Friday, October 29, 2010

On the Plein Air Trail with Brenda Behr

Opening - November 12, Friday - ArtWalk  5-8 pm
Demo - November 12, Friday 5-8 pm

Carolina Creations features On the Plein Air Trail with Brenda Behr – paintings in oil during November and December.

The exhibition will feature paintings of rural scenes, boats and waterways, homes and landmarks of the area in North Carolina known as the Coastal Plain.
Painted mostly en plein air (on location), the collection of oil paintings reflect the spontaneity with which they were painted. On a sunny day with the light constantly changing, the artist's challenge is to paint fast and ala prima (first stroke). Brenda's father was in the Air Force and took Brenda with him as he traveled the world. Painting lessons began at at 9 in the Philippines and she has been painting ever since. She attended high school in Goldsboro and received a degree in communication arts and design. She went on to spend the next 30 years in the field of advertising in Minnesota. 

She worked as a freelance art director, attending painting classes and workshops on the side. A family crisis brought her back to Goldsboro in 2003. 

Traveling the roads of eastern North Carolina Behr fell in love with the landscape outside her car windows and it all became subjects for her paintings. 

Stop in and meet Brenda and watch her paint during artwalk, Friday, November 12, 5-8. Her show continues through December.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fall Colors

Color in the High Country - Colorado
We have lived in several places but have spent most of our lives in Michigan, Colorado and North Carolina.

We haven't seen much color fall color since we left Aspen in 1988. Around New Bern there is mostly pines so not too much color. There is the occasional ginkgo tree here that is a beautiful yellow, but there aren't that many of them so the color is mostly green.

In Colorado we lived at a very high elevation, about 9000 feet. In September we would start seeing fall on the horizon.

Fall didn't last too long! One morning you'd wake up and see a small stripe of yellow which was at about 12000 feet. The trees were all aspens so they turned a bright yellow in the fall. Right behind the stripe of yellow would be white. So each morning we'd look up and see the white getting wider and the yellow stripe coming down the mountain towards us.

Michigan Color
 We would start getting depressed because we'd see winter getting closer every day. The winters are beautiful in the mountains of Colorado the sun shines all the time, but it's still winter 8 months out of the year which is why we moved to North Carolina!

Here in North Carolina we look forward to September when it cools off.

In Michigan the trees in the fall are beautiful, bright reds, yellows, and oranges. It is stunning! But again we knew winter was right behind. We didn't get so much snow in Michigan (annually 35 inches in Michigan where we lived and 300 in Aspen) but the bad part of a Michigan winter is that you don't see the sun from the first of November until the end of March. When we were growing up it would occasionally drop to 20 below. I don't think it does that so much any more.

We just got back from picking up pottery from Jim and Shirl Parmentier in western North Carolina so got a dose of fall color. We did talk to a lady in Bakersville who moved there from Maine. She said it just wasn't the same as Maine. "Not enough red - people need to plant some Maple trees around here!"

We saw some beautiful trees on our trip!  Reminded us of Michigan.

Friday, October 22, 2010

North Carolina History Center Opening

We just returned from the opening soiree of the NC History Center. This facility is very "uptown" and we're thrilled it happened in our lifetime.

It's fabulous and a huge boon for our community!! Here is link to the website.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Very cool coin purses

We are an American Craft Gallery and we support American craftspeople. We are sometimes reminded that there are craftspeople all over the world and we should not limit ourselves.

So occasionally we find a great design from an artist not from North American that we can't pass up.

These leather coin purses by Paullette Rollo are just one of those things.

They are just exquisite in their detail. They snap securely and can clip on your purse.

We've got many different colors and styles.

I've got to have one but want one of each, I am having a hard time choosing!

Janet Francoeur

Monday, October 18, 2010

High Point

Every few years we go to the furniture market. We just got back.

We didn't decide to go until last week so really had to search to find a place to stay and ended up near Lexington at Vineyards Crossroads.  Right next to Childress Vineyards. I recognized the name from racing (having grown up right next to Michigan International Speedway and working for the printing company that did all the printing for the Speedway and for Penske).

The Vineyard is beautiful, the vines were lush and there were a lot of them! The building itself was impressive as well.

There is a Holiday Inn Express right there that was brand new and a large building that will house shops although there were none in there yet.

