Monday, April 30, 2012

Pewter Labyrinth at Carolina Creations

What is a labyrinth? A labyrinth is an ancient symbol of wholeness, and a model of your journey through life on a "meandering but purposeful path."

What are they used for? They are used as tools for meditation, prayer, to relieve stress, and to gain enlightenment. To know yourself.  When following a labyrinth you must focus on one step at a time, following the path that will always lead to your center.

In the Middle Ages one could be used as a substitute for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. The labyrinth can be used as a personal practice for healing growth, a tool for building community, and to promote global peace.

Walking a prayer labyrinth involves 3 stages - releasing - quieting your mind,  receiving - clairyifying your problems and lastly returning - when you know you have the strength to tackle your issues.

We hope these Labyrinth gifts will assist you in your own journey to peace and happiness. 

Our handcrafted in the USA pewter labyrinth come in a velvet pouch with a story card describing the Labyrinth.

These pieces can be purchased by visiting our website by clicking here.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

NC Association of Airports Artist

I was honored to be chosen to create an original painting that was given to the attendees of the NC Association of Airports.

This group was in town for their annual conference last week.

Jan Francoeur

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More Art for your garden Stoneware Birdhouses Feeders and Toad Houses

Made in North Carolina we are pleased to add these garden pieces “Birds in Flight” to our collection of hand crafted art for the garden. These products are all hand made of high-fired stoneware clay.The vitreous nature of the material and design of each piece precludes any weather related problems of rot or rust from moisture, UV degradation or breakage from freezing.

Stoneware Hanging Birdbath Slab constructed and hung with 90 lb.woven stainless coated wire.

Small 'Chickadee' Bird Feeder

Small Bird Feeder holds 1 1/4 cups of black-oil seed.It is best seller of our bird products.

Toad House
      Yes, Toad Houses really do work! OK, so not everyone finds toads beautiful. However, a single toad can eat about 110 beetles, ants, June bugs, grasshoppers, slugs, moths, sowbugs, armyworms and other bugs every day. That's around 3,300 every month! Toads are most active at night, so during the day they need a fairly dark, cool place to hide from the sun and predators. Encourage these bug-hungry hunters to have a nice long stay in your garden by providing these adorable toad houses. Place in a moist, shady area in your garden and before long you'll have a new neighbor. 

Very ''GREEN'' product. Toads eat thousands of harmful bugs/slugs.
Two Piece with nesting platform in the lower cone.  The cap lid raises for easy cleaning.  A smart round finial completes this wonderful design.Slab constructed. Hangs from 90# plastic coated stainless steel wire.

Stoneware Hanging Birdbath Slab constructed and hung with 90 lb.woven stainless coated wire.

To see purchasing details click here!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Spring in New Bern

We went on a much needed vacation for 2 1/2 weeks in March. The only bad thing about it was that the warm winter caused spring to came early so we missed the explosion of color from the dogwood and azaelas.

We've lived in New Bern since 1989 and I never tire of painting it. As I ride my bike through town I always see something new or a different way of looking at what I've seen before.

I will turn many of these photos into paintings! As I complete them I'll post them in this blog.

- Jan Francoeur

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sympathy cards at Carolina Creations and what to write in a sympathy card

We sell a lot of greeting cards, one of the biggest categories is sympathy cards. I've posted a few here and some thoughts on what to think about when writing a sympathy card.
What ever you write know that there are really no words to bring comfort. It can't make the situation better, but it is a way to say "Hi, I'm here and thinking of you." 

You should not say, "If there's anything I can do please call, or if there is anything I can do let me know.", requiring them to have to call you, instead you might say "I'm going to call you next week," or "I'm going to email you next week to check on you."

“They’re better off now,” or “They’re happy now,” or even “They’re in a better place.” is not a good thing either. It's not really a comfort to the person left behind. The person who died is still gone. 
Be careful when you say you understand or you know how the person feels (particularly when you’ve never been through the same situation).
Death is a funny thing. It happens to all of us, and will happen to everyone we know. Yet, many of us struggle with how to act or what to say when it happens. If you stay positive and commit to doing something for the bereaved you’ll stand a much better chance of sending a note that is meaningful, memorable and a true comfort.

Thank you to the European Paper Company for these thoughts.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Anna Balkan Jewelry

We met Ann Balkan this winter and love her jewelry!

