

We just got back from Philly where we go twice a year to a great show where we meet new artists, see some whose work we've been carrying and connect with our friends who have galleries across the country.

As the new work comes in I'll post it here, but for now I'll write about what we love about Philly OTHER than the art we go to see.

The show we go to is at the Convention Center and is not open to the public, there are lots of hotels within a couple blocks and we've stayed at many -

Loew's (beautiful rooms, great restaurant, medium sized rooms, you pay for everything extra, they do have a pool but you have to pay to use it), $159

Marriott (nice rooms but small, connected to the Convention Center, you pay for everything extra), $149

Holiday Inn Express (ok, clean, not fancy, pool, good breakfast included). $120

But our favorite is the Residence Inn. It is right across the street from City Hall, 2 blocks from the convention center, the rooms are BEAUTIFUL, recently redone, and you have a small kitchen, living room & bedroom, free internet, free very extensive breakfast and Mon-Thurs nights they even include a limited dinner like lasagna, pizza or something similar. Our queen sized bed had 8 pillows on it! Residence Inn. The photo of City Hall was taken from our window. We paid $149 through our trade show people.

Of course you can't go to Philadelphia without eating great food. Some of our favorites within a few blocks of the Convention Center are (of course) the Reading Terminal Market, and in there is our VERY favorite is the Dutch Eating Place. We each have our favorite dish there and Michael always has to have an apple dumpling.

Other great places we like to go, a little french restaurant Caribou Cafe, and Moriarty's Pub, and there is one right around the corner from the convention center Ly Michaels, they have FABULOUS lemon grass soup and ahi tuna.

So we're home now and getting ready for the next ArtWalk which will be Friday, March 13. I've got paintings, tiles and lots of things to do for it.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Upcoming Travels, art in progress and Facebook

As I said before this is the time of year we travel to shows to find new art and interesting pieces for the gallery. Last week we were in NYC and had a great time and found a lot of new things and met new artists. We'll soon be off to Philadelphia then Baltimore then a real vacation on a boat with friends off of Bimini.

Between now and then I'm working on tiles of the homes that will be on the spring home and garden tour and I've just finished this new waterfront painting in watercolor, (for more info or to purchase print go to our website by clicking here), just in time for the upcoming ArtWalk, the first of the year March 13.

I was so excited about Susanna Hellers painting I saw in NYC (it's the last painting in that blog entry) that it has inspired me to do something a little different for me in a multi panel painting. Before I saw it all my multi panel paintings would be on panels that would all be the same size, not any more. This painting probably won't be finished for some time but I'll post its progress here. Don't be surprised if it's a little more abstract than you're used to and it won't be as long as Susanna's! Or as good I'm sure.

We are now on Facebook Carolina Creations!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Just In!

When I was in NY last week I found some great things. Many of which are just fun items. As they arrive I'll introduce you to them here.

Like the PEACE soap! I LOVE the Peace soap. The bar is huge and the scent is fabulous.

"Bubble up some love and wash away hate - shower with the Peace Soap - it will make you feel great!

"Fresh" mint and herbal natural scent. Made with organic aloe vera juice. "Peace" is good for all skin types. 9 ounces / 250 grams
Made in the USA.

Price: $7.50 to purchase

It's my favorite but we also have

Hope Soap
Be full of hope, it will brighten your heart. Shower with the Hope Soap for a daily fresh start.

Hope, be full of it. Lily, pear and violet extract fragrance. Made with organic aloe vera juice. 9 oz.

Price: $7.50 to purchase

And last but not least, again Made in the USA we have kosher soap,
Star of David Lemon Eucalyptus Soap
With respect for the tradition, in honor of its passage through time, Star of David Brand Kosher Soap is made from the natural oils of lemon and eucalyptus extract. Quality guaranteed. Certified 100% Kosher.

Gentle yet cuts odors – perfect for the kitchen. Great big bar embossed with Jewish Star. Made in the USA.

Price: $5.50 to purchase

February Newsletter

Valentine's Day is just around the corner.

At Carolina Creations our childrens Valentine Card show "Art from the Heart" continues through February 14. These cards were made by Craven County school children. Each card costs $3 and Carolina Creations donates all proceeds to the Craven County Schools Art Program.

There are a lot of things going on downtown this month. Here is a brief description (and probably incomplete) of some of happenings.

February 6 Contemporary Folk Concert – Pat Wictor – Pat Wictor’s innovative musical style includes acoustic, blues, folk and Americana, all in a performance that features his originals in addition to a newly discovered lyric from another performer or a fresh take on a traditional song. He embraces his audiences with the clarity of his voice and the sincerity of his music. Concert will be held at the Trent River Coffee Company beginning 8pm with doors opening at 7pm.

February 7 Sidewalk Sale - see below for more details.