The hotel was inexpensive and the room large, had a sitting room, a sink, small refrigerator and microwave. Their free breakfast consisted of bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits and gravy, fruit, pastries, yogurt, cereal. We would stay there again but would ask for a room on the top floor because we could hear people walking around in the room above us.

Here is a link to the website for the Vineyard.

Any time we're anywhere near High Point we always stop at the Jerusalem Market. Our friends Mack and Sushmita live in Jamestown and served us food from there about 6 years ago and it was wonderful. Our very favorite is their baba ghanouj which is a dip made from eggplant. Saliba Hanhan is the owner and makes it himself (and many other fresh things they sell). His two sons work in the market as well.  Here is a link to their website.

So what does all this have to do with going to High Point? It is an exhausting show to do so you have to mix in some diversions. We did actually do some business and will tell you about the artists we purchased from as their work arrives!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Carolina Creations Upcoming Events

This is always a busy time of the year for us!  We have some upcoming events so mark your calendar. Here is just a list, watch this blog and our newsletter for more details.

ArtWalk 2nd Friday of November, the 12th. Our featured artist will be Brenda Behr and her show called "On the Plein Air Trail with Brenda Behr.

She'll be doing a demonstration that night.

Christmas Open House at Carolina Creations, November 26 & 27.

Opening of our ornament show November 26.

December 1-31 featured potters, Shirl & Ed Parmentier.

We are open every day of the year except Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

2010 New Bern Christmas Card!

Inspired by the Santa House in Bear Plaza this is the image for my 2010 New Bern Christmas Card!

A little more whimsical than some I thought it would be fun to celebrate all the hard work Lisa Edwards and her crew from AG Salem and Associates does every year for our Dickens of a Christmas celebration.

10 for $9.

They should arrive by Monday, Oct. 18.

You can order online by clicking here.

- Janet Francoeur

PS Also don't forget this years New Bern Ornament.


Comes in a card ready to mail. Commemorate our great year of celebrations!

You can order this online as well! Click here.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Funny Artist Erin Smith

I get to meet all kinds of artists, from those that do very serious, even museum quality art work to those whose work is just as valid but who are totally off the charts as far as what goes on in their heads.

Erin Smith is one of the latter.

When I was in New York a few weeks ago I got the chance to talk to her.

Erin is never at a loss for words, (you know, the behind the hand, under the breath witticism that everyone in hearing distance pretends they didn't hear while snickering anyway?), after the birth of her second son, her sleep deprived, over worked restaurant server She pretty much decided that people needed to face the music, and hear what she had to say.

Overwhelmingly, people all over the world have embraced her sentiments, with shocked gasps of... "I thought it was just ME!"

Inspired by the family photo album her grandmother gave her, erin combines her family photos (really!!), with vintage photography, acrylics, ink, paper, found objects, original paintings and digital media. The heart of each is the prose, which is the sometimes meandering, sometimes concise, lyrics of a day in the life of the artist and mother and wife.

Fueled by sarcasm, the desire for a drama free life, and knowing that taking it 'one day at a time' is a euphemism for a typical day being an iceberg instead of warm sand and a rum drink... she is like you and needs to see as much humor in the day as she can.

This definitely helps melt the iceberg... however it doesn't walk the dog, buy birthday presents, do the laundry, go grocery shopping, buy the kids clothes, get more milk, make dinner, help chaperone field trips, ... it does help be a wife and mother that loves wine and martinis and wouldn't trade any of it for the world. 

We've carried some of Erin Smith's work in the form of coasters but we now have her note cards and magnets as well.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Lynyrd Skynard God and Guns Tour

The Lynyrd Skynard Band is on their God and Guns Tour, they're playing in Jacksonville, NC which is about 35 miles south of New Bern. The wife of the only original remaining member of the band was in Carolina Creations today.

She said they had been on tour since Spring 2009, they were playing in Europe recently, and have played all over the US.

She said Carolina Creations is the best shop she's been in anywhere on the tour.

Love to hear things like that!

- Janet Francoeur

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Ten Ten Ten for our Social Media Readers Only

Did you know?  The Psychology of the Number Ten...
The number ten seems to give people that warm fuzzy feeling:
"I won TEN thousands dollars!"                                                  
"I got TEN things done today."

"I got 10% off at Carolina Creations!!!!!" And then there are the top ten lists:  Top Ten Reasons, Top Ten Links, Top Ten Songs, Top Ten Movies, Top Ten Jokes, Top Ten Reviews etc...