Anna grew up in the Chernobyl area of the Ukraine, when the culture was grey and resourcefulness was a necessity.  She learned to knit and crochet, making the things that were needed from what ever was on hand.  The circumstance proved to be the perfect training ground for an inspirational designer. 

“I’ve never had any preconceived notions of which colors did or did not go together. Because I lived in a world that was so drab, I thought all color was beautiful.”

Anna rose above religious persecution and discriminatory quotas to earn access into a prestigious masters of engineering program.  The experience honed Anna’s expertise in three dimensional design now so evident in the layered artistry of her jewelry.  Anna immigrated to the U.S. as a political refugee in 1992 at the age of 20 -- alone, unable to speak the language, and with barely enough money to survive.  Of this trying time,  Anna recalls “It was an unexpected opportunity, but I knew from within that it was the right thing to do.  I had to let myself be vulnerable and trust and then keep trusting no matter how difficult things were at times.”

Trust, tenacity, and constant renewal enabled Anna to transition from the streets of NY to the halls of a Top 5 consulting firm in just four years.  Over time, Anna learn to converse in English and soon earned the means for her to relocate and return to school where she earned a B.S. in Economics from Michigan State University.

Anna’s project management skills led her into an evolutionary e-commerce company where she continued to innovate. “Creativity is all around us.  Sometimes we just don’t recognize it for what it is.  Every moment of life is unique and creative.  I am very fortunate that both of the companies that I worked for valued entrepreneurship.  I worked in math, science, and economics.  They are all very creative fields when you look beyond the expected.”

Delivering the unexpected is still part of Anna’s journey.  She returned to her true passion and birthed Anna Balkan Jewelry shortly after having her daughter.  Her business maintains 50% year over year growth despite global economic trials. Her collection captures all the colors of her history and the natural beauty of a life well lived.  Anna Balkan is a woman of renewal and her journey has just begun.  It is her mission to honor, inspire, and celebrate feminine power and beauty.  Today, she does that with a commitment to exquisite creations, designed especially for the exquisite beauty she sees in every woman.

To see more of Anna's pieces click here!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Spring Home and Garden Tour New Bern NC

What an honor to be chosen again to create the art for the upcoming Spring Home and Garden Tour, April 13 and 14. The town is beautiful!!

We'll have a reception on Friday for ticket holders from 4-7 pm - this is also open to the public, we'll be open until 8 pm that evening so stop in!

We also have prints of the art I did for the home tour for sale. Click here to purchase on line or to see the details.

Jan Francoeur 

Sunday, April 08, 2012

V Originals

We are stocking up for our upcoming Garden Show in May and June. One of the artists in the show is Phyllis Vaughn.

Kind of whimsical, kind of Folk-Art. The use of re-purposed materials adds to the charm and creative quality of her work. She Is consistently coming up with new painting techniques and other creative changes. 

V. Originals is all about that "thing" that makes you feel good, that makes you smile, that touches your heart.  "We have evolved over these twenty plus years from our whimsical art dolls to our current folk-art interpretations....always with a message....always with that little something "extra".  It always amazes me how creative one can be when put in the right environment....and the right frame of mind.  The ideas flow like paint on a canvas.  If our results make people smile, then, we have done our jobs. 
Happy heart  *  Happy spirit"
Here are some of her pieces!

Be Happy

Friday, April 06, 2012

Art for your garden

We have a garden show coming up for May and June - we'll have hand crafted garden stakes, small garden sculptures, paintings of gardens and flowers, some birdhouses and feeders!

One of our artists is Steven Cooper.

He creates some beautiful small and large (blooms measure 4" to 16" on 3' to 5' stakes) permanent flowers for your garden!

We have a nice selection right now.

Here are a few photos.

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Thomas Mann at Carolina Creations

Individually hand carved and textured aluminum.
Various striped acrylic and brass adornments.
Dial and center red acrylic heart. Runs on 1 AA battery (not included).
Stand included.
6" wide x 10" tall. 
Thomas Mann has been an active participant in the contemporary American craft movement for the past forty years as an artist, gallery owner and lecturer.

He describes himself as an artist working in the medium of jewelry and sculpture. The primary design vocabulary which he employs in the making of jewelry objects combines industrial aesthetics and materials and with evocative romantic themes and imagery. He calls this design system Techno.Romantic. Though it is not the only design mode in which he works, it is the one for which he and his work is best known.

His work is a nice addition to our gallery!

Check out a few more pieces by clicking here!