Feb 7 - Tryon Palace Historic Sites & Gardens Free Day!
Sat. Feb 7 9-5 pm, Lawn Games, Special Programs, Musical Performances, Lectures and Stories, go to for more info or call 252-514-4900.

Feb 8 20th Annual Sunday Jazz Showcase with Peter Appleyard and other jazz greats celebrate the music of Benny Goodman at 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. in the ballroom at the Sheraton. Call the Craven Arts Council and Gallery for more information.

February 13-15 New Bern Preservation Foundation Antique Show & Sale The largest antique show east of Raleigh, featuring a variety of antique dealers selling quality goods such as furniture, linens, silver, toys, glassware and much more! Daily verbal evaluations of your treasures are also available. Also will feature lectures including an update on the New Bern City Hall clock restoration. The show is from 5pm-8pm on Friday, 10am-5pm on Saturday and 10am-4:30pm on Sunday at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center. Admission is $5 per person and good for all three days.

Morgans Tavern & Grill is now open on Sundays starting at 10:30 am featuring new brunch entrees along with their regular menu. Reservations accepted 636-2430.

Cow Cafe is now open on Sundays Too! Along with Carolina Creations
, MJ's, Capt. Rattys, Accidental Artist, Port City Java, Morgans, Life is Good, Four C's, Pepsi, Pollock st Deli, Galley Stores, and others.

Holiday Treats from Holly Yashi

We've just gotten in beautiful Swarovski crystal and crystal pearl necklaces from Holly Yashi, these pearls have gold-overlay chain and clasp. These dramatic necklaces have the colors of a cascading tropical waterfall.

Beautiful and a great price at $76. Of course we have earrings to match.

Can't make it in? You can purchase them online by clicking here.

Bella Twilight Jewelry

One of our artists, Lorainne Caprino, has two daughters that are in love with the "Twilight" Series of books. So she has created a sterling silver charm bracelet and charms that symbolize each of the books.

We currently have the sterling silver bracelet, which comes with 2 charms, a heart and a wolf for $33. Additional charms can be purchased for $ 7.

For those of you that don't know about these books, here is a little snyopsis I got off wikipedia.

Twilight is a young-adult vampire-romance novel written by author Stephenie Meyer. It was originally published in 2005 in hardback. It is the first book of the Twilight series, and introduces seventeen-year-old Isabella "Bella" Swan who moves from Phoenix, Arizona, to Forks, Washington, and finds her life in danger when she falls in love with a vampire, Edward Cullen.

The apple charm represents the forbidden fruit from the book of Genesis.

The chess piece charm represents Bella.

More charms are to come!

To order click here!

Sidewalk Sale this weekend

Do not miss the sidewalk SALE and activities in downtown New Bern this weekend. Participating stores will be offering deep discounts on winter seasonal products this Saturday Feb 7 and Sunday Feb 8.

At Carolina Creations we will be having our sidewalk sale INSIDE! Just follow the footsteps to the sale displays. Christmas 75% off other sale items 60%, sale jewelry 45% off.
There will be music at Bear Plaza and the weather is supposed to be great. This weekend is a great time to spend in downtown New Bern. Sidewalk SALE starts at 10am and continues until 5pm. Sunday hours start at 12pm until 4pm.

Participating stores include: Juliette's Boutique, Nauti Paws Pet Boutique, Treasures on the Trent, The Four Cs, Bear Essentials, One World Shoppe - A Life is Good Genuine Neighborhood Shoppe, The Pepsi Store, The Boat House, Carolina Creations and others.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Amethyst is the Birthstone for February

Amethyst one of a kind cross by Gregory Pyra.

The gemstone Amethyst is the Birthstone for February. It is also the Zodiac stone for the constellation of Pisces.

Amethyst is the purple variety of the mineral quartz and is a popular gemstone. The name "amethyst" comes from the Greek and means "not drunken." This was perhaps due to a belief that amethyst would ward off the effects of alcohol, but most likely the Greeks were referring to the almost wine-like color of some stones that they may have encountered. Its color is unparalleled, and even other, more expensive purple gemstones are often compared to its color and beauty. Although it must always be purple to be amethyst, it can and does have a wide range of purple shades.

We have some wonderful pieces in the gallery with Amethyst stones like this beautiful sterling silver, amethyst and pearl pendant by Joan Horn.

Joan graduated with a BFA in metalsmithing from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Joan Z. Metalwork premiered in 1990.

Joan says "I love working in my studio, and my hands feel most at home when they have a pliers in them. Tools that were never intended for jewelry lead me into whole new directions. I question my auto mechanic about devices he uses.

When the plumber comes for household repairs I inspect his tubing cutters and torch tip. A tube wringer from a dental supply catalog inspires new lines of jewelry. I visualize everything in the world as if it were a piece of jewelry. Musical notes from the sheet music in choir become a brooch pattern.

Gates in Barcelona become a pendant. My jewelry pieces are studies in line, color and movement"