And the Top Ten Reasons to Carolina Creations in Downtown New Bern on 10-10-10: 

We are Friendly
We have Fun Stuff
Your Wife Loves our Store
We have a Great Staff
We have unique Gift Items
We will help make that Gift Look Pretty
We were named the Best Place to Buy Art and Gifts in New Bern (Sun Journal Readers)
Downtown New Bern is a Fun Place to Visit
We Support Artists
And You will Get 10% Off at Carolina Creations on 10-10-10!

10-10-10 Only - You must mention you read it here!

- Looking forward to seeing you!

Monday, October 04, 2010

30 Hour Holiday continued with a little politicking thrown in

A couple posts ago I mentioned that we headed to Manteo after we left the Big Mill B and B at Williamston.

I wanted to drive through Plymouth. I remember driving through there 18 years ago and then we were really impressed then with the town. We thought "wow, this place is all set to take off, the infrastructure is all there - just waiting for some businesses to move in". There is an awesome lighthouse on the waterfront, another museum, lots of interesting churches and homes.

There are nice light posts like we have in New Bern, there is a board walk on the river, benches, etc. They really have made their waterfront more accessible to the public than we have. Their Downtown is right next to the waterfront.

Why I am talking about this is - a week or so ago at a City Council meeting I heard an excellent presentation by Judy Hill from the Eastern Carolina Council - The ECC provides the organizational mechanism for local elected officials to meet and deal with region-wide issues.

When she finished one of the Alderman said, when are you doing this, why are you doing that, like when are you are going to do this for us and make our neighborhood wonderful.

If you look at what has happened Downtown in the past 20 years you will see that to get to where we are today we had a plan that Swiss Bear and the City put together. As a public/private partnership we made it happen. There has been millions of dollars of private money invested in our Downtown. We didn't sit back and tell the City to make their plan happen. We put our money where our mouths are and took the plan and spun it.

Mr Alderman if you sit back and wait for someone else to do it for you your neighborhood is going to look just like it does now in 18 years. Go look at Plymouth, they have a fabulous infrastructure - surrounded by empty storefronts, pawns shops, and dirty windows.

That being said, just down the road is the tiny town of Columbia. An entirely different story. They have taken this tiny speck of a town and turned it into an art haven. This is largely do to the leadership of director of the arts council, Feather Phillip. 

We had lunch at Manteo and walked around a little. Then we did something else we haven't done in 18 years, drove home via Stumpy Point. If you've never gone that way don't try it after dark and make sure you're not low on gas!

Most of it looked just like it did 18 years ago. For 20 miles there is a ditch on the right, trees on the left, for 20 miles. Nothing else. Seriously. Not one building, not one light. From there another 20 miles, same thing. But then we were pleased to arrive in Engelhard. A tiny town in the middle of no where that seemed to be cookin!

It's always fun to take a road trip. Wish we had more time to do it.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

American Craft Week October 1 through 10

ACW is an opportunity to celebrate the wonders of American craft. Every day thousands of American artists share their vision and talent by producing amazing hand-made decorative and functional objects. And every day thousands of craft retailers share their love of these items by displaying, promoting and selling them. As one craft artist put it, "this is the creative economy!"

American Craft enriches our homes, wardrobes, offices and public spaces. It contributes to our nation's economy, our balance of trade, and the fabric of our national history. It is original, beautiful and enduring.American Craft Week is a project of Craft Retailers & Artists for Tomorrow (CRAFT) in partnership with Craft in America.

National Chairpersons include: Diane Sulg, owner, Maddi's Gallery, Charlotte, NC and CRAFT Board Member; Ann Ruhr Pifer, owner, The Grand Hand Gallery, St. Paul, MN, and CRAFT Board Member; and Carol Sauvion, executive director of Craft in America, and owner, Freehand Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

CRAFT is an association of galleries, shops, schools and artist that are dedicated to presenting work with one common characteristic - it's handmade in the U.S.A. The goal of CRAFT is to promote awareness of American made craft through marketing, networking, education and communications programs. Carolina Creations owner and artist Jan Francoeur is on the Board of CRAFT.

New Bern Artists Lou Plummer and Jan Francoeur will be demonstrating each afternoon, Mon-Thurs, October 4-7 from 1-4 pm. Lou will demonstrate paper crafts on Mon and Wed and Jan will demonstrate clay sculpture on Tues and Thurs.